Plant-based breakfasts are an essential part of a full vegan diet or a great way to rely less on meat and dairy throughout the week.
Whether you want savory or sweet, heavy or light, need your breakfast on-the-go or want to take your time on a Saturday morning, these vegan breakfast ideas are varied and delicious enough to suit any craving.
A loaf of banana bread baked on Sunday can deliver days worth of meals. Many banana bread recipes can be made vegan by substituting plant milk and margarine for dairy, and adventurous bakers can also add vegan chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, salted peanuts, or cinnamon and nutmeg.
Bake the bread in muffin tins for a week of handy, grab-and-go breakfasts.
A Mexican-inspired spin on traditional avocado toast, this variation adds black beans for protein, diced tomatoes, cumin, chili flakes, and a drizzle of lime juice.
Those looking for an avocado toast variant with a little less spice can try adding fresh mango or berries, sauteed mushrooms, or fresh cilantro.
English breakfasts are the epitome of hot, hearty morning meals and many components are already vegan. Slather dairy-free butter on toast and add some baked beans and sauteed mushrooms to the plate. Pair with fried tomatoes and potatoes or hash browns for a wonderfully Brit-inspired meal.
If you're in the mood for a real classic, scrambled tofu is a popular alternative to scrambled eggs. Vegan bacon and sausage alternatives made from bean or tempeh can complete the spread, though it's best to keep these for the odd occasion since they're very high in sodium.
No eggs required! Just mix cornstarch, non-dairy milk, a tiny bit of baking powder, and spices to create a vegan French toast batter.
Ground chia seeds help thicken the batter and add fiber, protein, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Use the finely ground version to maintain that traditional smooth texture.
Smoothies are great for a busy morning and can be endlessly altered. Just add vegan yogurt and coconut milk to a blender with any combination of fruits, berries, or leafy greens.
Try tart berry smoothies, tropical smoothies with frozen mango and papaya, or nutrient-packed green smoothies with avocado, fresh apples, and spinach. Using frozen fruit is a great way to avoid fresh versions going off or being underripe.
Potatoes, avocado, mushrooms, and peppers make a delicious, hearty wrap that can easily be stored and eaten during a hectic commute. Scrambled tofu often works in place of eggs.
Looking to experiment? Whip up a vegan "cheesy" sauce with soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, veggie stock, and canned chopped tomatoes.
The base of overnight oats — whole rolled oats soaked overnight in plant milk and a dash of maple syrup — is the constant in this vegan fave, but an endless supply of toppings makes for new and exciting flavors.
Peanut butter is a delicious and satisfying way to add protein. Combine tahini, apricots, pistachios, and pomegranates for a rich Mediterranean flavor, or mango, coconut shavings, and turmeric for a South Asian-inspired twist.
Many store-bought bagels are vegan, though it's worth checking the ingredients to make sure. After that, the spreads and flavors are up to you. Reach beyond cream cheese and try apple-topped peanut butter bagels, sun-dried tomato pate bagels, hummus and veggie bagels, avocado lime bagels with hemp seeds, and chocolate banana bagels!
Sweet potatoes have a sweet and savory flavor that makes them ideal for breakfast, and they're simply full of vitamins A, B, and C. Chop them up in place of potatoes in a skillet or breakfast hash or enjoy them in a bowl with almond butter, nuts, raisins, and cinnamon.
For a simple breakfast snack, just reach for the rice cakes. Slather a rice cake with a bit of peanut or almond butter and a few banana slices or sprinkle of chia seeds for a portable treat. Small servings go a long way here.
Natural nut butters contain healthy fats and fiber that help us stay full longer, but keep in mind that rice cakes aren't very filling — either really load up the toppings, or have something else on the side!
Fill a sliced, toasted English muffin with vegan cheese, tempeh bacon, and scrambled tofu to make a classic breakfast sandwich. Other filling options include avocado, fried mushrooms, tomato, roasted red pepper, and sprouts.
Toasted English muffins can also be left open-faced and make a nice alternative to plain bread for toast.
Breakfast skillets are hot and savory with plenty of flavor and protein. Black or pinto beans, tempeh, chickpeas, tofu, or vegan sausage substitute can provide a protein base for whichever veggies look good.
Fry them up with chili powder, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder, and top with avocado and salsa for a spicy southwestern variant.
Granola is a nice breakfast to make ahead because it holds well and can be eaten alone, on top of vegan yogurt, or with a splash of plant-based milk. It can be made in less than an hour in the oven or on the stove, and it's easy to change up the flavors by using new combinations of dry fruits and nuts or adding spices like cinnamon and ginger.
Fresh mint adds a refreshing kick to any fruit salad. For those looking to boost their vitamin C and fiber intake, a simple orange-based fruit salad is a unique option. Simply combine soft dates, the peeled segments of four oranges, a tablespoon of rose syrup or rosewater, and fresh mint into a decadent and cool morning treat.
For those craving a gooey cinnamon roll, coconut oil and almond milk make perfect vegan alternatives to cow's milk and butter.
Homemade vegan cinnamon rolls may require a bit more time and effort than other breakfasts on this list, but they're a perfect treat for a special occasion or to impress overnight guests, and they're a great make-ahead option.
The simplest way to make fluffy vegan pancakes is to just swap dairy milk for plant milk. There are, however, a lot of ways to get creative with a standard pancake recipe. Chopped banana, peanut butter, berries, and vegan chocolate chips are popular additions.
Protein pancake batter can be made by adding water-soaked flaxseeds to ground almonds, plant milk, flour, banana, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Flaxseeds have a mild, nutty flavor and are the best non-meat source for omega-3 fatty acids.
Arepas are dense, slightly sweet cornmeal cakes enjoyed across Colombia and Venezuela. They're easy to make by sifting masarepa — precooked corn flour — into warm water and salt until it forms a loose dough and then baking, deep-frying, or pan-frying the dough until golden and delicious. They can be enjoyed with vegan butter and jam or cut open like a pita and filled with savory vegetables.
Muffins are great because they can be made in batches and are easy to grab on the way out the door. Along with substituting one banana per egg or equal amounts of plant milk for dairy milk in any muffin recipe, bakers can boost the protein and healthy fat by using almond flour and ground flaxseeds or quinoa in place of traditional flour.
Flavors are equally customizable, from peanut butter chocolate chip to banana nut to coconut mango and more.
For a sweet alternative to cereal, try white rice with plant milk and a sprinkle of sugar. Fry up brown rice with scrambled tofu and veggies for a filling take on egg-fried rice. Try mixing miso and tahini paste with rice vinegar for a delicious umami dressing to pour over wild rice and steamed veggies.
Sometimes going vegan is less a matter of altering non-vegan recipes and more a matter of recognizing vegan classics that are already familiar. Peanut butter and banana are a great breakfast combination; they boast a balanced portion of natural sugars for quick energy and fiber and healthy fats to stay full longer. Put them in a sandwich and it's a handy, portable breakfast.
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