10 Best High-Protein Foods to Eat for Breakfast, According to Dietitians


When it comes to starting your day right, a protein-packed breakfast is your best ally. Protein not only keeps you full and satisfied but also fuels your muscles and supports overall health. We’ve talked to dietitians to bring you the ten best high-protein foods to kick off your morning with energy and enthusiasm.

A vibrant breakfast table with bowls of Greek yogurt topped with fresh berries and honey.

1. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a breakfast superstar. With about 15-20 grams of protein per serving, it's a fantastic way to start the day. This creamy delight is also rich in probiotics, which promote gut health. Add some berries and a drizzle of honey, and you have a delicious, nutritious meal ready in minutes.

2. Eggs

Eggs are perhaps the most versatile breakfast food around. Each egg provides about 6 grams of high-quality protein. Whether you like them scrambled, poached, boiled, or made into an omelet, eggs are a quick and easy option that can be paired with vegetables, cheese, or whole-grain toast.

3. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is another protein powerhouse, offering around 14 grams of protein per half-cup. It’s low in calories and can be paired with both sweet and savory toppings. Try it with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of nuts or on whole-grain crackers for a balanced breakfast.

4. Protein Smoothies

If you’re in a hurry, a protein smoothie can be a lifesaver. Blend your favorite protein powder with milk or a dairy-free alternative, and add some fruits and spinach for extra nutrients. This liquid breakfast can provide up to 25 grams of protein, depending on the ingredients you choose.

5. Quinoa

Quinoa isn’t just for lunch or dinner. This grain-like seed is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. One cup of cooked quinoa has about 8 grams of protein. Mix it with some almond milk, berries, and a dash of cinnamon for a unique breakfast bowl.

6. Smoked Salmon

For a more sophisticated breakfast, consider smoked salmon. With around 16 grams of protein per serving, it’s an excellent choice. Pair it with whole-grain bread, cream cheese, and capers for a classic combination that’s as tasty as it is nutritious.

7. Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are tiny but mighty when it comes to protein content. Two tablespoons offer about 4 grams of protein. Soak them in almond milk overnight, and by morning you’ll have a pudding-like consistency. Top with fruits and nuts for added texture and flavor.

8. Nut Butter

Nut butters, like almond or peanut butter, are not only delicious but also packed with protein. Just two tablespoons can provide around 7-8 grams of protein. Spread it on whole-grain toast or blend it into a smoothie for a quick and satisfying breakfast.

9. Turkey Sausage

If you crave a savory breakfast, turkey sausage is a great option. It’s lower in fat than traditional pork sausage and provides about 11 grams of protein per link. Pair it with eggs or incorporate it into a breakfast burrito with some veggies and cheese.

10. Tofu Scramble

For those following a plant-based diet, a tofu scramble is an excellent alternative to eggs. Tofu contains about 10 grams of protein per half-cup. Season it with turmeric, nutritional yeast, and your favorite vegetables for a flavorful and filling breakfast.


Starting your day with a high-protein breakfast can set the tone for a productive and energetic day. These ten protein-packed foods are not only nutritious but also versatile and delicious. Incorporating them into your morning routine can help you stay full longer, support muscle health, and keep you energized.


Q: Can I get enough protein from a plant-based breakfast? 

  • A: Absolutely! Foods like tofu, chia seeds, quinoa, and nut butters are excellent plant-based protein sources.

Q: How much protein should I aim for in my breakfast? 

  • A: Dietitians recommend aiming for at least 15-20 grams of protein at breakfast to keep you full and satisfied.

Q: Are protein powders a good option for breakfast? 

  • A: Yes, protein powders can be a convenient way to boost your protein intake, especially when added to smoothies or oatmeal.

Q: Can I eat these high-protein foods if I’m trying to lose weight? 

  • A: Definitely! High-protein foods can help with weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer and reducing overall calorie intake.

Q: What’s a quick high-protein breakfast for busy mornings? 

  • A: Greek yogurt with fruit, a protein smoothie, or whole-grain toast with nut butter are all quick and high-protein breakfast options.