Start your day off right with these vegan breakfast ideas! These are the easiest vegan breakfast options you can make, from almost-instant to brunch-worthy favorites, so you can choose the vegan breakfast that fits best into your schedule.
One of the most common questions I get from non-vegans or new vegans (after "Where do you get your protein?" and "How do you not die without cheese?") is, "What do vegans eat for breakfast?"
It makes sense that folks who are new to veganism or are veg-curious have trouble coming up with vegan breakfast ideas. Don't worry. I'm here to help!
If you grew up eating the Standard American Diet, you are probably used to starting the day with eggs, bacon, sausage, dairy cheese, and other animal foods.
The good news is that you can replace these with plant-based alternatives or mix up your mornings with something totally new. Do what makes you most comfortable!
All of the breakfasts listed here are easy, and I'm going to break things up into three categories, ranging from quick to leisurely:
- Weekday Morning
- Vegan Brunch
You overslept. Your kid has no idea where his second shoe has gone. You need something now, something you may have to finish eating in the car. Let's do this.
These are breakfasts that take only minutes to make or are make-ahead.
1. Toast or a muffin
Don't roll your eyes! Toast is my family's go-to in the mornings, because oversleeping is my second job. We usually serve our toast with "yellow butter" (aka vegan margarine) or peanut butter. But you can up your toast game in little to no time!
Try cashew butter and peach preserves, peanut butter and sliced banana, sliced avocado and tomato, vegan margarine and orange marmalade, a few slices of vegan bacon, or a schmear of veggie cream cheese.
You also don't have to stick to bread from a loaf. There are plenty of vegan bagels, English muffins, and frozen waffles available. Just check the ingredients for eggs and milk, since some companies like to add those to breads.
If toast feels a bit boring to you, spice things up with a breakfast muffin! Bake a dozen over the weekend, and you've got instant breakfasts all week long.
My kid has been loving Strawberry Muffins and Banana-Apple Muffins lately, and these Carrot-Ginger Muffins from Delightful Adventures have been calling my name!
I'm filing these baked oatmeal cups under muffins, too, because they're a similar make-ahead situation. And you do bake them in a muffin tin!
Texture-wise, baked oatmeal is somewhere between a muffin and a bowl of creamy oatmeal. These little grab-and-go oatmeal cups (pictured above) are a great, easy vegan breakfast for busy mornings!
Whether you make it on the stovetop or in the microwave, you can have a piping hot bowl of oats in five minutes flat.
Stir in nut or seed butter, fruit, vegan margarine, preserves, nuts, seeds, etc, and you're good to go! If you have to take your oatmeal to go, just transfer it to a travel mug.
Cereal and milk is the classic no-time-for-breakfast breakfast. Pour on your favorite vegan milk, and you're ready to eat hasty spoonfuls while also trying to pack your kid's lunch and convince him to wear shorts on a 90 degree day.
If you have a spare few minutes, some mix-ins make a humble bowl of cereal a lot more special. I love adding a handful of cashews and fresh or dried fruit to make my cereal feel less like the hastily thrown together meal that it is.
4. Banana and peanut butter
This probably the easiest vegan breakfast ever. It's also one of my favorites, because it's filling and ready in two minutes.
Peel a banana, and put it onto a plate with a scoop of peanut butter. Dip each banana bite in the peanut butter.
If you can't do peanut butter, any nut or seed butter will work here: sun butter, cashew butter, almond butter, etc.
You can also do a sliced apple instead of a banana, but I've found that a banana keeps me feeling full for longer.
5. Smoothies and smoothie bowls
I'm lumping these vegan breakfasts together, because they're basically the same thing in different serving dishes.
Smoothies are great when you need a breakfast that you can sip at your desk. Just toss everything into your blender, pour it into a cup or bowl, and breakfast is served.
If you add enough fiber, protein, and fat, a smoothie can keep you feeling full for a good part of the morning. I have a ton of smoothie recipes on my site (and a whole e-book dedicated to just smoothies!).
If you have the time, sit yourself down to a beautiful smoothie bowl! A smoothie bowl is just a thick smoothie, poured into a bowl, and piled up with toppings. You can make my Chocolate Covered Cherry Smoothie Bowl (above) or turn your favorite smoothie into a smoothie bowl.
6. Overnight oats
Like muffins, one does take some advance planning, but with overnight oatmeal in the fridge, breakfast is ready when you are.
Mix up your jar of oats the night before, and you've got a grab-and-go breakfast in the morning.
When I'm feeling planning-y, I like to do a big batch of overnight oats, so my family can have breakfasts at our fingertips for a few days afterwards. My Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats (see above) are a delicious place to start.
7. Chia pudding
This is another easy vegan breakfast that just requires a little bit of forethought. Just mix up your ingredients the night before, and grab a jar of sweet, protein-packed chia pudding in the morning.
Like overnight oats, chia pudding is super versatile! Start your day with my Chai Spiced Chia Pudding (see above). You can also go fruity, if that's more your thing. My friend Amy at Veggies Save the Day makes an awesome Green Breakfast Chia Pudding that's packed with fruit!
Weekday morning breakfasts
These are easy vegan breakfasts that take just a few more minutes of prep. But they're still totally doable on a weekday morning!
8. Tofu scramble
If scrambled eggs were your morning go-to, then tofu scrambles are your new best pal. The Basic Tofu Scramble, pictured and linked above, is a great jumping-off point for all kinds of scramble adventures!
If you have an air fryer, you can also totally whip up a tofu and potato scramble right in the fryer (see above)! It takes about half an hour, but you don't have to be there, so you can be getting ready for work and school between steps.
Tofu isn't the only thing that you can scramble, either! Cadry has a super tasty recipe for a Chickpea Scramble that she serves with hash browns.
9. Quinoa bowl
Got some leftover quinoa from last night's supper? Throw it into a pan with a few other basics to make a super healthy breakfast porridge that's ready almost as quickly as a pot of oatmeal:
What I love about a quinoa breakfast bowl is that you can really use any fruit, nuts, and seeds you like, so it's a great breakfast option for a morning when the cupboard feels a little bit bare.
While your quinoa porridge is cooking, you can brush your teeth or beg your kid to please, for the love of all that is good, FIND THAT SECOND SHOE.
10. Yogurt parfait
Pile on the vegan yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit for a breakfast parfait that feels restaurant-fancy.
Amy uses a chopped up granola bar in her yogurt parfait recipe (above), which is a great way to use that granola bar that has been in the back of your pantry, begging to be eaten.
11. Breakfast burritos
Stuff your vegan breakfast burritos with tofu scramble, fresh veggies, avocado, and your favorite sauce. I'm also loving these Cheesy Kabocha Squash Breakfast Burritos (above) from my buddy Kristina at Spabettie.
Breakfast burritos also work well for vegan breakfast meal prep. Make a batch on Sunday, and you've got lunch for the week!
Kristina says that you can store these wrapped in foil, then warm them up in the oven when you're ready to eat. While the burrito is heating up, you can take a quick shower or realize that you also can't find YOUR second shoe.
12. Instant pot steel cut oats
Steel cut oatmeal takes forever on the stovetop, but the Instant Pot cuts that cooking time in half. Plus, you don't have to be there while it's cooking.
Throw everything in the pot when you get up, and it cooks itself while you brush your teeth, wrangle the children, and get yourself ready to start the day.
My Spiced Apple Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats, pictured above, are a lovely flavor combo. If apples aren't your thing, though, the recipe includes lots of flavor variations, so you can use what you have or what you crave.
Easiest vegan brunches
Is brunch the same as breakfast? I like to think so. These recipes are perfect for a laid-back morning, when you you have a bit more time but still don't want to work hard.
13. Vegan breakfast grits bowl
I live in the South, where eating grits is the law. Normally, grits are more of a side dish, but they can also be the base for the breakfast bowl OF YOUR DREAMS! Here are some grits bowl ideas to put in your mouth:
You can make the recipes above as-written or use them as a jumping-off point to build your own ideal bowl of grits.
14. Easy vegan breakfast sandwiches
Really, a breakfast sandwich could go under Weekday Vegan Breakfast Ideas, depending on how much prep you've done, but my family tends to do breakfast sandwiches on the weekends. There are so many ways to build a vegan breakfast sandwich:
- an air fryer not-McMuffin (above)
- a vegan BLT (with homemade tofu bacon!)
- Cheesy Tofu Vegan Breakfast Sandwiches from Dianne's Vegan Kitchen
- Karissa's vegan sausage patties with a slice of vegan cheese and some fresh lettuce or kale
Pile your favorite breakfast foods between two slices of toast, bagel, english muffin, or a biscuit, and you are brunching properly.
15. French toast
Yes! You can totally make French toast without eggs. Vegans love a sweet start to the day as much as the next person, and we have got this French toast thing down PAT (of butter. And lots of maple syrup, please!)
Try Churro French Toast (above) or my friend Sarah's stellar Vanilla French Toast with Strawberry Sauce.
Is there anything that screams "BRUNCH!" like a big ol' pile of fluffy, vegan pancakes? There are SO many ways to make a pancake without eggs or dairy.
If you want easy, check out My Darling Vegan's vegan pancake recipe. It doesn't use any special ingredients and turns out perfectly fluffy pancakes every time.
We are also big fans of these Flourless Vegan Pancakes. I have found that the batter needs a bit more vegan milk than the recipe calls for, especially if you double or triple the recipe to feed a family. Just stir in more vegan milk until you reach a pourable, pancake batter consistency.