9 Plant-Based Breakfast Ideas That Go Beyond Tofu Scramble

By Summer Rylander
March 13, 2022
Acorn Squash Bowls
Image credit: Healthy Little Vittles

While we’re huge fans of filling, nutritious breakfasts, it turns out that your first meal isn’t necessarily the most important meal of the day — everyone’s body and appetite are a little bit different, so if you’re not a big breakfast person, that’s ok. However, a healthy meal is a great kick-off to the day, and can provide lasting energy that will help you tackle all the tasks in front of you. Whether you’re vegan or you’re just trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, these plant-based breakfast ideas are a great place to get creative and diversify your nutrients. 

Read next: 10 Plant-Based Soup Recipes We Absolutely Love

To help shake up your morning routine, we’ve collected a few of our favorite plant-based breakfast recipes — going well beyond classic tofu scrambles and frozen banana smoothies. 

1. Coconut Black Rice Pudding

plant based breakfast ideas: Coconut Black Rice Pudding

Image credit: My New Roots

Black rice has an incredible chewiness that we can’t get enough of, and this recipe turns the rice into a coconut breakfast pudding that’s right up our alley. Feel free to use whichever fruits you have on hand, but mango, pomegranate seeds, or even chunks of ripe avocado would pair beautifully with the rich coconut flavor. 

2. Sweet Potato Toast

plant based breakfast ideas: Sweet Potato Toast

Image credit: Feel Good Foodie

This is one of our favorite plant-based breakfast ideas because it’s so simple and takes a format we all love — like avocado toast — and makes it even healthier. With this sweet potato toast recipe, the sweet potato functions as the toast: Simply slice sweet potatoes thinly so you can pop them into the toaster or toaster oven, then top with any of a wide variety of options. We’re fans of nut butter, sliced bananas, yogurt, or even — yep — avocado. 

3. Cauliflower Breakfast Bowls 

Cauliflower Breakfast Bowls

Image credit: The Almond Eater

Cauliflower rice is more than just a trendy dinner side, it’s a great base for a hearty, healthy breakfast. We love the incorporation of sweet potato, spinach, and avocado, but to keep this dish vegan-friendly, you can skip the egg and use tempeh bacon, seared firm tofu, or an extra handful of mushrooms for your morning umami fix.

4. Savory Breakfast Muffins

vegan Savory Breakfast Muffins

Image credit: Avant Garde Vegan

Muffins are useful for their grab-and-go portability, and when they’re made out of healthy, savory ingredients, they’re almost like a fun-shaped sandwich. These savory vegan muffins are nicely adaptable, too — consider using spelt flour instead of plain flour for an added health boost.

5. Quinoa Breakfast Porridge

Quinoa Breakfast Porridge

Image credit: Foolproof Living

We love oats, but sometimes it’s nice to vary our grains and this quinoa porridge is a perfect fit. If you don’t have coconut milk on hand, you can use any unsweetened nut- or plant-based milk instead. Make this bowl your own by using honey or agave nectar instead of maple syrup, stir in dried cranberries or raisins, and top with a handful of pumpkin seeds for crunch.

6. Acorn Squash Bowls

Acorn Squash Bowls

Image credit: Healthy Little Vittles

If you don’t immediately think of squash when you’re considering your next breakfast, well, you’re not alone. But these acorn squash breakfast bowls are just the ticket for shaking up your morning routine — and they’re about as healthy as it gets, since acorn squash is rich in micronutrients and carotenoid antioxidants. This is one of our top plant-based breakfast ideas because they’re so easy to make and you can take them in a ton of different directions. Our favorite flavor combination includes cashew butter, toasted pumpkin seeds, and lots of extra cinnamon.

7. Besan Chilla

Besan Chilla

Image credit: Dassana’s Vegan Recipes

These spiced chickpea flour (gram flour) crêpes are a north Indian treat packed with flavor and they come together really quickly. You can go savory or sweet here, but we’re loving the nutritious combination of tomatoes, coriander, and ginger. Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt — you can use a non-dairy alternative if you’re vegan — for an ultra-satisfying start to the day.

8. Mashed Potato Waffles

Plant-based breakfast ideas: Mashed Potato Waffles

Image credit: The First Mess

For an out-of-the-box vegan breakfast, reach for leftover mashed potatoes (we love this Greek yogurt-based mashed potato recipe). You’ll need a waffle iron for this recipe, but it’s seriously worth the trouble of plugging in an extra appliance. If you don’t have tapioca flour on hand, you can use spelt or chickpea flour instead. These waffles make a great savory base for a fried egg or sliced avocado, but if you love a sweet-salty combo like we do, a handful of berries and a quick drizzle of maple syrup would work perfectly, too. 

9. Apple Buckwheat Pancakes

Plant-based breakfast ideas: Apple Buckwheat Pancakes

Image credit: Cocoon Cooks

Pancakes aren’t always on our weekday agenda, but when we feel like weekend brunch, this recipe is a surefire winner. We love the healthful buckwheat flour used in the pancake batter, and the coconut-caramel apple topping is a welcome addition that still feels at least a little healthy thanks to the use of coconut oil and coconut sugar. You can always skip this step if you’re pressed for time (or want to be extra healthy) and instead top your vegan pancakes with microwaved apple slices.

Summer Rylander is a freelance food and travel writer based in Germany. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram

Read next: 10 Vegan Recipes That Support Your Plant-Based Whole30

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