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10 Gluten Free and Dairy Free Breakfast Ideas with 30 Grams of Protein

May 9, 2024

Bagels, toast, cereal, muffins, pancakes — many typical American breakfast options are often heavily processed, low in protein, and high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and unhealthy fats. A protein-rich breakfast, on the other hand, can boost muscle, keep you feeling full, and even reduce nighttime snacking. But if you have food allergies or sensitivities, finding the right combination can be challenging. So we asked dietitians and fitness and nutrition experts to share their favorite gluten-free and dairy-free breakfast options that contain at least 30 grams of protein. 

“Eating a protein-rich breakfast has so many incredible benefits,” says fitness and lifestyle expert Gina Aliotti. “Protein-rich foods help you feel full and regulate blood sugar, which can help keep your energy stable and curb unnecessary snacking throughout the day. Plus, eating protein in the morning provides amino acids to protect and maintain muscle, which becomes even more important as we age.” 

Whether you’re gluten intolerant, lactose sensitive, or simply seeking to optimize your breakfast with high-quality, high-protein options, we’ve got something for you.

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Savory oatmeal bowl with sweet potatoes and spinach

Dietitian Rita Faycurry likes to start her day with this delicious and nutritious savory oatmeal bowl for a gluten free and dairy free breakfast. It’s a nice switch from traditional, sugary oatmeal and has 30 grams of protein to keep you feeling full. 

  • ½ cup cubed sweet potatoes 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • ½ cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 large eggs, poached or scrambled
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds 

Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, and garlic powder; roast them in an air fryer until tender. Meanwhile, cook the eggs as desired. While they’re cooking, cook the oats with soy milk in a microwave-safe bowl as the package label directs. Add a pinch of salt. Stir the spinach into the oatmeal and top with cooked eggs, potatoes, and hemp seeds. 

Tip: If you prep a batch of roasted sweet potatoes over the weekend, this recipe can come together in just a few minutes for a fast weekday breakfast. 

Warm apple cinnamon oats

If you’re more of a traditional oatmeal fan, this warm apple cinnamon oats recipe from functional dietitian Kaytee Hadley is sure to please.  

“Whole grains like oatmeal are a heart-healthy way to start the day, and if you know what to add to them, they can be a delicious, high-protein breakfast,” she says. “Many people prefer steel-cut oats over rolled oats because they have a nuttier, slightly more al dente texture and are more blood sugar–friendly, with a lower glycemic index.” 

To make this recipe, Hadley cooks ⅓ cup steel cut oats in 1 ¼ cups of high-protein plant-based milk instead of water. Then she stirs in half a chopped apple, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and 3 tablespoons hemp seeds, plus salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup to taste. 

Related: 10 Dairy Free, Egg Free Breakfasts with 30 Grams of Protein

High-protein smoothie four ways 

Smoothies are a great way to start your day because they pack a punch of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Hadley warns that many people don’t include enough protein to balance out the natural sugar from the fruit. 

Here are four different smoothie options to appeal to any taste: 

Berry smoothie

Hadley recommends using higher-protein non-dairy milk, instead of nut milk or juice, as a simple way to get more protein in your smoothie. “As a gut health dietitian, this is my go-to breakfast smoothie,” Hadley says. “It has 32 grams of protein, natural sweetness from the berries, and a delicious tartness from the passionfruit.” 

  • 1 cup higher-protein non-dairy milk, such as soy or a blend 
  • ¼ cup frozen spinach 
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup frozen passionfruit 
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter 
  • 1 scoop plant-based protein powder 

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. 

Peanut butter banana chocolate smoothie

One of the great things about smoothies is how versatile and convenient they are. Faycurry’s peanut butter chocolate smoothie is delicious, and has 37 grams of protein. Feel free to change up the type of non-dairy yogurt or milk you use, but pay attention to the protein content on the labels. Plant-based protein powders may contain anywhere between 10 and 25 grams of protein per serving, depending on the type you use. 

  • ½ cup gluten-free oats 
  • ¾ cup soy milk yogurt 
  • 1 small banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter 
  • 1 to 2 scoops plant-based protein powder 
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 to 5 ice cubes

Blend the oats in a blender until fine and powdery. Add the yogurt, banana, almond milk, peanut butter, protein powder, cocoa, and ice cubes. Blend until smooth.

High-protein yogurt smoothie

This plant-based yogurt smoothie is a quick and easy blend featuring protein powder, nut butter, and cashew yogurt. “It has over 30 grams of protein, depending on the specific protein powder and nut butter you choose,” says Chrissy Arsenault, a registered dietitian at Trainer Academy. “I love this one because the fruits and nut butter can be varied if you get sick of a certain variety.” 

  • 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
  • ½ cup plain cashew yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter 
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1 banana
  • Berries, as desired

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 

Greens powder smoothie 

Holistic nutritionist Kimberly Snyder likes to add greens powder to her protein smoothies. “At its core, this smoothie is a powerhouse of plant-based protein, providing your muscles with the fuel they need to thrive and enriching overall health with a substantial serving of greens,” she says. 

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 scoop greens powder
  • 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
  • ½ large or 1 small ripe banana 

Combine chia seeds with 3 to 6 tablespoons of water. Vigorously stir this mixture with a fork for about 45 seconds, and then, after letting it sit for a few minutes, stir it again to break up any clumps. Pour the chia seed gel into a blender. Add the milk, greens powder, protein powder, and banana; blend until smooth. 

Related: 8 Protein Shakes That Feel Like a Treat

Turkey quinoa breakfast scramble 

If you like a savory, hearty gluten-free and dairy-free breakfast, add Aliotti’s turkey quinoa scramble to your rotation. Quinoa might not be the first grain that comes to mind when you think of breakfast, but it’s protein-rich, gluten-free, and full of nutrients like iron, magnesium, and B vitamins. 

In a skillet, scramble two egg whites with one whole egg with chopped veggies and seasonings of your choice. Add ⅓ cup cooked quinoa and 2 ounces of cooked 99% lean turkey. Mix all the ingredients together until the quinoa and turkey are heated through. Serve in a bowl and top with 2 ounces of sliced avocado. 

Homemade everything bagel with eggs and turkey bacon

If you love bagels and thought they were off the menu, good news: You can DIY a low-carb, gluten-free, and dairy-free bagel using this recipe created by Aliotti. She tops it with egg, tomato, turkey bacon, arugula, and avocado to pack in 30 grams of protein and 17 grams of fiber. 

“The ingredients in this recipe not only provide an incredible amount of protein, but the psyllium husk and flaxseed provide fiber and good fats,” she says. “The added avocado contributes monounsaturated fat while also adding a creamy texture. The arugula is packed with flavor and nutrients. The turkey bacon gives flavor without the unnecessary fat.” 

Related: 10 Mediterranean Diet Breakfast Recipes for a Good Morning

Tofu chickpea scramble

For a completely plant-based gluten-free and dairy-free breakfast, try this tofu and chickpea scramble from registered dietitian Avery Zenker

  • 200 grams extra firm tofu 
  • ½ cup canned chickpeas 
  • ¼ cup chopped onion 
  • ½ bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast 
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 1 cup spinach

Warm a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crumble the tofu into the skillet and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the chickpeas and vegetables to the skillet and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables have softened. Add all the seasonings. Stir in the spinach, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the spinach has wilted. Serve warm. 

Tip: You can make this ahead. Cover and refrigerate; rewarm on the stove or in the microwave. 

Turkey sausage, tofu scramble, and fruit

There’s no rule that says you can’t enjoy a tofu scramble if you also eat meat. Serve your scramble turkey sausages, like Applegate Naturals Savory Turkey Breakfast Sausage. Four link provide just under 15 grams of protein, while a tofu scramble made with a quarter package of firm tofu yields about 14 grams of protein. Mix nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper into the tofu scramble for tons of flavor. 

Round out this breakfast with a slice of gluten-free bread, like Food for Life’s Sprouted for Life Gluten-Free Flax Bread, which contains 2 grams of protein, topped with GOOD GOOD no-added-sugar jam, and a piece of fruit. 

Read next: 13 Trader Joe’s Dairy-Free Items That Actually Taste Good

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