If you're aiming for a healthy start to your day, prioritizing a high-protein breakfast is key. Eating protein throughout the day delivers a host of benefits, including boosted metabolism, weight management, and muscle and bone health support. Plus, there are even more specific benefits you can enjoy from eating protein at breakfast.
Protein fills you and keeps you satisfied longer than other nutrients because it takes longer to digest and can suppress hunger hormones. As a result, eating a protein-rich breakfast can curb hunger pangs and prevent mindless snacking later in the day.
But don't just take our word for it—there's research to prove it! One study published in Nutrition Journal found that individuals who ate breakfasts with 30-39 grams of protein consumed fewer calories at lunch than those who ate a low-protein alternative. Similarly, an Obesity study demonstrated that a high-protein breakfast not only prevented fat gain but also led participants to eat fewer calories throughout the day compared to breakfast skippers.
If you're ready to start reaping these impressive benefits, there's no better place to start than at the grocery store. You may be familiar with protein-rich breakfast foods such as eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and turkey sausage, but do you know which brands are producing the healthiest versions of each?
We talked to dietitians to get their top recommendations for these store-bought high-protein breakfast items available at your local grocer. Read on to learn about some of the best dietitian-approved, high-protein breakfast foods you can buy, then make sure to check out these 38 High-Protein Breakfast Recipes.
Bob's Red Mill Protein Oats
Oatmeal is a super healthy way to start your morning because of the high fiber content of oats, but if you're looking for a bit more protein, try buying some protein oats like the ones from Bob's Red Mill.
"Bob's Red Mill Protein Oats are made with just one ingredient, and one serving provides 60% more protein vs. ordinary oats," says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN. "With 10 grams of protein per serving and a whopping 6 grams of fiber, leaning on these oats makes sneaking in extra protein easy-breezy if you are an oatmeal lover."
Applegate Naturals Uncured Turkey Bacon
Regular pork bacon is high in protein, but it can also be high in saturated fat and sodium, too. For people looking for a healthier option, turkey bacon may be the route to go.
"Lean cuts of turkey bacon or turkey sausage are lower in fat than traditional pork products but still provide a good amount of protein for breakfast," says Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD. "Just make sure the bacon is nitrate-free and organic, as nitrates are associated with potential health risks such as cancer."
For nitrate-free, high-protein turkey bacon, our dietitians recommend Applegate Naturals Uncured Turkey Bacon.
"This bacon contains 6 grams of protein per serving and it is only made with humanely raised turkey that is never treated with antibiotics," says Manaker.
Red's Turkey Sausage Egg'Wich
Breakfast sandwiches can be a great breakfast to grab when you're in a hurry, and for a healthy, high-protein sandwich option, Manaker recommends Red's Turkey Sausage Egg'Wich.
"With 17 grams of protein per serving, this sandwich uses fluffy cage-free egg patties instead of bread for a keto-friendly spin," says Manaker. "This sandwich also uses a sage-flavored, antibiotic-free turkey sausage patty and real American cheese for a satisfying and convenient breakfast solution."
According to Manaker, a huge bonus of this sandwich is that it's microwavable, "so you can enjoy your breakfast in minutes after heating it properly."
It's safe to say you probably don't associate "high-protein breakfast" with buttery pastries like croissants, but HERO Croissants help bring these two worlds together.
"A croissant with 10 grams of protein per serving that actually tastes good? It's true. This croissant is made with ingredients like fava bean protein to create these lower-carb and higher-protein baked goods," says Manaker.
Premier Protein Protein Pancakes
Having microwavable pancakes to enjoy on your craziest mornings that also provide you with a decent amount of protein is something that sounds too good to be true, but Premier Protein Pancakes make it possible.
"These protein pancakes allow you to skip making your own batter and enjoy a flapjack with 15 grams of protein per serving," says Manaker. "In under two minutes, these microwavable pancakes make it easy to enjoy pancakes on busy mornings."
Mason Dixie Pancake Sandwiches
A sausage patty sitting between two mini waffles sounds like it would be a breakfast item to put on our "unhealthy" list, but that's not the case with these Liège Waffle Sandwiches from Mason Dixie Foods. With 10 grams of protein and only 310 calories, this sandwich is the perfect high-protein breakfast. It comes frozen and fully cooked, and after just 80 seconds you'll be able to enjoy this delicious morning meal.
Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix
It can seem like a daunting task to find a high-protein, nutrient-dense pancake and waffle mix, but Kodiak Cakes makes it easy. Their Flapjack & Waffle Mix carries 15 grams of protein per serving, with only 220 calories and 5 grams of filling fiber—a nutrient that is hard to come by in regular store-bought pancake mix.
Icelandic Provisions Skyr
Just like the yogurt you know and love but even creamier, Skyr is a type of yogurt made from Icelandic cultures that is naturally high in protein and low in sugar.
Manaker specifically loves the Skyr products from Icelandic Provisions, which you can enjoy plain or with one of their flavors like Berry Medley, Pineapple, Key Lime, or Wild Blueberry & Bilberry. We love their plain option because it has only 3 grams of sugar and 17 grams of protein, and it's easy to add your own ingredients for more flavor.
Stonyfield Farms 100% Grass Fed Greek Yogurt
For another high-protein, low-sugar yogurt option to start your day, Sabat suggests Stoneyfield Farms 100% Grass Fed Greek Yogurt.
"This yogurt is 100% grass-fed organic, which means the cows only grazed on organic grass (therefore no pesticides) and did not receive GMO grain," says Sabat.
When choosing a yogurt to start your day, Sabat suggests "Opting for plain Greek yogurt to avoid added sugars." Once you have your yogurt, you can add your favorite nuts, nut butter, or protein granola to make yourself a high-protein breakfast.
Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
Along with providing 16 grams of protein per serving with only 80 calories and zero saturated fat, Young says, "Yogurt provides probiotics beneficial for gut health and helps keep you feeling full and satisfied to reduce overall calorie intake throughout the day."
Nancy's Organic Cottage Cheese
"Cottage cheese is a great source of protein, providing about 14 grams of protein per half-cup serving," says Sabat. "Nancy's Organic Cottage Cheese is the brand to buy because it is not only 100% grass-fed and organic but it adds beneficial bacteria to the yogurt, making it extremely beneficial to gut health."
For breakfast, you can use cottage cheese on toast, in your eggs and omelets, in a breakfast taco, in your oatmeal or overnight oats, or in a bowl with fruit and nuts. Either way, you'll be getting a lean, healthy protein boost.
Friendship 1% Lowfat Cottage Cheese
For another delicious cottage cheese option, Young recommends Friendship Lowfat Cottage Cheese.
"Cottage cheese is a great source of protein," says Young, "and this product offers 15 grams of protein and is rich in calcium to support bone health." She adds that cottage cheese is also "relatively low in calories and rich in nutrients essential for metabolism and overall well-being."
Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cereal
For those who don't want to ditch their bowl of cereal, Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cereal is a smart choice.
"This cereal stands out as a healthy high-protein breakfast choice because of its organic ingredients, which include sprouted grains," says Sabat. "The sprouting process enhances nutrient absorption and digestibility while also increasing the cereal's protein content, providing 8 grams per serving. Moreover, the absence of artificial or natural flavors or colors ensures a clean and minimally processed product."
Eggland's Best Eggs
Eggs are a nutritious way to start your morning, especially when you need that boost of protein. If you're looking for a specific brand you can trust that isn't going to break the bank, Manaker suggests Eggland's Best Eggs.
"Each large Eggland's Best egg contains 6 grams of protein, and they have 6 times more vitamin D compared to ordinary eggs, and they are a natural source of a slew of micronutrients, including vitamin B12 and choline," says Manaker. "These eggs can be used for various breakfast dishes, like an omelet, a scramble, and so much more."
Horizon Organic Grassfed Milk
Whether it's in your oatmeal, a bowl of cereal, or a glass, starting your day with milk can help you increase your protein intake. But as with many food and drink products, finding brands you can trust is key, especially brands who are honest about where their products are being sourced.
When it comes to milk, Sabat always chooses Horizon Organic Grassfed Milk. "With Horizon Organic Grassfed Milk, the cows are pasture-raised on 100% grass with no GMOs, hormones, or antibiotics ever."
Garden of Life Protein Powder
Protein powder can be an easy way to sneak in some protein in the morning. You can put it in a shake, smoothie, bowl of oatmeal, or even in your pancake and waffle mix.
A protein powder that Sabat loves is Garden of Life Protein Powder, which she says "offers an excellent choice for a high-protein breakfast due to its diverse blend of organic protein sources like pea protein, sprouted brown rice protein, and various sprouts such as quinoa, chia seed, and sunflower seeds." She says "This comprehensive protein blend provides a complete amino acid profile necessary for muscle repair and growth, making it ideal for supporting a healthy breakfast regimen."
Artisana Nut Butters
Nut butter is a protein-rich topping for your toast, oatmeal, yogurt, or overnight oats. Sabat suggests Artisina Nut Butters, specifically their Almond Butter, which offers 7 grams of protein per serving.
"Peanut butter, almond butter, or other nut butters are rich in protein and healthy fats," says Sabat. "Spread them on whole grain toast or add them to smoothies for a protein boost."
Nasoya Organic Tofu
To some, tofu may not seem like much of a breakfast food, but for those looking for plant-based proteins to eat in the morning, tofu is the perfect choice. This soy-based product is a complete protein, "usually with about 10 grams of protein per half-cup serving, that you can use in breakfast scrambles, smoothies, or sandwiches," says Sabat.
For a trustworthy organic brand to try for breakfast, Sabat recommends Nasoya Organic Tofu.
MUSH Overnight Oats, PB&J
If you want a high-protein breakfast option that's ready to grab and go, you have to check out MUSH's overnight oats. Made with only seven ingredients—such as oats, peanuts, strawberries, and dates—this is a whole-food-based breakfast that delivers an impressive 10 grams of protein with a nostalgic flavor combination.
- Source: Rains, T.M., Leidy, H.J., Sanoshy, K.D. et al. A randomized, controlled, crossover trial to assess the acute appetitive and metabolic effects of sausage and egg-based convenience breakfast meals in overweight premenopausal women. Nutr J 14, 17 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-015-0002-7
- Source: Leidy, H. J., Hoertel, H. A., Douglas, S., Higgins, K., & Shafer, R. (2015). A high‐protein breakfast prevents body fat gain, through reductions in daily intake and hunger, in “Breakfast skipping” adolescents. Obesity, 23(9), 1761–1764. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.21185
- Source: Eloi Chazelas, Fabrice Pierre, Nathalie Druesne-Pecollo, Younes Esseddik, Fabien Szabo de Edelenyi, Cédric Agaesse, Alexandre De Sa, Rebecca Lutchia, Stéphane Gigandet, Bernard Srour, Charlotte Debras, Inge Huybrechts, Chantal Julia, Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot, Benjamin Allès, Pilar Galan, Serge Hercberg, Mélanie Deschasaux-Tanguy, Mathilde Touvier, Nitrites and nitrates from food additives and natural sources and cancer risk: results from the NutriNet-Santé cohort, International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 51, Issue 4, August 2022, Pages 1106–1119, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyac046
- Source: Lisko DJ, Johnston GP, Johnston CG. Effects of Dietary Yogurt on the Healthy Human Gastrointestinal (GI) Microbiome. Microorganisms. 2017 Feb 15;5(1):6. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms5010006. PMID: 28212267; PMCID: PMC5374383.
- Source: Wang X, Zhang P, Zhang X. Probiotics Regulate Gut Microbiota: An Effective Method to Improve Immunity. Molecules. 2021 Oct 8;26(19):6076. doi: 10.3390/molecules26196076. PMID: 34641619; PMCID: PMC8512487.
- Source: Vannucci L, Fossi C, Quattrini S, Guasti L, Pampaloni B, Gronchi G, Giusti F, Romagnoli C, Cianferotti L, Marcucci G, Brandi ML. Calcium Intake in Bone Health: A Focus on Calcium-Rich Mineral Waters. Nutrients. 2018 Dec 5;10(12):1930. doi: 10.3390/nu10121930. PMID: 30563174; PMCID: PMC6316542.