Breakfast is often a sweet meal, with oatmeal, cereal, fruit smoothies, and Greek yogurt parfaits dominating our mornings. But the first meal of the day is also a great opportunity to sneak in some of that two to three cups of vegetables it’s recommended we all eat daily.
Sure, it’s easy to just stuff them into a quick and customizable omelet, but there are so many other simple yet interesting ways to enjoy veggies for breakfast, starting with these 34 nutritious ideas. Vegan or Paleo, or blended, these recipes will shatter the idea that veggies are boring.
Sandwiches and Wraps
The avocado toast craze is real, and we are not complaining, especially when it’s churning out varieties as veggie-rific as this one. There is so much healthy fat and fiber going on here, from the coconut-oil glazed onions, asparagus, and peppers to the creamy avocado and the runny egg This is one trend we hope never dies out.
The breakfast taco varieties out there are endless. This one caught our eye because it’s simple enough to make in a hurry but still packs in a serious nutritional (and colorful) punch with four veggies and softly scrambled eggs for protein to last you all morning. Don’t forget to add extra hot sauce on top for a morning metabolism boost.
If you’re vegan, or simply looking to switch it up from eggs for breakfast, the tofu filling in these burritos will not disappoint. Sautéed with onions, meaty mushrooms, peppers, and herbs, these healthful wraps are so flavorful, they’ll convert even the most stubborn skeptics of soy.
No, we aren’t endorsing calling for delivery first thing in the morning! This whole-wheat pita-based pie is a much smarter, faster, and balanced meal. Four types of veggies, a sprinkle of cheese, and an egg nestle comfortably on a creamy sauce made from two of our favorite ingredients ever: Greek yogurt and sriracha. See? When it isn’t Meat Lover’s, pizza for breakfast can actually be a wholesome choice.
Sure, this recipe may call for butter and oil, but research shows that adding fat in moderation to your veggies can help absorb their nutrients better. Plus, it makes them taste even more amazing! Reap all the vitamin C and lycopene of the summer squash and tomatoes with this bagel breakfast—and if bagels are just too carb-heavy for your taste, we’re guessing these veggies would taste good on just about anything else.
Hashes and Skillets
If pizza for breakfast is a thing, why can’t pasta be too? Switch up your morning carbs with a serving of spaghetti (make it whole-wheat for extra fiber) and black beans sautéed in a skillet with a generous few servings of diced veggies. The eggs cracked over the top give the whole thing a protein upgrade along with that breakfast-y vibe.
There are four components to this breakfast, but don’t let that discourage you from trying it because they’re all easy and quick to make. You won’t want to miss out on the amazing textures, flavor, and health benefits it yields, from the slightly caramelized vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes and tangy, lycopene-packed pico de gallo, to the chunky fiber-filled guacamole and the smooth-as-silk chipotle cream made from coconut, which is rich in medium-chain fatty acids.
Why make regular hash browns when you can make this much prettier version of them? Adding spinach and carrots to these crispy potato cakes certainly jazzes them up in the color department, but it also gives you zeaxanthin to keep your eyes healthy and antioxidant beta carotene to protect your cells.
Skillets aren’t just healthy one-pot meals, they’re a great way to use up whatever produce you have in your crisper. Throw in that last handful of kale, that lone mushroom, that remaining quarter green pepper still lying around, and you have this tasty breakfast that’s also a perfect ready-in-minutes weeknight dinner.
We’ve already learned that carbs are far from the enemy, but if you’re sik of potatoes, this hash can help. Diced ham and a heap of summer vegetables (use as many as you can, there’s no limit!) plus an egg on top make this dish a great way to start your day on a high-protein note.
Large quantities of onion and kale put the veggies in starring roles (where they belong) rather than in the sidelines, while sweet potatoes step in for regular shredded spuds for way more vitamin A and C. This is the kind of cake you can eat daily!
Salads and Scrambles
With the pine nuts and avocados lending some healthy mono-unsaturated fat to the brimming bowl of cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers, this would make this a light but satisfying meal anytime of day. Make it perfect for breakfast by topping the veggies with fried eggs: Not only does the yolk provide vitamin D, essential for digestion and cell health, but all that runny goodness makes for an awesome salad dressing.
There are so many good reasons kale has been king of the veggie world for so long now—it’s excellent for eye health, crammed with bone and heart-protecting vitamin K, and a fabulous source of fiber, just to name a few. Chow down on this vegan, tofu-based scramble, and you’ll be getting a full cup of the benefits that this cruciferous superfood has to offer.
A popular addition to fresh salads in India, mixed bean sprouts give an extra crunch-factor to this collection of chopped and spiced veggies. Don’t be intimidated of sprouting the beans yourself, either—it’s really just a matter of soaking them—and the antifungal and anti-bacterial benefits of the sprouts have been shown to be even greater than those of regular beans.
Transport yourself to a Parisian café when you sit down with these light-as-air, paper-thin pancakes. Made with skim milk and flour, they’re a fun way to switch up how to get your daily assortment of veggies without relying on tons of cheese and cream. Though a sprinkle of mozzarella or pepper jack does give them some protein for staying power and calcium for bone-building benefits.
It’s easy been green with this vegan breakfast, but feel free to add whatever veggies you like (we think mushrooms and carrots would be great) to the zucchini and spinach. Be sure to press the tofu so the scramble doesn’t wind up watery; once you do that, this comes together in minutes.
If you just can’t digest (sorry, couldn’t resist) the idea of salad for breakfast, add a spoonful of sugar in the form of some fresh fruit. This one offsets the greens and cucumber with the natural sweetness of mango, peaches, and strawberries. A creamy tahini dressing ties everything together. See, there’s a reason other than hummus to buy that sesame seed spread!
With mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and collard greens replacing the usual berries, bananas, and nuts, this veggie-packed breakfast boldly goes where few oatmeal bowls have gone before. It may take a little longer to chop things, but your taste buds will thank you for switching things up.
A morning staple in Japan, studies have shown that miso—a fermented soybean paste—may protect against cancers and hypertension. Take a page out of that book and make miso the base of this bowl, along with plenty of greens, beets, and carrots for fiber, and chickpeas and eggs for protein. The resulting flavor is savory, hearty, and textbook umami.
As the blogger herself says, this breakfast is an easy way to “eat the rainbow.” Except, unlike a pack of Skittles, this one comes with a variety of nutritional benefits, from blood-strengthening vitamin K in Swiss chard to beta carotene for immunity in carrots and peppers and cancer-combating lycopene in cherry tomatoes. With quinoa and eggs to round things out, this one’s as good for you as it is gorgeous.
The best part of “bowls” for breakfast? You can customize them depending on the produce in your fridge. This one takes a summery twist, using both the yellow and zucchini varieties of squash for maximum vitamin C benefits plus a smattering of goat cheese, which may be easier to digest than cow’s cheese. Give it all a squeeze of lemon to add a freshness that’ll brighten up any weekday morning.
Another non-sweet spin on oatmeal, this one further elevates the heart-healthy grain with protein from black beans and peas. Carrots and sun-dried tomatoes provide the veggie factor—the latter has actually been shown to contain the maximum lycopene content of all tomato varieties.
Savory Baked Goods
A quinoa-based crust not only adds even more protein to this egg-based pie, it also keeps things nice and gluten-free. Crammed with color from four cups of vegetables, whether it’s the green of the broccoli or the red of the bell peppers, this is a gorgeous and healthy dish to serve to even the most discerning crowd.
Don’t limit your waffle iron to churn out only the sweet, Belgian variety! Get creative and bust out this savory version, which uses whole-wheat flour, a light sprinkling of cheese, and plenty of chopped greens to add protein to your breakfast and keep your morning carbs to the more complex variety.
Baked oatmeal takes on a new deliciousness with this hearty, veggie-filled, runny egg-drizzled version. Sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes, and greens of your choice join the oats while fresh herbs and spices like cumin and rosemary give it plenty of flavor. And it’s a single-serving recipe, meaning you don’t have to share with anyone else!
Buttermilk pancakes get a fiber upgrade with whole-grain flour and an entire cup each of carrots and broccoli in the batter. Only a tablespoon of heavy cream in the mushroom sauce ladled over the top makes it a silky but light way to get in some extra vegetables. Take that, sugar-filled pancake syrup!
Amidst all the eggy, cheesy goodness, two bell peppers and an entire head of broccoli make their way into this super creamy casserole. It’s a great way to get some fiber into any picky brunch guest while still keeping them happy with all the cheddar, hash browns, and chopped bits of real bacon. This is moderation at its best.
Put it in muffin form, and we’ll bet you can get anyone to eat anything. That’s the trick this blogger uses for this recipe, which packs in hefty portions of broccoli, carrots, and zucchini into each of these bites. The savory factor is lightly offset by the sweetness of apples and bananas, and with just four tablespoons of butter in the entire batch, these may be the healthiest muffins you’ll ever eat.
No more excuses for those trans fat-filled bakery pastries—baked in single servings, these mini quiches are a convenient way to grab a healthy breakfast on the go. Make the entire batch on Sunday, and you can have your morning meal ready for the week (and can hit “snooze” one more time).
Anything with the words “red velvet” in the title sounds promising, and this smoothie doesn’t disappoint, getting its mauve appearance (plus packing in properties known to reduce various types of cancers) with the unique duo of beets and purple cabbage. Berries, banana, dates, and chocolate chips are also thrown into the mix to give it the sweetness of the beloved sweet treat. With half a cup of oats for added satiety, it’s a salad, a breakfast, and a dessert all in one!
The name of this recipe says it all: It’s aimed to kick carcinogens in the butt. With the addition of cruciferous veggies kale and broccoli, known to have tumor-fighting properties, this smoothie may taste sweet thanks to the fruit that’s in there too, but it’s fierce Targeting cancer stem cells with sulforaphane, a dietary component from broccoli and broccoli sprouts. Li Y, Zhang T. Future oncology (London, England), 2013, Nov.;9(8):1744-8301. The anti-oxidant properties of isothiocyanates: a review. de Figueiredo SM, Filho SA, Nogueira-Machado JA. Recent patents on endocrine, metabolic & immune drug discovery, 2014, Mar.;7(3):1872-2148. Cruciferous vegetables and risk of colorectal neoplasms: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Tse G, Eslick GD. Nutrition and cancer, 2013, Dec.;66(1):1532-7914.!
Vegetables play just as important a role as fruit in this smoothie, with spinach, kale, and carrots sharing the blender with apples, blueberries, and grapes to give you pretty much your entire intake of produce, plus sight-enhancing lutein before the day before it really even starts. Plus, with no added sugars or milk, the flavors of the produce really shine.
Many produce-based breakfast beverages mask a vegetable with an abundance of fruit, but this one is fearless: Cucumber and tomatoes may technically be fruit, but paired with celery, carrots, and spinach, it makes for a savory blend that’s more gazpacho than green smoothie. The addition of nutritional yeast takes the savory element to another level!
At first glance, this green smoothie has all your usual suspects: kale, Greek yogurt, and protein powder. The rest of the ingredients, while packed with nutrition, may have you doing a double-take: onion, peas, broccoli, and even a jalapeno in there to keep your metabolism on its toes. This may be far from your usual breakfast blend, but it’s known to have been given the thumbs-up from even sippers who hate vegetables.