In the realm of calorie-counting, getting a delicious meal in at under 300 calories that's filling (and not air) may sound like a challenge. The key to a satiating low-calorie meal is the balance of macronutrients. According to dietician Amy Shapiro, "The goal is to keep your blood sugar stable and therefore you may not feel full on a 300 calorie breakfast, but you will feel satisfied. If you eat 300 calories of a bagel, you'll be starving in an hour, but 300 calories with oatmeal, nut butter, berries, and flax seeds will keep you going for hours."
So what should we be whipping up in the morning to keep us going all day? To start the morning off on a healthy, nutritious note, we've got all the expert-backed meal ideas below. Keep scrolling to meet your new breakfast!
Meet the Expert
- Amy Shapiro MS, RD, CDN, is a dietician and the founder and director of Real Nutrition in New York City.
- Kimberly Snyder, CN, is a celebrity nutritionist, yoga teacher, spiritual and meditation leader, and founder of holistic wellness brand Solluna. She is a three-time New York Times best-selling author of five books and the host of the Feel Good Podcast.
Vegan Overnight Oats
For those who are not exactly morning people and can't be bothered to put together a meal, meet overnight oats. Prepared the night before, you need only grab it from the fridge with a spoon, and you're all set. To make, stir a 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk, 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 a sliced or mashed banana, a 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds, and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup in a jar. For a boost in protein, add a scoop of nut butter. Top with blueberries and keep covered in the fridge overnight. This recipe has 285 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fat.
Solluna Glowing Green Smoothie®
Snyder starts every morning with hot water and lemon to cleanse and detoxify her body and skin, followed by her Glowing Green Smoothie®, which she says has been a staple for over a decade. "This superfood smoothie is the ultimate energy and beauty booster," she explains. "It’s loaded with greens, lemon juice, and high-fiber fruit to pack a mega-punch of vitamins, enzymes, minerals such as blood-building iron, amino acids, and fiber." Her recipe contains around 136 calories per serving.
Start the day by eating a light and easily digestible but nutrient-dense breakfast. Save heavier foods for later meals.
Spinach Avocado Tofu Scramble
Like scrambled eggs, sans the eggs. "Tofu-based scramble is high in protein, B vitamins, minerals, and vitamin D," explains Snyder. For a 228-calorie meal with 20 grams of protein, drain extra firm tofu and break into bits over a pan with garlic and onions. Stir in turmeric, cumin, salt, and pepper before adding spinach. Sliced avocado on the side rounds out the recipe with a dosage of healthy fats.
Two-Egg Veggie Omelet
Shapiro recommends whipping up an omelet made with two eggs and veggies, served with a slice of Ezekiel toast. This balanced breakfast provides 280 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 20 carbohydrates. Shapiro says to plan ahead to make healthy breakfasts easier, "Have ingredients at home and have a few options for days when you are in a rush and days when you have time to sit down and enjoy." She suggests keeping things like frozen fruit and vegetables, eggs, and nut butter on hand.
Power Protein Tortilla
For a breakfast that will keep you full until lunch thanks to protein-rich (24 grams) ingredients, throw together a Mexican-inspired open-faced taco. Top one whole wheat tortilla with a sunny-side-up egg, a cup of cooked black beans, 1/4 cup of low-fat cheddar, and top it with salsa and cilantro. With only 290 calories and 12 grams of fat, this fresh and satisfying breakfast feels like a healthy vacation meal.
Vegan Protein Omelet
Sound contradictory? Meet the animal-free omelet packed with a whopping 22 grams of protein and just 232 calories. In a food processor, puree 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, 5 ounces of drained—you guessed it—tofu (must be firm silken), 2 tablespoons of hummus, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 1/4 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or arrowroot powder, and salt and black pepper to taste. This is your "egg" mix and can be saved in the fridge for speedy morning preparation. Cook in a pan with your favorite veggies for a nutritious plant-based breakfast.
Egg and Chive Sammy
This savory, satiating breakfast sammy is sure to become your new go-to once you taste the creamy combination of a hard-boiled egg with 1 tablespoon of lite mayo and chives. Layer under a tomato on a whole-wheat English muffin, and you'll understand why it's an all-time favorite of this Byrdie editor. This combo has 228 calories, 8 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fat. Plus, it takes practically zero effort to assemble if you make a batch of hard-boiled eggs at the beginning of the week.
Avocado Salmon Toast
What's better than avocado toast, you ask? Avocado toast topped with smoked salmon, of course. The combination of healthy fats plus fiber will keep you full for hours, and the fatty acids in the avocado and smoked salmon are phenomenal for the skin. Clocking in at 296 calories, 15 grams of protein, and 16 grams of fat, this nutrient-rich, low-calorie breakfast puts a bowl of cereal or bakery pastry to shame.
Ricotta Honey Toast with a Side of Turkey Sausage
A sweet and savory breakfast combo always wins in our book, and this is one of our favorite healthy-but-so-delicious pairings. Spread two slices of whole wheat raisin toast with low-fat ricotta cheese and honey, and serve with a side of turkey sausage. This bad boy comes in with 280 calories, 12 grams of protein, and a humble 7 grams of fat.
Cinnamon Banana Breakfast Smoothie
The same mouth-watering taste as a cinnamon roll, just a whole lot healthier. To make, blend a whole banana with a scoop of vanilla protein powder, 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 cup of almond milk, and a handful of ice cubes. Not only is this recipe super quick and easy, but it's basically a drinkable 158-calorie trip to Cinnabon.
Peach Cobbler Oatmeal
The next best thing to peach cobbler? Oatmeal that tastes like it, and, bonus, it's good for you with 284 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fat. Top a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal with peach slices (fresh or frozen) and a tablespoon of chopped walnuts, and sprinkle with cinnamon and chia seeds. You're getting a heart-healthy dose of fiber and antioxidants from the oatmeal, fruit, and chia seeds, plus good fat and vitamins from the walnuts.
Aim to balance complex carbohydrates (fiber), protein, and heart-healthy fats to maintain satiation, improve nutrition, prevent energy slumps, and avoid unnecessary snacking.
Mango Banana Açaí Bowl
Açaí is a superfood packed with vitamins and minerals, and bowls can be made with about anything in your pantry or freezer. This 244 calorie recipe with 5 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat calls for 1 cup of mango, 1 banana, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and a package of frozen açaí puree blended. Top with hemp hearts, walnuts, coconut flakes, pomegranate seeds, fresh blueberries, and sliced bananas.
Almond Butter Banana Toast
Requiring nearly zero effort, it's no wonder toast is about as common as cereal when it comes to easy breakfast choices. Spruce up a whole grain slice with healthy, protein-packed almond butter (or another nut butter if you're allergic). Top with sliced bananas and walnuts for a kick of potassium, fiber, and protein.
Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds are nutrient-dense with little calories and make an excellent go-to for a healthy meal. One serving will get you about 271 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 10 grams of protein. Chia seed pudding is seriously simple to make and can be prepped for the whole week. Just combine the seeds with your choice of milk in a mason jar (about a three-to-one ratio, but you can play around with this), and be sure to stir well. Sweeten with maple syrup, honey, or another healthy sweetener. Top with frozen fruit, bananas, granola, or nut butter. Refrigerate overnight.
Ezekiel Sprouted Avocado Toast
Ezekiel sprouted bread is one of the most nutritious breads you could get your hands on (it's made from sprouted whole grains and legumes rather than flour). Shapiro suggests throwing half an avocado on a toasted slice and topping it with chia seeds and olive oil for a well-rounded breakfast at 230 calories, 5 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fat.
Collagen Banana Walnut Oatmeal
Add a little collagen to your morning oatmeal because, well, why not? Combine one scoop with 1/2 cup oats, water, half a sliced banana, and exactly three walnut halves to keep the dish at 300 calories, 10 grams of protein, and 45 grams of carbohydrates.
Feel Prepared Banana Coconut Overnight Oats
Solluna's Feel Prepared Banana Coconut Overnight Oats is nutrient-dense, quick, and easy—no cooking required. "Oats are a high-nutrient plant food with a full spectrum of nutrition," Snyder notes. "I like to think of them as a humble staple that belongs in everyone's house." To make, stir 1/3 cup of coconut milk, 1/3 cup of rolled oats, 1 tablespoon of coconut nectar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, and one sliced banana in a jar and cover to refrigerate overnight.
Strawberry Nut Waffle With a Side of Cottage Cheese
At 295 calories and 17 grams of fat, this cost-effective option can last you all week and beyond. Buy a box of frozen whole wheat waffles, almond butter, cottage cheese, and strawberries. Spread a tablespoon of almond butter across the toasted waffles, load them up with chopped strawberries, and have a side of cottage cheese. You literally won't be tempted by food for hours, thanks to the 16 grams of protein in the nut butter and cottage cheese.
Kombucha Green Smoothie
Kombucha is thought to offer probiotic benefits in its raw form, while vegetables like spinach and kale are full of nutrients. Put this under the guise of a creamy smoothie, and you've got yourself a nutrient-dense meal with the experience of a tasty treat. Blend up 1 cup of kombucha with 1 cup of plain non-fat yogurt, half an avocado, a banana, a peeled kiwi, 2 cups of spinach, and 1 cup of kale. At 210 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 7 grams of protein, we can get on board with this smoothie.
Blueberry Chia Yogurt
This three-ingredient option is as easy as it is tasty. Shapiro recommends adding a 1/2 cup of blueberries and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 2 percent Greek yogurt for a breakfast that tastes more like a treat. This option has 220 calories, 18 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat.
Veggie English Muffin Sandwich
An English muffin breakfast sandwich just hits different. It's the kind of meal that makes you want to get out of bed. This recipe contains about 255 calories and 16 grams of protein and requires minimal effort. Layer a toasted whole-wheat English muffin with two egg whites, a sliced tomato, spinach, avocado, and skim mozzarella.
Quinoa Egg Breakfast Bake
Quinoa is full of fiber, antioxidants, and minerals and contains all nine essential amino acids, meaning it is a complete protein. So what better way to start off the day? Whisk cooked quinoa, eggs, non-fat milk, garlic, thyme, and spinach in a bowl before pouring into a prepared baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees until it's set. This hearty dish brings about 19 grams of protein to the table with only 247 calories and 13 grams of fat.
Spinach Turkey Bacon Egg Cups with a Green Smoothie
Egg cups are a pretty much genius way to eat healthy with little effort throughout the workweek. This low-calorie recipe—292 to be exact—makes the perfect breakfast muffin with 8 grams of protein and 16 grams of fat. To make, fill a muffin tin with an egg mixture containing chopped spinach and turkey bacon, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Then pop two in the microwave each morning for the healthiest "pre-made" meal ever!
Chocolate Overnight Oats
Another breakfast more reminiscent of a dessert, these protein-packed chocolatey oats are crave-worthy and contain only 191 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 18 grams of protein per serving. Oh, and they're easy to make—like throw everything in a jar and forget about it easy. Combine old-fashion oats, non-fat Greek yogurt, non-fat milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, and a sweetener to taste. Stir together and screw on the lid to refrigerate overnight.
I Feel Nourished: Coconut Quinoa Cereal
We'll admit, cereal doesn't sound like the most exciting breakfast, but this is not your regular bowl of milk and sugar. Solluna's Feel Nourished: Coconut Quinoa Cereal keeps you satiated and nourished with wholesome ingredients. "Coconut milk is among the world’s healthiest foods," Snyder explains. "Coconut milk is often considered a 'miracle liquid' due to its great ability to build up the body’s immune defenses and prevent disease." Add your favorite toppings to a bowl with 1 cup of cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of cooked millet, and 1 tablespoon of pine pollen.
Sweet Potato Tofu Scramble with Kale
This fiber-packed scramble is just the right mix of sweet and savory. In a skillet, toss cooked sweet potato cubes, onions, drained and crumbled firm tofu, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and turmeric. Add kale to simmer for the last few minutes, and voila! A hearty, healthy breakfast is served—at just 264 calories and nearly 19 grams of protein, no less.
Berry Spinach Smoothie with Collagen
This smoothie is everything and more for a powerful start to the day. Blend 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop collagen powder, half a frozen banana, 1/2 cup of frozen berries, a handful of frozen spinach, and about a fourth of an avocado for some added creaminess. This green smoothie recipe lands 240 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 25 grams of carbohydrates.
Almond Butter Fruit Smoothie with Kale
The fruit in this recipe can be used interchangeably depending on what you have in the freezer, as the focus here is on the healthy nut butter and kale. Don't worry; the kale's taste is easily concealed with sweet fruit. The 283-calorie smoothie contains about 13 grams of protein and 10 grams of fat and can be whipped up in a pinch. Simply blend 3 ounces of non-fat Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of almond butter, 1 cup of frozen fruit, 1 cup of kale, and water.
Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
Thinking cookies first thing can't be a healthy choice? Think again. Meet the totally nutritious (but still quintessentially cookie-satisfying) alternative to traditional baked breakfast goods—bonus; they're vegan too. To make, smash two bananas in a bowl (in lieu of eggs) and stir in 1/3 cup of almond butter, 1/4 cup of applesauce, 2 tablespoons of soy milk, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Separately mix 2 1/2 cups rolled oats, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon before adding in the wet mixture. Bake spoon-sized dough balls at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. Each cookie is about 74 calories with 2 grams of protein and 2.6 grams of fat.
Vegan French Toast with Berries
Classic Sunday breakfast, but with a healthy twist. For the French toast mixture, smash a banana and stir in soy milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Dip your bread (we suggest whole wheat or Ezekiel) on each side and pan fry. Top with a handful of fresh strawberries and blueberries. Each slice contains about 110 calories, 4.4 grams of protein, and about 1 gram of fat, depending on your bread selection.
Cleveland Clinic. Do you really need to eat breakfast? Updated April 3, 2020.
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