10 Vegan Breakfast Ideas (Compilation #25)

Clearing out my COVID pantry sometimes feels like a never-ending quest. I know that there is not an infinite amount of stuff in my kitchen, and I am starting to see some empty space. Nonetheless, this is still a focus of mine, and it is starting to feel like a much bigger project than I ever imagined it would be. The good news is that the challenge of getting through it all has inspired a lot of good combinations! I'm especially excited about this round up. Plus, this compilation has more veggies than usual, which I think is a nice change of pace. If you like savory things you'll probably be happier with this selection than some of my other breakfast idea posts. An additional bonus, if you're avoiding gluten: 80% of these are gluten free. Let me know which of these was a totally new idea for you!

1. Almond Ricotta Toast with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Spinach (Soy Free)

Although I still love tofu-cashew ricotta, since I'm making my way through shelf-stable things and discovered a package of slivered almonds (much to my confusion, since I don't exactly recall why they were there), I decided to try making some almond ricotta. It's not the same as cashew-tofu ricotta (obviously) but it's delicious, too, in its own right. I followed the recipe from Plant Conscious Kitchen and added the optional nutritional yeast and garlic powder. You do have to scrape down the sides of your blender several times and not give up if it seems to not be turning into fluffy cheese, but once it does, it's perfect for spreading on toast. I topped the ricotta with cucumber and tomato slices and then garnished it with the smaller leaves from a package of baby spinach. (One might typically use basil, but use what you've got!) A bit of salt and pepper finished it off.

2. Peach Oatmeal Crumble with Strawberry Nice Cream (Gluten Free, Soy Free)

I was intrigued when I saw this recipe for at White Wave Kitchen. Why had it never occurred to me to put nice cream on something? This looks a bit odd, I'll grant you, but because this crumble is on the dry side it really benefits from the nice cream (which is just frozen bananas and strawberries). Not a bad way to convince myself to eat more potassium, and a perfect excuse to eat more peaches in season. You could easily put some non-dairy yogurt on top instead if that was more your speed. I cut this recipe down so I could cook it in my toaster oven (of course).

3. Zucchini Bread Pancakes with Spiced Brown Sugar Syrup (Nut Free, Soy Free)

I'm not sure if this turned out looking as appetizing as I wanted it to, but it was really good. The pancakes recipe was from Namely Mary, while the syrup was a rough approximation of an a few recipes I read online and scaled down for a single serving. I used a mixture of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour and it worked out fine. For some reason, my syrup turned out much darker than I'd planned, but that doesn't affect the taste at all. If you want to try making a syrup like this, it's essentially 1 part vegan butter, 1 part brown sugar, 1.5 parts non-dairy creamer, a bit of vanilla, and spices (cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg) boiled together for five minutes before whisking in a pinch of baking soda off the heat. It was so buttery and went so well with the pancakes! I tried garnishing my pancake stack with a bit of shredded zucchini, which may look a bit odd but hey, more veggies. To round this meal out, I had a glass of soy milk for some additional protein (but obviously don't do that if you're avoiding soy).

4. Cherry Coconut Polenta (Gluten Free)

People eat grits for breakfast, so why not polenta? Especially when you have a giant bag of instant polenta you bought for some reason? Thus when I found this recipe, making it seemed obligatory. I used soy milk rather than coconut milk so that I could get the extra protein. It looks the way it does in part because I didn't realize it was instant polenta and likely overcooked it, and because I used coconut sugar as the sweetener it dyed it this sort of caramel shade. I was using Rainer cherries, too, which are my favorite but happen to be the exact same color on the inside as caramel-colored polenta, and thus the chopped cherries disappeared into the polenta. It doesn't matter; this is a yummy porridge for whenever you happen to have fresh cherries on hand, and it would probably go well with frozen cherries, too.

5. Pineapple Spinach Smoothie (Gluten Free, Nut Free)

I should have garnished this so it didn't look exactly like every other green smoothie in the world, but oh, well, this is real life! I am still not that great at getting veggies into my morning routine (although I'm getting better at incorporating them here and there), but smoothies are easy and you can't really taste the spinach in this, just the sweetness of banana and pineapple. The flavor of this one was startlingly good, in part because I added a half a lime worth of lime juice to a mixture of frozen bananas, canned pineapple (this is pantry-clearing time; I'd otherwise say to use frozen or fresh pineapple), spinach, and soy milk. The lime juice added a some nice complexity as well as some Vitamin C. I had this smoothie as part of a larger breakfast, but I could easily have a big one of these on a day when I wasn't that interested in food. 

6. Veganized Classic Hawaii Breakfast (Gluten Free, Nut Free)

In Hawaii, one makes the distinction between Hawaiian food (i.e., the indigenous food) and local food (i.e., regional food of people who live in Hawaii), so I haven't called this a "Hawaiian breakfast," though you may find it referred to as such elsewhere. Some people in Hawaii call this "local breakfast" but it's not local to me and I can't call it that, so I went with "Hawaii breakfast." This is a sort of fusion food (like, say, corn dogs use ingredients and some preparation methods indigenous to North America but are definitely not indigenous food and are, instead, a fusion invented by people who live here). 

In any case, a classic breakfast in modern Hawaii would involve scrambled eggs, rice, and Spam or Portuguese sausages. I took slight liberties here and used some leftover pineapple-glazed tofu ham, which is reminiscent of Spam in some ways to me anyway, especially since in Hawaii one would usually serve the Spam cooked in a sweet glaze. Just go with me here; it counts. The "egg" is JUST Egg scramble. I topped my rice with some scallions for color but that's totally optional. If you want a high-protein meal to start your day, this is a good option. The sweetness of the "ham" complements the savory eggs and rice beautifully.

7. Atole de Nuez (Nutty Cornmeal Porridge) (Gluten Free)

This is a porridge for drinking, and despite being made of corn, it is not anything like grits or polenta. I veganized this recipe using soy milk and non-dairy creamer, and I used brown sugar and molasses as the sweeteners. I had no anise so I left it out and although I'm sure that it would be tasty with anise, it was also great without it. It's a soothing, somewhat thick drink that you should probably reserve for cold weather, unless you are facing down a big bag of masa harina you bought for no logical reason other than fears of the total collapse of the food supply chain. (Let's face it: That was kind of logical for a bit.) Because it has almond meal in it, and the soy milk, I felt this gave me adequate protein in the morning, but I did have a slice of toast with it to make it a full meal.

8. Key Lime Energy Balls (Gluten Free)

Energy balls look tiny and sad on their own, so they need something to go with them. They're dwarfed by the sides of cherries and an English muffin I had (which is not gluten free but you can find gluten free ones, so I tagged the meal as such). But trust me, those little things are the main event here! This is a recipe I found at Eating Bird Food. It is pretty simple--nuts, dates, lime juice, lime zest, a bit of coconut oil--but they are so wonderfully limey! I had a glass of soy milk with this and only managed to have an appetite for two of them, so I put the other one in the fridge. They're really a good source of quick fuel to keep around. And of course I love a breakfast I can make the night before.

9. Super Seed Stuffed Dates (Gluten Free Option, Soy Free)

This is an idea from Pick Up Limes, scaled down for one serving and using mini chocolate chips instead of the chocolate drizzle. The chocolate drizzle is prettier, of course. Make sure you give company the chocolate drizzle. 

This is a full-on pantry breakfast (although the dates were refrigerated, I still consider them pantry food, because they last so long). These are dates that are carefully pitted and then filled with broken pretzels and a mixture of peanut butter and an assortment of seeds, then topped with chocolate. It was a very sweet breakfast and virtually demanded hot tea and soy milk to wash it down, but so delicious and crunchy! You can make this gluten free by just leaving out the pretzels or by using a gluten free pretzel. This is a good option if you have bought all the seeds, and therefore have hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds in your cupboards, but will also work if you only have a selection of them.

10. Savory Corn Cakes (Gluten Free, Nut Free, Soy Free)

This is another, very different approach to masa harina: Savory corn cakes! The recipe is from Cadry's Kitchen, and it really is simple enough to prepare in the morning. I had mine with some spinach and JUST Egg scramble topped with Violife Parmesan and some chopped grape tomatoes. Yes, you could just make toast, but then you couldn't have this lovely corn cake. I like the little bits of whole kernel corn in this. These could be the basis for a lot of fun breakfasts, depending on how you serve them--I look forward to trying that out as I work my way through the bag. If you like tamales, this has a lot of what is good about tamales going on, but with a ton less effort.


  1. Oooh, another great round up! I am particularly drawn to the savoury corncakes and the Hawaii breakfast. And the zucchini pancakes with syrup sound very lovely.


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