The Benefits of a High Protein Breakfast + Recipe Ideas | Nutrition Month

March is Nutrition Month, the perfect time to focus on healthy eating habits and lifestyle choices! The 2023 theme is unlocking the potential of food, reminding us that by making simple changes to our diets, we can improve our overall health and well-being, prevent chronic diseases, and support sustainable food systems. Throughout the month of March, we’ve partnered with Vitality Nutrition‘s Registered Dietitian Courtney Berg to share her best tips to help you improve your overall diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Click here to meet Courtney.


Increasing protein intake is a beneficial habit to feel full for longer, support energy, combat cravings, and favorably influence body composition. Check out the benefits of eating a high-protein breakfast, plus find a few Dietitian-approved breakfast recipes to give it a try!

Benefits of a high-protein breakfast

Feel full for longer

Research shows that consuming protein keeps you feeling full for longer by increasing levels of the hunger hormones ghrelin and peptide YY. These hormones send a signal to your brain that you are satisfied. Building protein-rich foods into breakfast can help you stay full until lunch!

Support energy levels

Adding protein to breakfast will steady energy levels through the morning by regulating blood sugar. Carbohydrates containing foods such as bread, cereals, fruits, or oats are commonly emphasized at breakfast. When carbohydrates are consumed in the absence of protein they can lead to blood sugar spikes and a subsequent energy crash. Protein does not significantly increase blood sugar levels so building it into breakfast slows the breakdown of carbohydrates. Therefore, a protein emphasized breakfast can lead to a stable, prolonged release of energy through the morning!

Reduce food cravings

Do you find yourself craving food throughout the day or in the evening? A food craving is an intense desire to eat a particular type of food and is typically a high-caloric sweet or savoury food like chocolate or chips. An increased protein intake, including at breakfast, is one strategy to reduce food cravings and the desire to snack at night.

It’s important to note that the experience of a food craving is multidimensional and includes factors such as  brain messages, food deprivation, environmental cues, hormones, stress, and sleep. While increasing protein intake will not address all of these factors, it can regulate the reward regions of the brain that influence food choices and positively impact appetite hormones that send signals of satisfaction to the brain.

Alter body composition

An increased protein intake is beneficial for exercising individuals who are looking to build muscle and/or lose body fat. Prioritizing a protein-rich breakfast is one strategy to reap the benefits of an increased protein intake to improve body composition!

Protein is the building blocks of muscles. Therefore, ingesting adequate amounts of protein helps to maintain muscle mass, with the increased intake promoting muscle growth in those engaging in strength training. Furthermore, those who want to lose weight benefit from higher amounts of protein to increase metabolic rate, regulate appetite and food intake, and prevent muscle loss.

High Protein Breakfast Recipes

Consider the five breakfast recipes below to infuse your morning with a boost of protein. Alternatively, select a protein from this list of ideas to build your own protein-packed breakfast! Examples of high protein foods commonly chosen at breakfast include:

  • Eggs: use in egg scrambles, breakfast sandwiches, egg bakes, omelettes, or make hard-boiled eggs.
  • Egg Whites: use in egg scrambles, protein pancakes, or cook it into oatmeal.
  • Greek or Skyr Yogurt: make overnight oats, yogurt parfaits, waffles, or add a scoop to smoothies
  • Cottage Cheese: make cottage cheese pancakes or enjoy cottage cheese alongside fruit or toast
  • Protein Powder: add to smoothies, protein pancakes, or stir into yogurt or oatmeal
  • Turkey Bacon or Lean Back Bacon: add to a breakfast sandwich or egg scrambles
  • Cow’s Milk or Soy Milk: add it to oatmeal, smoothies, cereal, or overnight oats
  • Tofu: make a tofu scramble as highlighted below or add it to a smoothie
  • Plant-Based Boosters: prepare breakfast recipes using higher protein plant-based ingredients like sprouted grain breads, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, whole wheat wraps, or beans.

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a make-ahead breakfast that contains protein from the Greek yogurt.


  • ⅓ cup oats
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Sweetener of choice: honey, maple syrup, flavoured protein powder
  • Toppings: nuts, seeds, nut butter, fruits

Directions: Combine the oats, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, milk, salt, and sweetener of choice the night before. In the morning, add your desired toppings like fruit or nuts. You may need to add additional milk in the morning if you prefer a thinner consistency!

Breakfast Burrito

Eggs, cheese, and beans provide a boost of protein to this homemade breakfast wrap.


  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • ¼ bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoon onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 multigrain wrap
  • 2 tablespoon cheese
  • ¼ cup canned black beans or refried beans

Directions: Add the oil to a medium frying pan and cook the bell peppers and onions until translucent. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper while cooking. When the vegetables are cooked, remove from the pan. Cook and scramble the eggs in the pan. Assemble the wrap with the vegetables, eggs, cheese, and canned black beans or refried beans. Fold the wrap like a burrito and enjoy! If you’d like a quick breakfast, you can prepare a large batch of this recipe and store the burritos in the freezer to microwave for a quick breakfast.

Protein Yogurt Parfait

Choose Greek or Skyr yogurt for a high-protein breakfast parfait.


  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen berries, thawed
  • ⅓ cup granola
  • 2 tablespoon nuts or seeds
  • Optional: drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Directions: Assemble the parfait by adding the yogurt to a bowl. Top with thawed frozen berries, granola, and nuts or seeds. Drizzle with maple syrup or honey if you enjoy added sweetness. If packing this breakfast for on-the-go, store the granola and nuts/seeds in a separate container and add it to the parfait immediately before eating to maintain the satisfying crunch that the granola and nuts/seeds adds!

Tofu Breakfast Scramble

A tofu scramble is a protein-rich plant-based alternative to eggs.


  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 cup chopped vegetable of choice (eg. mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, onion)
  • 1 block medium-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Directions: Add the oil to a frying pan alongside the vegetables of your choosing. When the vegetables are cooked, crumble the tofu into the pan. When the tofu is heated through, add the soy sauce or tamari and the turmeric. Stir to combine. Serve the scramble with toast, hash browns, or fruit. The leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container and reheated the next day.

Protein Smoothie

Adding protein powder and/or Greek yogurt to a fruit smoothie is an easy way to power up with protein in the morning!


  • 2 cups frozen fruit (eg. berries, banana, cherries)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (eg. whey or plant-based protein powder)
  • 2 tablespoons seeds (eg. flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts)
  • 1 cup milk or water
  • Optional: ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions: Combine the frozen fruit, protein powder, seeds, and liquid in a high speed blender. Add an optional scoop of Greek yogurt to the smoothie to further boost the protein.


Meet Courtney Berg, RD, B.Sc. Nutrition

About Courtney  |  Courtney Berg is a Registered Dietitian and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from the University of Saskatchewan in 2016. Her approach to nutrition continues to evolve as she learns and grows with her clients at Vitality Nutrition. However, a holistic approach remains the base of her philosophy with an emphasis on understanding how nutrition as well as sleep, mindset, exercise, and the environment work together to influence whole body health.

About Vitality Nutrition  |  Vitality Nutrition is a collective of Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists supporting clients in Saskatchewan and across Canada! We incorporate a unique and meaningful approach to food, fitness, and performance that empowers clients to build life-long habits and see lasting results.