Sneaking in a nutritious breakfast can be hard for just about anyone. And for those sticking to a Paleo diet, the morning meal might seem even more daunting. Eggs are always an option, but going through multiple cartons per week gets old fast. Besides, no one should have to give up the goodness of waffles, pancakes, and muffins.
Whether you’re making an impressive brunch spread or just looking for something quick as you dash out the door, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. These a.m. options range from savory to sweet, refreshing to rich. The only hard part about breakfast now is picking which recipe to make first.
Muffins and Breads
It’s hard to improve upon banana bread, but adding chocolate chunks does just that. This Paleo loaf stays nice and moist from plenty of mashed banana. Just mix the wet ingredients and then add in a coconut flour and cinnamon mixture. Though the recipe calls for letting this goody cool before slicing, it might be even better when those bits of chocolate are still melty.
Who decided that the best use of pumpkin spice was in a coffee drink? We think these muffins are a way tastier (and healthier!) option. Made from mostly eggs and pumpkin puree, these morning treats pack in a good amount fiber and protein. Put down the latte and pick up one of these to get all of that great flavor with a lot more staying power.
If you thought going Paleo meant giving up English muffins, think again. The best part about this recipe is that it cooks in the microwave in just two minutes, so there’s no need to preheat the oven. They’re great with a swipe of nut butter or jam, but they also make a killer eggs Benedict on a leisurely Sunday. Bonus: Brunch at home means getting to wear pajamas well into the afternoon hours.
Some muffins are so rich that they’re more appropriate for dessert than breakfast. This Paleo version combines the goodness of mashed sweet potato with a base made from grated apple, shredded coconut, dried figs, and almond flour. They taste just like a fall dessert, but won’t derail your eating for the rest of the day.
Zucchini bread is a no-no for anyone forgoing grains—unless you make this loaf, which swaps out butter and sugar for coconut flour, pure maple syrup, and all-natural creamy peanut butter. This recipe also comes with the option to swap in protein powder instead of coconut flour, which will give this yummy breakfast an added nutritional boost.
This muffin recipe turns a traditionally sweet breakfast staple into a savory treat. This version calls for a simple combo of mushrooms, basil, and onions, but feel free to add whatever veggies you have on hand. You can even use the leftover for healthier and upgraded dinner rolls.
While quick breads get bonus points for being super easy to prepare, they don’t typically win any health contests. This Paleo bread gets healthy fats and protein from nut butter and just enough sweetness from a touch of honey. The recipe calls for cinnamon, but feel free to play around with different spices to suit your mood. Maybe it’s more of a cardamom kind of day.
Pancakes and Waffles
Chocolate for breakfast usually brings to mind Pop-Tarts or kids’ cereal—and a massive sugar crash that leaves you asleep at your desk by midmorning. That won’t happen with these waffles, which get just enough sweetness from raw cacao powder and coconut sugar. To give them even more staying power, top with strawberries, bananas, or nut butter rather than the sauce.
Traditional pancakes are definitely not an option for Paleo converts, so these coconut flour ones are a dream come true. With a triple dose of coconut—flour, milk, and oil—they’re great with any of your favorite toppings, but why not go for it with a sprinkle of toasted, shredded coconut?
The crispy edges of a fresh waffle make it one of the best on-the-go options out there, especially when it’s a simple 3 ingredient (sweet potato, eggs, and coconut flour) sweet potato waffle. Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of beta-carotene to support a healthy immune system, plus they could help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. This version tops the waffles with a fried egg, avocado, cilantro, lime, and hot sauce but feel free to top with whatever healthy staples you have!
Two-ingredient banana pancakes are a quick breakfast option, but these ones are a great alternative when you’re in the mood for something a little bit different. Don’t worry, they’re hardly any more work with just six ingredients and a simple method. They’re perfect as is, but a sprinkle of cinnamon makes them taste just like an apple pie.
Any day that begins with a waffle is nearly guaranteed to be awesome. Enjoy the same taste of a classic Belgian waffle with this recipe that’s made with almond butter, coconut oil, almond milk, eggs, and coconut flour. Purists will want to enjoy these as is, or try using them to make a seriously fun breakfast sandwich.
Pancakes and bacon are a sweet and salty combination that just wins. This genius breakfast marries the flavors by putting the savory meat right in the batter along with some sweet, juicy pear. We’re so happy that someone finally went there—and shared the recipe!
While breakfast strata makes a great weekend treat, it’s filled with tons of bread and not much else. Talk about bloat. This recipe gives the typical casserole a whole new look and taste with sweet potatoes, bacon, greens, and sausage. With so much flavor, you won’t miss the cheesy topping one bit.
If you thought eating a Paleo diet meant no more French toast, think again. Use your favorite paleo bread and load with flavorful blueberries, and coconut flakes to prep the entire casserole the night before, pop the dish into the fridge, and then toss it into the oven for 35 to 40 minutes when you wake up.
Having some veggies for breakfast starts the day off right by offering up plenty of antioxidants and fiber. That doesn’t mean a boring salad is the only option, though. This hearty casserole gets plenty of flavor from sausage, garlic, green onion, and sweet potato. Cook up the veggies, layer into a dish, and then pour a quick egg batter on top before sending it to the oven.
This French toast uses a paleo banana bread recipe as the base, but you can also use your favorite store-bought paleo bread if you're in a rush. Once you have the bread, the recipe is easy: just beat together eggs, cinnamon, sea salt, and almond (or coconut) milk for that signature French toast coating.
Italians like to use leftover pasta to make all sorts of breakfast dishes, and this spaghetti squash casserole has a similarly hearty texture minus the wheat. One of the best things is that it’s versatile enough to work with just about any meat or veggie you prefer.
Paleo or not, sometimes having another plate of scrambled eggs for breakfast can be maddening. This casserole is a sweet treat that seriously shakes up a boring morning routine. With no added sugars and plenty of produce, you can have seconds without overdoing it. And it’s the perfect way to use up leftover veggies.
This breakfast casserole takes a classic paleo combo of meat (this one uses ground turkey), veggies, and spices and loads it into an Instagram-worthy mug. You can get creative with this one, adding whichever veggies and meats you prefer, or maybe even sticking it in a mason jar (just make sure to use oven mitts if you're putting the jar in the oven).
A lot of smoothie shops add all sorts of bizarre ingredients to their drinks. For those who prefer purity, this recipe is 100-percent fruit. With plenty of vitamin C and a tart flavor, grapefruit is like a seriously sassy version of an orange that works perfectly with the sweetness of banana and raspberries. Just remember to have some protein (like a hard-boiled egg) with it for staying power.
For those with a sweet tooth, this beverage is one of the best breakfasts out there. Bananas and cacao powder means there’s no need for added sugar, and almond butter adds an addictive toasty flavor. Puree everything in the blender, pour it into a to-go cup, and breakfast is ready to zoom out the door.
A morning workout can end with a serious craving for something sweet. Instead of heading for a sugary coffee drink, whip up this tropical paleo smoothie. This recipe has a cool twist on traditional smoothie making: you blend two separate mixtures and then combine them together to get the signature "sunrise" color.
Ever wondered what it would be like to stick a piece of pumpkin pie in the blender? This recipe has all the flavors of that fall favorite with a lot fewer calories. As easy as this smoothie is, speed it up even more by replacing all the spices with a rounded quarter teaspoon of pumpkin spice.
Orange juice for breakfast is such a yawn. This easy smoothie mixes oranges with peach and raspberry for a tropical twist. Blend up the fruit, an avocado, ginger, vanilla extract, and ground turmeric and this drink is ready for sipping. It might taste more like dessert than a healthy morning meal, but that just makes it extra fun.
Yogurt isn't usually paleo-friendly, but that doesn't mean you can't have parfaits! This version uses a mix of chia seeds, coconut milk, and honey for the base and packs in lots of colorful berries. If you're craving something sweet after dinner, too, this works great as a guilt-free dessert.
Saying no to grains shouldn’t mean having to say no to a helping of crunchy granola, and it doesn’t have to anymore. This recipe lets the food processor do most of the work, chopping up a combo of nuts and seeds with some coconut. Full of copper, manganese, and healthy fats that may help protect against heart disease Nuts, Blood Lipids and Cardiovascular Disease. Sabate, J. Wien, M. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010; 19(1):131-6. Nuts and Berries for Heart Health. Ros, E., Tapsell, LC., Sabate, J. Current Atherosclerosis Reports. 2010 Nov; 12(6):397-406. Frequency of Nut Consumption and Mortality Risk in the PREDIMED Nutrition Intervention Trial. Guasch-Ferré, M., Bulló, M., Martínez-González MÁ., et al. BMC Medicine. 2013 Jul 16; 11:164., nuts make a super nutritious morning meal.
Miss the creamy goodness of yogurt for a morning treat? This recipe purees honey, lemon juice, grass-fed gelatin, coconut milk, and blueberries in the blender to get a luxurious puree that’s every bit as good as the dairy stuff. Save this one for a day when you’re feeling adventurous!
Bring the flavor of fall to a creamy morning treat with a porridge made from pumpkin puree, almond milk, coconut flour, egg, and cinnamon. Any fruit and nut combo makes a great sweet porridge, plus this can easily morph into a savory offering my skipping the maple, adding some chopped chipotle, and topping with a sprinkle of cilantro and pumpkin seeds.
This is a great paleo granola staple to have in your kitchen. This one is for a weekend where you have lots of time, since the recipe involves soaking nuts overnight, but it'll be a great way to get ahead on your breakfast-prep for the week. The chocolate extract and cacao butter give this nut mixture a flavorful bonus that will keep you coming back for more.
It’s hard to beat a comforting bowl of oatmeal, but this Paleo version might be even better thanks to the delicious coconut. Just throw the igredients (feel free to add in your favorite nuts and spices) in your slow cooker and enjoy a perfect breakfast the next morning.
A bowl of something warm and creamy is always a great way to wake up since it’s basically like a hug from the inside. This dreamy concoction comes together in the blender before a quick blast on the stove. Just note that the nuts need to soak overnight, so plan ahead or else you’ll wind up with a chunky mess.
Most people probably scrunch up their noses at the thought of heading to a Paleo friend’s place for weekend brunch, but that doubt will turn to delight if they get one of these gorgeous parfaits. Alternate layers of a pistachio and date mixture and a creamy avocado puree for a colorful, green masterpiece.
Finding a grain-free cereal in the grocery store is pretty much an impossible mission, so making it at home is the best option. This twist on Cinnamon Toast Crunch is made with hemp seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, apple juice, and coconut oil. Storing it in an airtight container also means it’ll stay fresh way longer than that boxed stuff.
While there are plenty of great homemade bar options out there, a lot of them take forever to make. Not these sweet treats. Nuts, fruit, coconut oil, and honey go into a food processor, and then the whole mixture gets pressed into a pan. No baking, no fuss, and totally tasty.
Most packaged breakfast bars don’t have much flavor apart from crazy amounts of sugar. These DIY portables will leave your taste buds dancing with a combo of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, plus some molasses for extra richness. Made from mostly nuts and dried fruits, these bars offer up plenty of filling fiber and an addictive crunch that makes them great for breakfast or a late-night snack.
Let’s face it, we all grab a bar on the go from time to time. And then wonder what half the ingredients are that we’re eating. Eek! These use only pronounceable ingredients including figs, oat flour, coconut oil, and maple syrup. With a sweet and nutty taste, they’re basically Fig Newtons' sophisticated older sister.
Requiring only three ingredients and 10 minutes to make, this recipe may make you never buy another bar again. But how do they taste? Sweet and tropical, with an occasional crunch from a piece of almond. This is proof of how amazing clean eating can be.
Perfect for post-workout, these bars are made with nuts, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, and chia seeds. They’ll satisfy any stubborn sweet tooth while offering up antioxidants and protein. Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder to the recipe for even more muscle-building, belly-satisfying benefit.
Originally published March 2015. Updated March 2016.