What Do Vegans Eat for Breakfast

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by Alena Schowalter
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Intrigued by a plant-based diet but not sure what vegans eat for breakfast? Our easy beginner guide offers easy food swaps, an essential grocery list, blueprint, 30+ tasty vegan recipes, and answers common questions.

If you want to change your diet, it’s a good idea to pick one meal per day to start with. Instead of going all in and skipping all animal products from one day to the other, most people have more success when easing into a vegan diet.

Many vegan breakfast ideas are super easy, and they are suitable for many preferences: from high-protein to low-carb, meal prep-friendly, or summer-approved.

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You can try out some vegan alternatives to meat, dairy, eggs, and honey and find your favorite ones which can become part of your new routine! And no meal would be easier to make than a good vegan breakfast.

In fact, many vegan breakfast foods are probably already in your kitchen! From toast to oatmeal, potatoes, or fruit, plant-based meals can be made from humble staples and don’t have to be fancy or expensive.

For a good overview, check out our lists of what vegans eat and what vegans don’t eat!

How to make a good vegan breakfast

An easy way to make a delicious vegan breakfast is by veganizing your usual breakfast choices! Think of well-tested favorites like pancakes, cereal, or toast — all of these can be made in a vegan version with just a few food swaps.

However, you might want to try some new meals while you’re at it, like avocado toast, chickpea scramble, or vegan smoothie bowls!

We like to go for one starchy food, 1-2 servings of fruits or vegetables, soy milk or yogurt as a protein source, plus some nuts for a crunchy topping.

You can find some super easy vegan breakfast ideas below, but for now, let’s see how you can make your favorite breakfast vegan-friendly!

Vegan breakfast food swaps

  1. Eggs: JUST egg or tofu for scrambles, flax seeds or applesauce for baking
  2. Coffee creamer: soy or oat milk-based work best; our favorite is Oatly Barista
  3. Milk: soy, almond, rice, oat, or coconut milk
  4. Meat & sausages: Beyond Meat, Field Roast, Gardein or homemade versions 
  5. Butter: margarine, vegan butter, oil, avocado, or nut butter
  6. Cheese: vegan cheese slices or shreds
white table with different bowls containing granola, cubed mango, almond yogurt and blueberries to make vegan parfait

What do vegans eat for breakfast

Breakfast shopping list essentials

If you want to make a good vegan breakfast, from simple pb&j toast to protein smoothies, savory breakfast skillets, loaded sandwiches, or fruity oatmeal, here are some foods you should get at the store to be prepared.


  • Toast
  • Oatmeal
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Bagels
  • Flour
  • Polenta

Fruits & veg

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Berries
  • Melon
  • Mango
  • Dates
  • Avocados
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Red pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Lettuce

Protein & fat

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Vegan Breakfast FAQs

What is a good plant-based breakfast?

If you’re imagining what a plant-based breakfast looks like, your mind probably goes straight to oatmeal. Yes, these healthy whole grains are certainly a staple in our kitchen (and should be in yours, too!) — but what if you’re over oatmeal at some point?

Fortunately, there is a whole host of plant-based breakfast recipes for beginners you can turn to. Some are high-protein or low-calorie; others are great for meal prep or for kids, budget-friendly or can be eaten on the go!

Generally speaking, a good and nutritious plant-based breakfast includes fresh produce (fruits or vegetables), complex carbohydrates from whole grains, potatoes or legumes, and some essential fats (flax, chia and walnuts are common choices).

You can make almost any of these healthy plant-based breakfast foods taste good with delicious add-ons! Think nut butter, jam, cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla, cocoa nibs, almonds, dried fruit, coconut shreds, plant-based milk or yogurt and any spices you like.

white plate with 5 sugar-free flapjacks which are being grabbed by two hands

Can you eat eggs on a plant-based diet?

Since plant-based and vegan diets aren’t necessarily the same thing, some people following a plant-based diet may eat eggs. 

However, it’s usually the case that “plant-based” means “no animal products”, and therefore, eggs wouldn’t be part of a plant-based diet. 

Someone who is living a vegan lifestyle and wants to minimize any harm done to animals would not eat eggs, either.

Can I have coffee on a vegan diet?

Sure, coffee is made from beans which makes it perfectly suitable for a plant-based diet! Just enjoy it black, with some vegan sweetener or dairy-free milk or creamer instead of cow’s milk.

Find our sugar-free vanilla almond milk latte recipe here!

Can you eat oatmeal on a vegan diet?

Yes, oatmeal is one of the best breakfast choices on a vegan diet! Just make sure to use dairy-free milk like soy, oat, or almond milk when you cook it so it’s free from animal products.

Oh, and don’t add any honey, milk chocolate or non-vegan yogurt, either! Great flavorings include fresh, dried or frozen fruit, nuts or nut butter as well as a plethora of spices.

Are pancakes vegan-friendly?

Pancakes are usually not vegan because they are made with eggs, butter, and dairy milk. However, with just a few food swaps, you can easily make vegan-friendly pancakes!

Add some smashed ripe banana, applesauce or flax meal with a few tablespoons of water to your pancake mixture to replace the eggs, use plant-based milk for the batter and put oil instead of butter in your pan! You can also make them without any added fat in a non-stick pan.

pouring sauce over a stack of vegan blueberry pancakes

Is peanut butter vegan?

Pretty much all types of peanut butter are vegan, yes! Even though this delicious food contains the word “butter” it’s not made with any dairy.

However, some rare types can contain honey as an added sweetener which would make them non-vegan.

By the way, the same goes for almond, cashew or hazelnut butter!

20 Peanut Butter Recipes

What cereals can vegans eat?

From cornflakes to puffed grains, a handful of cereals you’ve probably eaten throughout your life are already vegan-friendly!

The exact cereals that vegans can eat may differ depending on what country you live in, but here’s a quick list:

  • Quaker Cinnamon Life
  • Kashi Organic Island Vanilla
  • Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch
  • Nature’s Path Crunchy Maple Sunrise
  • Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Unfrosted

Find a more exhaustive list on peta2.

What can vegans eat for breakfast at restaurants?

When you want to enjoy some vegan breakfast at a restaurant, try to get a hold of the menu ahead of time. Some places label their vegan dishes with a little “v” whereas other restaurants offer that dishes can be “made to order.”

This means that you can ask for them to make small adjustments to make a certain meal vegan-friendly, i.e. leaving out the cheese, butter or eggs.

When you’re already at the restaurant, ask your waiter or waitress which dishes are vegan or can be made vegan — don’t be afraid to make suggestions like “can I have this with margarine instead of butter?”

Lastly, you can still go for sides or ask them to combine several items from different meals. Some ideas include:

  • Toast, fruit, oats
  • Breakfast potatoes
  • Baked beans
  • Black coffee

Find 10 vegan fast food breakfast options in this article.

More vegan guides

We make going vegan easy for you! Be sure to check out the following helpful articles next.

What are your go-to vegan breakfast choices? Have you been trying some of the recipes we listed above? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to Pin this article here!

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Hi, I'm Alena Schowalter — a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with my husband, I founded nutriciously in 2015 and have been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages toward a healthy plant-based diet. I enjoy discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature, and creating new recipes. Read more about us here.


  1. Love that you included things like Beyond Meat and vegan cheese slices. It’s amazing how some elitist plant-based individuals look down on others who eat things like those (they’re made in a lab so considered unnatural and unhealthy) but I’ve come to learn, be open and do what works best for you. For some people, reaching for a Beyond Meat patty is the decider between staying vegan/plant-based and going back to eating meat/animal products.

    Brilliant guides and tips as usual. Thank you for always sharing.

    • thanks so much for your feedback! We have come to appreciate these products a lot over the years of being vegan and started out trying to eat “super clean” at first but we’ve learned that no diet has to be “super clean” – it has to meet nutritional needs, be enjoyable and sustainable. And it’s always better to go for mock meat than to hurt animals!


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