One of the reasons breakfast cereal has been such a symbol of American mornings is because it’s so darn convenient. For a population that values time and efficiency, it’s obvious why this breakfast staple has been a hit since it debuted in the early 20th century. Grab a bowl, dump some cereal, pour some milk, and munch.
Unfortunately, a lot of breakfast cereal options are borderline candy. The more processed cereals became, the more sugar that was added to make them taste good. Check out the history of how breakfast cereals became so sweet here.
And it’s not just cereal: Two strawberry Pop-Tarts have 27 grams of sugar. A jumbo muffin from the popular supermarket Publix contains 30 grams of sugar. A chocolate brownie Clif Bar contains 22 grams of sugar. With these breakfasts, you can exceed your daily recommended limit of added sugar—in one single meal.
One way to avoid these morning sugar bombs is by going the savory route. And if making an omelette first thing in the morning sounds like too much work, fear not: These savory breakfast ideas are perfect for meal prepping. Just reheat and eat for a nutritious start to the day.
1. Mini veggie frittatas.
Pack an eggy batter with your favorite veggies to get lots of fiber. Avoid adding fatty, salty breakfast meats like bacon and sausage—these processed meats are known to raise your risk of colorectal cancer.
Then, bake the frittatas in a muffin tin so you have easy-to-pack breakfasts for the week. You can even freeze them for up to three months. Check out this recipe for mini spinach frittatas from Lasting Ingredient.
2. Tofu scramble with veggies.
One big benefit of tofu scramble (as opposed to scrambled eggs) is that tofu scramble reheats beautifully. While eggs get rubbery in the fridge and microwave, scrambled tofu keeps its same egg-like texture. Plus, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics calls tofu a “MyPlate superstar.”
Combined with veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms, and greens, tofu scramble makes a high-fiber, high-protein, and low-fat breakfast. Find out how to make tofu scramble from Hadrien Bennett.
3. Savory breakfast oatmeal.
Yes, your oats can go umami. While it sounds strange at first, think of grits or risotto. Savory oatmeal is just like these salty, creamy grains.
If you love risotto, try a savory oatmeal with fresh thyme and mushrooms. Check out this recipe for mushroom and thyme steel-cut oatmeal from Maria Ushakova.
Not ready to go savory with your oats? Here are 10 ideas for sweet overnight oats for easy breakfasts.
4. Baked sweet potato hash.
Hashes are a popular American breakfast already, but a few tweaks make this diner classic a little healthier. For starters, swapping white potatoes with sweet potatoes makes the hash a little higher in fiber and lower in starch. Second of all, baking it instead of pan-frying cuts way back on oil.
Hash almost always includes onion and bell pepper, but don’t be shy on including other veggies. Aim for a rainbow of colors for a variety of nutrients: Zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, and leafy greens all make surprisingly good additions to a healthy hash. You can also add chickpeas for a protein boost.
5. Savory zucchini muffins.
You’ve heard of zucchini muffins and zucchini bread, but there’s no reason these baked goods can’t go savory. Use whole-wheat or oat flour as your base to make sure you’ve got a high-fiber goodie that won’t spike your blood sugar.
Jazz up your muffins with herbs and veggies, such as chives and corn, or dill and spinach. If you want cheese, try a flavorful cheese like feta, so you can use less without sacrificing flavor. Check out this recipe for whole-wheat zucchini muffins with feta from Kalyn’s Kitchen.
6. Savory quinoa upma.
Upma is a savory porridge popular in India, often containing cashews and veggies like peas and carrots. It’s usually made with rice or wheat flour. (Here are other healthy + popular breakfasts around the world to try.)
For a little extra protein, swap in quinoa for the base. Find out how to make quinoa upma from Vegan Richa, who specializes in plant-based Indian cooking.
Cereal may hold the reputation of the ultimate convenient breakfast, but with these savory bites all prepped and ready to go, you might be able to savor a few extra minutes of sleep. And by the way, here are other speedy breakfasts you can make after hitting snooze.