9 Quick and Filling Breakfast Ideas
By Jenna Braddock, MSH, CSSD, RD, ACSM-CPT, a mom and consultant sports dietitian who works with Clif Bar & Company
The ideas and suggestions written below are provided for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or care. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider before beginning any physical fitness or health- and nutrition-related activity.
Mornings are hectic for most of us, as the rush of getting ready and out the door for the day takes a lot of work. In the midst of all that, breakfast can become a low priority. I often hear from clients that they just don’t have time, and that it’s hard to find quick AND nutritious options.
I get it, and I’m here to help with nine quick and filling breakfast ideas. But first, let’s review why you should be eating breakfast.
Eating breakfast can play an important role in helping you get key nutrients into your body, start your day with energy, and keep you from being distracted by a growling stomach. I’m sure we have all been in that midmorning situation where you are ready to focus on a task and knock it off your to-do list but suddenly, your stomach rumbles. Whether it happens because your breakfast just didn’t fill you up long enough or you skipped it altogether, it’s a distraction you end up paying for. Good news is, it’s completely avoidable with a filling breakfast.
In addition to keeping you satisfied, making the right choice at breakfast can also contribute to a more sustainable planet. That’s right! For example, the new CLIF® Cereal not only gives you lasting energy to power your day but is also made with organic, “naked” oats, which are oats harvested without the hull, eliminating the intensive step of hulling and steaming. Using this type of oat helps CLIF suppliers reduce transportation carbon emissions by 35% compared with hulled oats. It also increases farmers’ income. That’s a pretty powerful bowl of cereal if you ask me.
What Makes a Filling Breakfast?
The difference between a filling, lasting breakfast and a wimpy one comes down to macronutrients. Meals that include fiber and protein will stick with you longer. Fiber, particularly the kind found in whole grains like oats, slows down digestion and helps give you lasting feelings of fullness.1 Protein, found in breakfast foods like nuts and seeds, is also a convenient way to promote satiety.2 Ensuring you eat enough calories from these satiating nutrients can contribute to a lasting feeling of fullness.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of work or time to prepare a filling breakfast. Here are nine quick and filling breakfast ideas with protein and fiber to keep you feeling satisfied.
1. CLIF Cereal
Six out of 10 people say they wish breakfast cereal kept them feeling fuller longer.3 That’s why CLIF is bringing lasting energy to the breakfast aisle with new CLIF Cereal. This brand-new cereal is made with a delicious blend of wholesome, energizing ingredients like organic grain flakes, granola clusters with organic oats, and real nut butters. Designed with satiety in mind, CLIF Cereal gives you lasting energy to power your day — with less sugar too. At 6-7 grams of total sugar per serving, CLIF Cereal is made with 30-40% less sugar than other leading cereal brands.* It comes in four delicious flavors to choose from: Apple Cinnamon & Almond Butter, Blueberry & Almond Butter, Chocolate & Peanut Butter, and Honey & Peanut Butter. Enjoy it with your preferred type of milk or grab a few handfuls on your way out the door.
*This cereal contains 6–7g total sugar. Leading cereal brands have an average of 10g total sugar.
CLIF Cereal (Blueberry & Almond Butter Flavor) – Protein: 8g (7% DV); Fiber: 8g (contains 8g total fat per serving)
CLIF Cereal with Plain Soy Milk – Protein: 16g; Fiber: 10g
2. Whole-Grain Toast With Toppings
Toast is a breakfast staple, and with the help of some nutritious toppings, it can be a great way to fuel your morning. Start with whole-grain bread (or a gluten-free option if needed) and add one to three nutritious toppings like mashed avocado, hummus, nuts and seeds, nut or seed butter, sliced fresh fruit, or 100% fruit spread.
1 slice whole-grain toast with 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 small sliced banana, and 1 Tbsp hemp seeds – Protein: 11g; Fiber: 5g
3. Breakfast Burrito
With a little prep ahead of time, enjoy a filling, nutritious breakfast burrito even on the busiest of mornings. Start with a whole-grain tortilla and fill it with your favorite beans or plant-based breakfast meat, cheese, salsa, and avocado or guacamole. For additional protein, add scrambled tofu. Roll the burrito, then wrap it in aluminum foil. Store burritos in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy one, pop it in the oven (still wrapped in foil) at 325℉ for about 10 minutes to warm it up while you are getting ready for the day.
Breakfast burrito made with 1 whole wheat tortilla, 1 plant-based sausage patty, ¼ cup vegan cheese, 1 Tbsp salsa, and ¼ of an avocado – Protein: 13g; Fiber: 9g
4. Overnight Oats
Overnight oats simply involve soaking oats in a liquid in the fridge for several hours to soften them. Soaking alleviates the need to cook them and makes for a cooler way to enjoy oatmeal in the morning. You can easily customize overnight oats using any type of milk and mix-ins like frozen fruit, nut butters, seeds, or plant-based protein powder. Looking for a quick recipe? Try this delicious Strawberry Vanilla Overnight Oats recipe and sub in plant-based yogurt and milk if desired.
Strawberry Vanilla Overnight Oats made with soy yogurt – Protein: 12g; Fiber: 9g
5. Breakfast Cookies
Yes, cookies can be for breakfast when you make them with nutritious, energizing ingredients. Try my Healthy Breakfast Cookie recipe that uses oats, yogurt, peanut butter, seeds, and dried fruit to deliver a super delicious, very portable breakfast for busy people.
1 Breakfast Cookie – Protein: 7g; Fiber: 3g
6. Chia Pudding
Chia pudding is a perfect option for a filling breakfast. Chia seeds contain satisfying protein and fiber, and when mixed in a liquid, they turn into a gel-like texture that can be eaten with a spoon, like pudding. Try this Raspberry Chia Pudding that uses frozen raspberries and your choice of milk.
Raspberry Chia Pudding made with soy milk – Protein: 9g; Fiber: 15g
Smoothies are a blank canvas of breakfast goodness where you can add whatever you need to make a filling meal. When making a smoothie, start with fruits and vegetables (like leafy greens), add a liquid (like plant-based milk) along with nut butter for some protein and ground flaxseed for fiber. For a classic and simple Strawberry, Banana & Peanut Butter Smoothie recipe, combine 1 cup of soy milk, ½ cup vanilla soy yogurt, 8 frozen strawberries, ½ banana, and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in a blender. Blend and enjoy!
Strawberry, Banana & Peanut Butter Smoothie – Protein: 11g; Fiber: 5g
8. Yogurt Parfait
Turn yogurt into a more satisfying breakfast by adding a crunchy topping and fresh or frozen fruit. CLIF Cereal is a perfect addition here to help add more filling fiber and protein. Simply top your favorite yogurt with ¾ cup of CLIF Cereal and ½ cup of your favorite sliced fruit.
Yogurt parfait made with 1 cup soy yogurt, ¾ cup CLIF Cereal, and ½ cup strawberries – Protein 15g; Fiber: 11g
9. Grain Bowl
A bowl of hearty whole grains can make a very filling breakfast. Start with your favorite cooked whole grain like farro or quinoa, then “choose your adventure.” Go sweeter by adding fresh or dried fruit, nut butter, and cocoa powder, or go more savory with chopped veggies, seeds, and a vinaigrette dressing.
Grain bowl made with ½ cup cooked farro, 1 Tbsp almond butter, ½ sliced banana, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder – Protein: 16g; Fiber: 10g
Make the most of your breakfast and keep hunger at bay so you can tackle your day without interruption. These quick and filling breakfast ideas are sure to give you lasting energy to power your morning.
- Rebello CJ, O'Neil CE, Greenway FL. Dietary fiber and satiety: the effects of oats on satiety. Nutr Rev. 2016;74(2):131-147. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuv063
- Moon J, Koh G. Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2020;29(3):166-173. doi:10.7570/jomes20028
- Mintel Press Team. 43% of US cereal consumers eat cereal as a snack at home. Mintel. https://www.mintel.com/press-centre/food-and-drink/43-of-us-cereal-consumers-eat-cereal-as-a-snack-at-home. Published October 17, 2017. Accessed June 30, 2021.