10 Unprocessed Breakfast Meat Options for a Healthy Start

Slash Your Grocery Bills: Discover Affordable Plant-Based Proteins That Energize Your Mornings Without Meat.

Breakfast Meat Alternatives

This list of healthy breakfast meat alternatives will help you come up with a breakfast that “sticks” all morning with complete protein.

Breakfast meats are incredible, but what if you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or just want to reduce your meat consumption (or have a toddler that just doesn’t like the texture of meat)?

It can be hard to find meatless breakfast options that are both healthy and delicious – even vegetarian meat substitutes can be as unhealthy as processed meat.

Here are 20+ healthy breakfast meat alternatives to start your day! They’ll satisfy any craving for bacon, ham, sausage-or anything else you might want in your morning meal.

Quick Sidenote – check out our shop for a curated selection of the best meats, cuts, sausages, and more. Open our shop in a new tab and explore!

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Eggs

Eggs are healthy, versatile food. They provide protein and fat to start your day and keep you full until lunchtime.

There is plenty of ways to cook eggs, including scrambled eggs and fried eggs. You can add cheese, sauces, or simply salt and pepper to make it delicious.

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Vegan Breakfast Sausage

Vegan breakfast sausage is a great meatless alternative to regular pork sausage (like rich German or Hungarian sausages). It can be made with pressed tofu, tempeh, soy protein…a variety of different plant-based ingredients that are blended into sausage patties or crumbles.

You can find vegan breakfast sausage or plant based meat at stores or make it yourself!

Beyond Breakfast Sausage Plant-Based Patties Box,6 Pack,7.4 Oz
  • A BETTER BREAKFAST: these hearty plant-based breakfast sausage patties are juicy, packed with protein, and go from frozen to cooked in 5 minutes
  • EXCELLENT SOURCE OF PROTEIN: 11 grams of plant-based protein per serving from peas and brown rice to power your day. See nutrition panel for fat, sat fat and sodium content.
  • MADE TO POWER YOUR DAY: 35% less saturated fat and sodium per serving than a leading brand of pork sausage
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  • 6 PLANT-BASED PATTIES PER BOX: frozen and ready to cook. You do the rise, these do the shine

Avocado

Avocado is a super versatile fruit that can be eaten with almost anything–including breakfast. You can add avocado to egg dishes or toast for a healthy, filling meal.

Or simply slice up an avocado and enjoy it with some salt and pepper!

365 by Whole Foods Market, Hass Avocados, 4 Count
  • Brought to you by Whole Foods Market. Our standards are what set us apart, and our quality is what keeps us stocking pantries, fridges and freezers with the best natural and organic 365 Everyday Value products every day.
  • Wash before cutting.

Tempeh

Like tofu, tempeh is a soy-based product so it has the same health benefits as soy foods. Because it’s fermented, it has a longer shelf life than tofu and contains more probiotics.

Unlike tofu, you can eat tempeh right out of the package without cooking it first. Try pan-frying or grilling it for a satisfying meat alternative.

Lightlife Original Organic Tempeh, 8 Oz
  • LIGHTLIFE ORGANIC ORIGINAL TEMPEH: A versatile and delicious plant-based protein source
  • HIGH IN PROTEIN: 18g of protein per serving
  • EASY TO PREP, EASY TO COOK: Tempeh requires little preparation for quick and easy plant-based meals
  • SUBTLE FLAVOR AND FAMILIAR TEXTURE: Our Original Tempeh naturally takes on the flavors you are cooking with to complement your meal
  • A TASTY MEATOR TOFU ALTERNATIVE: Enjoy Original Tempeh in grain and rice bowls, salads, and more

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are tiny, but they provide a lot of nutrients. They contain fiber and protein to keep you full all morning long.

Try soaking chia seeds in water; then strain to make pudding or oatmeal. You can also sprinkle chia seeds on top of yogurt or cereal for some extra crunch!

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Quinoa

Quinoa is a great source of protein–about 8 grams per one-cup serving. It provides fiber, which helps you feel full longer.

For breakfast, try making quinoa with milk instead of water for a creamier texture. You can also add fruit or nuts to give your cereal more flavor.

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Ezekiel Bread

Instead of using regular bread for breakfast sandwiches, try using Ezekiel bread instead. Ezekiel bread is made with sprouted grains so it’s healthier than regular bread.

It also contains no preservatives or other additives–perfect if you want to avoid artificial ingredients in your morning meal!

Amaranth

Pearl amaranth is an ancient grain that contains ten times more calcium than wheat. It’s also high in iron, making it a great vegan alternative to beef or chicken for breakfast.

Try boiling pearl amaranth until tender and serve with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

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Bob's Red Mill Organic Amaranth Grain, 24 oz
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Meatless Bacon / Ham

There are many brands of vegan bacon and ham, so it’s easy to find a meatless alternative to traditional breakfast meats.

Veggie bacon is made from soy protein or seitan (wheat gluten) while vegan ham is usually tempeh flavored with spices with less sodium. You can also try making your own!

Lightlife, Organic Fakin' Bacon Smoky Tempeh Strips, 6oz
  • LIGHTLIFE ORGANIC SMOKY TEMPEH: A versatile and delicious plant-based protein source
  • HIGH IN PROTEIN: 12g of protein per serving
  • EASY TO PREP, EASY TO COOK: Tempeh requires little preparation for quick and easy plant-based meals
  • SMOKY FLAVOR AND FAMILIAR TEXTURE: Our Tempeh naturally takes on the flavors you are cooking with to complement your meal
  • A TASTY MEAT OR TOFU ALTERNATIVE: Enjoy our Smokey Tempeh Strips on a TTLA (Tempeh, Tomato, Lettuce, Avocado) sandwich

Hummus

Hummus is made from chickpeas, which are high in protein. Top your toast or English muffin with hummus for a healthy, satisfying breakfast.

If you want to be creative, try using hummus as the filling for breakfast burritos or sandwiches instead of eggs and cheese!

Sabra Classic Hummus, Great Hummus For Dipping, Snacking And Sharing, 17 Oz Tub
  • One 17 oz tub of Sabra Classic Hummus
  • Perfect for snacking, cooking and, of course, sharing
  • Classic hummus crafted with chickpeas, garlic and a creamy paste called tahini made from toasted ground sesame seeds, plus other ingredients
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Buckwheat

Similar to quinoa, buckwheat is a great source of protein and fiber. You can add it to your breakfast shake or cereal for extra crunch and taste.

Buckwheat groats are also a tasty alternative in egg dishes like omelets and frittatas.

Anthony's Organic Hulled Buckwheat Groats, 5 lb, Raw, Grown in USA, Gluten Free
  • USDA Certified Organic Buckwheat Groats - Grown and Packed in the USA
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  • No Preservatives, No Artificial Ingredients, and Excellent Rice Replacement
  • Can be toasted, roasted, steamed, boiled, ground into a flour or simply used raw.
  • Great substitute in recipes that call for rice or whole grains!

Spinach

Spinach is a great source of nutrients for your morning meal. It’s high in vitamins A and C, which keep your immune system healthy.

Spinach also contains iron–about 7 mg per one-cup serving–which helps carry oxygen throughout the body. Try adding spinach to your breakfast smoothie or omelet!

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Tomatoes may not seem as filling as a classic breakfast sausage, but a cup is packed with protein. They’re also high in vitamin A and potassium.

To make them tastier, try sun-drying tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes are also great in pasta dishes!

35 oz Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne Cut in Olive Oil
  • Lycopene Rich
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Black Beans

Black beans and rice is the classic breakfast for much of Latin America. Black beans are filling and high in protein.

Add some fresh avocado slices to turn your bowl of black beans into a delectable, satisfying meal.

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Pinto Beans

Just like black beans, pinto beans are a great source of protein. Top a whole-grain English muffin with a fried egg and pinto beans for a quick breakfast that will keep you satisfied all morning long!

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Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds have many health benefits. They’re high in fiber, which is something that’s usually lacking in a traditional breakfast.

In addition, pumpkin seeds are packed with magnesium and zinc–magnesium helps you maintain healthy blood pressure, while zinc supports the immune system.

Yupik Raw Shelled Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds/Pepitas, 1 lb
  • A wholesome on the go snack or topping
  • Keep cool and dry
  • Raw and shelled

Lentils

Lentils are a great vegetarian source of iron and protein. They’re also high in fiber, making them a healthy addition to many breakfast dishes.

Try placing some lentils over toast along with avocado slices for a tasty vegan breakfast sandwich!

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Peanut Butter

If you’re looking for something filling, try spreading peanut butter over your toast. Peanut butter is high in protein and provides many health benefits–studies show that eating it regularly may help control blood pressure.

This is one of the best options since it requires no recipe and you probably have it in your pantry.

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Almonds / Almond Butter

Just like peanut butter, almond nut butter is great for breakfast.

Almonds are one of the best types of nuts–they’re packed with nutrients and fiber. Eat them plain or as almond butter.

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Teff Grains

Teff is an ancient grain native to Ethiopia. It’s high in iron and calcium, which makes it a great vegan alternative for breakfast meats like sausage or bacon.

Teff grains are also great in smoothies!

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Cashews

Cashews are a tasty source of protein–a quarter cup has over 5 grams. They’re also high in magnesium, which regulates blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.

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Chickpea Granola Blends

Chickpeas are best known for hummus, but they can be processed into a more “breakfast” tasting paste (think blending maple syrup) that can be added to bagels, toast, and more.

Chickpea Granola - Unimaginable Foods Powerful Walnut 5-Pack, Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Dairy Free - 7 oz
  • TASTY: Creamy almond butter and crunchy walnuts is beyond anything you ever imagined.
  • HEALTHY: 5g of protein and 4g of sugar per serving, that’s 40% less sugar than an average granola, also includes superfood sacha inchi
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: Uses dairy-free probiotics, made with climate-resilient crops, and uses less water than an average granola
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  • DIET FRIENDLY: Vegan, organic, non-gmo, grain free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, with only 4g sugar

Vegan Protein Powder

An easy way to pack your breakfast with protein is to use vegan protein powder. Just mix it in with your favorite fruit, nut milk, or shake.

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Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a source of protein with almost 20g per 7 oz serving. It’s also high in calcium, which is important for strong teeth and bones.

Chobani® Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt 32oz
  • Thick and creamy Chobani Greek Yogurt
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Final Thoughts on Breakfast Meat Alternatives

There are many healthy eating options traditional breakfast meats (and they don’t have to be expensive or made by Impossible Foods).

These foods are packed with nutrients and fiber that will help you stay satisfied all morning long. They are also much better than the typical American Breakfast.

Whether you’re looking for a vegan sausage, nuts, or something plant based, there’s something for everyone!

One interim solution is to just switch to lower sodium / lower fat breakfast meats – just like you can with lunch meats. Which of these alternative breakfasts will you try first?

FAQs About Breakfast Meat Alternatives

Here are a few FAQs about Breakfast Meat Alternatives.

What can I replace meat with for breakfast?

There are many different types of meat replacements that you can use for breakfast. Some popular choices include tofu, tempeh, and eggs.

You can also try vegan versions of common breakfast meats such as bacon, sausage, and ham. There are many recipes online that will show you how to make these dishes yourself.

Is bacon, ham or sausage healthier?

Among the three, breakfast ham has the bets protein to fat ratio, however it generally will have the highest sodium and cholesterol.

Bacon is higher protein, but higher fat. That said, processed meats, like bacon, ham and sausage, are not healthy. They’re all high in saturated fat and sodium, which can increase your risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.

What is the healthiest meat to eat for breakfast?

A ham or non-fatty cut will generally have a higher protein to fat ratio, but will also have higher sodium. Look for turkey meat options that are lower in sodium.

What is a healthy protein for breakfast?

A healthy protein for breakfast can be eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, or a protein shake. These options are all high in protein and will help you feel full until lunchtime.

Is steak for breakfast healthy?

A steak for breakfast is healthy if it fits within your daily diet plan. It doesn’t really matter if you eat it for breakfast or dinner. In fact, there may be benefits for your sleep if you eat it for breakfast instead of dinner. However, it’s not healthy if you are just adding more beef to your daily diet.

Is egg and sausage healthy?

Only in moderation in balance with plenty of fiber (to absorb cholesterol) along with vegetables and non-processed protein sources through the rest of the day.

Why are all breakfast meats pork?

Pork is one of the most commonly eaten meats in the US because it’s often so cheap—and it cooks well, too. It’s more cultural than anything.

What can I substitute breakfast meat with?

You can substitute breakfast meat with many other breakfast foods that can provide a good source of protein. Some alternatives to consider include eggs, tempeh, chia seeds, nut butter, beans, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese.

How can I get protein for breakfast without meat?

To get protein for breakfast without meat, you can incorporate various alternatives. These options include enhancing your porridge, smoothies, or shakes with protein powder, consuming protein-rich whole foods such as nut butters, lentils, chia seeds, chickpeas, and tofu, and ensuring each mealtime includes a protein-rich dish.

What are 3 good meat alternatives?

Three good meat alternatives include tofu, tempeh, and seitan. Tofu is a plant-based choice that provides over 11 grams of protein in just half a cup. Tempeh, made from fermented soybeans, offers even more protein than tofu. Seitan is another option that can be used as a meat substitute.

What is the healthiest breakfast meat to eat?

The healthiest breakfast meat to eat is turkey sausage and bacon, as they are leaner options compared to pork. The USDA states that 2 pan-fried pork breakfast sausages contain 14 grams of fat, whereas turkey breakfast links have only 5.8 grams of fat for the same serving size.

What is a good substitute for meat and eggs?

A good substitute for meat and eggs is tofu, mushrooms, and raw jackfruit, which are vegan proteins commonly found in everyday kitchens. Tofu, in particular, is a versatile protein option with a neutral taste that can be stir-fried, scrambled, baked, broiled, grilled, or stewed.

What tastes like bacon but isn’t bacon?

Thinly sliced eggplant can be seasoned and cooked to achieve a taste similar to bacon. The eggplant is prepared to have a bacon-like texture, which is both crunchy and crispy, while still being chewy.

What is a healthier option than bacon?

A healthier option than bacon is turkey bacon, which is a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional pork bacon. Whether you aim to lower your calorie intake or reduce sodium levels, turkey bacon is a great choice for those looking to start eating healthier.

What can I substitute for bacon and eggs?

You can substitute bacon and eggs with various alternatives. For the eggs, you can opt for using only egg whites to make an omelette instead of using a whole egg. In terms of meat, cold turkey is a healthier and less salty option compared to bacon or sausage. Cheese can be used as a substitute as well. If you prefer a different option, bread can also be a replacement. Additionally, there are other alternatives available depending on your preference. Don’t forget to consider side dishes and drinks to complement your meal.

What do I replace bacon with?

A suitable replacement for bacon, especially in cases where religious restrictions prohibit the consumption of pork, is turkey bacon. Also referred to as “fakon”, this bacon alternative is readily found in supermarkets. It is typically rich in protein and fiber, while being low in fat and cholesterol-free.

What is a good alternative to sausage for breakfast?

A good alternative to sausage for breakfast is Impossible Foods Sausage Patties, Textured Vegetable Protein, Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo, Field Roast Italian Garlic & Fennel Plant-Based Sausages, Beyond Meat Beyond Sausage Plant-Based Links, Tofurky Plant-Based Original Sausage Italian, and Gardein Breakfast Saus’age Patties.

What do vegetarians use instead of bacon?

Vegetarians use a variety of alternatives to bacon, such as store-bought vegan bacon products, tempeh, tofu, carrot bacon, potato skins, mushrooms, seitan, and rice paper bacon.

What is an unprocessed breakfast?

An unprocessed breakfast consists of whole, unprocessed foods from each of the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy. To ensure a nutritious breakfast, aim to include proteins from sources such as yogurts (opt for varieties with minimal added sugar), eggs, nuts and seeds, or legumes.

Is Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage processed meat?

Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage is considered to be a highly processed meat with low nutritional value, and it is estimated to have a moderate carbon footprint and a high water footprint.

Which is the healthiest breakfast?

The healthiest breakfast options include a Lentil Breakfast Bowl, a Quinoa Breakfast Bowl, a Savory Oatmeal Bowl, a Kefir Smoothie, Avocado Toast, a Tofu Scramble, a Greek Yogurt Parfait, and Whole-Grain Waffles (or Pancakes) with Fruit and Greek Yogurt.

What is a good substitute for sausage and bacon?

A good substitute for sausage and bacon is soy products, mushrooms, eggplant, and coconut. These alternatives provide a similar umami taste to sausage or bacon and are also more budget-friendly. Although cooking eggplants alone cannot fully replicate the flavor of bacon or sausage, adding some seasoning can enhance their meaty taste.

What meat is most similar to bacon?

The meat that is most similar to bacon is prosciutto, pancetta, and bacon itself. These cured meats may share some similarities in appearance and taste, but their specific characteristics can vary based on factors such as the origin of the meat, the type of pig, and the curing process.

What is a good alternative to bacon sandwiches?

A good alternative to bacon sandwiches is mushrooms, particularly portobellos and porcinis, which offer a rich and meaty texture and taste. Whether they are roasted, sautéed, or grilled, mushrooms make a great substitute for bacon in sandwiches.

How do you make bacon taste without bacon?

To achieve the taste of bacon without using actual bacon, you can try using alternative ingredients such as liquid smoke, smoked paprika, veggie bacon, dark beer, seaweed that tastes like bacon, blackstrap molasses, or smoked salt.

What is a good substitute for bacon that is not pork?

A good substitute for bacon that is not pork is turkey bacon, which can be used in cases where religious restrictions prohibit the consumption of pork. Marketed as “fakon”, turkey bacon is readily available in supermarkets and is considered a bacon alternative. It is known for its high protein and fiber content, low fat content, and typically does not contain cholesterol.

Is there any healthy bacon?

There is healthy bacon available if you opt for nitrate-free turkey bacon. Brands like Applegate Farms’ uncured turkey bacon offer a meat-based option without added nitrates. This alternative is leaner, higher in protein, and contains slightly less sodium.

Is turkey bacon healthier than regular bacon?

Turkey bacon is not necessarily healthier than regular bacon, as it is a processed meat with less protein and more added sugar than its pork counterpart. While it does have slightly fewer calories and fat, making it a potential substitute for those on special diets or unable to consume pork, it is important to note that turkey bacon may also contain preservatives that have been associated with an increased risk of cancer.

What is in plant-based bacon?

The ingredients in plant-based bacon include marinated strips of tempeh or tofu, flavored with soy sauce or liquid smoke, and cooked by frying or baking. Coconut meat can also be used as a bacon substitute by raw food enthusiasts. Additionally, seitan can be shaped into vegetarian bacon.

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