Low-Carb Breakfast Menu Ideas and Recipes

Quick and Easy Breakfasts

Vegetable frittata
Philippe Desnerck/Photolibrary/Getty Images

It can be challenging to figure out what to make for breakfast when you are new to low-carb eating. If you're used to eating carbohydrate-rich breakfasts such as cereal, bagels, and muffins, it may seem difficult to think of some low-carb breakfast choices. But don't worry, there are a variety of nutritious low-carb foods to enjoy.


Eggs don’t have to be just for Sunday mornings. Here are some ways to make them quick and easy:

  • Beginners may want some pointers on how to make eggs in different ways. The good news is that you can cook them in many different ways, from boiling to baking to frying and even microwaving. You can buy convenient hard-boiled eggs if you don't want any fuss at all.
  • Make a vegetable frittata and then freeze or refrigerate servings to pull out and microwave. A frittata is sort of a cross between an omelet and a quiche, made on the stove and sometimes finished in the oven. A frittata is a great way to use leftover vegetables because you can put any vegetable you want in it. In Italy, frittatas are common items in lunches brought from home. It doesn’t take long to make, and then you can use it for several meals.
  • It’s even easier to simply scramble leftover veggies and cheese with eggs. You can make a big batch of this and save the extra in zip-type plastic bags.
  • Omelets are yet another great way to use leftover meat and vegetables.
  • A serving of regular scrambled or fried eggs is quick to make. If you can master flipping fried eggs just with the pan you'll even cut down on the cleanup. Serve eggs with low-sugar fruit and a flax muffin, and you’ve got a complete breakfast.
  • Eggs Florentine is an easy recipe using frozen spinach.


Cereals can be a problem on a low-carb diet because they are high in carbohydrate by their very nature. Also, most people don't consume one serving. A single serving of dry cereal provides about 15–20 grams of carbohydrate, but a serving is usually only 3/4 of a cup. If you are pouring cereal into a bowl without measuring it and then adding milk you can easily consume 55–75 grams of carbohydrate in one sitting.

Here are some ways around it:

  • Some cold cereals, such as Special K, now come in a low-carb form. Even better are some of the high-fiber cereals, such as All Bran and Fiber One. You will need to carefully check the labels, as formulations change.
  • If you are choosing a cold cereal, read the label and stick to one serving. Measure it with a measuring cup and use a small bowl to make the portion appear larger.
  • Choose a cereal that is whole grain (the first ingredient should say "whole")
  • Choose a cereal that has at least three grams of fiber and no more than six grams of sugar.
  • There are some special low-carb hot cereals, such as Flax-O-Meal, that can be purchased online. Or, you can make flax cereal right in your bowl.
  • You can make your own low-carb granola using nuts and seeds rather than oatmeal or other grains and not add sugar.
  • Some innovative people make a faux cream of wheat using eggs and ricotta cheese.
  • You can also make textured vegetable protein faux oatmeal that is surprisingly like the real thing.
  • Choose a hot cereal like oatmeal, quinoa, or another whole grain blend, and add chopped nuts or nut butter for added fiber, protein, and healthy fat. For example, 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal with 3/4 cup blueberries, and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, topped with cinnamon.

Breakfast Breads

You can make your bread or baked goods lower in carbohydrates by making some substitutions.

  • Muffins, biscuits, and other breads can be made from flax meal, almond meal, and other low-carb ingredients.
  • Buy a low-carb pancake mix, or make it from scratch.
  • Microwave breakfast puddings are a good option. Put flax meal and/or almond meal in a bowl with water, egg, and flavorings such as berries, cream cheese, peanut butter. Use your imagination. You can also make chia seed breakfast pudding with no cooking, simply mixed with yogurt and water and refrigerated overnight.

Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Ricotta, Tofu

Select low-carb dairy and soy products to enjoy for breakfast.

  • Spoonable dairy products such as low-fat Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or ricotta can be combined with fruit, such as frozen berries, and nuts or flax seed to make a quick breakfast.
  • Any of the above can be used to make a breakfast shake with protein powder and fruit or flavorings. Or, the shake can be made with just the protein powder and unsweetened soy milk, kefir, or water.
  • Use tofu as the central protein. A shake can be made from soft tofu, while the firmer types can be used in tofu scrambles and other dishes.

By Laura Dolson
Laura Dolson is a health and food writer who develops low-carb and gluten-free recipes for home cooks.