20 Healthy Low-Carb Breakfast Ideas

  • Healthy, low-carb breakfast ideas include a green smoothie, low-carb muffins, and chia pudding. 
  • For a savory low-carb breakfast, try asparagus frittata, egg drop soup, or cauliflower hash browns. 
  • Eating a healthy, low-carb breakfast can help stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. 
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Eating a low-carb breakfast can help keep you full, and reduce spikes in blood sugar, says Stacie Stephenson, DC, a board member of the American Nutrition Association. 

“I highly recommend a low-carb breakfast for anyone struggling with morning blood sugar control, or hunger pangs before lunch,” she says. That’s because low-carb breakfasts often contain more protein, which is known to keep you feeling fuller for longer. And, in general, low-carb diets may also help with

weight loss
.

Going low carb short-term is safe for most people, Stephenson says, except for those with uncontrolled type 2

diabetes
, chronic kidney disease, or a history of eating disorders. However, limiting your carbs for an extended period of time, may lead to vitamin deficiencies, heart rhythm problems, fatigue, and disrupt your digestion. 

Moreover, for anyone going low-carb, it’s important to make sure that you’re not swapping carbs for saturated fats and cured meats, which can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. 

Here are 20 healthy, low-carb breakfast ideas that we culminated from various recipe websites to get you started.

1. Hard-boiled eggs with mixed berries 

hard boiled eggs

Hard-boiled eggs make for a quick, easy, and portable breakfast.

Shutterstock


Two hard-boiled eggs with a 1/2 cup of mixed berries contains: 

  • Calories: 179 
  • Protein: 13 grams (g) 
  • Carbs: 10 g
  • Fat: 10 g

Hard-boiled eggs are a quick and easy way to get a hit of protein in the morning, while berries are packed with antioxidants and fiber that will keep you healthy and full. 

2. Plain Greek yogurt with berries and walnuts

greek yogurt

Sprinkling Greek yogurt with nuts and blueberries will give it a burst of flavor and a bit of texture.

IGphotography/Getty Images


One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 254 
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Carbs: 30 g
  • Fat: 5 g

Plain Greek yogurt doesn’t have to be boring when you incorporate the sweetness of berries and a drizzle of honey. The yogurt is packed with protein to keep you feeling full, while the berries deliver fiber and walnuts provide just the right amount of healthy fats. 

3. Grain-free lemon ricotta pancakes

lemon pancakes

Lemon and ricotta pancakes will feel like an indulgence, but won’t hurt your carb count.

Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock


One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 217 
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Carbs: 6 g
  • Fat: 19 g

Pancakes are the ultimate breakfast food but are usually off-limits to those counting carbs. This recipe minimizes carbs by using grain-free ingredients, while the ricotta and lemon pack a flavorful punch that will make you feel like you had a little treat before it’s even noon. 

4. Spicy shrimp omelette 

shrimp and veggie fritatta

Try mixing up your average omelette by adding shrimp.

yipengge/Getty Images


One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 329 
  • Protein: 36 g
  • Carbs: 4 g
  • Fat: 17 g

This omelette is perfect for incorporating leftover seafood and combining big taste with very few carbs. The protein and fat (not to mention spicy flavor) will leave you satiated, without any bloat. 

5. Green smoothie

Detox juice cleanse green drink smoothie healthy

By adding avocado and coconut milk, this green won’t taste bland and watery.

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One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 168 
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Carbs: 7 g
  • Fat: 14 g

Smoothies don’t have to be laden with carb-heavy fruits. For example, this one uses avocado, spinach, and coconut milk mixed with a bit of vanilla protein powder, peanut butter powder, and a squeeze of fresh lime to provide tons of nutrients and flavor, but without blood-sugar spiking sugars and carbs. 

6. Low-carb blueberry muffins

Low carb

Low-carb blueberry muffins are a great breakfast to meal prep.

yumehana/Getty Images


One muffin contains: 

  • Calories: 217 
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Carbs: 6 g
  • Fat: 19 g

This recipe uses almond flour to create a low-carb option for those days when you’re looking for a little comfort food, like a warm muffin, but still want to stick to your healthy eating. 

7. Ham and cheese frittata 

ham and cheese omelette

A ham and cheese omelette is a breakfast classic.

martinturzak/Getty Images


One ham and cheese omelette contains: 

  • Calories: 291
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Carbs: 4 g
  • Fat: 20 g

If you love quiche, a frittata offers all of the taste, without the carb-laden crust. This recipe is packed with protein, while a touch of cream lends a decadent feel. To reduce the calories and fat, you can swap out the cream for half and half. 

8. Shakshuka

Shakshuka

You can also save shakshuka leftovers for dinner or tomorrow’s lunch.

DebashisK/Shuttershock


One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 142 
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Carbs: 8 g
  • Fat: 9 g

Tired of plain old eggs? Shakshuka is a middle eastern and north African dish that cooks eggs in a rich, flavorful tomato sauce. In this recipe, the eggs provide protein, while the sauce has a touch of vegetables and a whole heap of flavor. 

9. Butternut breakfast meatballs

air fryer meatballs

If you want to switch up your breakfast, try meatballs.

MZZ001/Shutterstock


One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 170 
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Carbs: 2 g
  • Fat: 13 g

Who says you can’t have meatballs for breakfast? This recipe combines breakfast sausage with butternut squash, mushrooms, and seasoning for a savory breakfast full of protein and vegetables. You can make it even healthier by eating it over a salad or greens. 

10. Smoked salmon and arugula salad

smoked salmon

Smoked salmon is a quick and easy way to add a punch of protein and healthy fats to any breakfast.

Aly Weisman/INSIDER


One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 371 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Carbs: 8 grams
  • Fat: 37 grams

Salads aren’t typically thought of as breakfast food, but they should be. This recipe will give you a serving of vegetables right off the bat, while the salmon and avocado provide healthy fats, like omega-three fatty acids, that will keep you feeling full till lunch. 

11. Asparagus and ricotta frittata

asparagus frittata

This frittata is full of vitamins and minerals.

Brian Macdonald/Getty Images


One frittata contains: 

  • Calories: 158 
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Carbs: 7 g
  • Fat: 9 g

Now that you know that frittatas are a low-carb quiche alternative, give this one a try. It’s full of vegetables and uses a fat-free ricotta cheese to make the recipe rich but light on calories and fat. 

12. Egg drop soup

egg drop soup

Egg drop soup makes a comforting and warm breakfast for chilly, rainy days.

Shutterstock


One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 142 
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Carbs: 2 g
  • Fat: 11 g

Soup for breakfast? Don’t knock it till you try it. This recipe combines eggs, chicken broth, and spices for a low-carb, low-calorie breakfast option. 

13. Maple cream cheese pumpkin muffins

Pumpkin muffins

Pumpkin muffins are perfect for fall.

Lara Hata/Getty Images


One muffin contains:

  • Calories: 260 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Carbs: 9 g
  • Fat: 23 g

Perfect for fall, these low-carb muffins use almond flour to keep the carb content low. They taste like a treat, but won’t make you feel bogged down throughout the day. 

14. Sausage, egg, and avocado breakfast salad

open avocado on marble

Avocados are full of heart healthy fats.

Somrudee Doikaewkhao / EyeEm/Getty Images


One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 489 
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Carbs: 11 g
  • Fat: 35 g

Need a hearty breakfast option before a day of hiking or yard work? This alternative to potato salad offers a great balance of calories, proteins, and healthy fats that will give you all the energy you need to get through the day, without relying on empty carbs. 

15. Low-carb cereal

peanuts

This low-carb cereal recipe uses peanuts which are a good source of protein.


NadineDoerle / Pixabay



One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 100 
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Carbs: 5 g
  • Fat: 4 g

Cereal is the perfect breakfast for when you’re in a rush, but it’s typically filled with simple carbs and sugar. This low-carb alternative uses milk protein isolate and roasted peanuts to give you the crunch you crave, without the carbs. Add some milk for even more protein. 

16. Cauliflower hash browns 

roasted cauliflower

Cauliflower is a go-to for people looking to reduce their carb-intake

Calvin Chan Wai Meng/Getty Images


One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 80 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Carbs: 3 g
  • Fat: 5 g

Who doesn’t love hash browns? This recipe uses frozen riced cauliflower — cauliflower that has the consistency of rice — and eggs to make a much lighter, low-carb alternative to the breakfast classic. Plus, these hash browns are baked instead of fried, for a lower calorie meal overall.

17. Low-carb breakfast casserole

casserole with eggs bacon

Using turkey instead of ham or bacon will reduce the fat content of the casserole.

ToscaWhi/Getty Images


One serving of this low-carb breakfast casserole contains: 

  • Calories: 168
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Carbs: 8 g
  • Fat: 7 g

Breakfast casserole may sound decadent, but this one is healthy too. It uses ground turkey, hash browns, almond milk, and plenty of spices to create a filling breakfast.

18. Cabbage and beef soup

cabbage soup

Cabbage and beef soup is also hydrating.


Artelier/Shutterstock



One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 145 
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Carbs: 5 g
  • Fat: 8 g

This recipe incorporates the protein and fat from ground beef with the nutrients of cabbage for a healthy and satisfying start to the day. Best of all, you can make a big batch and eat it all week. 

The benefit of this soup is that it’s mostly water, which quickly fills your stomach to make you feel fuller, sooner. That can help you eat less throughout the day, which is a plus if you’re looking to lose weight. 

19. Vegetable scrambled eggs

Vegetable scrambled eggs

Scramble up some eggs with bell peppers and onions.

4kodiak/Getty Images


One serving contains: 

  • Calories: 180 
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Carbs: 4 g
  • Fat: 10 g

When you’re eating healthy, you might end up with lots of leftover veggies. This recipe is a great way to use them up by combining whatever vegetables you have on hand with two eggs for a quick and easy low-carb breakfast. 

20. Chocolate chia pudding

chia

Chia pudding can be meal prepped and stored in the fridge.

Julia_Sudnitskaya/Getty Images


One serving contains

  • Calories: 336
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Carbs: 16 g
  • Fat: 27 g

Chia seeds transform into a tasty and protein-packed pudding when soaked in liquid. This recipe uses chia seeds, cocoa powder, coconut milk, and vanilla extract to create a low-carb breakfast that tastes too good to be true. 

Insider’s takeaway

Today there are tons of healthy low-carb breakfast options. Stephenson says that the key is finding one that tastes good, while making you feel great too. That might take some trial and error. 

“The breakfast that makes you feel good may not be the same as what someone else thrives upon,” she says. 

So, listen to your body, follow its cues, and eat a breakfast that makes you feel full and alert.  

“What matters the most is making healthful, nutrient-dense food choices in a pattern that makes you feel energetic and satisfied throughout the morning,” Stephenson says.

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