While I find following a vegan diet really easy to adapt to, ever since I stopped eating cheese and eggs, I have almost run out of my usual breakfast choices and all of the ones I've been left with are sweet ones.

Various vegan recipe sites do not seem to offer much help in this regard because while all of those vegan pancakes and muffins look great, I am desperately in need of something non-sweet, if not outright salty.

As of now, my usual breakfast is either cereals with vegan milk/yoghurt, bread with some jam or just some fruit. Could anyone point me to some non-sweet vegan breakfast options?

  • I'm glad there's someone else out there who has noticed if you search for 'savory vegan breakfast' you mostly get a page full of desserts. Not sure this justifies an answer but consider batch-cooking ingredients for a few days of breakfasts, like sausages to make it less faff first thing in the morning.
    – David S
    Feb 27, 2017 at 13:48
  • Personally I'm a big fan of breakfast salad. But I admit that I'm an oddity there. Aug 16, 2017 at 9:33

13 Answers 13

  • tofu scramble

    • get some extra-firm tofu and fry it with green/spring onion, turmeric (for colour), and yeast extract, nutritional yeast or soy sauce for flavour.
    • serve on toast etc
  • savoury pancakes

    • mix chickpea/gram flour with your favourite vegan milk and some salt and herbs to make a batter.
    • Fry in a little oil on both sides.
  • avocado on toast

    • mash up a ripe avocado with yeast extract or soy sauce and spread on toast
    • sprinkle with chilli, herbs, toasted coconut, or a bit of grated extra dark chocolate or non-sweet cacao powder
  • bubble & squeak

    • if you have some cooked starchy leftovers (traditionally potato, cabbage and peas, but anything with beans or root veg and greens works great), mash them up a bit mix them with a bit of any flour to bind together
    • fry in a pan like a frittata and serve with your favourite condiment (chutney, ketchup, mustard, etc)
  • 1
    Try buckwheat pancakes to mix it up. Goes well with savory toppings. Batter keeps well overnight too.
    – Tom Kelly
    Feb 11, 2017 at 8:56

As you are looking for some non-sweet recipes, Indian recipes are a good option for you. Most Indians prefer not to have sweet foods in their breakfast (although they do at lunch or supper)

Below are some easy breakfast recipes:

  1. Dosa

    enter image description here

    It is a thin crepe made out of soaked rice and skinned black gram. Dosa is one of the famous south-Indian breakfast recipes. There are various types of Dosas based on the ingredients used in addition to rice and lentils.

    Here is the basic recipe for most of the Dosas:

    To make Dosa, soak rice and lentils for about 4-6 hours. Then grind with water and make a thick batter and allow it to ferment. This fermentation enhances the nutrition and makes the end product tasty. This batter is latter spread into a hot griddle and cooked for a short time until it gets golden brown colour and becomes crispy.

    Here is a detailed recipe for dosa. This is best served with coconut chutney and sambar.

  2. Idli


    Idli is also a popular south Indian breakfast. They are soft savoury steam cakes. It's a simple recipe and its ingredients are also easily available. Idli can be made through two ways. One is using the rice batter and the other is using semolina. The only difference in the rice batter between Dosa and Idli is that Idli batter is slightly thicker than Dosa batter. We can add chopped vegetables like carrot, beetroot, leafy vegetables and spices of our choice into the batter for better taste. This is best served with Coconut chutney and sambar just like Dosa.

    Here is a detailed recipe for Idli.

  3. Upma

    Vegetable upma

    Upma is also a famous Indian breakfast. It is cooked as a porridge using semolina or coarsed rice flour. Seasonings and vegetables of individual choice can be added. It can be cooked in 15 minutes. You can substitute semolina with Vermicelli too.

    Click here for a detailed recipe.

  4. Oats Upma

    Vegetable oats upma.

    If we think of a breakfast with Oats, we usually think about Oatmeal. But there is another option you can chose. That is vegetable Oats Upma. This recipe is same as Upma, but oats replaced the semolina or coarsed rice. It takes 15-20 minutes to cook. It's healthy as well.

    Here's a step by step recipe for vegetable oats Upma.

There are other recipes like Vada, Puri and many more dishes.

If the dishes have ghee in their recipes, you can substitute with oil.

  • Both look very interesting and as something that I was looking for, thank you for sharing :) Jun 30, 2017 at 9:40
  • 2
    That dosa looks really delicious.
    – Pharap
    Jul 23, 2017 at 2:36
  • 1
    Poha and lemon rice should be listed with the indian options too :) Sep 9, 2017 at 9:33
  • @rackandboneman Definitely. Feel free to add your own answer. I will be one to vote on it.
    – Nog Shine
    Apr 6, 2018 at 18:12
  • Toast with hummus. You can even make a creamier spread with avocado and cucumbers.

  • Open a tomato, add stuffing and bake it, it's delicious. Here's a recipe (of course, don't add the cheese).

  • Garlic bread. Recipe is so simple I don't even need a link: mix vegetable oil (don't use coconut, though, the smell kinda ruins it) and smashed garlic on a frying pan, then heat it for 3 minutes. Spread it over bread, then broil it until the bread starts darkening. It's ready! For extra flavor, add a few sprinkles of olive oil and oregano.


Porridge (oatmeal) is a great Scottish staple. Cheap and convenient. You can make it fairly quickly on the stove or faster in the microwave with water or plain unsweetened soy/almond/rice milk. Fresh fruits are a healthy topping in moderation but seeds are also an option for something less sweet.

  • 1
    You can also make oatmeal more savory by adding roasted vegetables and complementary herbs rather than fruit. I've encountered a few veg* places that offer seasonal savory oatmeal in this fashion. Feb 7, 2017 at 16:58
  • Thanks Ben, I hadn't considered this. Actually, I tend to use treacle/molasses and yoghurt in addition to fruits. Great stodgy breakfast if you've struggled to keep weight on like I have. Although, these don't fit the OP's non-sweet vegan question so I've omitted them. "Healthy" is relative but porridge is a great versatile option for many tastes. It's also low FODMAP and (arguably) gluten-free so almost anyone could give it a try.
    – Tom Kelly
    Feb 11, 2017 at 8:53
  • Porridge isn't Scottish, it predates Scotland. Oat porridge has been found in 5,000 year old Neolithic bog bodies, whereas Scotland's recorded history only goes back as far as the 1st century when it was Caledonia, inhabited by the picts (the Scoti didn't arrive until the Roman Empire started to withdraw from the rest of Britain).
    – Pharap
    May 16, 2019 at 23:28

A typical Israeli breakfast can easily be made vegan: Israeli salad (finely chopped cucumber, tomato and onion with some olive oil and a bit of lemon), a few slices of bread and a savory spread (hummus, tahini, baba ghanoush, mashed avocado, olive tapenade, pesto, sun-dried tomato spread and so on).

  • Welcome to Veg.se! Nice first post!
    – Riker
    Aug 17, 2017 at 22:56

I know I'm late to the party, but I've thought of a nice little curveball.

Sushi! (Which does actually mean 'rice'.)

Kappa Maki

For example, there's kappamaki, a type of sushi consisting of:

  • nori* (a kind of seaweed)
  • sushi rice
  • strips of cucumber

It's named after a kind of water-dwelling 'demon' called a Kappa that tries to snatch and drown children. This is because for some inexplicable reason Kappa love cucumbers.

Naturally you can create your own mixtures.

Some veg*n sushi ingredients:

  • Avacados
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Lotus root
  • Spinach
  • Carrot
  • Pickled radish
  • Pickled plums (umeboshi)

Alternatives for seaweed include thin omelette, soy paper or shisho leaves (ironically known as the "beefsteak plant").

Also, add soy sauce and wasabi to flavour.

* Other kinds would probably be fine too. Get whatever you believe is least disruptive to wildlife, or perhaps substitute with something similar, like a savoury leafy vegetable.

  • Sushi means "rice seasoned with vinegar" (not onigiri or sashimi) and it is traditionally served with eggs, fish and seafood (Japanese language is highly contextual). In Japan, nigiri sushi is more common than maki rolls and avocado, carrot, or capsicum are not traditional ingredients (although common western countries) nor is it a traditional breakfast. These are good recommendations but this answer is factually inaccurate. Japanese cuisine often uses seafood or fish-based seasoning and is rarely vegan or vegetarian.
    – Tom Kelly
    May 9, 2019 at 2:28
  • 2
    @TomKelly Traditionally maybe not, but we live in an era where people can disregard tradition and make whatever modern changes they want to 'traditional' dishes. How exactly is what I'm saying factually incorrect? I never said that all sushi is vegetarian/vegan, nor did I say it was a traditional breakfast. If it were traditionallly eaten for breakfast then this answer wouldn't be "a curveball". I will remove 'traditional' from my example ingredients list, but no more. And for the record, many Japanese Buddhist monks have a vegitarian diet.
    – Pharap
    May 9, 2019 at 22:13
  • You are free to make your own choices about your diet and lifestyle. However, this site as about facts not semantics. You chose to claim that these ingredients were "traditional" (spreading this myth) when it was neither accurate nor relevant to the question. Japanese sushi is almost exclusively seafood-based, although there are many dishes influenced by it that are not. Shojin Ryori is very rare and is a completely unrelated to sushi that happens to be from the same country, this is illogical (it is like claiming hamburgers are vegetarian because some Americans eat felafel).
    – Tom Kelly
    May 10, 2019 at 1:36
  • 2
    @TomKelly Actually, I believe I started out with traditional ingredients and added some non-traditional ingredients and then forgot to remove the 'traditional' part. You seem to have taken umbrage at the use of a single word in a single sentence and inferred all sorts of things that I have not at any point said. I repeat: At no point did I claim that all sushi is vegetarian. Some sushi is vegetarian, just as some burgers are vegetarian. Also using non-traditional ingredients does not suddenly mean it's not sushi, and at no point in my answer did I even mention Japan.
    – Pharap
    May 10, 2019 at 23:19

Hashbrowns are one of my favorites. They are just shredded and fried potatoes. My wife likes to steam the potatoes the night before and refrigerate them before shredding them, but it's not really necessary.

Grits works too, if you are into food from the South Eastern US. You can eat them sweet or savory.

I also love biscuits and gravy. And yes, though sausage gravy is traditional, you can make it vegetarian with soy milk, and oil instead of butter. Veggie sausage is optional.


For breakfast I often use non-sweet spreads, smoked and sliced tofu or even vegan sausage. So my breakfast is not so different from my non-vegan times, except from cheese - there's nearly no edible vegan cheese around so far. :)


My non-sweet breakfast is black beans and a tomato sandwich with olive oil.


Vegan Fry Up/Vegan English Breakfast:

(you can thank me later - this is what I have pretty much every weekend)

Ingredients I usually use:

- Beans in tomato sauce
- Sliced mushrooms fried in olive oil and garlic or one whole portobello mushroom
  grilled with a little bit of olive oil sprinkled on top
- Vegan sausages
- Hashbrowns
- Spinach (fried with olive oil and garlic)
- A slice of bread

Of course you can go all in and add more stuff i.e. tofu scramble, vegan bacon etc. (Pro tipp: look for all organic ingredients.)

Actually I found a recipe here, I havenĀ“t tried it out myself yet but it looks pretty decent (including tofu scramble and vegan bacon) - Ultimate Vegan Cooked Breakfast

Also - this sort of breakfast is probably not for everyday, it is more a weekend thing, at least for me. It takes a while to prepare and it is a bit heavy but will keep you full for the day. The trick when cooking is, to have everything ready and hot when you serve it. Enjoy


Clearly you're not British ;-)


The original

Marmite is a savoury spread which goes well on toast. If you're looking for something salty instead of sweet to have for breakfast, this is a great option. For variety, you can also have grilled marmite: put it on a piece of bread before it goes under the grill.

The only problem with this is that it's not easy to find outside of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and maybe some other Commonwealth countries. However, your profile description says you're in the UK, so you should be able to find Marmite in any major supermarket:

Tesco's Asda's Sainsbury's Morrison's


If you want to have an easy solution in the morning and are not super-awake to cook and fry a lot yet ( like me...) then you could buy or prepare your own spreads. I don't know where you live but in my area bread-spreads are getting really common (e.g. hummus, but also other kinds of spread). If you want to prepare your own spread then there are plenty of options and you can store them hygienically in jars.

This spread can be kept upt to two weeks in the fridge and has a nice savory taste.

Another tip: If you can get smoked salt or smoked parika powder then you can add a savory taste (probably umami) easily to many dishes.


A few more indian-style options, that are often found recommended as great for breakfast in indian recipe collections:

  • Lemon rice. Cooked rice, which can be day-old if you are observing food safety recommendations about refrigeration but not cultural prohibitions against using leftover food, is refreshed with a tempering of urad dal (might want to soak them a bit if they get too crunchy), a few hot peppers, hing, turmeric, curry leaves, and optionally some nuts and/or peanuts (store bought salted peanuts work great). Then, lime juice is added to taste. While not 100% traditional, coconut oil works great for the tempering. Adding the rice to a big hot pan in which you set up the tempering, then sauteeing the whole for a minute or two works great - avoid cooking the life out of the lime/lemon juice, add it in the very end.

  • Other cooked rice + tempering based dishes. Be aware that different rice types have very different glycemic index, which could make a big difference in breakfast suitability.

  • Poha (pressed rice flakes) with whatever addins and spices you like. Has the advantage over normal rice that no lengthy cooking and resting is required.

  • If you want something reasonably heavy and protein rich: Besan ka cheela, savoury chickpea flour pancakes. You can add finely chopped vegetables and ground seasonings (kitchen king masala works well, some ajowan works well, as should curry or sambhar powders).

  • Flatbreads (like roti) - the dough can be stored pre-balled a day or a few in the refrigerator, and once you have them rolled and in a hot pan (no oil, no nonstick pans!), they cook in a minute or two each. Great with chutneys, yoghurt (non-dairy works, but do try several brands - some work great, some don't - with or without veg/spices added), some achar, some fresh veg, or even non-indian style pickles (eg olives, diverse middle eastern style cold condiments...)

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