15 Low-Sugar Breakfast Recipes to Start Your Day Off Right

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and everyone knows that consuming too much sugar can wreak havoc on your body. If you’re looking for some creative low-sugar breakfast recipes that won’t cause you to crash and burn before noon, we’ve got the goods. Read on for everything you need to know about daily sugar intake, plus a host of truly tasty breakfast dishes that have only natural sugars or less than 15 grams of the added stuff per serving.

How Much Sugar Should You Aim For In a Day?

If you’re wondering what the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) is for sugar, we’re sorry to report that, well, there isn’t one. Indeed, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how much sugar you should consume in a day. That said, experts agree that added sugar (i.e., sugar that doesn’t occur naturally in food) should be kept to a bare minimum, while natural sugars are fair game—an important distinction to keep in mind when assessing your own diet.

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, no more than 10 percent of your daily caloric intake should come from added sugars (so, 200 calories or 50 grams of sugar per day on a 2,000 calorie per day diet). The American Heart Association has more conservative guidelines, recommending an upper limit of 100 calories or 24 grams of added sugar per day for most women.

As previously mentioned, natural sugars (found in fruit, vegetables, milk and some grains) are a very different story, and there are no upper limits on their consumption—namely because they are often good sources of dietary fiber and nutrients, and are processed by the body very differently than added sugars. Though it is technically possible to get too much of a good thing, the experts at WebMD say it’s highly unlikely that a person could achieve a problematic level of sugar consumption from natural sugars alone.

The takeaway? Steer clear of added sugar, but don’t sweat the natural stuff found in fruits, veggies or milk. And if you have diabetes, remember that the most important thing is to monitor your blood glucose levels according to your doctor’s instructions, because those can be influenced by a variety of foods (including fruit) and they’re a very big deal for your health.

11 Low-Sugar Cereals, So You Can Enjoy Your Fave Cereal Without an Energy Crash

Low Sugar Breakfast Recipes


1. Cranberry Walnut Grain-Free Granola

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, gluten free, dairy free
  • Sugar: 7 grams

This homemade granola is every bit as delicious as the overpriced store-bought stuff. Pair it with yogurt or eat it plain for a wholesome breakfast or any-time-snack.


2. Crispy Quinoa Cashew Granola

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, beginner-friendly
  • Sugar: 17 grams

Traditional granola has a denser crunch, but quinoa gives this homemade version a far lighter and crispier texture that’s truly addicting and pairs perfectly with the creamy, buttery richness of cashews.

Erin McDowell

3. Green Smoothie with Avocado and Apple

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, >10 ingredients
  • Sugar: 25 grams

Here, the creamy texture of avocado and the sweet-tart taste of Granny Smith apples do a bang-up job of concealing two nutritional powerhouses: spinach and chia seeds. Throw the precious few ingredients in your blender, drink it down and don’t be afraid of the sugar content—it’s all natural, baby.

Katherine Gillen

4. Leftovers Frittata

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, gluten-free, crowd-pleaser
  • Sugar: 3 grams

Clean out your fridge (you know you need to) the night before to make this highly customizable frittata, which tastes just as delicious the next morning…hot or cold.


5. Fried Egg Breakfast Tacos with Hot Honey

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <500 calories
  • Sugar: 6 grams

The decadence of runny egg yolk is offset by the freshness of scallion and cilantro and a teaspoon of kicky, chili-spiked honey in this twist on a classic hangover food. If you’re in the mood for a flavor bomb at breakfast, this one fits the bill.


6. Quick Congee

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make-ahead, high protein, customizable
  • Sugar: 8 grams

Congee, an Asian rice porridge dish, is usually time-consuming to prepare (think: risotto), but this recipe comes together in the blink of an eye, thanks to a little day-before prep. When serving, don’t skimp on the (customizable) garnishes—that’s where the fun is.

The Clean Plate

7. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients, vegan
  • Sugar: 26 grams

In case you need more proof that cauliflower can do anything and everything, try tossing it in your blender with some fresh fruit for a nutrient-packed breakfast you can drink on-the-go. (Again, the sugar content here is all natural, which you might have guessed since this recipe came straight from the health and wellness queen herself.)


8. Mini Spanish Tortilla with Zucchini

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, high protein
  • Sugar: 10 grams

Don’t be fooled by the name—this tortilla has nothing to do with the Mexican flatbread used for tacos, burritos and the like. A Spanish tortilla is actually a potato-packed frittata, and this single-serving version gets an extra flavor boost from slow-cooked yellow onion and zucchini. For best results, make it when summer squash is in season.


9. Baked Eggs in Avocado

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <30 minutes, <10 ingredients
  • Sugar: 1 gram

Creamy avocado, runny egg yolk, salty cheese—this low-sugar dish has all the makings of a truly divine breakfast. Plus, the preparation is ridiculously easy and the presentation is impressive enough to make a whole brunch party swoon.


10. Raspberry-Coconut Smoothie Bowl with Collagen

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, kid-friendly
  • Sugar: 22 grams

This creamy, raspberry-coconut smoothie bowl owes its sweet taste to the natural sugars found in the (aforementioned) fruit and features a generous scoop of collagen peptide power for an extra health boost that will make you go from grumpy to glowing in the morning.


11. Red Shakshuka

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, vegetarian
  • Sugar: 12 grams

For a breakfast that will make your palate sing without spiking your blood sugar, simply simmer a few eggs in this bold, harissa-spiked tomato sauce, sprinkle some fresh herbs on top for brightness and sop up every last bit of deliciousness with crusty bread. Easy peasy.


12. Breakfast Pizza

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, high protein
  • Sugar: 2 grams

There’s nothing wrong with eating a cold slice of last night’s pie and calling it breakfast. Still, this homemade number—featuring store-bought dough, creamy white sauce, cherry tomatoes, arugula and salty bacon—is a decidedly more sophisticated way to get your morning pizza fix.


13. Salmon and Smashed Cucumber Grain Bowls

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser, make-ahead
  • Sugar: 8 grams

Calling all savory breakfast lovers—this one’s for you. This satisfying bowl is packed with nutrients and flavor and can even be made-ahead for easy mornings. It’s got weekend brunch with the girls written all over it.


14. Quiche with Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Crust

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <500 calories, low carb
  • Sugar: 5 grams

The sweet potato crust of this sinfully rich quiche harmonizes beautifully with its fluffy egg filling of kale, leeks and gruyere cheese. Whatever you do, don’t skip the nutmeg—its warm flavor profile really ties the whole thing together.


15. Poached Egg with Frisée and Arugula Salad

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low carbs, <500 calories
  • Sugar: 3 grams

A snoozy frisée salad achieves main course status with some help from a beautifully prepared poached egg and a boldly flavored dijon vinaigrette…and we’ve never been more excited to eat our leafy greens.