15 Paleo egg-Free breakfast ideas

Admin Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), Featured 62 Comments

Many of you know that my new book, Practical Paleo, contains a 30-Day Meal Plan to support Autoimmune Conditions. The meal plan excludes a lot of commonly gut/immune-system irritating foods: grains, legumes, dairy, nuts, seeds, nightshades… and eggs!

For most folks, the plan is tough enough when it comes to avoiding nightshades – they are seemingly in everything… especially spice blends! But the more upsetting notion of giving up eggs – and you wouldn’t believe how many people are sensitive to eggs, not just those with autoimmunity – is just heart breaking.

Well, I’m here today to tell you that there is hope – and life beyond eggs for breakfast.

While I can’t possibly fit every recipe here in this post, I wanted to show you a lot of examples of egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, and so on… paleo-friendly breakfasts. You can make these on your own using recipes you have or find, or you can grab a copy of Practical Paleo to find a very clearly laid out Paleo Autoimmune Protocol meal plan that includes a lot more than just meals.

Each 30-Day Meal Plan in Practical Paleo contains the following sections:

  • an overview of the condition(s) or goal for which the plan has been created.
  • diet and lifestyle recommendations in an add [+] / avoid [-] list format
  • nutritional supplements and herbs to consider – these are not prescriptive but guidelines and information to begin your own research and create a plan for yourself
  • supportive nutrients and foods that contain them – nutrients your body especially needs for your condition or goals, and where to find them in foods (food is awesome like that)
  • 30 days of meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner or meal 1, meal 2, meal 3) based primarily upon recipes in the book, with some basics thrown in and adequate use of leftovers so you don’t need to cook every meal of every day – you’re welcome

So, without any more introduction, here’s a list of 15 Paleo Egg-Free Breakfast Ideas (safe for those following a Paleo Autoimmune Protocol):

  1. Mustard glazed chicken thighs*, baked sweet potato or green vegetable, raw sauerkraut*
  2. Italian Sausage Patties* (home made from ground pork or other meat plus spice blend), Swiss Chard, Avocado, raw sauerkraut*
  3. Ground beef with curry spice and cinnamon, butternut squash
  4. Bacon wrapped chicken thighs* make the recipe linked without red pepper spices, plantains in coconut oil or steamed spinach
  5. Ground lamb with Moroccan spices and baked sweet potato, sweet potato hash or greens, raw sauerkraut*
  6. Wild canned salmon with chopped avocado, olives, and lemon juice
  7. Ground beef cooked with chopped bacon (cook with with sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cinnamon) and spaghetti squash
  8. Baked acorn squash with coconut butter and cinnamon*, bacon or breakfast sausage
  9. Lemon rosemary broiled salmon* with baked asparagus or steamed spinach
  10. Baked chicken thighs with curry powder and cinnamon spice, green apple, Swiss chard, raw sauerkraut*
  11. Greek style lamb meatballs with Mashed Faux-Tatoes* (cauliflower puree) or steamed cauliflower
  12. Smoked salmon nori (seaweed) hand roll* – with avocado, cucumber, and chives or green onions
  13. Sweet potato hash with ground pork or beef, onions, garlic, rosemary, raw sauerkraut*
  14. Baked chicken (with rosemary, sea salt, and black pepper) with Garlic & Dill Vegetables, raw sauerkraut*
  15. Turkey and bacon club salad

* items with an asterisk have recipes within Practical Paleo, or simply use the idea to inspire your own creative new recipe!

Note: These 15 paleo egg-free breakfast ideas are also grain-free, nut-free, seed-free, nightshade-free, dairy-free and sugar-free!

What are some of your own favorite Egg-free Paleo Breakfast Ideas?

  • Cat

    Hmmm, interesting, but I just cannot stomach “dinner” type foods at breakfast. Can’t do it. Would puke. My breakfasts are either a smoothie with fresh fruit/protein powder/coconut milk, or “Paleo cereal” — handful each of almonds and walnuts, topped with fresh fruit (half a banana, 3 or so strawberries, and a little frozen fruit, topped with coconut milk. Or “Paleo Porridge”, a half cup almond meal, half cup unsweetened applesauce, microwaved til warm, topped with fruit (usually frozen berries). Oh, how I wish I could do more veggies, eggs and “dinner” foods, but I just can’t.

    • Jenna

      Same here…I cannot in any way possible ever eat heavy dinner type foods for breakfast. I need something light which is really best for first brush with morning light.

      • Melanie Savage

        Here’s a suggestion: work night shift for a while; you will learn that eating a hamburger tastes just as good at 7 am as it does at 7 pm, and if you are really, truly hungry, you’ll eat whatever is in front of you.

        Or how about quitting the focus on what you can’t have and get creative with all the wonderful stuff that you can? I do that– I try to figure out what it is I miss from SAD, and try to find an appropriate substitute or make a reasonable facsimile thereof in order to satisfy the cravings.

        Ham and eggs is your thing? Great! Try pork loin instead.
        If you’ve ever had a Denver omelette, then you’ve eaten a lot of vegetables for breakfast; just gradually increase your vegetable intake over time. After being on the Paleo meal program for a while, I started waking up really hungry; I never did on SAD. I eat fish, veg, nuts, fruit, salad– all sorts of things for breakfast to fuel me up first thing. It is normal to me now.

        What do you want? To feel great, have lots of energy, and get rid of symptoms OR do you want to gripe and make excuses why you can’t?

  • Nissa

    Im the opposite of Cat. :) I’m not a traditional breakfast food kind of gal, so to make sure I don’t skip breakfast, I eat whatever I’m in the mood for, usually supper leftovers. I do enjoy bacon and eggs from time to time, but it’s usually for lunch or dinner!

    • http://www.littlegreenbees.com Becca

      I agree! I think it’s so interesting how diverse folks’ tastes are! I am not a fan of sweet for breakfast. My husband and I had leftover Taco Salad for breakfast the other morning!

  • http://www.bodhi-life.com/ Ashley

    What a timely post! I have been experimenting this week egg-less and primal.

    Here are some that I have come up with:

    Grain-free, egg-free banana bread:

    Blueberry Lava Porridge:

    Chia Seed Banana Pudding:

  • http://primalbritain.wordpress.com Gary Conway

    I’m a big fan of this sort of food for breakfast – although a lot of the time its eggs & meat/fish because its quicker. Will try out some of these recipes or try prepping the night before. I know quite a lot of people who complain about lack of recipe ideas and dont want to eat eggs every morning.

  • Meredith

    Just had a kale, avocado, coconut milk, ginger smoothie…

  • http://aseafish.blogspot.com aseafish

    Love these ideas. This is probably the first section I read in your book. Admitting I needed to try an autoimmune protocol has been one of the hardest steps for me. Your suggestions and menu ideas are such a help.

    • http://www.primalonadime.com Carolyn

      Totally agree with you. The autoimmune section of the book has been super helpful for me. The ideas are very useful, but I’m having a hard time sticking to it. Have you started the protocol yet?

  • Laura West Kong

    Love a green smoothie with coconut milk, baby spinach, and fruit!

  • Janis

    It’s interesting that you mention this, because I have to admit I was feeling the same way. Like, dang! That’s what makes this (insert whatever recipe) so yummy, for instance the eggs or particular spice. I agree, that trying the AI protocol is probably going to be pretty challenging, but necessary to do. Plus, having the garden full of those nightshades veggies and a husband who is not totally on board with Paleo is a challenge. Diane, I do have a question though. When I purchased a 1/4 of a cow they also gave us “knuckle” bones for my dog. Lucky him. But, I noticed that you use them in your bone broth. I guess I should take them from him in order to make yummy bone broth?? Sorry pup! Thank you for helping all of us Diane!

  • http://www.paleobydiana.com Diana

    Ground flaxseed is an egg replacer. One tablespoon of flaxseed to.. hmm I can’t remember how much water – it’s early! :) Use it in your paleo baked goods for a treat… I mean, if you like bread type things for breakfast :) Smoothies are great too. Egg and dairy free, use hemp, coconut, or almond milk, add berries and nuts, coconut chips and eat blended or as is.


    • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

      I think it works for about one egg or so, but then it doesn’t work for an egg-based recipe, ya know?

      That said, these recommendations are also all grain, nut, seed, nightshade and dairy-free as well for those who need to be! Not easy, but not impossible!!

  • http://www.sheshesglutenfree.com Sheila Hunt

    I love, love, love these ideas. I had to retrain myself to think about non traditional breakfast foods and I really enjoy it. I enjoy having a slice of left over meatloaf for breakfast. But it probably helps because I don’t crave a lot of sweets. My big sweet type craving is dark chocolate and a little of that goes a long way for me.
    Thank you for educating all of us and helping us think outside of the box.

  • http://www.primalonadime.com Carolyn


    • http://www.primalonadime.com Carolyn

      Oh, and I guess I like any type of stew for breakfast too – I make a big pot over the weekend that way it is ready to go in the morning. Heat it up in a small pot on the stovetop while I’m packing lunch. Easy.

  • http://diabeticpaleo.wordpress.com/ Nathalie

    I really love salmon as a breakfast food. I also like pastured sausages, without the casing with a bit of mustard. So delicious!

  • ~Kate F.

    Okay..so I need to buy the book now. lol. Love these ideas!

  • Sara

    I have found it semi impossible to find bacon that isn’t loaded with sugar and a long list of chemical sounding names. Even the ones that don’t have all the additives still seem to contain some form of sweetener. Clearly you have a source because you use it a lot in the above list :-) Where are you finding this happy bacon? Please share!

    • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

      I am not concerned with the sugar content in bacon since those ingredients are used as part of the curing method and only trace amounts actually may remain in the finished product. I actually prefer my bacon that has some brown sugar or maple sugar in the cure as I think it’s quite tasty 😉 I tend to get bacon from Prather Ranch Meat Company (Range Brothers Brand) if I’m in San Francisco and I do tend to buy a lot and bring it home with me frozen. Yes, really 😉

      I also get some from US Wellness Meats – with the sugar/honey in the cure, as well as from some local pig farmers, again with sugar in the cure.

      I honestly don’t think the sugar used in curing bacon is to be of concern, even to a diabetic.

      I hope this helps! Perhaps check out my bacon post for more info on my stance on bacon in general.


  • Jenna

    I think I have a ton of problems with my entire body (so much digestive distress) but my doctors are useless and I’m on financial assistance and can’t afford supplements or natural health practitioners :(

    I also suspect I’m allergic to eggs (and other things…I’m not paleo by the way)…the reason paleo is intimidating to me or seemingly impossible is because I am quite underweight as it is and I live in the middle of nowhere where you cannot find grassfed or organic or horomone free…
    So I occasionally buy chicken, I eat a lot of eggs, fish, dairy, dark chocolate, gluten free grains, nuts, nut butters, veggies, a ton of fruit, lots and lots of fats (oils, avocados)…but I don’t know how I’d ever mentally pursue paleo and not lose more weight (and energy)…I don’t have the money or location or resources to access those kinds of things…

    • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

      Jenna- check out this post: http://balancedbites.com/2012/06/paleo-perfectionism.html

      It’s more important for your body’s healing that you eliminate irritating foods than it is to be “perfectly Paleo” with regards to grass-fed, organics, etc.

      We’ve also covered the topic of gaining weight on Paleo on the podcast a few times I think- check out the Podcast archives for the topic to find where to listen.

  • http://realfoodroots.com Kasey @realfoodroots

    Great ideas! Lately I’ve been loving beef stew meat chunks cooked in ghee with onion and cabbage. I just throw it in a frying pan on the stove and check on it periodically while I’m getting dressed. Really quick and easy! I’m so glad I’ve gotten over breakfast needing to be “breakfast foods.”

  • http://www.xtasix.net/ Tommy

    Thanks for the tips. Number 13 works for me, I love eating sweet potatoes.

  • http://www.vanhove.com Steve VanHove

    These all sound great, but seriously, who has the time to prepare them? And I work from home and I am up early and I still wouldn’t be able to do it. Often I’m having just a slice of bacon and some fruit.

  • http://Simplicityofwellness.com Amy

    LOVE, love, love dinner food for breakfast and sometimes breakfast food for dinner. I’m always happy when my fridge is full of left overs (not often enough) so I can eat whatever it is I’m in the mood for at whatever time of day it is.

  • http://www.sunnyseattlerose.com Rose Hawley

    What is your take on seed based seasonings? My understanding is that there are no nut or seeds on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. Mustard is made from mustard seed. So I eliminated it. Am I taking the no seed thing too far? How does one decide?

    Thanks for any insight!


    • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

      I have not heard folks having issues this far down the pipeline into seed-based seasonings, but it may be worth a shot AFTER a more basic AI protocol as it is already quite limiting. I don’t know how rich in anti-nutrients spice seeds are versus others, but it’s a great question and worth researching further.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mathgirl.jk Jennifer Kingsley

      Rose, I know Mustard Seed is on the Avoid List according to Paleo Mom: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/07/spices-on-autoimmune-protocol.html I have the same question about mustard, since it would be made from mustard seed.

      • http://twitter.com/balancedbites Diane Sanfilippo

        I think it really depends on the person here. I have not heard many folks struggling by continuing to include some spices that are seed-derived, but certainly if you think you are not feeling optimal, it’s worth looking into.

    • http://twitter.com/balancedbites Diane Sanfilippo

      I think it’s a very individual thing- and most folks on AI already feel so limited that it is too far for them, but if you are suffering and want to try removing them to see if it helps, then it’s worth it I think.

  • emily

    These are just dinners.

    • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

      See my note below in response to Jessica.

  • Jessica

    How about actual breakfasts?

    These are all “dinner” dishes. And while there should be some overlap and less rigidity about what’s “breakfast” and “dinner” (or even “lunch”) in our culture, most people don’t handle breaking fast with a larger, heavier meal easily. Or the time. Most of these would take approximately an hour in the morning. Scrambling eggs and bacon is 20 minutes tops. The speed is a lot of reason why people struggle with giving up cereal in the morning, because it’s that or don’t eat.

    • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

      Here’s the thing about breakfast: we are the only animals on the planet who eat something different for a morning meal. It’s a marketing ploy and a completely warped concept of food – ie: pastries, something sweet, only egg-based foods – and it’s something we need to break. I am sitting here eating leftover quail from last night’s dinner as we speak! I know it can be tough at first to break out of the habit, and certainly restaurants offer standard egg-and-sweets-based breakfast options, but the reality is that for folks who can’t eat eggs, other food will have to do. I am not the type to transform all kinds of baked goods into egg-free options for folks simply to play into the societal idea of breakfast. Change your thoughts to make this whole thing easier. If your mindset creates more barriers than are necessary, it will only serve to make things harder!

      I don’t recommend that folks are cooking all of these things in the morning, by the way, I definitely think that most of this food can be used as pre-made or leftovers from the night before. Fish takes about 6-10 minutes to cook in an oven on bake or broil, so it’s fast to cook fresh.

      • Nelly Zoric

        Awesome comment….truth :-)

      • Meg Otieno-Scaison

        One thing about your dinner breakfasts is that they are all strongly flavored and very spiced and involve heated fats, all of which tear up my stomach if I eat them in my first meal. I need something bland and cushiony, like oatmeal used to be. Also, variety is so limited in this diet that eating leftovers of the most recent meal can be VERY disheartening.

      • Meg Otieno-Scaison

        One thing about your dinner breakfasts is that they are all strongly flavored and very spiced and involve heated fats, all of which tear up my stomach if I eat them in my first meal. I need something bland and cushiony, like oatmeal used to be. Also, variety is so limited in this diet that eating leftovers of the most recent meal can be VERY disheartening.

  • Catherine

    I would love to try this protocol, and I’ve cut out nightshades, but there is no way that I can afford to eat this way for breakfast. Eggs are cheap and a good source of fat and protein…I’ve stretched my budget quite a bit to allow a larger food budget but there is no more room.

    I am unsure that I’ve a problem with eggs anyway, though it is hard to say since I do have/have had more than open auto-immune and gut problem in the past. All has died down however, outside of psoriasis (which has been around since birth).

    Would one of the other protocols be helpful for that that allows eggs?

    • http://www.balancedbites.com admin

      “No way that I can afford to eat this way for breakfast.” I would honestly challenge that. There are a LOT of ways to get around eggs for breakfast and they don’t need to mean 100% grass-fed, pastured food sources. I might consider BPA-free canned wild salmon or sardines.

      For psoriasis, I would strongly recommend eliminating eggs.

  • Nicole

    I’m slowly but surely getting myself out of the “breakfast food” mindset, but it hasn’t been easy. I pretty much threw a tantrum worthy of a three year old when I finally accepted that eating standard issue paleo wasn’t enough to address my health issues (PCOS, hypothyroidism, eczema). Really though, I’ve realized you have to get past the fact that it’s just not fair, suck it up and make changes if your health and wellbeing is important enough to you.

    Nightshades haven’t been terribly difficult but I do find I really miss spicy food. I’ve played around with schezuan pepper and horseradish, but I do miss chiles.

    My favorite non-egg breakfasts are sausage and veggies or a coconut milk smoothie. I’ve also recently got into homemade pho–I then get a good dose of bone broth, I can toss in veggies and it’s super easy to reheat. Actually takes me less time than eggs did!

    I do have a question though . . . how often would you recommend testing foods to see if you can tolerate them again? I’m hopeful I can reintroduce some things over time, but I’m not sure of when.

  • Alona

    Hey Diane!

    I’ve been following your autoimmune protocol for several weeks now and have seen great improvements in my eczema. I had cut out curry because most curry has red pepper in it. I see you included curry here, though. Do you think the small amount of red pepper in curry powder might not bother people? Or is it more of a try-it-and-see thing?


    • Meg Otieno-Scaison

      There’s none in the madras curry powder I use.

  • http://www.healthyservesone.wordpress.com Madeleine

    Like others, I’m trying to get out of the “breakfast foods” mindset as I transition to a more paleo diet. Step by step as NKOTB once said.
    I did try the mustard glazed chicken for dinner last night and it was super delish! No leftovers unfortunately for breakfast this morning. Practical Paleo is a great book, I’ve learned a lot and I’m looking forward to exploring more of the recipes. Thanks Diane!!

  • Jacqueline Nihipali

    I about cried when I read that I should not eat eggs on the Paleo Diet. I have multiple sclerosis and have been trying to follow the Paleo Diet… this no egg thing breaks my heart. I cannot eat heavy dinner stuff as well. So hard… and just gets harder. :(

  • Deanna

    Breakfast has always been the hardest meal of the day because I don’t like traditional breakfast foods including eggs. I love these ideas and have learned to always save myself leftovers to eat for breakfast. I feel like it is an indulgence to eat my favorite foods for breakfast and gets my day off to a great start. Thanks.

  • Jennifer L.

    Just the thing I was looking for–it’s one thing to feed myself dinner for breakfast, it’s a different story trying to wrap my brain around feeding my egg-intolerant kids semi-unusual foods first thing in the morning. This list helps! Thanks!

  • PT

    For the hard-to-transision-from-warm-comfy-quick-breakfast-crowd: Try SOUP! I learned this after a difficult 1st week on 21DSD before. Make a pot of veggie soup – chick broth or bone broth based, your choice of veggies, but leave out any meat.

    Day 1, pour a bowl for the microwave & throw in some chicken strips. Day 2, add ground beef to your morning portion,
    Day 3, add some leftover stew meat, etc. This way you get variety, rapid food, instant comfort.

    Diane, it might help those of us struggling with AI to get your daily email (wonderful support, btw) that DOESN’T show us pics of 25 egg dishes on the Get Pinspired link. I almost cry when I see it every day.

    • http://www.balancedbites.com Diane

      Thanks for the ideas, and the comment! Unfortunately, the program is SO broad-based that we include all foods that are approved in the daily emails. We may create tracks in the future that are more targeted- thanks for the feedback!

      • PT

        Thanks for answering, Diane, but I don’t think you realize your daily email carries a Pinterest Photo – which depicts 6 breakfasts – 5 of them really lucious looking EGGS! (hardly broad-based)

        It arrives EVERY day – in the MORNING – which is what makes ignoring those eggs so hard.

        I tried to attach a photo to this, but it won’t take. To see it, you have to SCROLL DOWN THE EMAIL – IT’S NEAR THE BOTTOM.

        Your daily emails ARE a big help to us strugglers… which is why that photo is so tough to take. It’s as if you sent us a Daily Photo of An ICE CREAM SUNDAE COVERED IN CHOCOLATE & NUTS.

        Thanks for all you do to help us, though,

    • Meg Otieno-Scaison

      Do you just prepare ground beef and chicken strips and stew meat and keep them in the fridge to put in stuff? What do you put the stew meat in, if not soup? What;s the difference between the stew you put the stew meat in and this soup you are putting it in?

  • http://rebootedbody.com/ Kevin Geary

    In other words, eat dinner. 😉

    • balancedbites

      You could look at it that way. Many other cultures don’t eat typical “breakfast” foods for breakfast. Our idea of breakfast is largely just societal norm and marketing nonsense.

  • Jess Turton

    I think people need to take a step back from judging whether these recipes are dinner or lunch or breakfast recipes. They are simply ideas for great wholesome foods that support the AI protocol. If you eat them at 11am as opposed to 7am would it make them acceptable? Not being able to stomach ‘heavy’ meals first thing is entirely psychological, it’s a mindset, and much like any mindset it IS changeable. But hey, if you don’t like it, you can just eat something lighter. Nuts, berries, jerky, maybe some leftover cooked chicken scrambled with some grated apple and cinnamon in a pan? Great suggestion on smoothies as well. It’s all about priorities, your health or foods that you like? Like new foods, make different foods your favourite. Break your fast with something substantial that will keep you going through the day, if you skip lunch because your too busy you’ll be glad :) Instead of thinking ‘I can’t have this’, think ‘I can eat all these foods to make me well’, Change your thoughts, change your world people :)

    • Meg Otieno-Scaison

      Why look for time-specific foods? Because there are only a tiny amount of foods we can eat, and if we eat that same meal three times a day, anorexia starts to seem more apealling. We need more variety because this is CRAZY-DEPRESSING.

  • Joanne Cotton

    thank you, thank you! I recently discovered that eggs are the trigger for my eczema and I am no dairy because I am nursing my daughter who is sensitive to all dairy. It is hard to find grain free, dairy free, and egg free breakfasts, or any other yummy food for that matter. I had become very cranky in the morning and stressed because there was “nothing” I could eat in the morning. Thanks for the list, and I just got your book in the mail last night so I am excited to stop starving myself :)

  • http://paleolifestylehub.com/ Paleo Lifestyle Hub

    Eggs has been a regular food item on our breakfast table, not only because it is the easiest thing to prepare, it is budget friendly and I have to admit when I cannot think of other recipes it is the easiest recourse. Thank you for coming up with this “egg-free” breakfast recipe. My kids will surely welcome this change, its about time I try interesting and more creative recipes. I am so excited to try them out. :)

  • Meg Otieno-Scaison

    I notice that none of your breakfast ideas are, well, breakfasty- they are all identical to dinners for regular-diet people. Have you come up with anything that is different than that?

  • Audrey

    I’ve recently been juicing to try to clear up my skin. I’ve now seen a dermatologist who suggested the AIP. After seeing these suggestions for breakfast and reading some of the comments about wanting “real” breakfast, I’ve considered sticking to my juice for the morning and following the AIP for lunch and dinner. That way I won’t feel like I’ve had dinner for breakfast.

  • Brenda Larkins Petzold

    The thanksgiving stuffing meatballs and the bacon wrapped chicken thighs say breakfast to me. They can be made ahead of time and I even like them cold. They can be frozen, thawed and reheated in minutes. Fast on the go breakfast. And when I want a treat breakfast its moonless chocolate mousse.

  • Amanda

    I really like “breakfast foods” first thing in the morning, I don’t want to be judged for that. I haven’t eaten eggs since I was a child so I have lots of egg free breakfast ideas. My favorite is diced sweet potato, ham, onions, mushrooms, and whatever other veggies I have on hand, all cooked in a pan together until the sweet potato is soft. That satisfies my breakfast craving and I could eat it every day. I also like smoked salmon, just eat it right out of the package. Sometimes I just have 6 slices of bacon and that fills me up until noon. Sweet potato hash browns and sausage are great, with a side of some sauteed veggies maybe. And not everyone can have it, but goats milk yogurt is great too.