Gluten-Free Vegetarian and Vegan Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

gluten-free cherry cheesecake
Cheesecake makes a nice ending for a gluten-free vegetarian brunch.. Getty Images/James Baigrie

Traditional breakfast or brunch dishes such as Western omelets, bacon, quiche and whole wheat muffins don't work very well when you're following a gluten-free vegetarian or vegan diet.

But luckily, the fact that your diet doesn't follow a conventional pattern allows you to discover some really delicious — and innovative — breakfast and brunch recipes.

In the list below, I've combined the sweet (vegetarian cheesecake and crêpes) with the savory (omelets, tofu scramble and avocado salad).

You can mix and match the recipes to create a world-class brunch for your friends, or you can pick and choose among them, depending on your mood on any particular day.

Here are my 10 favorite gluten-free vegetarian and vegan breakfast and brunch recipes:​

  • Avocado and Pomegranate Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette. It's hard to go wrong with this salad as part of your brunch -- the sweet-tartness of the pomegranate seeds blends almost perfectly with the smooth avocado and the fragrant cumin. Just make sure to use a safe brand of cumin -- my Gluten-Free Spices article can help you pick one.
  •  Protein-rich, gluten-free quinoa can help you get needed protein when you're eating gluten-free and vegetarian (read more about that here: Getting Enough Protein on a Gluten-Free Vegetarian or Vegan Diet). Just make sure to use a gluten-free soy milk if you want to keep this recipe vegan.
  • Vegan Broccoli Quiche. It wouldn't be brunch without quiche, right? If you agree, then this tofu-based quiche should be a hit regardless of whether you're a gluten-free vegan or vegetarian. Just make sure to use a gluten-free pie crust (I explain where to find them here: Gluten-Free Pie Crusts Galore!)
  • Greek Omelet with Artichokes. This substantial omelet -- it comes out shaped more like a wedge than a saucer -- makes abundant use of Greek artichokes, which are in season in the spring but can be purchased frozen year-round.
  • Vanilla-Flax French Toast. Here, you take French Meadow's certified gluten-free Multigrain Bread and add eggs, milk, flax and vanilla (I like Singing Dog's Alcohol-Free Pure Vanilla) to make French toast that would be equally at home in a family weekend breakfast or a luxurious holiday brunch.

    Hosting the Perfect Gluten-Free Vegetarian or Vegan Brunch

    So how should you pull all this together when you're having some friends over for brunch?

    I think people tend to plan too many dishes when they're holding a brunch — I know I've done that. Therefore, I'm inclined to advise cutting back on the variety (learn from my mistakes!) and to focus on a few important things: a couple of exquisite recipes, plus good gluten-free coffee (which rules out most flavored coffees, by the way).

    To me, this means serving one grain-heavy dish (muffins, crêpes, French toast or English muffins), one protein-rich dish (omelet, quiche or tofu scramble), plus either a salad or a dessert (cheesecake?). If you throw in a bowl of fresh melon or berries (whatever looks the best in the store the day before), your guests should have plenty to eat ... and hopefully will rave about your brunch for days to come.

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