Breakfast Foods and Their Calories

40 Breakfast Foods Ranked by Their Calorie Count

View Slideshow
Breakfast Foods and Their Calories


With our increasingly busy lives, breakfast is one meal that we often don't give much thought to as we're rushing to get out the door. And while nutritionists continue to debate whether the first meal of the day is the most important, most of us prefer to have something to eat to get us through the morning -- but the amount of calories each breakfast option contains varies widely. To help you figure out which breakfast options are right for you, we ranked the most common breakfast foods by calorie count using the USDA's Food-A-Pedia guide, which allows you to compare the nutrition information on thousands of foods.

Smoked Salmon


Serving Size: 1 Ounce
Calories: 33
Calories from Saturated Fat: 2
Smoked salmon and lox (the salted variation) are hugely popular brunch items and for good reason. Salmon provides a great source of protein that's low in calories and fat while offering healthy omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals. Just be mindful that the calories can increase the more you pile on at the buffet and lox contain a significant amount of salt for those on low-sodium diets.

Elena Veselova/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Medium Slice
Calories: 37
Calories from Saturated Fat: 9
One of America's favorite breakfast -- and really any time -- foods is deceptively low in calories. Keep in mind that you're rarely eating just one slice, so the calories can quickly add up when breakfasts often include three or four slices. Bacon also serves up a significant amount of calories from fat as well as sodium.

Breakfast Sausage
Nikola Bilic/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Medium Link
Calories: 44
Calories from Saturated Fat: 11
Beating out bacon in calorie count by just a bit, breakfast sausages are another item that can quickly add more calories as you're typically served two or more.



Serving Size: 1 Slice (white bread)
Calories: 69
Calories from Saturated Fat: 2
While a slice of toast is relatively low in calories, keep in mind that most breakfasts include two slices, and often with butter. Keep the calories low by sticking to just one slice and swap in jam for butter, which typically contains about half as many calories as butter (58 versus 102 per tablespoon). Also, consider trying whole grain or whole wheat bread as a healthy alternative as they contain more fiber and nutrients and will keep you full longer than white bread.

Africa Studio/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Medium (approx. 4 inches across)
Calories: 82
Calories from Saturated Fat: 0
Grapefruit is a great low-calorie breakfast option that's full of flavor, nutrients and fiber. Some people enjoy added sugar to sweeten the deal, but keep in mind that the sugar adds calories.

Fruit Salad


Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories: 91
Calories from Saturated Fat: 1
A fruit salad is a refreshing and low-calorie option for the morning that offers fiber and nutrients. Just keep in mind that they can also add a significant amount of sugar to your diet. Consider adding nuts, seeds and low-fat yogurt for a breakfast or healthy snack that will keep you full.



Serving Size: 1 Pancake (5-inches across)
Calories: 93
Calories from Saturated Fat: 4
You might expect pancakes to contain more calories, but keep in mind that the low number accounts for only one pancake -- and most people tend to have at least two or three. Plus adding just 1 tablespoon of maple syrup adds 52 calories.

Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 medium
Calories: 105
Calories from Saturated Fat: 1
Bananas are a classic breakfast favorite that are nutrient-rich, filling, and especially convenient when you're on the go. Consider adding bananas to low-fat yogurt or nut butter for a cheap and easy breakfast combination, just be aware that both will add to the calorie count.

Marie C Fields/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 biscuit (2" across)
Calories: 106
Calories from Saturated Fat: 2
A favorite addition to a country-style breakfast, especially in the South, biscuits are relatively low in calories. But be aware, you're typically served more than one, and often they come with butter, so opt for jam instead. And you'll often see biscuits paired with sausage gravy on menus, again especially in the South, but that combo will jump the calories up to 460.

Brandy McKnight/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories: 109
Calories from Saturated Fat: 1
Another staple of breakfasts in many parts of the South, grits -- coarsely ground cornmeal that's usually boiled -- are pretty low in calories when served plain. But keep in mind that they're usually made with butter and cheese added, which will triple the number of calories.

Breakfast365 29/365
Breakfast365 29/365 by "Lah-Rah" (None)


Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories: 110
Calories from Saturated Fat: 1
A smooth and mellow-tasting, cracked-wheat porridge, Cream of Wheat is a great nutrient-packed breakfast option. It's hearty and filling, and can be customized with sweet or savory seasonings and toppings.

Ildi Papp/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Crêpe (7 inches across)
Calories: 111
Calories from Saturated Fat: 15
The popular French pancakes are a light and low-calorie breakfast option, but be aware that typical fillings can quickly pack on more calories. A chocolate crepe checks in at 122 calories, while one with meat filling weighs in at around 245.



Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories: 113
Calories from Saturated Fat: 4
Cereal is a relatively low-calorie option to start your day, though it doesn't tend to keep you as full or pack as much nutrients when compared to oatmeal. You're probably best to stick with low-sugar options such as Cheerios.

Belgian Waffle
Olga Miltsova/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Waffle (4" square)
Calories: 115
Calories from Saturated Fat: 7
Belgian waffles may seem like a decadent breakfast, but on their own, they're relatively low in calories. It's when you start drowning them in whipped cream and other rich topping that the calories spike -- the common pairing of fried chicken with waffles adds an additional 364 calories. Whole grain waffles on the other hand offer a lower count of 87.

Fruit Smoothie
Africa Studio/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories: 130
Calories from Saturated Fat: 1
A fruit-only smoothie can be relatively low in calories. But keep in mind that most smoothies you encounter tend to be large, and some places use sherbet or frozen yogurt, which can increase the calories dramatically.

English Muffin
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Muffin
Calories: 132
Calories from Saturated Fat: 4
This classic British-inspired breakfast item has become a regular fixture for Americans in the morning. Perhaps surprisingly, a whole English muffin is actually lower in calories than two slices of toast. They also tend to contain more whole grains, as well as more vitamins and minerals than toast.

Fresh Mixed Berries and Yogurt
Ozgur Coskun/shutterstock


Serving Size: 8 ounces
Calories: 138
Calories from Saturated Fat: 43
Plain, whole-milk yogurt is a great, filling option to start the day and offers the chance to customize with additional toppings. If you opt for the fat-free version, the calorie count drops to around 127. Low-fat Greek yogurt has even fewer calories at 82.

Granola Bars
Elena Shashkina/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Bar (1.3 ounces)
Calories: 139
Calories from Saturated Fat: 5
An easy grab-and-go breakfast option for those in a rush, cereal bars with fruit fillings are fairly low in calories.

Scrambled Eggs


Serving Size: 2 Eggs
Calories: 142
Calories from Saturated Fat: 28
The easy and classic breakfast of two scrambled eggs offers plenty of filling protein, but also a fair amount of calories from fat. The same goes for other preparations such as over easy and sunny side up, as long as you're not putting in additional fats. You can dramatically cut the calorie number by opting for two egg whites, which are only 32 calories.

Bulk Up Breakfast
Alena Haurylik/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories: 143
Calories from Saturated Fat: 4
Oatmeal is a great option in the morning that doesn't add too many calories, yet tends to keep you full for a while. Plus there are endless variations for oatmeal toppings to keep things interesting.

French Toast


Serving Size: 1 Medium Slice
Calories: 159
Calories from Saturated Fat: 15
French toast is another breakfast option that seems indulgent, but doesn't have a tremendous amount of calories. Keep in mind, though, that you'll usually encounter more than one slice, and toppings like maple syrup and butter quickly increase the calorie count.

Cottage Cheese


Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories: 194
Calories from Saturated Fat: 20
Lower in calories than most other cheeses, cottage cheese has long been the popular option for health-conscious eaters. It offers a filling breakfast that's full of protein and other important nutrients. To keep the calories low, choose low-fat (1-2% fat) versions as ones made with whole milk have closer to 300 calories. And consider opting for low-sodium products if you're watching your salt intake.



Serving Size: 1 Doughnut (3¼" across)
Calories: 226
Calories from Saturated Fat: 35
A classic American breakfast favorite, doughnuts pack a big caloric punch for such a small package -- especially considering they usually show up by the dozen. Extreme varieties aside, regular cake, glazed, or powdered versions usually ring in around 226 calories, but once you venture into glazed and ones with custard or jelly filling, you can tack on an extra 15 to 25 calories for each one.



Serving Size: 1 Medium Size
Calories: 231
Calories from Saturated Fat: 60
Despite their light and flight appearance, croissants are made with plenty of butter and milk -- no wonder they taste so good -- which translates to more calories. If you opt for a chocolate croissant, you're usually looking at around 9 more calories. And the popular ham-and-cheese croissants contain around 338 calories.

Cold Pizza


Serving Size: 1 slice (1/8 of 12" pie)
Calories: 233
Calories from Saturated Fat: 35
A favorite quick breakfast option among teens, college students, and -- well, quite a few adults -- cold pizza packs in the calories, even with just one slice. But you wouldn't want those leftovers from your favorite pizza place to go to waste, right?

Avocado Toast


Serving Size: 1 Slice of Toast, 1/2 Avocado
Calories: 250
Calories from Saturated Fat: 30
Avocado toast is an inexpensive and flavorful breakfast option to make at home -- even if some people think millennials are spending too much money eating it at brunch. Avocados are filling and packed with plenty of nutrients and healthy fats, the key to keeping the calories down is just not going overboard with too much.

Cinnamon Bun
Maria Uspenskaya/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Medium Bun
Calories: 262
Calories from Saturated Fat: 65
Often a tempting breakfast pastry to grab on the go, cinnamon buns sneak in quite a few calories (not to mention sugar). Even if you skip the frosting, the calorie count is still around 223.

Huevos Rancheros
AS Food studio/shutterstock


Serving Size: 2 Eggs, Salsa, 2 Tortillas
Calories: 278
Calories from Saturated Fat: 36
A Mexican-inspired breakfast and brunch favorite, huevos rancheros offer a substantial amount of calories, but are also particularly filling and will last you until lunch.



Serving Size: 2 Large Eggs
Calories: 282
Calories from Saturated Fat: 98
Since they typically contain cheese and butter, omelets tend to bring quite a few calories to the table. When you add the ever popular ham to the mix, the count jumps to 464. If you're looking to reduce the calorie count, consider opting for one without cheese or fat and add in vegetables for a 171 calorie option. When you use egg whites, the count drops to just 24 calories.

Bagel with Cream Cheese
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


Serving Size: 4-ounce Bagel, 1 Tablespoon Cream Cheese
Calories: 320 (270 + 50)
Calories from Saturated Fat: 29 (4 + 25)
A hugely popular breakfast staple -- especially on the East Coast, but really all across the country these days -- bagels may be delicious, but they also contain quite a few calories. And cream cheese adds on an extra 50 calories per tablespoon. One bagel is roughly the caloric equivalent of eating four ½ pieces of bread.

Hash Browns
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories: 410
Calories from Saturated Fat: 26
Hash browns deliver plenty of flavor, but also a generous dose of calories -- especially considering they're typically just a side dish to what is probably already a hearty breakfast. If you're still craving a potato as part of your breakfast routine, consider trying a baked one, which only contains around 159 calories -- that is without adding butter or sour cream.

Blueberry Muffin


Serving Size: 1 Medium Muffin (113 grams)
Calories: 426
Calories from Saturated Fat: 27
Muffins are one of those grab-and-go breakfast items that seem like a healthy option, but deceptively contain a lot of calories. Even with otherwise healthy ingredients like blueberries, cranberries, bran, and carrots, you're still looking at well over 400 calories.

Steak and Eggs
Jacek Chabraszewski/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 medium steak, 2 eggs
Calories: 505 (363 + 142)
Calories from Saturated Fat: 62 (34 + 28)
Once a breakfast staple of classic American diners steak and eggs have largely fallen out of fashion, at least amongst the brunch crowd. But that's not to say they doesn't occasionally show up on a menu, tempting you with a hearty, high-calorie option. They're both also a good source of protein and nutrients, so you might not rule them out completely. Though if you're watching the calories, you may skip the extra fat or at least not choose the Southern favorite of chicken-fried steak, which contains 649 calories alone.



Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories: 597
Calories from Saturated Fat: 45
At first glance, granola seems like a healthy, low-calorie option, but most store-bought and even homemade recipes are really high in calories thanks to added sugar and saturated fats. Thankfully there are plenty of low-calorie granola recipes out there, so you can still get the health benefits of oats, nuts, seeds and other healthy ingredients without the unnecessary calories.

Breakfast Sandwich
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Sandwich
Calories: 584
Calories from Saturated Fat: 120
Breakfast sandwiches are a convenient way to grab a bite on the go, but for those built with sausage, egg and cheese, not to mention bread, you're also bringing a lot of calories with you. If you're looking to cut down on the count, consider skipping the meat and cheese and opting for a scrambled-egg-only version with less than half the calories (230).

Breakfast Burrito
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Medium Burrito with Sausage, Egg, Cheese, Beans, and Salsa
Calories: 602
Calories from Saturated Fat: 94
Breakfast burritos can be a tempting, hearty option in the morning, but those loaded with eggs, cheese, sausage, beans, and salsa also have quite a lot of calories. If you're looking for a lower-calorie version, consider skipping the meat and cheese, and add in more vegetables with egg whites.

Mauricio Avramow/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Cup
Calories: 677
Calories from Saturated Fat: 130
Another Mexican-influenced popular breakfast option -- featuring eggs, cheese, salsa, and tortilla chips -- chilaquiles are delicious, but they also tend to offer up a lot of calories for breakfast. Consider skipping the cheese or at least sharing it with friends if you don't aim to consume all of those calories yourself.

Gaus Alex/shutterstock


Serving Size: 1 Slice (1/8 of 9-inch quiche)
Calories: 697
Calories from Saturated Fat: 272
Quiche may appear to be a refined and dainty breakfast option, but it is typically made with plenty of cheese, milk and eggs -- which means lots of calories. The popular quiche Lorraine, which typically contains bacon or another meat, clocks in at 739 calories. To cut down on the calories, look for a meatless one without cheese that contains vegetables.

Eggs Benedict


Serving Size: 2 Large Eggs, 2 Pieces Canadian Bacon, English Muffin
Calories: 821
Calories from Saturated Fat: 223
A long-standing brunch and breakfast staple, eggs benedict is a calorie monster thanks to the inclusion of eggs, Canadian bacon, and rich Hollandaise sauce -- which contains egg yolks and butter and accounts for 162 calories in just two tablespoons. For a healthier rendition with only around 320 calories, try a recipe that swaps the bacon for spinach and uses a Greek yogurt-based Hollandaise.

Denny's Grand Slam Slugger
Source: Denny's


Serving Size: 2 Eggs, 2 Slices of Bacon, 2 Breakfast Sausages, 2 Pancakes with butter and syrup, hash browns or toast, plus coffee and juice
Calories: 2,057
Calories from Saturated Fat: 920
While most of us aren't typically ordering the insanely massive Grand Slam Slugger at Denny's, we thought it would be a helpful contrast to know that such a heavyweight exists as a breakfast option. You may want to consider bringing the whole baseball team if you order it, though.