This list of Make Ahead Breakfast Recipes is for all of you who cherish breakfast but have little time in the morning to prepare something grand before you head out the door.
For some, this list will be a no brainer. For others, a wonderful reminder that so many breakfast items can be made ahead and frozen or refrigerated.
I’m a huge breakfast lover, as evidenced by all of the breakfast recipes I have on the site. Actually, you’ll notice that the majority of my posts are either breakfast oriented or dessert oriented.
Of course, I try to throw in ideas for other parts of the day, but suffice to say that I have the most fun sharing the first and last “meals” of the day.
As my kids move on to higher grades, the school day keeps starting earlier and earlier. I know that this year, I’m going to have to be better prepared than in previous years. It’s a whole new schedule and I am rising to the challenge. I plan to stock my freezer so that I’m ready to go even if we over sleep a little. That’s my plan, anyway.
Alrighty, then. Let’s get started….
I’m a stickler for starting the day with protein. There are many ways to add protein to our breakfasts. One of the ways is with eggs.
Spinach Feta Egg White Cups-This has been a go to breakfast item for many years now. In the post I add spinach, but to be honest, 99% of the time, I simply use good quality egg whites from a carton and crumbled feta cheese.
It takes less than five minutes to pour everything into a couple of muffins pans. I even start the baking in a cold oven and let the eggs cook as the oven warms up to temperature.
You can add anything to these cups. Any cheese, veggies or meats will work. You can use whole eggs, if you prefer. Just allow for one egg per cup, and whisk them up before pouring them into the pan. I don’t like to freeze these, but they refrigerate nicely. In the morning, I warm them up quickly in the microwave and serve with toast and fruit.
Avocado Toast– Okay, I know this doesn’t fall in the egg category, and it’s not really a recipe, per se, but it is a favorite around here. It’s simple. It’s delicious. Avocados make everything taste better :)
I know you know all about avocado toast. I feel compelled to mention it because it just happens to be amazing topped with the aforementioned egg cups. It’s like bonus bucks ;) It’s worth planning ahead to have a ripe avocado and fresh lime on hand whether or not you make the egg cups. But, make the egg cups..because, you know, protein.
What a wonderful revelation this has been! Made with old fashioned rolled oats, then added milk, eggs and flavorings. It might look like muffins or cake, but it is simply oatmeal that has been baked instead of cooked on the stove. It’s not as wet as regular oatmeal, but it’s definitely not cake either.
We love it and it makes for a hearty breakfast that holds us all over until lunch. Bake this up in individual cups or in a whole pan. This is an easy one to make ahead and either refrigerate or freeze. Perfect for grab and go.
Eat it like a muffin, or heat it up and put it in a bowl with some milk. You can eat it cold, but I much prefer to eat it warmed up. Here are a few ideas for flavor options. We love them all.
Baked Banana Oatmeal Cups– This was my first baked oatmeal post and definitely a reader favorite. The chips on top make it seem like a treat, but just a few go a long way.
It’s full of whole grain fiber. The banana adds natural sweetness, but you can adjust sweetness to taste with your favorite sweetener.
Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal– A great flavor for the fall, whether you’re “over” PSL or not. It’s just a nice warm spiced oatmeal and yes, I still had to add some chips. You could also top it with pepitas if you want to skip the chocolate. I made this batch in one pan instead of in cups. Either will work, just make a note of different baking times.
Ultimate Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal-This version almost tastes like dessert. It’s got all the carrot cake “stuff” in it including raisins, pineapple and nuts. The cream cheese center isn’t sweetened, so no added sugar there, but it adds a richness that feels ridiculously decadent in the midst of all the nuts, fruit and veggies.
Blueberry Pie Baked Oatmeal-Ah, my latest creation…pie baked on top of oatmeal. Genius right? I love having the juicy layer of fruit on top. The crumb topping adds just the right amount of sweetness to each cup.
Morello Cherry Almond Muesli– So this oatmeal isn’t baked, but I wanted to include it with the whole oatmeal category because it is in high rotation around here. This is my 11pm, hey, let’s get a head start on breakfast tomorrow solution. (Please excuse the photos. They’re from the early days of the blog and are definitely due for an update.)
This recipe falls into the overnight oatmeal category. There’s no cooking and no baking. And, it’s a one bowl deal. Just mix everything up the night before and let it sit overnight. Use whatever milk you like. Use whatever sweetener you like. Add different flavors. Make it your own. The next day, I add fruit and nuts.
Pancakes and Waffles
Okay, so in our house, we have pancakes and we have “treat” pancakes. Treat pancakes are usually made with all purpose flour and I may splurge on toppings. When making a batch of pancakes for school days, I like to make them as healthy as possible. I’ll use whole wheat, add a veg or a fruit and keep sugar and sweet toppings to a minimum or eliminate them all together.
I always make pancakes in bulk. They refrigerate and freeze beautifully. If I refrigerate them, I just leave them stacked on a serving plate and cover tightly. I make sure we eat them within 3 days.
If I freeze them, I’ll separate them with waxed paper in stacks of three or four and place them in a freezer zip top bag. Then, I can easily remove as many as I want. They reheat perfectly in the microwave.
Here’s a few ideas for pancakes. It’s your choice on how splurgey you get with them. I always serve them with a protein, either yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs or a nut butter.
Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes– This is a great base pancake recipe. Make it with whole wheat or all purpose flour. When I use whole wheat for baking, I like to use whole wheat pastry flour. It’s light enough to substitute one for one in all of my baking recipes. If you just want classic buttermilk pancakes, go with all purpose flour.
Whole Wheat Butternut Squash Pancakes with Whipped Maple Butter– Gee, that’s a mouthful of a name, isn’t it? First, if butternut squash isn’t your thing, substitute pureed pumpkin for pumpkin pancakes. With this recipe, you get whole grain, fiber and veggies. The whipped maple butter is a fun topping, but you can go plain or go traditional with butter and syrup.
Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Cinnamon Spiced Yogurt– Here I go adding veggies again, this time it’s pumpkin instead of butternut squash, but feel free to swap them at will. I went a little healthier with this topping and used yogurt. I store these the same way I do pancakes. But when it’s time to reheat them, I opt for the toaster oven to help them crisp up a little.
Muffins and Quick Breads
These fall into the treat category for me, no matter how much I’ve reduced their sugar or used whole wheat pastry flour. That being said, I know some of you love a sweeter treat at breakfast time. So, let’s stick with a theme and go bananas, shall we?
Classic Banana Bread– This is my healthier version of a Classic Banana Bread. It’s made with whole wheat pastry flour, Greek yogurt and olive oil. I’ve reduced the sugar and fat in this loaf and I don’t think anyone noticed one bit.
For breakfast, I love this toasted or spread with some cream cheese. It’s a great make ahead option because the flavors develop overnight and it’s wonderful the next day.
Banana Bread Snack Cake– As I say in the post, “This is banana bread masquerading as a snack cake.” Banana bread takes a long time to bake because it’s baked in such a deep pan. Pour that same batter into a square baking pan and it bakes in about half the time.
This recipe also uses yogurt and I like to sub in olive oil for the canola. Where my Classic Banana bread is moist and dense, this snack cake has a little more loft to it. It also has a bit more oil and sugar in it. It was adapted from a recipe from the famed Flour Bakery in Boston.
You can see from the photos that we love it spread with some Nutella and sliced bananas. Oh, and then we drizzle it with some sweetened condensed milk. Yep, that’s why this one is classified as a “treat.”
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Banana Nut Muffins– These are moist, but not dense at all. They fall into the fluffy almost cake-like category. You can see the open crumb in the photos in the post.
I used whole wheat pastry flour for whole grain goodness. I added low fat buttermilk and a touch of oil. Instead of filling the muffins with nuts, I simply sprinkle a few on top with some coarse sugar.
So there you go. Plenty of make ahead breakfast recipes to get stocked up on over the weekend. I’ve got my plan ready to go. Now, no matter how early we have to get up and get out…
Breakfast is ready to go!