I don’t know about you, but in the morning when I wake up? I’m hungry! My husband is fine with a bowl of cereal and a cup (or three) of coffee. But me? If that’s all I eat, I’m famished an hour later. We haven’t introduced a “breakfast” meal for our little man yet, but that’s approaching all too soon. Right now mama milk is enough to fill his tummy, but with the volume this boy eats? I have a feeling he’ll be just like his mama in a few months, wanting a filling meal in the AM hours.
Problem is? I don’t have time before work to cook something fabulous. Some days, even five minutes to make stovetop oats is five too many. So what’s a girl to do? Make ahead breakfast to the rescue! There’s nothing better than have a delicious breakfast waiting for you in the fridge, ready to go. Here are my favorites!
Oatmeal is a frugal, filling breakfast with lots of health benefits. I know the packets are convenient, but once you try the real stuff? You can’t go back. Stovetop oats are my go-to oatmeal recipe, but when I’m making things ahead I like to mix it up—because reheated stovetop oats aren’t my fave.
I was first introduced to baked oatmeal while working as a summer camp counselor in college, and have been hooked on it ever since. This basic baked oatmeal recipe is just plain, sweetened oatmeal—and is actually the camp recipe that we served to the kids every Wednesday morning. Individual pieces reheat well throughout the week. Then you can top with a splash of milk, dried fruit, and nuts! This chocolate version is also fantastic (and pretty healthy too). For a treat, try this Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal—and don’t skip the glaze!
Have you jumped on the overnight oats train? I think overnight oats are the simplest make ahead breakfast of all time. The oats soften in liquid overnight and are creamy and delicious by breakfast!
Mix ingredients below together in a bowl or jar, refrigerate, and enjoy in the morning. I usually eat mine cold, but you can also heat it up.
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (don’t use instant or quick oats)
- 3 tablespoons yogurt
- sprinkle of cinnamon
- dash of vanilla extract
- sweetener to taste: brown sugar, honey, maple syrup
- ~ 1/2 – 2/3 cup mix-ins of choice like fruit (berries, banana slices, diced apple, peaches, etc.), peanut butter, Nutella, chocolate chips, chopped nuts (add in the morning), applesauce, jam/jelly, etc.
To make ahead for the week, I fill mason jars with all ingredients but the oats and mix-ins, then add those the night before. Works well for us, and this means your kids can customize their oatmeal as they like!
Check out my Maple Berry Overnight Oats or Salted Caramel Mocha Overnight Oats for two tried and true flavor combos. I also want to try these Mocha Banana Overnight Oats, Black Forest Overnight Oats, and Lemon Coconut Overnight Oats. Mmm!
Eggs . . . another breakfast classic. Scrambled or fried — I love eggs! Egg-based casseroles or frittatas are wonderful make-ahead breakfasts and a great way to add some veggies to your morning meal. Bonus: both are fabulous “brinner” meals (breakfast for dinner). My husband and I are such breakfast for dinner lovers that we served breakfast for dinner at our wedding! The chef at our venue worked at the original IHOP when it opened so . . . duh. Here are some of our favorites!
Casseroles, Frittatas, and Quiche
Casseroles get a bad rap, but they are popular for a reason! So easy, so yummy—don’t forget the cheese! We love my Bacon Potato and Egg Casserole and my Lightened Up Cheesy Sausage Grits Breakfast Casserole. This Biscuit Egg Casserole is awesome too. I want to try this Southwestern Oven Omelet next!
In my opinion, the fancier counterpart to the humble casserole is a fritata or quiche. Frittatas are basically a crust-less quiche and are my favorite clean-out-the-fridge meal. Whether you make them with or without a crust, these savory pies are worth waking up for! I often make this Kale Frittata and add cooked bacon or sausage for some extra protein. In the summer, this Zucchini Frittata would be fun to try. When I have a little more time, I like these Mini Quiches for a quick grab and go breakfast. They heat up so well (and even taste good cold).
Grab and Go Breakfast Sandwiches
You know all the breakfast burritos/sandwiches fast food restaurants make a killing on? Turns out you can make your own at home for a fraction of the price. They taste better too! Whether you make burritos or egg sandwiches, you can’t go wrong here. I usually make my classic Freezer Breakfast Burritos, but I have my eye on these Veggie Stuffed Breakfast Burritos too. My sister also likes to make breakfast sandwiches the night before by toasting up some English muffins, scrambling some eggs, and cooking some ham/bacon/sausage. Then she layers it all up with cheese and other toppings of choice. I think this method of cooking the eggs is genius if you want to make a bunch at once! These Veggie Packed Breakfast Sandwiches sound amazing. I may have to make a batch this weekend!
Pancakes, Waffles, and French Toast
If eggs or oatmeal aren’t your jam, then why not make big batches of pancakes or waffles? These are a kid-friendly breakfast option and can be really healthy when you use whole grains and real fruit. Use these tips for freezing and reheating pancakes and waffles. The great thing about this is that you can pretty much use whatever recipes you like! This is my go-to recipe for pancakes, and we also love these waffles! French toast casserole is another great recipe that reheats well throughout the week so try that too!