12 Big-Batch Breakfast Ideas That Make Mornings a Breeze
With sweet and savory ideas, this collection of one dozen recipes features kid-approved ways to prep a hearty breakfast ahead of time, so all you need to do in the morning is slice, heat or, in some cases, grab and go.
The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Baked French Toast (pictured above)
I’ve made Ree Drummond’s amazing French Toast for my brood many times, and I love that it’s such a large recipe — it works for at least two breakfasts. I like to prep the whole thing the night before, but I don’t bake it until the morning. When we’re done, I cover the leftovers with foil and store in the fridge for another morning that week.
When it’s time to reheat the French toast, set the oven to 350 degrees F, and very slowly pour 1/4 cup of milk right over the top. Replace the foil and bake for about 20 minutes for a second helping! To make it more nutritious, I always use whole-wheat bread and love sprinkling a little wheat germ into the top layer of crumble.
This go-to breakfast lasts all week long, and it has endless varieties. Use coconut milk, almond milk or regular milk. Blend frozen berries into whatever milk you choose to make berry-flavored pudding, then add more fresh berries on top. Or mix in cocoa powder and peanut butter for a decadent flavor combination. Sweeten with honey, maple syrup — the choice is yours. The results are always the same: delicious and easy!
Not only do these 5-star muffins blend two of the most-beloved breakfast flavors ever, but they also freeze beautifully. Just line your cooled muffins in a single layer inside a gallon-size freezer bag and freeze. (Once they’re frozen, feel free to rearrange them without worrying about any getting squished.) The night before you serve them, pull out the muffins you need and let them thaw in a covered dish on the counter.
A big batch of Giada De Laurentiis’ make-ahead omelet will keep for several days in the fridge, making it the perfect breakfast for two weekdays (or more). Just slice off a wedge when you want one and warm in the microwave.
That’s right: make-ahead pancakes. Literally just cook up the whole batch ahead of time — and double it if you have a big brood — then store once cooled. I love popping a couple of pancakes into the toaster, but if your blueberries are particularly juicy, the microwave might be a better bet. Either way, nothing beats homemade pancakes for breakfast, unless it’s instant homemade pancakes for breakfast. To make it more nutritious: Sprinkle two tablespoons of wheat germ into the batter (more fiber!), or substitute almond flour (more protein!) for half the regular flour.
More buttery than granola bars, this sweet strawberry dish is one of our four kids’ favorite ways to start the day. Bonus: It keeps perfectly on the counter under a sheet of foil. Chop off a square for each kid and serve with cold milk. To make it more nutritious, I often add a couple tablespoons of ground flaxseed, chia seeds or slivered almonds.
Here’s another Barefoot Contessa recipe that’s a breeze to freeze. Use the same method of storing your completely cooled biscuits in a gallon-size freezer bag, without overlapping until frozen. (After they’re frozen, feel free to move them as needed.) Thaw your biscuits on the counter overnight; in the morning, eat them deliciously plain, or slice those beauties open to add a little softened butter or a slice of deli ham.
These Tex-Mex eggs are delicious (and full of good-for-you ingredients!), but any version of scrambled eggs works just as well. The make-ahead trick is simple: Cook the eggs, fill your tortillas and roll them up. Wrap each one individually in plastic wrap before storing the whole batch in a gallon-size freezer bag. Remove the plastic wrap, and replace it with a paper towel to easily reheat in the microwave.
The Pioneer Woman’s rich and gooey breakfast casserole is pure comfort food — and not a bad way to start the day! I like to prep a big batch but split the casserole into two 8-by-8-inch pans. I’ll slightly under-cook both ahead of time and let them cool before storing: one in the fridge and one in the freezer. To warm up either one, I just pop it into the oven with foil on top for about 20 minutes (from the fridge) and 35 minutes (from the freezer). Serve it with fresh fruit and enjoy the day.
We love muffins, but nothing’s easier for the cook than baking a quick bread — and this one’s stuffed with tons of hearty, good-for-you ingredients that I feel good about serving the kids. Bonus: It’s a double batch, so I always freeze the second loaf. For best results, wrap the loaf in foil before freezing it inside a zip-top bag.
David M. Russell, 2015, Watershed Visual Media, LLC.
Made with simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry right now, this granola is the one you’ll want to make again and again. Just store it in an airtight container and serve it with milk and berries or sprinkled on top of yogurt.
When the weather starts to cool, nothing sounds more soothing than a big bowl of steaming oatmeal, especially when it comes with all the flavors of a pumpkin pie. The trick to making oatmeal ahead of time is adding a splash of extra water so it’s slightly more wet than normal. Once it’s cooked, just cool, cover with a lid and throw the whole pan in the fridge. When you’re ready to reheat it, place the pan over a low flame and add more milk or water as needed.
Charity Curley Mathews is the mother of four small kids who eat breakfast/sprinkle crumbs on the floor every day. She blogs at Foodlets.com about simple, fresh, family recipes — and all the tricks she’s learned about teaching kids to love them. Most of the time.