Mornings can be a difficult time to prepare a meal. When you’re rushing to get out the door to go to work, stopping to make eggs or a bowl of oatmeal, and then actually sitting down to eat it, often isn’t feasible. Weekdays you need a breakfast that you can make ahead of time and then grab and go in the morning. This can even be helpful on the weekend if you need to run errands first thing in the morning. Here are 20 make-ahead breakfast ideas that you can use for inspiration to make some morning meals ahead of time to help ensure that you start your day with a healthy meal.
A big green smoothie is an excellent way to start your day getting a ton of greens. The downside is that it can be time-consuming to pull out all the ingredients you need to make a smoothie, and pre-blended smoothies don’t really taste good the next day. A solution is smoothie packs. These are bags filled with all the ingredients (except the liquid) for your smoothie that are stored in the freezer. When you’re ready to make a smoothie, dump the contents of the smoothie pack into the blender, add your liquid of choice, and blend it all up.
2. Slow Cooker Oatmeal
If you want a comforting bowl of oats in the morning, make a batch of steel-cut oats in the slow cooker. You can start the slow cooker the night before to wake up to a pot of warm oatmeal or make it a few days ahead and then warm up a portion in the microwave. Add a couple of tablespoons of water or non-dairy milk before you warm it up so that’s not dry. For steps to make slow cooker steel-cut oats, as well as some ideas for adding sweetness and crunch to your oatmeal, look here. If you like banana oatmeal try this Slow Cooker Cinnamon Banana Steel Cut Oats.
3. Overnight Oats
Another make-ahead oatmeal option is overnight oats. You can assemble everything the night before or make several days worth at once. Overnight oats do not require any reheating so it’s a good option if you truly have no time to prep breakfast.
Muesli is a healthier and lower-sugar alternative to granola and most store-bought cereals. It’s a mixture of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. You can buy it packaged, but it’s easy to make on your own. Making it yourself also allows you to use your favorite nuts, seeds, and fruits. Put a portion into a small food storage container the night before and then add plant-based milk when you’re ready to eat it. If you want added sweetness, top it with fresh fruit like sliced banana.
5. Homemade Granola Bars
Although granola bars are likely not the most filling breakfast, they are one of the easiest grab and go options. They include similar ingredients to muesli, but they have more sugar and fat because a sweetener and fat (oil, butter or nut butter) are used to help bind everything together. You can make them in the oven or make no-bake versions that you chill in the fridge. Store them in an airtight container for up to one week.
Frittatas are a good way to add some veggies to your breakfast. It’s very versatile and allows you to include whatever veggies, cheese, or protein that you have on hand. You can find a step by step guide to making a frittata here. After you bake it, portion it out into several containers that you can take with you to eat at room temperature or to heat up in the microwave.
7. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Another egg option is hard-boiled eggs. Make a batch ahead of time during your weekly meal prep and then grab a couple on your way out the door. Have them with a side of fresh fruit or chop them up and wrap them in a tortilla with a little salsa for a quick breakfast burrito.
8. Tofu scramble
If you’re vegan or not a fan of eggs, try a tofu scramble. It’s another versatile dish that allows you to use any veggies you would like. You can also change up the flavor by using different seasoning. Make it a southwest scramble by using chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder or just season it with some turmeric and nutritional yeast. Tofu scramble will last in the fridge up to one week. Reheat a serving in the microwave when you’re ready to eat it.
9. Yogurt Parfait
If you want something creamy, make a yogurt parfait. In a food storage container, layer yogurt, chopped fruit, and your favorite granola and store it in the fridge until ready to eat. For the yogurt, you can use regular greek or a non-dairy yogurt like coconut, almond milk, cashew milk, or soy. Use fresh or frozen fruit. Since you’re preparing it ahead of time, frozen fruit will have time to thaw.
10. Chia Seed Pudding
You can use chia seeds to create a “pudding” that makes an easy grab and go breakfast option. This one is quick to prep. To make it, fill a small mason jar or food storage container with 2/3 cup of non-dairy milk, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, one tablespoon of sweetener (I like maple syrup), and mix it well. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and in the morning you’ll have a breakfast pudding filled with protein and fiber. Chia seed pudding can be bland on its own, so top it with some chopped fruit and maybe some nuts for added flavor and texture.
11. Healthy Baked Goods
Muffins and quick bread are an easy grab and go option, but they can be loaded with sugar, oil, or butter. Find recipes to make a lower-sugar, healthier version of your favorite pumpkin bread or blueberry muffin. Healthier versions may use almond or coconut flour instead of white flour or simply use less granulated sugar or liquid sweetener. Try one of the following recipes to make some grain-free, lower-sugar healthy baked goods.
- Almond and Coconut Flour Banana Bread
- Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins
- Almond Flour Lemon Raspberry Muffins Recipe
- Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Banana Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal Squares
12. Pancakes or Waffles
You can make a big batch of pancakes or waffles and freeze them. When ready to eat, take a couple out of the freezer and pop them directly into the toaster. Aim to make them on the healthier side using whole wheat flour or try a grain-free paleo pancake or waffle recipe.
13. Breakfast Sandwich
You can make breakfast sandwiches like egg and cheese on an English muffin and then store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. The cost per sandwich will be less than what you would pay if you bought one at a coffee shop. Also, you can control the quality of the ingredients (for example using organic eggs) and you can use gluten-free English muffins if that’s a concern.
14. Breakfast Burrito
Similar to breakfast sandwiches, you can store a batch of breakfast burritos in the freezer. Use whole-grain tortillas and fill them with some combination of beans, rice, cheese, scrambled eggs, and veggies.
15. Breakfast Hash
A hash is another one of those make-ahead breakfasts that let you use whatever ingredients you have. It’s basically a dish of chopped meat and potatoes cooked together with spices, but you can add in veggies as well. I like mine with sweet potatoes, sausage, and some roasted veggies. You can also use tofu or tempeh to make it vegetarian.
16. Breakfast Casserole
Just like a dinner casserole, breakfast casseroles are good for baking ahead and then reheating when you’re ready to eat them. A breakfast casserole can be sweet, for example, a french toast casserole. It can also be savory and be made of things like eggs, potatoes, bacon or sausage, and cheese.
For a savory option, try this breakfast casserole with sausage and vegetables.
Try quiche for a hearty make-ahead breakfast. Make it with whatever meat, vegetable, and cheese you’d like. Maybe use bacon to make it more of a breakfast type quiche. You can also make it crustless. Remember to cut it into individual servings before storing it in the freezer so it’s easy to grab just enough for one meal.
18. Breakfast Quesadillas
If you like quesadillas you can turn them into a breakfast food. Fill them with scrambled eggs, cheese and any vegetables you’d like. Store them in the freezer and then pop them in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.
19. Energy balls
Similar to granola bars, energy balls are a grab and go breakfast that requires no prep the morning of. There are endless varieties of energy balls that you can make and they provide a quick way to get protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fat. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
20. Peanut Butter and Jelly
This classic kid’s lunch sandwich actually makes a good portable breakfast. In fact, it’s been my go-to breakfast lately on mornings that I commute to the office. Just be sure to use a brand of jam or jelly that only includes fruit and fruit juice in the ingredients. For variety, you can use almond or cashew butter in place of peanut butter.
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