I know school’s out for a lotta folks, but we’ve got a couple of months left — and even when that’s over, there’s still swim and gymnastics and camp and just life asking us to live it. (The nerve!) And before ALL of that gets underway, there needs to be: breakfast.
I have a friend whose daughter happily eats the exact same breakfast every morning, and while that sounds deliriously efficient and all, that…is not my kid. And really, it’s not me either. So, while she does her applesauce and oatmeal routine, I’m typically scrambling (sometimes literally, ha!) at the last minute — an egg here, a pot of oatmeal there. Leftover tri-tip and fruit salad from the weekend.
And while my kiddo appreciates the variety, inevitably we’re always literally running out the door shouting things like “SHOES!” and “SWIMMY!” and “I KNOW YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO, BUT IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO TRY!” while I’m stuffing vitamins into my purse for the car.
10 Low-Effort Breakfast Ideas For Easier Mornings (Kid-Approved)
So, just like we (attempt to) plan for dinner, I figured now’s the time to break out some make-ahead breakfast recipes to help keep the pace in the morning. Here are 10 of our tried-and-true faves.
Psst…we just updated this 2019 post for 2023. Because delicious breakfast ideas are FOREVA.
These Freezer Breakfast Burritos are loaded with tater tots, breakfast sausage, cheese, chiles and more, but they’re super-adaptable using your fave ingredients. They microwave in just about five minutes from frozen, but when it makes sense, I prefer to bake them. (It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to bake them from frozen, so it’s really only worth heating up the oven if everyone is going to be eating them and if you’re able to toss them in before you do the rest the of your morning routine.)
2. Chia Pudding
Chia Pudding is just sweet enough, creamy, protein-packed + vegan! Lana has loved chia pudding ever since she was a babe. We make this exact recipe Sunday night to serve up a few mornings throughout week. Any leftovers can be popped into a smoothie too. (Psst…I also love the sound of this Overnight Chocolate Chia Pudding!)
My friend Kelly developed this recipe for Green Smoothie Pancakes when her daughter was little, and she swears they’re her favorite breakfast, still. I love that everything comes together in a blender, they’re vegan, and they freeze like a dream for quick reheating in the toaster on busy mornings.
I’ve followed Minimalist Baker for a long time, and none of Dana’s simple, flavorful and mostly plant-based recipes have ever steered me wrong. You could assemble this 1-Bowl Chocolate Chip Banana Baked Oatmeal the night before to bake off in the morning — and Dana suggests reheating leftovers with a little milk. Easy.
I can’t resist a savory pancake or waffle, and these Cheesy Corn & Scallion Cakes with Maple Yogurt — which are almost in fritter territory — freeze and reheat in either the microwave or toaster really well. We almost always have a stash on hand. (Great in lunchboxes too!)
This Green Chile Egg Casserole is comfort food at its finest: eggs, cheese + chiles! (Not the lightest, granted, but a substantial breakfast for mornings that call for…substantial breakfasts.) Rather than potatoes or bread, this breakfast casserole gets its heft from protein-packed cottage cheese. And Amy testifies that it can be either assembled the night before and baked the morning of or completely baked off and reheated.
There’s a paid meal delivery plan out there that’s basically marketing this exact same thing at a premium price, but these DIY Make-Ahead Smoothie Packs are actually pretty easy and cost-effective. This is a method more than a specific recipe, so that you can create a variety of smoothies based on your fam’s preference. Freeze off a bunch of packs now, and breakfast is as easy as pouring the contents into a blender with your liquid of choice. (We’re currently using this blender, but this blender is a mega-workhorse too at about half the cost.)
In a previous lifetime, when I traveled a fair amount for work, I practically lived off of Starbucks’ short nonfat cappuccinos and the egg-white breakfast wrap after which this Spinach Feta Breakfast Wrap copycat is modeled — so you’d think I’d be sick of ’em, but nope! We made up a dozen of these for the freezer when I first had Lana, and they totally hit the spot. The only trick with these guys is reheating them. They can easily be microwaved straight from the freezer, but for the full Starbucks experience, it’s worth the extra couple of mins to crisp them in a pan after reheating.
My friend Whit had a baby a couple of months ago, and the first thing we did was fill her freezer fulla these Meal Prep Breakfast Sandwiches. We did half veggie and half with crumbled sausage, and they were both stellar. You can keep them in the fridge for four to five days, which makes reheating them a fair bit quicker, but they freeze great too. (Check the recipe notes for reheating tips!)
If you aren’t sensing a theme here, I’m pretty big into the whole eggy/cheesy/chilies thing. These Breakfast Enchiladas with Roasted Poblano Sauce sound so satisfying (I would totally make them as “breakfast for dinner” too) and would reheat well if they were completely baked off the night before. Also that sauce! *swoon*
Bonus Breakfast Recipe 1: Oat-Free Coconut Almond Granola
We make a batch of this Oat-Free Coconut Almond Granola WEEKLY, no joke, and it makes the best instant breakfast sprinkled over a bowl of yogurt. Super-protein-packed, free of refined sugars, vegan + gluten-free. And yet it still manages to taste really, really freaking good.
Bonus Breakfast Recipe 2: Cold-Brew Coffee All Week Long!
You didn’t really think I’d leave ya hanging without a coffee solution, did you? Here’s a simple method for making a cold-brew coffee concentrate that you can make once and tote around in your cute li’l coffee bottle (Laura, I’m looking at you) all week long. And perfectly refreshing for sum-sum-summahtime!
Would love to hear your favorite make-ahead recipes or breakfast hacks too! Happy week!
Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!
And this one’s for the Pinners!