Experts tell us that eating breakfast is one of the best ways to ensure all-day energy and help maintain a healthy weight, yet many people skip it. Grabbing something on the go can lead to some pretty unhealthy choices and will also leave your wallet noticeably lighter. When it comes to home cooking, it’s hard to find the time to make something, and even harder to flex your creative muscles so early in the morning. That’s where breakfast casseroles come in.
While you may have had a strata or two in your day, these six recipes completely reinvent what you thought a baked breakfast could be. These dishes are simple and remarkably versatile. They can be assembled ahead of time and baked for a group of friends, or you can make one and store it in the fridge to guarantee you’ll have breakfast for the whole week. No matter what kind of day you have planned, one of these tasty morning meals will set you up for success.
1. Banana Chocolate Chip Fluffernutter French Toast Casserole
This might not be an everyday breakfast, but it sure is divine. When the holidays were nearing, Melanie Bauer was looking for a breakfast that she could enjoy along with her guests, instead of slaving away in the kitchen. “I decided to take the opportunity to make a new make-ahead breakfast dish to make breakfast something I didn’t have to think twice about,” she says. So how does it taste? “It’s rich, it’s decadent, and it’s absolute perfection in my book,” Bauer says.
In addition to the fantastic flavors, Bauer says, “the fact that the majority of the dish is prepared the night before elevates its status even more in my book.” We definitely agree. While Bauer went for an over-the-top presentation with both a drizzle of marshmallow and peanut butter, a little maple syrup is much easier and equally delicious.
Visit Melanie Makes for the recipe.
2. Taco Sweet Potato and Spinach Egg Bake
Filled with loads of potassium, vitamins, and calcium, sweet potatoes nearly guarantee a super-powered day. Olena Osipov decided to test out the starch in a classic morning casserole and simply loved the results. She says she “was absolutely amazed at how this egg bake turned out!” Like many of us, Osipov wants to a fast morning meal that’s also nutritious. Since this casserole stores so well in the fridge, it meets both requirements.
Though you might be tempted to swap in low-fat cheese, go for the good stuff. Osipov chose a flavorful white cheddar, so she didn’t need tons of it to impart a lot of flavor. This dish is great the way it is, but it’s also really easy to adapt for different tastes. “You could also throw in some chopped broccoli, mushrooms, or tomatoes,” she says. “Use what you have.”
Visit iFOODreal for the recipe.
3. Baked Honey Berry Oatmeal
Classic oatmeal always makes a nutritious breakfast. The downside comes when you scorch the roof of your mouth. Christine Skari was fed up with scalding herself, so she came up with her own recipe instead. “This recipe is deliciously sweet, chock-full of berries and pecans, and delicious served cold,” she says. That makes this one winner of a breakfast for busy weeks.
Many sweet breakfast options can leave your stomach grumbling in a few hours, but these oats will stick with you. “My slice of baked berry oatmeal this morning kept me full for a straight 5 hours,” Skari says. So you won’t have to worry about drooping eyelids at the office.
Visit Apple of My Eye for the recipe.
4. Sausage-Kale Breakfast Strata
Filled with sausage, mushrooms, kale, and cheese, this casserole is pure comfort food. Ree Drummond made this recipe around the holidays for a huge crowd of people, but it’s a great dish any time of the year. “I made this a few weeks ago and now I’m craving it again,” she says.
Be warned, this makes a massive batch. Feel free to make all of it if you’re planning on feeding a lot of mouths, but Drummond says it also scales down quite easily. As for what to have on the side, she says to “serve it with grapes or other cool, fresh fruit.” We think some diced melon would make a great pairing.
Visit The Pioneer Woman for the recipe.
5. Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms
Just because you prefer runny yolks doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the goodness of an egg casserole. This version delivers the comfort of a classic egg bake but takes a more delicate hand with the eggs, making it great for company. Deb Perelman loves entertaining for brunch, but doesn’t love stressing out over complicated dishes. She says, “everything that can be made in advance should be.” Things like omelets and French toast don’t fit in that category, but this beautiful dish certainly does. Just be sure to wait until right before baking to add the eggs.
With little more than veggies and the golden protein, this is one of the most nutritious meals you can make in the morning. In addition, a little bit of cream and Parmesan cheese add a bit of needed richness. Perelman says the first time she made this she “was charmed by how incredible something so wholesome could taste.” Make it for company. Make it for your mom. Or just make it for yourself.
Visit Smitten Kitchen for the recipe.
6. Vegan Crustless Veggie Quiche
It seems unfair that vegans so often have to settle for a fruit salad when everyone else gets to enjoy a hearty casserole in the morning. Now they don’t have to. Nicole Keene came up with this veggie version of the classic while trying out a new meal plan. “This recipe turned out better than I could have imagined by mimicking the texture, flavor, and color of baked eggs,” she says. The secret ingredients are tofu and turmeric.
Keene chose broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes for this baked breakfast, but says that plenty of other veggies will work just as well as long as they aren’t too wet. Feel free to make one quiche and cut into wedges to eat throughout the week, or opt for something a little more portable. “This can also be made in muffin tins for grab-and-go breakfasts,” she says. Any way you slice it, this is a hearty and healthy breakfast.
Visit Willow and Thyme for the recipe.