Skip the Sweets: 7 Savory Breakfast Recipes
Cinnamon rolls, syrups, streusel toppings, and chocolate chips are just some of the sugary ingredients that go into a sweet breakfast. So many recipes — and even regular old cereals — are pumped full of frostings and sweeteners that it can be easy to overlook savory breakfast dishes. Rich and filling, there will be no danger of a sugar crash when you eat one of these seven savory breakfasts. Plus, when you decide to serve breakfast for dinner, you won’t feel like you skipped right ahead to dessert. Keep reading to discover which dish you’ll be making at your next breakfast or brunch.
1. Savory French Toast
Laura Calder says to opt for a topping like tomato jam to keep the savory theme going with her French toast recipe from The Cooking Channel. If you do not have any day-old baguettes, use another thick, crusty bread instead.
- 2 thick slices day-old baguette
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 generous teaspoon herbes de Provence
- 2 teaspoons butter
Directions: Soak the bread in the milk on both sides to soften, about 5 minutes per side, depending on how hard the bread is. (If it is softer, it may need less time.)
Beat the egg with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence in a flat or shallow dish.
Gently melt the butter in a frying pan until foaming, but not colored. Pull the bread from the milk and turn it around in the egg mixture to coat. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Eat with a spoonful of tomato jam.
2. Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones
When you want bacon in the morning but don’t have time to fry any on the stove, grab one of King Arthur Flour’s scones as you head out the door. These scones can also show up on your dinner table as the perfect side to a soup or salad meal.
- 2 cups (8½ ounces) all-purpose flour or pastry blend flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick, 2 ounces) cold butter
- 1 cup (4 ounces) very coarsely grated or diced cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup (about ½ ounce) snipped fresh chives, or finely diced scallion tops (the green part, ¾ ounce)
- ½ pound bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (about 1 cup)
- ¾ cup and 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) heavy cream or whipping cream, or enough to make the dough cohesive
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly, with some of the butter remaining in larger pieces. Mix in the cheese, chives, and bacon until evenly distributed.
Add ¾ cup of the cream, stirring to combine. Try squeezing the dough together; if it’s crumbly and won’t hang together, or if there are crumbs remaining in the bottom of the bowl, add cream until the dough comes together. Transfer the shaggy dough to a well-floured work surface. Pat the dough into a smooth 7-inch disk about ¾-inch thick. Transfer the disk to the prepared baking sheet.
Use a knife or bench knife to cut the disk into eight wedges, spreading the wedges apart a bit on the pan. Brush the scones with a bit of cream; this will help their crust brown. Bake the scones for 22 to 24 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
3. Ham-and-Swiss Breakfast Pie
A savory pie will be served for breakfast or brunch when you follow Southern Living’s recipe. There are not shortage of rich flavors in the pie, from butter and cream to grits and cheese. Eat slice for breakfast and you won’t be hungry for hours.
- 1⅔ cups water
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅔ cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
- 1¼ cups (5 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
- 8 large eggs, divided
- ½ pound cooked ham, diced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- ½ cup milk
- Garnish: chives
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring first six ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in grits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Add ½ cup cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Lightly beat 2 eggs, and stir into grits mixture; pour into a lightly greased 10-inch deep pie plate. Bake for 20 minutes; remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sauté ham and onions in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Layer ham mixture evenly over grits crust. Whisk together milk and remaining 6 eggs; pour over ham mixture. Sprinkle remaining ¾ cup cheese evenly over egg mixture. Bake for 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, and cut into wedges. Garnish, if desired.
4. Zucchini Olive Breakfast Cake
If savory pie isn’t up your alley, perhaps a savory breakfast cake will be. Inspired by cakes salés, or French quick breads, The Kitchn made a loaf of this breakfast bread (or cake) filled with spices and cheese. The fully developed flavors will make for satisfying slice.
- ⅓ cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan and drizzling
- ½ pound zucchini
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- Kosher salt
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with olive oil. Grate the zucchini on the coarsest side of a box grater. Place the zucchini in a colander in the sink, and toss with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let drain while preparing the rest of the recipe.
In a large bowl, whisk the minced garlic with the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. In a separate, medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk and olive oil. Use a rubber spatula to fold the wet ingredients into the dry until barely mixed. Fold in the crumbled goat cheese and the sliced olives.
Press firmly on the zucchini in the colander, pressing out as much water as possible. Quickly fold the zucchini into the batter.
Spread the batter in the prepared loaf pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the top with kosher salt. Bake loaf for about 45 minutes, or until golden and a knife inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
Transfer to a rack to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge to release. Turn out loaf onto rack to firm up before slicing, about 30 minutes; using a serrated knife, cut into ⅜-inch slices, then cut into halves or quarters.
5. Shrimp and Grits
At your next brunch, don’t serve the same old egg bakes or stuffed French toast casseroles. Instead, try Williams-Sonoma’s version of an old school Southern classic, shrimp and grits. This recipe makes 6 servings.
- 1 cup white grits
- 4½ cups water, plus more as needed
- 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup shredded medium-sharp cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco (optional)
- 1½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 bacon slices, cut into ½-inch dice, fried until crispy and fat reserved
- ⅓ pound white button mushrooms, sliced
- ⅓ cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup sliced green onions, white and light green portions
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced
- ⅓ cup chicken stock
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons Tabasco sauce
Directions: To prepare the grits, in a saucier or Dutch oven over medium heat, combine the grits, 4½ cups water, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the butter and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. If the grits become too thick, add more water. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses, pepper, and Tabasco.
Meanwhile, prepare the shrimp: Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Put the shrimp in a shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss with the flour to coat evenly.
In a frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Working in batches, brown the shrimp until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Return the pan to medium-high heat and warm 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the shrimp and accumulated juices, the bacon, green onions, tomatoes, stock, lemon juice and Tabasco. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are opaque throughout and the vegetables are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Divide the grits among six bowls and top with the shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.
6. Sweet Potato, Kale, and Feta Muffins
Vegetarian and savory, Betty Crocker’s muffins will fill you up at breakfast or be the perfectly packed snack for your workday. Plus, they are a great way to sneak in an extra little helping of leafy greens to your day, since your muffins will be flecked with bits of spinach or kale.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (2½ cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- ½ cup milk
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups baby kale or baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss sweet potatoes with oil. Place in single layer on 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tender, stirring after 10 minutes. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat eggs, melted butter, and milk with whisk until well blended. Add flour, brown sugar, baking powder, sea salt, and pepper; stir with spoon just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in sweet potatoes, kale, and cheeses.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes.
7. Ham-and-Cheese Waffles
We’ll throw one bone to anyone who needs just a hint of sweetness in the morning. Cheddar cheese and ham promise to keep Bon Appétit’s waffles savory, but by drizzling a bit of syrup over the top, you’ll have just a touch of a sugary goodness in the morning too. This recipe makes 12 servings.
- 1¾ cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large egg whites
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¾ cup soda water
- Non-stick vegetable oil spray
- 1 cup thinly-cut strips of ham
- ¾ cup shredded sharp white cheddar
- Maple syrup
Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat waffle iron until very hot. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until medium-soft peaks form. Whisk egg yolks, melted butter, buttermilk, and soda water in a medium bowl; gradually whisk into dry ingredients. Fold in egg whites.
Coat waffle iron with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Pour batter onto iron, spreading it into corners (amount of batter needed will vary according to machine). Scatter 1 rounded tablespoon ham and 1 tablespoon white cheddar over each waffle. Cook until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a baking sheet; keep waffles warm in oven between batches. Serve with butter and warm maple syrup.