Late Night Out? Eat Salad for Breakfast (Trust Us)

December  8, 2017

After a night of overindulging in holiday punch or mulled wine, a fortifying breakfast (or brunch) is always in order. You might be tempted to opt for crisped hashbrowns, a tall stack of pancakes, or a rich eggs benedict to ease your woes. I usually do. However, I recently came upon a surprising entry in Alison Roman's bright and inspirational cookbook Dining In that brought into question my tightly-held hangover breakfast ideals (namely, that grease is good).

Roman claims that salad is, in fact, the best breakfast to help you bounce back from a hangover. She argues that a hefty serving of greens, topped with whatever leftover roasted vegetables, meat, or grains lurk in your fridge, a punchy dressing, and a soft-boiled egg, is the perfect breakfast to reset your body (and liver) after a night of festivities.

I was skeptical, too. How could a bowl of leaves and vinaigrette possibly cure my headache as well as a helping of gravy-drowned biscuits? So, ever the thorough journalist, I decided to put her assertion to the test. A few weeks ago, I drank a few too many beers and woke up a little worse for the wear. Instead of reaching for toast, as I normally would, I pulled out leftovers of a cabbage-and-tempeh salad I'd eaten the night before, added some brown rice hanging in my fridge, and doused the whole thing with some more tahini dressing. I crowned my creation with a soft-boiled egg (6 minutes for the win!), and when I broke into it the yolk oozed out, effectively dressing the salad twice.

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And... it worked! I felt nourished and satisfied and also somehow purified, the gigantic plate of nachos I had consumed the previous night banished and forgotten. I continued my day energized, with much more pep in my step than if I had nursed my hangover with a heavier breakfast. If you want to try this trick for yourself, here are a few salads to use as your starting template; feel free to dress them up, toss on leftovers, and add as many eggs as you please.

What do you think: will you assemble a salad for your next hungover breakfast? Or stick to hash browns and breakfast burritos? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Sara S
    Sara S
  • rox L
    rox L
A kitchen scientist and dog-lover. Someday I want to have you over for dinner.


AntoniaJames December 8, 2017
No doubt the reason a salad is so effective is that it's mostly water; at that moment, your body needs hydration more than anything else. ;o)
rox L. November 2, 2020
The micro-nutrients and electrolytes found in greens and vegetables are also benefit along with rehydration from the water.
Sara S. December 8, 2017
My friends think I’m crazy for always craving salad when hungover. All I want are leafy greens when I had too much to drink. It really does work!