Make Ahead

15 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Busy Mornings & Full Bellies

"I don't have time to eat" is not acceptable.

December 21, 2020

Whether you’re a morning person or battle the snooze button every day, breakfast can throw us all for a loop. Maybe there’s an early morning trip to the grocery store or you do an extra-long online yoga class, then you’re halfway through feeding the cat and before realizing it’s time for work, school, or some other activity that seems more pressing than a meal. Still, running late shouldn’t mean you have to skip breakfast: There are in fact plenty of make-ahead breakfasts that are easy to assemble a couple days ahead, or even just the night before.

That’s right, I’m talking about those handy, make-ahead meals that take just minutes to heat up or scarf down. Here, I’ve gathered 15 of our best ready-before-you-are breakfasts. Oh, and snoozers: You’re welcome for those few extra minutes of sleep.

Move aside, cookies—overnight oats get the tahini and chocolate treatment. Just combine everything in a bowl or jar the night before, and it’ll thicken as you both sleep.

Serve these over English muffins or sandwiched between toast. Plus, if you make a big batch, you can sleep in for the rest of your week.

Just when you thought classic banana bread couldn’t get any better, Posie Hardwood added cream cheese for a totally tender, not-too-dense cake.

This nontraditional (but speedier!) Spanish tortilla doesn’t care if you sleep in—it loves brunch, too.

Love streusel? This cake’s got it top and center.

Soak frozen blueberries in buttermilk for the dreamiest blue biscuits.

A dairy-free blend that mixes cashews and bananas for creamy sweetness, and a touch of lime for tartness. Top with granola and fruit or muesli, or just eat it plain.

Speaking of granola, this one’s for all you clump-lovers out there.

Psst—you can freeze leftover waffles and reheat them in the oven or toaster on busy mornings.

These muffins are sort of like an egg and ham sandwich on cornbread, but without the work of assembly. Bake them off the night before, tightly wrap, and warm them in a 300 degree oven until heated through. Extra points if you make a double batch and freeze them for breakfasts further in the future.

The beauty of frittatas is that you can truly use any cooked vegetables, meat, and cheese you have lying around. Bake the frittata the night before, and, if wrapped and stored in the fridge, you’ll have breakfast for days—you don’t even need to reheat it if you don’t want to.

Sometimes you just want cookies for breakfast, plain and simple. Thankfully, Joanne Chang knows what’s up. These whole wheat flour cookies are packed with seeds (flax, pumpkin, sunflower), as well as oats, millet, coconut, and dried fruit for crunch and chew. I’ll take an oat milk latte and three of these cookies, warmed slightly. You can make the dough the night before (or freeze it for months) and bake off cookies as you see fit; or bake them totally in advance an grab one when you need.

Zucchini bread is like banana bread, but less sweet—and not banana-y in flavor, duh. This mild quick bread can be baked in advance, wrapped tightly, and stored in the fridge for about a week, or in the freezer for months. My advice: toast a thick slice, then spread with cream cheese and your favorite jam.

Recipe developer Ella Quittner says this breakfast casserole has “the stature of a lasagna with the fillings of an omelet.” What, I ask, could be better. Though for the freshest version you should assemble the casserole up to 24 hours in advance and store, unbaked, in the fridge, then pop it in the oven—but if your mornings are really short on time you could make the whole thing, wrap tightly, and reheat it in the oven

A perfect quiche is one of those make-ahead breakfasts that makes you feel like you’re out to a leisurely breakfast (even if you’re eating it straight from the pie plate). Bake the quiche with any fillings you like, then let it sit in the fridge overnight. Reheat slices in the oven to keep the crust crisp, but you could always zap it in the microwave too.

Are you into make-ahead breakfasts or would you rather nuke instant oatmeal? Sound off in the comments!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.