But First, Breakfast: 18 Recipes That Will Make Your Mornings Better

Recipes from The Kitchn

As the first meal of the day, breakfast holds a lot of power in swaying the way we start our day. Even if you're more likely to grab a cup of coffee and rush out the door than sit down to a full spread of eggs and the works, there's always a middle ground that delivers flavor, convenience, and a little delight.

According to Megan Gordon, who writes this series, "These recipes are either quick enough to conquer on an average weekday morning or can be prepped in advance on a weekend or quiet weeknight." It's proof that — especially with breakfast — a little planning goes a long way.

1. Almond-Fig Breakfast Quick Bread

Slice, toast, and serve this nut and fruit bread with butter, or enjoy it all on its own with a cup of strong coffee or tea. The recipe doubles easily, so bake two while you're at it.

2. Baklava Breakfast Parfaits

Combining ingredients for the honey-soaked treat of baklava with a creamy yogurt makes perfect sense once you've seen it done. This is one breakfast recipe that can easily work as a dessert or mid-afternoon snack.

3. Southwest Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

If making it to lunch without hearing your stomach grumble is a problem, then this is the meal to try. With all the necessary protein, fat, and fiber to fill you up, this portable breakfast is one you can prep the night before, finish in the morning, and enjoy at your desk.

4. Cottage Cheese Muffins with Roasted Red Peppers and Feta

Go savory with your muffins, and don't forget the cheese. Cottage cheese adds moisture to this mix and gives these muffins an extra dose of protein.

5. Strawberry Cheesecake Breakfast Bars

There's a time and a place for a granola bar or energy bar, and then there's an altogether different time for a decadent, crumbly, fruit-filled bar with a silky layer of cream cheese. These bars are for that occasion — and for all the brunches and parties that may be on your calendar in the coming months.

6. Mixed Mushroom Egg Bakes

Make these egg bakes for brunch or when you have friends over, as they look far fancier than the effort they truly take to make. As they sit, they'll settle just a bit, but will still taste delicious. They're a winning weekday recipe largely because they're so simple to make and have such a great shelf life — if you make them on a Sunday, you can reheat them throughout the week for a fast meal.

7. Popeye Pesto Tofu Scramble

Tuck this pesto and spinach scrambled tofu into a warmed whole wheat tortilla, or layer it onto a big piece of toast for a protein-heavy breakfast that easily works as a tasty room-temperature lunch.

8. Whole Wheat Chocolate Coconut Scones

A must-make for any coconut lovers, these freezer-friendly scones can be made ahead and warmed up on demand for a breakfast treat you can enjoy solo or when guests are around.

9. Breakfast Barley Bowl with Mango, Coconut, and Banana

This particular bowl isn't too sweet, and feels sunny, light, and decadent all at the same time. Cook the barley with a little extra liquid so it feels more like a porridge, and add a vanilla bean for some subtle sweetness. A topping of banana, mango, toasted coconut, and toasted almonds gives this breakfast a pleasant, tropical feel.

10. Fresh Herb, Potato, and Goat Cheese Frittata

The great thing about a frittata is that you can put almost anything in it. For that reason, it's the ideal "clean out the crisper" recipe; you can cover and refrigerate it for up to four days, so it also makes for great leftovers.

11. Steel-Cut Oats with Maple-Roasted Apples and Cheddar

In the colder months, there's nothing more satisfying than maple-roasted apples with a little hunk of cheddar, so it's a welcomed surprise to see those flavors in a simple winter porridge. You will likely have a few roasted apples leftover, but they're wonderful on top of future oatmeal or swirled into yogurt or ice cream in the evenings.

12. Savory Toaster Tarts

We find the filling for these savory hand-held tarts almost too perfect. The ricotta is creamy and gently herbed, which complements the slightly salty ham and savory leeks. Bet you can't eat just one.

13. Apple Pie Breakfast Cookies

Sure, you can have cookies for breakfast — especially when they're full of fresh fruit and whole-grain flours, and sweetened just a touch with natural sugars. These cookies freeze beautifully and are easily adaptable, so you can use your favorite nuts and fruits as you like.

14. Why You Should Cook Your Oatmeal Like Laura Ingalls Wilder

With a two-hour cook time over low heat, this recipe may seem a bit fussy in comparison to the workhorse recipe we usually see for oatmeal. But once you taste the silky texture that results, you'll break out a pot of these every so often and do as pioneers do.

15. Coffee Cake Muffins

Sometimes when you combine two beloved things into one new form, you wonder how you ever ate them separately. This is especially true for these coffee cake muffins. With a buttery, crumbly topping and a slightly sweet glaze, they are truly the best of both worlds.

16. Freeze-and-Bake Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

These lemon poppy scones are specially formulated to go directly from freezer to oven without skimping on texture and flavor. Make sure to have a batch tucked in your freezer stash this holiday season.

17. Spicy Vegetarian Breakfast Nachos

This is how you do nachos for breakfast. Add a portion to everyone's plate and place a fried egg — cooked-to-order — on top. You could certainly just dig in as a group and eat them straight from the pan, too.

18. Baked Buckwheat Oatmeal with Blueberries and Almonds

Buckwheat groats stay a bit more toothsome than the oats, resulting in a really enjoyable contrast in overall texture. The blueberries become wonderful and jammy, and the almonds toast up into a fragrant golden-brown top. It smells like a fruit crisp in the oven, but is much healthier; it also holds up beautifully in the refrigerator, so you can reheat it throughout the week.

(Image credits: Megan Gordon; Leela Cyd)