With all the Thanksgiving cooking going on, the last thing you probably want to think about is what to serve everyone on Thanksgiving morning. Don't fret — it doesn't have to be complicated to be good!
Over the years, I've developed three simple rules that I follow when planning out Thanksgiving breakfast. Here they are, along with five ideas on what you can serve your overnight guests Thanksgiving morning.
My 3 Rules for Thanksgiving Day Breakfast
1. Keep it easy.
There's just too much other cooking going on for a lot of energy to be going into breakfast. Don't forget that extra cooking also means extra dishes to wash, and who wants that? Easy and foolproof is the name of the game.
2. Keep it light.
Everyone knows the main meal of the day is dinner, even if you're eating it at four o'clock. Don't weigh everyone down with rich foods early in the day if you want them to save room for the big feast. And think about having fresh fruit as part of breakfast, as that's usually not a part of dinner.
3. Keep it flexible.
People are probably waking up at different times, coming and going, and won't have time to all sit down together for breakfast. Plan on a breakfast that's make-ahead and can sit out a bit, and serve foods that people can easily customize for themselves.
Now that we've got these rules out of the way, what should you have for Thanksgiving breakfast? Here are some suggestions.
Throw oatmeal in the slow cooker the night before Thanksgiving and go to bed. When you wake up, breakfast is ready and will stay warm for hours. Set out some jam, dried fruit, maple syrup, milk, and nuts and let everyone customize their own bowl. Oatmeal is filling without weighing you down.
Yogurt Parfait Buffet
Similar to oatmeal, this one is even easier. Put out your favorite yogurt, granola or muesli, a fancy compote or jam, and cut up some seasonal fresh fruit. People can layer away and you won't even have to turn on the stove.
The concept of toast might not be very groundbreaking, but Thanksgiving morning is not the time to be reinventing the wheel. Pick up some English muffins, challah, babka, or cinnamon bread from a local bakery and set out some good salted butter, lemon curd, nut butters, or jams. Set up a toast station and everyone can have a custom-made breakfast (that they make themselves!). For more savory options, pick up some cream cheese, smoked salmon, and capers.
For those who just have to have eggs in the morning, consider a frittata. You can make one big one in a baking dish, throw in any extra vegetables, meats, or cheese you have laying around to use them up, and serve it warm or at room temperature.
Growing up in a Chinese household, congee, or rice porridge, was a definite breakfast staple at our house, especially on chilly mornings. There's no better comfort food in my book, especially since you can set out toppings like soy sauce, green onions, and crunchy peanuts to customize your own bowl. Congee can be made the night before and just warmed up the next morning on the stove. It's a welcome start to a day that will later be filled with turkey, potatoes, and pies.