Creative, Healthy, Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Earlier this week we asked our readers for some better intelligence on make-ahead breakfasts. We read the comments (all 37 of them!) and rounded up more ideas from Facebook and Twitter. Here are all the ideas we heard, sorted into categories, and with some links to recipes. Take a look, and add more ideas if you’ve got ’em!

Breads, Pancakes, French Toast

French Toast, Waffles & Pancakes

  • Before going to bed I put the sliced bread to soak in a mixture of cream cheese, eggs, maple syrup, etc… in the morning, before I go to take a shower, I pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes and voila! They are done as soon as I am done with my shower! – Diethood

  • I second Diethood on the French Toast front. I usually make a big batch and then freeze the leftovers.
    In the AM pop a few slices into the toaster and you’re good to go. – greenamie

  • French Toast and Pancakes… Make the day/night before and keep in the fridge. In the morning, just POP them in the TOASTER to perfectly reheat them. Soooo much better than the microwave and your kids can do it. Tip: wooden toaster tongs help retrieve thinner pancakes. – studio57

  • I like to make pancakes ahead and keep them in the freezer. I also like to make a batch of muffins and keep them on hand for the rest of the week. – cupcakemuffin

  • I have a little rectangle waffle iron. I make up some batter and do a batch of about a dozen or so.

    I let them cool and put them in a big freezer bag. When I’m in a hurry I grab a couple and take them with me to work. Sometimes I will grab some berries or a banana to take with me to throw on top. I use the toaster to heat them up at the office. I could just get some Eggo’s but find that this is not only cheaper, but I can add ingredients like flax and whey protein to give them a little more of the good stuff. They make a great treat for breakfast and help curb an afternoon craving. I keep a bottle of maple syrup in the office fridge…and it works out really well. – EmilyBlades

  • Our favorite make ahead breakfasts are overnight/yeasted waffles — ridiculously delicious and require just minimal time the night before;and crepes (which always taste better when the batter sits overnight). Any leftovers I just freeze between sheets of parchment — especially the crepes — kids love them after school with cream cheese and home made strawberry jam. – betsy bougie

Protein Bars & Other Baked Goods

  • This is a pretty normal out the door week day breakfast at our house: a homemade protein bar and a glass of milk (if you’re really good add some fruit). We love these protein bars (they taste like no-bake cookies!!):

    1 1/4 c. chocolate protein power (we use GNC)
    1 c peanut butter
    1/2 c honey
    1 1/2 c. oldfashioned oats

    Melt honey and pb together in microwave, mix in dry ingredients, press into an ungreased square pan. Chill for 1 hour. Cut into 9 bars. 200 cal. / 11g fiber/ 20g protein (based off the brands and products we use at our house) – SticksnLoans

  • here’s a recipe for a “breakfast cookie” – tastes more like cookie dough, actually… – actors diet

  • Muffins. I make fat-free banana bran cran pecan muffins a couple times a month, freeze them, and ration them for breakfast, thawing the night before. – Nancy T

Bread, Bread Casseroles & Toast

  • I just end up having peanut butter toast on my way out the door. It isn’t “make ahead” but it is fast! – <a href="//>flowerse</a></li>%0A<li><a%20href=" https: bread-pudding-bites>Bread pudding – an easy way to use stale bread AND an excellent breakfast. – mstinagray
  • Focaccia filled with mozzarella, goat cheese and basil. Slice it when first baked and reheat the slices in the morning. mmmmmm. … Recipe is from Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno’s “Bread”. – Mona D
  • My Raspberry Mascarpone Breakfast Strata is the best! – piccantedolce
  • I make a baked french toast dish that soaks overnight. I also make mini cinnamon rolls and keep them raw in the freeze, just pop them out & bake for about 15 minutes and you have hot, fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls. – LifeCurrents via Facebook


  • Personally, I like making bagels at home. I use Peter Reinhart’s recipe. It’s a bit of work, but it makes batches of two dozen, which are easily freezable. They’re much better than anything you’ll get in a store, and I find bread-making pretty enjoyable. – gambrinus

Eggs & Other Proteins


  • I adore egg muffins, which are basically the low carb version of the mini quiches. Much easier to make too! Freezes well, stays fresh in fridge for a week. Microwave for 20 secs to reheat.

    Beat egg with seasonings of your choice, place fillings of your choice in a lightly greased muffin pan till about 1/3 full, pour egg over till each cup is 2/3 full. Bake at 375 F for 20 – 25 minutes. You can adjust the proportions of the fillings to egg as you like, I like mine full of stuff.

    I like to season with onion salt and pepper and sometimes a little hot sauce, and use green onion, mushroom, zucchini, imitation crab meat, and cheese as the fillings. Soften the zucchini by microwaving with a little water till it’s almost done. Yum. – irry

  • Green smoothies, protein waffles and breakfast sandwiches with eggs, Canadian bacon, cheese and a bagel thin are my freezer-staples for breakfast. – ACharmer

  • I also will make an “egg-bake” or fritatta of sorts. Every veg in the fridge gets a quick sauté and a toss with a few beaten eggs before going in the oven. Again, portioned out into bowls. – GretaGrace

  • Favorite around here: breakfast burritos, individually wrapped in foil squares and frozen. Open them in the morning, wrap in a paper towel and microwave for about 2 minutes each. They’re also great for taking on camping trips. – ADonuts

  • Frittata’s are also great. I usually make one big enough to have leftovers for breakfast for a few days. You can either heat it up in the oven or just let it get to room temperature. Here are two of my favorites: Sherried Mushroom & Goat Cheese Frittata and Frittata – piccantedolce

  • I make a healthy version of quiche: eggs, skim milk, fat free feta, tuna, spinach and corn, but bake them in silicone muffin cups (no muffin pan required). They are 190 cals for two and I make them every Sunday night for the week. Then, I just have to pop two of them in my lunch bag for work and keep the silicone muffin cups and bring them home. With a slice of toast and a piece of fruit it is a great breakfast. I ride my bike to work so I eat breakfast at my desk – they are great! – Chickysoup
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Swiss Oatmeal from reader fauxmartha

Oatmeal, Porridge & Grains


  • Two words: Swiss Oatmeal! (See recipe here.) Soak the oats the night before and add yogurt, fruit, and brown sugar in the morning. You could make a big batch at the beginning of the week if you wish. – fauxmartha

  • If you have a rice cooker with a timer, steel cut oats are pretty delicious and easy. – gambrinus

  • Overnight oats! 1/3 cup oats + 1 6oz tub of greek yogurt (plus any add-ins.. I like a tbsp of chia seeds & fruit). In the morning you get cakey goodness! – kellybelly223

  • I make a week/s worth of oatmeal adding in a nut butter, some vanilla or almond extract, cinnamon, as well as pumpkin and flax, maybe some chunky applesauce and berries. Once it’s all cooked up I portion it out into bowls. – GretaGrace

  • All-time favorite: Baked Oatmeal. It’s super healthy, yet you kinda feel like you’re eating cake + fruit crisp. Amazing!! I soak my oats overnight before baking it as well, so you get even more volume.

    Heidi Swanson has a great recipe in her new book for this, and it’s available for free on Amazon through the book’s page. I highly recommend it! I warm mine slightly and top with almond milk, bananas, and pb. OH, and you can freeze it in individual portions too! – AmandaSW

  • Wifesaver!!! Or steel cut oatmeal made overnight in the rice cooker – Jennifer Welsh via Facebook

Other Grains

  • Given that I am out to the door at the ugly hour of anywhere between 3:45am and 5:15am (live on the West Coast but work East Coast hours), all of my breakfasts are prepped the night before. Warm weather means plain greek yogurt ‘cups’ layered with flaxseed and fruit or overnight oats/muesli mixed with whatever fruit and nuts I have on hand. – rosebud

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (thawed in the fridge overnight, at home) plus 1 youghurt plus a sprinkling of Kashi cereal. I’ve been eating this every day at work for about… oh two years, haven’t gotten sick of it yet. – modestalmond

  • I make my own granola. Purchased always has one ingredient I don’t want.

    3 and a half cups of stuff. Can be whatever you want, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, pine nuts, dried fruit, etc. I almost always make one cup oatmeal.

    2 tbsps vegetable oil
    half a cup of honey

    mix and bake at 300 degrees until just barely brown. Hint, pour honey in a well in center of stuff so that very little gets on sides of bowl and not on pan. I spread on parchment in a cookie sheet. I mix with yogurt and berries for a quick and yummy breakfast. good fiber. – lampeam

Fruit and Vegetables

  • While I’m making dinner, I’ll cut up a banana and whatever other fruit I have around to put them in the freezer. Pull them out in the morning, add some peanut butter and vanilla nut milk for sweetness & protein, and toss in a cup or so of whatever leafy greens I have around. Makes me feel virtuous for getting a few servings of produce in before I’ve even left the house and it keeps me full until lunch. – sgaspar


  • smoothies are always in my hand out the door! My two favorites: banana +soy + ice (so refreshing! sometimes add a spoon of PB or unsweetened cocoa) and frozen cherries + almond milk + vanilla extract – nlhering

Something Completely Different!

  • What about last night’s pizza for breakfast? – ezehajnal
  • I am a savory breakfast-eater, so have no problems digging into dinner leftovers very early in the morning. It is certainly “make-ahead!” Another version of this is adding some leftovers (like sauteed veggies or soup) into steel-cut oats (from my weekly batch in the fridge) and heating up. – carieshmarie
  • fastest breakfast? cup of coffee, cup of milk, vitamins. – jezibel

More Make-Ahead Breakfast from The Kitchn

(Image: Faith Durand; Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan; reader fauxmartha)