It's been dubbed the most important meal of the day and includes foods so delicious that people make a party out of having it for dinner. And, with options that fully embrace that delightful combination of sweet and savory, there's no wonder why "breakfast for dinner" is a moment of celebration.
But, preparing all of those favorite dishes in the morning is less appealing and a downright chore if you're feeding a crowd. But we're here to change your mind because, with a few clever tricks, you can whip up the same crowd favorites with spare time to put your feet up and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Get ready as we transform breakfast into an easy task with options that include easy breakfast recipes packed with nutrition, simple meal prep tricks, kid-friendly options, and single-pan dishes designed for your biggest crowd.
1. The Oven Is Your Friend
Put down the skillet and spatula because the oven is the friend you should have invited to breakfast long ago. It does the heavy lifting with no babysitting required, and it's good for much more than muffins and bread.
Alongside cooking everything evenly at once, it handles large portions and makes for easy cleanup. From bacon and hashbrowns to French toast and eggs, you get all of the flavor without watching, flipping, and repeating (again and again). And, can you name a better way to melt cheese better than in an oven?
To start simply, top a baking sheet with a rack and place bacon in a single layer. Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes or until desired crispiness. (Hint: for easiest cleanup, dump the bacon grease into a container or garbage while still warm.)
2. Sheet Pan Breakfast to Please a Crowd
The humble sheet pan can do wonders in your early morning kitchen. Whether you're cooking bacon or potatoes, it carries a large load with minimal cleanup and provides a wonderful crisp without the work.
Beyond protein like bacon and sausage, the sheet pan can also be used in creative ways for your favorite classics, including scrambled eggs.
One of our favorite tricks is to make pancakes for a crowd using the sheet pan. It's as simple as whipping up a batch of pancake batter, pouring it into the pan, and baking at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. It's so simple that you wonder why we ever allowed ourselves to be chained to a skillet flipping individual pancakes one at a time?!?
If you want to take it to the next level, try these Breakfast Naan Pizzas.
3. The Versatile Muffin Pan
While we're breaking out basic kitchen pans, take another look at your muffin pan. While we love a good muffin (who doesn't), we're also missing a trick if we limit this pan's use to its name.
The simple muffin pan provides an excellent (or eggcellent) way to meal prep for the week or customize individual portions. Think single-serve quiches, hashbrown cups, or our favorite, egg bites.
Egg bites pack a punch of nutrition into a convenient bite-sized snack built for a busy morning. You can easily customize for any preference - simply grease each cup, sprinkle ingredients of choice, and top with the egg mixture. Sneak in vegetables (kale, spinach, bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions), herbs (oregano, parsley, cilantro, thyme, chives), and protein (bacon, sausage, turkey), alongside cheese (goat cheese, cream cheese, or classic cheddar cheese), and you'll have a meal that adults and kids will enjoy.
Here's our favorite recipe for Kale, Sweet Potato, and Bacon Egg Bites.
4. Be an Overnight Success
No time in the morning? No problem. Many breakfast classics can be made the evening before to keep your morning simple.
Easy prep-and-go items, like overnight oats and chia pudding provide high-nutritional value with no cook time needed in the morning. Better yet, these options allow for endless customization with fruit, spices, toppings, and your milk of choice.
You can also prepare some of the more time-consuming dishes the evening before for an easy bake in the oven in the morning. Homemade cinnamon rolls rise well overnight in the refrigerator. And, you can layer french toast in a casserole dish to soak overnight and bake in the oven. The result is a super creamy crumb that boasts more flavor than your traditional skillet French toast. Try these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze.
5. Get Creative
The most important thing to remember is to experiment and be open to shortcuts and new ways of cooking for favorite breakfast foods.
If you need to impress a crowd, why not try a build-your-own breakfast bowl featuring grains, veggies, protein, herbs, and maybe even last night's leftovers?
And, experiment with fusion options, like breakfast flatbreads, burritos, or a sheet pan breakfast pizza. Or an egg bake can easily take the form of a casserole or a classic shakshuka with room for endless creativity in toppings and flavors.
Ready to become a breakfast champion? Try our Neapolitan Sheet Pan Pancakes.