make ahead breakfast night before

Night Before Breakfast Bowls

I want to start each day off on a good foot.  Who doesn’t?  I want my kids to have a breakfast that will keep them full until lunch, is healthy, and quick in the mornings. If it uses up leftovers, that’s a bonus.

pizza make ahead bowl
Pizza breakfast bowl

So I was looking around my kitchen last night, at the remnants of making some delicious thin crust pizza, and I realized that most of these leftovers would be great with eggs and potatoes.  Lo and behold, I had some leftover potatoes!  And eggs that were on ridiculous sale at Meijer this weekend!  What a stroke of luck!

With the leftover pizza ingredients, plus some bacon, salsa, and cheddar cheese, I managed to make three different types of breakfast bowls.  That’s the wonder of this recipe; it’s sooo customizable.  Don’t like salsa?  Omit it.  Think pigs are the best animal in the world because they make bacon?  Add extra bacon.  Have a vegetarian visiting?  Load it with veggies.  And on and on.  I’ll provide the base recipe, but you can add whatever extras you want.

While I cleaned up the pizza mess, I threw the potatoes and peppers in the oven.  Once they were done, I pretty much used up the rest of the pizza toppings I cut.  Less for me to store in the fridge and totally forget about!

ranchero salsa make ahead breakfast bowl
Ranchero breakfast bowl

Then, in the morning, all I had to do was warm these bowls of breakfast bounty up.  That’s the tricky part.  Eggs can get overcooked and dry pretty quickly.  Anyone who’s been to a stale brunch buffet can attest to that.  So I took a two-fold approach.  One, make sure the scrambled eggs are just barely cooked, if not still a little soft.  Then, when micr them in the morning, do it on low power.  This will take the chill out and melt the cheese without overcooking the eggs.

My kids loved this recipe.  Even better: I got to eat with them.  I wasn’t still making my breakfast while my kids chowed down.  I nuked all three bowls at once and was able to enjoy my coffee and my kids… but not the same way.  My coffee doesn’t give my attitude about cleaning her room after breakfast.

Night Before Breakfast Bowls

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 bell pepper (or 1/2 of a red and 1/2 of a green, like I used)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper (or a few good long grinds from a pepper mill)
  • 12 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste for eggs
  • Toppings — see suggestions below

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Dice potatoes and peppers into roughly 1″ pieces.
  2. Toss potatoes and peppers in olive oil, then add salt and pepper and toss again.
  3. Lay peppers and onions in a single layer in a baking pan.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, but not mushy.  Scrape the pan halfway through to keep potatoes from sticking.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium.  Crack the eggs in a medium bowl and add salt and pepper.  Scramble with a fork or whisk until smooth.  Pour eggs into skillet and scramble until just barely done.  They should still be shiny, but not slimy.  Remove from skillet to prevent overcooking.
  5. Divide potatoes and eggs into 6 small containers.  Top with toppings you want.  Let cool before covering and refrigerating.
  6. To reheat in the morning: lightly cover with paper towel or loosely place container’s lid on top.  Microwave for 1.5 minutes on 40% power.  Stir, replace lid, and heat for 30 seconds at 40% power, stirring each time, until heated through.  If you are cooking multiple bowls at a time, it will take longer.

Topping combination ideas:

classic breakfast bowl make ahead
Classic breakfast bowl

Ranchero: Cheddar cheese, black olives, salsa.  Avocado  and tortilla chips after reheating.

Pizza: Pepperoni, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, olives, mushrooms… or anything else you put on pizza!.

Classic: Cheddar cheese, bacon, mushrooms.  (Ham and/or sausage would be good in place of or in addition to the bacon.)