Scene: It’s 6:00 am Christmas morning. The kids didn’t fall asleep until midnight. You were up late
fighting about discussing the assembly of the new toy kitchen with your spouse. Then you still had to put out the presents and fill the stockings. You’ve only slept for what seems minutes instead of hours. The kids have found their presents and are begging you to get up. (Or if it’s my house, the presents were already opened by one child while everyone else slept peacefully.)
Well, even if this doesn’t happen at your house, maybe you still groan as you think about preparing breakfast on Christmas morning.
Never fear, dear readers. I am here to ease your breakfast woes.
Fortunately for you, the possibilities are practically endless when it comes to do-ahead breakfast dishes.
Breads and Pastries That Can Be Made Ahead (or Bought!)
Let’s start with the breads and pastries, shall we? Because in my perfect world, every breakfast would have something sweet to accompany the something savory. Thus, in our house we usually have a sweet pastry on Christmas morning.
Sweet rolls are super easy to make ahead. You can make the dough, let it rise, fill and shape cinnamon rolls and freeze them until Christmas Eve. Take them out, put them on/in a greased pan and let them rise in a garage overnight. Pop them in the oven in the morning and you’ll have fresh, hot rolls.
- My Refrigerator Roll recipe (make the dough the night before, assemble the rolls in the morning)
- Dorie Greenspan’s Pecan Honey Sticky Buns
- Kugelhopf rolls from The Kitchn
- My Cream Cheese and Jam Sweet Rolls using Dorie Greenspan’s Brioche recipe
- Rhodes’ Butterscotch Bubbleloaf (I grew up eating this for Christmas breakfast)
- Here’s a great, quick option from Ina Garten using puff pastry. (Why have I never thought of this?)
- If you’d rather buy rolls or pastries, you can find croissants or other sweet rolls by mail order or in the freezer section of many grocery stores.
- Williams-Sonoma has many wonderful gourmet options if it’s in your budget to splurge on French pastries. Or you can befriend a local pastry shop or bakery and ask about purchasing some items unbaked so you can do yourself at home.
We used to make sticky buns with a biscuit dough that were very quick and easy for Christmas morning. My husband actually likes them better than yeasted sweet rolls. I haven’t ever posted it because my pictures never seemed to turn out just right, but you should give them a try because the rolls themselves always turn out perfectly. My recipe is similar to this one on Genius Kitchen that has great reviews.
Quick breads are a great option too. They can be prepared ahead of time–the night before, or days before. Either freeze them, or prepare the batter up to the point of mixing liquid and dry ingredients. Or throw them together after the kids have ripped apart the living room and are happily playing with their new toys. Either way, muffins are a pretty safe bet for a quick breakfast on Christmas morn.
Here’s a list of our favorite muffins
Pancakes and waffles
It’s easy to prepare batter the night before–just combine the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls and mix them in the morning. Or make them the night before, allow them to cool, layer with wax paper and cover tightly. Pull them out in the morning and reheat them. (No, they won’t be as good, but your kids won’t know the difference.)
True Belgian waffle batter should be prepared the night before and is the perfect thing to serve on Christmas morning with a side of sausage or bacon. (By the way, last Christmas my mom gave me this waffle iron. Totally worth the extra money. I’ve never been happier with a waffle iron.)
- King Arthur Flour’s Belgian Yeast Waffles
- Cardamom Sour Cream Waffles from Gourmet mag have caught my attention…
- Buttered Apple Cider Sauce for pancakes and waffles
- Carolyn’s Buttermilk Caramel Syrup
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd
- Dutch baby pancakes are another excellent do-ahead dish. They will turn out better if you prepare the batter the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Pull it out and let it come to room temp for about 30 minutes, continue with recipe directions.
- Dutch Pancakes with Sauteed Apples
- Crepes can also be made ahead of time, cooled and layered between wax paper. Simply warm them gently in a non-stick skillet and fill with fruit and cream, or whatever your heart desires. Savory crepes could rock your Christmas morning.
- Crepe Ideas and Recipe from 101 Cookbooks
- An awesome How-To series from Cooking Light including make-ahead tips
- David Lebovitz’s Buckwheat Crepes
- GF Quinoa-Hazelnut Crepes from La Tartine Gourmand
- Clotilde’s Crepe recipe and her Buckwheat Crepe Recipe
(I’m starting to think we might be having crepes soon…)
Casseroles! I know there are people in this world who refuse to eat casseroles.
Don’t let yourself be caught hating a delicious do-ahead meal like a breakfast strata. You might be surprised how delicious it is. (I’m looking at you my dear husband.)
- My Breakfast Strata Casserole two ways–a traditional Sausage and Cheddar Breakfast Casserole and a vegetarian Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Breakfast Casserole.
- Chilaquiles, a great thing to serve as brunch or breakfast, eggs on top would be fab
Toad-in-the-Hole, we’re having this on Boxing Day
- Zucchini Breakfast Casserole from Simply Recipes
- Warm Potato Salad would be appropriate. It can be made ahead and reheated before serving. Or, make it and leave the dressing off and drizzle it over after it has been reheated.
- Roasted or fried potatoes. Boil the potatoes the night before, toss with desired oil (I like olive oil), throw into a hot oven (400-450 degrees), roast until browned. Sprinkle with fresh herbs.
- Or bake some potatoes the day before. Cut up the cold potatoes and throw them into a hot skillet with oil or butter. Add some chopped onion,, season with paprika, pepper, salt and onion powder.
Other Ideas and Links
- Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa Bowl from 101 Cookbooks (I could eat this daily)
- Breakfast Cookies
- Oatmeal Bar–make steel cut or regular oatmeal and set out various toppings, such as dried, fresh and frozen fruit (berries, peaches, apples, mango, banana, etc.), milk and cream, nuts and seeds, honey and brown sugar, etc. Let everyone make their own. Save your calories for later in the day. :)
- Smorgasbord breakfast. This is my husband’s dream breakfast. You can totally do a lot of the items from the buffet ahead of time, or purchase them. Smoked salmon, kippers, sliced cold cuts, sliced cheese, yogurt and fruit, muesli. Add some pastries, purchased or made ahead of time. Eggs.
- Leftover Holiday Glazed Ham. Make your ham for the 24th and have cold ham along with your meal. No need to dirty another skillet to make bacon or sausage.
- Eggs Benedict. This is easy make ahead of time by pre-poaching the eggs the night before and placing them in water in the fridge overnight. Slip them into simmering water to warm them before serving. The Hollandaise sauce can also be made ahead and gently reheated.
- Breakfast Ideas from my archives (for Valentine’s Day, but would be great for Christmas too)
- Quick Brunch Ideas from The Kitchn
- Breakfast and Brunch Ideas from 101 Cookbooks
- Kalyn Denny has a plethora of healthy breakfast dishes (some of which I have made and loved)
Readers, did you make it through this marathon post? What recipes have you liked and had success with for do-ahead breakfasts? I’d love you to chime in with your ideas as well.