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3 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Busy Mornings

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As much as we’d like to, we don’t have time to make restaurant-worthy breakfasts every single morning. Whether you’re dashing to the office or the gym or you just need those extra minutes of sleep, these make-ahead breakfast recipes are a savior.

Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal

While the name may be misleading, the time savings are really the most decadent part of this recipe. Made with healthy carrots, warming spices and superfood seeds and nuts, this delicious, warm breakfast is a sweet and healthy way to begin your day.

You have options for this make-ahead breakfast; you can bake the oatmeal in advance and chill and reheat when you’re ready to eat or prep all the ingredients and bake them in just 20 minutes in the morning.


For the dry mixture

  • 2 cups (480 ml) rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 1/3 cups (319 ml) raw carrots, grated (roughly 4 carrots)
  • 1 big handful of raisins

For the wet mixture

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chia seeds bloomed in 1/3 cup water or 2 large organic eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups (540 ml) milk (I like hemp milk — any dairy or plant milk works)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla extract (or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped with pod discarded)

For the topping

  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) of pecans or your favorite nuts
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) pumpkin or sunflower seeds


Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease the base of a 9-by-13 inch pan with coconut oil and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients making sure they’re mixed well. If you’re using chia seeds, bloom them until all the water is absorbed. Then, mix the bloomed seeds with the other wet ingredients in a medium bowl, again making sure to mix well. Set aside.

Last, toss the nuts and seeds with the oil and maple syrup. If you’re going to bake the oatmeal later, store the wet, dry and topping ingredients in separate airtight containers. Don’t wait more than 48 hours to bake the oatmeal.

If you’re ready to bake now, assemble. Place the dry ingredients in the prepared pan and spread out evenly with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour the wet ingredients over the top, again making sure all ingredients are evenly distributed. Last, shake the topping over the oatmeal, covering completely.

Bake the oatmeal for 25–35 minutes. You’ll know its done when the topping is lightly browned and fragrant, and the oatmeal is set. Let cool just a moment before eating.

Recipe makes 12 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 259; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 48mg; Carbohydrate: 19g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 14g

Hazelnut Granola Breakfast Crumble with Pears

This dish is a bit like eating fruit with granola and yogurt, but more warming (and pre-baked). You could substitute apples or berries for the fruit, but pears are particularly comforting in the middle of winter.


For the crumble

  • 1 2/3 (638 ml) cups organic quick oats
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) raw cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) oat flour
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (15 m) organic vanilla extract

For the fruit filling

  • 3 pounds (48 oz) pears, cored (peeled, if desired) and cut into chunks, roughly 7 pears
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml)dried tart Bing cherries
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) raw cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) Chinese five-spice or pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of salt, optional


Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a 9-by-13 inch pan, combine the pear chunks with the dried cherries, lemon juice, sugar, oat flour, cinnamon and salt. Gently toss the ingredients so the pear chunks are evenly coated.

Next, make the granola topping: In a large saucepan, warm the coconut oil add the maple syrup, oats, sugar, oat flour, hazelnuts, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir until the oats are well coated and little clumps of granola form. You aren’t cooking the granola mixture here, just avoiding using a separate bowl to incorporate all the ingredients. Once the mixture is nicely combined, sprinkle the granola evenly over the pear mixture.

Bake the crumble for 4555 minutes, or until the pear juices are bubbling. Check the crumble at 25 minutes; if the granola browns faster than the pears cook, cover the pan with aluminum foil. Remove the foil in the last 5 minutes of baking so the granola crisps.

The crumble keeps well; cool to room temperature and store in the fridge for a week’s worth of breakfasts on the fly. Or, eat immediately with a big dollop of yogurt!

Recipe makes 12 servings at 1 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 286; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 7g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 15mg; Carbohydrate: 53g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 19g; Protein: 3g

Winter Mushroom Frittata with Kale & Pumpkin

The recipe below can easily be doubled for a larger (or particularly hungry) crowd. The frittata is lovely served family-style or sliced into squares and wrapped individually for quick-to-grab breakfasts mid-week.


  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2–4 kale leaves, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 6 large shiitake or cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 6–10 small spoonfuls of pumpkin pureé
  • 2 sprigs each thyme and sage, finely chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 small handful crumbled goat’s milk or feta cheese
  • 10 large eggs, beaten


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease the sides and bottom of a square 8-by-8 pan with olive oil then line with a piece of parchment paper. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the kale, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper and massage with your fingers to wilt the kale. Allow to sit for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

Add a bit of olive oil to a skillet and warm over medium-high heat, then lower to medium heat and add the shallots and chopped fresh herbs. Sauté gently until the shallot is translucent and the herbs are fragrant. Then, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are soft and brown. Remove from heat and add to the kale.

Next, beat the eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Add 1/2 of the crumbled cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add to the kale mixture and mix until well combined.

Pour the egg mixture into the prepared square pan (or divide evenly among muffin tins.) Dollop the spoonfuls of pumpkin evenly over the eggs and top with remaining cheese. I like to add a bit more salt and pepper at this point.  

Pop the pan into the oven and bake for 20–30 minutes. To check for doneness, shake the edge of the pan. If you intend to serve the frittata right away, bake until the center is set. If you intend to re-warm the frittata later, pull it out when it has just a little wiggle. The eggs will be nice and puffy all the way through the pan, and there won’t be any liquid on the surface of the frittata. The cheese will be toasted just a bit.

To serve later, cool completely then cover with aluminum foil. Rewarm in a 250°F oven until warmed through just before serving. Frittata, wrapped or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, lasts for up to two days.

Recipe makes 8 servings at 1/2 cup each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 155; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 237mg; Sodium: 138mg; Carbohydrate: 6g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 10g

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