If you’re having a hard time getting the kids (and yourself!) out the door in the morning, then a breakfast casserole can be a time saver! Just make a big one on the weekend and serve it up all week long. Here’s a huge list of 23 delicious breakfast casseroles to get you started!
One thing every one of my busy mama friends tells me is this: Mornings are freaking hard with little kids.
Remember those heady pre-kids days when our coffee was hot, our showers were hotter, and we could listen to the news without the background noise of cartoons?
The glory days, man.
But those days of calm mornings are behind us (and, eventually, ahead of us)
So for here, for now, we’re in the get-everyone-out-the-door-without-going-berserk phase.
And on the crazy days, having breakfast made ahead of time is a life saver.
A sanity saver, too. Time saver, even!
Breakfast casseroles are the best at this. Make a big pan (or two!) on Sunday, divide it up, and BOOM PRESTO, breakfast is over and it’s time to go get your shoes on.
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite breakfast casseroles from the interwebs here for you!
Also, I helpfully separated them into the three categories I find most breakfast casseroles fall into: Paleo/Keto/Healthy/Gluten-Free, Sweet Casseroles, and Basic Breakfast Casseroles.
Bonus? Any of these casseroles are great for the holiday season as well!
Oh, and here’s a tip: If you want to make your own breakfast casserole with what you’ve already got on hand, this is my basic ratio. I like to start with this, and then I play around with flavors:
Line a 9×13” baking pan with bread cubes.
Mix 8-10 eggs with 1 ½ cups half and half and pour on top
Add cheese and protein, like sausage
Bake at 350*F for about 10 minutes, until the middle of the pan is set.
Here’s the rest of the list; I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below!
A simple grab-and-go breakfast bowl that rocks on busy mornings! This post was sponsored by Farmland Fresh Dairies. Click here to read my disclosures.
Here’s the story of how an easy breakfast bowl got this mama her morning groove back.
See, I love implementing systems and rhythms in my family’s days. I know, right!? I only gush about them every chance I can get in this space. But seriously though guys, I Really. Freakin’. Love. Routine.
But hey, guess what? I’m also a human, who screws up, and loses steam, and gets distracted. And my rhythms sometimes fall apart, just like they do with basically everyone else in this world.
I just make sure that when that happens, I stop, reassess, and get back into the fallen rhythm as soon as I possibly can.
Case in point: the wheels have lately begun to come off of our morning routine.
And I needed to do something about it.
My kids are both in school now and everyone in the family has to be out the door by 7:40 am. The first few weeks of the school year I was really nailing our new-to-us morning routine and getting a hot, filling breakfast on the table for everyone.
But things started slowly piling up and one day I found myself wrapping peanut butter toast in paper towels and passing them out as we all rushed out the door. And while I’d never fault that for happening occasionally, it started happening more and more.
My awesome morning routine wasn’t so awesomely routine anymore.
So when Farmland Fresh sent me a shipment of dairy products and asked to create a recipe for them, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: breakfast.
Preferably a breakfast that was healthy, grab-and-go, and full of natural flavors.
Like an easy breakfast bowl. (Seriously. Really easy.)
Crisp fall mornings go hand in hand with apples, so this Apple Pie and Chia Easy Breakfast Bowl, featuring plain yogurt from Farmland Fresh thickened with chia seeds and topped with warming apple pie flavors,, takes just a few minutes of hands-on work for a great reward.
Plus, these easy breakfast bowls are allllllllmost like having dessert for breakfast.
Like, if you close your eyes real tight and pretend you’re eating real apple pie instead of, you know, a healthy breakfast, you might just believe it.
In any case, easy breakfast bowls are a great option for anyone riding the weekday morning struggle bus (like me lately).
You can mix these apple pie breakfast bowls up the night before and throw ‘em in the fridge, or even make a handful at the start of the week and skip the morning cooking altogether for a few days.
Because other than a pre-set coffee machine, there’s nothing easier than a premade, easy breakfast bowl that only needed the plastic wrap to come off before digging in. Am I right?
Make these grab and go breakfast bowls the night before! Chill them in the fridge overnight and then grab and go in the morning. Adding antioxidant-rich chia seed to the yogurt will bulk it up and help you stay fuller for longer.
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoon apple pie seasoning
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup Farmland Fresh plain yogurt
Remove the core from the apples and cut them into small dice.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the apples, apple pie seasoning and brown sugar.
Stir to combine and let cook until the apples have softened and the mixture is starting to break down, about 10 minutes.
While the apples are cooking, divide the yogurt into 4 bowls.
Stir 1 tablespoon of chia seeds into each bowl until combined.
When the apple have cooked, remove from the heat and spoon onto the yogurt bowls.
Serve immediately or let cool and then wrap and store in the fridge.
A fresh and bright grain-based tabbouleh salad that comes together quickly and is full of summertime flavor.
This bright and zingy tabbouleh salad is incredibly easy to make side dish since it can be thrown together in as little as 15 minutes!
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad typically made by combining bulghar wheat (also known as cracked wheat), cucumbers, parsley or mint, fresh tomatoes, and lemon juice.
I’m changing the traditional version of this easy to make side by adding a few “extras” that I think brighten this dish as a whole.
I included bit of fresh mint leaves alongside parsley, sweet cherry tomatoes instead of the usual diced vine tomatoes, and lime juice in place of lemon. The mint adds a freshness that blends well with peppery parsley. Cherry tomatoes lend a pop of juicy sweetness, and lime juice is brightens with less of an acid overtone than lemon.
Depending on who makes it, it can be heavy on the veggies, or mostly parsley, or be made with a majority of bulghar. It’s super customizable and comes together crazy quick.
And speaking of customizable, just because there are traditional ingredients in a tabbouleh salad, it doesn’t mean you can’t play around with it. I don’t usually add cucumbers as I’m not a huge fan, but I will toss in diced bell peppers, cooked eggplant, grilled asparagus- namely, all the summer vegetables.
One thing that’s always served on top of my tabbouleh salad? A big dollop of Greek yogurt.
The tang of Greek yogurt paired with the zesty herbiness of a well-seasoned tabbouleh salad creates the perfect easy to make side.
But what really is my fave thing about a tabbouleh is this: while it comes together quickly, the real magic lies in letting this salad sit for a while. If you make a big batch of it and then portion it out into containers, you’re basically winning at life and meal prep. It’s a hearty and hardy salad that keeps, stored in a tightly covered container in the fridge, for up to 5 days.
Whip together this easy to make side dish for your next picnic, potluck, or meal prep session!
This is an easy to make side that comes together in under 15 minutes. Add in whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand for a fresh twist!
for the tabbouleh:
1 1/2 cups bulghar wheat
1 pint cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
2 tablespoons torn fresh mint
2 tablespoon roughly chopped Italian parsley (leaves only)
1/4 cup lime juice
Salt (to taste)
Greek yogurt (to taste)
Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat, then add the bulghar wheat. Boil, uncovered, for about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and drain the water. Fluff the wheat with a fork and set aside.
In a large bowl, toss the bulghar wheat with the mint, parsley, cherry tomatoes and lime juice.
Season to taste with salt, if needed.
Serve chilled, with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top.
Busy parents need all the help they can get in the evenings, which is why having a few DIY Freezer Meal Kits packed away will make your freezer your new BFF.
Having a freezer filled with ready-to-go freezer meal kits as a backup on busy nights means you can rest easy no matter what the week throws at you!
What’s a DIY Freezer Meal Kit, exactly? Think of it as though a freezer meal and a delivery meal kit had a baby. In your kitchen.
It’s way more awesome than it even sounds, trust me.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of delivery meal kits, like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, here’s how they work:
Once a week, a box arrives on your front step containing a recipe and all the ingredients you need to cook a few simple meals. Many of the ingredients are already broken down or at least have been packaged in a way that preparing them for cooking is a snap.
Cooking dinner from a meal kit may not look like less work from the outside – after all, you still have to cook, right?- but the energy it saves is huge!
This is energy saved not only in the physical labor of grocery shopping and much of the ingredient prep, but mental energy as well; deciding what to make, finding a recipe, seeking out the ingredients, figuring out what to do with leftover ingredients and leftovers from the meal, etc.
It’s a formula that works, and that’s why meal delivery kits are all the rage with busy parents.
But they’re expensive. You don’t get to choose the individual recipes. And sometimes, you dont get a chance to make the recipe, meaning you’ve got to figure out what to do with those leftover ingredients!
That’s where DIY Freezer Meal Kits come in. You choose the price point that works for you. You choose the individual recipes. And you choose when to make the dish, so you’re not on anyone’s time clock but your own.
How exactly do you create a DIY Freezer Meal Kit, though? Can you just throw the ingredients of any dish in the freezer and call it good?
Well, kind of. While it’s true that not every dish is amenable to being made into a freezer meal kit, the fact is that yes- you can freeze just about any ingredient.
Here are a few unexpected ingredients you can totally freeze:
Eggs? Sure, if they’re out of the shell and raw.
Sour cream? Yep!
Breadcrumbs? Of course!
Cheese? Yes- especially if it’s been shredded and cubed to cut down on moisture.
And while most of these items won’t thaw and revert back to their original state prior to freezing, they will cook up perfectly fine- which is why DIY Freezer Meal Kits lend a ton of flexibility.
Let’s take the example of Chicken Enchiladas, one of my favorite meals to make into a freezer meal kit.
Step One: Look at the recipe and see what happens right before it gets put in the oven. You’re looking for what components, if any, are prepared in a separate way before everything gets combined and cooked. So, with Chicken Enchiladas, you’ve got shredded chicken, cooked and seasoned black beans, and salsa verde, all made (or purchased!) and then it’s all rolled up in tortillas and topped with cheese before baking.
Shredded chicken, salsa verde, seasoned black beans, tortillas and shredded cheese are the components of Chicken Enchiladas, so that’s what gets frozen in separate bags or containers.
Step Two: Divide those components into separate, freezer-safe containers or ziplock bags. No matter whether you’re purchasing ready-made salsa verde or making it from scratch, put it in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag and label it with the date. Do the same with each component. Then, place each wrapped component in the final baking dish (a casserole dish, either reusable or disposable) and wrap tightly. You can also pack everything together in a big gallon ziplock bag, if it’s big enough to hold everything. Clearly write the name of the recipe and the date on top with a Sharpie, and place it in the freezer
Step Three: When you’re ready to cook, pull the whole dish out, thaw the items (here’s a primer for thawing) and then assemble and cook as directed.
So what do you think? Are DIY Freezer Meal Kits a great backup option for your family?
Try the Chicken Enchilada recipe below as a DIY Freezer Meal Kit, and let me know how it turns out for you!
This simple weeknight dish of chicken enchiladas, packed with shredded chicken and black beans and smothered in salsa verde and melty cheese, also makes a perfect DIY Freezer Meal Kit. Simply freeze each component of the dish in separate containers and store together in the freezer. The ingredients thaw faster this way, and the dish tastes like it’s made from fresh- with less of the work on the night of!
I usually cook big batches of chicken breasts all at once in the crockpot, then shred and store for recipes like these. If you’re starting from scratch, poach the chicken in water until cooked thoroughly, then shred using two forks or a hand mixer on low.
I really recommend using flour tortillas in this recipe as opposed to corn; they’re more durable and hold up to cooking much better, meaning there’s fewer enchiladas falling apart while you’re trying to serve.
for the salsa verde:
2 tablespoons olive oil
8-10 large tomatillos (papery shells discarded and rinsed)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional if you’re a cilantro hater )
Make the salsa verde: Halve the tomatillos. Heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering, then add the tomatillos and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have started to brown and soften. Add the lime juice and cilantro and stir to combine. Transfer to a food processor or blender and process until smooth, then set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400*F.
Roll the enchiladas: In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, black beans, salt, and cumin. Stir to mix.
Place 1/2 cup of chicken and black bean mixture in the center of a flour tortilla and roll the tortilla around the mixture in a long cylinder. Transfer the tortilla cylinders to a 9″x13″ baking dish, nestling them next to each other in one long row.
Once all the tortillas have been rolled and placed in the dish, pour the salsa verde over the tortillas, using a spoon to smooth the salsa verde into any cracks and crevices.
Sprinkle the enchiladas evenly with cheese and place the dish in the oven.
Bake until the cheese has melted and is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.
Scheduling in a working moms’ meal prep routine can seem tricky at first but I’ll let you in on this secret: meal prepping is my number one timesaving strategy and some weeks, the only way I manage to keep my sanity!
Want to know why? It’s not because it saves you time cooking (although is fully does) It’s because it saves you time washing dishes.
By far and large, whenever I talk to my fellow busy parents riding the struggle bus during weekday meal times, their biggest complaint is this: I freaking hate washing dishes.
This is even more so in New York City, where so many apartments come dishwasher-free. If you’re raising kids and doing it without a dishwasher, I say to you: I’m with you, and I salute you and isn’t it just the worst!?
I’ve been living without a dishwasher for almost three years now, and in that time I’ve launched a cooking company, scaled up my recipe testing and recipe development freelance work, and continue to raise two kids, one of whom eats like a horse.
I hand wash a lot of dishes.
Like, seriously a lot.
My hands are constantly dry and battered, and a few weeks ago when I went for a manicure, the manicurist peered down at my hands, with their cracked skin and nicks and cuts and raggedly nails, and then gave me a funny look.
“Your hands are in rough shape,” she told me. Yeah, thanks for that.
Over the years, especially my years without a dishwasher, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to mitigate the overwhelming-ness of my sink:
I listen to podcasts or books on tape to make the time go faster.
The working mom’s meal prep routine is a huge timesaver, that much is true. But its secret superpower is how it cuts down on your dirty dishes throughout the week.
When you’ve already prepped for the week, you’ll only have your storage items and plates to wash after that- no pans, knives, cutting boards, pots, lids, etc. You don’t have to worry about bleaching down your countertops after you’ve prepped raw meats.
See those cute little storage containers? They’re crazy easy to clean and dry. No funky corners or baked on grease. I’d rather zip through cleaning these guys than a million pots and pans on a busy Wednesday evening when I’d rather be curled up with my kids watching Boss Baby for the zillionth time.
I’ll also add as an aside, this week was an odd meal plan for us (pizza bagels, I know!), because I’m in the middle of a recipe testing project for Peapod, and some of the items I’m testing have made their way onto our dinner table so I can make sure they work time wise.
So here’s how I broke down my Power Hour last week:
In 60 minutes, I:
Formed 2 pounds of burger into patties for hamburgers
Sliced 4 sweet potatoes into fries
Combined the seasonings and liquids for Beef Stroganoff, since it’s a crockpot dish, and set aside (the meat had come already diced)
Seasoned and cooked the sausage for Stuffed Peppers
Combined panko and parmesan in one container, and egg wash and mustard in another, and chopped fish into fillets Roasted broccoli in a hot oven
Roasted green beans in a hot oven and then tossed them with slivered almonds for a side
Guess how many pans and post and containers I skipped washing?
Like, a million.
Okay- I skipped the big pots and pans, to be fair. So many it wasn’t a million.
At the end of the week, in reality, I had washed only plates, silverware and cups/glasses, plus 2-3 daily containers.
I mean, I’d say that’s not too bad, right? No cutting boards, no pots, no sheet pans- they were all used and then washed in a big push on Sunday afternoon.
You can do this, too! Meal prep is a hassle- believe me, I KNOW THIS. But when you can push through and get it on your schedule and get it done, your tired ass self will thank you a thousand times over throughout the week. To come home to dinner made or mostly made- that is a good feeling.
And if you’re stuck on meal prepping and where to start, check out my free prep sheet worksheet download by leaving your name and email below!
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Thai Larb Gai is a traditional meal from Laos, an area in Thailand. On your typical Western-style Thai restaurant menu, it’s usually served as seasoned ground meat with red onions and other veggies, on a bed of lettuce and drizzled with a bright and zesty lime dressing.
I took that standard appetizer dish, layered it with rice, and turned into a perfect working lunch.
These Thai-style rice bowls make an awesome meal prep recipe for beginners, and they come together quickly. Plus, they taste even better as the week goes on!
Bonus: this meal prep recipe works as a hot or cold lunch option! This means you don’t have to have lunchtime access to a microwave or stove in order to enjoy it #LunchtimeWins
I mean, those pretty bowls on Pinterest look like they take forever to assemble!
Plus, I don’t know about you, but I’m not on any special diet or meal plan, like paleo, 21-Day Fix, Whole30, etc. And sometimes it seems like every meal prep recipe out there is geared specifically to some sort of diet or meal plan.
Don’t get me wrong; diets and special meal plans are awesome for some.
But when I go to search my Pinterest boards or Google for meal prep recipe ideas, I find myself wading through bodybuilder and paleo sites and have trouble finding what I want: a make-ahead lunch that is simple, tasty, and portable.
That’s why I’m starting a new series of recipes, for those of us who want make-ahead lunches but aren’t especially following a specific diet or meal plan. And to kick off this series, I’ve teamed up with Farm Promise pork to make these crazy easy, super delicious Thai Larb Rice Bowls.
A big part of what makes these Thai Larb Rice Bowls so good is using quality pork from Farm Promise.
Farm Promise recently reached out to me to see if I would be interested in developing recipes highlighting their new pork products, which are sold in ShopRite stores throughout the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.
Once I looked a little more into their standards and promises and discovered what a quality brand they are, the offer was an easy one to agree to.
You guys know that I’m not one to advocate for a specific brand or company unless I 1,000% believe in it. It’s simply not worth my time or yours to recommend a product I’m not excited about.
But Farm Promise is good stuff. Farm Promise farmers don’t use antibiotics in feed for their pigs. They’re raised humanely on family farms, fed a vegetarian diet, and are raised without growth promotants.
Basically, it’s farming like it should be, on local farms run by families that care about their products. And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy, either.
To make these Thai Larb Rice Bowls, ground pork is browned in a hot pan with brown sugar, garlic, and lemongrass paste.
After the pork browns in the pan, it’s taken off the heat and tossed with a simple lime juice, fish sauce, and basil dressing.
Divide the pork over cooked rice, and you’re good to go! If you’ve already got rice prepared, the whole dish comes together in about 10 or 12 minutes. (so easy!)
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.
Cook onions in the oil over medium heat until they have started to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic and lemongrass paste and stir, cooking until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the brown sugar and stir until melted, then immediately add the pork to the pan. Cook, breaking the pork up with a wooden spoon as it browns until the pork is cooked through completely and no pink parts remain.
While the pork is cooking, combine the lime juice, basil, fish sauce and (optional) Thai chili paste in a small bowl, stirring to mix.
After the pork is cooked through, remove the pan from heat and stir in the lime juice mixture.
Divide the rice into four meal prep containers (or bowls, if serving immediately). Top each container with an even amount of the pork mixture.
Cool to room temperature, then store, tightly covered and in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.
If you’re new to meal prepping, you’ll LOVE my Meal Prep Power Hour Worksheet. It breaks down exactly how you can plan, prep, and cook a week’s worth of lunches and dinners- in only 60 minutes!
Leave your name and email below, and I’ll send it to you straight away.
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