I am what some people call a “morning person.” I am that annoying friend who meets you for Sunday brunch and informs you that I’ve already gone to the gym, done my laundry, bought groceries, and saved the world before noon. I am that irritating person you overhear on your morning commute who says, “I don’t even need coffee in the morning” or “I have so much energy at dawn.”
Accordingly, on weekdays, I’m typically up by 6:15 a.m., which gives me plenty of time to prepare and enjoy a nice, hearty breakfast before heading to work around 8:45 a.m.. But, occasionally, I am running late for some other reason, and it’s nice to be able to rely on a pre-made breakfast or leftovers.
Here are some of my favorite Whole30-approved breakfast items to prepare in advance so that my weekday breakfast prep takes all but 5 minutes in the morning.
Have you ever gotten hard boiled eggs from a salad bar? Were you grossed out when you sliced into the egg and the yolk was greenish-gray and wildly overcooked?
Stick to the guide below and you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly cooked eggs that retain a softish, yellow yolk that’s 0% gray and 100% delicious.
For best results, use pasture-raised eggs. Pasture-raised eggs come from hens that spend their time outside on fresh pastures, not in tiny cages or in enormous, crowded barns. Buying eggs at the grocery store can be confusing with all of the different labels like “all natural” and “cage free,” so check out this guide to find out what these labels actually mean and how to best balance your dietary goals with your budget.
- Eggs (use as many that will comfortably fit in your steamer basket)
- Ice water bath
- Large sauce pan
- Steamer basket
- Boil a few inches of water in a large sauce pan.
- Place eggs in steamer basket.
- Once the water is boiling, add the steamer basket full of eggs. The basket should not be submerged in water. Cover the sauce pan with a lid and steam the eggs for 8 1/2 minutes.
- While the eggs are cooking, fill up a large bowl with ice water.
- After 8 1/2 minutes, remove the steamer basket and place the eggs in the ice water for 15 minutes. This stops the eggs from continuing to cook.
- Finally, start peeling the eggs under cold running water.
Breakfast hash is easily customizable and a great way to use leftovers. All you need is a starchy vegetable (potatoes and sweet potatoes are most common, but get creative and try carrots, beets, or butternut squash), plus whatever leftovers you have – meat, vegetables, greens. Cook everything in a large skillet and serve as a side dish, or fry a couple off eggs directly on top of the hash for a complete meal.
My go-to ingredients for Whole30 breakfast hash are sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, jalapeños or any other chili pepper, and garlic. Sometimes I get fancy and add some chicken sausage in there. You can find my recipe for Sweet Potato Hash on my breakfast recipe page.
When I was in college, I over-enthusiastically bit down on a chocolate chip cookie and lost part of a tooth. Most people pair cookies with milk or coffee, but I prefer to pair mine with bloody teeth. As Thanksgiving was just around the corner, I scheduled myself for an emergency root canal to take care of my horrific snaggle tooth. Upon arriving at the dentist office, my dentist mistook me for an eight-year old child and offered to play Disney’s Ratatouille on a tiny TV screen in order to keep me distracted from the immense discomfort that is a root canal. This was a cruel and unusual movie choice because even cartoon food looks incredibly tasty when you’re on a liquid diet for the next 24 hours.
For quite a while, ratatouille was off limits for me because I invariably associated it with teeth cleaning and reconstruction. But when we were in the south of France last year, I had an incredible, authentic ratatouille served over a crunchy, buttery baguette, and it was so delicious that I thought about my dentist only once at dinner that night.
Ratatouille is a vegetable stew from the Provence region of France, and typically it contains eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and seasonings. It’s very easy to make and is a tasty way to get in your vegetables for the day. It goes particularly well with eggs, which is why it’s one of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts.
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplants, diced
- 1 small-medium zucchini, chopped thinly
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 chili pepper such as a Serrano chili, diced
- 1 14 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp each of dried thyme and oregano
- 1/4 tsp each of cumin and coriander
- 1/2-1 tsp of salt
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup each of basil leaves, chiffonaded, and parsley, finely chopped
- Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and lower the heat to medium-low. Add garlic. Stir occasionally until onion is softened and slightly caramelized.
- Add additional olive oil to pan and increase heat to medium-high. Add eggplant and stir occasionally until eggplant is somewhat cooked, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Then, add bell pepper, zucchini, and chili pepper and and cook for approximately 10 minutes until all vegetables are tender.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cumin, coriander, and salt and pepper. Cook for a final 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add basil and parsley. Stir well to blend.
You can always rely on sausage for breakfast (but be sure to check your labels if you’re on Whole30 and to avoid sausages made with artificial ingredients and sugar). But to make breakfast sausage a little more interesting, I like to turn it into a meaty marinara sauce.
You can use pre-cooked sausage, as I did in this recipe, or you can cook sausages and then add those to the cooked onions/peppers and marinara sauce and mix to heat through.
- 12-16 oz pre-cooked breakfast sausage (Applegate organic sausage is made with real ingredients and is free of gluten, dairy, sugar and casein)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small jalapeño, diced
- olive oil for cooking
- 1 heaping cup of marinara sauce (many products from Rao’s are Whole30-approved and made only with tomatoes, onions, olive oil, salt and herbs).
- 1/2 teaspoon each of dried thyme, oregano, and basil
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onions and saute until beginning to soften. Add peppers and cook for a few more minutes. Lower heat to medium-low and add in garlic and jalapeño, and cook until vegetables are softened.
- While veggies are cooking, dice the breakfast sausage into bite-sized pieces. Once veggies are done cooking, add in pre-cooked breakfast sausage and heat through for a few minutes.
- Add marinara sauce and herbs, and stir to heat through for a few minutes.
My next make-ahead breakfast suggestion is the customizable breakfast casserole that I posted from Week 1 of Whole 30. You can find the recipe here or in the Recipes/Breakfast page. As with the breakfast hash, use whatever starchy vegetables, meats, and greens that you have on hand.
Pumpkin Nut Porridge
This recipe is very similar to the nut porridge I posted here, but it’s jazzed up for the fall pumpkin season. You can make the porridge ahead, store in the fridge, and then reheat it on the stove or even the microwave when you’re ready to eat.
- 1 1/4 cups of mixed nuts of your choice (I used hazelnuts, cashews, and macadamia nuts)
- bottled or filtered water for soaking nuts
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 small ripe banana
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 13.5 can of full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- Toppings: shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, berries, sliced bananas or apples, diced mango, goji berries, chopped nuts, raw cacao nibs, dried unsweetened cherries, or whatever else you have on hand.
- Place nuts in a bowl and cover with water so that nuts are submerged. Add 1/4-1/2 TBSP sea salt. Cover bowl and let sit at room temperature overnight. Soaking the nuts makes them softer and yields a smoother consistency for the porridge.
- In the morning, rinse and drain the nuts in a colander several times to remove the salt.
- Place nuts in a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix or a food processor. Blend until nuts start to break up.
- Add remaining ingredients–-pumpkin pie spice, banana, pumpkin, and coconut milk. Blend until you achieve a smooth consistency that is similar to a thick smoothie.
- Add the porridge to a sauce pan, along with a cinnamon stick if using. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes until it thickens and is warmed through.
- Top with desired toppings.
Do you have any go-to make-ahead breakfast ideas? I’d love to hear from you!