There’s a reason why our COOK90 rules allow you to eat the same thing for breakfast every day so long as you prepared it yourself: mornings are hard for most of us. Mornings are especially hard for me (ask anyone in the Epi office). I need something to eat to help me get out the door almost as badly as I need coffee, but if I don’t prep my breakfast food in advance, I won’t have time to eat and will be tempted to buy a breakfast smoothie on the way in to work.
The way I solve this dilemma? With make-ahead, big-batch breakfasts I can prep on the weekends. Here are five of my favorites:
1. A Large-Format Make-Ahead Frittata
Denser than your standard frittata and mixed with sour cream and dotted with lots of roasted potatoes and shallots, this dish will keep well in the fridge for up to five days and tastes best at room temperature. Plus it only takes one pan to make: the potatoes roast in the same pan you bake the frittata in. I love this recipe for its versatility: you can cut it into cubes to dip into a yogurt or mayo sauce, slice it into large squares to serve in sandwiches, or cut it into brownie-sized rectangles to eat on the go.
2. Jars of Overnight Oats
I can prep a week’s worth of individual jars of overnight oats at once for a healthy breakfast I can toss in my bag as I run out the door every morning. I like to measure, mix, chill, carry, and eat my breakfast all using the same container—a mason jar with measurements on the side. But if you’re not going to take it to go, or if you’re feeding a crowd, you can make a big batch in a larger container that will last a few days (or feed the whole family). Overnight oats are infinitely customizable and adaptable, and you don’t need a recipe to make them—just follow this simple ratio.
3. A Big Pan of Baked Oatmeal
Baked oatmeal has a wonderful flavor and texture that’s somewhere between a granola bar and a bowl of oatmeal. It’s a little bit creamy, a little bit chewy, and totally satisfying. Plus a big pan of it can feed you all week and then some. To make it, layer fruit, oats, nuts, and spices into a baking dish, and then pour a mixture of liquid and beaten egg over everything and bake until it’s crisp and golden-brown. It’s just as good fresh out of the oven as it is reheated the next (or the next or the next) day in the oven or microwave. Or it can even be sliced and fried on the stove. And the best part is how easily customizable it is. Simply memorize this formula, and make it your own.
4. A Dozen and One Boiled Eggs
If you watch David Tamarkin’s COOK90 Instagram account, you’ll see he eats a lot of boiled eggs for breakfasts and lunches. Boil a big batch of them over the weekend to whatever doneness you like—this guide will help you do that—peel them all and then eat them for breakfast as is with a little salt and olive oil, or on top of toast with an avocado.
5. A Batch of Breakfast Power Bars (or Bites)
If a sweeter grab-and-go breakfast is more to your liking, but you’re looking for a good hit of protein, energy bars or bites are the weekend project for you. Try these baked date bars with coconut and dates, or for a no-bake option, a caffeine-loaded ball you can stash in the fridge and grab on your way out the door in the morning.