What are some delicious, easy-to-prepare savoury breakfast foods?
June 8, 2014 1:04 AM   Subscribe

I have about 15-20 minutes to eat breakfast every morning, and when I walk into the kitchen I often have no idea what to eat. This is because I'm really sensitive to sugary things in the morning and the thought of eating cereal / toast with jam or pb or honey / pancakes / crumpets / pikelets / muffins / whatever makes me queasy. So I really crave savoury things! But I don't know many savoury breakfast foods, and often I don't have enough time to make them e.g. bacon and eggs. And there are only so many times a week I can eat toast without wanting to cease existing. If you have any great recipes for savoury breakfast foods that can be prepared and eaten quickly, or that can be prepared the night before and then be thrown together quickly, I'd love to hear them! Bonus points for hot foods. Caveat: I don't like eggs just by themselves.

Thanks, MeFites!
posted by Quilford to Food & Drink (48 answers total) 108 users marked this as a favorite
If you are OK with making things ahead, then you can't go past a frittata - easy to reheat, just as delicious cold.

Skirlie is also quick, filling and delicious - I throw a handful of parmesan cheese in mine.
posted by Gwendoline Mary at 1:10 AM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Baked scotch eggs are savoury, delicious, high protein, and can be prepared ahead for a few days worth of quick breakkies.

Scrambled eggs with bacon, cheese, garlic and herbs is also really quick.
My recipe: Time: 2-5min prep. 3-5min cook.
1. Dice some ham or bacon into small bits and mince a clove of garlic. You could buy chopped ham and a jar of minced garlic to save time.
2. Melt some butter in a small pan, chuck in bacon and garlic on a low/mid heat.
3. Lightly beat some eggs. Add a small dash (teaspoon) of milk or cream for every egg.*
4. Pour into pan and leave for a minute - you want the egg to start setting around the edge. You can wash the egg mixing bowl and other utensils during this minute.
5. Throw some grated parmesan cheese and some dried herbs or chopped fresh ones into the egg mix.
6. Fold together lightly until egg cooked.
7. Pile onto plate or bowl and spoon into waiting maw.

* 2 eggs will fill you. 3 eggs if you are famished.
posted by Kerasia at 1:25 AM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Whole grain toast, savory bagel, tortilla + scrambled eggs or cream cheese + other things to taste? So the cream cheese might go with tomato and onion, some smoked salmon if you feel fancy. When it's going into a sandwich, I feel okay about "scrambling" eggs in the microwave in a container that's round and about the right diameter, so that they come out basically the right shape for the sandwich. Eggs could go with salsa or cheese and ketchup or things that might be more traditionally omelet fixings. You can easily do a different variation sandwich/burrito every day of the week and then some.
posted by Sequence at 1:28 AM on June 8, 2014

I don't like sweet things for breakfast, either. What I do when I'm short on time is this:

Throw a big handful of spinach into a pan with some olive oil. Let it get all wilted (medium heat for five minutes? I don't always pay attention). When it is sufficiently cooked, move spinach to a plate. Scramble some eggs in the pan you just used that is still hot. When there are two minutes left on the eggs, shove them to the side of the pan. Put the spinach back in and stir it around with some tomato sauce (the eggs and tomato'ed spinach might touch each other a little but I try to keep them separate otherwise the eggs get a little soggy). At this point I turn the heat off the stove and put a lid on the pan. 2-3 minutes is long enough for the tomato sauce to heat through while I make some toast, and then magic! A savory breakfast you can cover in parmesan cheese.
posted by janepanic at 1:31 AM on June 8, 2014 [5 favorites]

You could make breakfast burritos by chopping and precooking all the non-egg ingredients (e.g. bacon, sausage, peppers, onions, etc.) ahead of time and keeping little containers of everything in the fridge. Then all you'd have to do in the morning is scramble the eggs with the precooked ingredients and wrap it all up in a tortilla. Since you can eat the burrito on-the-go you don't need to worry about the cooking time for the eggs consuming too much of your breakfast time.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:40 AM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

I like to make my own bacon and egg mcmuffins. You can add your favourite cheeses, tomato relish, sauteed mushrooms, whatever you like! Let them cool a bit before wrapping in plastic wrap and putting them in the fridge (or you can freeze them for several days). Then just microwave or heat in a sandwich press in the morning.

I also like to freeze batches of mini omelettes and microwave on busy mornings.
posted by Naanwhal at 1:41 AM on June 8, 2014

I would just eat bread and cheese, but then I'm Dutch and that's how we roll (or slice).
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:19 AM on June 8, 2014 [14 favorites]

Tofu scramble! I'm making some right now for breakfasts next week using spinach, carrots and courgettes. It keeps pretty well and takes 5 minutes to heat up in the morning.
posted by neilb449 at 2:21 AM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you have a rice cooker with a timer (or a separate timer you can put it on), you could have rice congee ready to go when you get up. I prefer it plain for breakfast (with just a little dried onion, scallions and soy sauce), but you could put chicken or something else in it if you cooked it the night before.

I also quite like normal oatmeal porridge without sugar added. You can stir in some fresh fruit and/or yoghurt, or add butter and salt for a more savoury option.

Some weeks I make a big batch of cornmeal muffins (you can add sundried tomatos, ham, onion, cheese, etc) in the weekend and freeze them. Then you can just stick one in the microwave from frozen for about 30 seconds and have it for breakfast.
posted by lollusc at 2:36 AM on June 8, 2014

If I don't have time to poach some eggs I will I get these rice & quinoa puffed crackers and smear on ABC spread (almonds, brazil nuts & cashews) followed by as much avocado I can afford, couple slices of fresh tomato and lots of fresh ground pepper and salt. DELISH. Bonus points for a base smear of vegemite (you'd be an honorary Aussie if you do!)
posted by latch24 at 3:00 AM on June 8, 2014

Savory oatmeal! I cook up a batch of plain oatmeal once a week, then take a scoop mixed with dinner leftovers or a handful of greens plus cheese - spinach and parmesan, arugula and cheddar, etc. Add salt and pepper and enjoy.
posted by judith at 3:13 AM on June 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Grilled cheese? Toasted cheese? Really any sandwich with buttered toast for the bread? Leftover pizza?

Also, pho is a breakfast food, right?
posted by yarntheory at 3:40 AM on June 8, 2014

I'm also not a huge fan of sweet stuff in the morning. Greek yogurt, which is far less sweet than other yogurt varieties, passes my test and can be adulterated with many things.

I wanted to comment on the weird requirement that people seem to have for breakfast foods: that they must be Breakfast Foods. There are no rules that state that you must eat breakfast foods at breakfast time. I love eating leftovers for breakfast because they are rarely super sweet. Go ahead and eat non-breakfast foods for breakfast. Make yourself two "lunches" the night before and eat one for breakfast.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:01 AM on June 8, 2014 [17 favorites]

I am a giant fan of olives and feta in the morning. We just accidentally discovered that one of our favorite dinners is awesome as leftover breakfast (especially if I have time to fry an egg on top).

Greek turkey:
Brown 1/2 a pound of ground turkey. Seasoned with lots of garlic, some salt and pepper.

In a different pan, cook 1 chopped onion until translucent, then add a chopped red pepper, garlic, and 1 lb spinach. Toss a handful of chopped olives in at the very end (but the good kind, not the canned).

Mix it all together, put in a bowl and serve with feta cheese on the top.

I also like to add any roasted veg that I have in the fridge, asparagus or Brussels sprouts are particularly good additions.
posted by Blisterlips at 4:17 AM on June 8, 2014 [5 favorites]

Leftover pizza- the breakfast of college students since time immemorial.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:13 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I really like hummus on toast or pita in the morning. It's also common to find sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and salty cheeses as breakfast in Turkey and some parts of North Africa use some of those too. If you prepped the base sauce in a big batch, you could do shaksouska, eggs poached in a spicy tomato/onion sauce, or even maybe devilled eggs made in advance (maybe cut the mayo with tangy yogurt to make them a little healthier).
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:21 AM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

You can make big batches of breakfast burritos ahead of time and freeze them to heat later, actually. It's not exactly amazing, but it's just as good as any of th fast food chains, which mostly reheat frozen eggs, anyway.
posted by empath at 5:25 AM on June 8, 2014

Other ideas: after cooking bacon, brown some garlic in the drippings and then drop in a can of drained black beans. Eat on toast with the bacon. Also you can grill some tomato slices or mushroom caps while cooking the bacon/beans, they just need some salt and pepper or maybe a drizzle of olive oil.
posted by empath at 5:27 AM on June 8, 2014

So not at all healthy or homemade - but Stouffers Cream Chipped Beed Over toast in the morning is savory and salty and takes 5 min in the microwave. It tastes pretty decent for microwaved cream chipped beef and is kind of my go to breakfast on cold and icky days.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 5:45 AM on June 8, 2014

There is no virtue to sticking with traditional breakfast foods. Eat any damn thing you want. Lamb chop, frozen pizza, whatever. Maybe meatloaf.

That said, the first thing that came to !Ind was heat/eat sausage. And my mother used to give me a bacon sandwich on the way to school.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:51 AM on June 8, 2014

If you have a toaster oven -- toast your toast to slightly less toasty than you like it, then put a slice of swiss on top and toast it the rest of the way and let the cheese melt. Delicious, and good fiber and protein with no sweetness. :)

I often have a healthy trail mix for breakfast, leaning towards the savory side. Nuts, dried fruit, etc. Target and Costco have a lot of different trail mixes, and lots of Whole-Foods-type places you can pick your own trail mix out of the bulk bins and mix it at home, to get the right proportion of salty and sweet.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:58 AM on June 8, 2014

Make mini-quiches in a muffin tray, and you can freeze some for later.
Or make a whole quiche and work your way though it in under a week, which may involve eating some for lunch.
Or you can do the trendy thing lately and make "breakfast egg cups" which are basically mini-quiches for the carb-fearing, in which you use slices of ham or bacon instead of a pastry crust.
posted by aimedwander at 6:21 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

dice any combination of onions, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini.

optional: take a small waxy potato and either wash or peel. dice pretty fine. put in covered glass dish in microwave, with some water enough to come 3/4 up potato height. add some salt. put in microwave while you do the next thing:

sauté the veg in olive oil. add salt, don't skimp. use high heat, get it brown. add herbs if you have some handy: thyme, garlic powder, oregano.

potatoes done? check them, they should be cooked through. drain any leftover water and add them to the pan. keep sautéing. If no potatoes, skip this step and congratulate yourself on your low carb lifestyle.

add one or two beaten eggs, cover pan, lower heat. don't let it burn. it's ok to break this up with spatula as you turn over pieces to make sure they're not burning on bottom.

optional: cheese.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:22 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

With 15-20 minutes, I'd feel hard-pressed to make some of the (very tasty and yummy) recipes given here. Even with pre-prepping ingredients the day before, it still takes time to get the pan hot and get things cooking, as well as having time to actually eat. I'm fast and comfortable in the kitchen, and I definitely couldn't do some of these in the allotted time.

So I think you are looking more at leftovers, either of dinner food (which as mentioned makes fantastic savory breakfasts) or of these breakfast recipes that you make the day before or even once a week and freeze. Or take the simple European path and eat a few slices of dense bread, some good cheese, and maybe some sliced ham -- unless you absolutely need your breakfast to be hot, this is perfect and endlessly variable.

There are also a very few boxed cereals (e.g. shredded wheat) that are not sweetened -- they aren't savory, but at least they aren't Sugar Flakes With Sugar Frosted Sugar Bits.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:40 AM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

I chop up some cherry tomatoes, cook them in hot olive oil for a bit with salt and pepper, then crack two eggs over them, fry the eggs (both sides; I keep the yolk runny), and then put the eggs+tomatoes over a sliced up avocado. Takes less than ten minutes and there is nothing better than eggs, tomato, and avocado together.
posted by coast99 at 6:46 AM on June 8, 2014 [5 favorites]

I do the frozen breakfast burritos thing sometimes, too. It's really nice just having them there, ready, and not having to even think about it.

For a while when I was a kid, I had Campbell's vegetarian vegetable soup for breakfast every day. More often, I just have leftovers now.

Sometimes, I'll fry an egg to put on top of something (you can put a fried egg on almost anything) if I feel like I need to maintain the integrity of the whole breakfast thing, but it's not necessary. You're allowed to have soup or mashed potatoes or pasta or a tuna salad sandwich for breakfast as long as nobody's watching you.
posted by ernielundquist at 7:01 AM on June 8, 2014

Corn meal mush, or for a quicker version, instant grits, with grated cheddar cheese stirred in while it's hot. Add some Tabasco.

I've been eating hot sauce or salsa in my oatmeal for about 20 years. Lately I've discovered Indian Mango Pickle added in small amounts makes it amazing. It gets the salty, hot, oily mix just right for me.

Rice (from overnight rice cooker or reheated in microwave) with natto (if you like it) or cold tofu with soy sauce and thinly sliced green onions.
posted by SandiBeech at 7:03 AM on June 8, 2014

I am a big fan of leftover pizza for breakfast. Also VitaWeats and cheese, possibly also with mandarin or grapes or apple and a handful of nuts. Toasted cheese and tomato sandwich. If you don't have a sandwich press you can just stick it open-faced under the griller.

Also because I have more than half a loaf of stale rye bread, I have been looking up savoury bread and butter pudding recipes. Maybe something like this, made ahead of time on the weekend, then eaten throughout the week? Haven't made it yet but if I do will let you know how it turns out!
posted by Athanassiel at 7:06 AM on June 8, 2014

Breakfast slab pie. I think I discovered this thanks to a previous similar AskMe. I use pre-made pie dough instead of making my own crust if I'm not feeling like making a huge effort. You can put just about any ingredients that you like in there - although I'd make sure to saute up any veggies first so they don't add too much water while it's baking.

I've made it on the weekend, and it's plenty of food for two people to have weekday breakfast every day. (If you're only feeding yourself, consider making a smaller batch.) Keeps fine in the fridge, and warms up in the microwave or even better, toaster oven to crisp it back up.

You could also do something similar using pre-shredded hash brown potatoes, canned biscuit or croissant dough, phyllo dough... it's really a simple concept open to lots of variation.
posted by misskaz at 7:47 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think this is probably the third time I've mentioned them here, but breakfast lentils with peanuts are (still!) a nice easy savory make-ahead satisfying thing.
posted by redfoxtail at 8:22 AM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

You might want to check out some Asian breakfast dishes. My very favorite thing to eat for breakfast is piping hot miso soup with big chunks of tofu.
posted by Mender at 8:50 AM on June 8, 2014

I make savoury waffles: reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe, toss in corn kernels (frozen or canned), shredded cheddar cheese, maybe some spices (oregano? cumin?). Sometimes we add corn meal or cottage cheese to the batter, too.
posted by belladonna at 9:06 AM on June 8, 2014

Cottage cheese topped with herb/spices is also good. My favorite topping is Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute.
posted by belladonna at 9:17 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ful (fava beans) is a popular breakfast in various Middle Eastern and North/East African countries. One simple (Egyptian?) preparation is fava beans from a can + chopped onions/garlic + lemon + olive oil + oregano, with pita to scoop it up. An Eritrean café near me serves a more elaborate version of ful that includes tomatoes, green onions, jalapeños, yogurt, and cumin as well as most of the above ingredients. It is extremely satisfying.
posted by aws17576 at 9:35 AM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Fourthing or fifthing (whatever) savory oatmeal. I prefer steel-cut AKA pinhead oats, extremely hearty (best to cook a large batch over the weekend or do the overnight slow-cook thing, or there are "fast-cooking" steel-cut oats too). There are a lot of recipes online, but my favorite is simply adding a couple tablespoons of salty pecorino romano grated cheese. Or chopped bacon, sausage. Super easy.
posted by Ky at 9:49 AM on June 8, 2014

And goetta. Like this or this. Mmm, damn, love that stuff.
posted by Ky at 9:53 AM on June 8, 2014

A college friend loved a bagel with cream cheese and tomato slice in the morning.
posted by lakeroon at 1:24 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

A grilled cheese sandwich or a plain cheese quesadilla are about the fastest and easiest-to-cook savory things out there. Both make great quick hot breakfast and are non-sugary. To make it more interesting without getting a knife and cutting board out, add some fresh salsa or a handful of spinach leaves or both.

If you like eggs in things, you might like migas. Tear up a few corn tortillas, fry them in a pan with the Cooking Fat Of Your Choice, scramble in a few eggs and some cheese and some salsa. You can add some green stuff (cilantro? green onions? bell peppers or hot peppers?) if you're feeling fancy.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:02 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Spread 1/4 avocado on 1/2 bagel, sprinkle salt.
posted by pjenks at 2:16 PM on June 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

people in most countries eat savory breakfasts. there's no reason not to eat leftovers, or make any lunch or dinner dish you enjoy and eat it in the morning instead.
posted by QuakerMel at 4:19 PM on June 8, 2014

Savory squash & Chicken bowl is VERY QUICK

PREP once/week
1. broil chicken 7 breasts on Sunday night & freeze.
2. Bake large kobuka squash (least sweet), remove seeds, scoop flesh and refrigerate in container

In the morning:
1. defrost chicken breast in microwave, cut into cubes (66 secs in my microwave)
2. Assemble 1/2 cup cooked squash, 1/2 cup frozen berries*, chicken cubes and microwave 90 seconds
3. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup nuts (I love pepitas or sunflower seeds)
4. Eat and enjoy: lots of protein, healthy fats.

* blueberries to start. I've now branched to blackberries and mango cubes
posted by Jesse the K at 7:17 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

My friend also likes savoury foods in the morning (and she's also big on protein) so she makes these little egg-lettes on the weekend and keeps them in the freezer, then nukes them each morning. She uses a muffin tin and adds to each

- one egg, beaten
- cooked ham, sausage, veggies, hash browns, or whatever you want
- top with shredded cheese.

Bake 20 mins on 350. Keeps up to a week or so in the fridge. Nuke 90 seconds in the morning.
posted by radioamy at 8:44 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing savory oatmeal. I like just some butter and lots of salt; I can see how some aged cheese would do well too. Mark Bittman apparently swears by oatmeal with peanut butter, but I haven't given that a shot yet.

In summer, my preferred breakfast takes but a few minutes, as follows:

Slice up an heirloom tomato from the week's CSA bounty.
Lightly butter a slice of bread.
Lay the tomato slices on the bread to cover evenly.
Sprinkle with salt. Maybe some herbs too.
Thinly slice some extra sharp really good aged cheddar.
Lay the cheddar on top of the tomato slices, again covering evenly.
Broil in the toaster oven until the cheese is browning.
Let cool for a few minutes or you'll burn the roof of your mouth.

Very quick prep and hands-off cooking.... and SO GOOD.
posted by sesquipedalia at 10:20 PM on June 8, 2014

Toast with peanut butter. You can add a sliced banana if that's not too sweet.
posted by reksb at 8:35 AM on June 9, 2014

There are some great recipes in here but in case you're looking for fast/easy, I think I've got that down.

After my shower i lay out my outfit for the day. Then I go turn the stove on and put on the skillet on medium low. Lots of times it seems you gotta put the skillet on medium high to get it hot. Really, all you need is medium low + 5 minutes. This is vital because a hot skillet will cook consistently, whereas a heating skillet will (a) take way too long to cook, and (b) cook inconsistently each morning. I have no idea how long it takes me to get dressed but it seems to be long enough to allow the skillet to heat up all the way.

Then i wipe the skillet out with a paper towel. it's a teflon skillet so it doesn't need to be scrubbed, just wiped. I don't wash it afterwards because: busy. just wipe it before you cook and you're good.

In goes the butter (if the skillet is the right temp, the butter will melt immediately and sizzle, but it won't turn brown. if it turns brown before you get your eggs in, you've got it too hot.

Then i put in three eggs. Stir them around with the spatula briefly. When they start to set, I push them to one side of the pan and throw some sliced ham on the other side to heat up. Then I make my coffee. (but because of how fast both things are, I always either over-cook the eggs or over steep the coffee! still working on that one...)

When the eggs are almost done (be very careful to not dry out the eggs! Try Gordon Ramsay's version of scrambled eggs for something new) I put a pinch of cheese. Then, stir, into the plate, with the ham, and the coffee; and that's what I've been eating for months now :) Cook time: 5 minutes.
posted by rebent at 9:46 AM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

I can't deal with any breakfast prep in the morning AT ALL, and I can never get my act together to cook an extra time to make breakfast stuff either. What I do is eat leftovers. On weekends when I make eggs for the family, I make extra so I have some precooked fried eggs (and bacon) to eat during the week. I also eat dinner leftovers frequently: a little roasted chicken and salad, or a half a pork chop with garlic green beans. Leftover chili is the best breakfast on the planet, IMO. If I am out of leftovers, Greek yogurt will do in a pinch.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:53 AM on June 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Tofu scramble is savory and doesn't take too long. There are lots of variations, but this is how I make it: I grate a few carrots and maybe slice some cabbage very fine and saute it in a pan with some garlic powder, powdered ginger, soy sauce, and maybe sesame seeds for a bit. Then I crumble up tofu with my hands and stir that in and heat it through. Sometimes I add nutritional yeast. I don't think this takes me more than ten minutes, though it would if I included cleanup time.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:55 PM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by Tom-B at 12:47 AM on June 11, 2014

« Older I Shot Andy Warhol trailer music?   |   Yeah, so the real reason I didn't come to your... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.