50+ Cozy Breakfasts for Christmas Morning
Breakfast Hot Dish
If you're not from the Upper Midwest, you may not be familiar with hot dish. Traditionally, it's a casserole of starch (often French fries or tots), meat, and vegetables held together by a creamy sauce. "It's an easy way to feed a crowd," says blogger and cookbook author Molly Yeh, "and it's perfect for the dead of winter because it's so hearty and warm and comforting." Her update uses sweet potatoes flavored with Aleppo pepper. To get a head start, you can roast the potatoes and brown the sausage a couple of days ahead.
There's no need to spend Christmas morning with your mixer; these orange-scented pinwheels freeze beautifully, reheat in just 25 minutes, and make your kitchen smell fantastic. Recruit little ones to help make the icing and spread over the rolls just before serving. To round out the morning meal, serve the rolls with a simple fruit salad and a frittata or soft-scrambled eggs.
Berry-and-Walnut French Toast Casserole
This overnight casserole saves you the trouble of standing over a griddle flipping individual slices of French toast. If using a fresh baguette, cut it up the day before, and let it sit in the bag overnight to become slightly stale—that'll help prevent sogginess when the casserole is baked.
Harissa Bloody Marys
Kick off your holiday festivities with this fun take on the classic brunch beverage. Harissa, a traditional Tunisian chile paste with a spicy, pleasantly bitter edge, gives these laid-back libations a boost. Look for harissa in cans, jars, or tubes on the international foods aisle or with the specialty sauces. If you can't find it, substitute a few dashes of hot sauce. Garnish as desired with celery stalks, lime wedges, and pickles. You can combine everything except the club soda a day ahead; give it a good stir before serving, and top off with club soda at the last minute.
Bananas Foster Breakfast Strata
Take care when adding the rum to the hot pan—it flames up immediately. You can also add the rum off the heat, and then carefully light it with a long match.
Spinach, Bacon, and Gruyère Breakfast Strata
This dish has fewer than 20g of total carbs—about half of what you'll find in classic bread-based casseroles. Greek yogurt, eggs, and cheese pack a mighty protein punch, while a touch of bacon seasons to perfection. The strata is best if allowed to soak overnight. Not only does this build in make-ahead convenience, it also allows the bread to fully absorb the egg mixture—yielding a creamy texture inside, while the top bread pieces get delightfully crisp.
Eggnog Banana Bread
These whole-grain mini banana bread loaves are a great alternative to cupcakes, and much easier to package without a dome of messy frosting. If you don't have mini loaf pans, you can use 12 muffin cups lined with cupcake liners. For a kid-friendly drizzle, you can swap the alcohol for fresh orange juice.
Spinach and Feta Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
The simple, scalloped shell made from thinly sliced rounds of sweet potatoes makes this version of a popular brunch (or supper) dish gluten-free. Choose potatoes with comparable diameters to create uniform slices for the easy-to-make crust. A mandoline makes slicing quick and precise, but a sharp chef's knife will work too. You can also slice the potatoes in the food processor using the slicing blade.
Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Pop this cheesy casserole in the oven and let it bake while you sip coffee. Find turkey breakfast sausage in the freezer section of the supermarket with other breakfast meats.
These individual shakshukas are easy to make and assemble ahead of time. Be sure to pierce the yolks (without breaking them) so they won't burst when microwaved.
Egg and Hash Brown Casserole
This make-ahead dish is like enjoying an omelet stuffed with spinach, Swiss cheese, and mushrooms, with hearty sides of bacon and hash browns, all in one package.
Carrot-Apple Muffins with Orange Glaze
These tender, lightly sweetened whole-grain muffins have a special can’t-put-your-finger-on-it flavor thanks to garam masala. Look for garam masala in the spice aisle; large spice brands make it. If you don’t have it or can’t find it, you can substitute an equal amount of cinnamon.
Bacon, Mushroom, and Chive Quiche
This savory quiche is the perfect make-ahead meal for a laid-back brunch. Store-bought crust saves time—we recommend using Wholly Wholesome's Organic Pie Dough (find it at Whole Foods) for its superior taste and texture. Round it out with a crisp green salad and fresh fruit.
Sweet Potato and Sausage Strata
Hand over the reins: Let the kids assemble this savory-sweet oven-baked treat. If you make this dish ahead, bring it to room temperature before baking so it will reheat evenly.
Spinach and Feta Quiche with Quinoa Crust
We’ve turned a classic dish into a perfectly clean brunch option that the whole family will love. The crunchy quinoa crust gives heartiness to the light and fluffy quiche inside. Swap out canola oil for coconut, almond, avocado, or olive oil, and look for organic eggs and dairy products.
Granola Cups with Yogurt and Berries
Make for breakfast or as a cute part of a brunch spread. Fill whole-grain granola cups with creamy yogurt and fresh fruit—a fun alternative to sugary premade parfaits. Find almond butter in the supermarket’s peanut butter section. We love the fresh floral whiff the lemon rind adds to the mix but orange rind would work nicely as well.
A layer of sweet baked apples and crunchy pecan topping helps this breakfast bread pudding shine. Last-minute prep couldn't be simpler: Just add a dusting of sugar and nuts.
Blood Orange Mimosas
We love the color blood oranges give this classic brunch cocktail. A dash of bitters adds depth. Look for orange bitters—such as Fee Brothers or Stirrings—at liquor stores or specialty grocers. The sugar cube dissolves as you sip, balancing the bitters and giving off bubbles for a festive touch. Juice the oranges and keep chilled up to a day ahead.
Pineapple and Orange Salad with Toasted Coconut
Serve this all-purpose side with any of our casseroles. Assemble the night before, but stir in and sprinkle with coconut just before serving. Omit the red pepper if you prefer a very mild mix.
Mushroom, Bacon, and Swiss Strata
This make-ahead breakfast casserole streamlines a morning routine like few other recipes can. Assemble it the night before, then pop it in the oven about an hour before you want to eat.
Marmalade French Toast Casserole
Grapefruit or mixed fruit marmalade will work just as well as the orange marmalade called for in the recipe. Serve the casserole with honey or pancake syrup warmed with orange rind and a splash of orange juice (add one teaspoon rind and two tablespoons juice per 1/2 cup syrup). This easy casserole can be assembled in less than 15 minutes and stored in the refrigerator overnight.
Sausage and Polenta Breakfast Casserole
Creamy and savory collide in a wonderful way—everyone gathered around your holiday breakfast table will love this one.
Mushroom Quiche With Sweet Potato Crust
Sweet potatoes make the perfect gluten-free crust for this custardy quiche. Brown the mushrooms with garlic to deepen their meaty flavor.
Streusel-Topped French Toast Casserole with Fruit Compote
If you like bread pudding you'll love this creamy, custard-rich treat. For a special finishing touch, dollop with whipped topping.
Salmon and Potato Casserole
Great for breakfast or dinner, this casserole is easy to make and great as leftovers, too!
Turkey Sausage, Mushroom, and Potato Gratin
Home fries meet casserole in this ultimate comfort food dish that's great for brunch (or even dinner). It's most economical to buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself.
This easy get-ahead dish plays off the appeal of spinach-artichoke dip. Assemble everything the night before; in the morning, let the strata stand while the oven preheats, and then pop it in. You don't need to fully blend in the herbed cheese; it's nice to hit little "pockets" of creamy goodness.
Double Berry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole
Rise and shine to a thoroughly red, white, and blue breakfast. This lower-sugar recipe is a great way to use up slightly hard baguette and any berries you have roaming around your produce drawer. You don't have to let it sit overnight, but a few hours in the fridge will only make the casserole creamier.
Overnight Streusel-Topped French Toast Casserole
Since there’s no chopping involved, this is a great recipe for recruiting your kids to help out—there are lots of opportunities for stirring, and even a chance to use their hands to crumble together the streusel topping. Thin out the glaze with a little extra milk and spoon it over for a casual presentation, or put it in a Ziploc, snip off the corner, and let the kids drizzle their own special designs.
Eggnog Coffee Cake
Families and grandparents will love Eggnog Coffee Cake. Make a second cake for gifting, or package individual slices.
Baked Marzipan Donuts
Bake these the night before and either decorate with your guests or beforehand. Marzipan is easy to use as an ingredient in baked goods and decorating. Theses donuts are the perfect sweet bite on Christmas morning as the festive decorations are endless. Look for marzipan on the baking aisle in large supermarkets or in specialty baking stores.
Artichoke and Spinach Strata
Thaw the artichoke hearts according to microwave directions or in the refrigerator for 2 hours. You can also place artichoke hearts in the baking dish and bake at 375° until thawed, then remove from the pan and continue the recipe. Try swapping artichokes and spinach for 1 (14-ounce) bag thawed frozen broccoli florets and Monterey Jack for cheddar cheese.
Almond Coffee Cake Muffins
These sweet muffins are an ideal dessert or an indulgent breakfast. Whichever you choose, you'll love them for their nutty flavor and sugary topping.
Spiced Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze
Delicata squash is a great choice for dessert recipes. It is characterized by yellow flesh that tastes similar to sweet potatoes. Roasting it in this recipe intensifies the sweet flavor. If you can't find delicata, substitute butternut.
Butternut Stratas with Gruyère
If you don't have individual ramekins, you can bake the strata in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray for 25 minutes.
Our homemade granola is infused with a wealth of holiday flavor and hits every note on the salty-sweet-chewy-crunchy spectrum. Use any combination of nuts you like – though we love the pop of green from the pistachios. Fresh rosemary adds a rustic edge and earthiness, while silky molasses adds depth of flavor and a subtle sweetness reminiscent of gingerbread. This festive granola is the perfect edible gift when wrapped in a holiday bag or piled high in a mason jar. One serving boasts a hearty 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of plant-powered protein. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving!
Streusel-Topped French Toast Casserole with Fruit Compote
If you like bread pudding, you'll love this creamy, custard-rich treat. For a special finishing touch, dollop with whipped topping.
Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata
To make this scrumptious strata ahead of time, prepare through step 2, cover, and chill. Before baking, let bread mixture stand at room temperature 10 minutes while the oven preheats, then assemble and bake. The cook time will increase by about 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley.
Cinnamon Rolls with Dates
Embrace the warm and cozy aroma of cinnamon in your kitchen. These rolls deliver hints of sweet citrus and notes of dark, delicious raisins and dates.
A double dose of ginger and the right sweeteners give this loaf huge flavor.
Mushroom, Bacon, and Swiss Strata
Assemble this tasty dish the night before, then pop it in the oven about an hour before you want to eat.
Mushroom and Bacon Casserole
Very few things embody comfort food as well as this hearty, warming mushroom and bacon casserole.
Breakfast Coffee Cake
If you're freezing the cake for later enjoyment, skip the frosting. But you won't want to skip it altogether. Prepare it after thawing—it's too good to miss.
Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole
This breakfast casserole is not only low-fat and easy to prepare, but it's also a great make-ahead breakfast or brunch dish. Prepare the casserole overnight, then bake in the morning for a hearty and piping hot meal.
Pear and Gruyère Strata
Think of this as stuffed French toast in a casserole. Here, sweet cinnamon bread meets juicy pears and the savory bite of Gruyère cheese. You want a pear variety that will hold its shape and won't exude too much moisture as the strata bakes—we liked Anjou and Concorde.
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
For those concerned about losing flavor when baking with whole-wheat flour, rest assured. Brown sugar sweetens the filling of this breakfast treat, and powdered sugar dissolves into a milky glaze that's drizzled over the top. Your mind might think you have something to feel guilty about after indulging in one of these.
Bundt Coffee Cake
If you like coffee cakes, you'll love this recipe. It's a moist, light cake with a surprise middle layer of nuts and cinnamon. Prepare it up to one month ahead, and freeze. Defrost at room temperature 24 hours before serving.
Walnut Coffee Cake
Great for a midmorning pick-me-up, this classic cake has a sweet streak of brown sugar and warm cinnamon with the nutty crunch of walnuts inside. Chop the walnuts to the size of small peas to ensure they are evenly distributed in the cake. Substitute pecans for walnuts, if desired.
Cranberry-Apple French Toast Casserole
This prep-ahead casserole, which turns extra dinner rolls and cranberry sauce into a brunch or dessert treat, is especially welcome if you are entertaining houseguests for the long holiday weekend. While we enjoyed the tartness of the Granny Smith apples, any baking apple will do. Serve with apple wedges.
Cranberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake
Serve this buttery cake for a make-ahead brunch dish or at the end of a casual meal.
50+ Cozy Breakfasts for Christmas Morning
Iced Gingerbread Biscotti
These twice-baked gingerbread cookies create the perfect dunkable dessert this season. Be sure to let the cookie logs cool after the first bake so they slice cleanly and don't crumble.