It can be difficult, if not impossible, to come up with rousing breakfast options when you’ve just been, well, roused from sleep. And while buttered toast, yogurt with an artfully arranged serving of berries or cereal haphazardly poured into a bowl can get you out the door, they’re not exactly the most exciting fare. We here at New York Times Cooking hope the following recipes can help invigorate your routine, making those early morning hours something to look forward to as you drift to sleep. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even make you a morning person.
1. Everyday Pancakes
It may sound far-fetched, but you really can have pancakes on your average morning. These, from Mark Bittman, are made from an extremely simple batter — even the sugar and butter are optional — and ready in 20 minutes. (Keep the batter on hand in the fridge for a few days, for an even faster path to pancakes.) Sit down at the table with cutlery and plates, or more realistically, eat them by hand on the way to work.
Recipe: Everyday Pancakes
2. Oven Bacon
This simple recipe from Ali Slagle is wonderful for beginner cooks. Impress friends and family by pulling a large batch of bacon from the oven that’s crisp all the way around, or simply make a big tray for yourself, perfect for refrigerating and eating on the go. Lining the tray with aluminum foil yields bacon that’s still crunchy but makes cleanup a breeze. (And you can always pair them with some sunny-side-up eggs.)
Recipe: Oven Bacon
3. Microwave-Steamed Eggs
Eric Kim is brilliant: He tamed a microwave to create this recipe, which recalls Chinese zheng shui dan, Japanese chawanmushi and Korean gyeran jjim. The eggs are whisked, then popped into the machine and come together in 10 minutes, largely unattended, for those mornings when every moment counts.
Recipe: Microwave-Steamed Eggs
4. Breakfast Burritos
Make these breakfast burritos from Yewande Komolafe one night after dinner and before cleanup, and they’ll be ready for you whenever. Easily refrigerated or frozen and reheated, they’re an ideal on-the-go breakfast, full of rich eggs, avocado and black beans, and cut through with hot sauce (if you like, if course).
Recipe: Breakfast Burritos
Do as the brilliant women of New York Times Cooking do, and make waffles for your desk breakfast. Tanya Sichynsky and Nikita Richardson, senior staff editors, make small ones in their tiny waffle makers, then tuck them into resealable bags for later. Tanya, in particular, always riffs on this Melissa Clark recipe, adding whole-grain flours or a flavorless protein powder, while Nikita has some crucial advice. “You should really let your waffles dry before you run out of the door,” she says. “As they pop out of the waffle maker, I put them on a cooling rack for about 5 to 10 minutes to make sure that they don’t get soggy on the way into the office.”
6. French Toast
This one’s for the sweet-toothed and time-crunched. Ready in only 10 minutes, this super-simple recipe from Genevieve Ko soaks slices of sandwich bread in eggs and milk, and cooks them until golden brown in a style reminiscent of bread pudding. Finish with whatever you like — berries, whipped cream, maple syrup — to make it extra special.
Recipe: French Toast
7. Jordan Marsh’s Blueberry Muffins
You know what’s outstanding? Making a big batch of muffins on Sunday and eating them for the rest of the week. (This easy recipe — with more than 13,000 five-star ratings — which Marian Burros got from the Jordan Marsh department store, perhaps?) As the days go by, halve them, then pop those halves into a toaster oven at 350 degrees until the edges crisp and caramelize. Then, finish them with some salted butter for a joyous sweet-salty bite. You can do the same thing with banana bread, and call it living.
Recipe: Jordan Marsh’s Blueberry Muffins
8. Eggs Kejriwal
So much better than boring buttered toast, this eggs Kejriwal, with roots in Mumbai, is smeared with mustard, then topped with cheese, chile, cilantro, onion and topped with an egg. Tejal Rao’s recipe comes together in 10 minutes and uses the same pan to toast your bread and fry your eggs so you have more time to savor.
Recipe: Eggs Kejriwal
9. Crispy Parmesan Eggs
Margaux Laskey, another senior staff editor on the desk, makes these crispy Parmesan eggs from Melissa Clark almost every day, with one big change: She uses a four-cheese Mexican blend from the grocery store to create lacy-edged, sunny-side-up eggs. But you could use whatever melty leftover cheese you have on hand. That’s the beauty of this recipe: It’s more smart technique than anything else, and easy to remember as a result.
Recipe: Crispy Parmesan Eggs
10. Overnight Oats
Get a head start on breakfast the night before with these overnight oats from Genevieve Ko. The oats soak up milk in the fridge overnight, and a bit of dried fruit adds a satisfying sweetness. Best of all, they last in the fridge for up to five days, so you can get a week’s worth of breakfasts in one go.
Recipe: Overnight Oats
11. Shakshuka With Feta
Eggs and a spiced tomato-red pepper sauce make up this delicious breakfast in Israel, with roots in North Africa. This five-star version from Melissa Clark features feta, for tang and creaminess, in a hearty dish that’s welcome at any time of day.
Recipe: Shakshuka With Feta
12. Avocado Toast
“Avocado toast, how hard can it be?” you may ask yourself. And you’d be right. But this version, which Julia Moskin adapted from Giles Russell of the Australian cafe Two Hands in New York, enhances it with just a bit of lemon or lime and gives you the option of dressing it up or down as you like. With something so simple, it’s all in the details.
Recipe: Avocado Toast
13. Scallion Egg Wrap
Genevieve Ko uses flour tortillas in this common Chinese American adaptation of jian bing, a breakfast served throughout northern China and Taiwan. Pickled mustard greens, hoisin and sesame seeds are especially delicious, but you can leave them out if they’re not readily available to you.
Recipe: Scallion Egg Wrap
14. Huevos Rotos (Broken Eggs)
Eggs and potatoes are a perfect pairing, and in this take on a Spanish favorite, said to have originated on the Canary Islands, they’re cooked with smoky paprika for a hearty vegetarian breakfast you can get together in a breezy half-hour.
Recipe: Huevos Rotos (Broken Eggs)
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