6 breakfasts to start your mornings right in the new year
These breakfasts are easy to prep between morning meetings.
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As the pandemic persists, many of us are still social distancing and working from home. If you’re like me, you’ve probably had the same three breakfasts on rotation for most of quarantine. But there are only so many smoothies one can make before even they start to get a little boring.
So to celebrate a new year, I’ve decided to add some new recipes to my breakfast rotation. These are twists on morning staples, easy to make at breakfast time or even prep the night before. If you could use a little breakfast inspiration to start your day, look no further than this list.
1. Frittatas are a fridge-cleanout dream
Eggs are a breakfast staple, sure, but I’ve had enough hard-boiling, frying, scrambling, and poaching in 2020. In 2021, I’m embracing frittatas. I can whip one up on Sunday and slice it into pieces so that there’s minimal prep on weekday mornings. Best of all I can toss in whatever’s in the fridge—leftover roast vegetables, a bit of chicken or crumbled bacon, that last bit of shredded cheese—using this handy template from Epicurious as a guide. All you really need for a perfectly fluffy, brown-edged frittata are eggs, a little bit of milk, a good whisk, and a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet.
- Get the OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk on Amazon for $9.99
- Get the Lodge Chef Collection 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet at Williams Sonoma for $39.95
2. Smoothie bowls (yes, they're still a thing)
Smoothies are my ultimate “I have no time to cook or eat” breakfast. In fact, sometimes they barely feel like breakfast at all—just sustenance chugged in between early meetings. In 2021, I’m making an effort to actually sit down and eat breakfast every day. To make smoothies feel like more of a meal, I’ve decided to put them in bowls and top them with a rainbow of fruits and nuts.
A good blender is a must-have for smoothies that are actually, well, smooth. Our testers loved the Magic Bullet for single-serve smoothies, and the Breville SuperBBL920 Super Q for serious smoothie lovers. While not essential, I think a pretty bowl elevates the breakfast experience.
- Get the Magic Bullet Blender on Amazon for $29.13
- Get the Breville BBL920 Super Q on Amazon for $499.35
- Get the Old Havana Grain Bowls (Set of 4) from Anthropologie for $72
3. Muffins make for a glorious morning
Speaking of make-ahead wonders, muffins are a great breakfast—especially when they’re packed with fruit, nuts, and other delicious things. I love this Ina Garten recipe for Morning Glory Muffins, which are loaded with carrots, apples, crushed pineapple, pecans, raisins, and shredded coconut. A sturdy box grater is essential, as is a good nonstick muffin pan. The wide handles on this Wilton Muffin Pan are handy for lifting the pan out of the oven while wearing even the bulkiest of oven mitts.
4. Oatmeal, revisited
Oatmeal is a winter staple in my kitchen, but it can quickly get boring after a while. Thankfully, they are infinitely adaptable, with a million mix-ins you can add to a standard bowl of oats; My personal favorites are sliced bananas and a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter swirled in for added richness.
Ahead of extra-busy weeks, I love making a big batch of slow-cooker oatmeal. Aside from the ease of prepping everything on Sunday night and letting the oatmeal slowly come together overnight, there’s something so comforting about waking up to the smell of cozy warm spices. Our testers loved the Cuisinart 3-in-1 Multi-Cooker for its large inner handles, which make lifting the insert a breeze, even when it’s full of soups, stews, and yes, even oatmeal.
5. The easiest pancakes ever
I don’t usually think of pancakes when I think of weekday breakfasts—any batter that involves multiple mixing bowls is a hard pass. That’s why I love these three-ingredient pancakes. All you need are ripe bananas, eggs, and cinnamon, plus a good nonstick skillet. Our testers love the OXO Non-Stick Pro 10-Inch Frypan for its slick nonstick surface and even heat retention.
6. A new take on toast
A tiny silver lining of 2020 has been my rediscovery of toast. (I know, I am very late to the party.) Toast became my laziest/easiest work-from-home breakfast, so much so that I’m seriously considering a treat-myself buy in the form of the Breville Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toaster (the best two-slice toaster we tested).
I have a million variations to match every morning mood: hummus and cucumber slices for when I’m craving something savory, avocado and large flakes of sea salt for when I want something creamy and fresh, cream cheese and jam for when I need a touch of sweetness, cultured butter when I want a bit of richness and tang. A sharp serrated bread knife is helpful, but the real game-changer is a good butter knife. The shredding slots on this butter knife make cold butter instantly spreadable, which is ideal for busy mornings.
- Get the Breville Die-Cast 2-Slice Smart Toaster at Sur La Table for $129.95
- Get the Mercer Culinary Millennia 10-Inch Wide Bread Knife on Amazon for $23.11
- Get the LNKOO 3 In1 Multi-function Butter Knife at Walmart for $8.99
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.