Top 3 Make Ahead Breakfasts (+ Shopping List!)

By Polly Conner
September 8, 2020

Oftentimes, a healthy breakfast is the first thing to cut on busy mornings. I mean who has time to cook anything when small people need to get dressed, teeth need to be brushed, school bags need to be prepped, lunches need to be packed, and you still need to get out of your pajama pants. 

The problem is, kids need breakfast!

This post was created in partnership with Hy-Vee (Columbia).

Why Kids Need a Good Breakfast

Just in case you need more evidence, says children who don’t eat breakfast are:

  • less able to learn at school
  • get less iron (an important nutrient) in their diets
  • more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI), which is a sign they may be overweight

On the other hand, children who DO eat breakfast perform better at school, are more likely be physically active, and eat a healthier diet overall.

Before you start feeling the mom-guilt about throwing pop tarts to the masses, we have a solution for your breakfast problem: Our top 3 make ahead breakfasts. Every single recipe below works great to prep ahead and freeze for those busy mornings. 

The Ultimate Time Saver: Double and Freeze All 3 Recipes

We have the ultimate time-saver idea for you. Set aside an afternoon to make 2 batches of all 3 recipes below. After doubling all these recipes, imagine how stocked your freezer will be! You’ll have breakfast ready to go for weeks.

To make it super easy for you, we’ve made you a shopping list with enough ingredients to double each of the 3 recipes. We recommend doing your shopping at Hy-Vee where ingredients are well stocked, it’s easy to keep kids entertained, and the store is clean and well staffed.

Shopping list in front of Hy-Vee Store

If you’re an online shopper, just hop to Aisles Online and fill up your cart with the ingredient list. It’s even easier to shop for sales this way in my opinion!

Their website is incredibly easy to navigate and their pick-up process was flawless. Or, you can even have your groceries delivered. I can think of no easier way to make this cooking session happen than having someone drop the groceries right to your doorstep. You can do this!

Shopping list with Hy-Vee Aisles online

Download and Print the Shopping List

As a reminder, this list is for the go-getters who want to double all three of these recipes. If you only want to make one or two, simply print off the recipe card(s) below.

Top 3 Make Ahead Breakfast Recipes

Alright, you now know where to shop for the ingredients you’ll need (Hy-Vee), you know the easiest way to get them to your home (Aisles Online), and you have heard our plea for you to double the recipes when you make them to save yourself time in the run.

Every recipe that we link to below has instructions for how to freeze it ahead and how to prepare it from frozen.

1. Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

These simple make-ahead breakfast sandwiches rival their fast food equivalent any day, making a wholesome, delicious breakfast possible even on the busiest mornings. One of the keys to making these easy to assemble is to bake the eggs (instead of scrambling them!).

make ahead breakfast sandwiches on a cutting board

MAKE IT AHEAD: Fully assemble the sandwiches, wrap individually in foil, and freeze in a freezer bag.

TO PREPARE: 3 options: 1) After thawing, microwave in moist paper towel until warmed through (1-2 minutes), 2) From frozen, microwave in a moist paper towel until warmed through (2-3 minutes), or 3) From frozen, place foil-wrapped sandwiches in 350° F oven for about 30 minutes or until warmed through.

A similar recipe to this one is our Freezer Breakfast Burritos. You might like that one as well!

make ahead breakfast sandwiches on a cutting board

Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Toasted
  • Cuisine: American


Make these simple egg sandwiches ahead of time, wrap, and freeze for fast and satisfying breakfasts on the go.


  • 9 whole wheat English muffins
  • 45 tablespoons butter, softened (optional)
  • cooking spray
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (your choice of milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 9 slices Cheddar cheese (sub: Havarti, Colby-Jack, or Swiss cheese slices)
  • 1 pound fully cooked bacon (try this no-fail method to bake bacon)


Make It Now:

  1. Adjust the top oven rack to 6 inches below the broiler. Turn the broiler on high.
  2. Set the English muffins on a sheet pan and open them up with the insides facing up. Spread a little softened butter on the insides (optional). Toast under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, just until toasted. Keep a close eye on them.
  3. Turn off the broiler and preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9×9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish.
  5. Place the casserole dish on the middle oven rack. Bake the eggs for 20 minutes, or until set in the middle. Let cool slightly and slice into 9 equal squares.
  6. To assemble the sandwiches, top each muffin bottom with one egg square, one cheese slice, and 1-2 slices of Burgers’ Smokehouse Bacon that have been broken in half. Place the muffin top on and wrap the sandwich tightly in foil. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  7. If eating immediately, warm the foil-wrapped sandwiches in the oven for about 5 minutes, or microwave uncovered (no foil!) for 30 seconds, until cheese is melted.

Freeze For Later: Follow directions through Step 6. Place the individually-wrapped sandwiches in a gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen: There are three options for thawing and warming these sandwiches.

Option 1 (preferred method): Thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove foil and wrap in a moist paper towel. Microwave in 30 second intervals, until warmed through (about 1-2 minutes).

Option 2: From frozen, remove foil and wrap frozen sandwich in a moist paper towel. Microwave for 1 minute and then in 30 second intervals, until warmed through.

Option 3: From frozen, place foil-wrapped sandwiches in 350° F oven for about 30 minutes or until warmed through.

2. Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal recipes are a long time favorite in my home. They come together really quickly and keep well in the fridge for several days after cooking. Depending on how much your family eats, this could be a breakfast for you for many mornings!

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal in a white bowl

MAKE IT AHEAD: Prepare the baked oatmeal in a casserole dish and freeze before baking.

TO PREPARE: Thaw and bake according to directions.

Be sure to browse through our other Baked Oatmeal recipes for other delicious flavors!

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal is hearty, healthy, delicious, and fairly adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plus, leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. Serve it up as a tasty start to your day or as a “breakfast-for-dinner”, along with bacon and a fruit salad.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Recipe

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This recipe is hearty, healthy, delicious, and fairly adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Plus, leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days. Serve it up as a tasty start to your day or as a “breakfast-for-dinner”, along with bacon and a fruit salad.


  • 2 ¾ cups oats (quick or rolled)
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed (or substitute more oats)
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted (sub: avocado oil or melted coconut oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (your choice)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 apple, cored and finely diced (peeled or unpeeled is fine)
  • ¼ cup raisins


Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish (or two 8×8 inch dishes).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flaxseed, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted (and cooled) butter, eggs, and milk.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until combined well. Gently stir in the walnuts, apples, and raisins.
  5. Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve with warm milk and a bit more brown sugar on top, if desired.

Freeze For Later: Complete recipe through Step 4. DO NOT BAKE before freezing. Wrap casserole dish tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap and one of foil and place in the back of the freezer.

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw in the fridge for 24 hours and bake according to directions. If baking from frozen, cover oatmeal with foil and plan to bake longer, until the middle is cooked through. If cooking directly from frozen, the USDA states that, “it will take approximately one and a half times as long to cook.”

3. Pumpkin Muffins with Crumble Topping

The muffins are hearty, flavorful, packed with nutrition, and fall tastes. They are simply wonderful and I make them EVERY single fall. Once baked, they freeze beautifully so be sure to double the recipe when you make it.

Pumpkin muffins with a crumble topping

MAKE IT AHEAD: Bake and let the muffins cool. Place in single layer in freezer bag to freeze.

TO PREPARE: Wrap in damp paper towel and microwave in 30 second increments until warmed through.

All of our muffin recipes work as a make ahead breakfast recipe. I almost always have a stash of them! You can find more muffin recipes here. We also provide some muffin freezing and storage tips in this post.


Pumpkin Spice Muffins With Crumble Topping

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 18 muffins 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


A delicious pumpkin muffin recipe. I love that this recipe uses the whole can of pumpkin. The crumble topping puts it over the top! Double this and freeze one batch for the future–you’ll want lots!


Muffin Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour*
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (quick oats work fine, too)
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (or one 15 ounce can) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup sugar (use coconut sugar for a healthier alternative)
  • 2/3 cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Crumble Topping:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (quick oats will work, too)
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

*You can replace all the flour with white whole wheat flour, if you want to use 100% whole wheat. The white variety can replace all-purpose flour with very little textural differences.


Make It Now:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 18 muffin cups or line them with paper liners. 
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flours, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  4. Stir dry mixture into wet ingredients; mix just until combined (do not over mix).
  5. For the Crumble Topping: Add the brown sugar and softened butter to the same small mixing bowl from before. Stir until smooth and creamy. Add in the oats and 2 tablespoons flour and use a fork to stir until topping is crumbly.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins until each one is about 2/3rds full. Sprinkle each muffin with crumble topping.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a tooth pick and if it comes out clean then muffins are done. (Freezing instructions begin here.)

Freeze For Later: Bake muffins as directed in recipe. Let cool completely. Then place in a gallon-sized freezer bag or container, seal tightly, and store for up to 3 months. 

Prepare From Frozen: Thaw muffins in the refrigerator or warm in the microwave.

We truly hope these three ideas help you narrow down what you should stock your freezer with for those busy mornings. 

For more make ahead freezer meal ideas, swing by our best of the best 70+ Make Ahead Freezer Meals.


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4 replies
  1. Melinda Beaman says:

    Thanks for all the ideas. We also make some similar oatmeal recipes. When baking, I put them in a muffin tin. When they are cooled, I freeze them. Then they are individual serving size and ready to be enjoyed!

  2. Suzanne says:

    These recipes sound great and I have made different versions of them for years. We are retired, no children around to feed any more but we still like nutritious breakfasts with lots of variety. Actually, I think variety is more important than every because we are not as busy! I have a freezing tip for the baked oatmeal. If you go ahead and bake it, let it cool and then cut into squares you can wrap the squares individually and freeze in a ziplock. To reheat them, we unwrap and put in a covered bowl to thaw overnight and then microwave with a little milk in the morning. We like ours topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt.