For a meal that offers so much flexibility, from sweet to savory, from hearty to light, breakfast can be divisive (via Well and Good). Some experts refer to it as the most important meal of the day. Others wouldn’t mind if everyone skipped it. But the truth is, you can never actually skip "breakfast" because the word, itself, literally refers to the first meal of the day, or more specifically, the meal that "breaks" the "fast" that the human habit of sleeping-at-night automatically confers. In other words, whatever you eat first after waking from your nightly rest? It’s breakfast.
So when experts like Healthline concede that it’s probably perfectly fine to skip breakfast, they’re not necessarily condoning the eating of nothing after many hours of sleep-conferred fasting. Rather, it’s more that they’re acknowledging that you may not need to sit down daily to the morning meal that our culture has come to associate with "breakfast." Especially, when there’s an emphasis on carbohydrates (pancakes, French toast, waffles, cereals), punctuated with processed meats (think: bacon, sausage, and ham) and eggs.
If that’s music to your ears, then you’re in the right place because here you’ll find a selection of recipes for bite-sized morsels that are perfect for satisfying those first pangs of hunger of the day, whenever you happen to feel them. You might call them "bite-sized breakfasts," but you don’t have to call them anything at all. Just grab ’em, and eat up!
Sous vide egg bites to get your morning off to a good start
You know those delicious bite-sized quiche slash frittata slash omelet thingies that Starbucks fans can’t seem to stop talking about? You can make them at home if you have a sous vide set-up. The sous vide method of cooking refers to vacuum-sealing food (usually in plastic, but as you’ll see here in the case of this recipe for sous vide egg bites, sometimes in glass) and then immersing in a water bath heated to a consistent temperature that is precisely the temperature at which you would like your food to be when finished (via Cooks Illustrated). For these Starbucks sous vide egg bite copycats, that temperature is 172 degrees Fahrenheit, which ensures your bites are neither tough nor runny, but just right.
Starbucks copycat egg bites will make your morning delicious
If you don’t have a sous vide set-up, you can still make your own Starbucks-esque mini egg bites at home with this recipe for Starbucks copycat egg bites. You’ll just have to use that old familiar kitchen standard, your oven, which you’ll heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (as opposed to your 172-degrees-Fahrenheit water bath if you’re making the sous vide version). And instead of cooking your bites in tiny little mason jars, you’ll use muffin tins. To make these bites extra portable (not to mention extra cute), feel free to line your muffin tins with cupcake liners.
Mini-frittatas you’ll be obsessed with
A classic Italian "frittata" is essentially a quiche that skips the bottom crust in favor of a signature golden top "crust" formed via the Maillard reaction, according to the University of Washington’s Nutrition Newsletter. However, while quiche is basically a savory custard pie, which means it relies on milk or cream to imbue the eggs with that custardy smoothness, this genius recipe for mini-frittatas requires no additional milk or cream to achieve its tender texture (it already contains a generous portion of pecorino cheese, which is made with milk). Nor will you miss it thanks to the slow-caramelized onions and smoky roasted broccoli that will make you feel like you’re "breaking" your "fast" in Europe.
Trader Joe’s 3-ingredient energy bites
You don’t have to be a vegan to love the sweet yet savory high-protein high-fiber hit of energy you’ll get from this recipe for Trader Joe’s three-ingredient energy bites. But this plant-based treat, which is perfect for a bite-sized breakfast or between-meal snack is, in fact, vegan. Its satisfying protein and fiber content comes from a literal blend (you’ll need a food processor, but you won’t need your oven or your stove) of almond butter and cashews, which account for two of its three ingredients. The third, of course, is Trader Joe’s addictively flavorful Everything But The Bagel Seasoning. And the best part? Making these babies offers the perfect excuse to play with your food.
The pao de queijo you’ve been dying to try
If you’ve been to a Brazilian steakhouse, you’ve probably been served a basket full of pão de queijo, (pronounced pow-ge-kay-ju, according to The Guardian) while waiting for your hand-sliced barbecued meat to arrive. That’s because pão de queijo, which are essentially puffy, cheese-laced buns, are as traditional on Brazilian tables as dinner rolls are on American — except gluten-free by tradition since they are made with crushed cassava root (i.e. tapioca flour), rather than wheat flour. Featuring a crunchy crust and a light, fluffy center, our cheddar cheese-based recipe for pão de queijo is guaranteed to melt in your mouth whenever you enjoy them, including at breakfast time.
Easy no-bake energy bites for when you need an extra boost
Walnuts are among the healthiest nuts you can eat. At the same time, they tend to be overlooked when cashews, almonds, peanuts, or pistachios are around, perhaps because they’re literally a tough nut to crack (via Nerdist). But once you try this recipe for no-bake energy bites, which is made with walnuts and dates as well as chia seeds, peanut butter, and a hint of cocoa powder — before being dipped in chocolate, you may start to look at this underappreciated but highly versatile and nutritious nut with a new sense of reverence.
Easy granola bars you’ll make all the time
When it comes right down to it, it seems the real reason Kudos disappeared from supermarket shelves (and everywhere else) is that they were simply too good to be believable as a "healthy" food. While we can’t bring them back, what we can do is offer this recipe for easy chocolate-chip granola bars that make for a perfect bite-sized breakfast or between-meal snack. And you won’t have to wonder how healthy they are or what’s really in them (in addition to those chocolate chips) because you’ll know: almonds, coconut, nut butter, honey, rolled oats, and a little natural flavoring in the form of pure vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. In other words, these easy granola bars will remind you of a "clean" version of the late great Kudos bars.
Cranberry muffins that break all the rules
Cranberries are typically associated with cold-weather holiday meals such as Thanksgiving, and muffins are often maligned for being, essentially, an excuse for eating cake for breakfast. However, this recipe for cranberry muffins defies those preconceived notions, offering a light-on-sugar, heart-healthy, antioxidant-rich fruit-studded bite-sized breakfast that you can enjoy any time of year. And while fresh cranberries may be challenging to find, whether because of your grocery store’s seasonal selections or because of cranberries’ sensitivity to unexpected weather conditions, there’s a good chance you’ll find frozen cranberries in your grocer’s freezer aisle, and they work perfectly in this recipe.
Blueberry muffins you’ll make again and again
This streusel-topped blueberry muffin recipe is sweet enough and moist enough that you could be fooled into thinking you’re eating cake for breakfast. However, they’re also chock full of fresh blueberries (about an ounce per serving), and blueberries are among the 10 fruits you should definitely be eating more of thanks to their high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber (4 grams per serving!), and antioxidants. In addition, this blueberry muffin recipe contains no butter, which makes it healthier than many others. To make it even healthier, you can consider using a combination of whole-wheat, almond, and regular white flour, which will bulk up the fiber even further.
The apple cinnamon muffin your morning needs
"Sure, they’re not as dressed-up as cupcakes, all decked in colorful frosting and sprinkles," as their recipe developer, Molly Allen concedes, but these apple cinnamon muffins are wonderfully moist and jam-packed with real apple flavor thanks to their inclusion of an actual fresh apple. Sweetening the deal is the fact that the recipe for these apple cinnamon muffins comes together with just 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes in the oven. Plus, as an extra-added nutritional bonus, their streusel topping is made with rolled oats, which, like steel-cut and quick oats, are a fiber-rich breakfast powerhouse.
These British scones are just what your breakfast needs
Many people associate scones with English tea service, but they’ve become popular in the U.S. Nor are they solely for tea time. They also make a perfect grab-and-go breakfast. The difference between British and American scones is twofold, according to Kate Shungu, the chef who developed this recipe for British scones. "British scones aren’t traditionally very sweet, since jam gets spread on top," she explained. In addition, she pointed out that "a true British scone is not as buttery" because it’s intended to be slathered with butter when eaten (via Cook’s Illustrated). For a more substantial grab-and-go, feel free to slice horizontally and treat as a sandwich base for a fried egg and/or bacon.
These crumpets make for the perfect breakfast
As you consider this recipe for beautifully airy crumpets, you might be wondering what a crumpet actually is. After all, it looks quite a bit like an English muffin. But crumpets are different from English muffins in that crumpets are made with milk, whereas English muffins are not, and crumpets have a more crumbly texture than English muffins. That’s why they’re made in crumpet rings and are eaten whole, rather than slicing them horizontally, making them perfect for breakfast-on-the-run. And if you find that you don’t have yeast in the house when you want to make a batch, feel free to substitute baking powder for the yeast and baking soda (via Healthline), which will not only work like a charm but also lend your crumpets a bit of old-school authenticity (via The Kitchn).
The only buttermilk biscuit recipe you’ll ever need
This recipe for buttermilk biscuits is the only one you’ll ever need because it’s not only fast, easy, and delicious, it’s also practically foolproof. That’s because it relies on buttermilk and baking soda for its rise, which is quite a bit less finicky and quite a lot less time-consuming than yeast is as a leavening agent. All told, it comes together with a mere 10 minutes of prep and a mere 15 minutes of baking time. And if you’re out of buttermilk, have no fear, we’ve got you covered with a swap that really works.
Homemade copycat Pop-Tarts
Pop-Tarts are the quintessential grab-and-go breakfast. They have been since they first "popped" up in grocery stores in the 1960s, and they remain as such even if they’re frequently bashed for having questionable nutritional value. However, when you make them yourself, you can control what goes in them, which is why no round-up of recipes for breakfast bites would be complete without a recipe such as this one for homemade pop-tarts. So, if you’re watching your sugar, feel free to substitute the cherry pie filling the recipe calls for with your choice low-sugar jam and skip the powdered sugar glaze.