7 breakfast recipes to keep your house guests well fed
photo by Jennifer Johnson
Summer is all about hosting guests and spending less time fussing over what to serve. We love anything that’s make ahead, and ready to bake just before your guests wake up. Here are a few of our standby favorites for breakfast—but be warned, your guests may never want to leave.
breakfast strata. We love this egg casserole because it can be modified in a bunch different ways. It also works with cooked bacon, leftover ham, and just about any combination of vegetables and cheese you prefer. Get the recipe below.
homemade ricotta + asparagus tart: Our original recipe for this tart is made with both homemade ricotta and pesto but a good quality brand for both will definitely work for a much quicker version. We also love this made with arugula pesto (which is also a great thing to make in a big batch for an easy sauce for pasta). The tart may seem like a lot of steps, but everything can be made and prepped ahead of time and assembled just before baking.
blueberry bake: Our version of a warm, granola-style casserole topped with nuts and seeds for crunch, and seasonal fruit baked right in. We love this served at room temperature topped with a big dollop of Greek yogurt.
bran muffins. We’ve been making these muffins for as long as we can remember. They’re light and healthy and don’t require a mixer to make (we love that). Serve them with our homemade granola and vanilla bean yogurt.
smoothies: When the temperature is soaring outside, nothing quenches better than a great smoothie for breakfast. We’re huge fans of smoothies because they can be made ahead of time (even the day before) and ready to serve whenever you need them. Make a big batch and keep them in the fridge for the whole weekend. Here are five of our favorites:
- blueberry smoothie: For a bit more berry variety, used frozen mixed berries instead (using frozen fruit helps make the smoothies thicker).
- cranberry cooler. You may not think much about cranberries other than around the holidays but because they’re packed with nutrients, they’re the perfect frozen fruit to keep in your freezer.
- kale pineapple smoothie: This is one of our absolute favorite smoothies from friend and cookbook author Cathy Walthers. We love to make it with both frozen banana and pineapple chunks for an even thicker smoothie.
- citrus smoothie: This smoothie looks like pure summer sunshine. It’s bright, vibrant, and full of citrus.
- creamsicle smoothie: This one tastes just like our favorite ice cream treat in a liquid form. Yes please!
This make-ahead casserole is perfect for weekend entertaining. If using day-old bread, it’s best to allow the strata to sit in the refrigerator overnight so that the bread soaks up the custard before baking (for fresher bread, 4-6 hours is fine). This recipe works well in our Stargazer cast iron skillet but you can also make it in a glass or ceramic dish as well. If using a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, increase the number of eggs to 8 and the milk/cream amount to a combined total of 3 1/2 cups.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1-2 sausage links, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, optional
- 1 challah or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 ounces cheddar (or similar) cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks, or to taste
- In a 10 1/2-inch cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add onion and cook until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for another 1 minute. Transfer sausage mixture to a plate and set aside to cool. Allow pan to cool completely. Once cooled, grease bottom and sides of pan with remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream, and mustard (if using) and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until mixture is well combined. Stir in parsley.
- Arrange half of bread cubes on bottom of prepared baking skillet, followed by half of sausage mixture, and half of cheese. Pour half of egg mixture over top. Repeat layers again, finishing with remaining half of egg mixture, pouring evenly over top to moisten entire dish. Gently press mixture down, making sure all of bread is moistened. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake strata, uncovered, for about 45 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Begin checking start after 35 minutes and cover with aluminum foil is top is getting too dark). Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.