21 Tasty and Cost-Effective Breakfast for Dinner Ideas
Not only does breakfast for dinner make a great addition to your cheap date repertoire, it’s also an inexpensive way to get supper on the table in a hurry after a hectic day with work and family. Bonus? It’s a great option for singles as well. Here are 21 ways to enjoy breakfast for dinner that balance flavor, frugality and fun. (See also: Cheap, Quick Homemade Breakfasts)
Having savory pancakes for dinner is one of my favorite ways to dine on a dime at home. It allows us to enjoy a food we love but typically don’t have time to prepare most mornings. Of course, you can always go the traditional route as well and serve a sweeter, morning-style version made with a variety of ingredients such as oatmeal, canned pumpkin, bananas, and other add-ins.
2. Morning Casseroles
If you’re looking for a one-dish wonder that incorporates your favorite early-in-the-day flavors, then you may want to try breakfast casseroles a few times per month. They can be created with anything from eggs to leftover bread, and they work well paired with a fresh fruit.
3. Breakfast Burritos
Great for portable food on a night the kids have sports practice, breakfast burritos are full of flavor and inexpensive to make. They use inexpensive tortillas, eggs, refried beans, and whatever veggie items you want to scramble in with the overall mixture. Add a little hot sauce and a few chopped scallions, and you’ll be good to go.
Whether you choose to make them savory or sweet, waffles pack loads of wow factor that are sure to bring children to the table with smiles on their faces. As most moms will tell you, when it comes to cooking for kids, that’s half the battle. Decide what toppings you want to serve and whip up some fun, healthy smoothies in the blender for a meal that is sure to please.
5. Breakfast Rice
As I mentioned in my once-a-month cooking article, fried rice is an exceptionally cost-effective menu item. I also have something similar I prepare with breakfast ingredients. It’s called breakfast fried rice, and it was my most regularly ordered item at my favorite diner on Guam. Basically, it’s fried rice made with plain rice, scrambled eggs, chopped ham or Spam, garlic, and perhaps some peas and carrot bits thrown in from the freezer if you have them. Personally, I just use chopped scallions and a bit of hot sauce to finish off the job. It’s tasty and brings a fresh twist to the ham and eggs scene.
Omelets run the gamut when it comes to flavor pairings and ingredients, and they are a great way to use eggs. Whip one up using mushrooms, frozen spinach, and sundried tomatoes for a Mediterranean menu plan, or toss in some potatoes for a Spanish twist.
7. Breakfast Pizza
Eggs are one of my favorite alternative pizza sauce solutions, and they turn pizza into a breakfast I can use to feed a crowd of any size. Toss in some leftover bits of dinner ham or turkey sausage along with some veggie toppings and have a selection of hot sauce bottles standing by. This is good stuff.
8. Huevos Rancheros
For those who enjoy international cuisines with humble ingredients, huevos rancheros represents a hearty breakfast for dinner option that keeps flavor in the forefront. Paired with some refried beans and homemade salsa, it’s practically date worthy, especially if you’ve got a great bloody Mary or sangria recipe to go along with it.
9. Breakfast Sandwiches
These are a super hearty option. Breakfast sandwiches can range from a gourmet breakfast burger to a simple yet yummy egg and English muffin sandwich similar to those you can buy at the drive through of your favorite coffee franchise.
Whether you are serving it as a side dish or including breakfast sausage and veggies in the same pan to create a one-dish meal that’s easy to clean up afterwards, hash is one of those potato ideas that provides stick-to-your ribs goodness at the end of a long day.
11. Jalapeno Corn Muffins
Personally, I love savory muffins at any time of day, but jalapeno corn muffins with a buttery spread and a squeeze of molasses rock my world. Create your own bulk mix with cornmeal to have on hand whenever the mood strikes you.
12. Savory Grits
Southern food fans will likely agree that savory grits make an excellent addition to your repertoire. Flavor pairings abound, so choose one that works with what you have on hand in the fridge for the best bargain.
13. Biscuits and Gravy
You’ve got to admit, biscuits and gravy is about as basic as it gets when it comes to enjoying breakfast for dinner. This meatless recipe provides an option for the vegan crowd, but there are certainly loads of sausage-based options available.
A slight variation on the omelet, frittatas represent what in my opinion is a highly underutilized menu item. Workable with a variety of ingredients from frozen broccoli to red bell peppers and many things in between, a frittata is sassy enough to serve with artisan bread and a fun cream cheese spread for a rustic yet stylish meal.
The addition of a crust makes breakfast for dinner a fancier affair. If you enjoy dinner pies, then quiche might by your go-to solution for this type of menu.
16. Smoked Salmon and Bagels
Some deli bagels with a bit of smoked salmon, some capers, and a batch of whipped cream cheese makes breakfast for dinner a snap for the single crowd. It’s also pretty stylish if you’re planning this menu for date night. Hoping to keep the cost manageable? Selecting salmon trim instead of the main filet is a great cheap seafood strategy that doesn’t skimp on wow factor at all.
17. Bulk Bacon
Preparing bacon from scratch is a time consuming process. However, when incorporated into your bulk buying routine, it can be extremely affordable to purchase pre-cooked. I’ve found that Costco carries large packages that freeze well, but if you don’t want to tie up that much of your cash, smaller boxes are also available at Aldi for around two bucks. Use it to craft breakfast sandwiches, as a side dish for scrambled eggs and toast, or on top of a gourmet breakfast pizza.
18. French Toast With Fruit
French toast is chic, tasty, and a cost-effective way to use up slightly stale bread. Pair it with fresh fruit, sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar, and serve with a syrup and toppings buffet for a bit of flair. Artisan breads are also a great way to take this to the next level.
Since you can stuff crepes with virtually anything you want, they are a great way to use up whatever you have on hand. From imitation crab meat and asparagus tips to bananas or strawberries, this breakfast for dinner idea combines affordability with style. You can use a typical flour batter for your crepes, or blend soaked mung beans and rice to create a crepe with extra protein.
20. Eggs Benedict
This is definitely a bit more on the high-end side. Still, it’s a great-tasting meal that appeals to the masses. I’ve seen vegan and vegetarian versions as well, but this traditional eggs Benedict recipe seems as good a place as any to start. Great for a date night breakfast served with mimosas.
21. Oatmeal Topping Bar
You can use regular old-fashioned oats for this, or go with steel cut to add to your list of simple crock pot recipes. Serve with regular or non-dairy milk, fresh berries, walnuts, and other toppings for a fun and easy dinner that’s also kid friendly.
Just because you’re trying to saving money by serving breakfast for dinner doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with cold cereal. These twenty-one suggestions bring a diversity of flavors as well as affordability to the “brinner” table.