8 Healthy Breakfast Ideas for a Crowd
Published on December 20, 2021
Last updated December 22, 2021
By Justine Harrington and Jess Novak
If you have a large crew staying at your house (and you’d rather not try to get a holiday brunch reservation for 10 people) it’s helpful to have an arsenal of crowd-friendly breakfasts at the ready. Simplicity is key when you’re cooking breakfast for a bunch of people, especially if you’re already stressing about preparing elaborate holiday dishes. These healthy, filling, and — most importantly — delicious breakfast recipes for a crowd are easy to master, and bound to wow your guests.
The warm, nostalgic apple-cinnamon flavor profile is a winner for basically everyone, it’s a breakfast full of protein to keep everyone going through the day, and it’s sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. For a nut-free version of this quinoa breakfast bake, you can easily substitute pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds for the walnuts, and we definitely recommend checking out the recipe author’s topping ideas, including raspberries, yogurt, and cacao nibs. We love this one for a crowd because it’s good warm, room temp, or cold.
Baked oatmeal: it’s such a simple idea, and it totally works. The top gets a little crisp in the oven, but the inside is still pretty oatmeal-y. The peanut butter-and-banana flavor combo makes this a winner for all age groups. This recipe comes together really quickly, but heads up: don’t try to make this one ahead of time, or if you do, make sure you keep the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separate, then combine them in the pan before baking. We like to top it as the recipe author suggests: with peanut butter, a handful of banana slices, and some blueberries.
If you want to instantly become everyone’s BFF on Christmas morning, make a big ol’ platter of breakfast tacos. These tacos are high in good-for-you nutrients and high in flavor, with plenty of fresh veggies and irresistible toppings. And on that note: Trust us, you’ll want to go hog-wild on the garnishes — and don’t feel like you need to stop at what’s listed in the recipe. Pico de gallo, pickled onions, and sliced avocado (with a pinch of salt and fresh lime juice) are all welcome to the party. For a large crowd, we’d also add some simple black beans for an extra protein boost. Opt for tortillas made with “whole corn,” or “whole grain corn flour” to avoid refined grains, and for those who want to skip the tortillas altogether, they can enjoy this dish as a breakfast bowl instead.
4. A Continental Breakfast Spread with Sweet Potato Breakfast Muffins
We love these healthful sweet potato breakfast muffins on their own, but they’re also a great centerpiece for an easy DIY continental breakfast. Set out a basket of muffins — you can make the batter the night before — and serve alongside a simple fruit salad, yogurt, granola, and hard-boiled eggs (which can be made the day before, as well). The best part? Guests can serve themselves!
Anything you can make ahead of time (and then simply reheat the morning of) is a winner in our book, especially when you’re making food for a crowd. That’s why we love a good breakfast casserole — it’s quick, easy, and oh-so-nourishing. Spinach and mushrooms are the perfect partners for a casserole, but the same is true for kale and gruyere, asparagus and goat cheese, and bell peppers and cheddar. Go with your gut (or whatever’s in your fridge). And though you may get a little antsy waiting 40 to 50 minutes for this to bake, it’s very, very worth getting that golden, crusty texture on top. Although, that’s all the more reason to make it the night before.
Make this chia seed pudding the night before, and your guests will have an easy, serve-yourself breakfast ready to enjoy whenever they roll out of bed. You can make a big bowl of it and let people scoop their own serving sizes, or prepare the pudding in mason jars so everyone has their own, individual breakfasts portioned out. This is great on its own or with any fresh fruit you have in the house, and it’s also excellent when served with some homemade granola. (P.S. This is our favorite granola recipe, but we like to double the spices, add an extra egg white, and throw in a little salt.)
Salmon is seriously good for you — it’s an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals — and it’s also a classic breakfast component. The smoked salmon provides the perfect salty touch in this gorgeous breakfast board, which you can easily customize according to dietary restrictions, crowd size, etc. While we love the Lemon Dill Whipped Cream Cheese and Quick Pickled Shallots included here, it’s okay if you can’t be bothered to do any extra mixing and chopping. Instead, simply top thin slices of whole wheat bread with a little Greek yogurt, red onion, capers, and the sliced salmon, and give everything a squeeze of lemon. For the carb-conscious, consider this keto bread made with almond flour.
If you’re doing bulk baking, you can’t go wrong with crustless quiche. Incredibly easy and foolproof, it’s basically just eggs baked with a little milk and cheese. The best part of all? It doesn’t get more versatile than this dish. Throw in cubed chorizo or bacon (or don’t!), keep it lean with lots of vegetables (any combo of broccoli, spinach, asparagus, or mushrooms would be great, but follow your heart), and add as much or as little cheese as you’re craving. Everything comes together in one satisfying slice. Serve with a simple side salad, like arugula drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil, and then finished with salt and pepper.