This Meal-Prep Hot Breakfast Bowls Recipe makes it so easy to feed my son a hearty, hot breakfast on busy school mornings. I’m a much nicer Mom since I started making it, too.
See, I need two cups of coffee — in silence — to be anything close to pleasant in the morning. Even though I get up extra early to have my coffee, I’m still not always awake enough to cook a hot meal from scratch first thing.
So for years, we’ve we started our day with something from my list of make-ahead breakfasts but those somehow still involved a lot of effort on my part each morning.
With my son’s 16th birthday approaching next month, I’ve been focusing on teaching him more independence. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like someone who is legally old enough to drive a car should be able to feed himself in the morning.
Or maybe it’s just that, after spending the last 25 years raising kids, I am tired.
Meal-Prep Hot Breakfast Bowls Recipe
Feeding Hungry Teens Costs a Fortune!
When we were grocery shopping one day, my son saw some Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls on sale, so I bought four. That week, he had a hearty breakfast before school every day without any help on my part. Then the deal ended, and I realized they’re $2.69 per bowl!
They didn’t seem complicated, so I set out to come up with a less-expensive but still filling homemade version. I had a few criteria in mind, though. I wanted to create a recipe that was:
- Meal-prep style, so it’s all made in one go
- Freezable, so there’s no rush to eat it
- Ready to eat in minutes
That was three months ago, and let me tell you we’re both much happier in the mornings now that these are part of our meal rotation!
It takes less than an hour to make a batch on the weekend that lasts all month, and in the morning it takes him under 3 minutes to heat them up on his own.
So much cheaper than store-bought.
Every time I make this meal-prep hot breakfast bowls recipe I think about how much money I’m saving. Here’s the breakdown:
• 1/2 lb. bacon: $1.85
• 1 lb. sausage links: $4.29
• 2 lbs. Russet potatoes $1.09
• 14 extra-large eggs: $3.37
• 1/2 lb. medium sharp cheddar cheese: $1.94
TOTAL COST 14 HOMEMADE BREAKFAST BOWLS: $12.54
Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls at Kroger’s: $2.69 each
TOTAL COST 14 JIMMY DEAN BOWLS: $37.66
By spending less than an hour making this meal-prep hot breakfast bowls recipe, I’m saving $25.12 and giving my son an easy way to start his mornings with a hearty, hot breakfast he can heat and eat without having to wait for me to finish my coffee.
I call that a win-win recipe!
It all starts with bacon.
I start with a half-pound of bacon and a pound of link sausage. We prefer thick, center-cut bacon, so it’s meaty, not fatty. I suppose you could use turkey bacon, but you’d lose the smoky taste that adds a great flavor to the breakfast bowls.
Cook sausage at the same time
While the bacon cooks, make the sausage on another rack. It needs to get turned over halfway through, but that gives you a chance to make sure the bacon isn’t getting too crispy.
Whatever you do, do not prick holes in the sausages! You may have seen your grandmother do that, but that’s because sausages made around WW1 and WW2 contained bread and water in the mixture due to rationing. When those sausages cook, the water would reach boiling, and the sausages would explode.
As long as you’re buying high-quality sausages, you don’t need to worry about poking holes in them.
Soak those Spuds
Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes. With red ones, you can leave the peels on, but my picky eater won’t touch potato peels aside from stuffed potato skins — go figure.
Transfer the potatoes to a bowl of cold water while you work, so they don’t pink or brown. Soaking also helps reduce their starch content, which lowers their glycemic index to prevent blood sugar swings. Teens have enough hormonally-induced mood swings — we don’t need to add blood sugar wackiness, too!
Let the cooked bacon and sausage cool then roughly chop them. Transfer the chopped meats to a bowl. Add some olive oil to a large skillet preheated on the stove at medium heat, or use some of the bacon fat if you want. I won’t judge.
Dry then Fry the Potatoes
Drain the potatoes and pat them dry so they don’t splatter when they hit the oil. Next, add them to the skillet and stir immediately to coat all of the potatoes with the oil. Cook on medium for 5-8 minutes, often stirring, until they’re easily pierced with a fork but not falling apart.
Spread the cooked potatoes in an even on a baking sheet to cool. Letting them thoroughly cool helps to keep things from clumping together later when it’s all mixed.
While the potatoes cool, wipe any potato bits out of the skillet then add more oil or bacon grease to the pan. Bring the skillet back to medium heat and add the eggs. Let them cook and begin to set a bit, then scramble them. Repeat the set and scramble step as needed to finish cooking. Remove the pan from the heat.
Let the eggs cool thoroughly after cooking, too. It’s crucial that you allow all of the parts to cool completely. Rushing this step means your ingredients will form large, solid clumps once you’ve transferred them to the freezer, and that will make heating a breakfast bowl take much longer in the morning.
Pile on the cheese
Grate some cheese. I used medium sharp cheddar for this round, but in the past, we’ve also enjoyed a combination of cheddar and pepper jack cheese, for a little extra zing. Avoid American cheese or processed slices, though — their moisture content is much higher, so they’ll cause those hard clumps to form, too.
Stash it in the Freezer
Stir the cooled eggs into the bowl of potatoes, add the chopped meats then spread everything them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle the mixture the grated cheese and transfer the whole thing to the freezer for 30 minutes, or until everything is well-frozen but not frost-bitten.
Freeze and Reheat
Once everything is frozen, put it in resealable bags and chuck them into the freezer. I usually label them with the reheating directions, too. We’ve found that defrosting for 1 minute at 50% power then cooking for another minute or two at full heat is the best route.
Now you’re ready to enjoy a meal-prep hot breakfast bowl any day of the week!
Meal-Prep Hot Breakfast Bowls Recipe
- ½ lb. bacon
- 1 lb. sausage links
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 lbs. Russet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 14 extra-large eggs whisked well
- ½ lb. medium cheddar cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 425°F /218 °C. Line two baking sheets with foil, spray with cooking spray and place a baking rack on one.
- Spread the bacon on the baking rack and arrange the sausage links on the other sheet. Cook bacon and sausage in the oven for 15-20 minutes until done, turning sausages halfway through.
- Remove the meat from the oven and let cool then chop.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ½ of the olive oil. Pat the potatoes dry and add them to the skillet. Cook, frequently stirring, 5-8 minutes until they are fork-tender but not browned. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet or rack and let cool.
- Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining oil. Scramble the eggs in the skillet, occasionally stirring, until thoroughly cooked. Remove them from heat and let cool.
- Combine the eggs, meats, and potatoes on the baking sheets. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes until firm. Transfer to resealable bags and freeze.
- To serve: Add 1½ cups of mixture to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute at 50% power to defrost, stir, then cook on HIGH for 1 minute and 30 seconds, or until thoroughly heated. OR defrost your desired amount in the refrigerator overnight then heat in the microwave for 2 minutes before serving.