7 Make-Ahead Breakfasts to Keep in Your Freezer

These 300-calorie meals take almost no time to heat and will fill you up.

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Breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day. It can regulate blood sugar, boost productivity and may even help you maintain a healthy weight.

“Ideally, a breakfast would have all five food groups,” says Christine Patorniti, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and owner of Nutrition Center of Colorado in Centennial, Colorado. Your meal should be made of grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy and protein, but this is no small feat, she admits.

Patorniti shares the secrets to loading your freezer with make-ahead meals that won’t break the calorie bank, so you'll never skip breakfast again. "Planning and prepping will help even the most novice chef make a balanced breakfast," she says.

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Scrambled egg muffins

Veggie omelets, packed with vitamins and protein, are a nutritious option, but who has time to stand over the stove? Enjoy the same taste and nutrition in convenient baked cups.

To make a batch of six muffins:

  • Coat a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Beat six eggs in a bowl.
  • Fold in 1 cup of chopped veggies, like peppers, onions and spinach.
  • Divide the mixture into six muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes.

Once the muffins are baked and cooled, wrap each one in wax paper and place in a zip top bag. When you’re ready to eat, place your muffins in the microwave, cover with a damp paper towel and nuke for 30 seconds, or until warm. One serving (two baked cups) contains about 155 calories.

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Baked oatmeal cups

These pre-portioned oat cups are a sweet and simple way to combine whole grains with your favorite fruit.

To make six muffins:

  • Combine 2 cups of old fashioned oats with a teaspoon each of cinnamon and baking powder.
  • Stir in 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or other milk) and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • For extra sweetness, add a drizzle of agave, honey or maple syrup to the mix.
  • Add half a cup of fruit, like fresh berries or diced apples.
  • Pour the mixture into six lined muffin cups and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.

Once cooled, wrap each muffin in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. Before serving, let them thaw, then heat in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute. Each muffin, without added sweetener, contains 120 calories.

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Veggie and egg breakfast burritos

Who said burritos are only for lunch and dinner? The recipe combines eggs and veggies, but you can totally customize the fillings. Patorniti recommends adding a handful of frozen peas to increase your fiber intake. It's not always easy to monitor your nutrient intake, but apps like Sharcare, available for iOS and Android, can help. Simply download the application and log the size and quality of your daily meals.    

To prepare each burrito:

  • Scramble one egg and spread on an 8-inch whole wheat tortilla.
  • Spoon on half a cup of chopped veggies, like tomatoes and bell peppers.
  • Sprinkle with Mexican seasonings, like cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper, before rolling your burrito.

Cover each with a layer of plastic wrap or foil and place in a freezer bag. When you’re ready to enjoy, replace the plastic or foil wrap with a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for about two minutes. Each burrito contains 220 calories.

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Loaded morning sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are perfect for breakfast. This meal combines protein, fiber and vitamin A, which is good for vision, cell growth and bone health.

To prep your potatoes:

  • Wash your medium spuds with a vegetable scrubber and use a fork to pierce several holes in each.
  • Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.
  • Allow potatoes to cool before wrapping each in tin foil and storing in a freezer bag.
  • When you're ready to eat, thaw your spud before popping it in the microwave oven and heating until warm.
  • Slice the potato in half and top with half a cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, a tablespoon of almond butter, a teaspoon of chopped walnuts and a dash of cinnamon.

It’s best to top your potatoes when you’re ready to eat. “Dairy products don't freeze well, and often separate,” Patorniti explains. Since the potato needs to be thawed before eaten, place in the fridge the night before and enjoy just 280 glorious calories in the morning. 

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Make-ahead breakfast sandwiches

Drive-thru breakfast sandwiches are convenient, but most of them are packed with fat and sodium. Instead, kick start your morning with this combo of whole grains, lean protein and vegetable.

To assemble six sandwiches:

  • Saute 1 cup of veggies, like mushrooms and spinach, in 1 teaspoon of olive oil, until tender.
  • Beat six eggs in a bowl and add the veggies.
  • Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously.
  • Toast six whole wheat English muffins before spooning equal amounts of the scrambled mixture onto each.
  • Add a slice of low-fat cheddar to each and wrap in foil before freezing.

When you’re ready to eat, take your sandwich out of the fridge, wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for a minute or two. Enjoy for just 290 calories.

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Protein-packed pancakes

One serving of store-bought frozen pancakes (3 flapjacks) only have 280 calories but are typically loaded with fat and sugar. And that’s before they're doused in syrup. Make your own protein pancakes; it's simple and so much healthier.

To whip up one serving:

  • Combine three egg whites, one heaping scoop of your favorite flavor of whey protein powder and a small, overripe banana in a blender.
  • Pour three equal rounds onto a hot nonstick pan and cook until done, flipping once.
  • Once the pancakes are cool, wrap each in plastic wrap, store in a zip top bag and freeze.

Ready to eat? Heat three pancakes in your microwave for 30 seconds, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a cup of fresh fruit, like strawberries. This meal totals just 287 calories, but the calories will vary based on your fruit and protein powder.

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Baked berry oatmeal

No time to slave over a pot of steel-cut oats? No problem. This meal can be made early in the week, divided into individual portions and frozen.

To make this delicious breakfast:

  • Combine 2 cups of old fashioned oats, 1 ½ cups of unsweetened almond milk (or other plant-based milk), 1 teaspoon of baking soda and cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to taste.
  • Mix in one large egg and a few tablespoons of sweetener, like honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar, and a cup of fresh berries.
  • Pour your mixture into a 9-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set.
  • Slice your oatmeal into eight even squares, allow to cool and cover with plastic wrap before freezing.  

This sweet breakfast tastes like dessert, and contains around 118 calories per serving.

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