Make Meals Fun: The 5 Best Breakfast for Dinner Recipes

If you’re cooking at home more now, we have healthy breakfast for dinner recipes that will spice up any boring dinner routine! Plus, get substitution ideas for the ingredients that aren’t available at your local store.

  • By Brittany Yamamoto-Taylor
  • April 1, 2020

In the midst of the uncertainness and stress reaching around the globe right now with COVID-19, we want to provide a way to bring enjoyment into your home. Luckily, there are many ways to make staying-in feel like a special occasion when you take an otherwise ordinary meal and transform it into something extra special. That’s exactly what we’ll help you do by letting sweet and savory breakfasts enchant your evenings. After all, who doesn’t love brinner?

Of course you know and we know that just having a bowl of cereal for dinner is never going to cut it, so rest assured in knowing that these 5 breakfast recipes truly are well suited for dinner and will keep you satisfied until breakfast the next morning. All of these meals contain between 16 to 41 grams of protein per serving, and are served with nutrient-rich vegetable or fruit sides as well.

But before we get into the recipes, let’s have a little chat about pantry staples for these meals . . .

Ingredient Notes

With limiting grocery runs right now and the uncertainty of what products will be available, we want to brief you on some ingredients with a good shelf and freezer life. And, as we go through 5 of our favorite breakfast recipes, we will provide smart substitution ideas in case you can’t find all of a recipe’s ingredients at the store.


We use eggs in a variety of ways in all of our brinner recipes below, so here are tips for how to get the most out of your eggs.

  • When you refrigerate raw whole eggs in their shells at 40°F (or under), they are good for 4 – 5 weeks. Since the temperature at the back of your fridge stays more constant than at the door or near the front, it’s best to keep your eggs there.
  • You can freeze eggs if you crack them into freezer-safe containers. They stay good up to 1 year, so just remember to label the number of eggs and the date so you won’t forget. Then simply defrost them overnight in the refrigerator the day before you want to use them.


We use bread in two of our recipes and English muffins in another below. While a loaf of bread’s shelf life largely depends on its ingredients, here are some general guidelines:

  • Store-bought bread generally lasts up to 7 days at room temperature, which can be extended by 3 – 5 days when refrigerated. However, if you stick bread in the fridge, make sure it’s sealed well so it doesn’t dry out.
  • Frozen bread can last up to 6 months – pop bread in it’s pre-wrapped plastic right into the freezer, or wrap bread tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil or freezer paper to prevent freezer burn. Also, most grocery stores sell several types of breads already frozen in the freezer aisle. To thaw your bread, put it on the countertop in its packaging until it reaches room temperature, or stick it in the fridge overnight. 
  • English muffins can last for about 2 weeks at room temperature or months in the freezer. You can freeze a whole package of them or put some in a heavy-duty freezer bag and they will maintain great quality for about 3 months.

Okay, now that you know how to make some of our key ingredients last, let’s explore 5 beloved breakfasts for dinner that are a great idea to try during this time of social distancing.

Light & Easy Breakfasts

Whenever we’re avoiding the gym and spending a lot more time on the couch, it’s never a bad idea to slip a few low-calorie meals into your weekly mix. These first two brinners are both light on the calories but huge on the flavors.

Vegetable Frittata with Goat Cheese & Roasted Broccoli

We love frittatas because they are fast, healthy, and can be served for any meal of the day. This version can utilize just about any vegetables and is topped with goat cheese for a rich and savory finish. This dish comes together in just 25 minutes of active cooking and will be on your table in 40 minutes, alongside a healthy, roasted broccoli side dish. Another great aspect of this recipe is that you can make it entirely ahead of time and reheat it before serving, and it freezes well for a future meal, too!


Since cow’s milk doesn’t last long, it’s a great time to try alternative milks that can be bought in a box, or even in a can like coconut milk or evaporated milk. If you want to substitute milk in this recipe, we suggest trying plain almond, cashew, or hemp milk. Also, instead of using leeks in this recipe, you can use green onions, shallots, or just regular onions. You can also use feta cheese instead of goat cheese and pick whatever veggies you fancy as well. Frittatas are great for their versatility!

“Absolutely loved the frittata. I’m definitely going to make it again.”

– Chelsea S.

Poached Eggs with Creamy Spinach & English Muffins

This is a sophisticated yet approachable variation on Eggs Florentine that our cooking community simply loves. There’s just something so scrumptious about toasted English muffins topped with creamy spinach and a beautifully poached egg. Add balsamic marinated tomatoes on the side, and you’ll have yourself a new favorite meal. 

If you’ve never poached an egg before, don’t be intimidated! Just check out this short video to learn how!


If baby spinach isn’t available when you go to the market, kale and Swiss chard make good substitutes and are even healthy superfoods! And if you can’t find English muffins, you can always use some nice toasted bread instead.

“I had it for dinner and breakfast again the next day. Really delicious and complementary flavors. I’m no longer intimidated by poaching an egg!”

– Jeanine F.

Fun Family Breakfast

Since many of us have kids who have been home more consecutively than any other time in recent history, we’re happy to bring you a brinner treat that children of all ages are sure to get excited about. (And, speaking of the kiddos, if you need some fun activities you can do at home, check out our 4 Food Projects for Kids to pass the time in fun and creative ways!)

French Toast with Cinnamon Apples & Arugula Salad

This mouthwatering breakfast for dinner is a brilliant way to shake up your dinner routine. All you need to do to bring a new wave of excitement around your dinner table is saute crisp apples with butter, cinnamon, and a touch of sugar, and then spoon it over hot french toast. With a light arugula salad on the side and everything ready to eat in only 35 minutes, this meal will bring smiles to everyone and fill your home with a delicious aroma.


Our arugula salad is really quite delicious, but replacing the arugula with your favorite spring mix, baby spinach, watercress, or curly endive greens are other delicious options. Or swap out the side completely and use the hardier veggies you have at home, and make simple side dishes like Easy Microwaved Broccoli or Oregano Roasted Potatoes. For the dressing, you can use yellow mustard in place of dijon and rice wine or white wine vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar.

“Kids loved this one. Easy to make!”

– Juliana T.

Freezer-Friendly Breakfasts

Since it’s also never a bad idea to be prepared with frozen meals, our last two recipes are both freezer-friendly. That means that they freeze and then reheat well, keeping the flavors and textures you love. So, if you’re going out to get those necessary groceries anyway, get enough for a double batch and then freeze half for the future.

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole with Fruit Salad

Filled with sausage, eggs, bell peppers, and cheese, this breakfast casserole is a savory dish that will please the whole family. With a naturally sweet salad of tossed fruits on the side, you can add a flare of freshness, nutrients, and color to this deeply satisfying meal. 


If breakfast pork sausage isn’t available, you can use ground pork, chorizo, or chicken / veggie sausage instead. Or you can enjoy an even more budget-friendly meal by skipping the meat altogether, but still have 26 grams of protein per serving. In place of the baguette used in the casserole, you can use ciabatta or regular sandwich bread, and can also substitute the heavy cream with a 1:1 mix of Greek / plain yogurt and milk. Although the fruit salad recipe uses several fruits that are common in winter, you can easily use whatever fruits are currently available.

“This was a hit. Everyone loved the casserole . . . First time making a fruit salad like this and it turned out wonderful.”

– Eric T.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Spinach & Tater Tot Egg Bake

If you’re looking for another fun breakfast-for-dinner recipe to bring comfort into the home, you need look no further. First off, fluffy pancakes with a smearing of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup are certain to brighten everyone’s days. Second, we couldn’t resist adding the option to top your spinach and cheese egg bake with frozen tater tots! Pancakes and tater tots for dinner?! Total win. Not only is this brinner ready in under an hour, you can make the egg bake completely ahead of time and stick it all in the freezer for a fabulous future dinner as well.


If buying buttermilk for the pancakes isn’t the best choice for you right now, you can always make regular pancakes or even buy frozen pancakes or waffles at the store. Instead of putting Swiss cheese in the egg bake, you can use fontina or Gruyere cheese and still maintain that subtly sharp flavor. And, again, if baby spinach isn’t available, kale and Swiss chard make great, healthy substitutes.

“Definitely the best tasting pancake and egg bake recipe I’ve ever made!! The entire family gobbled it up.”

– Lorra J.

So, now that you have 5 new and delicious recipes, we hope they will add an extra measure of happiness to your nights at home! 

Before you go, we have a few resources to help you out during COVID-19: 4 Tips to Grocery Shopping Less, Substitutes for Meat Cuts and Seafood, and Cooking Ingredient Substitutions Guide. We hope you all stay safe out there and still enjoy the beauty of delicious meals during this time of social distancing.

And, if saving money and cooking great meals that you don’t have to plan is something that will make your daily life less stressful, click here to learn more about how our weekly menus have your back.

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The 5 Best Breakfast for Dinner Recipes | Cook SmartsThe 5 Best Breakfast for Dinner Recipes | Cook SmartsThe 5 Best Breakfast for Dinner Recipes | Cook Smarts

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