Ever have one of those nights where you realize your fridge is looking a little bare? You never made it to the grocery store. You forgot to defrost something for dinner… sound familiar? This happens to me more times than I can count, and I’ll tell you right now—in that moment of panic, what can I make for dinner tonight—my saving grace is breakfast for dinner!
Breakfast is such a family favorite that we’ve started enjoying it regularly at least twice per month. My daughters want to have it more often! It’s versatile and relatively easy so they might just get their wish. Here are my favorite breakfast for dinner ideas that work great for kids and family members of all ages.
Eggs for Dinner
Eggs and omelets make wonderful dinner entrees in a pinch. They’re quick, easy to make, and even easier to customize per person without feeling like a short order cook. In fact, eggs are probably one of our favorite easy breakfast for dinner ideas. Make your favorite omelets or eggs any style. Scrambled, over-hard, hard-boiled—the list goes on. For specific eggs for dinner ideas, check out our other blog post, 10 Ideas for a Healthy Dinner with Eggs. And, if you find yourself needing to use up extra egg whites about to expire, we’ve got you covered.
Homemade Waffle Dinner Ideas
Truthfully, we don’t have waffles all that often because Mommy just doesn’t like cleaning the waffle maker. <shrug> Anyone with me? Our plates don’t detach, and I don’t like submerging things that have electrical components.
Anyway, we found Wednesday nights sometimes work well as our Breakfast for Dinner nights. It’s always trash night and sometimes we’ve already worked our way through all the leftovers. I made waffles for dinner the other night and our girls were over the moon. They both told me we need to have waffles more often! Looks like I’ll be coming up with even more waffle dinner ideas in the future!
For now, here are a few favorite waffle dinner ideas to try:
- DIY Waffle Station – Give each person choice of their own waffle flavors! Set up small bowls of waffle toppings or fillings, like:
- Cut fruit like blueberries and strawberries
- Chocolate Chips
- Sprinkles (for a confetti / party cake waffle!)
- Coconut for a tropical waffle
- Anything else your crew likes!
- Chicken & Waffles – I’ve heard of the wonders of this and have yet to try it. I envision it like this – plain waffles topped with chicken tenders. We *love* Tyson fully cooked crispy chicken strips as they taste almost as good as restaurant chicken tenders.
- Waffles for Dessert – I know I said waffle dinner ideas but hear me out – choose one of the other wonderful selections on our breakfast for dinner list. AND then, enjoy waffles topped with ice cream for dessert! You’re welcome!
Pancake Dinner Ideas
My kids would eat pancakes for every meal just about every day if I let them. I don’t let them – usually their daddy makes them pancakes on Sundays and breakfast sandwiches, too. Yeah, Sunday breakfasts have us a little spoiled here. But, my kids are in heaven whenever I *do* make pancakes for dinner.
Here are a few pancake dinner ideas to try at your home for a quick and easy meal when you don’t know what to make.
Make shaped pancakes.
I can’t stress this enough – your kids will always remember the Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh pancakes you made them. Okay, I never made Pooh Bear pancakes but my stepdad used to make them with raisin eyes and smiles for me on weekends all the time when I was little. And so I make dog pancakes, koala pancakes, Easter egg pancakes, and so many others for my little girls. And they love it! Get yourself a pancake squirt bottle and make fun shaped pancakes for dinner, too!
Go with the season.
Holiday pancakes can be a ton of fun. Pumpkin pancakes for fall may even have some real pumpkin flavoring. Red velvet or gingerbread pancakes in the winter can be delightful. Mix in real fruit, especially fresh-picked when you have it.
Add a burst of color.
Use traditional sprinkles / jimmies for a party cake pancake effect. Use a bit of food coloring for a more powerful burst of color. (I find that liquid food coloring sometimes changes the texture of my pancakes. I am considering powdered food dyes.
Pancake cups? Or pancake muffins. Pan-muffins? Whatever you call them, it’s never been easier to make pancakes in a flash. Simply divide your pancake batter into greased muffin cups and add toppings / mix-ins individually according to your kids’ favorites. These mini pancake muffins translate so well into next-day breakfasts, too!
Pancakes will *always*reign supreme as my go-to I don’t know what to make dinner. #winning
Hash Browns for Dinner
Our entire family loves Mommy’s famous Meat Lover’s Hash Browns. This dish is something I adapted from a favorite seashore diner’s bangin’ breakfast entrée, the Meat Lover’s Skillet. So easy to make and so worth it!
Just fine as breakfast for dinner, we’ve enjoyed this meal at tailgates, for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Dinner is only a natural progression.
- Fry up some hash browns, home fries, or whatever those Southern cubed potatoes are called.
- Cook up sausage of choice, bacon, and cubed ham. SO amazing!
- You can also cheat and use pre-cooked sausage, real bacon bits (from the salad section), and packaged pre-diced ham. So simple and a family favorite!
Alternatively, you could make up some frozen hash brown bricks and serve with any of the above or below breakfast for dinner entrees!
Throw together a meat lovers’ buffet for your family. Feature bacon, pork roll, ham, and sausage. Try corned beef hash – this is one meat my littlest enjoys in its regular roast form so I’m going to try the breakfast version for her. You also can try out other less common breakfast meats like kielbasa, or even scrapple if you’re that adventurous. (I’m not.)
A meat lover’s breakfast for dinner feast sounds perfect for football season or generally a hearty and filling meal. Be sure to drink plenty of water to offset the salt content.
I’m more of an oatmeal breakfast person, personally, but I’m willing to give dinner oatmeal a shot. We picked a ton of local apples recently so I’m still trying to figure out how to eat them all besides snacking daily. Baked oatmeal would be a good choice for a full family-sized meal!
Apple cinnamon oatmeal is one of my all-time favorite kinds, so I’m considering that if we mix it up. Simply dice up some apples or use freeze-dried apples along with some extra cinnamon, sugar, and your good old-fashioned oats. Add milk to taste – less for a firmer oatmeal and more for a more liquidy one.
Peach cinnamon oatmeal is also delightful if you like peaches. Use fresh peaches or even the little fruit cups you get from the store. Mix in a little cinnamon and brown sugar for a delicious flavor that’s reminiscent of peach cobbler.
Chocolate chip oatmeal may be too much sugar come dinner time but it’s a former favorite here. Our daughter loved her chocolate chip oatmeal so much she even made a video about it when she was a wee one.
In general, oatmeal is very filling. It can be a great choice to keep little bellies warm and full until morning arrives. It’s also a healthy choice for blood pressure and weight loss for adults. Win-Win!
Who says breakfast sandwiches are just for breakfast?! We’ve stretched them to brunch, lunch, and even dinner. Try your favorite combination of make up your own!
Breakfast for dinner on a bun is such an easy and delicious meal. Definitely consider adding this into the rotation!
Bread & Roll Ideas:
- English Muffin
Breakfast Sandwich Fillings:
- Eggs, any style
- Sausage Patty
- Pork Roll
Depending on your family’s preferences, you can also mix in other ingredients. Whip mushrooms, peppers, or onions up in a frying pan or mix them into your eggs if desired. Try a few slices of avocado for a brain boost. Use your imagination and ask your kids for their suggestions, too!
One year for Thanksgiving brunch, my mother-in-law made a really good breakfast casserole. It had eggs, potatoes, and ham and it was delicious. I could have done without the onions, but everyone else liked them so it worked really well for a crowd. It also seemed relatively easy for her to put everything into one Pyrex, bake, and be done with it.
This gave me an idea for other creative breakfast casserole ideas:
- Turkey, bacon, cheese, and eggs with potatoes
- Meat lovers combination with egg whites or traditional eggs
- Steak and eggs with roasted seasoned potatoes
Again, you can mix in onions, peppers, mushrooms, or other ingredients. The possibilities are endless! What would you put in your breakfast casserole?!
French Toast for Dinner
I am not a big French toast fan, but I’ve only ever had it prepared one way, so I’m leaving my options open. Actually, that is untrue. I once got to enjoy some of my daughter’s French toast cinnamon bun at a restaurant and that was pretty much the best thing ever. Breakfast for Dinner with leftover cinnamon bun French toast sounds amazing!
I don’t have a good French toast recipe for you, unfortunately. I’d be really grateful if someone has one to share that I can try, as all three of my family members like it. It’s one thing I just never found a love of or a knack for. In the meantime, though, I have pleasantly found French Toast Sticks to add to my Walmart Grocery Pickups! (If you are a new customer, use my link to get $10 off your first order!)
This one is on my breakfast for dinner bucket list! We have yet to try it in our household but the possibilities here are just as endless as some of the others. A breakfast pizza seems interesting and unique. I’ve studied a few different breakfast pizza recipes out there and believe we will start with olive oil on the crust instead of sauce. I already know we love bacon, sausage, and ham on pizza, so what’s a little fried egg here or there?!
Some to try:
- Breakfast Pizza with Hash Brown Crust – This one had me at hash brown crust…
- Bacon Breakfast Pizza – This recipe sounds like a crowd-pleaser for us – who doesn’t love bacon?! Truthfully, one bacon breakfast pizza is probably not enough, so here’s another recipe to try for the full effect.
- Breakfast Pizza I – This one uses refrigerated crescent rolls for the crust and I’m sold.
I’m definitely eyeing breakfast pizza for dinner one night coming up. Seems like some great comfort food waiting to happen!
Corned Beef Hash
Every year for St. Patrick’s Day (and sometimes a few others if we’re lucky), we have corned beef and vegetables. We simmer potatoes and carrots in with the corned beef in a crockpot all day. It’s delicious and both our kids love it. We rarely have enough leftovers because they devour it so quickly! So, I’ve taken to buying two, or even three roasts every March.
When we *do* have enough corned beef leftovers to spare some, I will make corned beef hash. I make it in an amazingly simple way and you can too!
Simply mash up a few of the leftover potatoes from the crock pot and mince up some of the leftover corned beef. Lightly butter a frying pan and spread out the mixture, frying both sides until lightly browned and crispy. It’s a savory meal to enjoy as a family for breakfast, lunch, or dinner – and absolutely as breakfast for dinner!
A-ha! Yes, you know I saved the best for last. And if you read this far, you totally deserve it. This is my Philadelphia-famous tailgating breakfast. My family’s beloved anytime meal. It’s everything you want in a breakfast (or breakfast for dinner) that you can hold with one hand and enjoy bite after bite.
I bring you – Triple Crown Breakfast Boli! Recipe coming super soon!
Healthy Breakfast for Dinner
Make your meal as healthy as possible by making smart choices!
- Opt for a protein-packed meal featuring egg whites as the main course.
- Consider a non-traditional meat like chicken or turkey over fatty and greasy meats.
- Go easy on the carbs and sugars—make them count!
- Choose water instead of fruit juice.
- Enjoy some fresh fruit on the side.
- Making smart choices like these should leave you with a meal that’s under 400 calories!
A fresh fruit salad goes wonderfully with whatever you make. Bonus Tip: I almost always wait until my kids have eaten a respectable amount of their dinners before revealing the fruit, else that’s all they’d eat! Oh, and don’t forget the fresh-squeezed orange juice or homemade fruit punch once in a while! Your kids will love the delicious new way to enjoy their fruit.