December 4, 2023

Healthy Breakfast

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36 Christmas Breakfast Ideas for the Merriest Morning

Breakfasty bread pudding, ornamented trees of tropical fruit, warm-spiced pancakes and cozy casseroles: These are the fixings of a magical Christmas morning spread!

Come Dec. 25, a festive feast or energizing nibble are wonderful ways to start the day. Whatever your holiday tradition — whether it’s a big breakfast to let the anticipation of what Santa brought build, a quick bite to power up while opening presents or a beautiful meal before or after church — we’re making a list (and checking it twice) for the best Christmas breakfast recipes.

Now, a great holiday roundup must have multiple components. Easy, make-ahead Christmas breakfast casseroles are a must. These can be sweet or savory, vegetarian or meat-filled. Casseroles are the ultimate crowd-pleaser because, with no increase in prep work, they can serve a table full of family members and guests. Then, there are the classics like bacon and eggs, plus, simple spins (hello, breakfast sammies) that make plates easier to eat whether seated in the kitchen or on the floor around the tree.

And let’s not ever forget about the sweets — I mean pictures of them have been dancing around in our heads all night, right? Oh yes. The sweets are what fill the house with warm Christmasy scents. Cinnamon and nutmeg infusing themselves into doughs baking in the oven, rich hazelnut-chocolate melting on a pan between butter-drenched crepes and fresh maple syrup bubbling gently in a sauce pot until the pancakes are complete. When it comes to sweet dishes, it’s hard to go wrong.

Whichever you choose, the right Christmas breakfast dish will begin the day with an enduring warmth that guests will only believe came from the Clauses themselves.

Festive breakfast recipes

Sheet-Pan French Toast with Walnuts and Berry Sauce

Frances Largeman-Roth

French toast might just be better than pancakes and waffles. It’s a controversial thought, but after trying this decadent recipe, you may be putting away the skillet for good. Indulge in a classic breakfast treat with toasty walnuts and a tartly sweet berry sauce.

Jessie James Decker's' Hawaiian Roll Breakfast Sliders

Jessie James Decker

Make a whole bunch of breakfast sandwiches in one pan, so the fam can grab as many as they’d like amidst the morning holiday excitement. The slightly sweet rolls complement the saltiness of the bacon, and the crispy bacon is a perfect combo with the fluffy eggs.

Ham and Gruyere Quiche

Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Quiche is one of the most versatile things you can make! It’s a meal that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner and makes the most of leftover proteins and veggies.

Kiwi Christmas Tree

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Start off your holiday with the cutest fruit salad. It only has three ingredients and takes mere minutes to put together and leaves everyone enjoying edible ornaments from a tropical tree.

Hash Brown Waffle with Fried Egg and Candied Bacon

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Candied bacon is reason enough to make any breakfast dish. When it’s layered on top of a savory hash brown waffle with fried egg, it makes a perfect thing even better.

Al Roker's Bacon Waffles

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Speaking of bacon … make Al Roker’s waffles with bacon slices seared into the center, drizzled in maple syrup. With this glorious concoction, Christmas will be off to a delicious start.

Perfect Pancakes

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

These pancakes more than live up to their name. They turn out light, fluffy, crisp and positively perfect every time.

Reindeer Rolls

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Even Rudolph would be jealous of how bright and cheery these red-nosed reindeer cinnamon rolls are. They will make the faces of your Christmas breakfast guests shine with glee for sure!

Christmas Pancakes

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Set the scene at your holiday breakfast with cheery elf, jolly Santa, frosty snowman and festive gingerbread man pancakes covered with tasty decorations.

Monkey Bread

Courtesy Justin Coit

“Monkey bread is a kid favorite in our household, but it’s also a Nick favorite!” says Vanessa Lachey. “When a friend realized I was making biscuits and pancakes and cutting them into small pieces, she said, ‘You should try monkey bread! The kids will love the pieces.'”

Banana Fritters

Kelly Harrison

These fritters will make your heart go pitter-patter like the sound of reindeer hooves on the rooftop. Joy Bauer’s simple recipe is a lightened-up spin of the beloved classic. Instead of breading and deep-frying potassium-rich bananas, dip them in pancake batter and a few extra-tasty fixings, then lightly pan sauté them in oil spray. It’s golden goodness!

Banana Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

These banana doughnuts are baked, not fried, making them perfect for a healthier breakfast or light dessert. Banana and maple is a classic combo. To jazz these up, you can add chocolate chips into the doughnuts or decorate the tops with sprinkles, or you could stay a maple purist!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Can’t decide between cinnamon rolls and pancakes for this special holiday? Do both! Warm cinnamon and brown sugar get swirled into fluffy pancakes for the ultimate morning mashup.

Deviled Egg Toast

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

This all-in-one toast serves up a spin on deviled eggs with ham, fresh herbs, roasted peppers and other tasty items that can be eaten easily with one hand (while the other reaches for that gift box).

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls


No one would ever guess that these sweet, sticky, rich, nostalgic, comforting cinnamon rolls were vegan! The sweet potato puree in the icing adds earthy notes to the rolls while pecans add a nutty crunch. Warm cinnamon and sugar tie the whole treat together.

Swiss Roll

Mike Smith / TODAY

Swiss rolls give you all fantastic flavors of a layer cake in a fun, rolled-up package. The sweet swirls in this version are filled with light whipped cream and fruity jam.

Brown Sugar Peppered Bacon

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Anyone that eats meat will agree there’s nothing quite like the smell of bacon and coffee in the morning to wake the senses, especially on a cozy winter day. This thick, peppered, sugary bacon takes the signature side to a whole new level.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Crepes with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Getty Images

Start Christmas Day on a sweet note with delicate crepes stuffed with chocolate-hazelnut spread, all topped with blood oranges and bourbon-scented whipped cream.

Baked Eggs with Mushrooms

Maya Visnyei

This easy egg skillet is a delicious way to start the day. Mushrooms are full of savory umami flavor and add a meaty texture to this dish without the meat. It all goes in one pan — making prep and cleanup a cinch while enjoy the holiday.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Making sweet potato pie for the holidays? Grab extra and make this gorgeous batch of sweet potato pancakes for a plateful of warm, nourishing goodness at your holiday table. These vegan pancakes are so good because they are fluffy, moist and so tasty. Plus, they make the whole house smell heavenly.

Make-ahead breakfast casseroles

Eggnog Breakfast Casserole

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

There is no better way to wake up on Christmas morning than to the scent of warm baking spices. Assemble this easy breakfast bread pudding the night before then pop it in the oven to bake while you open presents.

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Courtesy Angie Mosier

This blueberry French toast is an amazing way to celebrate lazy Sundays and festive holidays. You can assemble it a day or two before and let it sit in the fridge. It actually does better because the creamy sauce and sweet blueberries have time to really soak into the bread.

Siri Daly's Ham and Veggie Breakfast Casserole

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

The trick to this dish’s simplicity is that it can be prepared with all the leftovers from Christmas Eve dinner. It couldn’t be easier to cube some meat, roughly chop some vegetables and even utilize your leftover bread for a yummy, cheesy egg dish that all can enjoy the next day.

Bagel and Lox Breakfast Casserole

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

In a version of the iconic breakfast dish adapted by Jewish immigrants more than a century ago, Siri blends bagels with lox with her Midwestern roots. She turns the chilled sandwich into a classic hot dish (as it’s called in the home of the casserole) with torn chunks of everything bagels, chive cheeses, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.

Brooklyn's Brunch Casserole

Courtesy Justin Coit

A Lachey family tradition since Vanessa and Nick first spent the holidays together in 2006, this morning casserole is super versatile. While it’s easy to doctor up with other ingredients, it’s all about the sausage, eggs, cheese and store-bought buttermilk biscuits.

The Ultimate Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole

Casey Barber

Layered with sausage, two kinds of cheese, savory sun-dried tomatoes, leafy greens and a base of the tried-and-true hash brown potatoes, this breakfast casserole has it all. Assemble the casserole at night and pop it in the oven the next morning.

French Toast Casserole with Mixed Berries

Tyler Essary / TODAY

Whip up a crowd-pleasing serving of thick-cut challah French toast for your special holiday brunch with this make-ahead recipe. It’s a really straightforward recipe that will satisfy even those who think French toast has to have those grilled edges from the skillet.

Easy Italian Sausage and Peppers Breakfast Casserole

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Since the classic combination of sausage, peppers and onions on a soft hoagie is a timeless Italian American dish, why not throw it all together in a casserole everyone will love? With the simple addition of eggs, this salty staple becomes an inviting meal of which everyone will want a scoop.

Siri's Dark Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

Zach Pagano/TODAY

It’s not figgy pudding, but Siri Daly’s decadent bread pudding is perfect for anyone that loves buttery bread and rich, dark chocolate. So, basically, everyone.

Sausage and Leek Breakfast Casserole


Allowing this to set overnight ensures the custard soaks into the bread perfectly, and the interior develops a soufflé like texture as it bakes. The leeks add a natural sweetness to the dish, which complements the earthiness of the breakfast sausage perfectly.

Cheesy Chicken and Chile Breakfast Casserole

Ronnie Woo

This egg-based dish is packed with Mexican flavors like green chiles and fresh cilantro. Canned green chiles aren’t too spicy so it’s a good recipe for folks who enjoy just a little kick. The dark meat chicken adds more protein and a heartiness that will ensure any leftovers can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner.

Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

“With this casserole, I make it a day or two ahead and just pop it in the oven an hour or so before people arrive. When they get here, the house is filled with the smell of pumpkin spice, maple syrup and freshly brewed coffee,” chef Ryan Scott says about this winning dish.

Breakfast Casserole Cupcakes

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

These cupcakes go in the savory category because they’re packed with cheesy, eggy goodness. They’re perfect for large gatherings, formal brunches or for the people who want to get a hearty meal in while ravenously unwrapping gifts on the living room floor. These can not only be made in advance, but also freeze really well, in case you feel like cooking a couple weeks before the holiday.

Grandma's Egg Surprise

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

This quick, easy and delicious breakfast casserole is good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Maria Harvey likes to serve it with monkey bread for a taste of something salty and something sweet.

Egg Strata with Caramelized Onion, Gruyère and Thyme

Charlotte Hu

Reminiscent of French onion soup, this rich breakfast casserole oozes with melted Gruyère, sweet caramelized onions, thyme and tender sourdough bread. Made with a dozen eggs, there’s plenty of this decadent dish to go around.

Day-After Party Egg Casserole

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Entertaining on Christmas Eve? This recipe is a brilliant use for a leftover charcuterie platter. The savory meats, melty cheeses and zesty veggies make it a hearty meal that will fill you up after a night of fun.