I grew up in a small family, so I've never had much practice cooking breakfast for more than a couple of people. Chances are you're the same way, and if you don't have the practice you can end up feeling pretty lost on the rare occasion that you do have to feed a large group first thing in the morning.
The holiday season is in full swing, and with that comes houseguests. That means this is likely one of the few times a year you need to prepare large breakfasts. Fortunately, we've got lots of dishes to help you get through the season unscathed, from scrambled and baked eggs to airy pancakes, as well as tips on how to make a ton of bacon. Keep reading for 22 of our favorite recipes for easy breakfasts to feed a crowd.
If you like your scrambled eggs soft and moist, cook them gently over low heat. Starting them in a cold nonstick skillet keeps them from seizing up. Residual heat will keep cooking the eggs after you take them off the burner, so pull them a few seconds before they look completely done.
Fluffy Scrambled Eggs
Do you prefer your eggs on the firmer side, the way they cook them in diners? Start them over medium-high heat (or high, if you're feeling brave) and stir them more sparingly so that big, light curds can form. The higher heat will start to dry out the eggs, but as long as you don't cook them too long they should retain just enough moisture.
Tex-Mex Migas With Scrambled Eggs, Tortilla Chips, and Chilies
After a night of drinking, few things are as curative as a big plate of migas. This Tex-Mex treat is made of corn tortillas filled with scrambled eggs, chili peppers, onion, tomato, and home-fried tortilla chips. Pre-salting the eggs and salting and draining the tomatoes keeps the dish from getting too soggy. Too hungover to fry up some chips? Try our Doritos version.
Scrambled Eggs With Sumac, Pine Nuts, and Parsley
This dish feels fancy, but it's not much more work than a standard plate of scrambled eggs—all you have to do is top the eggs with sumac, parsley, pine nuts, and olive oil after they finish cooking. To make this dish even easier, try toasting the pine nuts in the microwave instead of a skillet.
Scrambled Egg and Cheese Drop-Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches
Homemade biscuits don't seem like they belong on a list of easy breakfasts for a crowd, but a batch of our drop biscuits takes just five ingredients and 25 minutes. We like to serve them with scrambled eggs seasoned with dill and packed with so much mozzarella and feta that they take on a texture reminiscent of queso fundido.
Shakshuka (North African-Style Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)
North African in origin and wildly popular in Israel, this dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce has become trendy at US brunch spots. Part of its appeal is that it's super customizable—this particular version is made with charred peppers and onions, paprika, and cumin. Some recipes have you finish the dish under the broiler, but we find just covering the pan on the stovetop makes it less likely you'll overcook the egg yolks.
Portuguese Baked Eggs With Chorizo and Ricotta
This dish is shakshuka's Iberian cousin, and it's made by baking eggs in a peppery tomato sauce studded with chorizo and topping them with sharp white cheddar and Parmesan cheese. The recipe calls for two serranos and is admittedly on the spicy side—if your guests aren't big fans of spicy foods then you can seed the serranos or replace them with a single jalapeño.
Chilaquiles Verdes With Fried Eggs
Sometimes using the right name is vital to enjoying a dish—your guests will probably be more receptive to "chilaquiles" than "soggy breakfast nachos." Whatever you call them, this dish of tortilla chips softened in salsa and topped with fried eggs is absolutely delicious. Using jarred salsa is fine, but fry the chips fresh so that they don't get too soggy.
Quick and Easy Huevos Rancheros With Tomato-Chili Salsa
In the case of huevos rancheros, you really should make your own salsa—it only takes a few minutes and you're not spending any time frying tortillas. We like to use a sauce of canned crushed tomatoes, dried ancho chilies, and canned chipotles in adobo, which we then spoon over tortillas and sunny-side up eggs.
Singapore-Style Soft-Cooked Eggs With Kaya Jam and Toast
Boiled eggs are easy to make by the dozen, so this Singaporean breakfast of soft-cooked eggs with dark and light soy sauce and white pepper scales up well. The eggs are traditionally served with toast and coconut-flavored kaya jam. They set up incredibly soft and spoonable—a sous vide cooker is your best bet for getting it right.
Pancakes and Waffles
Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
Making pancakes from scratch isn't super fast—unless, of course, you make your own mix out of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar and make sure you always have it in the pantry. With the mix made all you have to do is add a few wet ingredients and you're ready to make perfect golden-brown pancakes.
Oatmeal and Brown Butter Pancakes
Toasted steel-cut oats are a great way to bulk up pancakes. We brown the butter in the batter to reinforce the earthy, nutty flavor of the oats. Oatmeal pancakes do run the risk of being too heavy, so we bump up the quantity of baking soda for balance.
Savory Bacon-Cheddar Pancakes With Corn and Jalapeño
There's no rule that says pancakes have to be sweet—this recipe goes in the savory direction with bacon, corn, jalapeños, scallions, and cheddar. Subbing in cornmeal for some of the flour gives the pancakes even more corn flavor, and using cubed (rather than shredded) cheddar means that the pancakes wind up with gooey pockets of melted cheese.
German Apple Pancake
Most pancake recipes are going to require making a couple individual pancakes for each person, but this single pancake is large enough to feed eight. The soft, custardy cake is made with an unleavened crepe-like batter. You can serve it however you like, but our caramelized apple topping is especially delicious.
Vegan Pancakes Made With Aquafaba
Aquafaba—the liquid inside a can of cooked beans—is an amazing ingredient. While it's not quite the universal egg replacement that some people claim, it does whip up into an astonishingly meringue-like foam. If there's a better way to make light, fluffy vegan pancakes, we haven't found it yet.
Overnight Brown-Butter Yeast-Raised Waffles
The batter for these brown-butter waffles comes together in just a few minutes. The only trick is that the yeast in the batter needs 12 hours in the fridge to work its magic, so be sure you're making all the batter you'll want for the morning.
Classic Blueberry Muffins
This recipe only takes 45 minutes and makes a batch of a dozen muffins—plenty to feed a hungry extended family. We absolutely pack the muffins with blueberries, using a full 1:1 ratio of blueberries to flour by weight. The batter might seem a little thick, but that helps keep the berries from all sinking to the bottom.
Bacon Two Ways: Baked and Sous Vide
Cooking bacon in a skillet for one or two people is fine, but if you're cooking for any more people than that, a skillet won't do. The easiest way to cook bacon for a crowd is to bake it—whether you like it super crispy or a little chewier, we can help you out. Another option is to cook the bacon sous vide—you'll still need to finish it in a pan, but it will only take about two minutes per piece.
Perfect Quick-and-Easy French Toast
Perfect French toast is all about the ratio of eggs to milk. We find three eggs per cup of milk to be just right. You can use either milk or cream depending on how rich you want the dish to be, but either way you should sprinkle some sugar on the bread after dunking it in the batter to give the French toast a crisp caramel crust.
Crispy, Crunchy, Golden Shredded Hash Browns
As far as I'm concerned, hash browns should be as crispy as possible. The path to maximum crispness? Squeeze as much water as you can out of the grated potatoes, then par-cook them in the microwave. Nuking the spuds dries them out even more and creates an outer layer of gelatinized starch that helps get the hash browns even crispier.
Waffle-Iron Hash Browns
If you want hash browns that balance a creamy interior with a crisp crust, the waffle iron is the tool for you. You should grate and drain the potatoes just a you would if you were making them on the stovetop before smashing them into the waffle iron. The times on this recipe are just a starting point—the hash browns could take more or less time depending on your waffle iron and how finely you shred the potatoes.