When there are stockings to dig through and presents to open, a Christmas Day parade to watch and family to visit with, what’s the point of spending quality time in the kitchen making breakfast?
That’s not to say you can’t have a fabulous, inexpensive Christmas Day breakfast (or, for those of you fortunate to sleep in past 7 a.m., brunch).
It just requires a little time on Christmas Eve, or even Dec. 23, for preparation. Think of it as a new holiday tradition.
We asked chefs, food bloggers and other experts for their best make-ahead Christmas Day breakfasts that won’t make a big dent in your holiday budget.
Here are 6 to try:
Rene’s Christmas Casserole
“I have been making this Christmas casserole for over 20 years,” says Rene A. Fesler-Giacalone, author of Alicia’s Updates: A Mother’s Memoir of Pediatric Cancer.
She says, “I prepare it on Christmas Eve and just pop it in the oven on Christmas morning.”
To make it, coat a 9×13 in. baking pan with melted butter. Place half a loaf of cubed, toasted bread in the pan.
Sprinkle two cups shredded cheese and a pound of cooked, crumbled bacon (or cooked breakfast sausage) over bread.
In a blender, beat 12 eggs, ½ cup heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, then cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.
On Christmas morning, preheat oven to 350 degree. Bake for 45 minutes.
Easy Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
“This is a tried and true recipe in our family that I make nearly every holiday,” says Cherie Lowe of QueenofFree.net.
“I always make it the night before, along with an Apple Cranberry French Toast and an Egg Casserole dish that’s a family favorite,” she adds.
Basic Build-Your-Own Quiche
“My Christmas morning breakfast tradition is breakfast quiche,” says Katie Everett of FauxGourmet.com.
“I usually make several different kinds the night before, then simply pop them back in the oven for 30-40 min the next morning while the kids are opening gifts. It makes a chaotic Christmas morning a lot easier!”
Her simple recipe allows for additions based on your taste.
Kelly Cooper, author of Cookies for Grown-Ups, pairs this maple bacon cookie with milk for a fresh-baked Christmas breakfast. Just make the dough ahead of time.
To make them, fry eight to 12 strips of bacon, drain fat, and set aside until cool enough to crumble. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together ½ cup unsalted butter and ¼ cup sugar until light and fluffy.
Mix in an egg, a tablespoon maple syrup and ½ cup buttermilk. Beat until blended.
Whisk together 1¾ cup flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, a teaspoon baking soda, and a ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl and then add to the butter mixture.
Beat until just incorporated. Crumble bacon and fold into dough. Freeze for baking the next morning.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop frozen dough onto parchment-lined nonstick backing sheet.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.
Peanut Butter Banana Bread Pudding
10 minutes of prep time is all it takes to ready this recipe, from the American Egg Board, for baking.
Slow Cooker Irish Oatmeal
Made overnight in a slow cooker, this recipe from Kelsey Nixon of the Cooking Channel’s “Kelsey’s Essentials” limits your morning to-dos to topping it with bananas and berries.
Smoked Salmon Platter
Growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., this is what Chef Ivan Flowers of Top of the Market restaurant in San Diego, Calif., had every morning.
On Christmas Eve, slice two large tomatoes and red onions and store separately in the refrigerator.
Boil six eggs, let cool, and then peel and fork mash with salt & pepper to taste. Store in the fridge.
Assemble on Christmas morning with assorted bagels, smoked salmon, capers, cream cheese, pickles, and olives.
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.