Breakfast for Dinner – A Real-Food Strategy for Hectic Days

Heap of pancakesYou know, it’s great to have a healthy, delicious meal in the Crockpot when dinner time rolls around.  And it’s great to have five or six real-food meals in the freezer, ready to ease your dinner dilemma on a crazy busy day.  And it’s really wonderful to have a pantry full of ingredients that allow you to throw together a wholesome dinner in minutes. But you know what?  Some nights, not a single one of those things is going to happen at my house.  Just not going to happen.

Maybe I forgot to put something in the Crockpot.  Maybe I’m out of groceries.  Maybe the day fell apart and nothing went as planned.  Or maybe I’m completely disorganized and should not be trusted with the responsibility of feeding a family!  Whatever the reason, sometimes dinner time rolls around and you just don’t have a plan.  But don’t despair. For all of those evenings when a trip through the drive-thru for a bag of burgers and fries is looking like your only option, here’s a better one – breakfast for dinner.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?  You’re tired, and people are hungry.  Breakfast for dinner is easy, and almost everyone loves it.  And most breakfast foods require just a few staples, so you can probably make a breakfast-dinner with things you have on hand.  And, as a bonus, many breakfasts can be make with all (or primarily) real food ingredients. If you find yourself having a no-dinner-plan emergency, here are some breakfast-for-dinner meals that can help:

  • Scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast with butter and jam, fresh fruit
  • French toast made with whole wheat bread, uncured bacon, fresh fruit
  • Make-Your-Own Oatmeal Bar – Cook a big pot of oatmeal.  Put add-in ingredients, like raisins, other dried fruit, nuts, coconut, maple syrup, and peanut butter, in small bowls.  Let each family member create his or her own bowl of oatmeal.  Serve with fresh fruit.
  • Baked oatmeal – I like this recipe from Juggling Real Food and Real Life.  Serve with whole wheat toast and fresh fruit.
  • Whole wheat pancakes – I love this recipe from Eat at Home Cooks.  I make it with 1/2 white whole wheat flour and 1/2 unbleached regular flour.  Serve with uncured bacon and fresh fruit.
  • Fritatta – You can cook a fritatta (an open omelet) on the stove or in the oven (like this Oven Fritatta with Vegetables).  If you have time, add a few sauteed veggies.  If not, just add grated cheese.  Serve with whole wheat toast and fresh fruit.

So, the next time your dinner plan – or your entire day – falls apart, don’t think “Drive-thru, here we come.”  Instead think, “Wouldn’t breakfast taste good tonight?” Do you ever make breakfast for dinner?  What are your favorite breakfast foods that can become dinner on a hectic day?  Please share your ideas in the Comments – I would love to hear from you.

Sharing with Wonderful WednesdayFoodie FridayFabulously Frugal Thursday and Family Fun Friday.


  1. dishofdailylife says

    We never do this, and we should. At least I should do it when my husband is out of town, because then I can make omelets and frittatas, which I love, and he does not. He doesn’t like eggs. But the kids do, and I can pack them with veggies. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. jugglingrealfoodandreallife says

    How fun………2 Christinas in a row. Anyway……….We just had breakfast for dinner last night. Whole wheat pancakes, eggs, and fruit smoothies. We run pretty late with football and cheer practice right now and everyone in my family likes breakfast. There are no complaints and with this picky crowd………..that’s saying something! I am completely behind the breakfast for dinner strategy. You had me laughing at the “can’t be trusted’ line.

    • GC says

      Hi Shari – Writing this post made me so hungry for breakfast for dinner that we are having pancakes and bacon tonight!


  3. says

    Great idea! I had a super awful day today, stressful, long, loud, and frustrating, and I didn’t have the time to think up something for dinner so I ran out to the garden and cut some stuff and chopped it up, sauted it, added some sausage, cooked it up, added eggs, scrambled them and served my husband a farmer’s skillet. It didn’t take long, was healthier than fast food by a mile, and we loved it. Breakfast food saved the day!

    • GC says

      Hi Christina – That is an awesome dinner solution for a stressful day! I might have to add “Farmer’s Skillet” to my list of breakfast-for-dinner meals!


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