Whether early-morning meals are actually good for you is a hotly debated issue, but the fact remains that we love breakfast food. One of our favorites? Baked oatmeal‘s trendier cousin: protein-packed quinoa casseroles (sounds gross but tastes amazing, we swear). Most of these recipes call for white quinoa, but open your mind to black and red varieties for added flavor. Also keep in mind that they hang out in the oven for quite a while—we recommend cooking the night before if you don’t have extra time in the a.m.
This quinoa bake is a choose-your-own-adventure breakfast experience. Start with any fruit you find in your fridge, then mix up your favorite milk with eggs (whites or vegan-eggs work, too!), a scoop of protein powder, and maple syrup. Bake, then serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt. It’s basically cake and whipped cream, guys.
We don’t bake gingerbread cookies year-round, but we’re always down for that spicy-sweet flavor profile. This quinoa bake rounds up classic wintery flavors with plant protein and plenty of fiber.
Large quinoa bakes might be a little tricky to eat on a commute, so if you’re in the market for a to-go version, give these apple and banana cups a try. Blend quinoa and oats with a mixture almond milk, honey, applesauce, and banana (try not to sample too much of the batter…) and drop into muffin tins. Munch on the cups for breakfast, or throw a few in your bag to avoid the midday hangries.
Move over, bacon: Chicken-apple sausage is our breakfast protein of choice. For a satisfying savory brunch, mix quinoa with chicken broth, then add tart apple, sweet potato, kale, and the star of the show, sausage. Top with sage after baking for an extra boost of flavor.
If you like chocolate chip banana bread, just wait ‘til you try this breakfast bake. Cook quinoa until fluffy, then sweeten simply with banana and maple syrup. Bake in personal tins (so fun for sit-down brunches!) or as one big casserole.
For a savory vegetarian breakfast you can assemble then forget about, take a whack at this quinoa bake. The recipe starts off strong with sweet tomatoes and spinach, then it’s your turn to take the wheel: Add kale, peppers, onions—anything goes. Make it when you get home for work tonight, pop it in the slow-cooker, and tomorrow’s breakfast is ready.
You could have a blueberry banana smoothie for breakfast, but that won’t keep you nearly as full as this quinoa bake. Start your day with complex carb-hawking oats and quinoa in addition to those sweet fruits. Top the casserole with a sprinkle of sliced almonds before baking for a satisfying crunch in every bite.