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Back to Basics: Our Best Breakfast Recipes

You’ll be turning to these classics time and time again.

Zucchini-Parmesan Frittata

Though its peak season is summer, zucchini is available year-round—just be sure to pick out the best-looking squashes. They should be firm (not spongy), vibrant in color, and free of blemishes. Cooking the squash before stirring it into the egg mixture helps eliminate some of the moisture, and adds a nice crisp-tender texture to the creamy eggs and cheese. Though it bakes primarily in the oven, finishing the frittata under the broiler gives the top and outer edges a bit of crispness. Serve the dish with toast and fruit for breakfast, or with sautéed mushrooms for dinner.

Crispy Waffles

Thanks to a generous amount of melted butter in the batter, these waffles are extra crispy and buttery, and fluffy in the middle. The batter itself isn’t too sweet, so pile the cooked waffles high with fig preserves (our favorite), blueberry jam, maple syrup, powdered sugar, or even a smear of peanut butter. Here’s another tip: Heat up the waffle iron while you’re making the batter so you can start cranking out waffles as soon as the batter is finished. Not only does this lead to instant gratification, it ensures the waffles don’t lose their ability to rise.

Challah Cinnamon French Toast

The addition of fresh orange zest really makes this French toast pop, so don’t skip it. (We considered making it an optional add-in, but taste-testers insisted it be a must-have for this recipe). You can find whole loaves of challah in most large grocery stores, but a loaf of brioche will work just as beautifully. And while you may be used to simply dipping your bread into the egg custard, you’ll want to be sure to let the slices soak in the liquid. This makes the toast creamy in the centers and crispy on the outside.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

These breakfast muffins are packed with fresh blueberry flavor, and they’re not too sweet (so they won’t get confused with dessert). If you like an extra crunchy muffin top, add more oats to the cinnamon-sugar streusel. Not a fan of almonds? Any nut, such as walnuts or pecans, will be just as tasty in the topping. While these are great as a grab-and-go breakfast, they’re especially tasty warm—consider whipping them up if you’re having guests over for brunch. To maintain a white batter, be gentle when stirring in the berries. If too many break and the juices mix in, the batter becomes gray or purple.

Artichoke Crab Cakes

This twist on classic crab cakes is packed with flavor thanks to the brininess of the marinated artichoke hearts. Though they work well as a main dish, you can also serve these as an appetizer—simply shape the crab mixture into miniature patties. For an added pop of color, arrange the crab cakes over a bed of greens, and top with a remoulade or salsa verde. If you’d like, make the patties ahead of time (they take minutes to whip up), and keep them refrigerated until ready to serve. Then, cook them in a large skillet over medium-high heat until they achieve a gorgeous golden brown sear.

Green Pozole

Hominy is the star ingredient in this hearty Mexican soup. With a flavor similar to that of tangy corn, canned hominy can be found near the canned beans at your supermarket. If you’re lucky enough to find dried hominy, go ahead and prepare it as you would dried beans. And if you can’t find either, it’s okay to substitute the same volume of canned chickpeas. Bone-in chicken thighs get cooked in the soup to enrich store-bought broth with extra flavor. The recipe serves 8, so you might have leftovers. Cool the soup completely, pour into gallon-size freezer bags, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Reheat in a pot over medium until warmed through, 8 to 10 minutes.

You’ve Never Seen an Omelet Like This

I’ve never been a fan of a traditional omelet. I find them to be tough, lacking in flavor, and a waste of a brunch order. So when a friend of mine presented me with a fluffy, open-faced omelet, finished under the broiler, and topped with browned, bubbling cheese, I decided to give omelets a second chance (well, at least this version). To achieve this lighter-than-air version, first separate the eggs. Next you'll need to whip your egg whites. Fluffing the whites fills them with air, helping the omelet puff up. Delicately folding them into the yolks ensures the end result is far from rubbery. Finishing the omelet under the broiler makes for a crispy exterior that yields to a soufflé-like inside. All of that, ready in less than 15 minutes.

Spicy Beef and Broccolini Stir-Fry

What’s not to like about DIY, healthier Chinese takeout that you can cook up in 20 minutes? This warming family-friendly meal packs plenty of color on each plate. Lightly-cooked broccolini and Fresno chiles still retain some of their fresh crunch, and they’re not drenched in sauce. Instead, a glossy sauce made from beef broth, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch gets drizzled over the veggies, beef, and rice for a bit of savory-sweet satisfaction. The rice can be made a day ahead and reheated, and it’s perfectly okay to substitute brown rice for white, or even udon or soba noodles.

Crispy Chicken Cutlets With Carrot and Kale Salad

Yes, chicken cutlets are familiar, but this recipe creates golden, crusty, and tender results every time. Plus, the torn lacinato kale and shaved carrot salad adds a modern edge to the crowd-pleasing cutlet. You can prep the salad a day ahead of time: wash, de-stem, and tear the kale. To shave the carrots into ribbons, thoroughly wash and scrub them. Then, using a Y-shaped peeler, shave off thin ribbons of carrot. You can store the ribbons in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator for up to a day ahead of time. The dressing will also keep overnight in an airtight container.