My busy family always needs easy-to-grab breakfasts. Often, my husband gets up with the girls while I sneak in one more hour of sleep. What a lucky girl am I! The way that I make sure that everyone eats something healthy and filling, while I am checking the backs of my eyelids for holes, is to make freezer-friendly breakfasts up ahead of time that my husband can heat up quickly. I most often have homemade waffles, muffins, ham/sausage and egg breakfast sandwiches, and these delicious breakfast burritos waiting in the freezer. Here’s where I got the original idea many moons ago.
Tips for make-ahead meals:
- Start with a clean kitchen.
- Get all your bowls, pans, and utensils ready. Huge bowls come in very handy.
- Get all your ingredients washed and prepped.
- Have a kitchen helper to wash as you go. My sweet hubs tackles this job.
- Make it easy on yourself and cut up extra potatoes, onions, and peppers that you can store in the freezer (cooked or uncooked, as you prefer), and cook extra meat for later meals in the week or month.
The ingredients and method:
How much of each to use? Well, it depends on how many you want to make. I make as many as possible. Last night, we made 30 burritos. We used 18 eggs, 2 lbs of ground sausage, 3 peppers, 2 cups of chopped onion, and a whole 5 lb bag of potatoes.
Exact quantity of the ingredients doesn’t matter so much. But about 10 burritos would take about 6 eggs, about 1/2 to 1 lb of sausage, 1 to 2 bell peppers, about 1/2 to 1 onion, and about 2 to 3 med potatoes (give or take). And then whatever you add or subtract and how you measure out the ingredients in the wrapping process change how many you get from this. We do huge batches and just cook up as much stuff as we can so that it’s one night, rather than many.
OVEN ROASTED POTATOES: Start your potatoes first because they take the longest. I am a make-it-easy gal, so we use the food processor to grate our potatoes quickly. I have cut them into cubes and roasted them that way, but honestly, it’s very time consuming. My kids make it hard to spend lots of time in the kitchen, so quicker is better at this point in my life! When using the food processor, you must drain the shredded potatoes. Or do what I do and enlist your helper’s strong hands to squeeze out the extra liquid that comes from the potatoes. No one wants a soggy burrito.
I toss my potatoes with thyme and lightly spray with olive oil; but any of your favorite herbs and spices will bring it to the next level. I then spread the potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Easy clean up is also a priority. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes or until softened and lightly browned, turning once.
SCRAMBLED EGGS: I crack all my eggs into a large bowl, add sea salt, pepper, and sour cream for a creamier, less watery texture than milk. The best way to cook bright and fluffy scrambled eggs is to never turn the heat above medium, depending on your stove, and to keep stirring and gently scraping the cooked eggs off the bottom of the pan. I have to do two pans simultaneously when I use 18 eggs.
SAUSAGE/OTHER MEATS: Cook the ground sausage according to package directions until browned and crumbled. Drain. I have also added cooked and crumbled bacon and ham to my burritos. We left out the bacon to cut the fat (I don’t even buy it anymore), and I didn’t have any ham. It does add a lot to the flavor. So add what you like. You can’t go wrong.
BELL PEPPERS AND ONIONS: After I remove my sausage for draining, I add the peppers and onions to the sausage pan,. Might as well use that pre-seasoned pan! Cook on medium-high heat, covered, until they are softened, and then uncover until all the liquid has cooked off.
Here’s a make-ahead tip: Take a bag of onions, remove the skin and cut into quarters, then use your food processor to grate the onions in a giant batch. The onions will put off a lot of water. Squeeze out the water with your hands or a fine sieve, and store the shredded onions in freezer bags. Press score lines for easy removal of portions from the bag later. These can be added to any of your cooking preparations. And save the onion “water”. It can be added to stews, soups, and marinades for extra flavor that plain water just doesn’t provide. From one 5 lb bag of onions, I got 2 quarts of onion “water”. I like prepping these easy-to-grab onions as I’m making my burritos because the large batch accommodates using many onions anyway. We might as well take these extra few minutes while everything is out, right?
ADD-ONS or SUBSTITUTIONS: Beans, tofu, tomatoes, summer squash, quinoa, rice, meat substitutes, gourmet cheeses, TVP (soy protein), tempeh, and pretty much any veggies – shredded or cut small and cooked. You can also add whatever sauces or dips you’d like with these to the inside for easier on-the-go eating. Think: Ketchup, hot sauce, salsa, Sriracha, etc.
Mix everything together in a giant bowl. I use large flour tortillas, but you can use small ones if you prefer. 1/4 cup cheese and about 3/4 cup of the “filling” is the perfect amount for my burritos. Below is my process:
Layer cheese and filling. Turn up sides. Turn up the edge closest to you. Roll to the other edge. My kitchen helper (hubs) wraps these in paper towel for easy individual microwave cooking later. Then we place them in the bag that the tortillas came in (re-use, re-cycle!), write the date, and freeze!
We pull them out one (or three) at a time. Then we re-heat them in the microwave for 1.5 minutes, flip it, and another 1.5 minutes on the other side.
The hubs and I once figured up what this saves us per month. He used to buy breakfast burritos (or another gas station breakfast) about 2-3 times per week. These cost anywhere from $3-5 each. That’s $24-60 per month, and $288-720 per year. At the very least, we’re cutting out the cost of at least one bill! What do they cost to make? That depends on where you live and what time of year it is. Do you get free eggs from your chickens, or buy in bulk at a club grocery store? Ours run about .75 cents to $1.00 per burrito. We’re saving quite a bit and feeding our family food that will not only be healthier than greasy gas station food, but will also fill their tummies better. Adjust these to make them vegetarian, gluten-free, high protein, spicy, kid-friendly, gourmet, whatever you like.
*The nutrition will vary depending on what you put in them. I figured mine up and if you did it exactly as I did, the nutrition info is as follows. Rough estimate only.
Nutrition Info: ~400-450 calories, ~40 g carbs, ~20 g. fat (use low fat sausage or substitute to lower this number), ~20 g. protein, ~1000-1500 mg sodium (use low sodium whenever possible to minimize this impact), ~5 g. sugar.
Happy eating! I hope you try these and that they make your life easier. That’s always my goal. We made a party out of it last night and got the whole family involved. Kids eating, chopping, stirring, and mixing. Husband washing, wiping counters, and kid wrangling. It’s really better to do this with company, music, and help. Making memories in the kitchen is the best part.