Many of us put a large amount of thought into our meals. Whether you are just planning something special for yourself or trying to please a family of six, we can all agree that it sometimes takes a lot of effort. There are even days when dinner time can make me feel more like a short-order cook, especially with a 4-year-old around. One dinner idea that always goes over well and can be easily customized for everyone at the table is “Brinner” or “Breakfast for Dinner”.

Breakfast for dinner can mean a lot of different things in my house: pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, you name it. I often find myself craving more savory flavors for dinner, so occasionally I will make the kids their scrambled eggs first and then I add baby spinach and Boursin cheese to my eggs. The kids can get plain cheese, and this mama gets her garlic. Everyone is happy! This is often my favorite “Dinner in 10 Minutes” option. Pop some toast in the toaster or garlic bread in the oven, and you have dinner with minimal clean-up and plenty of smiling faces.

Speaking of smiling faces, this recipe for Cottage Cheese Pancakes is one you will want to keep handy. I got this recipe from my sister, and it has quickly become one of our favorite pancakes to make. Because the primary ingredients are eggs and cottage cheese instead of flour, they are packed with protein and calcium and don’t leave you feeling “too full” as many pancakes can. Even with those nutritional benefits, they don’t sacrifice that great buttermilk pancake taste.

These pancakes aren’t completely flourless since some flour is needed to provide them some structure; however, I have made them with regular and gluten-free all-purposes blends that work equally as well. If your preference is for a nut-based flour, the final product will be a little heavier but will still taste as good. I mix mine with a food processor but a blender would also work as well. Aside from the basic mix, these pancakes can be customized to fit your favorite flavor profiles; our go-to add-ins are usually chocolate chips or fresh blueberries! This recipe is easy to make in a large batch, so I make too many for one meal then freeze the leftovers for a breakfast or dinner (or two!) in the future.

Last, but certainly not least, this Everything Bagel Breakfast Bake is perfect for breakfast or dinner, and it utilizes the popular seasoning that has worked its way into many of our kitchen cabinets. If you are unfamiliar with everything bagel seasoning, it’s a blend of garlic, onion, poppy seeds, black and white sesame seeds, and salt. Since I love to use it on everything from bagels and avocados to fish, chicken, and vegetables, it only seemed natural to add it into an egg bake, too! (If you’re interested and new to Everything Bagel seasoning, check out my product on my Craveable Kitchen Facebook page.)

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The breakfast bake comes together using leftover bagels, crumbled sausage, eggs, milk, shredded cheese, sauteed grape tomatoes and red onion, cream cheese, and, of course, everything bagel seasoning. For a vegetarian option, feel free to omit the sausage or use a meatless crumble. I can’t decide what my favorite part of the breakfast bake is....Normally, I would say the seasoning, but the crispy tops of the bagels and the warm pockets of cream cheese are what my brunch and Breakfast For Dinner dreams are made of!

Spinach and Boursin Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • One 5.5 ounce bag of baby spinach leaves
  • 16 ounces egg beaters or egg whites
  • One 5.2 ounce package of garlic and herb Boursin cheese (or other herbed goat cheese)

Directions:

Heat olive oil until shimmering over medium-high heat. Add spinach and saute until wilted, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and add eggs. Let cook for 2 minutes and then slowly begin to stir along the bottom just enough so that the eggs don’t burn, but don’t over stir. When eggs are just set, crumble the Boursin cheese into the eggs, stir and remove from the heat.

Serves 4-8

While these pancakes require some flour, the main ingredients are eggs and cottage cheese, packing them full of protein. Jessica Rerick / On the Minds of Moms
While these pancakes require some flour, the main ingredients are eggs and cottage cheese, packing them full of protein. Jessica Rerick / On the Minds of Moms


Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 32 ounces cottage cheese
  • 12 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup flour, all-purpose (regular or gluten-free)

Directions:

Preheat griddle to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients into your food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Lightly spray the surface of your griddle with pan spray. Use 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup measuring cups to portion your pancakes onto the griddle. They will spread a lot. (I can fit 4-5 on my griddle surface at a time) Once the bubbles begin to pop on the surface, the pancakes are ready to flip. Flip the pancakes and let cook for 3-4 more minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.

Makes 20-30 pancakes

Everything bagel seasoning adds richness and flavor to this breakfast bake. Jessica Rerick / On the Minds of Moms
Everything bagel seasoning adds richness and flavor to this breakfast bake. Jessica Rerick / On the Minds of Moms


Everything Bagel Breakfast Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 3 to 4 day-old bagels. (I have used fresh before and they work, but they are not as crunchy on the top)
  • 2 cups cooked sausage crumbles (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • ⅓ cup Everything Bagel Blend
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into small, 1 inch cubes
  • 2 green onions, sliced, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 4-quart ceramic baking dish with pan spray (or a 9x13 baking pan).

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the grape tomatoes and red onion. Saute until the tomatoes start to burst and blacken in areas and the onions are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.

Dice the bagels into bite-sized cubes and place them into a large mixing bowl. Add in the tomato and onion mixture, sausage crumbles, shredded cheeses, and cream cheese cubes. Use your hands to gently stir the ingredients together and place them into the baking dish. Arrange about a ⅓ of the cream cheese cubes to be towards the top of the pan.

In the same mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and everything bagel seasoning. Pour over the top of the bagel mixture in the baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 55 minutes or until puffed and the center no longer jiggles. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced green onions if desired and serve.

Serves 8