Rise and Shine with New Breakfast Recipes

By Ann Foster Thelen

Wake up to the aroma of delicious new breakfast dishes! These protein-packed recipes are the perfect way to greet busy weekdays or relaxing weekends.

September is Better Breakfast Month, a designation that celebrates the delectable foods of mornings. We’ve rounded up a buffet of recipes featuring our favorites – dishes with fluffy eggs, hearty meats and delicious dairy.

Long considered the most important meal of the day, eating breakfast provides a full menu of health benefits. Studies show that eating a regular morning meal helps control weight, contributes to eating healthier meals regularly throughout the day, and helps kids to perform consistently and behave better at school.

A complete breakfast should contain a balance of all the major food groups, including recommended amounts of protein, dairy, fat and carbohydrates. Balancing these foods helps you to feel full longer and have the stamina to tackle the day’s schedule.

In these recipes, Iowa-raised proteins are the center of the plate. No matter your age, your body needs protein to stay healthy and work as it should. Nearly everyone should get 10-35% of their calories daily from protein. Knowing that Iowa’s farmers likely had a hand in creating these fresh foods gets every day off to a perfect start!

From sandwiches and stratas to waffles and frittatas, no one will want to skip out on breakfast with these foods greeting the day.

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Oatmeal Nut Waffles


Oatmeal Nut Waffles. Photo credit: Midwest Dairy

Try this oatmeal nut waffles recipe if you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast. It’s a breakfast classic that can be versatile on the inside (made with chopped almonds or chopped cashews) and on the outside (topped with honey or fruit). With Greek yogurt as a key ingredient, each serving of the waffles contains 17 grams of protein to jumpstart a day full of activities with necessary “food fuel.” If you want your leftovers to go the extra mile, serve these waffles at lunch with peanut butter and jelly. Or make a yummy chicken and waffle grilled cheese sandwich. Really, the only limit is your imagination. Find the recipe here.

Greek Yogurt Goodness: From being a good source of protein (Greek yogurt contains 23 grams of protein per 8 ounces) to boasting other important nutrients like calcium and potassium, you can feel confident that having yogurt is a delicious and nutritious choice. Yogurt is a good option for those with lactose intolerance. It’s all thanks to yogurt’s live and active cultures to help digest lactose.

Brunch Beef Strata

This crowd-pleasing breakfast casserole made with ground beef, mushrooms and onions can be prepared the night before, so the morning is relaxed and easy. It’s also perfect if you’re hosting a tailgate or family during the holiday season. A strata is a layered casserole with the brunch version consisting mainly of bread, eggs and cheese. In this recipe, Asiago cheese and thyme provide a mild and pleasing complimentary flavor to the base ingredients. Cherry tomatoes and basil make the presentation as beautiful as every delicious bite. This recipe is an excellent source of protein, iron, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, zinc, selenium and choline. Find the recipe here.

Beefy Fact: Ground beef can also be known by many familiar names, including chopped steak, ground chuck, ground round, ground sirloin, ground steak or market trim. Its versatility, affordability and rich flavor make it ideal for burgers, tacos or wraps. Beef is perfect for breakfast, lunch and everything in between!


Air Fryer Ham, Veggie & Cheese Frittata

Photo credit: Iowa Pork Producers Association

If you’re looking for a perfect recipe to get the kids involved in cooking, you’ll find it with this frittata recipe! Let the kids help with cracking the eggs or cutting up ingredients. A flexible cutting board helps kids efficiently move ingredients to a bowl, cut-resistant gloves come in kids’ sizes and utensils exist that aren’t as sharp as traditional knives but still work well.

In addition to nutritious ham, eggs, milk and cheese, this recipe scores bonus points for incorporating peppers, spinach and leeks. It’s a perfect way to integrate several food groups into one amazing meal. Consider making a ham for a dinner or holiday meal, then turn the leftovers into a hearty breakfast. Find the recipe here.

Pork Points: Ham is high in protein with 14 grams per 3-ounce serving and it contains all the essential amino acids. Cooking a ham takes just a few steps and is the perfect dish for a large gathering. Don’t stop there though; ham is practical all week long. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack, holiday or every day, ham does it all.


Tofu Breakfast Sandwich

Photo credit: The Soyfoods Council

Tofu, soymilk, chickpea flour, turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper are combined to create a patty. It’s served with spinach, tomato and homemade “cheeze” sauce (with sweet potatoes as a secret ingredient) layered between a toasted English muffin. Flavors and nutrition abound in this wonderful sandwich. Serve with a side of fresh fruit for a complete meal. Find the recipe here.

Soy Much to Love: One serving of soy offers approximately 7 to 15 grams of protein. Filled with B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium and an array of antioxidants, soyfoods pack a nutritional punch. They are also a heart-healthy food. Containing healthy fats, soyfoods have been linked to lowering cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sheet Pan Egg-in-a-Bagel-Hole

 Sheet Pan Egg-in-a-Bagel-Hole. Photo credit: Iowa Egg Council

This twist on the classic egg-in-a-hole sandwich, typically made with a slice of bread, packs a perfect punch in the morning. It’s the best thing since sliced bread! An everything bagel surrounds a well of crispy prosciutto and an egg baked to perfection. The “everything” mix of poppy and sesame seeds, garlic, dried onion and salt has long been a popular variation for people who want some tang at breakfast or brunch. Served hot and topped with sliced avocado and chives, it’s a dreamy way to start a morning. Find the recipe here.

Egg-cellent Eats: If you want to start your day the best way possible, here’s a cheery wake-up call: Every single egg has 6 grams of high-quality protein. A protein-packed breakfast helps sustain mental and physical energy throughout the day. Eggs are rich in choline, which promotes normal cell activity, liver function and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body. Think of choline as a commuter train for vitamins and minerals.

Turkey Breakfast Bites

Photo credit: Iowa Turkey Federation

Enjoy a muffin for breakfast but skip the sugar with a protein-rich turkey, egg and cheese version. An excellent option to take on the go or for a sit-down breakfast, crumbled turkey sausage is the star of these breakfast bites. While this recipe calls for cheddar cheese, mix up the flavor profile by substituting pepper jack or Colby jack cheese. Both will pair beautifully with the ingredients, including the onions and peppers. To ease the stress on busy mornings, make a big batch, freeze them and simply pop them in the microwave when it’s time to serve. Whether you’re heading to the office or sending kids to school, this is a breakfast to help you win the day! Find the recipe here.

Turkey is Top-Notch: Turkey is a fantastic source of protein. In the body, protein helps to build and repair bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, blood and tissue. Protein is a macronutrient, which means that your body needs a lot of it. Your body can’t store protein, so you must consume it daily.