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Non Traditional Breakfast Ideas

  • f

K so I'm stuck in a rut of cereal and/or eggs of some sort for breakfast. You know, the traditional North American fare.
I really want to get out of this rut and experiment. Now I know that one can eat ANYTHING for breakfast, so I'm most interested in traditional non-North American styles of breakfasts.
I've googled this, and haven't been able to find much. I get pretty much eggs, bacon, toast, juice, cereal and the like with the odd "eat whatever you want" breakfast idea. I really want to step out of the box, breakfast wise, with foods from other traditions and/or backgrounds that I can try to make at home.
Any ideas out there?

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  1. I make a breakfast burrito. I fry up some chorizo and add it to a tub of Country Crock garlic mashed. Eggs mixed in with the chorizo are optional as are serrano chilis, cheddar and salsa. Wrap it all in a flour tortilla and enjoy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mucho gordo

      I eat something in a tortilla or wrap almost every day for breakfast, but it's not always eggs. If I have leftover fajita or taco meat, I'll throw that in there. The other day I had some leftover mapo tofu that was delicious in a tortilla! If I have roasted vegetables, I'll heat them with a little cheese and wrap that up. Everything tastes better inside a wrapper!

    2. I often have a smoothie for breakfast - frozen berries, half an avocado, and pomegranate juice. I also add flax seeds and chia seeds for extra fat, so that it's not such a carb-heavy breakfast.

      An idea I got from Alton Brown on "Good Eats" is tinned sardines on toast. I'd never had sardines before, but I tried it and discovered that I really liked the taste of them.

      I sometimes have leftovers from dinner for breakfast the next day, such as soup, or chicken & rice. Or sometimes I will have a simple salad - mixed greens with some homemade vinaigrette.

        1. re: sandylc

          This is a great resource. thanks for sharing!

          1. re: sandylc

            Thanks so much! Greatly appreciated!
            Heading to Costa Rica in a couple of months, so I'm looking forward to trying their breakfast!

          2. chocolate cake and strawberries:)

            cheese crackers and fruit

            veggies and tofu/meat skillet

            1. Shrimp and Grits
              Chinese Congee/Rice Porridge
              Asian Noodle Soups

              1. Brown rice, or some noodles, miso, fish
                vegemite on toast
                salad with trail mix/dried fruits mixed in

                1. I believe Dim Sum is a traditional Korean breakfast.
                  Fish is pretty common in Scandinavian countries.
                  Kidneys are pretty common in England. I think sheep or calf kidneys..
                  Naan bread with butter and jam is popular in Iran.
                  Pan a la Catalana in Spain
                  Vegemite and toast in Australia Good luck on that
                  Loco moco in Hawaii
                  Various rice and bean combos are popular in many of the poorer nations
                  In the orient a rice porridge with whatever protein is available is popular
                  Where bread is available it tends to be universal - some kind of bread

                  After 8 hours, it would be nice to break the night long fast with a carbohydrate and a protein. I know some people that like to have cold white rice with sugar or maple syrup and milk stirred in. I see no reason why a nice rice pilaf with sausage wouldn't be very nice.

                  1. Quesadilla - easy to make at home
                    Dim Sum - morning food in china - hard to make at home unless you just get frozen pot stickers, or make your own ahead and freeze them
                    Don’t people eat pho for breakfast in Vietnam?
                    There are threads on savory oatmeal preparations on this board.
                    Eggs poached in tomato based sauces - I’ve seen Italian and middle eastern styles
                    Indian breads -roti etc
                    Turkish breakfast is grilled halumi type cheese, with various breads and dips, http://zesterdaily.com/dining/641-tur...

                    Google - breakfast in x country and it will help.

                    Also a lot of travel shows show what they eat for breakfast in certain countries.

                    1. One of my adopted favourites for a weekend breakfast is a plate of refried beans with fresh tortillas, fried plantains with crema, and scrambled eggs. Not particularly healthy, but very filling and delicious! Pretty much the Central American standard.

                      1. I normally rotate through flatbreads (greek pita, naan, breakfast pizza), various bagels with some kind of home cured fish, and soba noodles. You can buy bottled soba sauce if you're not interested in making it from scratch.

                        Some more adventurous ideas:
                        - Pancakes/crepes of the world (maybe start with dosas?)
                        - Paya (spicy ham hock/hoof curry)
                        - Stuffed churros
                        - Fruits of the world (Durian for breakfast will be a hit at the office)

                        1. South India has a great selection of Breakfast dishes almost all are served with Sambar (spicy vegetable stew), Coconut Chutney and Tomato Chutney
                          Upma, A spicy semolina pilaf.
                          Idli, Fermented rice and lentil batter steamed in little cakes served with Sambar also made with semolina
                          Dosa, the same batter as above cooked as thin crepe with many different fillings or plain
                          Uthappam, as above in a thick pancake topped with almost anything
                          Appams many variations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appam
                          Puttu, Rice and coconut dough that can be made in many forms and steamed.

                          1. There was a little hotel at the beach back in the day that had a breakfast buffet included. The owner was well known for being a very difficult person, but it was an inexpensive place to stay. There were pans of eggs, bacon and sausage, etc., but at the end of the tables were sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, black olives, bread and yogurt. I immediately zoned in on that and the man noticed and said that I must have been Turkish in a previous life. He and his family were immigrants from Turkey and served this as part of the buffet because they ate that as their breakfast. He was almost doting after my first breakfast, while every other "guest" was scorned. ;))

                            1. These are great, everyone! If you have recipes you'd like to pass on, please feel free (and yes, I can google so its just an idea, if possible, to include the recipes)

                              1. While traveling in Italy, the hotels would put out prosciutto cotto, mortadella and cheeses, sliced tomato for breakfast. In Denmark, it was sweet butter on dense dark breads and pourable yogurt over granola type cereals. On cruises, we would see lox, baked apples, bangers, besides the American breakfast items. You can switch up some items. I like prosciutto caramelized in a non stick pan to use with eggs done in different styles instead of bacon or ham. Put a slice of fresh tomato on a breakfast sandwich instead of a meat with egg and cheese. Try different breads and rolls like a Portuguese roll or challah bread french toast. Stuffed french toast with sliced Italian bread, raspberry jam and cream cheese. Paula Deen, (I know, heaven forbid), has a great recipe for baked french toast with pralines. Of course, there are potatoes done different ways. I like the dish with hash browns and corn flakes baked in the oven. Sliced keilbasa, covered and baked in the oven with horseradish is a great breakfast item in Polish households.
                                Hope these help.

                                1. I think of fried rice as a breakfast food. You can throw leftovers into it the same way other people might put leftovers in an omelet or frittata.

                                  1. A childhood favorite I still have to have with some regularity: Make oatmeal so thick that if you lift the spoon from the bowl, the bowl comes with it. Spread that evenly across the bottom of a large soup plate. Top that with a thick (but responsible) layer of brown sugar. Top that with a layer of All Bran (the kind that looks like strings). Float a goodly amount of half and half on top. DO NOT STIR! Eat like a pudding. I love it!

                                    Every once in a while I have to have a Turkish breakfast. Beyaz penir (aka feta cheese), black olives, green grapes, exceptional crusty bread and a steaming cup of Turkish coffee.

                                    In a similar vein, a Greek breakfast of (an acceptable substitute in the US) fresh crusty bolillos (who can get Greek bread in Dallas? Bolillos work just fine.), GOAT butter, and a selection of great preserves such as apricot or blackberry or whatever. Also with Turkish coffee (but the Greeks call it Greek coffee, but it's the same thing).

                                    Another favorite from childhood (my father loved it!) is left-over enchiladas fried until they are crispy and crusty, then topped with a sunny-side-up egg, sour cream and salsa. Try it. You'll like it!

                                    Over all, I'm pretty much an "If it sounds good, eat it" kind of person. Ain't nothin' wrong with cream puffs and pickles for breakfast if that's what rings your chimes.

                                    1. You could try the threads on here about savoury oatmeal: a whole world of possibilities.

                                      1. I haven't tried this Vietnamese breakfast personally yet, but I hope to soon. It's definitely not your traditional North American fare.


                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: OrigamiDuck

                                          MMMMmmmm I'm going to try this, but I have no idea what seeds they are mentioning to make the seasoned oil, and I'm in a small town. Time to google to figure this out! Thanks!

                                          1. re: freia

                                            This version uses Turmeric instead of the anatto seeds, I'm not sure how small your town is, if there is any asian grocery at all I would check there for them I think they aren't too hard to find. Otherwise maybe try with turmeric. =)


                                            1. re: OrigamiDuck

                                              Thanks -- I was looking and saw that paprika and/or tumeric can be used as a substitute, but mostly for color. I do have an Asian grocery store downtown, so I'll check to see. I know I've never seen annatto seeds at the Bulk Barn, so the Asian Store will be my next stop.

                                            2. re: freia

                                              if you have a latino grocery, it's sold as "achiote", often in paste form. otherwise, they have whole annatto seeds in the spice aisle.

                                              Me? I skip that step since the annatto oil is for only for color and the beef I use already provides enough fat. If you want to substitute, I would use chili powder or paprika to color your oil since those flavors are used in the dish anyway.

                                              More on annatto substitute here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/371877

                                              1. re: seamunky

                                                JINX! We posted at the same time LOL re: paprika! Absolutely no Latino groceries here unfortunately. Good to know that the oil is for color, so I'll most likely be substituting. :)

                                              2. re: freia

                                                freia, you can order annato seeds for a dollar an ounce here:

                                                I buy spices from their website all of the time and highly recommend them.

                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                  Thanks! I'll peruse their list and make an order! :)

                                                2. re: freia

                                                  I generally get these kinds of spices -- when I cannot find them in a local store -- at myspicesage.com. A little more expensive than worldspice for a single ounce, but discounts kick in at 4 oz. (I am not an affiliate, just a happy customer.)

                                              3. Peanut butter sandwiches using slices of banana bread as the sandwich bread!

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: katecm

                                                  Now, if I was PD, I'd totally bread these in donut batter, deepfry, and top with ice cream, melted chocolate and cream cheese butter balls (just because). LOLOLOL

                                                  1. re: katecm

                                                    How about the 60s-70s ladies' luncheon staple.....banana (or date, etc.) bread and cream cheese sandwiches.

                                                  2. Some of my favorites are:
                                                    Posole (Mexican pork and hominy stew)
                                                    Chilaquiles (chicken, cheese and green chile sauce over tortilla chips)
                                                    green chile casserole
                                                    Spanish tortilla (really a potato omelet sort of thing)
                                                    Skillet breakfast (we do chorizo or andouille with garlic,cheese and onion on top of potatoes with an egg on top)
                                                    Fried rice (as mentioned above)
                                                    Cold cuts and cheese (we got turned on to this in Germany and Sweden) good bread helps, too.
                                                    Smoked fish
                                                    In Barbados fried flying fish is common. It is breaded and pan fried. We don't do this at home, but it's great.
                                                    Fired Plantains with other things (with cinnamon)
                                                    Egg drop soup (has an egg, but not at all like US/Canadian breakfast)
                                                    I make my own granola from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipe.
                                                    How about breakfast sandwiches: English muffin with egg and some kind of meat and cheese.
                                                    Brown bread (steamed in a can) is sooooo good even with just butter.

                                                    I would go to Cooking Channel (cookingchanneltv.com) and see if Giada has any cool new stuff from Italy.

                                                    I do seek out Dim Sum whenever I can find it.

                                                    1. We grew up eating fried rice for breakfast. Hot pan, a dash of bacon grease, add leftover rice, meat and vegetables from last night's dinner , stir until heated through. Drizzle a bit of fish sauce or soy sauce, crack an egg either on top of the rice or add separately, fried on the side. Great with bacon, pan fried hot dog, fried spam or corned beef from a can or sausage. My American friends would beg to sleep over so they could eat this on a weekend morning with my family.

                                                      We stopped eating that as a family when I got into high school but that's what my Dad wanted pretty much every morning of his life until his double bypass. LOL

                                                      1. My favorite easy-peasy breakfast is anything mexican (traditional or Americanized) cooked together with an egg on top. I almost alwyas have this stuff sitting around, either in leftovers or just as kitchen staples. Some I like:

                                                        Tortilla chips, salsa verde, any cooked meat leftovers (as long as the spices are complimentary) and fried egg (I think this might sort of be like chilaquiles, but I've never actually had it, so I'm not positive.)
                                                        Black beans, onions, peppers, tomoatoes (or just chunky salsa), green chiles, cheese, and fried or scrambled egg
                                                        Leftover rice, any sort of leftover veggies, salsa verde, sour cream, fried egg (really runny yolk to mush up with the rice!)

                                                        I don't measure or "plan" anything - just throw together what I have around and toss an egg on top!

                                                        1. Perfect breakfast as prepared by my Nanny Rosie: 2 slices homemade bread, toasted with butter. Real butter. One steaming bowl of CoCo Wheats, with a splash of milk and a teaspoon of sugar. Rip off pieces of the bread and dip. OMG. She still makes this for me when I am lucky enough to visit her West Virginia kitchen. It is a divine brekky.

                                                          1. Cold pizza and hot coffee. I get my dairy, carbs, protein. I don't do the pineapple thing so I do miss out on the fruit.

                                                            1. I'm liking the idea of some kind of fried rice/dirty rice. It should microwave easily, would keep several days and would be easy to portion out.

                                                              I eat peanut butter crackers for breakfast, every workday, for years. The orange kind that come six to the package. Washed down with diet coke. : )

                                                              1. Oh, my, so many options...

                                                                I eat breakfast at work most mornings, because I get up so early I don't have an appetite yet. Once I get to work, I'm starving. I have a tiny little rice cooker there (illicitly, but I come in early so it goes under the radar), so I make a batch of rice, and I top it with either an egg that I poach in the microwave and some soy sauce, or a small can of quality tuna packed in oil, with some sriracha. I'm trying to figure out more things I can make at work, but these are my staples so far.

                                                                When I eat at home, there's a lot more variety. At casa MM, we rotate the following:

                                                                Migas (eggs, scrambled with tortilla chip crumbs, jalapenos, tomato, cilantro, cheese, etc).
                                                                Breakfast tacos (two fillings, chosen from eggs, beans, potatoes, chorizo, and sometimes some other stuff, plus salsa)
                                                                Stone-ground grits, topped with various things. Shrimp is a classic, but we like to do a poached or scrambled egg, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed greens, fresh tomatoes from the garden during the summer, maybe some herbs from the garden.
                                                                Fried rice - a no brainer if you have leftover rice.
                                                                I like to make scrambled eggs with some sauteed spinach or other greens (usually other, whatever I have), and some diced, cold-smoked salmon stirred in at the end. I eat that over a small portion of rice.
                                                                An omelet. Not one of these fat American abominations, but a simple omelet. 1 or 2 eggs, with just some chopped herbs and a very light sprinkle of cheese (I like asiago for this, but it varies. It is always an Italian or French cheese, used very sparingly - no globs of cheddar). Sometimes I put some chopped up, sauteed turnip greens, with a sprinkle of sherry vinegar, into the omelet. But keep the whole thing pretty minimal.

                                                                1. How about Shakshouka? http://www.thejc.com/lifestyle/food/2... The web page is entitled "Israel's hottest breakfast dish" but Shakshouka seems to be pan-Middle-Eastern.

                                                                  1. Frittattas are wonderful for breakfast! My favorite is potato frittatta - I make this for breakfast quite a bit. This is better for a weekend breakfast as opposed to the workday since there's more effort involved than just pouring stuff out of a box. http://crispybits.com/recipes/potato-...

                                                                      1. Sometimes its nice to have a fresh take on what current posters think?
                                                                        Thanks for the links, though!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: freia

                                                                          of course it is, but 1) several of those threads are actually from within the past year, and 2) you asked for "traditional" ideas - you never said you were looking for a "fresh take" on them, so i assumed you meant true traditional dishes that have been around for a long time.

                                                                          anyway, my intent was to offer some information i thought would be useful to you, so i hope you took it that way.