One of my favorite things to do is replicate “convenience foods” at home, and for the past couple of weeks I’ve been seeing ads for these new breakfast cups where you just crack an egg into the cup, which contains a mix of meat and vegetables, stir it up, microwave, and poof you have an instant breakfast. As soon as I saw that I knew that would be a perfect DIY project and I went to work immediately. And just as I suspected, they were just as easy, convenient, and yummy as I suspected! So, today I bring you a breakfast meal prep: Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles!
Store Bought vs. Homemade
I haven’t seen these new breakfast cups in the store yet, but after a little googling I found a press release that list the suggested retail price as $2.49 each. …And that’s without the egg. Yeah, you have to add your own egg. LOL. My Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles ended up being just under a dollar each, and that’s including two eggs each. The other reason I like the idea of making these scrambles at home is that there is waaayyy less packaging (the store bought kind has each ingredient individually wrapped and is in a disposable cup) and you can pick the quality of ingredients you’re using. The only downside is that the homemade version will only stay fresh in your fridge for about 4-5 days, whereas I’m sure the store bought ones have a longer shelf life. The shorter shelf life is totally worth it, IMHO.
BTW, these make ahead breakfast scrambles are stored in the fridge without the egg. You add the egg just before cooking.
Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles
I made my Microwave Breakfast Scrambles Denver Omelet style with onion, bell pepper, ham, and cheddar, but there are so many other combos that you could do! Here are some fun ideas:
- cooked bacon, cooked hash browns/cubed potatoes, and cheddar
- grape tomatoes, fresh chopped spinach, feta
- cooked sausage, red bell peppers, mozzerella
The funny thing is that the same brand that makes the convenience breakfast cups also sells large bags (maybe 1 pound?) of frozen potatoes with diced bell peppers and onions, which were $2.49 per bag at my store. So think about that for a second. You could simply buy one of their bags of potatoes, peppers, and onions for the price of just one breakfast cup, add some cheese and eggs, and you’d have enough to probably make 12 of these breakfast scrambles. It pays to keep your eyes open! :)
Tips for Cooking Eggs in the Microwave
And one last piece of important info: cooking eggs in the microwave can be tricky. Here are a few pointers:
- Heat in short intervals of 15-30 seconds, stirring between each. It should only take about one minute, depending on your container and the power of your microwave, to fully cook the eggs.
- Stop cooking when the eggs are still moist. Overcooked eggs are a tragedy and why microwave eggs get a super bad rap.
- If you choose to store your Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles in glass jars, I suggest pouring the contents into a ceramic mug before heating. In my testing I’ve found the ceramic mugs heat the eggs a little slower and more evenly, making it easier to prevent overcooking the eggs and giving the final scramble a MUCH better texture. Furthermore, wide and shallow mugs work a little better than tall narrow mugs.
- Always drape a paper towel or place a loose cover of some sort over your mug while microwaving to prevent splatter from “popping.”
Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles
- 2 oz. ham, diced ($1.00)
- 1/2 cup diced bell pepper ($0.44)
- 1/4 cup diced onion ($0.08)
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar ($0.50)
- 2 tsp butter ($0.09)
- 1/2 tsp seasoning salt ($0.05)
- 8 large eggs ($1.77)
- Divide the ham, bell pepper, onion, and cheddar between four resealable containers*. Cut the butter into 4, 1/2 teaspoon-sized pieces, and add one to each container. Sprinkle about 1/8 teaspoon seasoning salt into each container.
- Seal the containers and store them for up to 4-5 days.
- When you're ready to prepare a microwave breakfast scramble, pour the ingredients of the container into a ceramic mug, add two large eggs, and stir to combine.
- Loosely cover the mug with a paper towel or another microwave-safe object and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Stir the contents of the mug and microwave for 15 seconds more. Stir again and continue to microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring after each, until the eggs are mostly set, but still moist. Serve immediately.
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Step by Step Photos:
For my Make Ahead Microwave Breakfast Scrambles, I used 2oz. deli ham (diced), 1/2 cup diced bell pepper (about 1/2 large bell pepper), 1/4 cup diced onion (about 1/4 onion), and 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar. This recipe is great for sweeping the kitchen and making sure you’re using up all your ingredients, because you don’t need a lot of anything! Just be aware of the shelf life of your ingredients. The shelf life doesn’t start over when you use them in something new. :)
Divide your ingredients between four containers (you can use any type of air-tight container to store your scrambles in the refrigerator). Also add 1/2 tsp butter to each and about 1/8 tsp seasoning salt. Close the containers and pop them in the fridge. The egg does not get stored in the container with the other ingredients, it is added just before cooking.
When you’re ready to make one of your microwave breakfast scrambles, dump the contents of the container into a ceramic mug and add two large eggs. Ceramic mugs heat the eggs more evenly and will give you a much better result than a glass jar or plastic container.
Give it a good stir before it goes into the microwave to “scramble” the egg.
Cover the mug loosely with a paper towel or another microwave-safe object and microwave on high for 30 seconds. You can see how it begins to cook around the outer edges first. That’s why it’s important to stir and stir often when you cook eggs in the microwave.
Now, give it a good stir before placing it back into the microwave. At this point, since it’s already warmed up, you want to switch to 15 second intervals. Microwave on high for 15 seconds, stir, do another 15 seconds, then assess…
This was my mug at 60 seconds. Now, the speed at which your eggs will cook will depend on the power of your microwave and the container you’re cooking them in, so you’ll need to play it by ear. At this point my eggs were mostly cooked, but there was a large bit in the center that was still liquid. So I stirred and did only 15 seconds more…
And then it was finished. For me it was 75 seconds total. You want to stop when the eggs are set, but still soft and moist. If anything, err on slightly under cooked because the eggs will continue to cook ever so slightly from residual heat after you take them out of the microwave. Serve the breakfast scramble immediately for the best taste and texture! :)