Incredible Slow-Cooker Breakfasts to Wake Up To
The slow cooker can turn out wonderful morning dishes, whether you're serving a crowd or just want to set yourself up for a week of ready-to-eat meals.
French Toast with an Unexpected Dimension
Custardy bread and warm cinnamon get the low and slow treatment in this brilliant recipe from Katie Sullivan Morford's new book, Rise and Shine
—and the results are so tasty, you may never go back to the stovetop way again. It starts with cubes of crusty bread sprinkled with a handful of golden raisins, which gives the finished dish more texture and interest than the usual slices. A flavored mixture of milk and eggs goes in next, then you cook the toast for two hours, or so, until the egg is firm and the bread is a little crisp around the edges. It's delicious with yogurt, fruit or a drizzle of syrup.
Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Cinnamon French Toast
Photo: axelbueckert/iStock/Getty Images Plus
The "Am I Still Dreaming?" Way to Wake Up
For days when a get-up-and-go green juice just isn't in the cards, try rice pudding; even just a small bowl feels relaxing and indulgent. The rice cooks gently with milk and eggs, turning soft; and it gets a fragrant note from nutmeg or cinnamon. Plus, leftovers make a tasty afternoon or evening snack.
Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Rice Pudding
The Mexican Egg Dish That Makes the Morning Feel Like a Fiesta
A fried egg served atop a warmed corn tortilla and smothered in salsa is a delicious way to start your day (or even end it). This shortcut version is slightly different—the eggs are more omelet-like—but still wildly tasty. And there's a lot to love about the slow-cooker rendition of huevos rancheros: You can easily feed a crowd all at once (instead of frying eggs to order), and the leftovers are terrific eaten cold or reheated.
Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Huevos Rancheros
A Reason to Love Oatmeal Again
Steel-cut oats undergo an amazing transformation in the slow cooker, from pebble-like grains to silky porridge. Making overnight oats is ridiculously easy, too. You just pour the cereal into the pot with water, milk and a dash each of maple syrup and salt. Set to low while you sleep, and in the morning you'll be spooning out a bowl full of the most comforting, rich oatmeal you've ever had.
Get the recipe: Overnight Oats
A New Method for Making a Traditional Treat
Old-fashioned apple cake is a perfect sweeter weekend breakfast or brunch, and is not nearly as heavy as most chocolate-based treats. This creative recipe has you bake the cake in a springform pan set in the cooker, so you get a perfectly round cake but can actually catch some zzz's while it bakes.
Get the recipe: Cider-Glazed Apple-Walnut Cake
The Guest-Worthy Rendition of a Beloved Breakfast Sandwich
Soft cubes of baguette, fluffy eggs, juicy sausage and melting cheese come together in this supereasy riff on a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. This recipe also includes diced red bell pepper; it adds a subtle sweetness and flecks of color. But you could easily swap in broccoli florets or baby spinach, and use any shredded cheese you like.
Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Breakfast Strata
The Granola That's Practically Impossible to Burn
Making your own mixture of oats and dried fruits is cheaper, healthier and more customizable than buying granola at the store. But we've charred more batches than we care to admit; because, while spreading it thinly on a baking sheet does help it crisp up nicely, it also seems to make the cereal go from beautiful to burnt in a matter of minutes. Then we realized how easy it is to make in the slow cooker. Thanks to the low, moist heat, there's (almost) no chance you'll toast that coconut into oblivion.
Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Tropical Granola