Ever wondered how to make a healthy breakfast hash using what’s already in your fridge? Learn my best tips for throwing an easy hash together without a recipe.
If you’re not familiar with hashes, the word is derived from the French word hacher. The direct translation is ‘to chop’ and was started as a way to use up leftovers.
Because of this, there are a few benefits to breakfast hashes:
- reduce unnecessary food waste
- eat more vegetables
- quick & filling one-pot meal (fewer dishes to clean up)
Once you know the simple formula, you’ll stop throwing away wilted produce and leftovers, and instead create a quick meal with minimal effort.
It’s a win-win.
5 Easy Steps for Making a Healthy Breakfast Hash
Although traditional hashes are a combination of meat, potatoes, and onions, there are endless variations that can be made.
Let’s get started.
1. Choose a Pan
The best pan for making a breakfast hash is cast iron, but a non-stick pan will also work. The size you use will depend on how many people you’re serving, so choose it accordingly.
Lodge is my current favorite brand for cast iron pans.
2. Scour Your Fridge & Pantry
What’s sitting in your fridge that needs to be used up? This could be half of an onion, leftover roasted butternut squash, roasted potatoes from the night before, beets from your leftover roasted beet salad, frozen peas or corn, caramelized onions, leftover meat, cooked lentils, etc.
Maybe you have sweet potatoes in your pantry that are starting to lose their appeal, but you don’t know what to do with them.
3. Building The Base of Your Healthy Breakfast Hash
The base consists of four parts. Now that you’ve scoured your fridge and pantry, you know what ingredients you have to work with. This will make the rest of the process much easier.
Vegetables in the allium family include garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, and scallions (also called green onions). These ingredients are a great, easy way to build flavor in your dish.
This can be regular potatoes, sweet potatoes (any variety), butternut squash, beets, turnips, parsnips, carrots, corn, peas, etc.
Colorful non-starchy veg
Adding protein to your hash rounds out the dish and helps keep you satisfied. This can be leftover meat, but it can also be cooked beans, lentils, etc. Bacon or sausage are also great options. Or keep it simple by only adding eggs at the end.
It’s up to you.
4. Cook It Up
To a skillet over medium-high heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of avocado or olive oil.
If your ingredients are raw, cut them into similar sized (small-ish) pieces so they cook more evenly. Cook them in the pan first until they’re softened and browned. Cutting them smaller means they’ll take less time to cook and the sooner you’ll get to eat.
Now, add any cooked ingredients to bring them back to life (re-crisp and warm them through).
And if you’re adding any leafy greens as part of your non-starchy vegetables, make sure to add them last since they lose their color quickly.
Very important: Don’t forget to season your food. Salt and pepper go a long way, but you can also add any other spices. Smoked or regular paprika, cumin, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes are all some of my favorites. If you need guidance when it comes to salt, check out my quick guide to cooking with salt.
IF USING EGGS
- Create a few nests in your hash, and crack the eggs directly into each one.
- Cook, covered over medium-low heat or in a 400ºF oven (only if using cast iron) for about 10 minutes until the whites are cooked and the yolks are runny (or cook longer if you prefer a firmer yolk).
- You can also cook the eggs in a separate pan and add them to your skillet before serving. This is a great option if you want another type of eggs.
5. Optional Toppings
If you don’t have any leftover sauce, you can also garnish with fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado, or cheese.
The options are endless!