How many of you enjoy a hearty Amish-style breakfast in the morning before you start your day?
In the rush of our modern lives, finding moments of simplicity and connection becomes increasingly rare. One thing that captures this feeling is an Amish breakfast – a hearty, tasty, and simple way to kick off the day that's been a beloved part of Amish culture for a long time.
Many of us begin our morning by jumping out of bed, quickly getting ourselves presentable, and rushing out the door. We may grab a quick bite to eat or stop at a drive-through, barely making it to work on time. What a way to start our day, right?
Embracing an Amish Morning Routine
Amish breakfasts aren't just about fueling the body; they're about savoring the morning and setting a tone of warmth and togetherness.
Picture waking up in an Amish home, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingling with the scents of freshly baked cinnamon buns and golden brown hash browns wafting through the air. The day starts early, and so does the kitchen activity.
The women are up early frying bacon or sausage, cooking stacks of pancakes, scrambling a pan of creamy eggs, etc. The men have been up since before the break of dawn taking care of the farm chores, and now they are hungry for a hearty breakfast. They come to the house ready for a substantial morning meal and a pleasant time with the family before getting on with their day.
(I grew up New Order Amish, and in our home, we always had a morning devotional time in the family room yet after breakfast. Putting God and family first was a priority every day of the year.)
Changes in Amish Communities
With the rise of prices on farmland, taxes, etc. many changes have taken place in Amish communities in the last fifty years. While a farm is still one of the best places to raise a family, more and more Amish men find themselves turning to other occupations to support their families.
Some common trades among Amish men include woodworking, blacksmithing, and running businesses like carpentry shops, construction crews, etc.
While farmers get to work at home, and some of the Amish are fortunate enough to have a business at home, many of them also need to leave home every day. So their morning routines need to adjust accordingly.
Amish homes and routines vary, just like everyone else's. But what really matters in most Amish families is making time for each other. Family and good home-cooked meals are a priority.
If the husband has to get up early and leave for work at the break of the day, you can almost bet his wife will be fixing him a hearty breakfast before he heads out. And the kids may be up as well, so they can enjoy a meal together.
What is a Typical Amish Breakfast?
At the heart of this morning tradition is a spread of hearty, delicious, homemade Amish food.
Every morning, except Sunday mornings, my mom served a hearty full-course breakfast. Typically, she fried some kind of breakfast meat, such as scrapple, sausage, or bacon. She fried, soft-boiled, or scrambled eggs. We always had some kind of carbs like toast, pancakes, or waffles. Sometimes she added fried potatoes or shredded hash browns. Fried mush was another common breakfast food.
Some mornings, we had stewed crackers. Now, I know, some of you think this sounds disgusting, but I loved stewed crackers. They are simply made with hot milk, seasonings, and saltine crackers. The seasoned hot milk was poured over a bowl of crackers just before serving, so the crackers were soft but not completely mush. In early spring, my mom added the first fresh peas to the milk, yum!
Another common breakfast food was "egg in the nest". Melt butter in a skillet, take a slice of homemade bread, and tear a hole out of the center. Place the bread into the skillet and crack an egg into the hole of the bread. Fry to the desired doneness.
Every morning, my dad wanted a cup of hot mint tea and oatmeal. So my mom cooked a little pot of oats which he ate with a bit of homemade granola cereal to finish his meal.
In my aunt and uncle's home, wet-bottom shoofly pie was served with breakfast every morning. We didn't very often have dessert for breakfast at our house unless we had guests.
When serving guests, we served lots of different dishes, and the spread may have looked something like this: hearty Amish breakfast casserole, browned russet potatoes, fried scrapple, pancakes or cinnamon toast, homemade fruit salad or fresh fruit, baked oatmeal, shoofly pie, donuts, or a coffeecake, along with coffee, hot tea, and juice.
Most Amish cooks serve hearty meals to guests, a meal that is meant to impress. 🙂
Hearty Amish Breakfast Casserole
Breakfast Casseroles are pretty popular in Amish country. I love breakfast casseroles made with only a few simple ingredients. They are especially great for whenever I need a quick breakfast that can be prepared ahead of time.
There are all kinds of recipes for hearty breakfast casseroles made with hash browns, etc. But the most common cheesy Amish breakfast casserole recipes are made with a bread base.
The easy breakfast casserole recipe that's here on my blog is a popular Amish recipe. It's easy to make, with a layer of bread at the bottom topped with meat, cheese, and a creamy egg mixture poured over everything. It can be prepared the night before and popped into the oven in the morning for a quick and easy breakfast.
Amish breakfast casserole is hearty, filling, and delicious! We often fixed it when we didn't want to spend too much time in the kitchen the next morning. Perfect for overnight guests leaving early or a quick Sunday morning breakfast.
A Breakfast for Every Occasion
The beauty of this Amish breakfast casserole lies in its versatility. Whether it's a leisurely Christmas morning, a celebratory Easter breakfast, or just a regular day where you want to treat yourself, this dish fits the bill. The simplicity of the recipe doesn't compromise its ability to turn an ordinary morning into something extraordinary.
A breakfast casserole is easy to make, it fills a large baking dish, and it makes a delicious breakfast for a busy morning. You can customize it to your taste by adding some sweet onion, bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, etc.
From Farm to Table
One can't talk about Amish breakfast without acknowledging the farm-to-table approach that defines it. Ingredients often come straight from the farm.
Eating farm-to-table is the best and healthiest way. I grew up eating fresh potatoes from the garden, meat from the pigs and cows we raised and butchered, and milk, butter, and brown eggs straight from our cows and chickens.
Amish Breakfast Recipes
There are many different options for breakfast foods that the whole family will love, and I like to switch things up to keep it interesting.
I love buttermilk pancakes, waffles, or French toast with fresh berries, maple syrup, and whipped cream. French toast casserole is another delightful breakfast dish. And what about breakfast omelets? I love omelets, and you can easily customize them with whatever fillings your heart desires.
Breakfast burritos are a favorite in our home. Baked oatmeal with apples is an easy and filling dish that's loved by all. Homemade yogurt with berries and homemade granola (parfaits) is always a welcome breakfast option, as well as egg custard.
So many delightful breakfast dishes will satisfy your hunger and give you energy for the day.
Amish Breakfast Desserts
Don't get me started on breakfast desserts. I love sweets way too much, and so many pastries and sweets are perfect with a morning cup of coffee. Coffeecake, for example, whether it's a simple cinnamon streusel coffeecake, blueberry coffeecake, or pumpkin coffeecake, they're all so yummy!
Another popular breakfast pastry in Amish country is sticky buns with gooey, sticky caramel glaze, not to mention the variety of quick breads such as banana nut bread, zucchini bread, or apple cinnamon bread.
Oh my goodness, so many delicious sweets! Sometimes I wish I could live off of sweets, it's not even fair. Why do they have to taste so good, yet be so unhealthy? baha 🙁 I'm developing diabetes just writing about all these delicious Amish baked goods. lol
Amish Breakfast Buffet in Lancaster, PA
I haven't been to Lancaster County much in the past ten years, and I miss that place. Having grown up there, it will always be a special place to me!
If you ever find yourself visiting that area, make sure to stop by Shadymaple Smorgasbord for breakfast. They have a huge buffet with lots of authentic PA Dutch food. I've eaten dinner there only once or twice - it was too expensive. However, we loved going there for breakfast.
I haven't been there in a few years, so I can't give you a recent review, but they used to have the most amazing Amish breakfast buffet.
As we indulge in a delightful Amish breakfast, we realize it's not just about the food. It's about embracing a way of life that prioritizes family, community, and the joy found in simple pleasures.
So, the next time you find yourself yearning for a delicious and heartwarming start to the day, consider bringing a touch of Amish tradition to your breakfast routine. After all, it's in the uncomplicated joy of a shared meal that we find the true richness of life.
This post has links to quite a few Amish breakfast recipes that you should try. I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. What is your favorite thing for breakfast?