Everything you need to make the most important meal of the day delicious.
I normally try to turn in fairly early, so any time I’m at a party past midnight, I have a tendency to overdo it on the drinks. That can make New Year’s a dangerous time. The obvious solution is just to have a little self-control and alternate booze and water, but, despite my best intentions, I often wake up on January 1 a little worse for the wear.
If you, like me, can’t guarantee you won’t wake up hung over on New Year’s Day, we can at least ensure that we have the right recipes on hand to nurse ourselves back to health. To that end, we’ve got 20 hangover-friendly breakfast recipes for New Year’s Day, from simple, homey cures like fried eggs and pho ga to total gut-busters, like croque madames and Doritos migas.
If you’re looking for a simple breakfast that’s doable even when you’re suffering, it’s hard to beat a plate of fried eggs. We have a version to suit every taste: puffy, extra-crisp fried eggs (linked below); sunny-side up (for the utmost simplicity); or over easy (for perfectly cooked whites every time).
Fried eggs aren’t hard, but doing them well takes a little more finesse than I’m capable of after the wildest nights out. On the other hand, I can pretty much always muster the strength to make fluffy scrambled eggs. As with fried eggs, we have a range of scrambled-egg recipes to choose from if a classic fluffy scramble isn’t what your aching brain is craving: Varying the heat level and the amount of stirring can make eggs that are just slightly soft and barely set, or super soft and spoonable.
Need something to serve with your eggs? Potatoes are a great way to bulk up your breakfast, and you can’t go wrong with perfectly crispy hash browns. When we’re feeling a bit too lazy to do the cooking ourselves, we like to use a waffle iron, which automatically ensures a crunchy exterior and smooth, creamy interior. Moisture is the enemy of hash browns, so squeeze as much water out of the shredded potatoes as you possibly can before cooking them.
My signature move when I have a hangover is to make scrambled eggs with an amount of cheese that a more reasonable person might describe as insane. This recipe should give you a good idea of what I’m talking about. Here, scrambled eggs are packed with so much mozzarella (along with a little feta and dill) that you might confuse them for queso fundido at first glance, before getting sandwiched into fluffy little drop biscuits. Making biscuits might sound like too much work, especially for New Year’s Day, but this version takes only 15 minutes of active work.
If I happened to have a professional cook around to make me breakfast on New Year’s Day, I might ask for a plate of traditional migas. But honestly, if I’m on my own at home, there’s no way I’m going to fry up a batch of homemade tortilla chips. If you feel the same, go lowbrow and use crumbled Doritos instead, mixing them with scrambled eggs, onions, jalapeños, tomatoes, and plenty of pepper Jack cheese.
I love to drown a hangover in eggs and cheese, and I know many of you feel the same. But vegan eaters get drunk, too, which is where this vegan variation on migas—made with silken tofu, for a creaminess similar to what you’ll find in soft-scrambled eggs—comes in. We shallow-fry the chips to make the recipe a little easier; they don’t need to be perfectly crisp.
After a really debaucherous night, my stomach can’t usually handle anything too intense, so I prefer a mild breakfast to a greasy plate of eggs, cheese, and potatoes. One of my top choices is yogurt topped with granola—and if you really want to treat yourself, homemade granola is the way to go. This one uses rolled oats soaked in a surprising ingredient—buttermilk, which tenderizes the oats and seeds and helps prevent excess browning—combined with raw pumpkin seeds, flax, chia seeds, almonds, pecans, dried apricots, tart cherries, and blueberries. Yes, it takes some time to make, but the effort involved is minimal, and you’ll have plenty of granola left over for future mornings.
More into the gut-busting side of the hangover-cure spectrum? Ignore the rest of our list and go straight for this monstrosity, an epic brunch burger constructed from a crispy smashed patty placed on a toasted, buttered English muffin with bacon, avocado, Colby Jack cheese, a fried egg (!), and spicy jalapeño Hollandaise. It’s rich, messy, and over the top, and it’s enough to scare any hangover into submission.
Another ultra-rich option, the croque madame is a brunch classic that’s made simply by setting a fried egg atop a croque monsieur. If you don’t eat eggs, or just don’t want to bother with the trouble of making them, the latter is itself a plenty rich sandwich, made with ham, Dijon mustard, and both grated cheese and a silky Mornay sauce.
My not-at-all-expert opinion is that carbs are a necessity for soaking up booze, and these tacos have plenty of them. We make them by stuffing warm corn tortillas with sautéed sweet potatoes, then topping off the tacos with fried eggs. When you break into the yolk, it’ll blend with the hot sauce and crema to make a simple but satisfying sauce.
Huevos rancheros—a plate of fried tortillas, runny fried eggs, and plenty of salsa—is an easy dish that takes only half an hour, even if you include the time to make our homemade tomato and red-chili salsa. It’s totally manageable on a hangover, but on New Year’s Day, no one will blame you for simplifying the recipe even further by using jarred salsa.
There are times for elegant French omelettes and times for hearty American ones, and I think you know which is more appropriate after you’ve had one too many glasses of sparkling wine. Far from their creamy, softly set French cousins, diner-style omelettes feature big, fluffy curds; avoid overworking the eggs as they cook to achieve the right consistency. Feel free to stuff the omelette however you want, but diced ham and cheddar is a good, straightforward choice.
I used to live right next door to a McDonald’s, so I’ve eaten more Egg McMuffins in my life than I’m proud of. These days, if I’m craving those same flavors in a better-quality package, I just make the sandwich myself, using this ingenious recipe. There are a couple tricks to keep in mind: Cook the egg in a Mason jar lid ring placed in a skillet to give it the perfect round shape, and wrap the sandwich in foil after assembly, which helps melt the cheese and soften the English muffin.
There are few breakfast items I love as much as creamy sausage gravy, no matter what kind of night it’s been. Our recipe is fairly standard—roux, pork sausage, milk—but gives you the option of adding chopped fresh sage and red pepper flakes for extra flavor. Don’t forget the biscuits! Our two-ingredient cream biscuit recipe is too easy to skip.
Shakshuka is an impressive enough dish for a fancy brunch, yet simple enough to make on a rough morning. It’s also extremely versatile—our version is made with charred onion, red pepper, and chilies; spices like paprika and cumin; and, of course, tomatoes and eggs, but you can vary the aromatics and spices in accordance with your pantry and your preferences. Spoon some of the sauce over the egg whites before covering the pan to help them cook at the same speed as the yolks.
Okay, not everyone is going to want to start the New Year off with raw eggs. But those who’ve had it before know that this Japanese dish is rich, comforting, and incredibly easy to make, so it’s a great choice for New Year’s Day breakfast. All you have to do is microwave leftover rice; mix it with a raw egg, soy sauce, salt, and a pinch of MSG; and top with furikake and an extra raw egg yolk.
Pho is typically eaten for breakfast in Vietnam, and chicken soup is a beloved cure-all in the West, so a morning bowl of chicken pho makes perfect sense to us as a hangover cure. The traditional technique of simmering the soup for hours is a daunting prospect even on a good day, but if you have a pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot, you can make a totally respectable version in just 30 minutes.
Sometimes a sweet breakfast is just what you need to start fighting off a nasty hangover, and this upside-down blueberry muffin does the job well. It consists of a thick layer of jammy fruit complemented by a tender muffin base; once baked in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, it’s ready to be cut into wedges and served warm. A pinch of lemon zest and a bit of coriander highlight the blueberries’ flavor without overpowering the cake.
This savory French toast recipe turns out spicy and funky thanks to store-bought green curry paste, which we jazz up with fresh herbs, lime juice, and fish sauce. Combine the paste with coconut milk, then pour the mixture into a pan and soak the bread in it for at least one hour to ensure the curry flavors get right to its core. After that, there’s nothing to do but fry it up, preferably with a couple of eggs on the side.
When you aren’t at your best, whether due to a hangover or a persistent cold, rice porridge is a great dish to have in your back pocket. This Bengali porridge consists of jasmine rice and lentils, flavored with ginger and turmeric and simmered in chicken stock. Once the grains are tender, add potatoes and chicken thighs to the pot to cook slowly, and prepare a bright cilantro chutney to cut through and balance the rich porridge. It’s a dish that will cure your hangover in record time, but you’ll crave it even when you’re feeling perfectly fine.
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