Today is my 20th wedding anniversary. Guess what I’m doing? I’m recipe-testing and trying to discourage my 14 year-old daughter from changing her writing style from Laura Ingalls Wilder to E.A. Poe. American Literature has somehow caused her to want to make a change to the macabre. Yep! Life only gets more glamourous the older you get. In truth, you become more practical the older you get. Since we’re still working on building our forever home, lavish vacations aren’t in the budget. My “make ahead” Western Omelet in Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes, though? Totally in the budget. They’re actually the budget’s favorite child.
Because the word “budget” is often perceived to be a four-letter word, I want to clarify something: budgets are a must, no matter who you are. The twins have to adhere to a budget just like we do. While I highly encourage you to create one, I acknowledge that I’m not a finance blogger, so I’ll just leave it at that.
In the meantime, I’m going to show you how I make my budget- and time-friendly breakfast potatoes.
What Makes this Recipe Time-Friendly?
Slow cookers are like babysitters for your meals. Instead of laboring over a recipe, it allows you to throw it in and- assuming you remember to turn it on- it putters away doing the work for you. Whoever thought of this contraption is a genius, if you ask me. So it is with these baked potatoes. First things first, you need to create a base for your potatoes to rest upon. I create this, very smartly, (if I do say so myself) with a rack of bunched up aluminum foil. Just make two 5-inch long coils of foil and arrange them in the bottom of your slow cooker’s ceramic insert.
This step is vital in the prevention of burned potato bottoms. You’re going to cook these spuds over a decent amount of time without moving them, which is bound to cause burned sides if left to its own devices. The “rack” props them up. This, along with the water we’re going to add, provides a buffer against the potatoes, which keeps them from scorching and drying out. Add about 2 inches of water to the slow cooker and your base is prepared.
Season the Spuds
The peel of a potato contains nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin C, as well as iron and calcium. So, why not eat them? Not only will you get your nutrient boost, you also have an excuse to be lazy. No need to rummage through your kitchen drawer for the potato peeler. Just scrub your spuds clean with a brush and dry them.
Grab a few squares of heavy duty aluminum foil and set each of your potatoes into the center of one of these squares. Drizzle a 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil over each one and sprinkle a generous pinch of salt and a couple of cranks of freshly ground black pepper. I mean, if we’re going to eat the peels, we may as well season them, right? I allow a little pile of seasoning to accumulate on the side of the potato. This way, I can rub the bottom (unseasoned) peel in it without having to dip back into the salt cellar.
Now you just wrap the potatoes tightly in their foil jackets, jenga them into a single layer in the slow cooker and put the lid on. Cook the potatoes on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8.
My preferred method is to prep the potatoes just before I bed down for the night and have them cooking while I sleep. In the morning, I wake up to fluffy, warm potatoes. But, this will also work while you’re at work. Come home to “baked” potatoes that you barely even touched- nothing can beat that.
A Western Omelet made easy…and ahead?
Who would say no to a having a Western omelet ready to eat with minimal effort? If you can use a microwave, you can eat a Western omelet any time you’re craving it.
A Western omelet- or a Denver omelet- is made up of eggs, veggies (usually peppers and onions), and a meat of some kind- typically ham. I like my Western omelet to be colorful because I have kiddos who eat with their eyes.
Use your chef’s knife to finely dice red, yellow, and green bell peppers first. Do the same with the red onion. *A fine dice is important because these omelets are going to be baked in individual servings. You don’t want big, honking pieces of veggies in your muffin-sized omelets. Nor do you want to serve those to littles who may choke on larger pieces.*
Usually 1/2 of a medium bell pepper and a 1/4 of a large red onion are enough to get a 1/4 of each of these veggies. That’s how much you’ll need for one dozen Western omelet muffins.
Run the knife through a handful of fresh cilantro to give it a rough chop and that’s it for the veggies.
Dice about 2 ounces (I had 8 thin slices) of cooked ham. If you’re not a pork-eater use cooked turkey or chicken, instead. The cold cuts you buy from your deli are perfect for this!
Once all of your mix-ins are prepped, add them to a mixing bowl and stir to combine them.
Fresh veggies- like these- contain water. When cooked, that water wants to escape. Typically, I’d recommend sauteing them to extract as much water as possible, because that’s what helps achieve a fluffy omelet. But, because I’m doing a make ahead situation, I want to keep as much water in there as I can. That way, after reheating the Western omelets, I’m not left with a fossilized version of an omelet.
Mix your Eggs
Crack a dozen large eggs into a large mixing bowl and add a 1/4 cup of water to them. That additional water, when heated during the baking process, will evaporate and leave you with fluffier eggs.
Season your eggs with kosher salt, garlic powder, ground cumin, chili powder, and black pepper. Whisk everything together until the eggs run smoothly.
Now it’s just a matter of assembling your Western omelets. In a greased muffin tin, portion out 2 tablespoons of the veggie-ham mix. If you have leftover mix, just divide it evenly between the muffin cups.
Pour about a 1/4 cup of the beaten eggs into each of the veggie-filled cups. Again, if you have any remaining egg mixture, divide it evenly between the cups.
Bake the omelets for 15 minutes in a 350°F oven, or until they puff up and the centers are no longer jiggly.
Cool and freeze…or don’t.
Once the Western omelets are baked, allow them to cool on the counter for 5 minutes- they’ll deflate slightly, but that’s okay. After they’ve cooled, use an offset spatula to remove the omelets from the muffin tin and transfer them to a cookie sheet or a platter. Allow them to cool completely in the fridge. This will give the omelets a chance to firm up, which will make wrapping them for storage easier.
If you have family members who eat a different times of the morning, wrap each omelet individually. For myself and the kiddos, I wrap them individually because they usually eat two, whereas I only eat one. Wrap them well in plastic film and pack them in a freezer-safe storage container.
For the Soldier…Veteran…I mean, Hector (I really do need to figure out how to refer to him now that he’s retired); I pack two omelets into a smaller food storage container. That way he can grab his container and pack it in his lunchbox in the mornings.
Everything can either go in the fridge if you’re going to eat them within 48 hours, or in the freezer for up to two months.
To heat and serve:
To reheat the Western omelets: unwrap them and place the omelet in a microwave-safe bowl. Use the plastic it was wrapped in to cover the bowl and heat the omelet for 30 seconds on high. Repeat this once or twice more until the omelet is heated through. I prefer to heat mine in 30 second bursts to keep it from exploding, which has happened. Exploding eggs stink. So, don’t explode your omelets.
After you’ve heated your omelet, use a fork to mash (scramble) it, or eat it as is.
Assemble your Western Omelet-filled Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
(say that five times fast)
Because I’m passionate about my cheese, I don’t add it to my omelets. I want it to be as gooey as possible, so after cutting a slit into my potato and pushing its sides in to break up the meat, I add a generous pinch of sharp cheddar to my spud. Because that potato is scalding hot, it melts the cheese with no help from me. If you don’t like cheese, just leave it out.
I top the potato with the Western omelet, which I’ve reheated and scrambled a bit. Scrambling the omelet ensures I get a bit of it in each forkful. Now just top your omelet with more cheese, sour cream (or salsa, or both!), and some fresh cilantro and your make-ahead breakfast is served!
Back when the Soldier was deployed and we had co-ops for homeschool, this recipe was a lifesaver. I’d plop a Western omelet potato in a bowl and the kids would eat it in the car as we waited for classes to start. The fact that I woke up to warm potatoes- ready to be topped and eaten- made me breathe a sigh of relief on more than one occasion.
I hope this recipe gives you respite from the busy day’s schedule- and the budgets- ahead. Be sure to pin it and share it after you’ve enjoyed it!
**This post contains affiliate links. To find out what that means to you, please read my disclosure page**
Make Ahead Western Omelets in Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
- slow cooker
- muffin tin
Slow Cooker "Baked" Potatoes
- 4 medium Russet (baking) potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
- kosher salt and pepper
Make-Ahead Western Omelets
- 12 large eggs
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup of each minced green, red, and yellow bell pepper (about 1/2 of a medium bell pepper)
- 1/4 cup minced red onion (about 1/4 of a large onion)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more to garnish (1/2 a bunch)
- 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper, optional (1/2 of a medium pepper)
- 2 ounces diced cooked ham (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- sour cream
For the Slow Cooker "Baked" Potatoes
- Create a rack for the potatoes to rest on by molding two pieces of aluminum foil into two 5" long coils. Arrange the coils in the bottom of your slow cooker's ceramic insert. Pour 2" inches of water into the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Place each of your potatoes into the center of separate squares a heavy duty aluminum foil. Drizzle a 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil over each potato and season each generously with salt and black pepper. Cover the slow cooker and cook your potatoes on high heat for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Once the cooking time is up, you can reduce the slow cooker's temperature to warm to hold the potatoes until you're ready to eat them.
Prepare the Make-Ahead Western Omelets
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease a muffin tin with olive oil spray or non-stick cooking spray. Place the pan in the oven as it heats while you mix your eggs.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, water, salt, cumin, granulated garlic powder, chili powder, and black pepper until the eggs run smooth. Set the eggs aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the bell peppers, red onion, cilantro, and ham. Carefully, remove the hot pan from the oven. Portion out 2 tablespoons of the veggie-ham mix into each cup in the muffin tin (if you have leftover mix, just divide it evenly between the muffin cups)
- Pour a 1/4 cup of the egg mixture into each of the veggie-filled cups. Again, if you have any remaining egg mixture, divide it evenly between the cups. Bake the omelets for 15 minutes, or until they puff up and the centers are no longer jiggly.
Store for Later
- Once the Western omelets have finished baking, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the counter for 5 minutes- they'll deflate slightly- that's okay.
- After they've cooled, use an offset spatula to remove the omelets from the muffin tin and transfer them to a cookie sheet or a platter. Place the pan in the refrigerator and let the omelets cool completely in the fridge. This will make wrapping them for storage easier. Once the omelets are firm, wrap them tightly in plastic film and pack them in a freezer-safe storage container. Store the omelets in the fridge for 48 hours, or in the freezer for 2 months.
Reheating the Western Omelets
- When you're ready to enjoy the omelets, unwrap them and place the omelet in a microwave-safe bowl. Use the same plastic it was wrapped in to cover the bowl and heat the omelet in 30 second bursts, on high, until warmed through. After you've re-heated the omelet, use a fork to scramble it, or eat it as is.
Assemble the Western Omelet-filled Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
- Use a knife to cut a slit into one of the cooked potatoes. Push together the sides of the potato to open it slightly. Sprinkle a generous pinch of cheddar cheese onto the hot potato.
- Top the potato with the re-heated Western omelet, more cheese, sour cream and/or salsa, and fresh cilantro. Enjoy while hot.
Here are more of my favorite
Make Ahead recipes: