Breakfast Surprise (Egg and Veggie Skillet Recipe)
This healthy breakfast surprise is made in a cast iron for a deliciously easy campfire breakfast idea. It’s also the perfect meal for camping.
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Health breakfast surprise is a family-favorite campfire breakfast.
Also known as mountain man breakfast, this egg, hash brown, and veggie skillet is a dish I grew up eating as a kid.
Essentially, you take any leftover veggies and potatoes you have from the night before (you can also use frozen hash browns instead), reheat them over a fire using a cast iron skillet or griddle, then scramble some eggs on top.
While a true mountain man breakfast usually adds sausage or bacon, I try to avoid using processed meats. However, if you do want a little more protein, you could add in leftover ground turkey.
In addition to being a great way to use up leftover ingredients, breakfast surprise is a fun, family-friendly breakfast idea that can be prepared when camping or in the comfort of your own home (or cabin).
Endlessly customizable based on what you have on hand.
Uses up leftover ingredients to avoid food waste.
Fun camping breakfast idea, but can also be made at home.
Ingredients Used to Make this Cast Iron Egg and Veggie Skillet
Eggs: Any eggs will work. If you’re camping and don’t want to bring whole eggs, you can use pasteurized carton eggs instead. But I think the flavor is best with fresh whole eggs.
Hash browns or potatoes: Any potatoes will work: leftover roasted or mashed potatoes, leftover cooked sweet potatoes, or frozen hash browns or home fries.
Veggies: Throw in whatever you have on hand. Leftover vegetables are easiest, but you can also saute up fresh ones too. Some easy options include tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and peppers. But really any vegetables will work.
Cheese: While optional, a little bit of cheese at the end makes this skillet SO good. Again, feel free to add in whatever you already have on hand: cheddar, swiss, guda, mozzarella, feta, goat cheese, etc.
Spices: I like to keep it simple with just a dash of salt and pepper. But feel free to get creative with different spice blends.
What to add on top of breakfast surprise
If you’re camping, no need to go crazy with toppings. But when we make this at our cabin, we like to set out a few different options so you can put your own personal twist on the flavor.
Some topping ideas include:
Diced green chiles
Ketchup (opt for one low in added sugars)
Fresh herbs, like dill or parsley
Tips for making Breakfast Surprise (a.k.a Mountain Man Breakfast)
Start your fire 30-45 minutes before cooking. You want the fire to be burning low and the coals to be white-hot when cooking.
Use a grill grate over the fire to place your skillet on.
Depending on how many servings you’re making, it can be helpful to either have a big mixing bowl to mix everything together in, or two large cast iron skillets. We used a combination of a cast iron skillet and a cast iron griddle, both from Lodge.
Make sure to use hot pads and proper grilling utensils when cooking.
Helpful equipment to have when cooking over a campfire
If you plan on cooking over a campfire there are a few tools that you’ll want to think about investing in:
Of course, don’t forget about cleaning your area well – especially if you’re sleeping there at night! No one wants a bear rooting through their campsite!
Commonly asked questions for making this healthy cast iron egg and veggie skillet
What if I don’t have access to a campfire?
This recipe can also be made over a standard grill on on the stove.
Is this low-carb or keto-friendly?
You can easily adjust this recipe to make it more low-carb or keto-friendly. Simply swap out the potatoes for more non-starchy vegetables.
Can I make a vegan version of this egg skillet?
Absolutely! Use silken tofu instead of eggs, leave out the cheese (or use a vegan substitute), and make sure to use oil rather than butter. Just keep in mind that you’ll for sure want to add some seasonings to the tofu. I like using a mix of nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and turmeric.
How many servings does this recipe make?
As written, it makes about 4 servings. However, this is more of a recipe idea than a set formula. So feel free to adjust the amount of eggs, potatoes, and veggies based on how many people you plan on serving.
Kodiak Pancake Mix – All you need is this mix and water for protein-packed pancakes. You can make these in a skillet over a fire, grill, or hot plate.
Almond Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins – These nutritious muffins are easy to make the day before you leave on your trip and enjoy as an easy breakfast or snack. For more filling power, bring some extra almond butter with you to slather on top.
If you tried this campfire breakfast surprise, or any other recipe on the blog, let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!
1poundof frozen hash browns or leftover potatoesabout 3 or 3.5 cups
Fresh or leftover vegetables of choiceadd as much as you want
Salt and pepperto taste
½cupof cheeseany kind
Optional toppings of choice
Diced jalapenos or green chiles
Fresh herbssuch as parsley or dill
Get your fire going about 30-45 minutes before you want to start cooking. This will allow time for the fire to burn down a bit, leaving white hot coals. Make sure you have a grill grate over the fire.
While you’re getting the fire ready, start prepping all your ingredients: whisk the eggs, chop the vegetables, set out the cheese.
Once the fire is ready, carefully place the cast iron skillet on the grate. At this point there can be low flames, but you don’t want them as high as the grate.
Add a drizzle of avocado oil or a pat of butter into the skillet. Once the fat is hot, add in your potatoes or hash browns. Cook until browned. If using leftover potatoes this should take about 10 minutes. If using frozen hash browns or potatoes, it could take closer to 20 minutes.
Depending on the size of your skillet, either push the potatoes to the side of the skillet and add in the other veggies, or transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and then add the vegetables to the skillet. You may need to add another splash of oil.
Cook vegetables until heated through, about 5-7 minutes, and then pour eggs over the vegetables. Push eggs around occasionally to scramble them, adding cheese just when the eggs are almost set.
At this point, if your skillet is large enough, add potatoes back into the skillet and toss everything together. Otherwise, pour eggs and veggies into the large bowl with the potatoes and mix.
Serve with toppings of choice.
Depending on how many servings you plan on making, you’ll either need two cast iron skillets, one really deep skillet, or a mixing bowl on the side. While you can use a dutch oven, it’s a bit harder to scramble eggs in than a cast iron skillet.
I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!
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