Breakfast Surprise (Egg and Veggie Skillet Recipe)

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). 

Get even more healthy egg recipe ideas here!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • High in protein.
  • Delicious way to get in veggies in the morning.
  • 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:

  • Fresh avocado
  • Hot sauce
  • Diced green chiles 
  • Salsa
  • 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.
Egg and veggie skillet cooked over a fire

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.

More healthy camping breakfast ideas

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!

Healthy 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.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Breakfast
Keyword: Breakfast surprise, Healthy campfire breakfast recipe
Servings: 4


  • 8 eggs
  • 1 pound of frozen hash browns or leftover potatoes about 3 or 3.5 cups
  • Fresh or leftover vegetables of choice add as much as you want
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup of cheese any kind

Optional toppings of choice

  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Diced jalapenos or green chiles
  • Hot sauce
  • Fresh herbs such 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.

Don’t forget to pin for later!

Breakfast Surprise (Egg and Veggie Skillet Recipe)

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

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!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

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Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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