Slow-cooker breakfasts worth waking up for: Huevos rancheros, cake and more

Imagine this: waking up, walking into the kitchen and having a freshly made coffee cake or still-soft granola waiting for you. It’s not only possible, it’s easy with these brilliant slow-cooker breakfast recipes. So, put away the cereal and try one this week.

Related: 10 tips for using your slow cooker to get the best results

Grace Parisi

Slow-Cooker Huevos Rancheros

For a supremely delicious (and supremely easy!) one-pot dish, tostadas are layered with chorizo, cheese and a yummy sauce in a slow cooker and set on high for 4 hours. Then the eggs are added to poach in the mixture for the last 30 minutes.

Casey Barber

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Biscuit Breakfast Casserole

This time-saving pairing of everyone's favorite pop-and-serve biscuits and already-ready pulled pork, along with your favorite BBQ sauce and a little bit of veggies and cheese for good measure, is destined for brunch menu greatness. Throw it in the slow cooker and you're good to go!

Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Crock-Pot Coconut Cinnamon Oatmeal with Dates

Whether you're looking to feed a big crowd or need delicious breakfast before work, this overnight oatmeal will make mornings so much easier.

Grace Parisi

Slow-Cooker Lumberjack Breakfast Bake

Combine layers of shredded potatoes, sausage, cheese, onions, peppers and eggs, set your slow cooker on low before bedtime and by 7:00 am, breakfast is ready. For a more elegant presentation, carefully invert the finished dish onto a platter, invert again right-side-up and cut into wedges.

Casey Barber

Slow-Cooker Breakfast Sweet Potatoes

These loaded sweet potatoes bake overnight in the slow cooker until they're soft and tender. In the morning, they're ready to be topped with Greek yogurt and a host of healthy fruits, nuts, and more. High in fiber and antioxidants, but low in fat and calories, it's the smart and sweet way to start your morning. Feel free to make a big batch of sweet potatoes at once. Zap the cooked potatoes in the microwave to eat them all week.

Casey Barber / TODAY

Make-Ahead Slow-Cooker Maple Oatmeal

Perfect for house guests, serve it with a quick help-yourself toppings bar the next morning and you don't have to worry about who's an oatmeal purist and who likes to load it up with all the fruit, nuts and chocolate chips they can handle.

Debbie Koenig

Slow-Cooker Polenta with Spinach, Parmesan and Pancetta

For a creamy breakfast that's savory instead of sweet, consider this easy 4-ingredient polenta that's flavored with pancetta, aka Italian bacon. Even better: top it with a yolk-oozing fried egg.

Julie Evink / Julie's Eats and Treats

Crock Pot Tater Tot Egg Bake

If you’re looking for something heartier as an easy breakfast, check out this dish from Julie Evink of Julie’s Eats and Treats. It’s a fun spin on the traditional egg bake, swapping in tater tots and plenty of Canadian bacon—all prepared in the slow cooker.

Mary Younkin / Barefeet in the Kitchen

Slow-Cooker Granola

Bags of artisan handmade granola go for upwards of $10 in stores, so it makes money-saving sense to make your own. And this homemade Slow-Cooker Granola couldn’t be easier, says Mary Younkin, who specializes in simple, scratch cooking at her blog, Barefeet in the Kitchen. The granola is so easy and crazy-good, she made two batches in a day the first time she tried it.

Trish Rosenquist / Mom on Time Out

Slow-Cooker Yogurt

There are $50 yogurt machines out there, but psst, you don’t need it, says Trish Rosenquist, author of the blog Mom on Time Out, who clues us in how to make yogurt with a slow cooker. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it situation—there’s temperature-taking involved and some general babysitting — but it’s a low-cost way to make a huge batch of fresh yogurt, she says. And you can even customize the texture.

Amy Atherton / Amy's Healthy Baking

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

Just imagine waking up to the smell of this moist coffee cake from Amy Atherton of Amy’s Healthy Baking. The secret to making this work in a Crock-Pot, she says, is the addition of lemon juice, which reacts with the baking soda and turns out a taller, fluffier cake.

Jennifer Draper / Crock Pot Gourmet

Slow-Cooker Blueberry Vanilla Pancakes

With all that batter-making, flipping and cleaning up, pancakes are not normally a fast weekday breakfast option. But these Crock-Pot pancakes from Crock Pot Gourmet's savvy Jennifer Draper make it possible. Her recipe makes one giant pancake, which you can serve and slice. Try it during a busy week—or as an extra-lazy Saturday brunch.

Liz Della Croce / The Lemon Bowl

Slow Cooker Banana Nut Oatmeal

Oatmeal in a Crock-Pot is already pure genius—no more messes from boiling-over oats on the stove or microwave—and this Slow Cooker Banana Nut recipe from The Lemon Bowl's Liz Della Croce takes it up an extra notch. The past winner of TODAY’s Home Chef Challenge goes above and beyond by combining healthy oats with the flavors of our favorite quick bread. Get even more slow-cooker oatmeal inspiration here.

Taylor Kiser of Food Faith Fitness / TODAY Food Club

Slow Cooker Quinoa Energy Bars

Today Food Club member Taylor Kiser of Food Faith Fitness makers her healthy breakfast bars with a combination of protein-packed quinoa, chia seeds and almond butter.

Kellie Hemmerly of The Suburban Soapbox / TODAY Food Club

Slow Cooker Spiced Coconut Steel Cut Oatmeal

Today Food Club member Kellie Hemmerly of The Suburban Soapbox upgrades steel cut oats with coconut cream, cinnamon, vanilla bean and nutmeg.

RELATED: 10 more slow-cooker breakfasts you'll dream about all night

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