(I'm neither English nor American so I might mix some things up.)

At home we usually have cereal or bread for breakfast. I really like English/American breakfast with eggs, beans and bacon, though. Do you have any suggestions about how to make a lighter version of that kind of breakfast for people who think that such a heavy/greasy meal is too much in the morning?

  • 3
    Consider that American breakfast is done that way because they usually eat breakfast, a light lunch, and dinner. American breakfasts doesn't match well with European lunches.
    – apaderno
    Jul 23, 2010 at 3:56
  • 4
    Never heard of beans as an american breakfast item and I've lived all over the U.S. Jul 23, 2010 at 4:05
  • 2
    I think he's talking about the 'traditional' English breakfast: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_breakfast Jul 23, 2010 at 4:27
  • Sacrilege! There is no such thing. Plus, we don't eat beans for breakfast.
    – hobodave
    Jul 23, 2010 at 5:24
  • @hobodave : he mentions English/American breakfast in the question (not the title), which often includes beans : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_breakfast ; I'd have replaced the beans w/ potatoes or even just toast for it to be more "American".
    – Joe
    Jul 23, 2010 at 9:09

4 Answers 4


But...that's how we got to be Americans =). Some suggestions:

  • Turkey bacon is (comparatively) light and very little grease.

  • Use one egg and mix in some water/milk, use a non-stick pan so you don't have any excuse to add in butter.

  • Substitute beans/whatever else with some fruit

  • That's some really good suggestions, exactly what I was looking for. Some of the things (like the Turkey bacon) are not obvious to everyone.
    – tobiw
    Jul 23, 2010 at 4:47
  • +1 I've been using turkey rashers almost entirely in place of bacon for ages, and would recommend at least trying them.
    – DMA57361
    Jul 23, 2010 at 7:20

I don't know about "lighter", but one of the thing missing from what you've listed are vegetables. Even a British or Irish "Full Breakfast" sometimes includes grilled tomato.

I'll often cook up some potatoes with onion and bell peppers and garlic ("home fries"). The trick is to pre-cook the potatoes, so you don't have to fry them on the stovetop for too long. (I bake up a couple of extra whenever I make baked potatoes; let cool, wrap in foil, then shash in the fridge)

You can also add vegetables to your eggs -- an omelet or scrambled eggs with mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, etc.

If you're scrambling the eggs, you can remove some of the yolks if you're trying to reduce fat -- I'm not a fan of all whites, but one whole egg + 2 egg whites is about the same amount off food as two eggs without affecting things too badly.

You could also substitute out the beans for toast (whole wheat for the goal of being healthier), if you wanted to be more American.


Counterintuitively, substituting Canadian bacon (peameal bacon) for regular bacon will reduce the fat and calorie count.

  • And tastes excellent!
    – sdg
    Jul 23, 2010 at 16:56

Not sure that you will get what you like from a "lighter" version. I wouldn't. My favorite breakfast is a couple of eggs over easy, 1/4 lb of kielbasa sliced, browned for a moment then steamed, and "home-fried" potatoes. I use very little butter for the potatoes and the eggs because I don't like them greasy.

The point of the traditional Anglo-Saxon breakfast is to be hearty and filling, because lunch for the working class is typically light because it is carried into work in a lunch pail.

To answer your question ..

  • Reduce the amount of food .. that might reduce the "heaviness", but will also miss the point of the good, filling breakfast.

  • Poach or scramble the eggs rather than frying them.

  • Scramble "egg beaters" or egg whites only instead of whole eggs.

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