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Few breakfast foods elicit as impassioned a response as the humble egg. You either love it or you hate it—and if you do love it, you likely have a favorite prep method you rarely deviate from. While there’s something great about an ingredient that offers so much variety completely on its own—okay, plus a pinch of flaky sea salt—there’s a lot you can do to kick your omelet up a notch with only a couple of pantry staples. We asked a few experts to back us up on this. 

From protein-packed shakshukas to frittatas made up of crispy leftovers, these foodies’ go-to recipes offer plenty of inspiration for what to do the next time you’re staring at a carton of eggs. Consider your next brunch (or work-at-home lunch or even dinner) sorted. 

Summertime Frittata

Diala Canelo’s love of this simple dish started with a trip to Florence, where she ordered something similar and was immediately inspired to whip up her own take. Now the author of the upcoming Diala’s Kitchen cookbook makes it when she needs brunch or dinner in a pinch. “You can switch it up by using any vegetables or cheeses you have handy,” she suggests. Substitute in feta instead of the mozzarella or goat cheese, for example, and try zucchini or roasted mushrooms if you don’t have peppers.   

Spicy Chickpea Shakshuka 

“This is one of the ultimate comfort foods I discovered in Israel,” says food writer and recipe developer Jake Cohen. The poached eggs roasted in a spicy tomato sauce are prime for scooping up with pita or toasted bread—plus the chickpeas add an extra kick of protein. Break out the skillet and treat yourself to a slow-cooked breakfast on your next lazy Sunday morning. 

Kale aux Lardons With Soft-Steamed Eggs

Susan Spungen’s bistro-inspired salad is the ultimate luxurious lunch. The Open Kitchen author swears by the egg-steaming technique: They peel easier and it makes batch cooking a cinch. “It has all the food groups and is fairly quick to assemble,” she adds. Pro tip: Add time in 30-second increments if you prefer yours on the hard-boiled side. 

Individual Shakshuka With Hominy and Feta 

There’s a reason this dish is such a popular one: It’s made up of pantry staples and is ripe for freestyling. Spoon Fork Bacon’s Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park’s rendition uses hominy, a coarsely ground corn, as its base. For those days when you’re working from your kitchen table and need to take an email break, whip up an individual portion; they recommend adding some fresh arugula on top to cram in those nutrients and make it a heartier meal. 

Green Frittata

“I love to make this for lunch whenever I have a mix of leftover vegetables from dinner, some odds and ends in the fridge, or just a ton of greens I need to figure out what to do with,” says Fanny Singer, author of the recently released culinary memoir, Always Home. It’s the answer to your brimming CSA box and newly minted gardening hobby; plus any extras make a great vegetarian sandwich filling the next day. Singer made hers with a bunch of mizuna and beet greens from the victory garden her mom planted at the beginning of California’s shelter-in-place. 

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