Looking for a vegan brunch idea? You’re going to love these delicate breakfast nests with layer of hash browns, tofu scramble, and a drizzle of cashew queso. Vegan & gluten-free.
Whenever we travel, I’m always eager to get new vegan brunch ideas. In our town, vegan breakfast options in restaurants are on the slim side. And it’s too bad, because there are few things cozier than going out on Sunday mornings for cups of coffee, waffles, and hearty scrambles.
So when we were in Portland last spring, I took advantage of the vegan options – from brunch through after dinner drinks. I was really taken with the breakfast nests at A.N.D. Café. They were unlike any vegan brunch item I’d gotten in the past.
Since Portland is now many airport stops away, I had to re-create this vegan brunch idea at home.
Vegan breakfast nests with a drizzle of cashew queso
These vegan breakfast nests are made with a layer of hash browns. They are then topped with tofu scramble dotted with onions, bell pepper, garlic, and kale. Then they’re drizzled with a creamy vegan queso.
I can’t think of a better way to start the morning than by gathering with friends for hot coffee or tea and a platter of breakfast nests.
Slice through soft scramble, hit the crunch of the hash browns, and sneak your fork through the nacho cheese on your way off of the plate.
These nests can be served as one or two to a plate for an appetizer, or make it a meal with seitan bacon and fruit.
How to make vegan breakfast nests:
To make them for your next brunch affair, start by grating two baked potatoes. (I got the idea to use baked potato, as opposed to uncooked from a non-vegan recipe at Pioneer Woman.)
Then lightly oil a muffin pan, put three generous tablespoons of grated potato into each cup, and loosely press the potato into a cup shape. (Be careful not to press too hard, though.) Keep in mind that the potato will shrink as it cooks, and so it’s okay for it to spill over the top.
Lightly oil the top of the grated potato and add a dash of salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the tofu scramble.
Remove the muffin tin from the oven, and top the potato mixture with a healthy helping of scramble, until it reaches the top of each tin. Put it back in the oven for ten more minutes.
Once the nests are done, carefully remove the nests from the tin with a spoon. The hash browns may come apart a little as you remove them. Don’t worry about it. They will still be delicious!
Drizzle the nests with a creamy vegan queso (also known as vegan nacho cheese sauce). I recommend using cashew queso (my personal favorite).
However, if you’re looking for a nut-free queso, use the recipe included in these fried vegan nachos. Heads up that the cashew queso is gluten-free. However, the nut-free queso is not. (It uses flour to make a sort of gravy.)
Breakfast Nests in a Creamy Vegan Queso
- 2 medium-sized Russet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for oiling potatoes and muffin tin
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 orange or red bell pepper diced
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 leaf curly kale rib removed, roughly chopped small
- 14 ounces firm tofu drained
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon kala namak black salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 batch creamy cashew queso
- Garnish: cilantro optional
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub two Russet potatoes and prick several times with a fork. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes directly on the oven rack, turning each potato over half-way through. (It's okay if the potatoes are slightly underdone.) Or if you have an air fryer, you can bake the potatoes in the air fryer instead. After they are done cooking, remove them from the oven or air fryer and refrigerate until completely cool.
- Peel and grate the baked potatoes. Lightly oil the cups of a muffin tin. Loosely pack 3 Tablespoons of grated potato into each cup. Lightly oil the potato mixture in the cups. Cover each cup with a pinch of salt and pepper. Put the muffin tin into the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
- While the potatoes cook in the oven, bring a large skillet to a medium heat. Add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to the skillet. Saute bell pepper, onion, and garlic until fragrant and translucent, about five minutes. Add kale to the pan and continue cooking until it wilts, a few more minutes. Crumble the drained firm tofu into the pan. Add turmeric, black salt, paprika, cumin, and nutritional yeast flakes. Fully combine the tofu mixture with the spices, so that they are spread evenly throughout the scramble, and continue cooking for about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the muffin tin from the oven and cover the grated potato with tofu scramble, until the scramble reaches the top of each cup. Put back in the oven and bake for ten more minutes.
- Once the Breakfast Nests are done, remove them from the oven and carefully remove each nest with a spoon. Cover with a drizzle of Creamy Vegan Queso (link to recipe above), garnish with cilantro, and serve.