Fire makes everything taste better – including breakfast and brunch! So bring out the grill for this cast iron breakfast skillet. It’s filled with veggie sausage and a hearty tofu scramble. You can easily make it your own by using your preferred vegetables.
Finish with hash browns or fruit. Vegan and gluten-free.
You may recall that lo about a month ago, a weather event hit our area. We were without power for 5 days, and had lots of chances to get reunited with our outdoor grill again. From that experience, I shared several camping meal ideas – for breakfast through dinner.
One item that was a regular favorite that week was a cast iron breakfast skillet.
Well, as “luck” would have it, our power outages have continued with some regularity. Thanks to more storms and a delicate electrical system in the area, we’ve lost power about 5 more times since. Thankfully, the longest recent outage has only been 6 hours.
Here’s one silver lining, though. That’s given me ample opportunity to perfect the breakfast skillet and put together all of the details for you.
This grilled breakfast is a full meal for four in individual mini cast iron skillets.
It includes savory veggie sausage, beautifully browned & toothsome tofu, onions that have a bit of sweetness around the edges, and a dose of vegetables to get the day rolling.
Along with seasonings like cumin, ancho chili powder, and paprika, the fire itself adds a wonderful edge to the meal.
Finish it off with some grilled potatoes or hash browns, and you’ve got a breakfast that makes you glad you got outside.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to enjoy your cast iron breakfast skillet somewhere pretty – by a beach or a mountain cabin, perhaps. But know that it tastes equally delicious standing in your driveway in pajama bottoms, as I have been.
Someday party idea: It would also be a fun recipe to use at a brunch or barbecue breakfast. (But maybe with real pants? No pressure.)
What kind of tofu should I use?
My preferred tofu for tofu scramble and almost any occasion is super firm vacuum packed tofu.
It’s really convenient, because it doesn’t have to be pressed first. You can find packages of super firm vacuum packed tofu at most natural grocery stores. Wildwood makes it, and so does Trader Joe’s.
Vacuum packed tofu comes in a few different sizes – usually 10, 16, or 20 ounces. Whatever you don’t use for this recipe, simply put into a covered container, and refrigerate for later use.
If you can’t find that variety, water-packed tofu will also work. For best results, press it first. Or if you’re in a pinch, drain it, and pat it dry as best you can. Water packed tofu that hasn’t been pressed doesn’t brown quite as well, but it will still taste good.
How to make a cast iron breakfast skillet
Start by heating up the grill. If you’re using charcoal, get the fire to a nice, medium high heat. If you’re using propane, bring it to about 500 to 600 degrees.
Spray four 6.5 inch cast iron skillets with oil spray. Or lightly coat each one with organic canola oil.
Put a veggie sausage into each skillet.
Then cut four 1-inch thick slices of tofu. (That should equal about 3 ounces per slice.) Crumble a slice into each skillet.
Then make your seasoning mix. Combine the following:
- Ancho chili powder
- Granulated onion
Evenly divide the spices amongst the tofu in the skillets. Then finish with a pinch of salt on each one.
In the remaining areas of skillet, put chopped onions and your preferred vegetables.
Put the skillets on the grill grates. Close the cover, and allow it to get nice and warm. Once it’s all brown on one side, flip with a long spoon or spatula.
Continue until everything is beautifully browned, and the onion is a little caramelized around the edges.
For easiest serving, move the tofu scramble and sausages to four plates. (Those cast iron skillets get really hot!)
Can I use a larger skillet?
If you don’t want to use four separate skillets, you can do it all in one or two bigger skillets instead. Just make sure there’s enough room for everything to get some direct heat on the skillet. You don’t want to overcrowd.
Make ahead tip
If you’ll be serving these breakfast skillets on a camping trip, make your life easier by making the spice mix ahead of time! That way you won’t have to carry all of the spices in their own separate jars.
If necessary, you can double or triple the amount of seasonings you’ll need for each day. Just know that every 6.5 inch skillet gets ¼ teaspoon of seasoning mix plus a pinch of salt. (If you don’t plan on bringing salt along, you could also include it in the mix.)
Make it your own
You can easily customize the skillets and make them your own by varying the ingredients.
For the sausage, I use Beyond Meat breakfast sausage. They are gluten-free and come in spicy and regular. (Spicy is my favorite!) You can put them directly onto the skillet frozen or thawed. (Obviously frozen will take a little bit longer to cook.)
But there are loads of vegan breakfast sausages on the market. Gardein breakfast patties are also a favorite. (Although, Gardein sausage is not gluten-free, if that’s a deal breaker for you.)
Full-sized sausages also work. Simply slice one, and divide it evenly amongst the skillets.
For the vegetable mix, you can use whatever appeals to you. I usually opt for yellow, red, or orange bell peppers, kale, and/or Brussels sprouts. However, there are lots of options! You could do any combination of sliced mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, or shredded carrots.
If any of the vegetables are on the sturdy side (like broccoli or Brussels sprouts) be sure to slice them thinly or cut them small, so that they can cook faster.
Spice it up by adding a drizzle of hot sauce to your finished skillet. Truff Sauce is my current go-to.
Several slices of avocado or a big dollop of guacamole would be a very welcome finish on each scramble.
For some freshness, a garnish of chopped cilantro would also go nicely here.
What to serve with it
My favorite thing to serve with cast iron breakfast skillets is frozen hash brown patties. (I get them at Trader Joe’s, but they’re available at most grocery stores.) They cook surprisingly well in a grill basket. Just give them a few minutes on each side, so that they’re nicely crisp and toasty.
(Don’t have anywhere to keep them frozen ahead of time? No worries! They work thawed as well, as long as you’re able to keep them cool in a cooler ahead of time.)
Toast with non-dairy butter and/or avocado finishes the meal nicely.
Or keep it simple and serve it with orange slices, grapefruit, or berries.
Cast iron breakfast skillet
- Spritz oil spray
- 4 vegan breakfast sausages thawed or frozen
- 12 ounces super firm tofu in vacuum packaging
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed vegetables like bell pepper, kale, and/or Brussels sprouts
- Bring an outdoor grill to 500 degrees.
- Spritz four 6.5 inch skillets with oil spray or lightly grease each skillet with organic canola oil.
- Put one vegan breakfast sausage on every skillet.
- Now get your block of super firm vacuum packed tofu. Cut four 1-inch thick slices (about 3 ounces). Crumble a slice into each skillet.
- Combine cumin, ancho chili powder, paprika, and granulated onion in a small bowl. Then evenly divide the spice mix between the four skillets. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the spice mixture onto the tofu in each skillet. Finish the tofu with a pinch of salt on each one. (Don't worry about combining the spices evenly within the tofu mixture. As it cooks, it will spread out.)
- On the remaining empty area of the skillets, put about 2 Tablespoons of chopped onion into each skillet and 2 Tablespoons of mixed vegetables. (If you're using sturdier vegetables like Brussels sprouts or broccoli, remember to slice them thinly for optimum cooking.)
- Put the skillets onto the heated outdoor grill. Don't move the tofu, vegetables, or sausage for several minutes, so that it can brown on one side. (If you have a cover, this is a good time to put it down, so that the heat stays in & it cooks faster.) Once it has browned nicely, flip everything with a long spoon or spatula. Allow it to cook for a few more minutes before moving again. Once everything is evenly browned, and the onions have bits of caramelized color on it, the skillets are done. Carefully scoop the tofu scramble and sausages onto four plates.