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Last Updated on April 29, 2022 by Lisa Johnson
This guide will walk you through creative brunch menu ideas, tips, and the best brunch recipes to serve to your guests without getting stressed out and loosing your mind!
Going to a restaurant for brunch is tradition in some families, while others prefer to skip the lines and inflated prices by serving brunch at home.
Table of contents
- What is Brunch?
- What is a typical brunch menu?
- Tips for hosting the perfect brunch
- Brunch recipe ideas
- Enjoy yourself!
What is Brunch?
Brunch is a meal served late morning to early afternoon, generally between 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, that consists of breakfast foods, lunch foods, or a combination of both.
We usually think of brunch primarily for Easter, Mother’s Day, bridal or baby showers, and Christmas. With some simple planning you can use these brunch menu ideas to serve a delicious brunch any time of year.
What is a typical brunch menu?
Some classic brunch ideas would include; breakfast burrito, cinnamon rolls, Eggs Benedict, Omelet, Pancakes, Quiche, scones, scrambled eggs, granola, fresh fruit, and French toast. You would also expect to be served a cocktail or mocktail.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with tradition, I just thought we could get a bit more creative and give our guests something to talk about.
Tips for hosting the perfect brunch
Are you a control-freak that wants to prepare every meal yourself, or would you like some help from your guests? Even if you prefer to do it all yourself, people love to be included. If they ask to bring something, let them! Have some simple ideas in mind like fresh bagels or pastries from a bakery. This frees up your time to concentrate on the main food items.
Plan your menu in advance
This is not the time to wing it, figure out your menu and write everything down two weeks in advance if possible. Do you have enough oven space for the items that you would like to make? What can be made in advance? You do not want 3 separate dishes needing to cook at different temperatures at the same time. Don’t worry, I have recipe suggestions coming up below.
Shop for everything you need ahead of time
Read through your recipes and write down e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that you will need. Now go through your pantry and refrigerator and check out what you already have on hand.
Go to the grocery store a day or two before your planned brunch. This gives you time to run out again the day before if you forgot something…because you will forget something, that’s just how life works.
Formal or casual?
You also need to decide in advance whether you are using your fine china or paper plates. Obviously, paper will be much easier to clean up. It is completely up to you and your overall theme which way to go. If you are having more than 6 people or a lot of kids, paper is far less stressful.
Set everything up the day before
Do you have enough plates, glasses, silverware? How about pitchers or coffee mugs? You do not want to be searching your basement the morning of your brunch for casserole dishes or serving utensils. I actually set all of my serving dishes in their designated spots to make sure I don’t forget anything, and also to make sure everything fits.
Serve brunch buffet-style
By placing all of the food on a buffet cabinet or counter top, you allow your guests to choose the items that they want, which means less waste, and it frees you up from having to serve everyone one-by-one.
Start with your plates at one end, followed by main dishes, side dishes, salads, pastries, etc. Then place the utensils and napkins at the end. A multi-tier platter helps to save on space as well as add visual interest and separate different foods.
Set -up a beverage station
Whether you are creating a dedicated bar cart, or a simply placing all of the beverages on a separate table, it helps with traffic flow and avoids spills if they are kept separate from the food. It also allows your guests to create their own special drink all on their own so you can enjoy a cocktail yourself.
Brunch recipe ideas
The recipes below are some of our family favorites that are easy to prepare and always delicious. Remember to include at least one egg dish, one meat dish, fresh fruit, something sweet and a special drink. Appetizers and salads are also nice to have for variety and something to tide people over as they arrive.
Do not think that you need to include every recipe listed, these are just ideas to help you create the perfect brunch menu.
These recipes are pretty much expected to be served and thankfully can be made a day ahead of time.
- Classic Deviled Eggs
- Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls – reheat for a few minutes before serving, then cover with foil to keep warm.
- Bacon Wrapped Breadsticks – crunchy breadsticks wrapped with bacon, baked to perfection, then sprinkled with a spicy Parmesan mixture.
- Sourdough Breakfast Strata – this also reheats beautifully!
- Teriyaki Glazed Ham – you need at least one meat and ham goes with everything.
- Breakfast Egg Muffins – no need to scramble eggs to order.
- Asparagus Brunch Pizza – for a smaller get together you could prep the pizza the night before and throw it in the oven to bake for 15 minutes in the morning.
- Instant Pot Mexican Breakfast Casserole – made in a pressure cooker to free-up oven space.
- Instant Pot Denver Omelet Egg Bites – no flipping omelets for you!
You could also bake a couple of batches of bacon and sausage ahead of time and reheat right before serving.
Store hot foods in a crockpot to keep them warm until your are ready to serve. Need extras? Ask your guests if you can borrow one when they R.S.V.P.
These easy to make salads can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
- Watermelon Fruit Salad with a simple, citrus-honey dressing
- Antipasto Pasta Salad – with fresh vegetables, deli meats, cheeses, and pasta all tossed in a homemade Italian dressing.
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad – with a tangy lemon vinaigrette dressing, sweet cranberries, crunchy toasted walnuts and salty Pecorino Romano cheese.
- Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes – bake up a big batch ahead of time, then reheat them right before serving.
All of these recipes can be made a day or two in advance and stored in an airtight container until ready to serve.
- Glazed Lemon Scones – super easy, super delicious.
- Cinnamon French Toast Bake – much easier than standing over a skillet making French toast to order.
- Irish Apple Cake – moist and tender cake filled with sliced granny smith apples and covered in a crunchy, streusel topping.
- Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake – light and fluffy bundt cake, with layers of crunchy-sweet crumble and light glaze.
- Blueberry Sweet Rolls with Lemon Glaze – made with homemade or store-bought blueberry preserves.
Something to Drink
You are looking for something light, refreshing and easy to make. Brunch is not the time for blender drinks!! Pitchers of pre-made punch, or a Mimosa Bar with different juices and chilled champagne are far less stressful and people can serve themselves.
- Blood Orange Mimosas – Classic Mimosas – Red Grapefruit Mimosas
- Pomegranate Orange Punch
- Watermelon Moscow Mule – make the watermelon “juice” up to three days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.
- Orange Mango Spritzer – leave out the alcohol for a delicious mocktail.
- Freshly Brewed Coffee with cream and sugar
- Mexican Coffee Cocktail if you’re feeling fancy.
Just because you are hosting the brunch does not mean that you cannot enjoy yourself. The more relaxed that you are, the more relaxed your guests will be. They want to enjoy your company, not just watch you act as a chef in the kitchen.
Plan in advance, prep everything that you can in advance and enjoy!!