Make-Ahead Brunch Recipes
Breakfast Fruit Bread Pudding
Studded with strawberries, this breakfast recipe is a cross between a baked French toast and a dessert bread pudding. Swap in almost any fruit depending on what's in season. Although we typically advocate using whole-grain bread, we stuck with challah for this recipe, because the results are so luscious.
These lemony cranberry-studded muffins crunch lightly with cornmeal and are topped with a kiss of sugared lemon zest. They're great warm from the oven, but also keep well for a few days and freeze beautifully.
Parmesan Spinach Cakes
If you like spinach-cheese pie, try these simple but elegant-looking little spinach cakes.
Baked Apple-Cinnamon French Toast
This baked apple-cinnamon French toast can be prepared in advance and then simply popped in the oven for a leisurely and luxurious weekend morning. By using nonfat instead of whole milk and eliminating the egg yolks, the calories are cut by half and the fat is reduced by nearly 80 percent in our griddle-free version.
Fruit juice and champagne make this drink recipe refreshingly tasty to serve while entertaining.
Blood Orange-Pomegranate Mimosas
This twist on the mimosa is made with blood orange juice and pomegranate juice. It's a special way to start any weekend or toast the holiday season.
Banana-Blueberry Buttermilk Bread
The slight acidity of buttermilk tenderizes and moistens baked goods while allowing you to cut way back on butter or oils. Here, it also lends a slight tanginess to the winning combination of bananas and blueberries. To make muffins instead, see Muffin Variation.
Tomatoes and corn have a natural affinity for one another: the slight acidity of tomatoes balances the sweetness of the corn. Here they partner in a delicious quiche-like pie. The dough is very forgiving and bakes up into a sturdy shell that's great for just about any savory pie or tart. Perfect for a summer brunch or try it with a tossed salad for a light supper.
Quiche Lorraine with Zucchini Crust
Shredded zucchini acts as the crust in this recipe for healthier, low-carb quiche Lorraine--quiche with Jarlsberg cheese, bacon and scallions--a brunch classic.
Whole-Grain Waffles with Cherry Sauce
Cornmeal adds appealing texture to these waffles and hot cherry sauce is a tasty, nutrient-rich alternative to maple syrup. Any fine cornmeal works in the recipe. If you want to use whole-grain cornmeal, look for finely ground cornmeal labeled “whole-grain” or “stone-ground” in the natural-foods section of the supermarket or at natural-foods stores.
Mushroom & Wild Rice Frittata
Packed with a flavorful medley of chewy wild rice and three kinds of mushrooms, this satisfying frittata is perfect for Sunday brunch. Don't worry if you can only find one kind of mushroom--the richly aromatic top of baked Parmesan and crisp prosciutto will make up for it.
Honey- & Goat Cheese-Filled Fig Muffins
Sweet figs and a filling of tangy goat cheese give a surprising twist to these hearty breakfast muffins. Make a batch of these on the weekend and enjoy them for breakfast all week long. If you're not a fan of goat cheese, try them with cream cheese instead.
Tomato-Jalapeño Bloody Mary
Make this garden-fresh Bloody Mary when summer tomatoes and peppers are at their peak.
Sweet Pepper Hash Brown Baked Eggs
This hash brown and egg dish with sweet green pepper rings is easy to create and perfect for brunch or breakfast.
Individual Brussels Sprout & Potato Frittatas
Brussels sprouts and preshredded potatoes make these oversized muffin-shaped frittatas hearty. They're as good served warm for dinner as they are at room temperature for lunch. Pair with a mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and buttermilk dressing.
Apple-Bacon Pancakes with Cider Syrup
If you like apple pancakes and you like bacon, you'll love the taste of these sweet, smoky pancakes. Any kind of apple works well. A quick cider syrup drizzled on top enhances the apple flavor.
Cheesy Polenta & Egg Casserole
This memorable brunch centerpiece is rich with cheesy polenta, crumbled sausage and baked eggs.
New World Gravlax
This gravlax is a play on the traditional Scandinavian recipe. Thinly slice the finished salmon for canapés or layer it on warm grilled flatbread with a scattering of sliced sweet red onions, fresh salmon caviar and a dollop of good sour cream or crème fraîche. This salmon is also delicious used to make those wonderful old-fashioned tea sandwiches with fresh herb butter and thinly sliced cucumbers.
Chard & Feta Tart
Fragrant lemon zest, briny olives and salty feta balance the bitterness of the dark leafy greens in this Greek-inspired tart. The crackerlike crust is quite sturdy so you can serve this as finger food at your next party or alongside a mixed green salad for a light supper.
Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Kale
You can make these three-ingredient tomato-simmered eggs with things you probably already have on hand in your freezer and pantry. To make these baked eggs more like eggs in purgatory, look for a spicy tomato sauce and don't forget some whole-wheat bread for dipping.
Prosciutto & Asparagus Strata
This breakfast strata recipe, loaded with onions, leeks and asparagus, is a great way to serve eggs to a crowd for brunch. This healthy breakfast casserole is lightened up by using less bread, low-fat milk and more vegetables. The egg mixture and vegetables can be made ahead, but plan to put the strata in the oven to bake about 1 hour before you want to serve it.
Strata is a layered casserole that's made with a mixture of eggs, bread and cheese--it's the ultimate brunch dish! In this version, chunks of French bread soak up the milk and egg mixture and are baked to perfection alongside ham, cheddar and broccoli florets. It's a meal your entire family will love.
Twice-Baked Goat Cheese Souffles on a Bed of Mixed Greens
If you'd love to wow your guests with a soufflé, but can't stand the last-minute heat, this is your recipe. The soufflés bake once, fall, and revive on a second round in the oven. They emerge modestly puffed, soft and tender. If you are entertaining a group, the recipe can be easily doubled.
This slightly tart fruity Bellini recipe will zing you awake. It's the prettiest color imaginable and it makes a brunch instantly fun! You can serve the Bellinis in champagne flutes or in simple Mason jars--be creative!
Pineapple Coffee Cake
Nonfat plain yogurt stands in for sour cream to add moisture and tenderness to this lightened-up pineapple coffee cake. Best of all, you can mix the batter and have this wholesome breakfast treat in the oven in under 15 minutes--that's healthy in a hurry.
Coffee-Streusel Bundt Cake
Can you really have too much of a good thing when it comes to the combination of coffee and cake? Here, we've created a lighter but still moist and rich Bundt cake, added a ribbon of hazelnut-coffee streusel inside and a drizzle of coffee glaze on top. To say it tastes great with a good cup of coffee is an understatement. Recipe by Joyce Hendley for EatingWell.
Very Berry Fruit Salad
This easy fruit salad recipe is a dazzler: a large bowl of colorful berries served with a cool lemon curd sauce. Use room-temperature fruit in this berry salad (or if you are taking the berries out of the refrigerator, set them in an oven that's recently been on to gently warm them). The flavor of warm or room-temperature berries is so much better, as if they're fresh-picked and still hold the warmth of the sun.
Pecan-Berry Coffee Cake
This scrumptious coffee cake recipe has a crumbly pecan topping and is speckled with blueberries or raspberries. You'll never guess there's apple in the berry coffee cake: it replaces some of the butter found in most coffee cakes and adds a decidedly sweet taste and moist crumb. This is a great recipe to serve at brunch and can be made the day before.
Pistachio Breakfast Sausage Patties
This breakfast sausage patty recipe transforms plain breakfast sausage into something special with a few simple additions. The surprise ingredient: pistachios! Plenty of black pepper and a big pinch of cayenne make this breakfast sausage pleasantly spicy--use less if you prefer. The recipe, which can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen, yields 8 small sausage patties, but can easily be doubled and cooked in two batches.
Rose Petal-Raspberry Jam
In this easy jam recipe, a few fragrant rose petals add a floral nuance to otherwise delicious but plain raspberry jam. If you don't want to can the jam, store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Serve with crackers and cream cheese or spread onto a vanilla cake for a healthier frosting.