Time-Tested Brunch Recipes
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Win the weekend with these savory, sweet and memorable brunch recipes. If you're hosting a bridal shower, birthday brunch, or baby shower, I've also included my favorite festive brunch cocktail recipes, and these special ingredients will surely raise the bar. Carnivores, pescatarians and vegetarians alike will appreciate these crowd-pleasing and customizable brunch recipes, all of which I've tested, improved, and served to rave reviews.
Spice up your brunch recipes with this slightly spicy, savory and unexpected dish. Smoked paprika brings a note of earthiness, while the holy trinity of tomatoes, onions and peppers lend sweetness and brightness. The creamy texture of velvety baked eggs and cheese balances well when served with crusty toasted bread.
4 large eggs
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 a sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
8-10 whole cherry tomatoes or small vine tomatoes
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp herbs de Provence
1 tsp chili powder
1 clove or 2 tsp minced garlic
Fresh ground pepper and pink salt to taste
3-4 tbsp ricotta cheese
4 tsp grated parmesan or romano
1 tbsp EVOO for sautéing
Optional 4 tbsp shredded cheddar and/or fresh basil for garnish
4 large slices of toasted crusty bread
Preheat oven to 350. In an oiled, heavy ovenproof pan (I love my Lodge cast iron skillet), sauté onions and peppers with spices over medium heat for 15 minutes, until soft. Reduce heat to low and add in tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes. Carefully pierce and smash whole cherry tomatoes, and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and divide up, creating 4 divots or "nests" for eggs. Spoon ricotta evenly into nests, then, when oven is ready, break one egg into each nest atop the ricotta. Top with optional cheddar, then place in hot oven for 10 minutes or until whites of eggs are opaque and set, but yolk is still slightly runny. Top with grated parmesan and serve with large slices of crusty bread.
Bagel Sandwich and Lox Buffet
In Paris, I had one of the best brunch salads of my life, which featured avocado and smoked salmon. I noted that the smoked salmon I ate overseas was far more savory, mild and less salty than what I was used to at home. When I returned, I taste-tested various styles of salmon, and determined that Scottish style smoked salmon was closest to what I enjoyed in Paris. Here, guests can enjoy their favorite bagels topped just they way they like. (If serving more than 4-8 people, larger packs of smoked salmon are available.)
4-8 bagels - I like to offer a variety of savory flavors
4 oz. package Scottish style smoked salmon
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 beefsteak or Roma tomato, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
1 small jar capers
Minced green onions
Fresh dill, minced
Sliced cheese ( Gruyère, American and Munster are good choices)
1 package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
Salt and fresh ground pepper
*For perfect scrambled eggs, beat 4 eggs with 1 tsp water, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat 4 minutes, gently stirring and folding once or twice for the best texture. Cook an additional 3 minutes or until just set, then plate.
Arugula Side Salad
Grab a bag of baby arugula and dress lightly with Italian or red wine vinegar and oil. Serve plain or with sprinkles of goat cheese for a fresh side to egg or salmon dishes.
Homestyle Waffle Bar
When making waffles for a crowd, you can go the homemade recipe route, OR take the easy way out by adding some flavor to your favorite homestyle boxed mix. Various waffle irons are available through Amazon and big box stores. I use this one by Oster, which is a good size and easy to use. Other models allow you to turn the waffle, which can be fun, but I enjoy being able to set a timer and walk away. If waffles aren't your favorite, set up a stovetop griddle and make pancakes (regular or gluten-free) instead!
Ingredients for mix (usually eggs, water and oil)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
Dried lavender buds (a little goes a long way)
Butter or margarine
Combine waffle or pancake mix ingredients as instructed on the box. Add in vanilla and lemon zest. Spray waffle iron or griddle with cooking spray and allow to heat up. Meanwhile, pour one serving into a measuring cup and stir in desired fruit if applies. Allow the batter to rest a few minutes until small bubbles form on the surface.
Waffles: When iron is ready, slowly pour batter onto the iron working from the outside in toward the center. Cook until steam stops escaping from the sides of the iron, about 10 minutes per waffle, flipping or turning halfway through if applies.
Pancakes: pour slowly into 3"circles. Flip when edges and center are bubbling. Allow guests to decorate their waffles and pancakes, as desired.
Modern Bloody Mary Bar
Bloody Marys are traditionally vodka and V-8, or tomato juice (1 /2 oz of vodka and 3/4 C juice per drink), but you can refresh your Grandpa's recipe with fresh carrot or green juice. Provide any or all of the garnishes below for guests to create a modern Bloody Mary. Provide cocktail spears plenty of ice...then watch the magic happen!
Your favorite vodka
Tomato juice or V-8 Original Vegetable Juice
Celery sticks (leave the green leafy parts on)
Fresh Ground Pepper
Salt (for rimming glasses)
Lime and lemon wedges
Cocktail shrimp (keep chilled on ice)
Long-handled spoons or stirs
Highball glasses or flutes
Small ice cubes
Deluxe Mimosa Station
Allow guests to choose the flavor profile for their perfect fresh juice, invigorating brunch cocktail, or glass of bubbly. Chill glasses in the fridge, freezer or on ice before serving. Cocktails to try: Vodka and grapefruit with rosemary; Champagne and pomegranate juice with pomegranate seeds; vodka and Bubly with fresh berries; orange, mango and fruit juice with club soda and an orange wheel.
Champagne, Prosecco or Sparkling Wine
Chilled highball glasses or champagne glasses
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