Our Best Brunch Recipes
Honey French Toast with Macerated Berries
Egg bread, extra egg yolks and half-and-half take a trusty diner classic to new levels of splurge. (Trust us, you won't regret going along for the ride.) Both the French toast and berries need to rest overnight, so this is an ideal make-ahead brunch dish. The recipe comes from The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook (University of Minnesota Press, $29.95).
Bagel Strata with Asparagus and Ham
Weekend guests? Create a bagel bar for Saturday's breakfast, then grab a couple of bagels to make this strata for Sunday morning.
Goat Cheese, Artichoke and Smoked Ham Strata
This brunch recipe comes from Carol Mortensen of Flossmoor, Illinois. "The best part," she says, "is preparing it the night before to bake in the morning."
Prebaked phyllo shells (available at large supermarkets) make this party-perfect recipe an absolute snap to make-start to finish, you'll be done in 35 minutes.
Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake
Plump blueberries create a juicy filling in this old-fashioned sour cream coffee cake from The White Gull Inn in Fish Creek on Wisconsin's Door County Peninsula.
This hearty quiche recipe comes from Fire Lake Camp farm in Paola, Kansas, where a U-pick asparagus patch draws visitors every spring.
Eggs Benedict with Maltaise Sauce
What's Maltaise Sauce, you ask? It's just hollandaise sauce with a bit of orange zest and juice added. But you wouldn't believe how that bit of zing transforms this brunch standard.
When life gives you lemons, make the legendary lemon-ricotta hotcakes from Hell's Kitchen, a Minneapolis favorite.
Spring Egg Scramble
Scrambles are a blank slate that you can adapt to every season, varying the veggies to use whatever you have on hand. More lunch-like than breakfasty, this version begs for a salad and buttered toast. The recipe (at link above) comes from The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook (University of Minnesota Press, $29.95).
Also from The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook, a perfect accompaniment to the scramble: Green Tea Vinaigrette on mixed greens. Minneapolis chef Marshall Paulsen created the unusual dressing when matcha was the surprise ingredient in a chef's challenge.
Take the grazing board idea to your breakfast or brunch table with a waffle smorgasbord. You can make it healthy (as we did), with fresh and dried fruit, cottage cheese nut butter, honey, toasted coconut and cocoa nibs. Or, you know, there's always whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.
Ours has Midwest-made Lopaus Point Waffles (gluten-, dairy- and soy-free), available online and in stores, but you can make your own, too!
Stuffed Croissant Breakfast Strata
The combination of croissants, bacon and cheese create an indulgent make-ahead treat for breakfast or brunch. Croissant pieces fit into the baking dish like a puzzle.
Any-Flavor Mini Quiche
Talk about easy! You can prep these delicious little quiches the night before, or make them in the morning while the oven preheats. They're perfect for brunch parties, and you can use whatever meat, cheese and veggies you have on hand.
Ham and Mushroom Lasagna
This creamy, crazy-delicious lasagna is simple, too, thanks to jarred Alfredo sauce and no-boil noodles. If you're lucky enough to have a specialty grocery store or Italian deli that sells all-natural refrigerated Alfredo sauce without preservatives, this is a great way to use it.
Blueberry Surprise French Toast Casserole
The breakfast spread at Turkey Run Inn at Turkey Run State Park in east-central Indiana often includes this warm-from-the-oven casserole. Cream cheese is the secret ingredient in this recipe, which gets a generous topping of blueberry or maple syrup.
Crunchy Yogurt-Granola Upside-Down Cake
Pineapple who? No fruit here in this upside-down cake, just a brown sugary streusel-like layer of walnuts, coconut and granola baked under (then flipped over) a vanilla coffee cake.
Asparagus Scramble Biscuits
Asparagus Scramble Biscuits start with square bacon-flecked cornmeal biscuits you can make ahead. The morning of your brunch, scramble the egg-veggie mixture, fill the biscuits and bake to heat and melt the cheese.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Warm Blueberry Compote
Rise and shine with these special-occasion pancakes from Chicago chef Mindy Segal. Ricotta makes them moist and rich; lemon curd gives sweet-tart punch.
This dish is terrific for brunch or a light supper. Hard-cooked eggs are simmered in a delicate white sauce that's ladled over warm biscuits.
Lazy Morning Sausage Pie
Lyndy Ireland cooks up breakfast favorites such as this classic biscuit mix recipe for her guests at Triangle Ranch in western South Dakota. She tops the Sausage Pie with refreshing salsa.
Cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger flavor this moist banana bread. Make banana bread when your bananas get brown polka dots on them.
Devilishly Good Deviled Eggs
A hint of curry and some chutney elevate these deviled eggs to spectacular. Spoon the filling into a sandwich-size clear plastic bag and snip a corner for easy piping.
Very Cherry Hazelnut Coffee Cake
David Dahlman of Chatsworth, California, says this yeasty coffee cake reminds him of the old-fashioned, down-to-earth treats on his grandmother's farm table. It takes time because it's a yeast-leavened dough, but there's no kneading required.
Spinach Quiche a la Goldmoor
An easy-to-use frozen spinach souffle makes this quiche's eggy-sausage filling simple to prepare. The recipe is from the Goldmoor Inn near Galena, Illinois.
Kolaches (koh-LAH-chees) are a staple in the bakeries and farm kitchens of the Midwest's old Czech communities. Warm from the oven, our version is petite, pillowy and just begging for coffee.
Lemon yogurt is the secret ingredient in these pretty biscuits. The recipe comes from Natura Farms in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota.
Breakfast Monkey-Bread Rolls
Frozen or refrigerated cinnamon roll dough simplifies our recipe for Breakfast Monkey-Bread Rolls. Baking these rolls in muffin cups cleverly corrals their syrupy topping.
Crepe-Framed Eggs with Asparagus Hash
The "windows" on this oven-baked brunch dish reveal a filling of chopped asparagus and pancetta, Gruyère and a sunny egg. When you slice the asparagus, think small, like diced onion. It may seem unorthodox to chop up those beautiful stalks, but it guarantees you get morsels of asparagus in every bite.
Fresh fruit stars in this brunch dish, with blueberries and peaches baked in a honeyed Greek yogurt sauce.
Orange-Honey Sweet Rolls
The recipe for these hearty rolls comes from Jean Hixson of the Kansas Wheat Commission. They'll keep in an airtight container for a couple days, or you can freeze them (unfrosted) for up to 2 months. They're best served warm, so when ready to eat, wrap the frozen cinnamon rolls in foil and bake about 25 minutes in a 300° oven. Frost as directed.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars
This healthier version of granola bars includes chia seeds, rolled oats, toasted wheat germ and pretzel sticks.
Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce
Crushed red pepper adds heat to homemade tomato sauce; protein-rich eggs cook right on top. Serve with flatbread or multigrain toast for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Tex-Mex Scramble with Tortilla Chips
Inspired by the Tex-Mex dish called migas, this ridiculously easy breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner) dish can be on the table in less than 15 minutes.
Spring Breakfast Pizza with Spiced Hollandaise
Fresh asparagus, sliced hard-cooked eggs, cheese, cherry tomatoes and diced ham top an easy homemade crust.
Savory Egg and Sweet Potato Scramble
Sweet potatoes, spinach and cumin add a fresh twist to scrambled eggs.
A Hole-in-One Breakfast
Our egg cooked in toast is a classic American breakfast recipe that's also been known as egg in a basket and knothole egg.
Favorite Frozen Fruit Cup
Throw together these fruit cups after dinner to enjoy a frosty side the next day.
Fresh strawberries and rhubarb sweetened with strawberry preserves bubble under a topping of oats and honey.
If you don't have custard cups, 6-ounce ramekins or jumbo muffin pans work for this simple brunch recipe, too.
Grammy's Wild Rice Porridge
Wild rice may seem like an unusual breakfast ingredient, but it adds chewiness to this fruit-nut hot cereal. Dried cranberries, blueberries and cherries also cook into the porridge.