Easy Christmas Brunch Recipes

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.”

— A. A. Milne
Rockwell painting of family dinner
Rockwell painting of family dinner

A Traditional Christmas Dinner?

Tradition - the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice.

Novels, magazine articles, television shows, advertisements, movies and Norman Rockwell paintings all showcase the formal Christmas Dinner as an annual rite to be embraced and passed on as tradition from generation to generation.

I grew up in a very poor family, so there was no plump roast goose or succulent honey-baked ham. However, if memory serves, I am pretty sure that Mom prepared a modest chicken with stuffing (and the mashed potatoes, gravy, salad, two vegetables, and assorted pies and whipped cream that are a part of the package).

Well, that sounds like too much work and fuss for me. The Carb Diva family enjoys a leisurely Christmas Day brunch.

So, What is Brunch?

Brunch, of course, is a playful combination of the words "breakfast" and "lunch" but the origins of the word (and practice of combining the two meals) are a bit less clear.

Some historians believe the concept originated with the English hunt breakfast--a lavish multi-course meal prepared to encourage and invigorate the mighty hunters on horseback. Others think it might be the salvo for Catholics who fast on Sunday morning until taking mass.

The word "brunch" first appeared in print in an 1865 issue of Hunter's Weekly. The author of the article Brunch: A Plea was Guy Beringer, and he was suggesting an alternative to the heavy meat-and-potatoes post-worship Sunday meals.

''Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.''

And What is a Carb Diva Christmas Brunch?

I'm glad you asked. I like to do as much as I can ahead of time, so that on Christmas Day I can relax with my family. I serve foods that can be prepared ahead of time, kept warm in a slow-cooker (crock pot), and cooked quickly in the microwave.

The Prepared Ahead of Time Stuff

cinnamon rolls ready to be baked
cinnamon rolls ready to be baked

Cinnamon rolls are always a popular sweet treat, and they can be baked fresh the day before or baked earlier, frozen, and thawed on Christmas Eve.

cheese platter
cheese platter

A Christmas brunch is the perfect place for a cheese platter. Choose at least three cheeses (for a simple, economical platter I would suggest a Cheddar, a Swiss/Gruyere, and a blue-veined cheese.)

You will also want a crisp cracker (I think unflavored water crackers are best because they provide a crunchy texture with no flavors to compete with the cheese), and some fresh and/or dried fruit. Best choices for fruits are apples, pears, grapes, dates, figs, and dried apricots or perhaps a mellow honeydew melon. Avoid citrus.

Nuts such as walnuts, pecans or almonds are also a good go-along.

spinach quiche
spinach quiche

Speedy Spinach Quiche

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained well
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
  • 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cups lowfat or non-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add spinach and stir until spinach is dry, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle both cheeses over bottom of unbaked pastry shell. Top with spinach mixture. Beat eggs, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and in large bowl to blend. Pour over spinach. Bake until filling is set, about 50 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve.

NOTE: Quiche can be prepared the day before, cooled, covered, and stored in the refrigerator. Warm briefly (10 minutes) in a preheated 350 degree oven.

The Slow Cooker Stuff

spiral sliced slow-cooker ham
spiral sliced slow-cooker ham | Source

My daughters are vegetarian, but a few of us still enjoy the Christmas ham. Since our numbers are few I opt for a pre-formed ham rather than a bone-in ham (it's smaller).

Slow cooker breakfast casserole
Slow cooker breakfast casserole | Source

What is breakfast without eggs? But preparing eggs for more than a few people can be a bit of a challenge. This Cook's Illustrated recipe for a slow-cooker breakfast casserole can be prepared the night before, stored in the refrigerator, and then plugged in four hours prior to the start of your meal.

Perhaps it's my British roots, but I LOVE a fruit compote. It's part of a proper full English breakfast. I like to toss a few dried plums (aka prunes) in this too, but I've noticed that my family picks them out. There is no accounting for taste.

Slow Cooker Fruit Compote

  • 1(2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2 small apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks, undrained
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 21-ounce can peach pie filling
  1. Place apples, cranberries, raisins, apricots and pineapple with liquid in slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. Pour in orange juice.
  3. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours. Just before serving stir gently and then stir in pie filling.


The Microwave Stuff

Apple or pear crisp is also another favorite. Here is a recipe that can be prepared in the microwave:

Carb Diva Microwave Apple/Pear Crisp

Fruit filling

  • 6 cups of sliced peeled apples or pears (see note below)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar

Crumble topping

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  1. Combine prepared fruit and 3/4 cup brown sugar and place in microwave safe 8-inch baking dish.
  2. Mix together flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, oats, butter and cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of prepared fruit.
  3. Microwave at full power for 9-12 minutes, rotating dish one-half turn after 5 minutes.

NOTE: If using pears a pinch (about 1/8 to1/4 teaspoon) of nutmeg tossed with the fruit would be a nice addition.

Do you have a favorite Christmas meal?

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© 2015 Carb Diva

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Comments 11 comments

Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 12 months ago Author

RTalloni - There is much wisdom to be found in the sayings of Pooh. I am glad that you liked my suggestions--I do hope that you will let me know if you try any of the recipes. By the way--if you have time to make the caramelized onion tart (in the text block) it is pretty amazing (if I do say so myself).


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 12 months ago Author

Jackie - I had never thought of having deviled eggs at Christmas, but why not? We love them, so perhaps I will add those to the list. Thanks for the idea, and thank you for your comments.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 12 months ago from the short journey

Heeheeheehee. Pooh knows.

Thanks much for all these great ideas. I will be back to look the recipes/links over more closely since I was already thinking along these lines. Just didn't quite know what I would do. Now I know where to go for the info I need.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 12 months ago from The Beautiful South

Sounds like a great idea! For years I have not had Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day but on Christmas Eve and then eat lots of left overs with deviled eggs and potato salad made ahead on Christmas Day. But the brunch would be a different treat especially since that is the time I like to eat holiday (or Sunday) main meals. Turkey and ham are our holiday meats and I will be cooking both but since we are having Christmas a week early to accommodate our son's schedule and I just bet I take a great look at this for a brunch for Christmas this year! Love all those fruits!


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 12 months ago Author

Flourish - Is there any other way? Anyhow, I am so glad that you visited my hub and this got your approval.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 12 months ago from USA

The cinnamon rolls have my vote! With frosting, please!


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 12 months ago Author

Helga - Thank you so much for stopping by. Yes, brunch is such a wonderful way to spend a leisurely afternoon.


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 12 months ago Author

Oh Bill, and they are SOOO good. Please try them. I promise that they are better than Cinnabon.


Helga Silva profile image

Helga Silva 12 months ago from USA

Brunch is the best thing ever because you can never go wrong with it. I love having breakfast for lunch or dinner on weekends and your recipes look great. Thank you!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

You had me at cinnamon rolls. :)


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

And just delightful as always. Your work here is always refreshing. I think cooking and eating and even cleaning up should be fun. You make it that way but you do know us manly men cannot eat that quiche? So I will take mine in the kitchen please ;-) Brunch rules and is cool.

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