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Tips And Recipes For Hosting Terrific Brunches

Updated on October 21, 2014

Brunches Are Terrific for Any Occasion

Hosting a brunch is easy and fun - it's the perfect time of day to share terrific food with friends and family. Here, you'll discover exciting tips, recipes and theme ideas that will give a little extra boost to any casual or formal brunch setting.

Menu suggestions are also featured for small-to-large gatherings and for casual-to-formal occasions. Start your planning here and become the best ever brunch host around.

Top Five Reasons For Hosting Terrific Brunches

  • Hosting a brunch is fun!
  • Brunches are terrific for any occasion
  • Set a theme and create your own brunch traditions
  • Brunches can range from casual to formal
  • You can serve any type of food for a brunch

Brunch Group
Brunch Group

A Taste of Brunch History

As you can imagine, the first brunch was invented to provide a repast for late-night party revelers. It was decidedly a European invention with records showing a rise in this affair in the late 1800s. Credit is given to Mr. Guy Beringer, a Brit who wrote an article titled "Brunch: A Plea" for the publication, Hunter's Weekly.

Others suggest that while the word "brunch" may have arisen in 1985, the concept lies with the crafty French of earlier generations. Some insist that they captured the spirit of this cure for hangovers while being fashionably decadent before anyone else.

By the 1930s, Americans had eventually realized the value of having a blend of breakfast and lunch, typically much closer to the mid-day meal.

Best Ever Five Days of the Year to Hold a Brunch

  1. Mother's Day

    The "Mother" of all days to hold a brunch, of course!

  2. Any Sunday

    Always on Sunday - it's just the perfect time.

  3. Easter

    Of course, church first (if you go) and then it's time to eat.

  4. New Year's Day

    The perfect time to not have to get up early to prepare a breakfast.

  5. The "Day After"

    Plan a brunch on the day after any event that runs late into the night. That includes weddings, anniversaries, graduation, etc.

Best Brunch Tips Ever

--Planning to host a brunch as an annual affair? Try including a new and adventurous dish each time. Of course, you'll want to try it out first, but find something unusual or exotic that will leave your guests with something to talk about long after the brunch is over.

--Make use of those pedestals - they're wonderful for placing lighter weight foods, such as muffins and pastries.

--Set up items "pre-sliced." That way guests can taste without having to take a whole portion if desired. This includes quiches and even pastries.

--Include a variety of "specialty dishes," including those for vegetarians and those who may be on diets. Include low-fat, low-carb and sugar-free offerings.

--Don't invite more guests than you can seat around tables. This is not an appetizer-style affair and it's so much nicer when guests can "spread out" a little with drink glasses and silverware.

--Go with a buffet if you want to invite a larger crowd. And be sure that seating is together; don't ever stick guests away from the center of action or the main group, unless it's extremely casual and the guests know each other well.

Brunch Menu Ideas

Here, you'll find a few recipe lists to spark ideas for any size brunch.

The key to a great brunch is, of course, the food! Below, you'll find a few menu suggestions for any size and type of brunch from casual to formal.

A basic rule of thumb? Here's a quick rundown.

-Always think savory and sweet. If you're more daring, go with some spicy and tart items, too.

-A general rule of thumb for selecting foods:

---Choose one meat and/or one fish dish

---Add an egg dish as your main course (which can include the meat)

---Select 1-3 sides

---Include bread/muffin mixes

---Include sweets, especially fruits (those in season are best)

Menu Ideas for a Small, Casual Brunch

-1 meat and/or 1 fish

-1 egg dish (with/without meat)

-1-2 sides



Menu Suggestions for a Smaller Casual Brunch

-Handmade sausage patties (flavored)

-OR specialty sausage pigs in a blanket

-Eggs, scrambled

-Potato pancakes

-Pre-made hash browns

-Grilled sweet potato rounds

-French toast

-Banana pancakes

-Biscuit/sandwich blends

A formal small brunch menu plan

-Plank smoked salmon

-Eggs Benedict (always a classic)

-Or crispy duck with crepes

-Baked brie

-Omelette bar

-Scone Assortment

-In-season berries with cream


-Flavored coffees

A formal brunch is usually catered. Here are a few tips on selecting a caterer for any occasion.

>How to Hire a Caterer

Brunch menu plan for a crowd

Feed a Bunch with this Brunch!

-Glazed ham (basic pineapple/brown sugar glaze)

-Breakfast Burritos


-Muffin mix/Coffee cake

-Herb Roasted New Potatoes

-Fruit Salad

-Fruit Smoothies

If You Could Choose One Brunch Day...

Which is your favorite brunch day?

See results

Individual Egg Dish with Handle

From Pillivuyt, individual egg dishes can go into the oven or the microwave. They're not just for eggs!

Best Breakfast Foods for Brunch

Breakfast foods are good anytime and you can mix them with other types of meals for a great brunch. Here are a few recipes to get you started.

Amazon Brunch Cookbooks - Brunch Cookbooks Worth Drooling Over

Brunch: 100 Recipes from Five Points Restaurant
Brunch: 100 Recipes from Five Points Restaurant

Straight from New York's Five Points Restaurant, you can discover new ideas for turning an ordinary brunch into a true feast for two or a crowd.

Breakfasts & Brunches
Breakfasts & Brunches

A wonderful addition from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) with basic recipes that are always a good foundation for brunch.


Plating Bacon

Plate up a heaping batch of bacon for brunch.

Best Mother's Day Brunch Recipes

Treat Mom to a brunch she'll never forget!

Countdown to the Best Mother's Day Brunch

Ideas that will really make Mom feel special!

-Start a tradition of a Mother's Day scrapbook. Take pictures of your special brunch and add to it each year.

-If you're going to grill for brunch, think about adding flavored wood chips for an extra special taste.

-Bring Mom a red carnation arrangement for the brunch table - they're the official Mother's Day flower!

-A mimosa will really sparkle at a Mother's Day brunch. Dress it up with fresh strawberries on the side.

Graduation Brunch Ideas - Hosting a graduation brunch can be easy if you plan well ahead.

A graduation brunch is a great way to honor someone special (or if you're the grad - giving yourself a pat on the back - you deserve it!). Here are a few quick tips to make this event go smoothly.

  • A grad brunch is one of the times when you can consider a buffet. (Unless you're planning a formal setting, of course.)
  • Think about a mix of items - some made ahead, some purchased, and some you throw together the day of.
  • Prepare only things you already are familiar with - this is not the time to experiment.
  • Make lists: for the week before, the day before and same-day. This will include shopping and a timeline for prep and cooking.
  • If you're going casual, consider splurging on nice paper or plastic goods. If you're the host and know your guests well, they'll know you don't want to deal with much cleanup afterward.

Let's Get Together Over Brunch - Time to chat about your favorite brunch ideas!

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I like having brunch on Sunday, it makes this day even better.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      5 years ago from Australia

      Brunch is so civilised and perfect every Sunday. A wonderful appetiser from you! Blessings.

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 

      5 years ago

      YUM!!!!!! :) Made me even more hungry. Thanks for sharing, appreciate it.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love any Sunday's brunch! It can be the highlight of the weekend and a great way to start a week. Thank you for all the suggestions!

    • MindPowerProofs1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the suggestions

    • MindPowerProofs1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the suggestions

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 

      6 years ago

      great ideas :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful brunch ideas. Wonderful lens.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      7 years ago

      Delicious - well done!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great stuff!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Brunches are awesome. I like your lens :).

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love them on Sundays. A nice finish to the weekend

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love Sunday brunches. Eat, drink and laugh!

    • mgassistant lm profile image

      mgassistant lm 

      7 years ago

      Cool lens! Liked it...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I just found your lens. I like it a lot. Thanks for building it. Gave you a thumbs up.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      I love brunch, rarely do I get to eat it though. Thanks for the ideas, I'll definitely keep these in mind!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hereâs an idea for a âmake your own quicheâ brunch. Lots of fun for a group of girl friends!

    • kikij lm profile image

      kikij lm 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the ideas!! I'm hosting Easter Brunch, so I really appreciate your suggestions.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Great lens. I've used cake pedestals many times to "highlight" certain food items and add some variation to the brunch table.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for your lens. A Mother's Day brunch sounds like the ideal event we'll have this year.

    • JeremyL profile image


      9 years ago

      Isn't brunch one of the coolest things to do on Sunday morning? Great work!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      10 years ago from Royalton

      The Purple Gallinules just flew over to check out your lens. For such a great lens we’re sending you a virtual cup of coffee on the house. I can hardly wait to read the rest of your lenses.


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