Every Recipe for a Comforting Easter Brunch
From classic hot cross buns and deviled eggs to a make-ahead waffle casserole and adorable Easter Bunny pancakes, these recipes are all you need to host the perfect Easter brunch.
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Hot Cross Buns; photograph by Olga Ivanova
Traditional Easter brunch is a meal that brings people together, one where treats abound and everyone sidles up to a buffet and digs in. But what makes the perfect Easter brunch? The company, above all. But also recipes you can make with relative ease, that are as delicious as they are festive, and that help welcome spring. Celebrate with a spread of these Easter brunch recipes, or pick and choose just one or two of your favorite ideas for a more low-key meal.
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Why is it that I only get to eat deviled eggs when there’s a party? Well, thank goodness that Easter brunch is party enough.
Just as the name promises, this first recipe includes mayo, mustard, dill pickle relish, salt, and pepper, in just the right amounts. A dusting of paprika adds the anticipated color and flair. Want the pickle-free version? Try equally delicious Classic No-Pickle Deviled Eggs.
Serious Eats has the basics of making hard-boiled eggs down to a science, if you’re looking for that. Skinnytaste tells you how to make them in an Instant Pot, handy if you want to crank out enough for an Easter egg hunt as well as brunch. The last recipe will appeal to the guacamole lovers at your brunch, using avocado in place of mayo for a creamy, and appropriately hued spring green deviled egg.
Hot cross buns, French toast, and more Easter carbs
If there's one Easter brunch food that comes to mind, it's hot cross buns (okay, and ham, or anything with eggs or carrots, or ... never mind). But carbs play a much-loved role in the special spread, and you’ll want to be sure to include at least one recipe. No yeast for those hot cross buns (or no bandwidth for yeast-leavened bread)? We've got options.
Making hot cross buns happens to be a family tradition — and a perfect addition to your Easter brunch menu. This first version features candied orange peel (or fresh orange zest), lemon zest, three kinds of spices, and dried fruit in the classic yeast dough. A loaf version is a time saver, since you don't have to shape each individual roll; the Hot Cross Bun Loaf below happens to be vegan. But maybe yeast-leavened dough isn't your thing right now, and if that's the case, how about making Hot Cross Buns with baking powder, or Easy Hot Cross Buns starting with refrigerated buttermilk biscuits?
Many cultures have their own traditional Easter bread. The Ukrainian version below is enriched with milk, margarine, and sour cream for an ultra rich and fluffy texture. Portuguese Easter Bread is similar, enriched with milk and studded with dried fruit. Italian Easter bread is a brioche-like braided or twisted wreath with a colored egg in the center and plenty of festive sprinkles on top.
If you're looking for make-ahead Easter brunch recipes, you start Simple French Toast Bake the night before so the crusty bread will soak up the eggy custard, which means the cook can relax on Easter morning. Feel free to serve some blueberries or raspberries on the side for a pop of color. Spinach and Cheese Strata — which, as Deb of Smitten Kitchen explains, is just a savory bread pudding — goes together in a similar fashion. The bulk of the work for the vegetarian-friendly dish also happens the night before, making for both an elegant and easy Easter breakfast casserole. If your family loves waffles, consider a breakfast bread pudding that uses frozen waffles instead of bread as the casserole's featured carb.
In the straight-carb category, Lemon Muffins are simple, yet bright and moist — and easy enough for a 7-year-old to help mix up. You can add a cream cheese frosting to bring them to the next level. Or try Coffee Cake Muffins, baked with cinnamon streusel on top and inside. In Easy Cheddar Scones, sharp cheddar cheese and sunflower seeds transform everyday scones into a savory addition to the perfect Easter brunch menu. Pizza Dough Muffin Pan Cinnamon Rolls begin with pre-made pizza dough and come together in just a few minutes active time. A smaller crowd for brunch may mean you have time to create Churro Waffles. Cook each in a waffle iron as usual, then drizzle in melted butter and coat in cinnamon sugar. If cute is what you're going for, try pancakes arranged on a plate to look like the Easter Bunny.
Quiche, frittata, and Easter dishes with eggs
As a symbol of new life, eggs are traditional for spring and for Easter, and there are so many ways to enjoy them at brunch
Frittata is classic Easter brunch fare, and the inclusion of beautiful green asparagus makes it seasonally appropriate. The blessing of a frittata is that you can generally make filling substitutes with whatever you have on hand — although the goat cheese, Parmesan, and fresh thyme here are pretty special.
Premade pastry dough helps Ham, Cheese, and Broccoli Quiche come together quickly, and the ham makes it feel nice and Easter-y. Remember, real men do eat quiche — especially on Easter Sunday. If this is your year to try Eggs Benedict, Simply Recipes tells you how to make a foolproof blender hollandaise (the only potentially tricky part of the recipe) and how to create perfect poached eggs. For a casual, almost one-recipe brunch idea, how about Cheesy Egg, Avocado, and Bacon Breakfast Sandwiches, made in mini bagels?
Easter bacon and ham recipes
A little salty pork is classic Easter fare, and you’ve got options for several fantastic ways to go
Craving the flavors of a honey-baked ham but wanting something on a much smaller scale? How about bacon, coated in brown sugar and maple syrup with a touch of black pepper and cayenne, baked until glazed and crispy? Lining the baking sheet with foil ensures quick clean-up for an easy Easter brunch recipe.
Maybe you’d prefer a basic recipe, in which case Perfectly Crisp Baked Bacon has you covered. For a slightly fancier but still doable dish, Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus has lots of flair, and can double as an appetizer (plus, it’s gluten-free). And back to that honey-baked ham; if you have the bandwidth to make your own, this bourbon-glazed version is pretty dreamy.
Fruit salad, potatoes, and more on the side
Round out your brunch menu with a fresh fruit or veggie salad, or some easy potatoes baked until tender with onion and herbs
If fresh, ripe strawberries are already in season and available where you are (I'm looking at you, California), by all means, build a fruit salad around them — strawberries scream spring. But if not, try a winter fruit salad. This classic brunch dish manages to brighten up any spread with its clementines, kiwi, pears, apples, and pomegranate and honey-lime-poppy seed dressing.
Side dish or dessert? With Ambrosia it’s difficult to decide, but it’s a mystery you can ponder as you enjoy each bite of citrus, pineapple, and apples in the tart-sweet dressing of sour cream, whipped cream, and marshmallows. On the savory side of things, try French Grated Carrot Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette or Easy Breakfast Potatoes (so much tastier than hash browns). Both are great vegan Easter dishes, if you’re okay with a smidge of honey in the carrot salad (if not, sub in a touch of sugar).
Bubbly drinks for Easter
Nothing says "holiday" like some bubbles. Toast the day with classic mimosas, a more modern spritzer, or a couple of nonalcoholic drink options.
The classic brunch drink never goes out of style. Orange juice and sparkling wine are the key ingredients. This recipe adds orange liqueur for good measure.
Why rosé spritzer? Because it’s the 21st century — which means it’s basically illegal to have brunch without rosé. This one feels seasonal thanks to the strawberries — and extra sophisticated thanks to the Aperol. On the nonalcoholic side, the cucumber drink is light and refreshing and the Sweetheart Sunrise will give the kids something special to sip.
More Easter brunch menu ideas
If you're still happily weighing your options for what to make for Easter brunch, perhaps an additional dessert is in order? Or a sampler plate of deviled eggs? Explore more spring eats in these next articles.