brunch table

How to Plan a Beautiful Brunch

Nothing conjures up thoughts of easy, breezy relaxation more than a leisurely brunch with family and friends—except when you’re the host and you have no clue how to actually put together that much-anticipated brunch menu. Here are some brunch ideas to help you organize and host an easy, but impressive late-morning meal, including recipes to get your brunch menu started. Because fabulous doesn’t have to be stressful.

Plan a Brunch

Will food be plated or set out buffet-style? We suggest the latter—no need to make it harder on yourself! Gather up your serving and entertaining pieces and figure out what you’ll serve in each, and where you’ll arrange your spread. If you use something like this glazed stoneware, you can cook and serve in the same beautiful dish—less for you to clean when all’s said and done.

Set the table the night before. Plates, napkins, silverware, tablecloth, placemats, glassware—arrange it all ahead of time so you’re not left fussing with place settings when guests arrive.

Prep as much food ahead of time as possible. Chop onions, beat eggs, squeeze juice, grind coffee—whatever you can do ahead of time, do it! Store your prepped ingredients in airtight containers in the fridge until you’re ready to start cooking.

Add flowers. Pick them up from your grocery store or local florist and arrange them in a variety of jars or vases you have around the house for an easy and inexpensive decoration. Or get creative—prep bowls make adorable bud vases, for example.


Create Your Brunch Menu

Brunch combines the absolute best flavors of breakfast and lunch. We recommend choosing an egg dish, something hearty or savory, something sweet, something fresh, and something for dessert. Coffee, tea, and a signature cocktail or mocktail complete the brunch spread.

Don’t turn yourself into a short-order cook the day of your brunch. That means no pancakes and no eggs made to order. See our brunch menu ideas below.

Simple Ideas for Pancakes and Eggs

Eggs and pancakes are centerpieces at breakfast, but don’t always work and can be hard to keep warm at the table. Whip up a delicious and easy Artichoke Zucchini Frittata with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce or a Dutch Baby with Homemade Whipped Cream. Your guests won’t miss the fact that you didn’t fry up eggs or make pancakes to order.

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Make-Ahead Baked Oatmeal

No brunch is complete without something sweet. This simple Baked Oatmeal with mixed berries provides sweet, comforting flavor with a little crunch. It’s an easy recipe to make ahead of time and reheat in the oven or microwave. Plus, it adds some healthy whole grains to the menu.


Choose Fresh Fruit

This part of your menu requires minimal effort but adds a lot of bright, seasonal flavor to complement all of your baked dishes. Something like this Summer Fruit & Spinach Salad can be pulled together in just a few minutes and pairs sweet and savory flavors together nicely—a must-have for an ideal brunch recipe.

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A Let the Guests Make Their Own Mimosas Recipe

There’s something about a fizzy mimosa (or faux-mosa!) that makes brunch feel extra special. Have fun by offering a DIY mimosa and faux-mosa bar. Set out a selection of juices and champagne or ginger ale, plus plenty of fresh fruit to garnish. Then let everyone enjoy!


No-Fuss Petit Fours

A sweet dessert is the perfect way to cap off a brunch, plus it allows everyone to finish their coffee (or have a second…or third cup!). Look for something easy, but pretty and highlights fresh flavors—like these Orange-Raspberry Petit Fours.

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21 Responses to How to Plan a Beautiful Brunch

  1. nia April 1, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    i like it

    • Marsha April 5, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

      Thanks, I love a good brunch and all the possibilities.

      • Summer Brooks April 5, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

        aren’t they great!

      • Larry Higgins April 6, 2016 at 11:43 am #

        Thanks Marsha, I’m so glad you like our idea’s, and thank-you for sharing.

      • Holly Dicke April 6, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

        I do too! Definitely comfort food, and it can be so much easier to entertain a brunch than a dinner. I have some great brunch recipes for a cooking show if you’re interested.

    • Tina Copley April 6, 2016 at 2:11 am #

      I am so glad you like it! Hope these ideas help you in your kitchen!

    • Larry Higgins April 6, 2016 at 11:41 am #

      Thanks Nia, so glad you are enjoying our Blog’s.

  2. Brian April 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    My Favorite way to entertain

  3. Ivy April 5, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    I love it when I can at LEAST prep ahead. Make-ahead things are even better. 🙂

    • Salena April 17, 2019 at 10:47 am #

      Just planned my entire brunch for a baby shower right here! Thank you!

  4. Debi April 5, 2016 at 7:03 pm #

    I love planning brunch!!

  5. D'Ann Johnson April 6, 2016 at 1:10 am #

    I need a snack now

    • Brian April 8, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

      Hi D’Ann,

      Can you be a little more specific, what type of snacks do you prefer.

  6. Ruth Muller April 22, 2016 at 12:13 am #

    Brunches are fun to plan thanks for the good ideas

  7. Sherry March 5, 2018 at 2:55 pm #

    shouldn’t you at least have 2 egg dishes, two main dishes and two desserts?

  8. Sharon Hockwater March 6, 2018 at 7:36 am #

    Thank you for the wonderful recipes. I very much enjoy seeing them.

  9. Amy Brown April 3, 2018 at 10:24 am #

    We just had an Easter brunch, and it was so wonderful.

  10. Jan May 5, 2018 at 8:09 pm #

    Suggestion: get beautiful red rhubarb and find a recipe you like to make rhubarb syrup. Then add it to sparkling water for a beautiful drink in a wine glass. Lovely pink color. Add alcohol if desired. Goes well with many brunch pairings. In Germany, you can buy bottled sparkling rhubarb in the grocery store. It’s FAB!

  11. Kristie August 1, 2019 at 10:49 am #

    Any good cinnamon roll recipe’s?

  12. Lisa October 28, 2019 at 11:48 am #

    I totally disagree with not becoming a short order cook
    I have hosted a family brunch three years in a row
    I was a short order cook and it was a huge success
    I hosted 25 people. Pancakes and made to order omelettes were a hit
    Everyone doesn’t arrive at the same time which gives u short breaks in between
    I loved all of your other suggestions

    • Nicole December 30, 2023 at 10:59 am #

      25 wouldn’t be so bad, but I couldn’t imagine 250. If I had an extra set of hands, adding short order items would be great. Something to work towards:)

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