Smart Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Brunch

Overnight Blueberry French Toast
Try this recipe: Overnight Blueberry French Toast | Photo by Melissa Goff.

Showing up for brunch is easy. Hosting brunch, now that's for hardy souls. We've got tips and recipes that'll make hosting brunch more fun with less fuss.

How to Host a Stress-Free Brunch

The trick is to get yourself out of the kitchen and into the action as much as possible while still pulling off a killer brunch. To that end, pre-prep as much of your brunch as you possibly can. Choose brunch recipes you can whip up in advance. You'll look like a wizard.

1) Choose drinks that you can make in advance.

Serving mimosas? Squeeze those oranges the day before. Whip up a pitcher of Bloody Mary mix for a DIY Bloody Mary bar. Brunching in hot weather? Make cold-brew coffee the night before.

2) Poach the eggs in advance.

If you're making Eggs Benedict for brunch, poach the eggs the evening before. Here are tips for making poached eggs for a crowd. The key: Quickly suspend the cooking by dropping the poached eggs into ice water. Keep them in the fridge overnight, then revive them in gently boiling water. Check it out:

Enjoy your perfectly poached eggs on...

3) And bacon?

Of course! Make big batches of bacon on baking sheets in the oven. Baking your bacon instead of frying it on the stove frees you up to put the finishing touches on brunch. Plus, there's no greasy pan taking up space on the stove.

Bacon on Baking Sheet
Photo by Meredith.

4) Make this instead of that.

Crepes and omelets demand your near-constant attention at the stovetop during the brunching fun. The smart alternative is going with make-ahead breakfast casserole, breakfast strata, or quiche recipes instead.

Ham and Egg Muffins
Breakfast Egg Muffins | Photo by Meredith.

Same goes for French toast and pancakes. Skip all that stove time and make baked French toast instead.

Best Oven Baked French Toast
Photo by Snacking in the Kitchen.

Coffee cakes, scones, banana breads, muffins, and other quick breads -- these can all be made ahead of time. Plan well enough in advance, and you can freeze quick breads. And then thaw them for the big day.

Chocolate bread, banana bread, nut bread, zucchini bread
Chocolate bread, banana bread, nut bread, zucchini bread | Photo by Meredith.

Here are an additional 8 Make-Ahead Brunch Ideas.

5) Also, set the table the night before.

Unless you have cats. Can you fault our feline friends for mistaking an unguarded, well-appointed table for their personal playground? Cat people may need to carve out some table-setting time in the morning.

Set Table
Photo by Meredith.

How to Put on a Power Brunch

When you're ready to take brunch to the next level, consider these themed brunch parties:

1) Wedding and Baby Shower Brunch

Special brunch recipes and shower party inspiration to help you celebrate life's important milestones.

2) Classic Southern Brunch

A soulful Southern brunch party featuring cheesy grits, fluffy biscuits, some boozy punch, and more.

3) Tea Party Brunch

Explore our best recipes and ideas for hosting a tea party brunch. What a lovely way to celebrate birthdays, Mother's Day, and other special occasions.

4) Farmers' Market Brunch

Celebrate the peak of the season with a brunch built around what's fresh at the farmers' market right now.

And to be in full brunch-ready compliance, you might also consult The Brules -- The Rules for Brunch.

Bacon and Egg Breakfast Tarts
Bacon and Egg Breakfast Tarts | Photo by Meredith.

Best of the Traditional Brunch Recipes

These classic recipes are 5-star brunch favorites.

Orange Pecan French Toast

"This is a fantastic make ahead recipe. The orange really makes this different than other toasts. Substituted honey for the corn syrup and it worked perfectly. This is perfect for a brunch or special morning dish. Huge hit for young and old." -- jerrijohnson

Yogurt Parfait

Another great make-ahead option. "Try a mix of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries on the bottom, a cup of plain lowfat yogurt, a handful of golden raisins, and top with granola. A great way to start the day!" -- shipgirl

Bacon and Egg Breakfast Tarts

"This recipe was a tremendous success. I prepared the tart shells ahead of time, carefully placed them in Tupperware containers and froze them. This makes preparation a snap on the day of the party! It will become my standard at brunch gatherings from now on." -- MJMCD

Breakfast Sausage

"This recipe is WONDERFUL! Good enough for Mother's Day Brunch. I thought the seasoning was perfect. Another reviewer recommended rolling the meat out and using a biscuit cutter to make patties and this worked out very well for me." -- Amber

Chef John's Quiche Lorraine

"In my opinion, a proper quiche should be rich, custardy, and luxurious -- not some kind of dense, baked omelet. This has only enough eggs and yolks to hold things together, but that means you need to let it cool to just warm before serving, to fully enjoy the experience." -- Chef John

3253517_Crepinettes_Pork Sausage Patties_245942_Photo by Chef John
Crepinettes | Photo by Chef John.

Brunch With a Twist

These recipes are fun variations on familiar brunch themes.

Chef John's Monte Cristo Benedict

"Imagine the best French toast you've ever had, combined with the best ham and cheese sandwich you've ever had, topped with perfectly poached eggs. You don't need any Hollandaise because the poached egg yolks are the sauce." -- Chef John

Old Charleston Style Shrimp and Grits

For a little Southern flavor, you can't beat shrimp and grits. "Just made it for Valentine's Day brunch, and my Valentine has declared it his favorite meal, EVER," says AnnaNimitee. "Totally well worth the effort."

Authentic Mexican Breakfast Tacos

"My daughter and I made these tacos for Father's Day brunch, and they were a big hit. My husband has requested they go into regular rotation." -- TYBlackson

Crepinettes (Pork Sausage Patties) with Apricots and Pistachios

"Crepinettes are probably my favorite type of sausage, both to make and eat. These sausage patties are so moist and flavorful, I do hope you give them a try." -- Chef John

See our collection of Breakfast and Brunch Recipes.

Master the Brunch Basics

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