Easter Brunch Recipes Worth Making Year Round

I know many of you are on the hunt for good Easter brunch recipes right now. Here are a few favorites. I’m highlighting them here for Easter, but they’re all a part of my year-round repertoire if I’m being honest. For brunch I love family-style dishes like breakfast casseroles and frittatas equally as much as […]

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I know many of you are on the hunt for good Easter brunch recipes right now. Here are a few favorites. I’m highlighting them here for Easter, but they’re all a part of my year-round repertoire if I’m being honest. For brunch I love family-style dishes like breakfast casseroles and frittatas equally as much as a DIY set-up for things like waffles, omelettes, and pancakes. I mean, who doesn’t love a toppings bar? So you’ll see a mix of all this down below along with some favorite drinks and a handful of menu ideas. Have fun planning!

Easter Brunch Recipe Ideas

I tried to limit this list to long-time favorite recipes. Real go-to options instead of sharing a long list of recipes I like-ish. Be sure to browse the list of menu ideas down below if you need inspiration on that front!

Fregola Sarda
Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole: A top contender for Easter brunch. Breakfast casseroles are a thing for good reason. You can prep them the day before. They’re great for serving a crowd, and they’re endlessly adaptable. This is my take on the popular Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole. It’s a deep-dish merging of grated cheese, bagels, eggs, plant-based sausage along with the crunch and savoriness of everything bagel seasoning. The bagels that break through the top get beautifully crunchy and kissed with oven-toasted cheese. Give it a try!Fregola Sarda
Fregola Sarda: One of my favorite recipes from Near & Far. It’s the perfect lunchy, brunch dish, and it’s made with fregola. Fregola is a beautiful, tasty Sardinian pasta made from hard durum wheat flour – rolled, sun-dried, and toasted to a mix of shades of yellow, gold, and brown. The pasta is rustic and nutty, each grain with a raggy surface adept at catching flavor. So good!
Braided Onion Bread
Braided Onion Bread: Every Easter brunch spread welcomes a statement piece. This is one of my favorites. Made with a rich, buttery, yeast-based dough, each of the four strands in the braid is stuffed with a caramelized onion and grated cheese mixture. If you’ve never baked a braided loaf before, I’ll admit that stuffing the strands adds a layer of complexity, but the whole process is incredibly forgiving if you commit and keep going. Give it a try!
Frittata Recipe
A Tasty Frittata: I love a good frittata as part of a brunch spread. You can pre-bake them a bit ahead of time which opens up the oven for other dishes if needed. This is a tasty, super adaptable frittata recipe made with potatoes, onions, and eggs drizzled with a cilantro chile sauce. Don’t skimp on the sauce!
Waffle Recipe
The Best Waffles: You’re looking at the waffles I make for (literally) every family brunch, and they’re perfect for an Easter brunch gathering. You can set up a toppings bar, and let people make their own, or pre-make them and hold in a warm oven. If you’re a waffle fan, please give these a try. Everyone needs a solid waffle recipe in their back pocket, and I’m quite sure these are the end of the waffle conversation for me. Enjoy!
Red Fruit Salad
Red Fruit Salad: Red fruit salad, and arguably so much better than old-school fruit salad! It’s perfect as spring rounds the bend into summer. A simple, seasonal fruit salad made with plump strawberries, sweet cherries, lemon zest, and coriander brown sugar. Five ingredients. So good. If cherries aren’t quite in season where you are, go with 100% strawberries.
Pancake Recipe
Classic Pancakes: If you’re more of a pancake family, this is a classic pancake recipe that delivers a beautiful, classic stack with impossibly tender crumb and golden edges. It has been a favorite go-to since I first posted it in 2006. The pancakes have lightness and lift, and good color. The recipe is also endlessly adaptable based on what you have on hand.
Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread
Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread: This oatmeal bread wins the award for best toast. It’s a hearty oat-flecked loaf with a buttermilk base studded generously with melty cubes of cheddar cheese and punctuated with thin slices of jalapeño pepper. Where the cheese touches the pan it turns to golden-crispy perfection.
Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Cinnamon Rolls: If making these cinnamon rolls for Easter brunch, I’m going to make a suggestion. Swap out the cinnamon for citrus. Like, use the zest of a lemon or two in the filling and a tablespoon or so of lemon juice in the icing along with the heavy cream called for as the liquids in the icing.
Omelette Recipe
Skinny Omelettes: Setting up an omelette “station” with a range of toppings works great if you have a casual brunch situation. People can make and customize omelettes to their liking with fillings like caramelized onions, pesto, herbs, choice of cheeses, etc. These omelettes are made with eggs cooked crepe-thin and stuffed. A delicious and lighter alternative to heavy, cheese-stuffed omelette recipes – great for lunch and brunch.

What To Make with Extra Eggs

If you find yourself with extra cartons of eggs after Easter, here are some ideas.

Deviled Eggs Recipe
Deviled Eggs: I love these so much – beautiful and delicious deviled eggs made with an herb-flecked filling and topped with toasted almonds.
Egg Salad Sandwich
Egg Salad: My go-to egg salad, and what I turn to when craving an egg salad sandwich. This post talks you through all the little tweaks and tips that go into making the perfect egg salad sandwich. Served on garlic-rubbed toasted bread with chopped celery, onion, and whole-grain mustard.

Shredded Egg Salad
Shredded Egg Salad: A fun alternative to classic egg salad (above). This one is made by shredding hard-boiled eggs on a box grater. The resulting shredded egg salad is light, fluffy, and bright. Pictured here on avocado toast with scallions, pickled red onions, a pinch of curry powder and sesame seeds.

Easter Brunch Menu Ideas

Here are a few sample menus to start with. When I say toppings bar, I just mean putting out a range of different topping options. It’s a great way to let everyone make omelettes or waffles exactly the way they like it.

Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole
Strawberry Salad
Paloma Rosa

Cheddar Jalapeño Oatmeal Bread
A Tasty Frittata or Skinny Omelettes with Toppings Bar
Iced Green Tea

Breakfast Bruschetta + Toppings Bar w/ Herb Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs
Pineapple Coconut Water

Waffles with Toppings Bar
A Tasty Frittata 
Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk

Easter Brunch Drink Ideas

Freshly squeezed juices, or homemade drinks are an easy way to make a brunch menu feel extra special. Here are a few favorites from past brunches.Fregola Sarda
Pineapple Coconut Water: A beautiful shade of Easter yellow, this beauty is always first to go at any brunch spread. Freshly juiced pineapple is at the heart of this quencher – made with coconut water, lime, and straight ginger juice. It’s invigorating, fragrant, hydrating, and that pure, intense shade of yellow that somehow tips us off to its strength and vitality before ever picking up the glass.
Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk
Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk: As good as it sounds. Ripe strawberries plus fresh almond milk were made for each other. And yes, you can use frozen berries!
Iced Green Tea
Iced Green Tea: As good as it sounds. Ripe strawberries plus fresh almond milk were made for each other. And yes, you can use frozen berries!

Paloma Rosa
Paloma Rosa: (recipe below) If a boozy brunch is in the cards, consider the Paloma Rosa. I’ll post the recipe down below. Palomas push all the buttons – bright, refreshing, tart, with a kiss of sweet and salty. So pretty, and they also couldn’t be simpler.

 

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A Maximalist Potato Salad

If you’re looking for a simple potato salad – this isn’t it. But this maximalist take is worth making regardless. The details: tender potatoes are loaded with chiles, chopped herbs, garlic & whatever bright, fresh vegetables you have on hand.

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If you’re looking for a simple potato salad – this isn’t it. But have a look at this more maximalist take regardless. You want this in your life, I promise. It’s vibrating with flavor and color, and incredibly good. The details: tender potatoes are loaded with chiles, chopped herbs, garlic & whatever bright, fresh vegetables you have on hand. Right now, for me, that means asparagus from the market, fava beans from the garden, and peas from the freezer. I haven’t managed to get peas to flourish in our garden plot, but that’s a story for another day.
A Maximalist Potato Salad
Let’s talk about a few things before you jump into the recipe! First, it makes a substantial difference if you use spices that are on point and fresh. If your cumin has been collecting dust for years, this may be the opportunity to reboot. In an effort to avoid repeating the cycle, keep that new cumin (and another spice or two?) on your counter for the next couple of weeks. And use them. It’s an opportunity to make an effort to cook with what is in front of you, learn more about what techniques bring out the flavor of those spices (crushing, tempering, or roasting for example), and generally keep them top of mind. This is one way I end up discovering all sorts of ingredient combinations I love. A few go-to spice sources for me (off the top of my head) include Épices Rœllinger, Diaspora Co., Burlap and Barrel, and Épices de Cru. A favorite local Indian grocery also has a growing organic spice selection that I like to browse regularly as well.
A Maximalist Potato Salad
I came home with a haul of fresh curry leaves from that same store the other day – and it’s a big part of what inspired this potato salad. I love the fragrance and texture of fried curry leaves whenever I encounter them – for ex: in Sri Lanka and Southern India they are used often – and buy them to cook with whenever I can. A side note, I’ve also had my eye on an eight-foot curry tree at a nearby nursery but it is too large to fit in the car, turning the purchase of the tree into a bigger project. I’m also worried it might not thrive in our yard, which I think is basically a bit of top soil, and then sand. :/

So, on the curry leaf front: I always buy extra, and freeze a bunch. As a rule of thumb, I generally freeze any that I don’t think I’ll use in the next 10 days. After freezing, they’re not as fragrant as fresh, the color shifts a bit and the texture changes, but they do the job and it’s nice to have them on hand. As I mention in the headnotes below, an alternative to curry leaves in this recipe is a big handful of chopped fresh basil. A different preparation altogether, but fragrant, summery, and wonderful. Other ideas? Add some citrus zest. Or, I could imagine a version with slivered, fresh makrut lime leaves in place of the curry leaves. Just a bit of encouragement to experiment and play around.
A Maximalist Potato Salad
What you see is a very spring version of this potato salad, but maybe you’re seeing this in August? A summer version would be A+ as well. Experiment with grilled corn, roasted tomatoes, and green beans in place of the asparagus, favas, and peas. Also! I’ll also take this opportunity to call out a detail here. Don’t serve this potato salad straight from the refrigerator or cold. It’s really much better just after tossing the hot potatoes with the garlicky curry-spice oil. Or, if you make it ahead of time, let it come up to room temperature before serving. 
A Maximalist Potato Salad
Enjoy! And if you’re on the hunt for more potato recipes, a few favorites include sea-salt baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, homemade gnocchi. There’s also a whole list of potato recipes here. Also, this is the time of year to have a couple go-to summery BBQ salad-type recipes on-hand like this Lime-blistered Coleslaw, Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad, the Sriracha Rainbow Noodle Salad, this Coconut Corn Salad, and a more classic Macaroni Salad.

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An Amazing Vegetarian Paella

A much-loved vegetarian paella recipe. And, for this veg-centric, California-inspired take on the Spanish classic, you don’t need a special pan.

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Let’s make paella! You can absolutely do it, and for this veg-centric, California-inspired take on the Spanish classic, you don’t need a special pan. Many paellas feature various meats and seafoods, but vegetarian paella can be a revelation. This version is fully loaded with a rainbow of seasonal vegetables cooked into a saffron and paprika-scented rice based dream.

Once you have the technique down, the adaptations can be endless. Paella is a great way to use up random seasonal vegetables in your crisper, and leftovers are A-plus. And I’m going to tell you how it can be week-night friendly. Really!

Ingredients for Vegetarian Paella

You Don’t Need a Special Paella Pan

If you have a traditional paella pan, great! Use it. That said, don’t let the lack of a special pan foil your paella endeavors. I’ve successfully cooked paella in copper pans (a favorite), as well as stainless steel, and cast iron. Use what you have, the wider the better. I’m including instructions for two different sized pans in the recipe, please reference the head notes.

How to Make Paella Weeknight Friendly

Paella can be a great, realistic go-to weeknight recipe if you do one thing. Keep this sofrito on hand. Have some ready in the refrigerator, keep back up in the freezer. If you have a bit of saffron and paprika around, with some broth, rice, and seasonal vegetables, you’re ready to make paella. And it’s quite simple.

An Amazing Vegetarian Paella Served in Skillet

The Best Rice For Paella

Choosing the right rice for paella is key. Ideally, you want a short-grain, stubby paella rice, something like this, or this. Look for Bomba. Paella rices are celebrated for being able to absorb more water (or broth) than other rices, while maintaining structure. This translates to a paella with definition between grains – no mushy rice. I also love this article about choosing rice for paella with Russ Moore (of Camino in Oakland, CA). He uses a well-rinsed, local, Japanese short-grain varietal, and his paella is beautiful. If you do experiment with non-paella rice varietals, you’ll need to play around a bit and adjust the liquids.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

I’ve tried. I’ve tested 100% brown rice paella, and blends. Here’s the problem. Brown rice takes a lot longer to cook comparatively. So, the way paella comes together is the following. You get all your ingredients in the pan, stir once, and then leave it alone. This is half the battle when it comes to achieving a golden-crusted bottom (desirable!), see below. When you use brown rice, you end up with overcooked vegetables, because you need to cook it so long. My advice? Stick with tradition and use a short-grain paella rice.

The Trick to Achieving Socarrat Magic

Today’s recipe focuses on paella made indoors, in a modern kitchen. That said, many paella are cooked grilled, over open flame. One of the things you hope to achieve in either scenario is socarrat – that golden crusted rice bottom. The skill, of course, coming from just the right amount of toastiness – not too little, not burned. If you’re brave, give your paella a moment or so on a burner, after removing from the oven, to  increase your likelihood of some good socarrat! Takes some practice.

How to Make Vegetarian Paella Awesome

Here’s the deal, you need to load up on seasonal vegetables. Experiment! There are so many ingredients that are fair game here. I like ingredients with a bit of structure, that can handle some cooking time. Asparagus (thicker stem vs. skinny), baby artichokes, summer squash, fava beans, cherry tomatoes, peas, etc.

Paella Verde Variation

A green version of the vegetarian paella you see pictured here is fantastic. Simply stir in 1/4 pound of well chopped spinach or kale with the other vegetables.

This recent paella bender was inspired by a beautiful paella birthday dinner cooked by my friend Bonni Evensen. You can see pics in my Instagram feed.

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