How did your home get this crowded with guests, and so early in the morning? Don’t panic: With a bit of advance planning and prep work, a festive, hearty breakfast for guests can be as easy as turning on the oven.
Keep in mind a few ground rules. First, remember that some people can’t live without protein first thing in the morning, while others must have something sweet. If you’re doing sausage gravy and biscuits, set out butter and jam for those with a sweet tooth. Secondly, try to provide some DIY, healthful options, such as granola and yogurt with fresh fruit, along with your entrée. (Someone will likely be up before you; be sure he has a banana available to him.) Finally, try to get as much done in advance as you can, from picking out the linens to doing the chopping. Here are a few of our favorite breakfast-for-a-crew recipes.
This back-pocket feeds-a-crowd dish is a delight to have available to you, particularly since it’s so inexpensive and easy to prepare. A strata is simply a casserole of bread, eggs and cheese, and the savory strata seen above packed with sausage and cheddar cheese is as comforting as it is hearty.
Another excellent recipe, this strata Lorraine includes ham, egg and cheese, sure, but also a full pound of spinach. It’s a lovely way to sneak vegetables into any hungry children clamoring at the holiday table. (Quote Dr. Seuss and change the topic if they inquire about the “green stuff.”)
Speaking of sweet options, this baked eggnog French toast is as pretty as a picture on a winter breakfast table. It tastes just as good as looks (and smells) thanks to a full teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg and a splash of bourbon. As is true of many of these dishes, it can be assembled the night before.
There’s nothing like a hash for anyone who overindulged on holiday booze the night before. This tasty one takes advantage of the almost-no-dishes nature of a sheet pan. Simply roast Brussels sprouts together with potatoes, onions and eggs on a single pan. Have a larger crowd coming? Make two sheet pans’ worth of baked eggs and veggies.
Another dish that can be pulled together the night before, this Meyer lemon French toast is just the thing for sweets lovers. If you’re never cooked with Meyer lemons before, they’re slightly sweeter than your standard lemon, with a gorgeous aroma. Save their juice for spritzers or bourbon sours, and use the zest in this pan full of wonderfully tender French toast.
Your guests don’t need to know that you used up the last of the potatoes, the squash about to get wrinkly, and that bell pepper pulled from the very back of the fridge. This hash is excellent with almost whatever leftovers you’ve got, but you can let people think that a ton of thought when into the mix of veggies and herbs you chose.
Why not leave your guests with the best last impression possible? This showstopper of a bread pudding will accomplish that mission. It’s got three eggs and five yolks for protein, so it’s technically robust enough for brunch food. But it’s so delicately sweet with orange marmalade that you could absolutely call it “breakfast dessert” and watch folks flip for it.
It’s hard to beat Southern biscuits and gravy for a hearty all-in-one way to feed a carnivorous crowd. Pillowy, lofty biscuits find their ideal foil in a cream-spiked pork sausage gravy. Do it up even further by serving a simple platter of scrambled eggs alongside, plus butter and jam who like to ease into that delicious first meal of the day.