Try These Tasty New Ideas for Brunch (and Waffle Hacks!) at Home
The most satisfying, tasty, and memorable meals are those enjoyed with good company. Brunch, what used to be known as the meal that fell in between the times of traditional breakfast and lunch, is one such memorable meal – and one that has exploded in popularity so much in recent years that it’s enjoyed anytime of day. It’s also a fun way to entertain on the weekends. Whether you will be serving two people or 20, we have 18 fresh, fun and tasty brunch ideas at home to level up your game. These work great for a meal that’s about celebrating or relaxing – and most of all, eating.
We all know we also eat with our eyes, so serving up pretty pancakes is one of the best brunch ideas. Pancakes are something that can also be prepared ahead and kept in a warm oven (on low) or in a chafing dish. Here are a few ideas to flip the script on pancakes.
Skewer two small silver dollar sized pancakes together with either a slice of bacon or two sausage links. Raspberries or blackberries are excellent substitutes for the meat.
Make a pancake buffet by cooking some pancakes with blueberries, bananas or chocolate chips. Add a toppings bar and serve with non-traditional toppings like caramel sauce, honey, crushed nuts or cinnamon.
Create a strawberry shortcake “fake-out” by layering pancakes with strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.
How to make a quick glaze to drizzle over pancakes
Not crazy about traditional syrup on pancakes? Try this alternative.
- 2 cups of confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan.
- Heat and stir until combined and melted. Enjoy.
Waffle Recipe Hacks
Traditional waffles taste terrific, but here are other ways to use your waffle maker or serve waffles for brunch.
Instead of waffle batter, try using prepared brownie mix and ladling into the waffle maker for a sweet chocolate waffle (or experiment and mix a little brownie batter with waffle batter). You might add chocolate, nuts, a spoonful of peanut butter or coconut flakes to make it extra special.
Pressed Potato Waffles
Have some mashed potato leftovers? Turn them into a brunch side dish by pressing a scoop of mashed potato into the waffle maker. Sprinkle in seasonings like onion or garlic powder, and add parsley or chives for a fresh flavor boost. Note: These waffles may need additional cooking time to crisp up and brown.
Ever tried chaffles (cheese and egg waffles)? Combine one egg with ½ cup of shredded cheese of your choice. Add one teaspoon of flour (use almond or coconut flour for Keto and gluten-free friendliness) and cook in waffle maker for 2 – 3 minutes.
Fried Chicken and Waffles
Serve waffles with fried chicken (either made by you or bought from store).
Waffle Egg Sandwich
Use traditional waffles in place of a bun or bread, to create a delicious egg sandwich. Mix your favorite omelet ingredients in a bowl and pour into a waffle maker lightly greased with cooking spray. Cook until the eggs are fully set and slightly browned, about two minutes.
Piece of Cake Waffles
Make dessert-style waffles using prepared cake mix. There are so many options to choose from, but my favorite is the sprinkle version. This you can serve with vanilla ice cream, more sprinkles, whipped cream, and of course, a cherry on top!
Scrambled Egg Taco Buffet
One of the classic brunch ideas is serving scrambled eggs, since they are an incredibly versatile food. But I especially like them as a base for a taco buffet for brunch. They can be made quickly and kept warm in a covered pan either in an oven (on low heat) or over a steam pan.
Combine two eggs with two tablespoons of water for fluffier eggs. This is also perfect for those who need a dairy-free version. If you want a creamier result, use two tablespoons of milk instead of water. Warm the pan before adding the egg mixture. Stir minimally in the pan while cooking, and remove from heat when a bit of wetness can still be seen. This will let you avoid overcooking.
For the taco buffet you will need:
- Soft tortillas
- Ground sausage, cooked and drained
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Diced green onion
- Fresh cilantro
- Sour cream
Allow guests to create their own scrambled egg taco masterpieces. You can also mix the ingredients and prepare tortillas. Freeze for busy weekday mornings, just pop in the microwave to heat.
Buncha Brunch Bowls
Another great idea for brunch at home is to set out a pretty display of colorful and appetizing ingredients. Then encourage guests to put together healthy and delicious brunch bowls, according to their own tastes. Most combinations can also be made ahead, and served in beautiful dishes or stemware for your brunch.
Yogurt bowls usually feature Greek yogurt as the focus ingredient. Toppings can include fresh fruits, granola, honey, chia or pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries or coconut flakes.
Acai bowls can be made with many of the same ingredients as yogurt bowls but have acai puree at the center. Consider a scoop of yogurt, sliced bananas or mango, slivered almonds and even oatmeal for add-ins.
Believe it or not, this breakfast staple can be fun and flavorful. Serve with fruit, nuts or peanut butter, or mix things up with a spoonful of hazelnut spread.
Pro Serving tip: Use a partially scooped out half a cantaloupe melon as the bowl for any of the above brunch dishes.
Savory Brunch Bowls
Savory brunch bowls can be created using a base of roasted potatoes, a mixed green tossed salad, or your favorite grain (try quinoa), add a serving of black beans, sliced avocado, meat of choice, and top with a poached or fried egg.
Sometimes you just want a burger, and who says you can’t have one for brunch? Whether you are craving a real beefy hamburger or a taste-alike version, eat and serve what feels best to you. You can go all in and grill up some traditional beef hamburgers, either full ones or smaller sliders. You can serve them in buns, English muffins, between two waffles, or wrapped in lettuce leaves.
But it is brunch after all, and here are some fun ideas to further brunch up your burger.
Sausage Patty Burger
Swap out the burger with any sausage patty. Plant-based, turkey sausage or pork can all make the perfect brunch burger.
Try an open-faced burger topped with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. For the sauce, whisk four eggs with one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Set the bowl over a simmer pan of water and whisk in one stick of melted butter. Continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and add a pinch of salt while whisking to completion.
Pro brunch burger tip: Top any burger with a soft fried egg (two strips of bacon are an additional add-on).
Quick & Easy Sweet Treats
For your sweet treats – and every brunch must have them – one of my favorite ideas for brunch at home is creating something new with prepared and familiar ingredients. It will also save you a bit of time in preparation.
Customized Crescent Rolls
Tube-style crescent rolls are perfect for customizing. Roll out the dough and fill with a spoonful of your favorite jam, jelly, hazelnut spread, peanut butter or cream cheese. Bake according to package directions, and top with powdered sugar or the glaze recipe listed above.
Cinnamon Roll Applie Pies
Prepared cinnamon rolls can be pressed into a muffin or cupcake pan and used as a pie crust. Fill each cinnamon roll with apple pie filling, which consists of four peeled-and-cored apples (cut into chunks), one tablespoon flour, two teaspoons of sugar, and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes in a 375° F oven.
Pro tip: Cinnamon rolls can also be prepared in your waffle maker. Drizzle with frosting after cooked.
Keep brunch in mind when planning a celebration or gathering of friends or family, whether it’s Mother’s Day, Easter, the Holidays or just because it’s the weekend. Many of the foods can be set out in a simple or decorative display, allowing everyone to serve themselves. With the right combination of tasty fare, your guests will go away fully happy, full and satisfied. Oh yes – and don’t forget the mimosas.