Make-ahead brunch recipes?
March 2, 2013 10:26 AM   Subscribe

We are hosting a brunch the morning after my sister's wedding. What are some good recipes that we can make ahead of time (ideally the weekend before) and freeze?

There will be about 30+ people there. We'll have mimosas, coffee, fruit salad, croissants, muffins, etcetera, and would also like to do some dishes that we can cook quickly or heat up without having to get up at 2 AM.

We want to stay away from things like pancakes that would keep us tied to the stove.

Any other general brunch hosting tips would be greatly appreciated!!
posted by jschu to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Waffles can be frozen then re-heated. Just don't let them toast much the first time around since they'll crisp up later.

French toast casserole, it's kinda like a bread pudding.

Bacon can also be made in the oven. Takes longer than on the stove but less work and easy clean-up. I guess you could do the same as with the muffins. Give it a try beforehand to see if it works.
posted by Neekee at 10:31 AM on March 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

posted by greta simone at 10:32 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ditto on the french toast casserole (we've made this ahead a bunch and it works well). You could also do a variety of egg casseroles, some veggie and some meaty then reheat the day of.

Bagels and different cream cheeses are easy as well.

Oh! and this is dead easy to throw together morning of (you can use any kind of cream of ___ soup). Sounds disgusting but is one of the biggest hits I've ever seen at a brunch.
posted by goggie at 10:33 AM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Forgot to mention that we don't have a waffle iron or Any specialty equipment like that. We have a crock pot and double ovens.
posted by jschu at 10:34 AM on March 2, 2013

Quiche or strata, either of which can be frozen or pre-baked, and which give you a TON of flexibility about people's food restrictions (as long as they can do eggs, I suppose.)

I also like the idea of bagels and cream cheese.
posted by gauche at 10:40 AM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

+1 quiche

Crêpes freeze beautifully -- stack them with waxed paper inbetween each, pop into a zip-top freezer bag, they'll come out wonderfully and can be filled with the fruit or savoury stuff.

I have had scrambled eggs out of a slow cooker; they weren't really anything that one would rush to make again, but they were quite edible and a great option for a big brunch.

You could make and freeze a bunch of fruit sauce-type stuff -- chop your fruit, macerate with a bit of sugar, stir around on stove, done; freeze -- and have a yoghourt bar with plain yoghourt, the fruit topping, and some granola...
posted by kmennie at 10:42 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

OOPS! forgot to add the disgusting looking recipe! It's cheesy hashbrowns. .
posted by goggie at 10:43 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can make biscuits or scones ahead and freeze them, unbaked, and then just pop them in the oven on the day. I've done this many times and it's worked well. If you're doing biscuits & gravy (excellent choice) the gravy can be made ahead as well and just reheated. Gravy (like other soups and soup-like things) is often better the next day anyway.

You can make coffee cakes, muffins, etc ahead of time and freeze them.

If you want to do an egg dish that's not a quiche, things like shakshuka work too-- make the tomato sauce ahead, reheat, and then crack the eggs in when guests arrive. This Smitten Kitchen post has some good tips for easy-on-the-day brunch prep.
posted by Kpele at 10:43 AM on March 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

You can make little individual crustless quiche things in muffin tins and refrigerate or freeze them, then serve them (thawed, of course) cold/room temperature/pop them in the oven for 10 minutes before serving. I picked this recipe at random from the googles.
posted by rtha at 11:02 AM on March 2, 2013

Strata, for sure. Use stale bread and you can assemble it days in advance (if you use fresh it might disintegrate, but not if you use good quality bread and let it stale.) Use hearty ingredients like spinach, sharp cheese, bacon if you like that, and then all you need to add is a big bowl of clementines and a yogurt bar, voila fancy brunch. You can and should stack them in the fridge; the pressure makes sure the custard distributes evenly
posted by fingersandtoes at 11:03 AM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Bisquick's Sausage Cheese Balls freeze well and they are DELICOUS. My family makes them with just sausage, cheese, bisquick, and milk, but you could add any herbs or scallions or similar that you wanted.
posted by rakaidan at 11:34 AM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

The toughest thing for me at these types of events is finding some protein. It's easy to serve carby stuff - muffins, fruit, toast, scones. Protein is often scarce. There are some options that don't include standing next to the stove frying omelettes: egg casserole (easy make ahead), hard boiled eggs, some Greek yogurt - any of these would work.
posted by 26.2 at 12:02 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was thinking about protein too. If you had a large frying pan (preferably one of those electric countertop types) you could do a few large batches of breakfast sausage or bacon which would be nice. Breakfast sausage especially is pretty quick and easy, compact, and filling.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:09 PM on March 2, 2013

You can get a waffle iron for 20$ on Amazon, and waffles are really a great make-ahead (or make-there) brunch food.

Quiche, absolutely -- you can fill them with veggies and/or meat. Hash brown potatoes. Frittata.
posted by jeather at 12:37 PM on March 2, 2013

There are lots of recipes for baked French toast. I once made a monkey bread French toast that was easy and delicious. Also, on protein, this wasn't a make-ahead thing but when my husband and I hosted an Easter brunch, he went out of his way to buy good bacon and made it while people were over. At first, our guests were underwhelmed but once they could smell it, they were all over it.
posted by kat518 at 1:06 PM on March 2, 2013

Company Eggs
posted by dizziest at 2:08 PM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

I made Giada's blueberry french toast casserole for a brunch party and it was a huge hit.

I made it the weekend before, froze it unbaked, then let it defrost in the fridge overnight and popped it in the oven the morning of. It was fine warm/room temp.
posted by elizeh at 2:15 PM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Let people assemble their own breakfast:
  1. Yogurt bar. Get some large containers of plain yogurt, berries, dried fruit, granola, honey, nuts, jam.
  2. Lox bagels. Set out a platter with cream cheese, lox/smoked salmon, capers, red onions and bagels with a toaster.
  3. Oatmeal bar. Put the crock pot to work with some steel-cut oatmeal done overnight. Have toasted pecans, maple syrup or brown sugar to go on top.
Then your only duty as host/ess is to keep an eye on the spreads and replenish them as needed.

I wouldn't worry about having some hot egg/sausage type item. They're hard to keep warm, rarely taste as good warmed over, and unless you've got a huge dining room table, people will probably be standing and mingling about anyhow, making a buffet/serve-your-self thing more natural.
posted by fontophilic at 10:20 AM on March 3, 2013

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