Celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s morning with a few of these holiday brunch recipes that are perfect for a small gathering. From side dishes and main meals to drinks and sweet treats, this list is sure to help you pull off a fabulous mid-morning feast!
Brunches are usually associated with large gatherings. In fact, it’s one of my favourite meals to host for a large crowd, especially around the holidays. There’s just so much variety in brunch dishes. Since it tends to straddle breakfast and lunch, it’s fun to offer a mix of recipes that cover both meals. I also love the laid back atmosphere of brunches, with free flowing mimosas and coffee and relaxed conversation.
This year, our brunch gathering won’t be a large gathering, so I’ll be scaling things back and preparing fewer dishes for a much smaller crowd.
And, since most of us are in the same situation, I thought I would share 14 of my favourite holiday brunch ideas that are great for a smaller celebration. Some of them are small batch recipes, serving 2-6 people, while others are scaleable simply by halving the recipe.
Most importantly, they’re all delicious, so you’ll want to add a few of these festive recipes to your holiday brunch menu this year!
Tips for hosting a holiday brunch
- Keep things simple: Focus on preparing one main dish, like a quiche or casserole, and build a few side dishes around it. No need to go overboard, especially if you’re having a small group of people.
- Have a mix of sweet and savoury recipes: Some people enjoy sweet brunches and others go for savoury, so I like to balance it out by offering a little of both. This could mean a french toast bake with bacon and hash browns, or it could be a savoury quiche with fruit and pastries on the side.
- Prep recipes in advance: Make ahead casseroles can be assembled at night and baked in the morning, so try to go with those where you can. You can also make muffins and breads weeks in advance and freeze them. For other recipes, you can prep ingredients the day before, like cutting up fresh fruit or chopping veggies for a quiche.
- Set your table the day before: It might seem like a small thing, but having your table set in advance is one less thing to worry about the morning of your brunch.
- Use counter appliances to save oven space: Ovens run out of space quickly. And when you’re trying to keep everything warm for serving guests, timing is key. That’s why I utilize my toaster oven, microwave and even air fryer where I can. It helps me cook or reheat side dishes while the oven handles baked goods and main dishes.
- Have non-alcoholic cocktails available: While mimosas are a popular beverage choice for brunch, it’s always nice to have a non-alcoholic version for people who are driving or opting not to drink.
- Have your coffee brewed for when guests arrive: I hope I’m not in the minority when I say plenty of coffee is essential for a brunch. So make sure you have a pot ready to go for people when they arrive. And if you’re making specialty lattes or other warm drinks, make sure you have things ready to go for those too.
- Relax and enjoy the good food and company!
14 Holiday Brunch Recipes for a Small Gathering
Celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s morning with a few of these holiday brunch recipes. From side dishes and main meals to drinks and sweet treats, this list is sure to help you pull off a festive brunch for a small gathering!
Sausage Frittata (with Peppers and Onions)
This Sausage Frittata with Peppers and Onions is a one pan meal that comes together quickly on the stove top (with just a few minutes in the oven) so it frees up valuable oven space. It's made with flavourful kielbasa sausage and has a spicy, peppery kick. You can get six large slices from this frittata and it goes nicely with a side salad.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole (with Ground Turkey and Eggs)
This Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole is made with ground turkey and eggs and flavoured with maple syrup, apple sauce and sage. You can assemble and bake it right away, but if you need to prep this casserole in advance, just assemble the night before, cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. You get about six servings and leftovers reheat well.
Savoury Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet
Sliced sweet potato, red peppers, eggs and turkey bacon all come together in this Savoury Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet. It’s so filling it can be served as a stand alone meal. Just add some toast and a cup of coffee, and you’re all set! It serves 4-6 people so perfect for a small holiday brunch.
Instant Pot Egg Strata (with Ham and Brie)
This Instant Pot Egg Strata is an easy make ahead casserole that requires just eight ingredients and 10 minutes prep time. Just refrigerate overnight and pop it in the Instant Pot the morning of your brunch. It's also a great way to use up holiday leftovers such as your Christmas Eve ham or brie from your charcuterie board. It serves four people nicely!
Butternut Squash Quiche (with Spinach and Prosciutto)
This Butternut Squash Quiche is a delicious blend of sweet and savoury ingredients, with an almond flour crust, tender squash and crispy prosciutto. It goes perfectly with a salad or home fries, and you can get eight small servings or four large pieces from the recipe.
Baked French Toast Casserole with Cherries
Baked French Toast Casserole is a decadent brunch dish with layers of sourdough, fresh cherries, almonds and chocolate chips. You only need eight ingredients, and I highly recommend trying it with fresh cranberries, especially if you can't find fresh cherries. It's prepped in advance for an easy brunch dish. It serves eight people so feel free to half the recipe for a smaller crowd.
Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
Home fries are a must-have brunch side dish, so be sure to add these Air Fryer Baby Potatoes to your Christmas brunch menu. They're easy to prep and roast up crispy and tender in the air fryer! The recipe makes about six servings but you can easily half the recipe.
Air Fryer Butternut Squash Home Fries
If you want to change up your home fries, try these Air Fryer Butternut Squash Fries as a holiday brunch side dish. Seasonal squash is seasoned with herbs, spices and maple syrup, so you get a little taste of sweet and spicy in every bite. The recipe serves four so it's perfect for a small brunch gathering.
Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins
You can't forget the muffins for brunch and these Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins are bursting with festive cranberries, orange and chocolate. You can make them the day before your scheduled brunch, or even weeks before the holidays and just freeze them. If you don't have fresh cranberries, frozen or dried cranberries work too.
Cranberry White Chocolate Rolls
If you want to add some festive decadence to your Christmas morning, make these Cranberry White Chocolate Rolls. They're sweet and tart and take just 40 minutes from start to finish. The recipe makes 12 and they last for a few days stored at room temperature.
Walnut Banana Bread with Molasses
Sweet banana and warming molasses come together in this Walnut Molasses Banana Bread. It's soft and tender with a crunchy walnut streusel topping. A thick slice with a cup of tea or coffee is the perfect way to end a holiday brunch. It will keep for a few days in a container at room temperature, or make it in advance and freeze for the holidays.
Chocolate Hazelnut Rolls
Every brunch needs a decadent treat, and if you're a fan of Nutella, you'll love these Chocolate Hazelnut Rolls. They're sweet and fluffy, rolled with Nutella and hazelnuts and topped with dulce de leche. They require no yeast and no rising time, so you can have warm sweet rolls on the table in less than an hour.
Ginger Beer Mimosas
What’s a brunch without mimosas? Add some festive flavours to your New Year's or Christmas brunch menu with these Ginger Beer Mimosas. They’re a spin on traditional mimosas, with the addition of cardamom, ground ginger and ginger beer. The recipe makes two, so perfect for sharing. Leave out the vodka and use non-alcoholic ginger beer for a festive mocktail!
Pumpkin Spice Latte with Coconut Whip
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes are a healthier version of a seasonal favourite. This recipe is dairy-free and refined sugar-free, and topped with a coconut whipped cream. They make a warm and flavourful treat for a cozy Thanksgiving or Christmas brunch. The recipe makes two, but you can easily double it.
If you make any of these recipes during the holiday season, I’d love to know which ones you tried in the comments below!
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Katerina | Once a Foodie says
Oh my gosh, these all look delicious, Leanne! I honestly would not know which one to choose first, they all look so good. I’d never thought I say this as I have a sweet tooth but all the savoury skillets and quiches sound amazing. And thanks for the tips too!
Thanks Katerina! I normally have a sweet tooth in the mornings too, but love savoury dishes for brunches!
So many awesome ideas that you shared! Every single one of them look delicious Leanne! I have my eye on the sausage frittata!
The frittata is a good one to try! Thanks Christie!
Wow! This would make one magnificent brunch, Leanne! I want to try everything!!
Have a wonderful holiday, my friend! xo
Thanks Marissa! I hope you had a wonderful holiday too! And happy almost 2019!
I would happy with every single one of these for Christmas brunch but the hardest part would be choosing between them all! I’m very into savory egg bakes so I’d definitely start there. Merry Christmas to you Leanne!
Thanks Marcie! I hosted brunch yesterday, and made a few of these recipes, including a savoury egg dish! Thanks for the Christmas wishes. Hope you had a fabulous holiday with family and friends!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I definitely shouldn’t have popped over here before breakfast. Now my oatmeal is going to look quite pitiful :). All these recipes look phenomenal and I’m reworking my Christmas breakfast menu a bit. Hope you’re having a great week!
Hahah! Thanks Kelsie! I’m sure your oatmeal was delicious! And I’m sure your Christmas breakfast will be filled with fantastic dishes and treats!
Haylie Abele says
That Chocolate Orange Gingerbread Muesli is calling my name! I love a good cozy warm breakfast bowl any time, any day! All of these recipes sound so delicious, Leanne! Great round-up! I think you’ll have a hard time choosing only one of these for Christmas itself, huh? Haha!
Nice choice Haylie! I go for the muesli when I’m in the mood for something hearty and a little different than the usual! Yes, I can’t narrow it to just one recipe. There will be a few made for Christmas for sure! Thanks for stopping by!
That quiche is calling my name! Love brunch too! Hubby and I enjoy going out on occasion, but rather stay home most times (cause pajamas and good coffee, lol). This is such a yummy reference for over the holidays….no going wrong with any of these recipes 🙂
Thanks so much Dawn! My hubby and I are the same way. If we go out to eat, we prefer brunch. But our favourite way to spend a weekend morning is lazing at home with a good homemade brunch and lots of coffee!
Love what you’ve included in your line up Leanne! Such a great variety of brunch Inso, I want to enjoy them all! Have a great week 🙂
Thanks so much Tanya! I wish I could make all of them for my holiday brunch!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
You certainly like breakfast as much as I do! I can’t even pick a favourite, they all look so good! I’ve yet to try those cinnamon buns but every time I see them I am kicking myself for not doing it yet! Happy week before Christmas, Leanne!
I didn’t fully appreciate my love for breakfast until I started blogging! I love creating and eating breakfast and brunch recipes! I’m having a hard time narrowing down what to serve my guests! The buns are a must try for sure Katherine! Hope you get to make them!