35+ Brunch Menu Ideas for a Buffet
Hosting a brunch buffet at home for Easter, Mother’s Day or a bridal or baby shower? This guide will walk you through the best brunch menu ideas to keep it as stress-free as possible!
It seems like spring is THE season for brunch get-togethers. Mother’s Day, Easter, and then tons of bridal and baby showers seem to happen in the spring. And I’m into a brunch buffet hosted at home, for a lot of reasons.
The food and drink options can be kept a lot simpler compared to dinner. Really, a brunch buffet can be as easy or involved as you want it to be.
You can go all out and make a ton of fancy brunch recipes, or just make some bacon in the oven or turkey bacon in the oven, a vegetarian quiche, and a round of caramel coffee and call it good.
One of my classes in culinary school was literally just a class where we put on a breakfast buffet every single morning, including everything from breakfast fried rice to shrimp deviled eggs.
Today, I’m sharing some of the tips and tricks I learned that will you help you serve the best brunch buffet at home. Make yourself a lemon smoothie, settle in, and check out these brunch party ideas.
There’s also a big list of the best brunch menu ideas (all verified easy and buffet-ready) at the bottom of this post.
Bookmark this guide for brunch ideas at home for Easter, Mother’s Day, a baby or bridal shower, or simply any time you’re in the mood for a quick and easy brunch menu!
Keep your brunch menu ideas very simple.
We all know that there are a lot of food options when it comes to brunch buffet ideas, with a wide range of sweet and savory foods.
The best way to host a great buffet and keep your sanity at the same time is by narrowing down your brunch menu ideas. You’re not a culinary school class with 18 students attending to the buffet line, it’s just you!
And since you’re the host, choose which brunch ideas you like best. Choose one savory entree (like a sweet potato breakfast casserole), one sweet one (such as malted waffles made earlier and kept warm in a low oven), some fruit, and then a bread or pastry, like buttermilk blueberry muffins (made the night before!).
Everybody knows that I much prefer savory foods, so when I host my personal best brunch buffet, it includes brunch party ideas like olives, the fixings for savory cottage cheese breakfast bowls, and even a Spring salad.
Rely on brunch party foods that you can make before your guests arrive for the brunch buffet.
Sadly, if you want to keep things easy and stress-free, now is just not the time for lemon pancakes or ice cream French toast made to order while your guests are standing around watching you sweat (although you can make pancakes ahead of time and keep them warm in a low oven).
But, lots of different types of brunch food, especially egg dishes, can be made in advance.
You can assemble and fully cook a quiche or cornbread breakfast casserole the day before, keep it in the fridge, and rewarm it right before guests arrive. One of my favorite brunch dishes, quiche is just fine served warm or at room temperature.
Another savory brunch menu idea I use often for buffets is make ahead breakfast muffins.
Pickled egg salad, served with croissants, is also a great make-ahead brunch menu idea. I’ve even been known to make a seafood pasta salad as part of a brunch buffet.
Or, serve a no-cooking-required platter or a make-it-yourself bar for a quick and easy brunch menu.
Sure, you could spend your time assembling smoked salmon crostini or smoked salmon BLTs and arranging them on a pretty platter. Or, you could have your guests put it together themselves with a DIY smoked salmon platter!
A big breakfast charcuterie board with phyllo cup appetizers is a brunch buffet idea that lets your guest graze on brunch food while they mingle, and couldn’t be easier to put together. An Easter charcuterie board is an idea for that holiday.
You could even have guests make their own jarcuterie or individual charcuterie cups. Get more ideas for this in my charcuterie board ideas post!
Or how about a yogurt parfait bar? Everybody can spoon as much yogurt as they want into their own bowl, and top it with all the delicious toppings. You could even introduce your friends to a new brunch idea with a savory yogurt bar!
Even something a simple as english muffins can be served DIY style. Buy some salted butter and three or four fancy store-bought jams and scoop them into pretty bowls with serving spoons. Scatter them around the brunch buffet table and hand people a toasted muffin. They will love it. This is one of my favorite brunch menu ideas!
Forget the typical fruit plate, I have some easier brunch party ideas for fruit.
For the classic hotel-buffet-style fruit platter, you’d either have to buy a pre-cut fruit platter from a grocery store (which is usually super expensive and the quality is generally not good), or buy a bunch of different kinds of fruit (melons, pineapple, etc.) yourself and cut it all up (which can be time consuming).
Instead, just pick a few fruits that are in season and don’t even need to be cut up. Clementines, grapes, apples, and berries of all kinds are among the best brunch ideas for fruit.
All you need to do is wash the fruit and set it out in pretty serving dishes. You’re done, and it’s one of the easiest brunch menu ideas at home!
Psst – if you ARE feeling the need to get next level with your fruit tray, I recommend fruit and cheese kabobs or little jars similar to my Easter fruit salad. But seriously, don’t feel like you HAVE to get next level. It’s not necessary!
Unless MAYBE it’s a holiday morning, and then feel free to splurge on Thanksgiving fruit salad or Christmas fruit salad.
Set up a bar cart, and let everybody mix their own personal best brunch drink.
And by “bar cart,” I mean a cart, an old tv tray covered with a pretty dish towel, or even a spare bit of counter space, if you have it. You can Google “how to stock a bar cart” another time – right now you only need to choose a few options:
- champagne + orange juice for mimosas. Everybody has their own idea of the proper ratio for a mimosa anyway, so might as well let them pour it themselves!
- vodka + bloody mary mix, and maybe some everything bagel bloody mary rim salt and bloody mary skewers if you’re feeling fancy.
- a pot of coffee (or a Nespresso or Keurig machine and pods) as well, with cream and sugar for those who partake. You could even whip up batches of caramel syrup for coffee and microwave caramel sauce, and set them out with an ice bucket for DIY caramel iced coffee.
If people ask “what can I bring?,” take them up on it.
Don’t be a brunch buffet hero! If a friend offers to bring something, give them one of these easy brunch party ideas that they can pick up on their way to your house:
Bagels and some cream cheese are always a hit. Or a box of the good donuts. Every town has a place with the good donuts, right? They’re a perfect addition to your quick and easy brunch menu.
Or how about one of those big cartons of hot coffee, so you don’t have to make it? I think that Panera, Starbucks and Dunkin’ all sell cartons of coffee.
Whatever it is, one thing that somebody brings to your brunch buffet is one less thing you have to make!
The Best Brunch Menu Ideas
Hosting a brunch buffet at home for Easter, Mother's Day or a bridal or baby shower? This guide will walk you through the best brunch menu ideas to keep it as stress-free as possible!
This Easy Vegetarian Quiche Recipe is a simple and customizable addition to your brunch table. Veggies and cheese are folded into a silky egg custard and baked in a flaky pastry shell. Make ahead and reheat!
These savory Make Ahead Breakfast Muffins can be made with the vegetables, cheese and meat you like best. Serve these little egg cups on a brunch buffet, or freeze to reheat for an easy weekday breakfast.
This Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole is a great meal prep recipe. Make it with whatever meat, cheese and veggies you have on hand. Easy to reheat for breakfast and lunch throughout the week!
Egg Salad with Pickles is a versatile, irresistible recipe, great for meal prepped lunches throughout the week or as part of a brunch buffet. Serve on croissants, bread, or just with a fork!
Not sure what to do with leftover cornbread? This Cornbread Breakfast Casserole recipe is a hearty egg bake with sausage, cornbread and black beans. It’s easy to make ahead for a brunch gathering.
Shrimp Deviled Eggs are a decadent but easy twist on a classic. With just mayo, mustard, Old Bay seasoning and shrimp, hard boiled eggs are transformed into a finger food perfect for brunch, Easter or Mother's Day.
Making turkey bacon in the oven is the easiest, best way to cook it! Get crispy turkey bacon with no more splatters on your stovetop.
Wondering how to cook bacon in the oven? Follow this easy culinary school technique to make perfect crispy oven baked bacon, every time (with no splatters of bacon grease on your stovetop!)
Impress party guests with this easy and elegant smoked salmon platter. Assemble everything you see here in just 15 minutes, for a brunch buffet or cocktail party.
This Smoked Salmon BLT can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! Savory smoked salmon, crispy bacon, fresh lettuce and tomato and tangy lemon herb mayonnaise come together for the ultimate sandwich.
It’s Smoked Salmon Crostini, with a twist. Avocado, cream cheese, cucumber and sesame seeds make this crostini taste just like a Philadelphia sushi roll!
Enjoy a European breakfast platter for a change with this Breakfast Charcuterie Board. A perfect combination of sweet and savory, there’s something for everybody on this breakfast board.
This Jarcuterie with pickled cherries is a single serve charcuterie and cheese board in the cutest little portable container.
Need a change of pace for your morning meal? Try this Savory Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl for a protein packed jump start to your day.
Not a fan of fruity yogurt? Try savory yogurt one of three different ways. Or, try all three: Everything Bagel, Greek and Caprese.
This Winter Citrus Parfait Bar is perfect as part of a brunch buffet. Make breakfast exciting again with easy homemade granola, fresh citrus and a bunch of fun toppings!
This Spring Fruit Salad with sweetened whipped cottage cheese dip is the cutest addition to a brunch buffet. Serve in adorable jars or on your prettiest platter.
This Spring salad is loaded with delicious seasonal ingredients including asparagus, snap peas, prosciutto and cheese. Topped with a deviled egg dressing, it's perfect as an Easter salad or for Mother's Day brunch.
Level up your brunch cocktail game with homemade bloody mary mix, lots of fun garnishes, and everything bagel bloody mary rim salt!
Make your own Everything Bagel Seasoning for less than half the price of pre-mixed seasoning from the store. Sprinkle on salads, veggies, eggs, cottage cheese . . . everything!
Lemon-Poppyseed Cornbread Mini Muffins are versatile mini muffins that can be served with a meal or enjoyed on their own!
These Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins are bakery-style muffins filled with juicy berries, lemon zest and vanilla, and topped with crunchy sugar!
Spice up your yogurt and granola routine with this exotic Lemon Cardamom Coconut Granola.
Everybody loves a fancy iced coffee with a green straw, but who wants to spend $5 for a drink each time? This easy Caramel Syrup for Coffee will have you making delicious coffee house style drinks at home in no time!
Make this Starbucks-style Caramel Coffee at home in minutes! Coffee, milk and caramel come together for this sweet treat.
Simple to stir up and so refreshing to drink, this homemade caramel iced coffee recipe is a treat any time of the day, year ’round!
Most importantly, don’t overwork yourself.
You my friend, just saved me what could have been such a massive headache! Thanks a bunch for these tips!
You’re welcome, Erika. Thanks for stopping by!