Best-Ever Brunch | Easy Recipes for Lakeside Entertaining


Brunch is an easy way to entertain friends and family, especially with recipes you can make ahead. Having a leisurely meal followed by an early afternoon on the dock is a beautiful way to spend the day any time of year.

(Serves 6) Frittatas are easier to make than a quiche and very adaptable to whatever protein and veggies you have in your fridge, so feel free to swap out ingredients. The results will still be delicious, and if you happen to have leftovers, they taste just as good the next day!

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 ounces cooked chicken breast, diced or shredded (rotisserie chicken makes this easy)

Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and peppers and saute until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the green onions, garlic, salt and pepper and cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add cheese, chicken, and vegetables from the skillet. Stir to combine, then pour into the prepared pie dish. Bake 40 minutes, until the center is nearly set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The frittata will puff while baking, then settle a bit as it cools. Let sit 5 minutes then serve warm or at room temperature. ADAPTED FROM WELL PLATED BY ERIN.

A eureka moment for me was the first time I made bacon in the oven instead of frying it on the stovetop. The grease is contained in the sheet pan, so it’s much less messy, and it requires very little attention while it cooks.

In this recipe, maple syrup and coffee turn regular bacon into a gourmet treat, but if you want to keep it simple, eliminate all the ingredients except for the bacon and you’ll still end up with delicious crispy strips every time.

  • 12 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil then place an ovenproof baking rack on top. Spray rack lightly with nonstick spray. Place bacon in a single layer on the rack. You may need to use two baking sheets.

Mix coffee with maple syrup, brown sugar and pepper until the sugar dissolves. Brush the mixture over the top side of the bacon. Bake for about 10 minutes, turn the bacon over and brush on the maple/coffee/sugar mixture again. Continue baking until the bacon has caramelized, usually about 20 minutes total for thickcut bacon. ADAPTED FROM FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE.

(serves 6) Assembling this casserole the night before lets the cook get a few more minutes of shut-eye. It looks and tastes fancy, but it’s a straightforward recipe. Grand Marnier is an orange liqueur that pairs well with the caramel and orange zest. If you prefer to leave it out, substitute 3 tablespoons of half-and-half.

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/3 pounds brioche or challah (you’ll likely need two loaves but you won’t use it all)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with brown sugar, corn syrup, and one tablespoon of water, stirring with a whisk until smooth caramel forms. Pour into the prepared pan. Slice off the crusts from the brioche (it doesn’t need to be perfect). Cut the bread into 1 ½-inch slices. Arrange bread slices on top of the caramel, making sure the entire base of the pan is covered.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half-andhalf, vanilla, Grand Marnier, orange zest and salt until well combined. Pour evenly over bread. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 20 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, until puffed and golden, 40–50 minutes. Let cool a few minutes (it will deflate a bit) then serve immediately. The caramel base hardens up as it cools, so it’s essential to serve warm. ADAPTED FROM ONCE UPON A CHEF.

(serves 8) In my work as a personal chef, this is a client favorite that I frequently make when breakfast for dinner is requested.

  • 1 cup pineapple, cut into small pieces
  • 3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups assorted berries of your choice
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup Prosecco, chilled, (or sparkling grape juice to keep it kid-friendly)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint

In a large bowl, combine all fruit. Pour orange juice and honey over the fruit and toss carefully to combine. You can assemble to this point ahead of time, but wait to add the Prosecco until just before you serve, then garnish with mint. ADAPTED FROM DELISH.

(serves 2) A signature cocktail makes even a simple meal special. This is a fun twist on a Moscow Mule, perfect for brunch with the addition of champagne or Prosecco.

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • Chilled champagne or prosecco
  • Lime wedges
  • Mint

Pour 1 ounce each vodka and fresh lime juice into two glasses filled with ice, then top each glass with 2 ounces ginger beer. Pour champagne or Prosecco over, then garnish with lime wedge and mint. ADAPTED FROM FOOD NETWORK.