Two Decadent Make-Ahead Brunch Recipes

Brunch is my favorite meal. It was practically invented by Hobbits, my culinary muses. But I hate getting up early. So here are two ideas for delicious brunch dishes you make the day before and then pop in the oven in the morning. Plus your house will smell amazing as your guests arrive. (Also check the links below for great recipes from My Convertible Life and A Little Nosh.)

Goat Cheese & Roasted Red Pepper Breakfast Strata

The original recipe comes from Caprial Pence, a wonderful Northwest chef. I’ve changed it to include more fresh veggies and use whole wheat bread. ALL of the decadence is still here. Believe me.

Prep a 12- or 13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of butter.


  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ¾ cup liquid from jarred roasted red peppers (or white wine, if you have some on hand)
  • 1 loaf sliced sourdough whole wheat bread (I get mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, julienned
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (if you can’t find basil, most Italian herbs will work—sage or rosemary, for example)
  • 1 ½ cups soft goat cheese
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange pepper, julienned
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded, julienned
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped or mashed in a garlic press
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Now do this:

  1. In a shallow bowl, mix milk and red pepper liquid.
  2. Dip bread in milk mixture on both sides, but do not soak. Fill the bottom of the baking dish with bread slices.
  3. On top of bread layer, spread half each of
    • Prosciutto (if using)
    • Basil
    • Goat cheese
    • Roasted peppers
    • Fresh peppers
    • Tomatoes
  4. Repeat this process so that the strata has two full layers.
  5. Mix together the eggs, garlic, ½ cup of milk, a pinch of pepper and salt. Pour over the strata. Cover and refrigerate. Bake in the morning at 350 for 50 minutes. Your house will smell soooooo good!

Baked French Toast with Brown Sugar Nut Crunch

This baked French toast recipe originally comes from Paula Deen, but I found it needed a little less custard mixture and half of the butter. Oh, Paula! 

Prep a 12- or 13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of butter.


  • 1 loaf of your favorite French toast bread (challah, baguette, cinnamon raisin) cut into approx. 1″ slices
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk or half and half
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Brown sugar & nut topping:
    • 1 stick butter, melted
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Now do this:

  1. Place your sliced bread in two alternating layers in the buttered dish.
  2. Combine eggs, milk or half-and-half, 2 tbsp. sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined and pour over bread.
  3. Make sure all the bread is covered with the milk-egg mixture. You might flip or rearrange some of the pieces to make sure they will be able to soak up the liquid.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. In the morning, combine all the brown sugar & nut mixture ingredients and smooth over the top of the bread.
  6. Bake 40 minutes at 350. Serve with fresh strawberries and maple syrup.

While you wait for your baked brunch to cool, you and your guests might enjoy Ridiculously Delicious Orange Muffins, or a fabulous morning mocktail.
Need more inspiration? You MUST stop by A Little Nosh and check out her Mother’s Day brunch suggestions. The egg muffins look way too good!
And for a great smoothie recipe, head over to My Convertible Life for Emmet’s Triple Delicious Smoothie.
The amount of deliciousness here should take me straight through until Father’s Day. 🙂

I always love finding new recipes, so leave a link to your own post, your thoughts, or the name of your favorite brunch dish below! 

10 responses to “Two Decadent Make-Ahead Brunch Recipes

  1. These sound wonderful! I’m moving into a new apartment so I’ll get more chances to cook now!

  2. I may hate you now. Seriously? I kinda need to FIT in that wedding dress.

  3. Paula kills me. It’s like food flavoured butter, every recipe. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Abbey Metcalf

    I made the strata recipe for a brunch a few weeks ago, and it was a hit! It was much simpler to make that it seems and everyone loved it. I didn’t have any, since I don’t really enjoy cheese (can we still be friends?), but I had a ton of people ask for the recipe.
    I bought all the ingredients for the french toast and told my husband that was what I wanted for Mother’s Day breakfast. Can’t wait to sample it!

  5. Pingback: 3 Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day | The Practical Cook

Your Comments Feed My Blog

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s