’Tis the season for indulgent breakfasts! If you’re already thinking about your holiday morning meal, then you’re in just the right place. We’re sharing our no-fuss guide to a Christmas breakfast, including 24 cozy ideas that are sure to be the perfect start to your day. After a long night of waiting up for Santa (or just “helping him out” with the gift wrapping), here are the Christmas breakfast ideas that anyone would be delighted to find at the table.
Designing a Christmas Breakfast Menu
How extravagant you go with your Christmas breakfast is up to you. If you’re someone who loves entertaining, though, there’s definitely no need to hold back. Decadence is the name of the game, and comfort foods are your MVPs.
Some things to consider when you’re planning your Christmas brunch or breakfast:
- How many people will you be feeding?
- Are you making food for just adults or for children as well?
- Is Christmas breakfast going to be your biggest meal of the day, or are you planning on a large lunch or dinner, too?
Your answers to these questions will help you determine how much food you want to make and what items might be your best choice. Of course, leftovers are never a bad thing, especially during those relaxed days between Christmas and New Years Eve. If you want to go big and bold with your Christmas breakfast menu, feel free to do so—this is no time to limit your food choices.
Other things that you should keep in mind when designing your holiday morning menu:
- Classic vs. creative: Are there traditional items that your family eats every Christmas morning? If so, you could either stick to your tried-and-true recipes (at least for some items) or put a new spin on them by looking for creative twists. You could also do a little bit of both, making both nostalgic favorites and fun new recipes.
- Plating preferences: The style of your Christmas breakfast will have an impact on what you decide to make. For large family-style meals, for example, casseroles and bakes are an easy choice, while make-to-order items like waffles and crepes can make things a little bit tricky for more than a few mouths.
- To booze or not to booze: Make sure to plan ahead for drinks, too. Coffee, OJ, and hot chocolate will be more than enough, but there’s room at the table for eggnog, mimosas, or other holiday cocktails, if that’s your vibe.
Now that you’ve got some general guidelines in place, it’s time to talk Christmas breakfast foods. And for that you’ll want to keep scrolling, because we’ve got lots of delicious ideas.
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Presents are opened and it’s time to dig in—which of these holiday-inspired foods is going to make it onto your Christmas menu?
1. Harvest Herb and Veggie Frittata
A frittata is an easy one-pan meal that’s fit to serve a crowd. Check out this restaurant basics course for a primer on making the perfect frittata, then create your own riff on the classic using seasonally fit fillings like sweet potato, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, and fresh sage and thyme.
2. Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon rolls are one of those foods that are somehow equally good out of a can as they are homemade. But if you decide to do the work and make them yourself, try adding in some seasonal flavors. Orange sweet rolls, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, or eggnog cinnamon rolls are all likely to be welcome additions to your Christmas meal.
3. Everything Bagel Casserole
Have you ever asked yourself what a bagel sandwich would taste like baked into a casserole? Wonder no more, because an everything bagel casserole brings together all the textures and flavors of a craveable bagel sandwich into a single decadent, deconstructed dish. Enjoy it on its own, or use it as the base for other toppings, such as smoked salmon or oven-roasted cherry tomatoes.
4. Mixed Berry Almond Croissants
These mixed berry almond croissants make for an excellent sweet side to your main dish. They’re best served warm out of the oven, so if you make them ahead of time, be sure to re-warm them before topping with powdered sugar and setting them out on the table.
5. Simple Breakfast Tostadas
Tostadas work well for feeding a crowd on Christmas morning. Try out this easy tostada recipe, which has you oven bake your tortillas instead of frying them and can be quickly constructed with a big bowl of refried beans, a pan of scrambled eggs, and some homemade pico de gallo.
6. Sweet Scones
Once you master the art of making scones, you can get as creative as you want with what you fill them with. For a sweet holiday variation, work in pumpkin pie spice and ribbons of brown sugar and cinnamon, or dot your dough with fresh figs, which reach peak ripeness in December.
7. Savory Scones
If you have enough sweet things on the menu already, then go savory with your scones. These rosemary, black pepper, and cheddar scones go well with meaty breakfast entrees or can be eaten on their own slathered in salted butter.
8. Pumpkin Parfait
Keep things light with a Greek yogurt pumpkin parfait that comes together in just five minutes. Serve these parfaits in individual glasses for a pretty meal starter and top with chopped nuts, chocolate chips, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup for an added special touch.
9. Cranberry Brie Pastries
Cranberry brie pastry tarts work as well for a Christmas breakfast side as they do for a dinner appetizer. Save yourself some time by using store-bought puff pastry, which comes together just as nicely as the homemade stuff but with a lot less work.
10. Biscuits and Gravy
This breakfast staple makes a super filling main dish for your menu. Whip up some homemade buttermilk biscuits, then top with a traditional sausage gravy or a vegetarian-friendly alternative. (Hint: for the best of both worlds, use a plant-based crumbled sausage and amp it up with your choice of spices.)
11. Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole
We could probably write a whole list of Christmas breakfast ideas that’s just different takes on French toast casseroles. For our purposes here, though, we’ll just stick with this standout baked apple cinnamon version, which can be made a day ahead of time to free up more time for opening presents in the morning.
12. Giant Sticky Bun
The only thing better than a sticky bun? A giant sticky bun. This delicacy has layers of flaky dough interspersed with a filling of cinnamon, brown sugar, cardamom, and butter and can be sliced like a cake for easy serving.
13. Italian Baked Eggs
Impress your guests (or just your kids) with Italian baked eggs served up in individual ramekins. They look complicated but take just five minutes of prep and 10 minutes in the oven. Best enjoyed with a sprinkling of chopped fresh herbs and ample slices of crusty bread for dipping.
14. Sheet Pan Pancakes
Pancakes are an obvious choice for breakfast, but they’re not always well-suited to entertaining since by the time you’re finishing up the last batch the first batch has already cooled off. The fix: sheet pan pancakes, which you can modify with any toppings that sound good to you and serve right out of the oven.
15. Hashbrown, Spinach, and Tomato Pie
This hashbrown, spinach, and tomato pie recipe is recommended as an addition to an Easter brunch, but we’re confident it would work just as well for Christmas. It’s similar to a quiche but with a hashbrown crust instead of a dough-based crust, making it a smart pick if you’ll be hosting any gluten-free diners.
16. Gingerbread Breakfast Cookies
If there’s any day to have cookies for breakfast, it’s probably Christmas. That being said, these guiltless gingerbread breakfast cookies are surprisingly healthy, leaving you with plenty of room for indulging in other holiday sweets.
17. Parmesan French Toast with Hollandaise
Most people like their French toast coated in cinnamon sugar and smothered in maple syrup, and while we can’t argue with that, there’s something to be said for going savory instead. This parmesan French toast swaps out the cinnamon and sugar for garlic and cheese and the maple syrup for Hollandaise sauce, all without losing out on any of the fluffy texture that makes French toast so addictive.
18. Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole
Any breakfast dish you can make in advance is a welcome choice for Christmas morning eats, and a make-ahead breakfast casserole is a no-fail way to go. The options for customization are endless, including the ability to go super simple or a bit more complex depending on the preferences (and ages) of your guests.
19. Red Velvet Waffles
Embrace the colors of the season with red velvet waffles that are as pretty to look at as they are tasty to eat (cream cheese glaze non-negotiable, of course). Do keep in mind, however, that waffles don’t tend to hold up well if they’re left sitting out, so you’ll either want to make them to order or leave out a bowl of batter and a waffle iron so that your guests can make their own.
20. Ham and Cheese Quiche
The Christmas ham gets a breakfast twist in this cheesy quiche. Not only can this delightful quiche be made ahead of time, it can also be frozen if you want to make it several days—or even a week—in advance. Warm it up in the oven to serve, then add some lightly dressed arugula on top to freshen it up.
21. Sour Cream Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel
There’s always room on the menu for coffee cake, and this pumpkin coffee cake with pecan streusel does not disappoint. Made extra moist with sour cream, it’s ideal served alongside a warm cup of coffee or tea—or on a plate stacked high with other Christmas breakfast treats.
22. Yogurt Granola Cups
All you need is a muffin tin and a handful of wholesome ingredients to make these oh-so-simple yogurt granola cups. Toppings are up to you, but berries, chopped nuts, or mini chocolate chips (or all three!) pair exceptionally well with the tanginess of the yogurt.
23. Maple-Glazed Sausage Patties
A tiny bit of sweetness goes a long way in these maple-glazed sausage patties. Eat them on their own next to a side of eggs and toast, or layer them up on a Hawaiian roll with eggs, cheese, and spinach for a mouthwatering breakfast slider.
24. Cinnamon Pecan Breakfast Bread Pudding
A breakfast bread pudding is pretty much the same thing as a French toast casserole, and that’s a good thing in our book. This cinnamon-pecan bread pudding is heavy on seasonal spices and features an entire loaf of French bread immersed in eggy, creamy goodness—plus the unexpected texture of pecans dispersed throughout.
25. Crescent Breakfast Squares
There are only five ingredients in these crescent breakfast squares: eggs, bacon, cheese, herbs, and store-bought crescent rolls. Adapt as desired if you want a different filling, but do plan on making double because these squares are guaranteed to be a holiday hit.
Most of the recipes above can be modified, and all of them can be mixed and matched to create a dreamy Christmas breakfast. If you find a recipe that you love, hold on to it and work it into your holiday tradition moving forward—there’s something extra comforting about enjoying a favorite holiday dish year after year.
Common Christmas Breakfasts Around the World
What is the most common Christmas breakfast? That depends on where you are! Every country has its own traditional holiday breakfast foods. In the U.S., seasonal breakfast and brunch staples tend to include French toast, pancakes, egg bakes, bacon or sausage, and cinnamon rolls. Travel elsewhere, though, and you’ll find other traditional foods on the Christmas table.
- Finland: Christmas Day is often welcomed with riisipuuro, a plum juice-sweetened rice porridge with almonds hidden inside. Whoever finds an almond is said to be due for a lucky year ahead.
- Philippines: After mass on Christmas morning, many Filipinos head to local street carts to purchase a bibingka, a cozy, chewy rice cake cooked in a clay pot that’s been lined with banana leaves.
- Germany and Austria: Families wake up Christmas morning and enjoy a stollen, which is a yeast-risen, bread-shaped cake that’s usually filled with raisins, poppy seeds, and marzipan.
Making traditions around food is part of the fun of the holidays. Have fun with your Christmas breakfast menu, and create food memories to last all year round.
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