Christmas dinner usually becomes the star of the holiday culinary show, but don't count out brunch! A holiday brunch is a perfect complement to gift-giving on December 25th, and these creative and delicious Christmas brunch ideas will make everyone forget about the holiday ham.
Christmas Brunch Ideas: Key Considerations
When preparing a holiday brunch, you'll want to keep the following key concepts in mind:
- Ensure there is something for everyone, the guest with the sweet tooth, the dairy-free diner, and the meat-eaters.
- Don't exhaust yourself. Christmas is a marathon of a day. Be sure to set out a brunch spread that wows your guests but doesn't leave you exhausted by noon. There is still so much celebrating to be had.
- Include items that you can pre-make. Anything that can be made the day before and brought out for brunch (looking at you quiche) is going to be a winner.
- Pay attention to decor detailing. Pretty plates, festive platters, tiered trays, and plenty of greenery, berries, and candles make brunch simply beautiful.
- Label your dishes. You don't have time to explain and re-explain menu items all morning long.
- Accept help. Does a guest want to contribute a dish? Sure! The more, the merrier.
Something Savory: Honey Thyme Croissant Sandwiches
Be sure to include something savory in your Christmas brunch menu. These honey-thyme croissant sandwiches would serve as stand-alone meals. Cut them in half and pile them up on platters for a savory bunch element. This recipe will yield 24 small croissant sandwiches.
- 3 packs of Pillsbury croissant rolls or your favorite croissant recipe
- 24 slices of Swiss cheese
- 48 slices of turkey
- Honey - 1 tbsp per sandwich
- A carton of arugula
- 24 tsp of Dijon mustard
- 1 c. chopped pecans
- Small bunch of fresh thyme
- Mayonnaise (optional)
- If using croissant rolls from the store, follow the directions on the package to bake them. Once baked, set croissants aside to cool.
- Slice croissants in half length-wise so fillings can be added into the croissant.
- Slather on mayonnaise and mustard to the inside of each croissant.
- Sprinkle pecans onto the mayonnaise and mustard. The condiments will help keep the pecans in place.
- Drizzle honey on the inside of the croissants.
- Lay 2 slices of turkey on the inside of the croissant.
- Cut Swiss cheese in half (diagonally) and place cheese on top of turkey slices.
- Add a handful of arugula to the inside of the sandwich
- Chop the thyme and sprinkle it inside the sandwich. (Chopped thyme can also be added to the mayonnaise to help keep the flavors from falling out of the sandwich.)
- Close the sandwiches. Arrange them on large platters or a tiered tray.
Sandwiches make great, easy finger foods for any party, including a holiday brunch. These sandwiches can be served as is or with cranberry chutney to complement the flavors and highlight the season. Brunch hosts can also take the assembled croissants, butter them up, and pop them on a griddle, cooking for 2 minutes on each side. A grilled croissant sandwich full of flavor will be a crowd-pleaser at any brunch.
Something Sweet: A Mountain of Jelly Donut Holes
Your brunch spread should have something sugary and sweet. Donuts are a popular brunch item, but these jelly donut holes are easy to make and more creative than the standard donut. They can be piled high into a pretty confection tower atop a festive holiday tray. This recipe yield 62 servings, which seems like a lot, but here's to betting there isn't a single donut hole left by brunch's end.
- 1 48-ounce bottle canola oil (reserve extra for oiling the bowl and baking sheet)
- ¾ cups whole milk
- 1¼ ounce package active dry yeast
- ¼ cups granulated sugar, extra for coating donut holes
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 cups fruit jelly or jam of baker's choosing
- Oil up a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat milk to 105°F to 110°F.
- Stir yeast and granulated sugar into the heated milk.
- Set aside for 4-6 minutes or until the mixture is foamy in texture.
- In a second large bowl, whisk the foamy mixture with eggs.
- Add butter and salt to the mixture. Whisk to combine ingredients.
- Gradually add flour into the mixture, forming a workable dough.
- With an electric mixture, beat the dough at low speed until ingredients are combined, and the dough appears slightly sticky.
- Transfer dough to the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Allow dough to double in size, letting rise for 1- 1.5 hours.
- Oil baking pan.
- Sprinkle flour on a flat, working surface and place dough on a floured surface.
- Press and roll dough, dusting with flour until it is 1/2-inch thick.
- Cut dough with a round cutter, transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
- Cover with a towel and allow the dough to rise for about 15-20 minutes.
- Set wire rack on rimmed baking sheet.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan to 350°F.
- Cook 3-4 donuts at a time, turning donut holes occasionally for 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer donuts to a wire rack with slotted spoons once they are cooked to a golden brown color.
- Put confectioner's sugar in a bowl.
- Toss donut holes in the sugar and return the donut holes to the wire rack.
- Cut a small slit in each donut hole.
- Fill a piping bag with a ¼ inch round tip with the jelly.
- Squeeze jelly into the donut holes until it begins to come out of the hole. Consider using a tart cranberry jam or a Christmas jam.
- Set donut holes in a tower on a Christmas platter.
- Give the mountain of donuts a final sprinkle of confectioner's sugar.
Something Vegan: A Colorful Christmas Salad
Not everyone swoons for butter, cheese, and meaty brunch treats. Be sure to provide your plant-based brunch guests with something that will surely satisfy their palates.
Ingredients for the Vinegarette
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ cup minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions for the Vinegarette
- Add the minced garlic, shallots, champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.
- Whisk in the olive oil slowly, continuing to briskly whisk the mixture.
- Set aside to serve with greens.
Ingredients for the Salad
- 12 ounces spring greens
- 6 ounces fresh spinach
⅔ cup sliced almonds
⅔ cup of your favorite vegan cheese. Try to find a vegan cheese that emulates feta cheese or make your own vegan feta cheese.
- 4 seedless mandarin oranges peeled and segmented
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate
Directions for the Greens
- In a large salad bowl, combine the spring greens, spinach, sliced almonds, vegan cheese, orange segments, and pomegranate seeds.
- Drizzle the vinegarette on the salad right before serving.
Jazz Up Your Salad
For your holiday brunch, serve your salad in a pretty salad bowl. Use fancy salad tongs and a salad dressing server that will add a pop of elegance to your brunch.
Christmas Day Is Better With Brunch
Christmas is a day for celebration, and food is a key element to a perfect party. Set up the ultimate holiday brunch with these Christmas brunch menu ideas and leave no one even thinking about Christmas dinner.