17 recipes to create an unforgettable Easter brunch spread

Dena Rayess

Here at Southern Kitchen, we’re all about living our best brunch life. For many Southerners, Easter Sunday is a kind of brunch Olympics featuring beloved baked goods, egg dishes and of course a glorious ham.  

Whether you’re planning on attending a brunch or hosting one, there are several recipes that should certainly be on the table. While this list features a lot of traditional Easter brunch fare (hello hot cross buns), there are also some dishes on here that are a little more daring in all the right ways. Under no circumstances should you feel beholden to tradition. All is fair in love and brunch.

Hot Cross Buns

Southern Hot Cross Buns

Add in some Southern sweetness with this twist on traditional hot cross buns. A splash of bourbon gives the dough a deep, sweet flavor that tastes even better when baked in a good hand-forged roasting pan. Get the recipe

Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

Classic Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

If you’re looking for the perfect biscuit, look no further than these classic, buttery, buttermilk biscuits. For the best results, seek out White Lily self-rising flour; its low protein content will help produce the lightest, fluffiest biscuits. If you can’t find it, you can substitute your favorite self-rising flour, but be aware that your results may vary. Get the recipe 

Sausage Gravy

Sausage Sawmill Gravy for Biscuits

When it comes to biscuits and gravy, what takes a dish from good to unforgettable is that sauce — and our sausage gravy does just that. We’ve upped the gravy ante by making a few key ingredient choices, like using half and half instead of traditional milk, so we can get the most bang for our buck. We recommend spooning this over some homemade biscuits. Get the recipe

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes

This is a great all-purpose pancake recipe. You can customize it to your liking by adding fruit or nuts to the batter either before or during the cooking process — just be sure not to overwork the batter so that you keep your pancakes light and fluffy. Get the recipe

Stuffed French Toast with Strawberries

Stuffed French Toast with Strawberries

This dish pairs some of the spring season’s best fruit with a classic breakfast dish. Strawberry stuffed French toast is sure to make a splash on your brunch table when you set it out in front of guests. This recipe calls for fresh strawberries and day-old bread to help make magic. Get the recipe 

Do Ahead Breakfast Strata

Anne Byrn’s Make-Ahead Breakfast Strata

Fair warning: This meal does require a bit of prep the day before, but all you need to do the morning of is pop this dish in the oven to get nice and toasty. The results of your make-ahead planning — a gooey and golden combination of cheese, egg, ham, and vegetables — will make your future self all the more grateful. Get the recipe

Fennel Grapefruit Salad

Citrus and Fennel Salad

This refreshing salad will add a bit of brightness to your brunch table with crunchy shaved fennel and tart-sweet citrus. If you have guests who are heat-adverse, stop slicing the jalapeño before you reach the seeds or more fiery part of the membrane of the chile, or just omit the pepper altogether. Get the recipe

Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk Waffles

A cast iron waffle iron will make the difference between good and great waffles by giving them a crisp exterior with a soft interior. Try topping your crispy waffles with some fresh fruit or honey-fermented blueberries. Get the recipe

Asparagus With Crispy Poached Eggs And Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Asparagus with Crispy Poached Eggs and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

A warm bacon vinaigrette perfectly contrasts the rich egg yolk and tender-crisp asparagus in this elevated brunch offering. This recipe may involve a little more timing and planning than others, but the results — from the perfectly blanched asparagus to the golden poached eggs — are so worth it. Get the recipe  

Country Ham Quiche

Country Ham Quiche

Nothing says brunch better than a homemade quiche — throw in some sweet and savory country ham and you’ve got a thoroughly Southern meal fit for any spread. We’re all about the fillings in this recipe, so don’t fret about making a crust from scratch. Frozen will work just fine. Get the recipe 

Country Ham Broccoli Frittata

Country Ham and Broccoli Frittata

Not quite a quiche and less mess than an omelet, this one-pan wonder is super customizable — use any leftover protein and veggies you might have already on hand to create a no-fuss, satisfying brunch main. Try some crumbled, pre-cooked bacon paired with peppers, or red onions, tomatoes and broccoli for a loaded veggie version. Get the recipe

Deviled Eggs

Classic Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a Southern essential. Whether you’re hosting a summer cookout, elegant cocktail party or in this case Easter brunch, these deviled eggs will be a huge hit with your guests. You can add additional garnishes or flavor combinations, but this recipe is the basic foundation for perfect deviled eggs. Get the recipe 

Pissed Potatoes

“Pissed Off” Potatoes

These “pissed” potatoes, a play on the Spanish dish patatas bravas, are the perfect crisp, hearty side dish to some quick scrambled eggs or as a satisfying meal all their own. Tossed in an addictive spicy tomato and mayonnaise sauce, we recommend doubling up on the sauce recipe to use on just about anything — smeared onto your next grilled cheese or as a dip for some grilled chicken — for a creamy kick of heat. Get the recipe

Bourbon Ham

Virginia Willis’ Bourbon Baked Ham 

Get ready to blow your guests’ minds with this sweet and savory baked ham recipe by Virginia Willis. Amp up the flavor of this Southern classic with bourbon, honey, orange juice and mustard. When shopping for a ham, look for one labeled “fully cooked,” “ready-to-eat” or “heat-and-serve.” Also known as “city ham,” these hams are wet-cured, meaning that they are submerged in or injected with brine, then smoked and sold fully cooked to be glazed and warmed at home. Get the recipe 

Lamb Shoulder Chops

Lamb Shoulder Chops with Garlic and Rosemary

Shoulder chops are a fantastic way to enjoy lamb without breaking the bank. While there is a small amount of connective tissue in the shoulder, the flavor is incredible. Marinating the meat with rosemary and garlic complements the natural flavor of the lamb. Get the recipe 

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Fewer breakfast foods are more inherently comforting than homemade cinnamon rolls. The process is relatively easy; however, it’s crucial to allow the dough enough time to proof so the yeast can work its magic. To speed up the process, place a kitchen towel under the bowl of dough and place it on top of a heated oven or a heating pad. Get the recipe 

Country Ham and Peach Bites

Country Ham and Peach Bites

These country ham and peach bites transform five simple ingredients into something sublime. The salty, buttery nature of country ham is a delicious foil to the fragrant peach and basil. Infusing the honey with red pepper flakes adds zing and rounds out the flavors. These one-bite wonders are great with cocktails and will rev up your appetite for the main course. Get the recipe