Perfect for a relaxing Saturday or lazy Sunday, brunch is served during the late morning and early afternoon and typically includes some of the items you would serve for breakfast, as well as dishes you might find on a lunch or dinner table. Brunch can be an informal family affair after waking up late or an elaborate, upscale event for a special occasion.

Egg Extravaganza

Although basic scrambled eggs are often served at brunch, it’s also the time where people can do more elaborate egg dishes, such as egg frittatas, eggs Benedict, stuffed omelets, quiche and egg casseroles. You might consider allowing your guests to choose the fillings they want in their omelets and cooking them to order.

Meaty Fare

Brunches should have a variety of meats traditionally served at breakfast such as bacon, sausage links or patties and Canadian bacon. You can also serve steak at a brunch and serve it with eggs on top, to make a classic steak and egg dish. Another possibility is to wrap prosciutto around asparagus or wrap bacon around dates. Smoked salmon can be served with bagels and cream cheese.

Pancakes and More

Serve pancakes and waffles at a traditional brunch, but offer them in different flavors or with different toppings, if possible. For example you can serve banana, blueberry or pecan pancakes, and whole-grain waffles with a raspberry compote. French toast is another classic brunch dish. For an upscale brunch, serve French toast stuffed with strawberries and cream or French toast made with brioche or challah bread for a more delicate, buttery, light flavor. Crepes also work well for a fancy brunch. Stuff some with sauteed apples, whipped cream or hazelnut spread.

Potato Possibilities

Potato dishes make their way onto most brunch menus, the most common being hash browns. Hash browns can be diced into small cubes or served as whole patties. For a twist on traditional hash browns, make a hash brown casserole, combining the potatoes with ham and cheese. For brunch you can also serve dinner-style roasted potatoes.

Bakery Bites

Toast is a must for brunch. Offer several different types of bread for toast, such as sourdough, whole-grain bread and English muffins. Sweet breakfast rolls, such as cinnamon buns, honey biscuits, hot cross buns, doughnuts and pastries filled with fruit, can also be served. Bread pudding also works for brunch. Serve butter and a selection of fruit jams to go with the bakery items. Another option is to mix cinnamon into soft butter for a cinnamon-butter spread.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh-cut fruit adds color to a brunch table — and provides some much-needed lightness when everything else on the table is heavy and filling. Whether you choose to have a fruit basket of whole fruit or a large spread of cut watermelons, cantaloupes, strawberries and blueberries, fruit is almost always included in a brunch meal. Because it is brunch, you can also offer sauteed vegetables, such as tomato slices and green peppers, or salad items.