Christmas Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

Tumbling out of bed in the wee hours of Christmas morning means that by the time all of the gifts are opened, most of the family has worked up an impressive appetite. Refuel for the day ahead by serving up a traditional Christmas breakfast. With just a little planning, you can do most of the menu as a make-ahead, so you can give your loved ones a delicious spread on this iconic holiday morning -- streusel <a href="/recipes/breakfast-brunch/bread-pastry/coffee-cake/">coffee cake</a>, a cheesy sausage and egg breakfast <a href="/recipes/breakfast-brunch/casseroles/">casserole</a> or a <a href="/recipes/breakfast-brunch/potatoes/hash-browns/">hash-brown</a> strata -- without any early morning stress. Just wade through the discarded wrapping paper, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and enjoy.

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Cranberry-Nut Mini Loaves with Flaxseeds

From EatingWell

This tender, flavorful version of a holiday staple is made more wholesome with whole-wheat flour and flaxseeds. You can easily double the recipe if you are making these baby loaves as gifts.

Cranberry-Nut Mini Loaves with Flaxseeds

Pear & Dried Cranberry Strudel

From EatingWell

All across Wisconsin, Scandinavian and German bakeries start firing up with the onset of crisp, cool autumn days; the lines soon grow long for fresh fall-fruit pastries. For most of us, rich strudel wouldn't be an everyday affair. But with walnut oil (instead of copious amounts of butter) and fresh pears, it can, nevertheless, become a decadence-free indulgence, perfect for your next dinner party. Serve it with frozen nonfat vanilla yogurt or vanilla creme anglaise.

Pear & Dried Cranberry Strudel

Dried Fruit Compote with Green Tea & Lemon

From EatingWell

When the selection of fruit in the winter is lacking, poaching shelf-stable dried fruit in lemon-infused green tea creates a luscious fruit compote. Serve topped with low-fat plain yogurt and chopped pistachios for breakfast or dessert.

Dried Fruit Compote with Green Tea & Lemon

Cranberry, Cherry & Walnut Marmalade

From EatingWell

Fresh cranberries get crunch from walnuts and an infusion of sweetness from dried cherries in this take on a classic marmalade. Leftovers are great on a turkey sandwich.

Cranberry, Cherry & Walnut Marmalade

Cranberry Pancakes

From EatingWell

Start your day off right with these easy pancakes, packed with cranberry's sour spike. One of you can make the coffee and heat the maple syrup while the other makes the pancakes. It's instant relationship bliss.

Cranberry Pancakes

Cranberry Muesli

From EatingWell

There may be as many versions of muesli as there are breakfast cereals, but this one's modeled after the original Swiss wake-you-up--a combination of overnight-soaked grains, nuts, dried fruit and yogurt. Make it the night before and you'll have breakfast ready when you are.

Cranberry Muesli

Crispy Potatoes with Green Beans & Eggs

From EatingWell

This is a one-skillet meal, reminiscent of diner fare at roadside restaurants across the U.S. It can be made with either leftover or raw potatoes. Even while making dinner in a hurry, don't rush this dish: you want to cook the potato cubes until they are crispy outside but still creamy inside.

Crispy Potatoes with Green Beans & Eggs

Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach & Mushrooms

From EatingWell

Bread pudding, an economical dish designed to use up stale bread, is most often associated with dessert. It's equally comforting turned savory, enriched with cheese and studded with vegetables.

Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach & Mushrooms

Polenta Biscotti

From EatingWell

Delightful with fruit, these crisp golden slices also make a charming partner for a morning caffe latte.

Polenta Biscotti

Spiced Creamy Wheat with Cashews

From EatingWell

This recipe comes alive with vegetables and spiciness, transforming healthy creamed wheat into something as flavorful as it is hearty. (Adapted from Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking by Raghavan Iyer; Hungry Minds, Inc., 2001.)

Spiced Creamy Wheat with Cashews

Multi-Grain Waffles

From EatingWell

Traditional waffles are a butter-laden, high-carb indulgence, but they make the transition to good fats and smart carbs beautifully, yielding crisp, nutty-tasting waffles with all the sweet pleasure of the original. The batter can also be used for pancakes.

Multi-Grain Waffles

Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

From EatingWell

This healthy update of a traditionally rich ham-and-cheese breakfast strata is made lighter primarily by losing a few egg yolks and using nonfat milk. Gruyere cheese has a delicious, nutty aroma and flavor, which means that with the relatively small amount in this recipe you still get a big impact. To finish the makeover use nutritious, fiber-rich, whole-grain bread instead of white. The results: plenty of flavor, half the calories and one-third the fat of the original.

Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Squash Tea Bread

From EatingWell

Pureed winter squash, honey and sugar give this tea bread a round, rich sweetness. It's terrific warm with a little pat of butter for breakfast, snack or even dessert and of course afternoon tea, if you're so inclined.

Squash Tea Bread

Golden Polenta & Egg with Mustard Sauce

From EatingWell

Here's a streamlined version of Eggs Benedict: purchased polenta, boiled eggs and an easy, no-cook homage to hollandaise. It's a quick dinner any night of the week-or a great weekend brunch.

Golden Polenta & Egg with Mustard Sauce

Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread

From EatingWell

Soda breads are hearty Irish staples - wholemeal flour with large flakes of bran and wheat germ, or white flour or a mixture leavened with baking soda and moistened with buttermilk. The acid in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda, which is an alkali, creating bubbles of carbon dioxide which rise the bread. Soda breads have the heft of a yeast bread but are made in minutes and the dough can be shaped into scones or a round loaf, depending on the occasion. Originally it would have been baked in a bastible (pot oven) over the open fire.

Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread

Savory Breakfast Muffins

From EatingWell

If you're tired of sweet breakfast muffins or just looking for a savory breakfast, try these--you'll love the smoky flavor from the Canadian bacon and the fresh-tasting combination of red bell pepper and scallions.

Savory Breakfast Muffins

Maple Nut & Pear Scones

From EatingWell

Delicate pears, pecans and maple flavor make these scones really special. Our makeover of this tender, flaky breakfast pastry uses reduced-fat cream cheese, canola oil and just a touch of butter to replace 1 1/2 sticks of butter. The addition of rolled oats and whole-wheat pastry flour boosts fiber and enhances the nutty flavor. For more fruit intensity, serve with pear butter.

Maple Nut & Pear Scones

Spiced Apple Butter Bran Muffins

From EatingWell

These muffins are dense, grainy, fruity and delicious. A double dose of apple--diced fresh apple and dark, spiced apple butter (Smucker's brand is good)--makes them extra moist and flavorful.

Spiced Apple Butter Bran Muffins

Real-Man Quiche

From EatingWell

We've loaded this meaty pie with a whole pound of turkey sausage and given it a fabulous, flaky phyllo crust. Real men do eat quiche!

Real-Man Quiche

Cranberry-Walnut Quick Bread

From EatingWell

The perennial bakery favorite gets a healthy makeover.

Cranberry-Walnut Quick Bread

Berry-Almond Quick Bread

From EatingWell

This wholesome quick-bread recipe is just what you need; whatever berries you have on hand go into a versatile, whole-grain buttermilk batter that can be baked into muffins, loaves or even doughnutlike mini Bundts.

Berry-Almond Quick Bread

Cranberry-Apple Coffee Cake

From EatingWell

This coffee cake calls for a tart apple, such as a Granny Smith or a Pippin, combined with cranberries and spices to make a beautiful topping for a delicious treat festive enough for any brunch.

Cranberry-Apple Coffee Cake

EatingWell Waffles

From EatingWell

These healthy waffles are made from a blend of whole-wheat and regular flour plus nonfat buttermilk and canola oil. Top with fresh berries or sliced peaches and yogurt for a satisfying start to any day.

EatingWell Waffles

Banana-Nut-Chocolate Chip Quick Bread

From EatingWell

This banana quick bread is full of chocolate chips and toasted heart-healthy walnuts so you get a taste of nuts and chocolate in each bite. This version reduces the fat substantially and uses nonfat buttermilk to make the results extremely moist and tender.

Banana-Nut-Chocolate Chip Quick Bread

Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Frittata

From EatingWell

A frittata is a baked omelet, far easier because it lacks that pesky step of flipping it. Frittatas appeared on the Saturnia, a fashionable Italian cruise ship in the post-WWII years. The dish was an elegant lunch on transatlantic crossings and became a U.S. craze when The New York Times ran the first English-language recipe in 1952.

Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Frittata

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