10 Real Food Brunch Dishes to Pass

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10 Real Food Brunch Ideas for a Potluck

At the end of each school year, our Bible study always has a potluck brunch. I love learning about God’s Word and developing my faith for 8 months, but truly, this brunch is the best part of the group. Winking smile

People tend to have their specialties, things that they’re asked to bring over and over. One of the most famous is a baked French toast dish, with white bread and gads of gooey, caramelized brown sugar. It’s a killer recipe…in a couple ways.

I try to stick to my real food sensibilities even when bringing a dish to pass, and it’s usually also important to me not to break the bank on a brunch, which can happen quickly if you go with a meat-based dish, or even a fruit salad can start to get pricey if you’re not careful.

Whether you have a Mother’s Day brunch coming up, end-of-year gatherings like mine, or just get tapped to bring breakfast for Teacher Appreciation Week, I hope these 10 ideas get your creative kitchen juices flowing!

This article is brought to you by Personal Creations.

Potato Salad

What can I say – Potato Salad is simply one of my favorite all-time recipes. It’s usually thought of as a picnic side dish, but hey – eggs, potatoes – why not breakfast?

Choosing something like a salad that can be brought cold is a great way to simplify your morning, since typically a “brunch” is by nature early in the day, the time when it can be difficult for moms to get their brood out the door on time. In this case, the price is right as well.

Deviled Eggs (or Bacon Style?)

deviled eggs 4 (475x353)

For a fairly inexpensive, recognizable contribution, deviled eggs are a great potluck option for any time of day. I make them with homemade mayo and a frosting decorator (see it at Amazon) to fill them easily.

If you have the right crowd, these bacon deviled eggs might be just the twist you need to take a basic dish to the next level. (Be still my beating heart! Bacon? I don’t know if these would make it to the brunch if I made them!)

Grain-free Quiches

Pizza Crustless Quiche (1) (475x356)

I shared the recipe for this Grain-free Pizza Quiche earlier in the week. It’s the dish I brought for last year’s end-of-year brunch (the pesto asparagus version), and it was requested again for our Christmas gathering – a good sign that it’s a winner!

Because I learned to make up the quiche the night before and leave it in the pie plate in the fridge, as long as I plan the morning such that I get it in the oven at the right time, it’s pretty easy to get it warm to my destination. Luckily, because of all the great seasonings, the quiche is even pretty darn good cold, another mark of a good dish to pass. Personal Creations Stoneware Casserole Dish sm

I made it recently in a gorgeous personalized stoneware casserole dish from Personal Creations (a sample product), and they also have those handy carrying cases for hauling your keep-em-warm contributions to any potluck.

Baked Oatmeal

Taking regular oatmeal to the next level by making a baked oatmeal dish not only makes it more fancy, but also easier to serve at a brunch because all the flavoring is already in there. With or without milk, the apple-cinnamon or cherry-almond versions here are fantastic, and the pumpkin pie oatmeal is perfect for fall.

This is another one that can be made completely the night before and just popped in the oven in the morning, and it’s also really good cold or lukewarm, so no worries if you don’t own a fancy carrying case for your casserole dish. (Tip: wrap the dish in a beach towel or two to keep it warm while you travel.)

Hard-Boiled Eggs “Bar”

imageA fellow Bible study mom brought this at our Christmas brunch, found via Pinterest, and I was just enamored.

Hard boil a bunch of eggs and slice in half, then provide various toppings: bacon, green onion, peppers, green or black olives, Dijon mustard, or whatever you might think of that goes well with eggs. It was really fun to serve up and try different toppings, and so pretty on a platter with options in divided bowls!

There are some fancy ideas here and all sorts of brainstorms here. Both those links tops deviled eggs, but cutting in half is a lot easier than be-deviling…

Fruit Pizza for Breakfast

healthy fruit pizza recipe

It may not seem very healthy to serve a dessert at breakfast, but I promise, this Healthy Fruit Pizza recipe will have less sugar than most of the quick breads, muffins, and that ubiquitous French toast casserole that others will bring.

Pile the fruit on nice and thick and enjoy a frugal, guilt-free dessert while you chat it up with the ladies at your brunch.

Cheesy Sausage Crockpot Potatoes


Stacy’s Cheesy Sausage Potatoes from one of my favorite cookbooks (aff. link) currently is great because (a) it’s frugal, and (b) crockpot dishes can really stay warm! (Wrap the crockpot in a beach towel while traveling to protect your hands from heat and in case of shifting in the vehicle – easier to wash a towel than the car seat!)

The Crock On! eBook has not failed us yet – Stacy’s recipes are simple, well-loved, and frugal.

Homemade Yogurt and Granola or Fruit

grain free homemade granola smaller (12)

You may have noticed I am leaning away from the standard quick breads and muffins on this list. A few years ago when we were just starting to experiment with a grain-free lifestyle and learning about cutting gluten, I worked hard to think of some dish-to-pass items for Bible study snacks that weren’t so carby and sugary.

Homemade Yogurt is a really frugal food for me, and bringing fruit and homemade granola to top it off (grain-free granola from Healthy Snacks to Go is pictured) makes it quite fun to serve.

Crackers and Spread

herbed farmer's cheese (6) sm

Everyone is always very impressed with Homemade Crackers, so for brunch, you could bring them with a yogurt cheese spread. Season it to be savory with Italian herbs and olive oil, or a bit on the sweet side with maple syrup and almond extract.

Although this is obviously grain-based, they’re very frugal and at least not sugary. You could be even simpler with a prepared nut butter for the topping, or a topping bar with lots of different choices.

Egg Drop Soup

It might seem strange to take soup to a brunch, but why not? It has eggs in it, will warm a body on a cold winter morning as good as any coffee or tea, and it’s a great frugal dish to pass if you make your own homemade chicken stock. I drink bone broth in the mornings in the winter, and I think people would like the unique-ness of a soup at brunch. And soup is easy to reheat and keep hot, too!

Try Kelly’s egg drop soup recipe, which is where I learned how to make it, but I also add hot chili peppers and peas. Yum!

apple breakfast bread healthy pumpkin muffins

Pssst! If you really would rather bring a quick bread because it’s so simple to pack up, try my 100% whole wheat Apple Squares or Healthy Pumpkin Muffins.

What do you like to bring to brunch potlucks?

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7 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    This list brilliant. Of course the first rule of pot luck is you have to make it yourself and not something bought from the store. I just it hate it when people buy something from the store and bring it. It says nothing about them.

    Potato salad is my all-time favorite. Nothing beats a potato salad if it is made from scratch. I would definitely do yellow rice with cashew and raisins. Personally I like to do a beetroot salad, which goes well with everything and is a good source of fiber.

    I also like to make my Penne Regatta Pasta dish which is always a hit because I make it fresh from scratch from a special recipe that I got from a client.

    • says

      Of course bringing a store-prepared food says something about a person–it says that he either doesn’t know how to cook or isn’t willing to bother cooking for this group! Also, the choice of food says almost as much about the person (tastes, health concerns, respect for the group) as the choice of what to make says, I think.

      • Christy S. Lube says

        Sometimes it says “I really want to participate, and I’m so glad to be included, but I am completely overwhelmed and can’t manage more than that” :/

  2. Sharon says

    My go-to is hoppin’ John. Maybe it’s not all that “brunchy” but it is economical. It’s also easy to do vegan if that seems appropriate, and already gluten-free. (Not that I’m vegan or GF, but I sympathize with their difficulties at potlucks).

  3. says

    Very few of the many potlucks I’ve attended were brunches, but when I do go to a brunch I usually bring a quick bread or muffins. My family has no grain problems, but I do use whole grains whenever possible. Raisin Bran Bread is frugal and nutritious! I usually bring something to spread on it, such as cream cheese or almond butter.

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