Fast and Easy Christmas Brunch Ideas

With all the pressures of the holidays, the last thing you need is a complicated brunch plan. These three dishes give you options from make-ahead to 10 minutes or less — without sacrificing flavor or healthy choices. Prep the quinoa squares or muffins the night before, then bake before brunch, or make breakfast nachos on the fly.

Apple, Cinnamon & Spice Quinoa Squares (pictured above)

Serves: 16


1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 apple, cored and cut into small pieces

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 large eggs

2 cups almond milk

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Sliced almonds, for topping


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-by-8-inch baking pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the quinoa, cinnamon, salt, apples, walnuts and cranberries. Transfer to the greased pan.

In the same small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Pour over the quinoa mixture in the pan and top with sliced almonds; bake until set, about 1 hour.

Let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then cut into squares.

Per serving: Calories 109.8; Fat 4.5 g (Saturated 0.4 g); Cholesterol 23.3 g; Sodium 113.9 mg; Carbohydrate 15.7 g; Fiber 1.6 g; Sugars 6.6 g; Protein 3.1 g

Jelly Doughnut Mini Muffins

Makes: 36


1 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought gluten-free flour blend

1/2 cup maple sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for coating

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1 teaspoon for coating

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup almond milk, at room temperature

1/4 cup sunflower oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for coating


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a mini muffin pan with liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, vanilla and egg. Add to the flour mixture and whisk until combined.

Fill each muffin cup halfway with batter, top with a dollop of jam in the center, then top with more batter to cover. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons maple sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Dip each first into the melted butter, then into the cinnamon sugar.

Per serving: Calories 46.7; Fat 2.4 g (Saturated 0.6 g); Cholesterol 6.9 g; Sodium 46.1 mg; Carbohydrate 6.1 g; Fiber 0.3 g; Sugars 1 g; Protein 0.5 g

Breakfast Chili Nachos

Serves: 4


One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup salsa

Salt and pepper

4 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

2 cups baked tortilla chips, for serving

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, for serving

Avocado, chopped, for serving


In a small saucepan, heat the beans and salsa over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper if necessary. Smash some of the beans with a masher.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until large curds are formed, about 2 minutes. Divide the chips among 4 plates and top with the warm beans, eggs, cheese and avocado.

Per serving: Calories 299.9; Fat 14.1 g (Saturated 3.4 g); Cholesterol 189.6 g; Sodium 619.9 mg; Carbohydrate 31.8 g; Fiber 7.7 g; Sugars 2.3 g; Protein 14.2 g

Spread the holiday cheer with more delicious dishes and drinks:

6 Things You Can Make with Hot Cocoa Mix

Bobby Flay's Holiday Drinks

Slow-Cooker Holiday Party Recipes

Ree Drummond’s Christmas Cocktail Party

Silvana Nardone is the author of the Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed.

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