A Family Brunch Menu Just Right for Eating Outdoors

Plus it's easy on the cook.

setting table for Easter brunch
Photo: Dana Gallagher

Dust off the patio furniture or set a table on the lawn. Spring is finally here, and it's time to enjoy family meals outside. Here's an easy omelet-centric brunch for the weekend. Yes the words easy and omelet are in the same sentence. In fact, all of the recipes on this menu are fuss-free versions of favorite brunch foods, using tips and tricks developed by our test kitchen.

For a healthy kick-starter, bail on the juicer and buzz up fresh orange juice in your blender. Leave individual omelets to the pros; for this brunch, bake one large enough for the whole family. It's topped with crowd-pleasing cheddar and spinach and bakes in just 15 minutes. And to go with the omelet, we've got a super trick for cooking bacon without the splatters on the stovetop; cleanup is simpler, and you can cook twice as many slices in the same amount of time. For a sweet finish, layer an easy-to-transport-outside waffle trifle into a large bowl. Layers of berries and pudding make it an irresistible ending.

The Menu

oj upgrade
Peter Ardito


We are constantly finding ways to simplify kitchen tasks. One of our newest favorites is blender OJ. Just purée citrus with ice cold water for instant homemade juice. Don't worry, it won't be watered down, the water lightens the juice, giving it just the right amount of sweetness.

PRO TIP: Make a special citrus blend by adding tangerines, grapefruits, or other sweet citrus. Now that is something you can't get at the store!

rolled spinach cheddar omelet


Does this sound too good to be true? It's not. One baking sheet takes the guess work out of omelet-making. Whisk together the egg mixture and pour into a prepared baking sheet. In the last moments of baking, sprinkle the omelet with spinach and cheddar cheese. To finish, roll it up like a jelly roll, slice into omelet spirals, and arrange on a platter, saving room for the bacon side.


Baking bacon rather than frying it is a party trick that catering chefs have relied on for years. They know they can cook more bacon at once and avoid stovetop oil splatters. And now you know too! For super-easy cleanup, line the baking sheet with parchment paper, which prevents browned bits from sticking to the pan. To serve, place the bacon on the same platter as the omelet so you only have one thing to carry outside.

PRO TIP: Carefully pour the leftover bacon fat off of the sheet tray into a heatproof bowl. Cool and save for cooking.

waffle strawberry trifle
Johnny Miller


Finish the meal with a breakfast-dessert mashup, one that's fun and easy to assemble-a perfect task to get the kids involved in. Use a glass bowl so everyone can admire the layers of waffle pieces, creamy homemade vanilla pudding, and fresh strawberries. And, yes, just this once, we are okaying store-bought waffles! Every good cook needs to know when to take shortcuts. Doused in luscious pudding, you'd never know.

PRO TIP: Make this dish the night before; it benefits from setting and lasts up to 3 days. There might be leftovers for breakfast tomorrow?

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