BERNIE MASON: Easter brunch made easy — and delicious

Celebrate Easter Sunday with a special brunch that you can enjoy with family and friends. These recipes are ones you can assemble the day before, giving you more time to spend with your guests, since they do not require intensive last-minute preparation time.

If you consider Eggs Benedict one of your favorite brunch dishes, but you don’t enjoy the time it takes to prepare it, especially if you are preparing it for a group, than this recipe is for you. This easy-to-fix recipe calls for assembling the ingredients ahead of time, refrigerating it overnight and then putting it in the oven an hour before brunch time.

Eggs Benedict Strata

(Servings: 6)


⅓ pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

6 English muffins, halved and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup chopped Canadian bacon

⅔ cup shredded Swiss cheese

7 large eggs

2 (0.9 oz.) packages hollandaise sauce mix, divided

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1¾ cup milk


Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat; add asparagus. When water returns to a boil, immediately drain, and transfer asparagus to ice water to stop the cooking process. In a 2-quart baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray, layer half of the English muffin pieces, Canadian bacon, asparagus, and Swiss cheese; repeat layers. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, 1 package hollandaise sauce, salt and pepper; whisk in milk until smooth. Slowly pour onto casserole mixture; gently press down layers with a spoon to fully soak bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover casserole and bake until golden brown and set, 50 – 60 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, prepare remaining package of Hollandaise sauce according to package directions; drizzle onto casserole just before serving. Source: Cooking with Paula Deen, Breakfast Issue, March/April 2017.

Kale and Turkey Sausage Egg Bake

(Servings: 10)

Stove Top Stuffing Mix is used in place of bread for this colorful brunch casserole that can also be assembled, refrigerated overnight and baked before brunch. Enjoy your veggies baked in with the eggs.


1 package (6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for chicken

6½ oz. (½ of 13 oz. package) Natural Uncured Turkey Sausage, sliced

2 cups tightly packed stemmed kale, chopped

1 package (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

1 red pepper, chopped

8 eggs

1 quart (4 cups) milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread stuffing mix onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with sausage, kale, peppers and cheese. Whisk eggs and milk until blended; pour over ingredients in baking dish. Cover. Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. *To make ahead: Refrigerate casserole for up to 24 hours before baking as directed, increasing baking time if necessary until casserole is done. Source: Kraft Food & Family, 15th Anniversary Issue, Spring ’17.

Fruit salad is the perfect accompaniment to go with your brunch. This colorful salad has a different type of dressing, which is made with simple syrup infused with fresh mint. Orange zest, fresh basil and rice vinegar add to the special flavor of the dressing. The dressing can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated.

Fruit Salad with Sweet Orange Dressing

(Servings: 6–8)


¼ cup water

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¼ cup sugar

2 sprigs fresh mint

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon orange zest

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Bibb lettuce leaves

1 Granny Smith apple, quartered and thinly sliced

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

2 navel oranges, peeled and sliced

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup halved strawberries

Garnish: fresh mint


In a small saucepan, cook water and sugar over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and add mint sprigs. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes; discard mint. In a medium bowl, whisk together mint syrup, vinegar, zest and salt; whisk in oil and basil. Arrange lettuce on a serving platter, and top with apple, cucumber, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries. Drizzle with dressing. Garnish with mint. Source: Cooking with Paula Deen, Breakfast Issue, March/April 2017.