The Best French Recipes To Make For Brunch

Brunch isn't exactly a French concept, though Parisians have indeed embraced le brunch and all of its flavorful accompaniments like le bagel (via Vice). But despite a breakfast culture that is far more demure and understated than that of many Americans or Brits, usually featuring nothing more than a buttered baguette tartine and a cup of milky coffee, the French are actually privy to a wealth of ideal brunch time offerings. You just have to think outside the box when assembling your menu, is all.

In many cases, the French recipes that best suit a brunch palate are actually more frequently enjoyed at dinner or dessert in France. Think fluffy omelets, rich quiches, eggy clafoutis, or the delicate delight that are thin, lacy crêpes. When divorced from their natural place in the French meal, these and other French delicacies come together to make a brunch that even Parisians might smile at (and trust us — that means a lot).

To really tip your French brunch into the realm of the fantastique, serve your recipe choices with a flute of Champagne. Santé and bon appétit!

A simple French classic - baguette with butter and jam

A slice of baguette is the de facto breakfast offering in France, where its size and weight are protected by law, reports the BBC. There's even talk of placing it on the UNESCO World Heritage intangible cultural heritage register. These are people that are serious about their most internationally recognizable bread. But if you can't make it to Paris to try one of the award-winning loaves, consider making your own at home.

This baguette recipe comes together relatively painlessly, with a relatively simple ingredient list and plenty of time set aside to allow the dough to rise. During its 35-minute bake time, you can take a moment or two to consider some French toppings like European-style butter, fruit jam, or honey. Serve it freshly sliced with a bowl of café au lait, bien sûr!

A truly decadent brioche

If you want to really gild the lily at your next brunch fête, consider making your own brioche from scratch. This loaf is truly fit for a king, enriched with butter, eggs, and sugar to create a truly elevated bread experience. When the warm bread emerges from the oven, it will be tough to resist cutting into it straight away! Serve it with the same accouterments as your baguette, such as butter, jam, or honey, and wait for the applause from your appreciative diners.

If any survives past the brunch table, which we seriously doubt, leftover brioche also makes phenomenal pain perdu — literally, "lost bread" — which you may already know as nothing less than French toast.

An omelet worth writing home about

The French take their omelets seriously. Omelets are often one of the first dishes aspiring French chefs are tasked with making to hone their skills, reports Food & Wine. In France, this seemingly basic eggy dish is so important that one omelet-focused restaurant in Mont Saint-Michel has become a veritable culinary pilgrimage destination for egg lovers, all seeking out the airy, almost soufflé-like concoctions made there in picturesque copper pots.

In this classic omelet recipe, eggs are the true star, though recipe developer Susan Olayinka encourages home cooks to jazz the basic recipe up with all kinds of fillings. To make your life easier (and make it even more French), don't flip this omelet, leaving it a little bit wet on the inside. Or, for another vocabulary lesson, you can call it baveuse, literally "drooly" in French according to Cook's Info. However you describe it, the omelet will just barely set up by the time you serve it, affording a delightful textural sensation with an authentic French pedigree.

An asparagus and gruyère tart perfect for spring

The French are nothing if not enthusiastic about their cheese, and after just one bite of this nutty asparagus tart, it'll be easy to see why! A buttery puff pastry forms the base for this dish, topped with a combo of brown sugar, Dijon mustard, balsamic, and shredded gruyère cheese. 

Seriously, don't skimp on the cheese or the addition of sugar, while we're at it. That slightly sweet touch of brown sugar adds a hint of caramelization that looks great and taste great, too. It's the perfect bed upon which to lay the fruits of the spring harvest: fresh green asparagus. The result is a beautiful tart whose simplicity can remain one of our little secrets.

Quiche Lorraine your guests will love

Quiche is a classic lunchtime option in France for more reasons than one. Not only is it easy to make in advance, but all a quiche needs to become a meal is a simply dressed green side salad. 

Quiche Lorraine is undoubtedly the most famous of the eggy French pies, hailing from the Lorraine region for which it is named, on the border between France and Germany. The Germanic influence is evident in the inclusion of smoky bacon lardons, whose salty flavor and aroma help to push this quiche into firm brunch time territory. Sprinkle with chives for a particularly pretty presentation and just a little extra hit of flavor.

Crêpes you'll flip for

The French answer to the pancake, crêpes make for a lovely dish to serve for brunch. Easily transmutable from sweet to savory, this crêpes recipe can be filled with anything from ham and cheese, to mushrooms and eggs, to jam, Nutella, or a combo of lemon juice and a dusting of sugar. Really, the only thing limiting you here is your imagination.

If your friends are the participative kind (and your kitchen is big enough!), consider making the crêpe batter in advance and inviting everyone to help make the lacy pancakes. The batter only gets better with time, and there's nothing more fun than flipping your own crêpe high in the air with a flick of the wrist. Cooking up this batter may be easier than you think.

Clafoutis is hard to say but easy to eat

Clafoutis — pronounced cla-foo-tee — is a French dessert designed to celebrate fresh, seasonal fruit. Traditionally made with cherries at the peak of their season, clafoutis is a baked eggy custard that's only slightly sweetened, allowing the flavor of the fruit itself to shine through. This recipe for clafoutis is no exception.

If cherries are not in season, consider substituting plums, apricots, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, or even sliced apples for the original fruit. No matter what fruit you use, the resulting clafoutis (sometimes called a flognarde when fruit other than cherries is used) will prove a delicious brunch treat just as tasty served warm as cold.