Looking to level up your breakfast and brunch game with delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes? I got you! Here are 15 Middle Eastern Breakfast (and Brunch!) recipes you can make to impress your family and friends!
Middle Eastern food culture is an integral part of the region's culinary heritage, reflecting the diverse and rich flavors of the Middle East. Mezze, derived from the Arabic word "taste," refers to a variety of small, flavorful dishes served as appetizers or snacks.
Mezze is more than just a way of eating; it embodies the social and communal aspects of Middle Eastern and North African dining, where sharing food is a fundamental cultural practice. Mezza is usually enjoyed for lunch or even dinner, but the same concept applies at breakfast time.
The goal is to offer a diverse selection of dishes with complementing flavors, textures and richness levels and to enjoy these dishes in a group so don't be afraid of sharing! After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Hummus (like my Eggplant Hummus) and Roasted Eggplant Dip take center stage on the mezze table, but for breakfast, labneh reigns supreme. Labneh is a strained yogurt dip that can be spread on a plate and topped with olive oil, za'atar spice blend and vegetables. It can also be rolled into balls and coated in herbs and spices like sumac. Don't worry, labneh can be enjoyed any time of the day too.
Eggs and egg-based dishes play an important role in the Middle Eastern breakfasts and brunch spread. They are usually had-boiled, soft-boiled, or fried sunny-side up in olive oil or butter.
Another great way to enjoy them is poached, Turkish-style.
Bread and Baked Pastries
A Middle Eastern breakfast table is not complete without baked goods. If you're up for making your own homemade pita bread, I highly recommend you give that a go! Or try your hands at one of the hand pies or flatbreads.
In addition to the recipes above, no Middle Eastern brunch or breakfast spread is complete without sliced vegetables (bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh herbs, spring onion) and pickles, white cheese (feta cheese, halloumi cheese), green olives and of course good quality olive oil.
What to drink with a Middle Eastern Breakfast
Middle Eastern breakfasts are diverse and flavorful, often consisting of a variety of dishes that include bread, cheese, olives, yogurt, fruits, and different spreads. To complement these rich and savory flavors, there are several traditional beverages you can enjoy with a Middle Eastern breakfast:
- Tea: Middle Eastern black tea, often served sweetened and sometimes with mint, is a popular choice to accompany breakfast. You can also opt for herbal teas like chamomile or sage tea.
- Coffee: Middle Eastern coffee, often prepared strong and spiced with cardamom, is a delightful option if you prefer something stronger. Turkish coffee is a popular choice in many Middle Eastern countries.
- Laban: Laban is a traditional Middle Eastern yogurt-based drink that can be served plain or flavored with mint or cucumber. It's a refreshing and cooling option, especially in warmer weather.
- Ayran: Ayran is a popular yogurt-based drink in the Middle East, made by mixing yogurt, water, and a pinch of salt. It's a refreshing and healthy choice to balance out the richness of Middle Eastern breakfast dishes.
- Fresh Fruit Juice: Middle Eastern countries offer a variety of fresh fruit juices, including orange juice, pomegranate juice, and apricot juice. These natural juices can be a refreshing addition to your breakfast table.
- Water: Simple, refreshing, and always a good choice to stay hydrated, especially if you're enjoying a breakfast spread with salty olives and cheeses.