A classic English breakfast is a really special way to start the day. It’s the kind of breakfast that will leave you nice and full through the early afternoon, at which point maybe you’ll want a light snack or some tea to get you to the dinner hour. It also happens to be a fantastic cure after a night of overindulging!
There’s a lot going on with the full English breakfast. Typically, there would be bacon and a few types of sausage on the plate, along with simmered beans, roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, and fried eggs. Normally, these things are cooked in separate skillets, then assembled together on the plate.
By the way, an Irish Breakfast is similar, but usually includes different kinds of meat or other proteins and a few different puddings.
All in all, it’s a huge plate of food! It’s a delicious, hearty breakfast, but it can leave your kitchen in shambles with piles of pots and pans to clean.
HOW TO MAKE A SHEET PAN ENGLISH BREAKFAST
Cooking this entire meal in the oven on a single sheet pan is a beautiful thing – it uses far fewer pots and pans, and clean-up is very easy.
Since some of the components of an English breakfasts take longer than others to cook, the only trick is to make sure you add your ingredients to the sheet pan in the right order. Start with sausage, then add the tomatoes, followed by mushrooms, and last but not least, the beans and eggs! (I keep the beans simple – I toss them with a few seasonings and then just heat them in a small, oven-safe skillet alongside the other ingredients.)
For the sausage, you can use any breakfast pork or chicken sausage, or a mix of different kinds. I recommend buying full sausages in the casings (6 to 8 ounces per sausage) so they cook evenly and slowly. The sausages will need 40 to 45 minutes to finish cooking in the oven, but I always recommend using a meat thermometer just to be sure you hit the correct internal temperature (160°F).
I’ll probably get some flak for skipping the bacon, but it was difficult to include bacon on the sheet pan without adding a lot of extra grease to the whole pan. Personally, I think it’s fine with a smaller portion of protein, but if you do want to add some bacon to the plate, I would cook it separately.
SERVE IT UP!
Taking the finished English breakfast out of the oven feels like pulling off a magic trick. Serve it up with some quick baked beans and crispy toast, and you’ll be all set until afternoon tea.
Total cooking time is about 45 minutes with ingredients added to the sheet pan progressively. Ingredients can be grouped together or mixed; whichever feels easiest to you as you make the dish.
- 1 1/2 pounds pork or chicken sausage (preferably links weighing 6-8 ounces each)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 8 to 10 ounces baby cremini mushrooms, halved
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
- 4 large eggs
- Salt and pepper
- 3 whole sprigs fresh thyme
- Toast, to serve
1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub sheet pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the food from sticking.
2 Begin cooking the sausage: Arrange sausage links on the sheet pan and cook for 15 minutes.
3 Flip the sausage and add the tomatoes: Remove sheet pan from the oven and using tongs. Add the grape tomatoes, cut side up and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, prep the remaining ingredients. Toss the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, and set aside. Drain and rinse pinto beans and stir them together with brown sugar, ketchup, and barbecue sauce. Transfer beans to a small oven-safe skillet or dish.
5 Pour off liquid and add the mushrooms. Remove the sheet pan from the oven (at this point, the sausages have been cooking for 30 minutes and the tomatoes for 15 minutes). If there is a lot of liquid on the sheet pan, carefully pour off the liquid; do not stir the tomatoes (they tend to fall apart if stirred and are better left alone).
Add prepared mushrooms to the sheet pan and return to the oven.
6 Add the beans and the eggs. After 15 more minutes (40-45 total minutes of baking), remove the sheet pan and again drain off any excess liquid. Flip the sausages again, but the other ingredients can be left alone.
Clear a little space on the sheet pan and nestle the dish of beans inside. (Alternatively, if you’re running out of space, you can bake the beans on a separate oven rack.)
Make four little pockets of space on the sheet pan for the eggs. Drizzle a tiny amount of oil in each area and crack in eggs. Place the fresh thyme sprigs here and there over the ingredients.
7 Bake the eggs: Bake for a final 5 minutes, just until the whites of the eggs set. (If you want the eggs cooked through with hard yolks, bake them for 8 minutes total.)
While the eggs bake, make the toast.
8 Season and serve: Remove sheet pan from the oven and allow to cool briefly. Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Slice sausage and divide between plates. Serve with beans, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms, eggs, and crispy toast.