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Thanksgiving Breakfast

September 14, 2023

Thanksgiving breakfast is all about ease and this Scandinavia-inspired snacky spread is our favorite way to fuel up for the big day.


plate of bread with butter and jam, fresh fruit, cold cut meats and and mild cheeses

A Make-Ahead Breakfast, Scandinavian-Style.

Perhaps one of the most overlooked and under-planned meals of the year is Thanksgiving Day breakfast. We’ve been guilty of rolling out of bed and straight into the kitchen to get cooking, fueled solely by caffeine. But, this year we’ve resolved to change all of that. Hungry tummies—the cook’s included—will have this healthy, easy Thanksgiving breakfast spread to fill up on. Suited for all kinds of dietary needs, you can dress it up or down, and it requires absolutely no cooking. Meaty, cheesy, and oh-so-pretty, this tasty breakfast spread will delight your family and house guests alike and bolster you for kitchen escapades to come, because (dare we say?) even on Thanksgiving, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

loaf of seeded whole wheat bread next to a loaf of challah bread

Everything You Need to Create a Scandinavian Breakfast

A breakfast like this is all about balance and contrast. On Thanksgiving, we’re staring down a dinner that’s notoriously heavy, so we like to start the day with at least a little lightness and brightness. That means:

  • Slices of a mild cheese like Provolone or Havarti.
  • A wedge of fancier cheese: Brie, sharp white cheddar or aged gouda will do the trick.
  • Unsalted butter. for slathering on bread. It’s Thanksgiving Day—it’s all about indulgence, right?
  • Plain Greek yogurt.
  • Seasonal fruit: pears, apples, clementines, grapes or berries.
  • Bread! A few loaves—something grainy and healthy, and fluffy airy challah are our faves.
  • Fruit preserves—any kind you love! You could buy a jar, or even just put out a little of the cranberry chutney that you’re going to serve with dinner, since it’s lovely with cheese, too.
  • Honey. A little drizzle over a crumbly, salty slice of aged gouda is all the breakfast we need. Maybe ever.
thanksgiving breakfast platter European style with cheese, bread, sliced meats, yogurt and fresh fruit
small plate of bread with butter and jam, cold meats and fresh fruit for an easy breakfast

How to Create a European Breakfast Spread

The beauty of this cold European breakfast spread is that it literally takes five minutes to put together, which is a must on the marathon-cooking day that is Thanksgiving. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lay out the cold cuts, cheeses, and sliced bread on your favorite platter.
  2. Add fruit preserves (we just pop the lid off the jar and set it out) and fruit.
  3. Spoon the Greek yogurt into a bowl and set near the platter with a big spoon for serving.
  4. Make yourself a plate, and tell everyone to help themselves (and to wash their dishes when they’re done—more dishes to wash is the last thing you need!).
  5. Roll up your sleeves and head into the kitchen—fueled up for real, and ready to go!
yogurt with pomegranate seeds in a small bowl next to a small plate of whole wheat bread with butter and jam

Tools You’ll Need:

Other Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas

Any of these easy make-ahead breakfast recipes would make excellent fodder for Thanksgiving breakfast:

Thanksgiving Morning Has Never Looked So Effortless

We can’t wait to hear about how much your guest loved this Swedish-inspired breakfast. Snap a pic and post it to Instagram tagging @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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European Breakfast Spread

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  0 min
  • Calories: 616


  • 1 loaf braided challah bread
  • 1 loaf dark wheat bread
  • 8 slices mild cheese from the deli counter (provolone, havarti)
  • 8 slices roasted turkey breast from the deli counter
  • 8 slices black forest ham from the deli counter
  • 1 package grass fed butter, such as kerry gold, room temp
  • 1 jar of fruit preserves, we use a seasonal vanilla-cranberry
  • 2 wedges of good cheese (brie, sharp white, aged gouda)
  • variety of seasonal fruits (apples, pears, clementines, grapes or berries)
  • 16 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • honey
  • fresh fruit juice
  • coffee


Slice bread. Arrange cheeses, meats, fruits, butter and preserves on platters or charcuterie boards. Keep it simple, but most of all, enjoy.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories616
  • Protein18 g
  • Carbohydrates63 g
  • Total Fat34 g
  • Dietary Fiber9 g
  • Cholesterol114 mg
  • sodium792 mg
  • Total Sugars23 g

Thanksgiving Breakfast

Questions & Reviews

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  • RaChelle

    This breakfast has revolutionized Thanksgiving day for me. Having a delicious breakfast spread that we can snack on until the turkey is done is a total game changer!

    yay! reading this comment got me really excited for the Oct/Nov months! Can't wait for Thanksgiving!