If you’re British like I am, you’ve probably made a million full English breakfasts in your life (or whatever your regional equivalent is called). You’ll have your own favourite elements to include and your own cooking methods, and you won’t need me to tell you how I make mine. This post is more aimed at my lovely international readers, who may hear ‘full English breakfast’ and immediately think of sausages, bacon, black pudding, and all sorts of other not-very-vegetarian-friendly ingredients. While those are definitely traditional elements, it’s totally possible to make a vegetarian full English breakfast that’s just as satisfying (and just as effective at curing a hangover).
I must admit, I don’t often make such an extensive full English breakfast at home – only on special occasions. You’re more likely to find me ordering one at a greasy spoon on a Saturday morning (at least, you were in my student days). But it’s not hard to make a decent one at home, and even though there are quite a few elements to cook up at the same time, they’re all easy. Sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomato, a fried egg, and proper British baked beans – all nice and simple. Just make sure you use a proper British brand of beans, none of this BBQ beans rubbish! These ones* or these ones* are both great.
All that’s left is to decide what kind of cuppa you want on the side, whether you’re a red sauce or brown sauce* kind of person (I’m team ketchup), and what kind of juice you want (usually apple or orange… I went for a less traditional apple and kale juice, since I’m a poncey food blogger).
Obviously, to make a vegetarian full English breakfast you could just replace all the meaty parts with their vegetarian equivalent – veggie sausages, veggie bacon, etc. I’ve done this a lot, but this time I wanted to avoid using ‘fake meat’ (which I do enjoy, but sometimes it’s fun to be a bit more creative), so I added grilled halloumi instead. Halloumi is becoming a pretty popular breakfast option in the UK, and the first time I was served it as part of a full English, it was a revelation! The salty cheese goes so well with all the other elements.
The only other part of my vegetarian full English breakfast that’s not entirely traditional is the asparagus – but I felt the plate needed a bit of green. Actually, with only one dash of oil used in this whole recipe, it’s a relatively healthy dish, as far as fry ups go. You could always swap the toast for a slice or two of fried bread if you feel the need for something a bit more greasy first thing in the morning…
- 1 tbsp oil
- 6 medium mushrooms, sliced
- 8 spears asparagus
- Black pepper
- 1 large tomato, halved
- 6 slices halloumi cheese
- 1 tin baked beans
- 2 slices bread, toasted
Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the sliced mushrooms and asparagus. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.
Meanwhile, heat up a griddle pan (or just another frying pan, if you don’t have a griddle pan), and add the tomato cut-side down, along with the slices of halloumi. Cook for a few minutes, turning the halloumi once it’s golden brown underneath (here are some more details about how to cook halloumi, if you’re not sure).
Heat the baked beans in the microwave or in a small saucepan, stirring regularly.
Serve all the elements of the vegetarian full English breakfast together, along with some slices of toast.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/2 the recipe.
If you fancy putting a more unusual spin on a classic breakfast, try my Tex Mex breakfast muffin:
* Note: This post contains a couple of affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links, I will receive a tiny (tiny!) sum of money, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for the support!