A Smørrebrød Bar Makes for Sweet and Simple Self-Serve Brunch

May 24, 2017

Yes, many, many toasts and toppings can beat the regular breakfast bar. We partnered with Udi's Gluten Free to share gluten-free recipes during Celiac Awareness Month so that anyone can gather at your table, no matter their diet.

When I throw together a brunch gathering, my goal is to keep things simple and seamless. A toast or smørrebrød bar is a way to not only serve items that can be prepped in advance, but allows an interactive element for your guests. Most hosts want to keep guests out of the kitchen, but with this style of breakfast bar, your guests are encouraged to get involved!

Smørrebrød is a Scandinavian-style open-faced sandwich that is traditionally served on rye bread. Toppings can vary from simple butter and radish to smoked meat, fish, or cheese. For a springy spin and to cater to a variety of tastes, my smørrebrød bar features items that are seasonally friendly and please a variety of tastes.

Toasts on toasts on toasts. Photo by James Ransom

For those who prefer to brunch on eggs, a curried egg salad topped with pickled red onions and nigella seeds is a super-wholesome and fortifying way to get your fix. For avocado toast lovers (re: all of us) and for the plant-based eaters of the group, consider a subtle spin on the traditional crowd pleaser—top toasted rye with mashed avocado, lemon juice, thinly-sliced radishes, and, for a twist, finish with a homemade everything bagel spice blend. For the sweeties in the crowd, whip up a nutty, bittersweet hazelnut cacao spread topped with slightly tart rhubarb (instead of conventional store bought jam) and fresh basil. Can’t find rhubarb? Simply swap in strawberries or pitted cherries.

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To make things go off without a hitch, prep the curried egg salad, everything bagel spice blend, hazelnut cacao butter, and rhubarb compote a day in advance, leaving only avocado spritzed with lemon juice to put together the morning of. Make a fresh pot of coffee, juice some oranges or grapefruits, pop a bottle of champagne, and your smørrebrød bar is good to go!

Miranda's Smørrebrød

Going gluten-free isn't always a choice, so we partnered with Udi's Gluten Free to share gluten-free recipes during Celiac Awareness Month that everyone at the table can get behind. To see all of their products, from pizza crust to breads and bagels, head here.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Mellow
  • heatshank
Miranda Hammer is a New York City based Registered Dietitian, and founder of the clean-eating, healthy-living website Crunchy Radish. Her health and wellness philosophy focuses on health-supportive, plant-based, seasonal eating, and balanced living. She received her clinical training at New York University and culinary training at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts.


Mellow March 25, 2022
I'm Danish (where smørrebrød comes from) and this is not smørrebrød.
This just some bougy American thing with an exotic namesake.
To anyone reading this, do yourself a favor and google smørrebrød. This looks sad in comparison.
While we are at it since you have the dang nerve to call it by a Danish name, that is not ryebread. Its toast that probably contains a miniscule amount of rye flour or rye kernels.
heatshank May 28, 2017
This is my favorite gluten-free smorrebrod base:


It's great with labneh or cream cheese and anything pickled....