breakfast/brunch/how to/recipes

A Breakdown of the Full English Breakfast

Posted February 23, 2019 by Stephanie

Bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast, and beans all on one plate: is a Full English breakfast the most ultimate breakfast ever?

Confession: I’ve never had a real full English. At least not in England or anywhere in world in fact, except right here, at home. But a couple of weeks ago, Mike and I were chatting with a dude that moved here from England and the thing he said he missed the most was breakfast, specifically a Full English breakfast. He waxed poetic about the deliciousness for a good five minutes, but I wasn’t sold. Mike was nodding along, agreeing with him because he’s eaten many a full English in London, but me? Nope.

I really wasn’t interested until Mike showed me a photo a couple days later. It was a giant plate and it looked AMAZING. I mean, it might have been because I was very hungry, but at the time, nothing looked better to my eyes. Thus started the Full English Obsession. Mike and I took a casual look around town to see what ingredients we could find and here’s what we came up with!

According to the internet, full English breakfasts need:

  1. Sausages – I think everyone just goes with whatever sausages they like, but sometimes there are 2-3 kinds on a plate. We went with regular breakfast sausages and we also got a bit of black pudding, which seems like most people insist on having as well.
  2. Back Bacon – This isn’t your regular bacon, which is made from pork belly, nope, back bacon is bacon that includes a little bit of the loin, kinda like a super thin pork chop but smoked. From what I can see, this kind of bacon isn’t really crispy.
  3. Eggs – Pretty straight forward, all the full English plates I’ve seen have sunny side up eggs.
  4. Tomatoes – These guys are cut in half along the equator and then seared in the pan and seasoned with salt and pepper. They aren’t really cooked, just given a little bit of color.
  5. Mushrooms – Seems like a take or leave it item, but we’re going all out here so of course mushrooms are needed. They’re cooked in the usual way, nicely browned and caramelized
  6. Toast – Don’t call it toast because I’ve seen some internet fights break out about the bread. You can’t just use a toaster and call it a day. The bread has to be FRIED, either with butter or oil.
  7. Beans – You have to have beans! I mean, I’ve never really had beans at breakfast, but it’s classic. We went for Heinz because that’s what they do in England and because their teal cans are too cute.

We made this on a snowy morning and it was perfect! Lots of hot tea, big fluffy flakes falling down outside, and ALL the fried bread. But, to be honest, I’m not sure if I’m a huge fan. Call me a savage, but I think I love regular breakfast more. Mike on the other hand, LOVED it! He said it was as good as the full English breakfasts he had while he was in London. Me on the other hand? I didn’t eat for the rest of the day and went into a food coma – I was definitely full!

How to make a full english breakfast | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make a full english breakfast | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make a full english breakfast | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make a full english breakfast | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make a full english breakfast | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to make a full english breakfast | www.iamafoodblog.com

Annotated by Mike

How to Make a Full English Breakfast
serves 2


  • beans
  • sausages
  • back bacon/Irish bacon
  • black pudding slices
  • mushrooms
  • tomato
  • bread
  • eggs

Heat up the beans over low in a small pot. Keep warm on low.

Cook the sausages over medium to medium low heat, turning occasionally, until brown and cooked through. In the same pan, cook the bacon, flipping as needed. Fry the blood pudding slices over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side.

In another pan, heat up a bit of oil and cook the mushrooms, without moving, until brown and caramelized. Remove from the pan, then sear the cut side of the tomato briefly. Remove from the pan, season everything with salt and pepper.

Wipe the pan down and heat up a bit of oil or butter over medium heat. Fry the bread until golden, flipping and adding more oil or butter as needed. Remove and set aside.

Finally, fry the eggs to your liking. Plate everything up: sausages, bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, tomato, bread, and eggs. Enjoy immediately!

Welcome to Weekend Brunch! Bringing the brunch recipes back – skip the lines and make brunch at home. The coffee’s truly bottomless and the best part is PJs all the way!

13 Comments

  1. Alexia says:

    Boy, the English love their breakfasts. I remember visiting England when I graduated from high school. Their breakfasts are amazingly satisfying, probably better than any other meal (with the exception of their Prime Rib Roast with Yorkshire Puddings). Yum!

  2. Delyth says:

    Just to be clear, please don’t think we eat this everyday! This is more of a treat, perhaps at a bed and breakfast or something once in a while. Also, toast in the regular sense is perfectly acceptable as is losing the black pudding,(ugh)!

    1. Stephanie says:

      heehee, yeah i figured it was a special occasion kind of breakfast :)

      1. Rachel says:

        It’s a hangover and/ or lazy sunday morning breakfast!

        Also, two notes. a) You’re missing the hash browns. I know they came from America originally, but they’re now integral!

        b) The ‘fried’ bread thing is regional, more of a ‘Northern’ thing. I’m from the South East of England (though living in London) and most places back home if a place served fried bread instead of regular toast with their Full English, they’d warn you, because it’s unusual in the South.

        1. Stephanie says:

          ooh, i didn’t know about hash browns! i totally thought those were an american thing LOL
          i quite liked the fried bread :)

  3. Marian N says:

    Tomatoes for breakfast is also a Southern US thing.

  4. geoffrey corthout says:

    Hello, I like the idea behind this recipe, but I would change a few things myself. I would replace the beans and sausages with vegetables. I think the beans and sausages are too much because you already have bacon on your plate and I think it will be too heavy.instead of using beans and sausages, I would make a nice salad. What I certainly like about this recipe is the combination of the tomatoes and the champigons. In short, I think it’s a good recipe when small things are changed.

    1. LG says:

      You can’t change it. It’s a ‘Full English’

  5. STEWART FLOWERS says:

    tomatoes have to be tinned ones, fried bread and toast, but deffo no hash browns, never an english brekkie with them

  6. Tina says:

    What about kippers?? We had them in Southern England ( Tonbridge Wells, Lyme Regis) And Ft. William, Scotland (very fresh).

  7. Hodgie3a says:

    My suggested contents (not all at the same time): –
    Eggs (traditionally fried but scrambled acceptable or poached at a pinch)
    Bacon (back or streaky, the latter being well done – traditionally fried but grilling might help you to live longer)
    Sausage (use plain, boring pork; save your lincolnshire, cumberland and others for “bangers and mash” – with thick onion gravy, of course – again fry or grill)
    Tomato (personally I hate cooked, fresh toms, tinned are better for breakfast)
    Mushrooms (simmer in milk for a few minutes, drain well then fry; they don’t tend to soak up so much cooking fat)
    Beans (Heinz, of course; I think people who say they can’t tell the difference are kidding themselves)
    Hash Browns (forget them as they’re tasteless and Irish potato cakes are infinitely superior)
    Irish Potato Cakes (lightly fry, grill or toast – lovely any way)
    Irish Soda Bread (lightly fry for a wonderful addition)
    Black Pudding (for some reason b.p. rings taste better than the large sausage shaped stuff and can be eaten uncooked.
    White Pudding (grains replace the congealed blood of the b.p. and make a great alternative/addition)
    Fried Bread (use white sliced bread and soak both sided in the fat from the bacon & sausage then fry both sided until crispy and mid-brown)
    Kidneys (half and cut out the core then fry – warning they’re an acquired taste and can ruin a meal!)

  8. Robin says:

    A full English is simple. The original ingredients as above. NO lettuce, hash browns, soda bread, vegetables etc. If you want to add these, go ahead but don’t call the muck in front of you a Full English ‘cos it just isn’t!!! (Yorkshire born and Yorkshire bred strong of t’arm and thick of t’ead. And an honourary Scouser) But we can’t have everything.

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