What’s in an Irish Breakfast?

If you're lucky enough to wake up in Ireland, your hosts will likely ask you if you want "the full Irish" for breakfast. The answer is yes. Yes, you do. 

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Typical English Breakfast Served with Tea
Photo: Shutterstock / Kevin George
Photo: Shutterstock / Kevin George

What is an Irish Breakfast, Anyways?

Hearkening back to the days of hard labor, this traditional meal is proudly packed with must-have specialties, often from local producers. If a trip to the Emerald Isle isn’t in your near future, you can re-create this deliciousness at home. Follow along and we’ll show you how.

Try these classic Irish recipes while you’re at it.

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Bacon is one of the essentials for an authentic Irish breakfast. Your standard cooking method is just fine, but if you want to get fancy, try this glazed version.
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You’ll need sausage links or “bangers”, too. They’re delicious as is, or you can try this recipe if you’d like to go a little sweet.
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Morcillo (Spanish black pudding, blood sausage), cutting slices, black rye bread in a heart shape, pepper, garlic on a wooden board.
Photo: Shutterstock / Iaroshenko Maryna
Photo: Shutterstock / Iaroshenko Maryna

Black & White Puddings

These types of “pudding” are actually delicious pork sausage, and you’ll see both black and white versions. Look for them at your local grocery store. Better yet, find a good butcher who’s making their own. If you can’t find them in your area, you could order online.

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Egg cooking in a skillet
Photo: Shutterstock / MARIAN WEYO
Photo: Shutterstock / MARIAN WEYO

Eggs, of course!

Typically, you’ll see these sunny-side up in an Irish breakfast, but we won’t tell if you make them your way. Learn how to cook an egg every way imaginable, here.

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Steakhouse Mushrooms

Saute up some gorgeous, earthy mushrooms to start your day strong.
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Baked Beans

Beans add protein and fiber to your morning routine. Plus, they’re just plain delicious.
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Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Sprinkled with seasonings and caramelized in the oven, these may take a while to cook, but they’re so worth it.
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A supply of Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter sits amidst other butters on a store shelf
Photo: Shutterstock / AP/REX
Photo: Shutterstock / AP/REX


Slather a wedge of this beautiful bread with a thick layer of creamy butter. We love Irish Kerrygold.

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If you want to sweeten up your savory feast, homemade marmalade is hard to beat.
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Kristin Sutter
A big fan of homegrown cooking, Kristin has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. She has mastered the art of learning from her inexpert riffs on other people's truly good recipes.