The Traditional Full English Breakfast is England’s favorite way to start the day. It features all your favorite breakfast items, along with a few you might not be familiar with. This is how you do breakfast, British-style! So bring your appetite – this is a big breakfast, not for the faint of heart. Let’s delve into all the components of a traditional Full English.

Sausages, tomato, mushrooms, bacon and egg in a cast iron skillet

There’s nothing more British than this  breakfast. This is Englands national breakfast that dates back to the Victorian era (19th century). Popular in pubs and ‘greasy spoon’ cafes.

How to Make a Proper Full English Breakfast

 There are usually 5-7 items that make up a traditional English breakfast , depending on which items are included. If I’m going for it, I’m going for all 7, aka the Full Monty (more in this below).

Full English Breakfast Recipe

Before diving into the recipe, let’s shed light on the term “Full Monty” used in British slang. It simply means “everything” or “all of it,” which perfectly describes this hearty breakfast.

A Full English breakfast on a white plate with fried break and a cup of tea


A good quality pork sausage is key here. Ideally, you’d want British-style bangers.  These are typically thicker and more coarsely ground than American sausages, and often have a stronger savory flavor.  Luckily, many supermarkets now carry British-style sausages.  If all else fails, any of your favorite sausage would work.


American bacon, while delicious, isn’t the traditional choice and the right kind for a Full English breakfast. Here in England, we favor back bacon. Cut from the pork loin, it’s similar to Canadian bacon. Unlike American bacon (streaky bacon, as we call it), back bacon has less marbled fat and won’t crisp up as easily. It has a ham-like texture with fat concentrated around the edge, and it’s often unsmoked.


For a perfect Full English breakfast, fried eggs are the way to go. Sunny-side up is the classic choice, allowing that glorious runny yolk to mingle with the other flavors on your plate. Scrambled eggs, while delicious, don’t quite fit the bill here – that beautiful runny yolk is essential! (see picture below). Think of it as the breakfast gravy, adding a touch of richness and creaminess to tie everything together.


For the type of beans in a classic English Breakfast the classic choice is Heinz baked beans. These are a far cry from American barbecue beans – they’re much simpler, bathed in a savory tomato sauce without the smoky sweetness of the barbecue flavor, cooked in a plain tomato sauce.  Canned beans are perfectly acceptable, but if you’re feeling adventurous, I have the perfect recipe for homemade British Baked Beans that you have to try.

Dipping a piece of fried bread into an egg yolk


For the tomatoes, fresh is the way to go. Simply halve them and sear them flesh-side down until softened and lightly browned. This adds a welcome burst of fresh flavor to this hearty breakfast.  In more modern variations, cherry tomatoes are also a popular choice.


Fresh mushrooms, whether brown or white, work perfectly here. No need for anything fancy, just grab your favorite kind from the grocery store. Slice them up and sauté them simply for a delicious addition to your breakfast.


While buttered toast is a perfectly acceptable option, for the full English breakfast experience, fried bread is the way to go. It’s simply white bread fried in vegetable oil until golden brown – a quick and easy way to elevate your breakfast. Let’s be honest, no one ever claimed this was a health food!

Black Pudding (don’t be afraid)

Black pudding might sound intimidating, but don’t be afraid!  It’s a seasoned, all-natural pork sausage (also known as blood sausage), bursting with flavor – not a sweet pudding like the name might suggest. This delicious option adds a richer note to your breakfast for those who enjoy it.

Let’s be honest, black pudding isn’t for everyone. But I want to re-iterate that is does tastes savory and good. The apprehension often comes from the name and appearance, not the actual flavor. If you’re aiming for the full English breakfast experience (and for me a personal preference), then black pudding is worth a try.

A large white plate with fried eggs, baked beans, sausages, mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes and black pudding.

Hash Browns

While hash browns are a common addition to some Full English breakfasts, it’s not something I grew up with.  I prefer the classic English components on my plate, but feel free to add them in if that’s how you like yours! 


No Full English breakfast is complete without the perfect condiments. Brown sauce (HP Sauce brand)  is a must-have.  It’s a tangy sauce with a depth of flavor, similar to a steak sauce. Ketchup is also an acceptable addition for those who prefer it.

And that’s the full scoop on a Full English breakfast recipe! It’s a hearty and delicious meal, best enjoyed occasionally – like a special Sunday morning treat.  After all, a breakfast this big can definitely leave you feeling satisfied for the rest of the day.

Variations on the Full Breakfast Around the UK

The Full English breakfast might be the most famous, but it’s not the only game in town! Across the United Kingdom, you’ll find delicious variations on this hearty morning meal:

  • Full Irish:  Similar to the English breakfast, but often featuring white pudding (a sausage without blood) instead of black pudding.
  • Full Scottish:  This breakfast includes all the usual suspects, plus some Scottish specialties like tattie scones (potato scones) and haggis (a savory sausage made with sheep’s organs).
  • Full Welsh:  A Welsh breakfast incorporates some unique ingredients from the region. Look for cockles (similar to clams) and laverbread, a savory spread made from seaweed.

These are just a few examples, and there may be regional variations within each country.  No matter which version you try, you’re sure to be in for a delicious and satisfying breakfast experience.

If you’ve tried this Full English Breakfast  or any other recipe  then please rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!

Yield: 4

Full English Breakfast

Fried egg, bacon, sausage, tomato, mushrooms in a cast iron skillet

A hearty British morning meal featuring fried eggs, sausages, bacon (back bacon, not streaky!), baked beans, grilled tomatoes, and mushrooms. It's often served with fried bread or toast and sometimes includes black pudding (blood sausage).

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 cup (136 grams) baked beans
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 4 pork sausages
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) mushrooms
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cut in half
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 2 slices black pudding
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 4 large eggs
  • Lard or cooking oil of your choice (if needed)


  1. Preheat oven to 200°F/95°C. Place a large, ovenproof dish in the oven to keep warm.
  2. To a small saucepan, add the beans and keep warm over medium low heat.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat add the bacon and sausages. Cook until the bacon is cooked and the sausage browned (turning to brown evenly). Transfer to the dish in the oven to keep warm.
  4. To the fat from the bacon (add lard or oil if needed). Cook the mushrooms over medium heat until browned. Tranfer to the oven, keeping the fat in the pan.
  5. Season the tomatoes with salt and add them flesh down to the same pan. Add the black pudding and cook each for 2 minutes per side. Remove and transfer to the dish in the oven.
  6. If needed, add more lard or oil to the pan over medium high heat.Add the bread to the oil (test it by putting in a corner of bread, if it sizzles, it’s ready) and cook until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel to drain.
  7. To the same oil add the eggs and spoon hot oil over the yolks until cooked.
  8. Serve all the components on a plate with the bread on the side.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 431Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 235mgSodium 868mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 5gSugar 9gProtein 22g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.

This full English breakfast recipe was first featured on Food Fanatic, where I am a contributor.