What is a Full English Breakfast?

Full English Breakfast

“What is a Full English Breakfast?” I hear you ask.

It’s only the best thing since fried bread! Yep, fried bread – just one of the epic components that make up the ‘Full English.’

We also call the Full English Breakfast the ‘Full Monty’, ‘Fry Up’ or ‘All Day Breakfast’ (lucky for you it’s available all day in many places).

So what is a Full English Breakfast?

Here are all of the awesome ingredients that make up this famous British breakfast dish…


What is a Full English Breakfast - Sausages

Sausages are the backbone of the Full Monty. Depending on your appetite, you may opt for just one or more sausages as the basis of your Fry Up. Traditionally pork sausages are used, although vegetarian or vegan sausages may be used.


Full English Breakfast bacon
Image courtesy of Duke’s Hill

Back bacon or streaky bacon. Smoked or unsmoked. The choice is yours, I won’t judge! Personally, for my Full English Breakfast, I go with smoked back bacon every time (1-3 rashers is pretty standard).

Black pudding

Black Pudding
Image courtesy of Great British Chefs

Black Pudding is one of the famous British delicacies, but most people are put off straight away when they hear what it is. It’s flipping awesome though, I can assure you.

It’s essentially just a delicious sausage, made with pork blood and fat, normally mixed with oatmeal.


Fried Eggs

With the Full English Breakfast traditionally being mostly fried (hence ‘Fry Up’), choosing fried eggs is pretty customary.

Although, there’s nothing stopping you from poaching or boiling your eggs if you prefer. Just make sure the yolk is runny!

Hash Browns

Hash browns

Actually from the United States I understand, but these fried shredded potato beauties are just as popular on a Full English Breakfast plate!


What is a Full English Breakfast - Tomatoes

Fresh, ripe, juicy red tomatoes are a magical addition to a Full Monty when grilled or griddled. A nice alternative is fresh vine cherry tomatoes roasted in the oven.


Full English Breakfast - mushrooms

Whichever variety you choose, make sure your mushrooms are good quality and fried to perfection (don’t let them boil, people!)

Button mushrooms are most traditional, but there’s no reason why other varieties can’t be used, like a nice big field mushroom, chestnut mushrooms or even wild mushrooms.

Baked Beans

Baked beans

The Full English Breakfast just wouldn’t work without this British food staple.

Whilst it’s possible to find fancy restaurants or cafes offering freshly made baked beans, it’s far more common and traditional for the canned Heinz baked beans to be used.

Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak is traditionally cooked from left-over potatoes and cabbage, which are then shallow fried together in oil or butter.

This is probably the item you’re least likely to see on a Full English Breakfast plate these days (other than at Christmas time). I’m not sure why to be honest, it’s jolly good all year round if you ask me!

Fried Bread or Toast

Image courtesy of Archana’s Kitchen

Another critical personal choice to make! Do you go with toast or fried bread (literally bread fried in oil until crisp and golden).

I won’t influence you on this one. Although, just thinking out loud… Eggy bread could be an immense third option!

So there you have it, the quintessentially British, Full English Breakfast…


Tomato Ketchup or Brown Sauce

You have one final, crucial breakfast decision to make. Only the most critical choice you’ll ever be faced with.

Red or brown sauce? Oh the pressure!

Seriously though, there’s no make or break here – either will serve you well.

The most traditional and popular sauce brands are Heinz tomato ketchup and HP brown sauce.

So, what is a Full English breakfast? Here’s your answer…


All of that washed down with a nice glass of orange juice, or a cup of tea or coffee. Enjoy!

So, there you have it, consider “What is a Full English breakfast?” answered.

Wondering what else we eat for breakfast in the UK?

Then check out these typical British breakfasts.

Or, you might want to find the best places to eat breakfast in Britain!

British Food Dude