18 delicious Mother's Day lunch recipes
The best Mother's Day lunch recipes; from classics like beef bourguignon and fish pie to vegan mushroom tacos...
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Here are the best Sunday dinner dishes, brunch ideas, lighter meals like salads, and more - perfect to serve for a Mother's Day lunch this year.
Mother's Day, Sunday 19th March 2023 (Sunday 14th May in the US), is the perfect occasion to test your cookery skills, taking them to the next level and really showing off in the kitchen. Mother's Day lunch is a great place to start, with a range of mouthwatering Sunday lunches to choose from this year.
"Time is one of the most precious gifts you can give, a tasty something to eat always goes down a treat too! Grand and elaborate food offerings are not important – just taking some time to think about what you can do to add some sparkle to Mother’s Day is all that’s needed," says private chef Michaela Hanna (opens in new tab).
"It can be as simple as breakfast in bed (opens in new tab), a cup of tea, and your mum’s favourite morning nibble – croissant and jam, porridge, nuts, and dried fruit, or go big with eggs Benedict or a full English! Making a batch of her favourite Mother's Day biscuits (opens in new tab), a classic Victoria sponge, or the full works Sunday lunch doesn’t matter what it is, just a little thought and time will do the trick."
Best Mother's Day lunch recipes
1. Coq au vin pie
Serves: 2-3 | Prep time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 1 hr
The classic French chicken in red wine dish is given a spin as a decadent filling, wrapped in shortcrust pastry for a hearty, comforting treat for Mum on her special day.
It's wonderful served with a side of indulgent dauphinoise potatoes and steamed green beans or mangetout, though you might need to give Mum the rest of the afternoon to snooze it off on the sofa.
Get the recipe: Coq au vin pie (opens in new tab)
2. Classic beef bourguignon
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 20 min | Cooking time: 6 hr (low setting of a slow cooker)
Another French classic that can (and should) be prepped well ahead of time and done in the slow cooker – though it can also be cooked in a fan oven for around 2 hours if you're in a rush.
The beef will be beautifully tender and a great way to use up any cheap wine you've got lying around. Serve with a side of greens and either mashed or garlic-roasted potatoes, or even hunks of crusty French bread.
Perfect for the time of year, and for spoiling mum.
Get the recipe: Classic beef bourguignon (opens in new tab)
3. Lamb chops with pea and mint purée
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 35 min
Very on point seasonally, you can't go wrong with lamb chops, and this pleasing purée elevates them to a whole new level for a special occasion. Globe artichokes – an under-used veggie – are in abundance right now and are served oven roasted alongside the peas, which are blitzed with crème fraîche, chives, lemon, and mint for a zesty flavour.
"Lamb cutlets with pea and mint purée make for a delicious Sunday lunch, lighter than the full works, and easy to prepare. Your butcher will be able to advise on preparation – if you’d like them trimmed you can ask for cutlets, if you’d like them whole then ask for lamb chops. You can blitz the pea puree while the lamb is resting – this is definitely a dish that will benefit from a little relaxation. If you feel like you’re missing out on carbs, a few roasted new potatoes or some pearl barley would make a lovely accompaniment," says Michaela Hanna.
Get the recipe: Lamb chops with pea and mint purée (opens in new tab)
4. Hunter's chicken
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 30 min
Salty pancetta and mild creamy gouda help the chicken stay beautifully moist, and this is a dish that pretty much perfectly pairs with a side of coleslaw – which, we reckon should be homemade (using a vibrant red cabbage for visual appeal) by rights on this special day because supermarket varieties can often be a little meh.
In fact, knocking together a Moroccan-style coleslaw (opens in new tab) would work well. Home-made chips or sweet potato fries are also a perfect compliment, as is juicy, buttered corn on the cob and a fresh green salad.
Get the recipe: Hunter's chicken (opens in new tab)
5. Irish fish chowder with soda bread
Makes: 4 | Prep time: 30 min | Cooking time: 45 min
A hearty dish made special here with the addition of king prawns alongside salmon and smoked haddock for a taste sensation. This creamy chowder is pretty simple on the ingredients front, with leeks, potatoes, and carrots in the mix. Your showpiece will be your very own homemade soda bread – looks impressive, and is relatively easy, as it's a loaf that requires no yeast.
Made with buttermilk, added oats for an authentic taste – and the secret ingredient is honey for a slight sweetness. It should be spread with lashings of Kerrygold butter for a proper Irish dinner, of course.
Get the recipe: Irish fish chowder with soda bread (opens in new tab)
6. Slimming World's creamy haddock fish pie
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 20 min | Cooking time: 1 hr
Mum on Slimming World or just generally watching the cals right now? Then she'll be highly appreciative of a food hug in the form of this creamy haddock pie. Flaky white fish mixed with smoked haddock (or cod, if you prefer) and prawns – you could push the boat out with some king or tiger prawns – topped with creamy mash, it's perfect with a side of creamed spinach and steamed broccoli.
You could also throw some salmon and even mussels and squid in the mix, too.
Get the recipe: Slimming World's creamy haddock fish pie (opens in new tab)
7. Tofu burgers
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 15 min
If your mother is meat-free or even vegan, these tofu burgers will do nicely – entirely plant-based, entirely delicious, and also a little spicy, thanks to the binding with sriracha sauce (an essential condiment for any kitchen, if you ask us).
Flavour is packed in with soy sauce, mint, and shallots too, and they're perfectly served with slices of red onion, tomato, salad leaves, and a cooling garlic dip, made with vegan yogurt or mayo.
Perfect served with a big bowl of sweet potato wedges (opens in new tab) on the side.
Get the recipe: Tofu burgers (opens in new tab)
8. Vegan mushroom tacos with pineapple salsa
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 20 min | Cooking time: 20 min
Mushrooms are a marvelously meaty alternative and take on flavour beautifully, as here in this inventive taco recipe. Oyster mushrooms are ideal, and they're marinated in spices and served with this next-level sweet salsa, made with fresh pineapple, onion, fresh chilli, and lime.
This dish is completely meat and dairy free, and would also be complemented wonderfully with a creamy guac and washed down with a cold beer, like all good things Mexican are.
Get the recipe: Vegan mushroom tacos with pineapple salsa (opens in new tab)
9. Vegetarian wellington
Serves: 8 | Prep time: 30 min | Cooking time: 1 hr 25 min
A wellington is a wonderful special occasion dish, and it doesn't have to contain meat. This rainbow-coloured veggie version is a visual delight on slicing, with layers of orange squash, vivid pink beetroot, and dark green spinach. A perfect veggie roast dinner option with garlic roasties, red cabbage, green beans, and baby carrots. Mum will be pleased as punch over lunch.
"Vegetarian Wellington is a cracking centerpiece for a meat-free Mother’s Day lunch. Packed full of vegetables and colour, it is a vibrant and tasty way to get masses of nutrients into your diet, whilst enjoying a family feast. Make a vegetarian gravy by gently frying diced onion, carrot, and celery with a couple of bay leaves and a sprig of thyme. When they have a little colour, add a tablespoon of butter and two of flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in a dollop of tomato purée, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a yeast extract, top up with some vegetable stock, and reduce over medium heat until thickened and rich – strain and serve!" says Michaela Hanna.
Get the recipe: Vegetarian wellington (opens in new tab)
10. Veggie breakfast tray bake
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 20 min
If you're treating mum to brekkie or brunch this Mother's Day, this inventive tray bake is a good way to go. Including homemade baked beans (because she's worth it) and your choice of veggie sausage, it's a low-fat, high-protein choice – though some high-quality pork sausages could be thrown in instead if Mum is partial.
The juices can be nicely mopped up with a crusty baguette or slices of toasted sourdough. A big pot of English Breakfast tea is also essential, of course.
Get the recipe: Veggie breakfast tray bake (opens in new tab)
11. Creamy mushroom and blue cheese buckwheat galettes
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 min | Cooking time: 40 min
Galettes are one of those foods that transport us instantly to sunnier climes – in this instance, straight to family holidays in France. Hailing from Brittany, the galette is a savoury pancake (and is made with buckwheat, it is also gluten-free) often filled with deliciously French things like local jambon and fromage. This one features mushrooms in a creamy mustard sauce paired with spinach and blue cheese of your choice – we suggest Roquefort or Saint Agur keep things continental (though a goat's cheese would also work well if you're not a fan of the blue).
Then crack an egg in the middle and fold it as the French would for presentation. Great with a strong coffee at breakfast time, with a cheeky tipple, or a cold glass of Orangina (keeping the holiday vibe strong) for lunch.
Get the recipe: Creamy mushroom and blue cheese buckwheat galettes (opens in new tab)
12. Mozzarella and tomato ‘bruschetta’ salad
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 min | Cooking time: 10 min
Let's call this a deconstructed bruschetta. This salad has all the most vibrant flavours of the Med in one place. Lightly roasted tomatoes and peppers, toasted ciabatta, and the centerpiece – a whole mozzarella (go for the best quality cheese that budget will allow here, as some cheap varieties can be flabby and tasteless, or even swap for burrata if you prefer things creamier).
Drizzle over basil-infused olive oil, and serve on a platter. Perfect alongside a charcuterie board for a shared lunch.
Get the recipe: Mozzarella and tomato ‘bruschetta’ salad (opens in new tab)
13. Battenberg cake with rose and pistachio
Serves: 10 | Prep time: 45 min | Cooking time: 25 min
Never mind Mr. Kipling's, Mum deserves the finest homemade version of the iconic cake with her Mother's Day coffee. This twist on the classic features ground pistachios as well as the usual almonds, and a dash of rose essence for that Middle Eastern flavour. And then there are those pretty marzipan roses. This sweet treat involves a little skill and patience, but Mum is well worth the effort.
"This is the prettiest of cakes, and sure to delight any mother. The key to success is not to rush, make sure you have time for cooling the cake before decorating it and maybe have a ruler to hand to make sure the measurements are spot on! The flavours are delicate and delicious and will work perfectly with a morning cup of tea or coffee," says Michaela Hanna.
Get the recipe: Battenberg cake with rose and pistachio (opens in new tab)
14. Banana upside down cake
Serves: 12 | Prep time: 30 min | Cooking time: 30 min
A riff on the classic Seventies-style pineapple upside-down cake, this bake takes banana bread (and yes, we've finally just about recovered from the lockdown OD-ing) to dizzy new heights, with the deliciously sticky caramelised bananas sliced down the middle rather than mashed in the mix.
"This cake is ideal for morning coffee, or for serving after Sunday lunch. The caramelisation of the bananas is a real treat. Make dessert out of it by serving it with sticky toffee sauce and ice cream, or for the ultimate comfort food, pour over a generous serving of custard. Will work just as well with chocolate sauce and cream – so many variations!" says Michaela Hanna.
Get the posh crockery out. Definitely a day for loose tea in a teapot and china cups, if ever there was one.
Get the recipe: Banana upside down cake (opens in new tab)
15. Pina colada panna cotta
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 25 min | Cooking time: 25 min
This dessert is vegan-friendly, using dairy-free Co Yo coconut yogurt (though you could opt for the dairy variety, should you wish), and has a totally tropical taste.
Using fresh pineapple and mango and toasted coconut and making great use of that bottle of Malibu you've got lurking at the back of the cupboard, you'll transport mum straight to thoughts of that Caribbean cruise.
Get the recipe: Pina colada panna cotta (opens in new tab)
16. Espresso martini cake
Serves: 10 | Prep time: 35 min | Cooking time: 30 min
Turning a cocktail into a cake? Why not, indeed. A great choice if mum is a big fan of classics like tiramisu or a coffee and walnut cake, this simple sweet loaf is soaked in the coffee liqueur Kahlua and topped with a tasty mascarpone frosting.
We would suggest you pair it with an actual espresso martini, because why not? Ok, if you and mum are having a slice with your morning latte, then that's possibly why not...
Get the recipe: Espresso martini cake (opens in new tab)
17. Lemon meringue trifle
Serves: 24 | Prep time: 30 min | Cooking time: 40 min, plus setting time
A wonderful dessert mashup here, with a fusion of two retro classics – the lemon meringue pie and the trifle. How much effort you put into this is your call – you can make your own sponge and the swiss rolls (that are in the mix in place of trifle sponges), and you can even make your own lemon curd.
Or you can shop-buy if time and skill aren't on your side. You will learn how to make your own sticky meringue though and will need a kitchen blow torch to toast the top of it. A great one to make if the whole family is joining in to celebrate Mum.
Get the recipe: Lemon meringue trifle (opens in new tab)
18. Gluten-free lime and raspberry marble bundt cake
Serves: 12 | Prep time: 20 min | Cooking time: 45 min, plus cooling
"There’s no reason for mothers with gluten allergies or intolerances to miss out on the joy of baking with this gluten-free lime and raspberry Bundt cake. Light and zesty, with a hint of nuttiness from the ground almonds, this is a visual and tastes spectacular.
Try serving with some crème fraîche for a lunchtime dessert, or with a dollop of clotted cream for something a little more indulgent," says Michaela Hanna.
Get the recipe: Gluten-free lime and raspberry marble bundt cake (opens in new tab)
- Mother's Day breakfast ideas (opens in new tab)
- Mother's Day cake ideas (opens in new tab)
- Mother's Day cupcakes (opens in new tab) - the perfect homemade gift
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Lara Kilner is a writer and editor with two decades of experience in national newspapers, magazines, and websites. She writes about food, lifestyle, travel, health and wellness, and entertainment, and regularly interviews celebrities and people with interesting life stories and experiences. Her foodie content has included interviews with Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, Queer Eye’s food expert Antoni Porowski, the Hairy Bikers, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Raymond Blanc, Andi Oliver, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, and Nadiya Hussain.
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