Mothers Day Dinner Ideas – Spanish Tapas, a Spring Feast, a Sunday Roast and a Casual Curry Night. Copyright © 2023 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Mothers Day Dinner Ideas – Spanish Tapas, Spring Feast and Sunday Roast

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Our Mothers Day dinner ideas for those of you still deciding what to cook mum for dinner for her special day, include everything from a tasty Spanish tapas spread to transport her to Europe and an alfresco spring feast to a casual curry night and a Sunday roast dinner for the woman who has probably baked you countless roast dinners in your life.

We’ve got plenty of ideas for recipes for Mother’s Day if you still can’t decide what to cook mum for Mother’s Day dinner, whether you’re looking for something fancy for a proper sit-down dinner or an easy casual meal so you can focus on spending quality time together rather than in the kitchen, we have something for all of you.

If you’re looking for Mother’s Day breakfast ideas, we have lots of those, too, from recipes for a classic eggs Benedict and creamy scrambled eggs with truffles to Terence’s poached eggs with asparagus, pancetta and parmesan and my jammy soft-boiled eggs on sourdough with dill cream cheese and homemade pickles.

We’ve also pulled together a compilation of our best Mothers Day brunch recipes if you prefer to follow up a light breakfast in bed for Mum with a family Mothers Day brunch that will stretch into the afternoon. Recipes include savoury French toast, blinis with smoked salmon, devilled eggs, and mimosa salads.

And lastly, we have some Mothers Day lunch ideas, which include everything from a homemade French tapenade and a classic prawn cocktail, a pretty smoked salmon carpaccio or a spaghetti with smoked salmon, capers and fresh dill, followed by a Mediterranean style braised chicken with olives and capers, with a beautiful radish, rucola and feta salad.

We hope you find some dishes to cook your mum from our collections of Mothers Day recipes. If you don’t find any Mothers Day cooking inspiration, do browse our Weekend Eggs archive of breakfast and brunch dishes or leap into the Grantourismo recipe archives of dishes from around the world that we’ve learnt to cook in places on our travels or created inspired by places we’ve spent time in and lived in.

But before I tell you more about these Mother’s Day dinner recipes, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed my Russian recipes, our Cambodian recipes or any of our recipes on the site, please consider supporting Grantourismo so we can continue to create delicious recipes.

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Now let me tell you about our Mothers Day dinner ideas.

Mothers Day Dinner Ideas – Spanish Tapas, Spring Feast, Sunday Roast and Curry Night

Spanish Tapas Spread

I reckon this is one of my best Mothers Day dinner ideas – why not transport your mum to Spain and take her on a Spanish tapas bar crawl in the comfort of her own home, or your home?

You’ll need this collection of our best Spanish tapas recipes for some of the most popular Spanish tapas bar snacks. We have recipes for the Spanish meatballs called albondigas, chorizo and potato croquettes for croquetas de patata y chorizo, the classic garlic shrimp or gambas al ajillo, a Spanish chorizo in red wine recipe for chorizo al vino tinto, and calamari a la plancha.

If you’re not familiar with Spanish tapas, a tapa is a small snack plate offered at tapas bars in Spain and abroad – ‘tapas’ is plural – where a tapas bar crawl is the best means by which to sample these delicious snacks.

A leisurely bar-hop from one boisterous tapas spot to another, sipping vermouth or vino while nibbling on these tasty morsels is must-do for food-loving travellers to Spain.

While it’s a bit tricky to replicate an actual tapas bar crawl in your own home, making a spread of tapas is the next best thing, and if your mum is a fan of Spain, she’s going to enjoy your tapas feast. Especially washed down with jugs of sangria!

Best Spanish Tapas Recipes for a Tapas Bar Feast at Home (Not the Same, but Still Lots of Fun)


Alfresco Spring Dinner

If you’re in the midst of spring, with a bounty of beautiful spring produce available, then why not go for a light spring feast in the early evening, preferably served up on an alfresco terrace or balcony or in the garden.

I’d make this easy salmon tray bake the star attraction – crispy skinned salmon fillets baked so that the skin crackles but the flesh remains moist, with roasted spring vegetables that are just-done so that they’re still fresh and crunchy.

Sprinkled with spring onions and fresh fragrant dill and served with lemon slices, it makes the lightest of roasts, perfect for a spring dinner.

If you’re feeding a large family, I’d make a big bowl of creamy mashed potatoes and a few salads, such as this stunning salmon potato salad, which is as delicious as it looks and it looks impressive, this light aromatic herb salad, and this Mediterranean style tomato salad, which is another stunner.

If you’re not taken with any of those salads, you’ll find more ideas in this collection of salad recipes. A bottle of bubbly and a few nice bottles of chilled dry white wines, and a platter of fresh seasonal fruits for dessert and you’re set.

Easy Salmon Tray Bake Recipe for Crispy Skinned Salmon with Spring Vegetables

Sunday Roast Dinner

If your mum has spent countless Sundays cooking a roast dinner for you and the family, then here’s another of my top Mothers Day dinner ideas – a Sunday roast dinner for mum, but they’re roasts with a difference. I have a couple of outstanding roast dinner recipes for you.

I have my favourite Cambodian roast chicken recipe, which makes a fragrant, flavoursome and moist roast chicken thanks to my Cambodian inspired herb butter and a stuffing made with yellow kroeung, an aromatic Khmer herb and spice paste pounded from fresh lemongrass, kaffir lime zest, galangal, turmeric, garlic, and shallots.

I recommend baking baby carrots, corn, potatoes, and shallots, which can be cooked with the chicken for a comforting Cambodian-inspired roast. Of course, you can also serve a big bowl of creamy mashed potatoes on the side to share.

I also have an incredibly succulent pork roast recipe for a spice rubbed roast pork stuffed with garlic, herbs and spices that is as rich and delicious as it looks. The slow cooked pork belly roast has a crunchy skin and moist pork belly infused with spices and herbs. It’s so rich, you wouldn’t want to eat it every weekend, but it’s perfect for Mother’s Day dinner.

You’ll need to massage the pork belly with olive oil, spices and herbs, roll it up, tie it up, and while it’s best to marinate it the night before, if you put it in the fridge to marinate now, you’ll be able to roast it late this afternoon. Then you can prep the vegetables and bake those with the roast.

Pork Roast Recipe for Spice Rubbed Pork Belly Roast Stuffed with Herbs and Spices

Casual Curry Night

Is your mum a spice lover or a fan of Southeast Asian curries? And she doesn’t like being fussed over? Then here’s another of my best Mothers Day dinner ideas – a casual curry night.

A curry night is a cool idea if mum loves spicy food. First of all, you can put a couple of curries on in the afternoon, then turn the heat to low to let them simmer while you make salads and sides and refrigerate those, so you’re not cooking when family arrives.

They’re fantastic if you’re feeding a big family as you can serve everything sharing style at the centre of the table and let everyone help themselves. Although you should do as they do here in Southeast Asia and serve your mother. Elders first!

We’ve got loads of curry recipes from all over Southeast Asia and beyond, from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia, along with South Africa, from the Cape Malay community in Cape Town.

You could use our Search box and search for ‘Thai food’ or ‘Burmese food’ and we have lots of Cambodian recipes in this collection. But perhaps start by browsing this collection of our best 30 curry recipes (link below) for everything from fish curries and pork curries to chicken curries, along with curried noodles and curried soups.

30 Best Curry Recipes from Chicken Curries to Chickpea Curries from Southeast Asia, Africa and Beyond


Cosy Autumn Dinner

This is another of our best Mothers Day dinner ideas if you’re in the midst of autumn in the southern hemisphere, where it’s currently snowing in some parts of Australia. Your mum will appreciate a warming soup followed by salmon with colcannon.

For a cosy soup to start, browse our round-up of warming winter soups, which includes recipes from around the world for hearty broths from Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America – from a spicy Singapore curry laksa and a comforting Russian-Ukrainian borscht to a comforting Moroccan chickpea soup and spicy Mexican tortilla soup.

I recommend this green minestrone soup recipe, which will make you an easy, versatile, year-round soup that starts out as a light fresh spring soup on the first day of making it, but leave it overnight and it evolves into a warming, hearty autumn or winter broth.

You could make it today and reheat it tomorrow or make it Sunday but cook it for longer than suggested, until the potatoes begin to break down. Vegetables can be substituted according to the season but use frozen peas and beans in autumn and you can pretend it’s spring!

Green Minestrone Soup Recipe that Changes Like the Seasons from a Light Spring Soup to Hearty Autumn Broth

Another option is this French onion soup recipe will make you a fragrant and deeply flavoured French onion soup that I’ve given a hint of Southeast Asian spice and umami to with a little star anise and a quality fish sauce. But you could leave those out for a more traditional French onion soup.

Inspired by French chef Raymond Blanc’s vegetarian French onion soup recipe, which uses toasted flour to add a nuttiness to the broth, I’ve added a little fish sauce for umami and star anise for aroma and flavour to create a deeply-flavoured onion soup.

I’ve stuck with the chef’s choice of Comté cheese as I adore cheese but I don’t like those French soups that are completely covered in a thick layer of gooey cheese. That’s my preference but you do as you like. Bon appétit!

French Onion Soup Recipe for a Fragrant Deeply Flavoured Onion Soup with a Southeast Asian Twist

As for the main course, this salmon fillet with colcannon recipe has been a favourite since we first tasted the dish at restaurant Banc in Sydney many years ago. The crispy skinned salmon fillet was cooked to perfection and the colcannon (an Irish mash potato) was creamy and rich.

One of the things we love about this salmon fillet with colcannon is that you can prep everything beforehand and disappear into the kitchen for only 10 minutes to finish it if you’ve done your mis-en-place.

Reheat the mash and add some butter to the sauce while you cook the salmon. So simple. Another point in this recipe’s favour is that it can be adapted for non-pescatarians without deeply affecting the flavour profile of the dish. Perfect.

Salmon Fillet with Colcannon Recipe and How to Get a Perfect Crispy Salmon Skin


A Feast Fit for an Empress

If you’ve cooked and enjoyed my traditional beef Stroganoff or richly spiced chicken Stroganoff recipes then here’s one of my best Mothers Day dinner ideas, a feast fit for a Russian empress, with this pork Stroganoff the star of the meal.

If your mum is a lover of Chinese cuisines and dishes made with the Chinese velveting technique, then she’s going to adore my pork Stroganoff recipe.

Served on beautiful ceramic plates with crispy shoestring fries on the side, this pork Stroganoff is probably the most elegant of all my Stroganoff recipes.

You’ll still want to make a fresh garden salad but you can serve that at the centre of the table.

Pork Stroganoff Recipe for Tender Pork Made with the Chinese Velveting Technique


Please do let us know if you make any of our Mothers Day dinner ideas for your mum, as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.


Lara Dunston Patreon


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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

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