Our 34 Best Mother's Day Recipes

Victoria Sandwich Cake
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Mother's Day only comes around once a year, so you should make it extra special to celebrate everything the moms in your life do on a daily basis. Go all out and whip up a next-level homemade meal—we're here to help you build the ultimate menu, whether you're making brunch or dinner. This collection of recipes spans breakfast to dessert with cocktails, appetizers, and all sorts of dishes in between, so you have options for a celebration any time of day. Make a batch of Tamarind Millionaire's Shortbread for a sweet treat, have this creamy vegan pasta on deck if you need a meatless dinner, or go full bistro with Steak Frites with Black Garlic Butter. Whichever one (or two, or three) you pick, you'll have memorably delicious results. Read on for all 34.

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Pecan-Plantain Sticky Buns

Plantain Sticky Buns
Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall

Pastry chef Paola Velez created these pecan-covered treats as a tribute to her Dominican mom's love of both plantains and sticky buns. The soft, ripe plantain gets cooked down to a smooth filling with a touch of brown sugar and a slew of spices, including not only cinnamon and vanilla but also black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger for added depth.

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Smashed-Banana Bread

Smashed Banana Bread
John Kernick

At Dovecote Café in Baltimore, this banana bread is one of many awesome baked goods that has historically been served on a daily basis. The recipe comes from owner Aisha Pew's mother, Gilda Bain-Pew, and includes super-ripe bananas and a hit of banana liqueur (but it's still quite good without the liqueur).

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Stovetop Asparagus Frittata

Frittata with asparagus, prosciutto and crème fraîche.
© CHRIS COURT

For this single-serving frittata, chef Nancy Silverton cooks the eggs gently, then tops them with asparagus, prosciutto, and crème fraîche. Since the frittata is not warmed in the oven, it's best to have the toppings at room temperature. Also, keep them near the pan so you can work quickly once the eggs are cooked.

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Phoenicia Diner's Breakfast Skillet

Phoenicia Diner's Breakfast Skillet
© Cedric Angeles

Phoenicia Diner in Phoenicia, New York, offers an impressive list of breakfast "skillets." This creamy egg scramble studded with smoked trout is meant for one, but it can be easily doubled or quadrupled.

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California Wappa Rice Bowls

California Wappa Rice Bowls Recipe
Victor Protasio

Snow crab, especially the legs of the crab, yields tender, clean chunks of meat, perfect for topping these steamed savory rice bowls. To gently cook the crabs, steam them for 20 to 25 minutes over high heat, let cool slightly, and remove the meat.

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Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade

Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade
© Greg DuPree

Chef Nancy Silverton's super-flavorful antipasto salad, packed with salami, bocconcini, olives, and more, gets even better with a night in the fridge. We named it one of our 40 Best Recipes in 2018.

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Pasta Primavera

Pasta primavera
Victor Protasio

This Pasta Primavera is buttery and rich but still feels light from the lemon zest and fresh herbs—it's the perfect dish to make after a visit to your local farmers market. The colorful play of spring vegetables makes it as pleasing to the eyes as it is to your palate; if you're lucky enough to find beautiful red or purple carrots, add them after cooking to keep from giving your pasta dish a blushing hue.

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Chicken Freekeh Skillet with Warm Feta-Lemon Relish

Lemon Chicken Freekah Skillet Recipe
Alison Miksch

"It's garlicky, a little spicy, herby, and full of surprises," cookbook author and F&W Cooks contributor Ann Taylor Pittman says about the relish in this recipe. "First, it includes firm feta cheese that gently warms to the point that it becomes soft and almost gooey—which is the way I always want feta from now on. The relish also gets a brazen hit of citrus from chopped lemon sections, which offer tart, juicy bursts that are way more forward than lemon juice would be. The effect is an unsubtle finishing touch that balances out the nutty grains and meaty chicken."

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Steak Frites with Black Garlic Butter

Steak Frites with Black Garlic Butter Recipe
Victor Protasio

Charolais is a breed of cattle from Burgundy prized for its tender, flavorful and marbled (not fatty) meat. Substitute a grass-fed or finished hanger steak to channel the juicy, nutty qualities of the French beef.

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Ruby Red Spritz

Spiced Pear Spritz and Ruby Red Spritz Recipe
Victor Protasio

This rosy, bittersweet aperitif is the perfect opener for a Mother's Day dinner. If you want it sweeter, add a dash of simple syrup, or replace the fizzy soda water with a splash of grapefruit soda.

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Sausage and Red Onion Sheet Pan Quiche

Sausage and Red Onion Sheet Pan Quiche
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee

This quiche was inspired by a foot-long quiche chef Cedric Maupillier has historically served at Convivial in Washington, D.C. This version, prepared in a rimmed baking sheet, makes plenty for the whole family.

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Any-Season Caesar Salad

Any-Season Caesar salad
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

A robust, creamy dressing and a few minutes on the grill help to tame chicories or sturdy—even bolted—lettuces in this bright salad. Swapping mayonnaise for raw egg means this dressing stays fresh in the fridge all week.

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Victoria Sandwich

Victoria Sandwich Cake
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas

A buttery, vanilla-scented cake, sandwiched with sweet jam (and often whipped cream), is a British teatime classic. In this version, fresh raspberries are added to the filling as well, delivering a tart, juicy contrast to the sweet jam. Be sure to take the time to cream the butter and sugar thoroughly—that essential step provides lift and good structure to the cake.

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Sourdough Buttermilk Waffles

Sourdough Pancakes Waffles Recipe
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

If you can't find full-fat buttermilk at the market, you're better off substituting a mix of milk and sour cream instead when making these waffles. Collect your sourdough discard in a bowl in the fridge, adding to it until you have enough for the recipe.

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Opulent Grilled Cheese

Opulent Grilled Cheese
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Inspired by former Food & Wine editor Margaret Eby's love of Zabar's in New York City, the combination of creamy, silky Taleggio and nutty aged Gruyère cheeses in these small but next-level sandwiches results in the perfect melt, with plenty of flavor. Pops of fresh salinity from lightly smashed capers stirred into sweet, jammy strawberries balance the richness.

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Cornmeal Skillet Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Cornmeal Skillet Cake
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Juicy strawberries and tart rhubarb stud the golden brown top of this simple skillet cake. The mix of all-purpose flour and fine cornmeal gives this dessert a pound-cake-like density, while goat cheese and buttermilk keep the crumb nicely tender and moist. A dollop of rosemary-infused whipped cream ties the sweet and savory flavors together.

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Rosy Hibiscus-Gin Lowball

Rosy Hibiscus Gin Lowball
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Kathleen Varner

On the fence when it comes to gin? Try a sip of this gateway cocktail. Known as sorrel in parts of Africa, roselle—the type of hibiscus used in most hibiscus teas—complements the floral notes of gin, resulting in a refreshing, balanced beverage. Stir leftover hibiscus tea into lemonade for a refreshing nonalcoholic sipper.

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Fresh and Easy Piña Coladas

Fresh and Easy Piña Coladas
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Coconut milk provides richness that rounds out sweet-tart chunks of frozen pineapple and adds a creamy texture to this lighter take on classic piña coladas. Be sure to vigorously shake the can of coconut milk before opening to recombine the coconut liquids and coconut cream.

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Clam and Mussel Conserva

Clam and Mussel Conserva
Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Clams and mussels—steamed with white wine and butter and then shucked and smothered in a lemony dressing—make for a luxurious first course of a leisurely lunch. The result is fresh-tasting shellfish in a briny, bright sauce, perfect for scooping up with lettuce or spooning over toast.

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Fig and Caramel Nut Tart

Fig and Caramel Nut Tart
Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Rich, barely bitter caramel, deeply toasted nuts, and chewy figs combine in a buttery crust for a dessert designed for pairing with Madeira. A pinch of flaky sea salt is the perfect finishing touch.

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Lamb Shoulder Chops with Herb and Sunflower Seed Salad

Lamb Shoulder Chops with Herb and Sunflower Seed Salad
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Lamb shoulder chops cook quickly; they're a very forgiving cut that's perfect for outdoor grilling. Here, Food & Wine's Justin Chapple pairs the grilled lamb with a simple salad of parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, chives, and crunchy sunflower seeds—the tender herbs are a fresh foil for the lamb. Pick up one bunch of chives and two bunches each of parsley, cilantro, dill, and mint for the herb salad.

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Korean Barbecued Tofu

Korean BBQ Tofu
Johnny Autry

Chicago chef Bill Kim created this recipe for his cookbook, Korean BBQ, to show how well tofu takes on flavors when marinated and grilled. He uses his Korean BBQ Sauce as a marinade, adding a jolt of spice with sambal oelek and light fruit flavors with kiwi and Asian pear. The Blackening Seasoning used to season the tofu before it is grilled balances chili powder with sweet paprika. Save any leftover Blackening Seasoning and BBQ Sauce to use on grilled tofu or meat.

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Madeira-Braised Swiss Chard with Garam Masala, Sultanas, and Toasted Almonds

Madeira-Braised Swiss Chard with Garam Masala, Sultanas, and Toasted Almonds
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

In this recipe from cookbook author and F&W Cooks contributor Andrea Slonecker, Swiss chard cooks down into tender, silky ribbons when braised with fruity Madeira and complex, tangy, earthy garam masala. Be sure to have some bread on-hand to use to sop up the flavorful cooking liquid.

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Sizzling Garlic Salmon with Sheet Pan Potatoes

Sizzling Garlic Salmon with Sheet Pan Potatoes
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

For this sheet pan dinner, baby potatoes, red onion, and spring onions get a head start in a hot oven before they are joined by a side of salmon. The salmon is slathered with mustard and drizzled with toasted garlic oil, and then cooked alongside the vegetables for a seamless final presentation.

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Crispy Cheese Burritos with Chorizo and Eggs

Crispy Cheese Burritos with Chorizo and Eggs
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee

When Richard Chang was chef and owner of Tacos La Tehuanita truck in Los Angeles, he wowed crowds with his burnt-cheese-roll taco, made by griddling cheese until crisp and rolling it up around various fillings. This burrito version here pairs chorizo-studded black beans and eggs with creamy avocado for richness.

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Creamy Vegan Pasta with Greens, Peas, and Lemon Zest

Green Pasta in purple bowls
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Kathleen Varner / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey

Quickly blanched greens and sizzling scallions and garlic meet in a surprisingly creamy vegan sauce for pasta, with a touch of white miso for added depth. Feel free to top with your favorite grated plant-based cheese, or just enjoy it all on its own.

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Charred Chile–Marinated Grilled Chicken Tacos

Charred Chile-Marinated Grilled Chicken
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Nidia Cueva

To help build deep layers of flavor in these tacos, chef Fermín Núñez begins his marinade by toasting and charring aromatics: dried chiles, cinnamon, allspice, and onions all hit the heat before soaking with juicy chicken thighs for an hour, imparting smoky flavor before they cook quickly on the grill or in the oven. Pair them with fresh tomatillo salsa cruda for a next-level taco night.

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Wild Mushroom Toasts

Wild Mushroom Toast
Hannah Khan

For his wild mushroom toasts, chef Michael Reed starts with griddled sourdough bread, slathers it with homemade hollandaise sauce, tops it with sautéed mushrooms and spinach, and then crowns it with a mound of rich scrambled eggs. The end result is an impressive dish perfect for brunch. Reed uses a mix of mushrooms such as enoki, morel, and maitake, but you can use a mix of any fresh mushrooms available at the market.

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Vegan Pimiento Cheese

Vegan pimento cheese, served with fried saltine crackers and pickles green tomatoes
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Pimiento cheese is an iconic snack in the South, and beloved all over. For this vegan version, sweet pimientos stud a creamy and savory base made with extra-firm tofu. The pickle brine and apple cider vinegar lend an acidic brightness to the mixture, while nutritional yeast and miso provide deep umami notes that keep you coming back for more. Be sure to chill this spread for at least two hours to let the flavors meld and achieve the right consistency. Serve it with fried saltines, pickled green tomatoes, and fresh celery.

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Tuna Croquettes

Tuna Croquettes
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

These irresistibly crispy bites transform a grazing board into a hearty supper; a drizzle of honey takes them over the top. Begin frying these breaded croquettes immediately after removing them from the freezer to help them hold their shape.

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White Asparagus Soup with Pickled Ramps and Hazelnuts

White Asparagus Soup with Pickled Ramps and Hazelnuts
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Winemaker and restaurateur André Mack's silky white asparagus soup is buttery and creamy with a mild sweetness from the asparagus and a touch of acidity from the pickled ramps that brightens the entire dish. Roasted hazelnuts and hazelnut oil lend a deliciously nutty body to the soup and make a beautiful garnish. If ramps are out of season, spring onions make a good substitute here. Straining the soup thoroughly is key to its final, silken texture.

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Blueberry Almond Yogurt Toast

Blueberry Almond Yogurt Toast
Photo by Sarah Crowder / Food Styling by Chandra Ram

Yogurt toast is sometimes called custard toast, which offers a clue to how the simple mixture of yogurt, egg, and syrup baked on top of a piece of toast beautifully mimics the texture and flavor of French toast or even a cheese Danish. It comes together in just a few minutes, making it an option even on busy mornings. Thick Greek-style yogurt works best here to achieve the creamy texture you want in the custard; use a flavored yogurt if you like but taste it before adding the maple syrup and cut down on the amount used if necessary so it isn't too sweet. If you don't have brioche, you can use challah or any other soft bread here; save the sturdy wholegrain sourdough for another use. And feel free to play around with the toppings as well; raspberries, strawberries, cranberries and other berries work nicely here, slice them if they are on the larger side. Or you can use thinly sliced bananas, peaches, pears, or figs, and further dress your yogurt toast with chocolate chips or dollops of peanut butter or chocolate-hazelnut spread.

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Tamarind Millionaire's Shortbread

Tamarind Millionaire's Shortbread
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

The sourness of tamarind breathes new life into the classic Millionaire's Shortbread (also affectionately known as Caramel Slice), a traybake of layered shortbread, caramel, and chocolate that has been a fixture in home cook's kitchens since 1970 when the recipe was first published in the Australian Women's Weekly Magazine. Tamarind concentrate adds a gloriously sharp acidic profile to balance the decadent caramel layer of this version of the afternoon treat, topped with the bitter sweetness of dark chocolate and a coconutty shortbread biscuit base (food writer Rosie Birkett first pioneered this wonderful flavor combination).

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Honey-Ricotta Mousse with Strawberries

Honey Ricotta Mousse with Strawberries
Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Kathleen Cook Varner

This velvety-smooth, berry-topped mousse requires very little time to make—it comes together in just 15 minutes, and then needs just an hour in the refrigerator to firm up. The mousse is a beautiful canvas for all kinds of toppings. Here, it's garnished with crunchy sliced toasted almonds and juicy fresh strawberries and a final drizzle of honey, but it's adaptable to what's in season or what you like best: you can substitute sweet orange segments or jammy figs for the strawberries, change up the honey drizzle with maple syrup, or try another crunchy topping, like your favorite granola or crushed pistachios, in place of the sliced almonds.

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