Mom Packed All Your Lunches Growing Up, So Treat Her to a Special Lunch

mothers day lunch ideas
A Mother's Day Lunch Menu With All Her FavoritesWill Dickey

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When you were a kid, Mom was the queen of packing school lunches! And now it's time to return the favor. We're making the case for preparing an extra special Mother's Day lunch that your family will love. Whether you're honoring a mother figure in your life or sharing this list with the kids as a hint for what you want your own Mother’s Day to include, there are tons of ideas for making lunch on that second Sunday of May. You can choose from spring salads, satisfying sandwiches, quiche recipes, and even more.

If your mom is anything like Ree Drummond, she'll appreciate a good pasta recipe—like the shrimp pesto pasta, the asparagus pasta, or even the chicken Caesar pasta salad. While some of these recipes lean towards comfort foods, others are great for a lightened-up meal or a Mother's Day tea party. Looking to take your lunch outdoors? Try the grilled salmon, turkey burgers, or the Waldorf salad that's perfect for a picnic in the park! While many of these Mother's Day lunches are elegant enough for a sit-down meal, they're also quick and easy lunch recipes so you can get back to spending quality time with Mom—it's the best Mother's Day gift you can give, after all.

Avocado Toast

Nothing says ladies' lunch quite like avocado toast! The thick sourdough bread and creamy mashed avocado is a great base for other fun toppings like pico de gallo, eggs and bacon, or even mango and coconut.

Get the Avocado Toast recipe.


avocado toast
Caitlin Bensel

Waldorf Salad

This timeless salad was first invented back in the 1890s at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. But you don't need a trip to the big apple to try the apple-filled salad. Make it at home and serve it up on a bed of lettuce for added elegance.

Get the Waldorf Salad recipe.

waldorf salad
Will Dickey

Asparagus Quiche

This beautiful quiche is like a celebration of spring with its filling of tender asparagus, green onions, and dill. The crumbled feta adds just the right amount of salty, cheesiness.

Get the Asparagus Quiche recipe.

asparagus quiche
Will Dickey

Grilled Salmon

You only need a couple of minutes to make salmon on the grill! This method ensures flaky, flavorful fish every time. Plus, it's delicious served over a salad or bowl of rice.

Get the Grilled Salmon recipe.

grilled salmon
Caitlin Bensel

Avocado Salad

Show off fresh veggies with this salad that's chock-full of avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, and cilantro. The salsa verde dressing adds a pop of zesty flavor!

Get the Avocado Salad recipe.


avocado salad
Caitlin Bensel

Tea Sandwiches

Surprise mom with a tea-themed party for the afternoon. It's easy to do with an assortment of teas, your best dishes, and these mini finger sandwiches featuring curried chicken salad, smoked salmon and cucumber, or ham and cheddar.

Get the Tea Sandwiches recipe.

tea sandwiches
Caitlin Bensel

Biscuits and Gravy Casserole

If comfort food is what you're after, look no further than this twist on biscuits and gravy. It all comes together in a casserole dish so it's great for making ahead!

Get the Biscuits and Gravy Casserole recipe.

biscuits and gravy casserole
Caitlin Bensel

Radish Salad

You can make this crunchy side dish with just about any main course! Try it with grilled steaks, chicken, fish, or even just your mom's favorite sandwich.

Get the Radish Salad recipe.

radish salad
Will Dickey

Asparagus Pasta

This pasta recipe is simple yet so flavorful thanks to the creamy, lemony, cheesy sauce. Oh, and the crispy bits of bacon don't hurt either!

Get the Asparagus Pasta recipe.

asparagus pasta
Caitlin Bensel

Egg Salad

There are so many different ways to spin homemade egg salad. You can play around with different combinations of celery, bell peppers, herbs, and spices. Then, serve it over a salad or even on sandwiches. The options are endless!

Get the Egg Salad recipe.


egg salad
Caitlin Bensel

Upside-Down Puff Pastry Radish Tarts

This recipe gets its inspiration from TikTok, but in a whole new way! The thinly sliced radishes make it look elegant, pink, and perfect for Mother's Day.

Get the Upside-Down Puff Pastry Radish Tarts recipe.

upside down puff pastry radish tarts
Stacy Allen

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This fun pasta salad is sure to become your family's favorite! It has hearty chicken and pasta, crisp lettuce, crunchy croutons, and a homemade Caesar dressing that's cheesy and delicious.

Get the Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad recipe.

chicken caesar pasta salad
Caitlin Bensel

Grilled Flank Steak

Any cowgirl will appreciate steak for lunch! After a quick marinade, it's grilled to perfection, then served up with anything your heart desires. (Mango salsa is highly recommended!)

Get the Grilled Flank Steak recipe.

grilled flank steak
Nicole Dubois

Deviled Eggs

You can't go wrong with classic deviled eggs. They're easy to make and will turn any get-together into party. This version is creamy and tangy thanks to a filling of pickle juice, mayo, and mustard.

Get the Deviled Eggs recipe.

deviled eggs
Caitlin Bensel

Ambrosia Salad

This old-school salad will give mom a burst of nostalgia. It's sweet and fruity—and doubles as a Mother’s Day dessert!

Get the Ambrosia Salad recipe.


ambrosia salad
Caitlin Bensel

Spring Pea Tart

This spring tart is so dadgum pretty. Just look at that perfectly browned, flaky puff pastry, the herbed goat cheese, the colorful peas, and that final drizzle of balsamic glaze!

Get Ree’s Spring Pea Tart recipe.

mothers day lunch spring pea tart
David Malosh

Strawberry Arugula Salad

Strawberries are the best juicy sweet touch to add to a spring salad. Ree's recipe is exceedingly refreshing with toasted pecans, peppery arugula, feta, mint, and a honey-dijon dressing.

Get Ree's Strawberry Arugula Salad.

mothers day lunch strawberry arugula salad
David Malosh

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Almost everyone loves chicken, especially when ute’s elevated with that classic blend of zippy lemon and spicy pepper. Here is a simple yet filling dish that will make your mama proud.

Get the Lemon Pepper Chicken recipe.

mothers day lunch lemon pepper chicken
Will Dickey

Quiche Lorraine

This flaky, savory brunch pie is all about the bacon and perfect for Mother's Day lunch. Pair it with a mimosa and Mom will be swooning.

Get the Quiche Lorraine recipe.

mothers day lunch recipes quiche lorraine
Will Dickey

Carrot Salad

Crunchy, sweet, and perfect for backyard cookouts—this carrot salad is great for making ahead. Serve it with your favorite burgers, steaks, or grilled chicken recipes.

Get the Carrot Salad recipe.


carrot salad in blue bowl
Will Dickey

Turkey Burgers

Leaner than ground beef, but just as tasty—these turkey burgers are a great alternative for your backyard barbecue. Serve them up with pesto mayonnaise, sliced avocado, and Swiss cheese.

Get the Turkey Burgers recipe.

turkey burgers with avocado and cheese on wood board
Will Dickey

Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)

When you're in need of a tasty spring lunch, look no further than Greek spinach pie. The herby creamy spinach center will fill you up! Don't worry about finicky phyllo—this recipe calls for pre-made frozen sheets.

Get the Spanakopita recipe.

mothers day lunch spanakopita
Will Dickey

Chicken Florentine

Talk about easy yet impressive! With just one skillet, you can make chicken thighs with a crispy golden crust, a cream and white wine sauce, and a final flourish of sun-dried tomato and parmesan.

Get the Chicken Florentine recipe.

mothers day lunch chicken florentine
Caitlin Bensel

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Opt for this colorful spring salad when you need a pretty side dish or light lunch! It has an elegant flavor combo with fresh sweet strawberries, crunchy pecans, and lemon-poppy seed dressing. Just add s0me grilled chicken if you want a bit more oomph to the meal.

Get the Strawberry Spinach Salad recipe.

mothers day lunch strawberry spinach salad
Will Dickey

Corned Beef Sandwich

Sandwiches are magical creations. If your mama loves a good hearty sandwich for lunch, homemade corned beef is the way to go!

Get the Corned Beef Sandwich recipe.


mothers day lunch corned beef sandwich
Caitlin Bensel

Easy Tomato Pie

Looking for a show-stopping main course that'll impress Mom and all your guests? This tomato pie will do the trick! It's not just pretty to look at, it's also packed with juicy tomatoes, cheese, and herbs.

Get the Tomato Pie recipe.

mothers day lunch recipes easy tomato pie
Will Dickey

Lamb Burger

Try something new this Mother's Day—like lamb burgers topped with creamy feta sauce. The juicy patties are loaded with flavor thanks to cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano.

Get the Lamb Burger recipe.

lamb burger with feta and olive on toothpick
Will Dickey

Sausage and Kale Quiche

Quiche is such a versatile dish because it can be served at any time of day! Make it ahead and slice it up at room temperature for whenever the craving strikes.

Get Ree's Sausage and Kale Quiche recipe.

sausage and kale quiche on blue plate with side salad
Danielle Daly

Greek Salad with Chicken

A salad topped with chips? Yes, please! This classic Greek salad gets two fun and hearty mix-ins: grilled chicken and crunchy pita chips.

Get Ree's Greek Salad with Chicken recipe.

greek salad with chicken overhead
con poulos

Shrimp Pesto Pasta

You don't have to spend all day in the kitchen to show Mom just how much you care. This quick, 30-minute meal will save you time and put a smile on her face.

Get Ree's Shrimp Pesto Pasta recipe.


mothers day lunch shrimp pesto pasta
Ralph Smith

Chicken Salad

This is chicken salad is the way Ree likes it and it is darn good. Make a tasty lunch sandwich with a tasty side salad or fries!

Get Ree's Chicken Salad recipe.

mothers day lunch recipes chicken salad
Ralph Smith

Red-and-Green Fruit Salad with Mint Syrup

Whether you're serving up sandwiches or a quiche as the main course, you can't go wrong with a simple fruit salad on the side. This one has a fresh, minty syrup that makes it extra special.

Get Ree's Red-and-Green Fruit Salad recipe.

mothers day lunch fruit salad recipe
Ralph Smith

Spinach Lasagna

This creamy white sauce lasagna is loaded with fresh spinach—so you know Mom will approve!

Get Ree's Spinach Lasagna recipe.

mothers day lunch spinach lasagna
Ralph Smith

Baked Salmon

Who wouldn't want gorgeous filets of salmon on Mother's Day? This baked salmon recipe looks incredibly impressive, but it's so easy to prepare: It's seasoned with salt and pepper, then drizzled with a flavorful marinade of mustard, honey, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Get the Baked Salmon recipe.

mothers day lunch baked salmon
Will Dickey

Air Fryer French Fries

What's a lunch spread without french fries? The air fryer cuts down the work so you can concentrate on making your perfect main course. Plus, cooking in the air fryer means you'll use a fraction of the usual amount of oil.

Get the Air Fryer French Fries recipe.


mothers day lunch recipes air fryer french fries
Will Dickey

Cream of Asparagus Soup

This soup is easy to make (and even easier to eat)! The central ingredient—asparagus—has the distinct taste of spring and is perfect for May.

Get Ree's Cream of Asparagus Soup recipe.

mothers day lunch recipes cream of asparagus soup
con poulos

Baked Feta Egg Casserole

You're going to want some warm bread to dip in this lunch/brunch favorite. The sauce is incredibly easy, just throw jammy tomatoes, creamy feta, and roasted red peppers in the pan! A pro-tip is to bring the eggs to room temperature before baking to ensure perfectly runny results.

Get the Feta Egg Casserole recipe.

mothers day lunch recipes baked feta egg casserole
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Grab a chip and get ready to dip! Corn and black bean salsa is a quick and easy appetizer that will be devoured in moments. Pair it with shrimp tacos and you've gone above and beyond.

Get the Corn and Black Bean Salsa recipe.

mothers day lunch recipes corn and black bean salsa
Will Dickey

Greek Pesto Pasta Salad

Any Mother's Day picnic needs at least one pasta salad. This recipe has all your favorite fresh greek fixings, including pesto, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta, and olives.

Get Ree's Greek Pesto Pasta Salad recipe.

mothers day lunch recipes greek pesto pasta salad
Ryan Dausch


Warm your soul with this delightful posole! This mildly spicy Mexican soup is a wonderful comfort food thanks to tender chunks of slow-cooked pork flavored with smoky cumin and loads of dried chiles.

Get the Posole recipe.


mothers day lunch recipes posole
Will Dickey

Artichoke Chicken

Chicken is always a crowd-pleaser... or mom-pleaser! And this one takes things one step further by adding tender artichoke hearts and a buttery cracker topping.

Get Ree's Artichoke Chicken recipe.

mothers day lunch artichoke chicken
Ralph Smith

Pesto Caprese Panini

Take it from Ree herself, "Pesto is everything. I'm not exaggerating either—I truly believe it makes life worth living!" If that's not a raving review of this sandwich, then we don't know what is!

Get Ree's Pesto Caprese Panini recipe.

mother's day lunch ideas like pesto caprese panini
Ryan Dausch

Arugula and Three-Pea Salad

This spring green salad is just the side to go with your meal. If the three types of pees don't get her excited, it's also loaded with fresh herbs, creamy goat cheese, and colorful radishes.

Get Ree's Arugula and Three-Pea Salad recipe.

mothers day lunch recipes arugula and three pea salad
Beatriz da Costa

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

Tasty shrimp doused in enchilada sauce and a healthy topping or sweet, tangy mango salsa is exactly the light yet satisfying lunch Mom needs. Truly heap that tasty salsa on!

Get Ree's Shrimp Tacos recipe.

mothers day lunch recipes shrimp tacos with mango salsa
con poulos

Cheesy Asparagus Tart

A flaky, soft crust, topped with melty ricotta and fontina cheese on top makes this tart chewy and delicious. But it's the asparagus and thyme that gives it the true taste of spring.

Get Ree's Cheesy Asparagus Tart recipe.


mothers day lunch recipes cheesy asparagus tart
con poulos

Creamy Bowtie Pasta

This pasta may be chocked full of delicious goodies, but it only requires one pot to make! Savory Italian sausage is a gift to any cook, as it comes already seasoned, and it perfectly balances the sweet-tartness of the sundried tomatoes.

Get the Bowtie Pasta recipe.

mothers day lunch bowtie pasta
Will Dickey

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant parm is an incredibly simple, delicious, and versatile meal. Serve as is, or on a bed of olive oil pasta—she'll enjoy each ooey, gooey, fried, cheesy bite!

Get the Eggplant Parmesan recipe.

mothers day lunch eggplant parmesan
Will Dickey

Carrot Tart

This carrot tart is just as elegant and efficient as your mom! It's light enough for lunch but is packed with spring flavors of sweet roasted carrots, garlic and herb cheese, and chopped dill it chives.

Get the Carrot Tart recipe.

mothers day lunch carrot tart
Will Dickey

Reuben Sandwich

Kick it old school with a homemade diner sandwich and chips! The Reuben is a glorious medley of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing on rye bread. Plus, it's easy to transport to a Mother's Day picnic!

Get the Reuben Sandwich recipe.

mothers day lunch reuben sandwich
Ralph Smith

Shrimp Étouffée

Shrimp étouffée is a beautiful, classic dish native to New Orleans which means it is loaded with cajun seasoning. Don't skimp on that shrimp!

Get the Shrimp Étouffée recipe.


mothers day lunch recipes shrimp etouffee
Will Dickey

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