Our Favorite Mother's Day Menu Ideas Of All Time

Peonies in Tea Cups
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

One of the best ways to show Mom you care is with a lovely meal. Whether brunch, lunch, or dinner, a well-planned menu, with a little something sweet to finish it off, is a heartfelt way to show her how much you love and appreciate her. Maybe you want to plan an al fresco outing, like a picnic in the park, or keep it nice and simple, with a classic roast chicken dinner at home. Mother's Day Brunch is always a go-to, and we have ideas that you can pull off while Mom sleeps in. However you want to treat Mom this year, we have the menu for you.

01 of 07

Mother's Day Picnic Lunch Menu

Mini Muffulettas
Jennifer Davick; Styling: Amy Burke

Recipe: Mini Muffulettas

Recipe: Lemon Vinaigrette Pasta Salad with Field Peas

Recipe: Creamy Spring Vegetable Slaw

Recipe: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe: Strawberry Lemonade

Take Mom out for a sunny May picnic in the park. In order to pull off an outdoor lunch like this, you'll need recipes that are easy to travel with, and can sit without refrigeration for a bit. From cute mini-sized muffulettas (pictured above), to our twist on chocolate chip cookies, everything on this menu is easy to transport, and the sides are packed with beautiful produce, for a vibrant spread. We're sure Mom will appreciate our blush pink Strawberry lemonade and lemony pasta salad with field peas served alongside the sandwiches.

02 of 07

Eggcellent Mother's Day Brunch Menu

Classic Baked Eggs
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Classic Baked Eggs

Recipe: Strawberry-Rhubarb Skillet Coffee Cake

Recipe: Citrus Salad with Spiced Honey

Recipe: Blushing Mimosas

Eggs are an obvious brunch choice, but this menu, centered around these gorgeous baked eggs (pictured above), are not your standard over easy breakfast. Served in cute ramekins or mini ceramic pots, you'll be able to show Mom you can do more than just a scramble. You can also show off some baking skills with our skillet coffee cake studded with pink strawberries and rhubarb. Our citrus salad is a fun take on a classic breakfast fruit salad that you can serve as a side, and because it's brunch, we've included a mimosa too.

03 of 07

Simple and Sweet Roast Chicken Mother's Day Dinner Menu

Southern Living Lemon Roast Chicken With Rainbow Carrots in roasting pan

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Recipe: Lemon Roast Chicken With Rainbow Carrots

Recipe: Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Recipe: Romaine Salad With Oranges And Radishes

Recipe: French 75

Recipe: Chocolate Bundt Cake

No matter the occasion, a perfectly roasted chicken is always a stunning centerpiece. Our recipe (pictured above) on a bed of rainbow carrots is especially eye-catching. As with any chicken dinner, the sides are important. We think creamy and rich Au Gratin potatoes are exactly the kind of comforting accompaniment this occasion calls for. A crispy and refreshing romaine salad rounds out the meal, which is topped off with a chocolate bundt. Don't worry, our recipe use cake mix and other store-bought shortcuts to make the cake extra easy to pull off. We also included a bubbly French 75, so you can toast to Mom at the end of this gorgeous meal.

04 of 07

Sweet and Spicy Mother's Day Brunch Menu

Spicy Watermelon Refresher
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Fried Chicken Biscuits with Rosemary Hot Honey

Recipe: Millionaire Bacon

Recipe: Grilled Green Tomatoes with Jalapeño-Honey Vinaigrette 

Recipe: Spicy Watermelon Refresher

Spice up your brunch spread with a menu filled with sweet heat for Mom. If she's a lover of hot sauce and likes to add a little zest to her cooking, this is the menu for her. From chicken biscuits with hot honey, to Millionaire bacon, which lacquers the brunch favorite in brown sugar, maple syrup, and cayenne, everything served will have a good hint of heat. Tangy and spicy, our green tomato salad is refreshing and cuts through some of the richness of this menu. To wash it all down, we suggest our Spicy Watermelon Refresher (picture above). It's kind of like a spicy margarita, but even better.

05 of 07

Grandma's Greatest Hits Dinner Menu

Southern Living Old School Squash Casserole topping sprinkled over the casserole

Fred Hardy II; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Recipe: Mama's Fried Chicken

Recipe: Old-School Squash Casserole

Recipe: Permanent Slaw

Recipe: Southern Sweet Tea

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

Grandma often knows best, so why not look to her for menu inspiration this Mother's Day. It's a day to celebrate her as well, afterall. Starting with fried chicken, this meal is filled out with classic sides like our Old-School Squash Casserole (pictured above). To continue with the homey and comforting fare, we'd serve a classic slaw and sweet tea. Then there's dessert. You can't go wrong with banana pudding and our old-fashioned recipe is just like grandma used to make.

06 of 07

A Light Mother's Day Lunch Menu

Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberries, Goat Cheese, and Pickled Onion
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberries, Goat Cheese, and Pickled Onion

Recipe: Vanilla-Rosemary Lemonade

Recipe: Mini Confetti Cake

Depending on the weather (and where you're located), Mother's Day might be hot. If so, a light and refreshing meal is called for and we have just the lunch menu. Starting with a chilled soup, like our Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup is great way to kick off the meal before diving into a grilled chicken salad with blueberries and tangy goat cheese (pictured above). Served with Vanilla-Rosemary Lemonade and dainty Mini Confetti Cakes for dessert, Mom will feel like she been treated to a really special meal without feeling overly stuffed.

07 of 07

Mixed Grill Menu For Mom

Grilled Peaches with Spiced Whipped Cream
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Recipe: Shrimp-Okra-and-Sausage Kebabs

Recipe: Classic Grilled Corn on the Cob

Recipe: Grilled Potato Salad

Recipe: Grilled Baby Zucchini-and-Tomato Salad

Recipe: Grilled Peaches with Spiced Whipped Cream

Grills might seem like more of Dad's thing, but Mom appreciates a great grilled spread. From kebabs stacked with shrimp and okra, to sides like corn and potato salad done on the grill, everything is packed with a touch of char and smoke. Even dessert comes together on grill, with peaches seared on the grates and topped with a spiced whipped cream (pictured above). Gather everyone outside and have all the family members take turns manning the grill. (Except Mom, of course. She gets the night off.)

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