You don’t need the luck of the Irish to put together an awesome meal on St. Patrick’s Day. It is a culture rich with traditions, especially when you consider delicious Irish food. Even if you aren’t Irish, there are lots of wonderful and easy St. Patrick’s Day meal ideas that you can plan to enjoy with your family or friends to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Irish Snacks and Appetizers – There are any number of fun snacks you make ahead of time while dinner is being prepared. Green Jello squares can be a quick and easy snack, that’s not too filling. They can even be cut with cookie cutters into shamrocks. Anything that can be made “green” will do the trick.
Or you could make an Irish cheese board with lovely Irish cheeses. Irish Nachos made with potato chips or waffle fries are always popular. The easiest is Green Pepper Shamrock Dippers – take a green pepper, cut off the top and voila – the perfect bowl for the dip of your choosing.
Shamrocks are also nice snack, and something the kids can even help to prepare. First take two refrigerated biscuits such as Pillsbury or homemade, or sugar cookies, and cut them in half. Next place the three sections together and form a shamrock with the fourth piece becoming the stem. You either sprinkle them with “green” sprinkles or “paint” them with water with green food coloring added. Bake and enjoy!
Irish Soups – Soups make for a great first course for a traditional Irish dinner as long as the main course is not stew. An Irish Potato soup would be very appropriate. As would : Guinness and Onion Soup, Scotch Broth, Oxtail, Beef and Barley and my favorite Irish Bacon and Cabbage Soup – a wonderful chunky and flavorful soup.
Main Dishes – St. Patrick’s Day Meal Ideas include Corned beef and cabbage, also known as Bubble and Squeak due to the cabbage bubbling and squeaking as it bakes, is probably one of the most popular Irish dinners for St. Patrick’s Day and it is quite straightforward to make. Combine some onion, whole peppercorn, cloves, parsley and the corned beef in a pot of water. Cover it and let it simmer until the meat is tender. Then add the cabbage that has been cut into sections, and let simmer again until it is also tender. Add some horseradish to sour cream to serve with it.
Shepherd’s Pie is another traditional Irish dish to dish up for St. Patrick’s Day. You can use either lamb or beef for this meal. There are a number of ways to make it, but it is still fairly simple. Lamb stew of course is a rich mixture of lamb, potatoes and vegetables. A corned beef dinner will please most palates. Steak and Guinness Pie is not as hard as it sounds to make. And if you prefer fish, Irish Roasted Salmon might fit the bill – the salmon is marinated in Irish Whisky.
Breads – There are several different types of bread that can be served at a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Scones are a lovely, lighter alternative. Soda bread is however the staple at any Irish meal. The ingredients are basic – the ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, bread soda, salt, and buttermilk. And the bread is dense, perfect for soaking up soups or stews.
Desserts – What would a celebration be without desserts? A green velvet cake with white frosting is a sweet way to finish off. (Click on the picture above for the recipe) Shamrock shaped cookies are also an entertaining thing to have. A Killarney Cake can be made with a chocolate fudge cake mix, with crème de menthe or peppermint extract instead of water. Stir in chopped green cherries. Top with whipped cream and more chopped green cherries. It can be put together as a layer cake, with a layer of whipped cream between each layer.
These time-honoured St. Patrick’s Day meal ideas are the perfect addition to any St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Even if you aren’t Irish, you may be inspired to make some of them all year round. And don’t forget to rise a pint!