Mumsnetters share their favourite family dishes

Every family has a signature dish – whether it's for quick and easy comfort cooking or a fancy family occasion.

We asked Mumsnetters for their family favourites and got back an impressive selection of delicious sounding recipes, ranging from seafood spaghetti to homely tattie soup. Here are some of our favourites.

Beef casserole (recipe by moonegirl)beef casserole

"A winner in our house"

Brown the beef in a bit of flour and oil and put it in a large casserole dish with some stock, a bay leaf and a bundle of thyme. Leave it to simmer in the oven on a low heat for three or four hours. Add some cornflour if the stock needs thickening. Serve with dumplings, carrots and greens."


Prawn and chilli pasta (recipe by LackaDAISYcal)prawn chilli pasta

"Sauté some finely chopped shallots, garlic and chilli in a pan with butter and olive oil. Add 250g of cherry tomatoes and cook for ten minutes. Add some king prawns and the juice of half a lemon and cook through. Throw in lots of chopped flat-leaf parsley and serve over spaghetti, heaps of parmesan and black pepper."


Chocolate brownies by (recipe by WhereAreMyGlasses)chocolate brownies

"185g Flora, 185g dark chocolate, 85g plain flour, 40g cocoa powder, 3 eggs, 275g caster sugar. 
1) Preheat oven to 160C 
2) Melt chocolate and Flora together
3) Let it cool slightly, then whisk in eggs and sugar
4) Fold in cocoa powder and flour
5) Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes


Roasted remains from the bottom of the fridge (recipe by EwanHoozami)roasted vegetables

"Chop up whatever is pleading for mercy at the bottom of the fridge. For me, this has recently included: beetroot, swede, halloumi, celeriac, olives, shallots, cauliflower and broccoli.

Throw it all in a big roasting tin with a slosh of oil/knob of butter/ whatever baking lubricant takes your fancy. Roast for about 20 mins at 180c, then sprinkle over some Ras El Hanout and salt and pepper then roast for a further 10 mins. 

Serve with couscous and/or a salad. Yummers."


Bacon, leek and courgette penne (recipe by babyfedleaning)bacon and leek pasta

"Put some pasta on to boil. While it's cooking, cut bacon into bits and fry, adding one roughly grated courgette. Add a chopped up leek to the pasta a few minutes before it's done. Drain the pasta and leek, then add the bacon and courgette and mix together with a handful of grated cheddar."


Chicken in a chorizo crumb (recipe by mollysmummy1970)chicken in chorizo crust

"1) Fry off half a packet of chorizo slices 
2) Grate a couple tablespoons of Parmesan
3) Finely chop a clove of garlic
4) Throw it all in a food processor 
5) Mop up oil from chorizo with a slice of bread and add that in too 

6) Whizz it all up and add the juice of one lime
7) Pop on top of a few chicken breasts, cover with foil and bake for 20 mins. Remove foil and bake for another 15 mins."


Tattie Soup (recipe by fireandblood)tattie soup

"My dad always used to make this and it's the only thing I learned to cook before I left home. It's recovery soup and he always used to make it if we'd been ill or (when I was older) hungover. The smell is amazing and it fills the whole house.

There is no strict process to follow. You make it with leeks, grated swede, grated carrots, chopped onion, chopped potatoes, a couple of veg stock cubes and a beef stock cube. Occasionally he used to add roast beef chunks but I'm yet to trial this. The soup is best on the second day served with crusty buttered bread mmmm..."


Pesto chicken (recipe by piddlepuddle)pesto chicken

"Make a mixture of 3 tbsp Philadelphia, 2 tbsp pesto and 150g taleggio cheese (chopped into cubes).
Spread on top of 4 chicken breasts and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 mins, then throw in some cherry tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and bake for another 20 mins. It's l
ovely with mash and a green salad."


Puttanesca (recipe by rootypig)puttenesca

"I love puttanesca because all the ingredients are store cupboard but it still tastes so fresh. It takes about 10 minutes to make, and is suitable for pescatarians, of whom I know a few.

Cook a tin of anchovies, two cloves garlic and one red chilli, all finely chopped, in some butter and olive oil, until soft (the anchovies will disintegrate). Add two tins of chopped tomatoes, a few tablespoons of capers, and a few tablespoons of black and green olives.

Serve with spaghetti and parmesan and a green salad. It's so good!"


Chilli con carne (recipe by Keepcalmanddrinkwine)chilli con carne with sour cream

"I make my chilli with half beef mince and half quorn, onions, garlic, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, mixed beans, peppers, paprika, chili powder, fresh chilli and sometimes sweetcorn.

Fry the meat with Flora spray and then transfer it into the slow cooker with the other ingredients and leave it to simmer for at least 4 hours on a medium heat. We serve it with rice and a generous dollop of sour cream."


Fishy pasta (recipe by Regstie)fishy pasta

"Cook whatever vegetables you have - green beans and broccoli work well. At the same time, boil the pasta and stir in some tinned tuna or salmon and some soft cheese. Add the hot, freshly-cooked vegetables. You can add pesto too for extra flavour."


Chicken tagine (recipe by thinkingofcake)chicken tagine

"This recipe has no chilli in it, so it's mild enough for my DDs but tasty enough for me too! 

Brown some chicken thighs in a little oil and remove from pan. Add about a teaspoon each of cumin, corriander, cinnamon, paprika, a chopped onion, garlic and butternut squash/carrots/red peppers (or any other veg you have). Fry for about 5 mins. Add the chicken thighs again, along with a tin of tomatoes and some stock. Simmer for about 30 mins. Add a tin of chickpeas and some dried apricots. Simmer for another 10 mins, then serve with couscous."


Cheat's meatball pasta bake (recipe by squallyshowers)cheat's meatball bake with cheesy top

"1. Squeeze out the meat from sausages and shape it into small meatballs. Brown the meatballs in a big pan of hot olive oil.
2. A
dd 2 cloves of crushed garlic and 2 spring onions snipped into thin slices. Fry for a few mins. Add 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, 1 can of water, a glug of white wine, a teaspoon of oregano and 2 bay leaves.
3. Bring to a fast simmer (no lid on) for 20-25 mins, giving it the odd stir to stop it sticking at the bottom. Check the meatballs are cooked through before you take it off the heat. 

4. When it's done, mix the meatball pasta sauce into cooked pasta, pour into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with grated cheese (mozarella, gruyere, cheddar, parmesan... whatever) and some fresh basil leaves.
5. Pop into a hot oven or under a grill until the cheese bubbles."


Smokies by Cucumberscarecrowsmokies

"Heat some oil in a frying pan and add a punnet of halved baby tomatoes and a bunch of roughly chopped spring onions. Fry them off for five minutes. Add a couple of roughly chopped smoked mackerel fillets and a small tub of creme fraiche. Once it's all hot, transfer to an oven dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs, then bake for 20 mins. We eat this with rocket and homemade oven chips. Yum!"


Veggie chilli nachos (recipe by milliemoon)veggie chilli nachos

"Fry an onion until soft. Add veggie mince, a tin of chopped tomatoes and a cup of boiled water so sauce does not become too dry. Season and add chili powder and a tin of kidney beans, then allow to simmer and put into a baking dish with tortilla crisps (cheese ones work best). Sprinkle with
a good quality strong cheddar and put in the oven until cheese melts."


Chicken pie (recipe by MontysMum22)chicken pie

"I think of it as my signature dish as its the one meal everybody in my family loves which is really saying something because my DDs are really picky eaters.

Fry a large onion in some butter. When the onion starts to soften, add your chopped mushrooms and fry for a further minute.  Add plain flour to the onion and mushrooms and keep stirring. Gradually add milk, stirring and combining everything well. Using a whisk to do this will ensure your sauce isn't lumpy. Stir some cooked chicken cut into bite size pieces into the onion mushroom and sauce mix.

Transfer your chicken mixture into a big pie dish and roll out some ready-made pastry to fit the top. Cook in a hot oven for about 45 mins, then serve with vegetables and roast potatoes."


Lemon and rocket pasta with olives and capers (recipe by Poofus)rocket and lemon pasta with olives and capers

"Cook some pasta. Fry some garlic, bread crumbs and chillies in lots of olive oil, then stir it through the pasta. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, big handfuls of rocket, olives and capers and top with lots of Parmesan."


Pulled pork (recipe by hydra234)pulled pork with bbq sauce in a white bun

"You will need: a large joint of pork, a 2 litre bottle of Coke and ketchup. 

Place the pork in a slow cooker and cover with coke. Leave for 14 hours on low. Take the pork out and shred it using two forks. Put aside. Take the left over Coke and add 150 mls of ketchup to it in a pan. Heat on high for around 15 minutes and you are left with a gorgeous BBQ sauce to toss your pulled pork in.

Great served hot or cold, in sandwiches, rolls, salads or on its own!"


Stew and dumplings (recipe by cheerycherry)potato stew with dumplings

"In an oven dish, layer up sliced potatoes, onions, carrots, sweet corn and quorn pieces (or meat!) and top with another layer of sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with lots of thyme, and add bay leaves and veggie stock. Cook in oven for an hour or two, then pop dumplings on top for the last ten minutes.



Last updated: almost 3 years ago