Traditional Irish Foods for Lunch

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Potatoes and cabbage are staples of Irish cuisine.
Potatoes and cabbage are staples of Irish cuisine. (Image: stew with vegetables image by Arkady Chubykin from Fotolia.com)

Traditional Irish foods for lunch are typically rich, hearty, potato and cabbage-based dishes. These midday meals consist primarily of Irish breads, soups and stews, each made with its own unique blend of vegetables and spices. Many traditional Irish foods for lunch meals are considered “peasant dishes” due to the inexpensive nature of their main ingredients.

Soups and Stews

Irish Coddle is a popular soup comprised of bacon, sausage, potatoes, carrots and hard or sweet apple cider. The dish is distinguished by its eclectic blend of herbs, which include rosemary, chives, thyme, black pepper and parsley.

Irish Stew is a favorite lunch dish made with lamb, brown gravy, mushrooms and potatoes. Other popular Irish soups include cream of turnip, ham and pea, parsnip and apple, and leek and oatmeal.

Casserole-Style Dishes

Many Irish single-dish lunch entrees serve double duty as featured side dishes for larger meals. Irish Colcannon is a dish made with mashed potatoes, boiled cabbage, bacon, onions and butter, topped with bread crumbs.

Other traditional Irish foods for lunch include variations on colcannon, such as Irish Champ, a dish of mashed potatoes, peas and scallions; Irish Peasant Lunch, a blend of green cabbage, red potatoes, onion, brown mustard and salt and pepper; Irish Boxty, a mix of mashed and diced potatoes; and Irish Egg Rolls, a blend of chopped corned beef, shredded cabbage, diced, cooked potatoes, onion and salt and pepper, wrapped in egg roll wrappers and deep-fried.

Irish Hunter's Pie

Another well-known and popular main lunch dish, Irish Hunter's Pie is a heartier version of Irish stew, made with layers of lamb, potatoes and cabbage. This dish has numerous variations throughout the United Kingdom.

Irish Breads

Irish soda bread is perhaps one of the most traditional of Irish lunch food staples. A crispy-crusted chewy bread, Irish soda bread enjoys many variations, including Irish potato bread, made with potatoes; Irish Barmbrack bread, made with ginger, nutmeg, currants and golden raisins; and Irish Wheaton bread, a yeast-raised version of brown Irish soda bread; and, Irish scones, created with raisins or currants and rolled oats.

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