HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Sunday Dinners/Square Meals

Hi Fellow Chowhounders: I'm interested in folks' ideas about what constitutes a proper Sunday dinner. I think it's one of those "give-away" questions: the answers will reveal more about who we are and where we come from. My own perfect Sunday dinner is Herb-roasted chicken, roasted-garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, a stuffing made w/ fresh sage, apples and nuts, some sort of chutney, well-cooked veggies, and cherry pie. Yep, I'm a California girl by way of the Midwest, and my menu proves it! What about you?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sunday dinners at my house have always been either non-existent or super simple due to the fact that our largest meal of the week is Sunday lunch. Come dinner-time, everyone is still full from the 2-3 hour lunch they sat through.
    My personal preference for that occasion is a BLT on 12 grain bread with thick cut bacon, sun dried tomatoes, and arugula, smeared with the most spicy mustard I have in the fridge. It's the perfect snack, not too filling, but just enough to hold you over to the next day.

    4 Replies
    1. re: icey

      where I am from Sunday Dinner is lunch....breakfast , dinner, supper...ya know...The South...lol
      Any way fried chicken, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans or collards, creamed corn, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes,biscuits AND cornbread.

      1. re: LaLa

        Yes, your definition. Lunch became dinner on Sundays, after church. We don't do it anymore but for my family it was usually fried chicken, ham or roast beef. You had biscuits AND cornbread. Wow.

        1. re: c oliver

          When I was a kid we would go to my uncles farm an hour north of Houston. After a little hunting or fishing, it was always fried chicken. The chicken was still wallking around in the morning, and on the plate in the afternoon, truly free range before the term had been invented. I don't remember the sides but that chicken was the best ever.

        2. re: LaLa

          Oh, sorry for the confusion!
          In that case, Sunday dinner still consists of usually a pasta course (sometimes fresh pasta made by my sister), a braise or stew of some sort (either rabbit, phesant, deer, duck, or maybe even roast beef), at least 3-4 vegetable sides, and usually polenta.
          This is almost always followed by a homemade dessert also courtesy of my sister.

      2. for many of us who grew up in suburban East Coast Jewish homes, the "traditional" Sunday dinner was pizza or Chinese takeout. it blew my mind the first time my college roommate invited me to her parent's house for Sunday supper in Atlanta...the meal was very much like the one Lala described, and of course we were pretty much eating dinner in the afternoon. the food was terrific, but there was just so MUCH of it...and i wasn't crazy about eating so early.

        2 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          When I was a kid: roast ham, potatoes Romanoff, green veg or corn on the cob and rhubarb or lemon meringue pie for dessert (depending on season, made by mum of course).

          Now that I cook myself, it could be just about anything but prolly not particularly "special" -- I might push the boat out a little further 'cause I have more time to prep on the w'end but that's about it.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Sundays for me is always Chinese takeout when I am at my place. When I am at Dad's house we always go out to dinner (because his reasoning is the restaurants aren't as jam-packed as they are Fri and Sat)...nice to have some things stay the same.

          2. Growing up in an Italian household , Sunday was usually something with red sauce or a roast beef or pork with the usual trimings, potatoes, green vegetable. We would have dinner around 1 in the afternoon, then take a nap and have a small snack in the evening.

            1. Sunday was almost always my dad grilling and my mom doing side dishes. Even if it was raining or 20 below zero - unless he was sick, he grilled.

              1. Growing up we had "Sunday night rules," which was my mother's way of getting rid of leftovers. We ate the meal at the table as a family, but what each person put on their plate was a free for all, if it was in the house it was fair game. My usually Sunday dinner was cereal.

                1. Sunday meals are either take out (chinese, pizza) or eat out at a restaurant, most of the time, we were coming back from the cottage on Sunday late afternoon, so no time for my mom to cook a big meal.

                  However, when cooking, she was (and still is) often making a beef roast + side dishes

                  1. Sunday afternoons, my mom would start a pot roast, rolled roast (dad was a butcher so he would "pre season" then tie up the roast, stew and it was almost always something beef and one of my favorites was some of what she called - "pigs in a blanket" (strips of pounded round steak with a 1/2 slice bacon rolled up in each one and secured with toothpicks), seared and then simmered till fork tender. Usually mashed potatoes & gravy, steamed carrots or spinach and maybe a shrimp salad. While that was cooking, we would sit and play cards, board games, anything that we could do as a family and eat chips and clam dip that she made while everything cooked. Sunday's were great!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: boyzoma

                      ok, now i'm officially starving. that sounds beyond good.

                    2. Here's what we had not just for Sunday dinner, but for dinner just about every day courtesy of my poor hard-working Taiwanese mum. Usually a meat dish like Ants Climbing Tree, ma po dofu, or something else involving minced pork. A fish dish like whole steamed fish in black bean sauce, teriyaki salmon filet, or crispy tilapia filet in sweet vinegar sauce. Two vegetables like spinach, watercress, or gai lan lightly sauteed with garlic and bound with cornstarch sauce. A soup like seaweed egg drop or creamy corn soup. Served family-style, with steamed brown rice We were not real big on desserts, but when we had it it was fruit cocktail with almond jelly and grass jelly.

                      How my mom found the energy to do this every single day when I am usually too lazy even to make a fried egg sandwich after work is beyond me.

                      1. At Grandma Yeager's: the best fried chicken on the plantet, plus mashed potatoes and cream gravy, corn, green beans and biscuits.

                        At Grandmother Adams': some righteous roast beef with brown gravy, rolls, mashed potatoes, and maybe one of those green bean/chow mein noodle casseroles that I always hated. And, oh yeah, pecan pie.

                        Nowadays: not a damn thing.

                        1. Well, "Sunday dinners" aren't always on Sunday, but if we are referring to a day you generally have off to make a nice big, slow cooked dinner, then I'm in! I LOVE "Sunday dinners" no matter the day :D

                          I'm a california girl too, grew up here, my mom and grandma both grew up here. My picks would be fried chicken and macaroni and cheese :D My mom always adds a hit of hot sauce or cayenne just for a tiny little background "something", and the chicken gets soaked in buttermilk and breaded twice.

                          Or if I find a pork roast on sale, I make carnitas the way my mom did (which probably bears only little resemblance to the traditional mexican sort, it's something of a hybrid dish IMO), with a pork roast coated in salt, oregano, and garlic, tossed in a pan with some yellow onions and orange juice concentrate, baked at low heat, then shredded, tossed in a pan and simmered with some of the drippings, a bit more OJ concentrate, and a little salsa, served with spanish rice, refried beans, and tortillas. We would eat it by tearing a piece of tortilla and constructing each bite individually with the meat, rice, and beans. A very time-consuming, but much loved dish.

                          Sometimes at grandma's, we would have a simple pot roast and (this was my favourite dish as a young kid) buttered egg noodles with garlic salt.