Good Friday Food Traditions

Good Friday Food Traditions

Good Friday is a solemn, sacred day in the life of a Christian, and when it comes to food, those who do observe Good Friday can take a few different approaches. For many Catholics, Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence—basically, “putting food aside” as my BFF Hyacinth explained. Other observers of Good Friday take the seafood-only route as they do every Friday during Lent, saying no to meat, chicken, and pork. Still others take a vegetarian/meatless approach, forsaking all meat of every kind. I grew up Episcopalian and am now Presbyterian, and through the years I’ve found that how one approaches food on Good Friday is a very individual and personal thing.

To cover all bases, here are some Good Friday recipe options for you!

Beef, pork, chicken, and other meats are verboten on Good Friday, but fish is permissible for many observers. Here are a few options if that’s the way you like to go!


Shrimp Scampi. A quick-and-easy pasta dish everyone goes crazy for (especially my oldest child!)


Tuscan Bean Soup with Shrimp. If it’s still a little chilly where you live, this is a cozy, satisfying Good Friday fish dish.


Seafood Pasta in a Foil Package. If you’re having company over for dinner tonight and want to serve an elegant seafood dinner, look no further than this parcel of deliciousness. You cook the seafood in a skillet and make a light tomato sauce, then throw it into heavy duty foil with al dente pasta and finish it in the oven. Oh my heavens.


How about an easy batch of Shrimp Tacos? Another great Good Friday fish option, whether for the family or for company.


Coconut Curry Shrimp. Super easy, super flavorful…and super shrimpy!


And one of my very favorites: Lemon Basil Shrimp Risotto. So lovely and citrusy and comforting. I love this one!


Still other observers of Good Friday take the meatless route. Here are five of my favorites from that category.


Zucchini Noodles. I just posted this last week, and it’s one of my favorite easy, ultra-light veggie dishes. All you need is a vegetable peeler.


Heavenly Hummus Wrap. Mmmm…hummus, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, caramelized red onions, feta…all rolled up in a spinach tortilla.


Kale Citrus Salad. So light, so flavorful, so absolutely delightful. If I could eat one salad the rest of my life, I’m pretty sure it would be this one. Never gets old!


Spicy Cauliflower Stir Fry. A quick-and-easy, seriously meatless dish that’s so addictive, I once made it four times in one week. It really is that good.


Super simple Veggie Scramble. Eggs, veggies, cheese—nothing complicated about it.



And don’t forget to deliver Hot Cross Buns to your loved ones today! It’s a beautiful Good Friday tradition.

Wherever you are today and whatever you’re doing, I hope you have a blessed Good Friday, friends.

Traditional Good Friday Foods

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ after he was betrayed by Judas on Holy Thursday, marked by The Last Supper. The events of Good Friday include the Stations of the Cross, a 14-step devotion performed by Catholics during Lent. One thing to remember is “Good” Friday is a misnomer for this solemn day, because it is actually a day of mourning, the day of Jesus’s death, rather than a day of celebration. Italians and other faithful forgo consuming meat as a form of fasting on Good Friday. Easter Sunday is when we celebrate the Risen Christ with a proper feast.

While lesser known in Southern Italy than say Naples of Sicily for Easter traditions, my home of Puglia is acknowledged for its authentic, traditional celebrations and religious rites during the Easter holiday. If you happen to be in the South of Italy during Holy week, consider visiting Puglia!

When we make our way to the table, the tradition on Good Friday is to prepare an Easter Calzone, or Scalcione di Cipolle. This savory onion pie adheres to the no-meat provision of a Lenten Friday. Originating in Mola di Bari in Puglia, Scalcione, which sounds like calzone, is the word for calzone in the Pugese dialect. Although intended for Good Friday, I love to eat it all year round because it is a versatile appetizer whatever the day. You can cut it small into bites or slice and serve. Italians fast during day on Good Friday, followed by mass, and then all will eat a slice of Scalcione after church. This recipe is meant to be eaten at room temperature although my Nonna loves to have it straight from the oven.


Scalcione – Savory Onion Pie

The filling for scalcione can vary from town to town but in Mola we use scallions, tomatoes and olives. Traditionally, the scalcione is finished with a fish component. Some use bacala` but Nonna Romana and I use anchovies. Another fun fact about scalcione: you may recognize it is the exact same dough if you have made my Cartellate before! It is a basic, versatile dough comprised of flour, white wine, olive oil, and a pinch of salt used in many different ways in an Italian kitchen.


Escarole Pie

Another typical Good Friday dish is the Escarole Pie, a variation of Lo Scalcione! This savory pie is packed with escarole of course, anchovies, pinoli nuts, and raisins for a subtle sweet bite. Something that is particularly comforting to me about my beloved town of Mola di Bari specifically, is I know that on Good Friday, every Molese family is preparing these dishes the exact same way.

For other Good Friday options, many of them seafood, visit my site. When Good Friday concludes, families eat normally on Holy Saturday and of course on Easter Sunday there is a wonderful feast. There is another Scalcione for the taking on Easter too!

Traditional Food Items for Good Friday

Good Friday is a sacred day when Christians remember and mourn Jesus’s death. Also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, and Black Friday, this day is observed on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday to honour the way Jesus suffered and died for the sins of people. This occasion is filled with traditions that bring the family together. While some Catholics observe Good Friday as a day of fasting and abstinence others take refuge in seafood saying no to meat, chicken, and pork. Still, others opt for vegetarian/meatless food, giving up all kinds of meat.

Have a closer look at the dishes that you can serve your family and guests on Good Friday. 

Barley & Root Vegetable Stew

Barley & Root Vegetable Stew

Made with barley and roasted root vegetable, this chunky vegetable stew is tasteful and nourishing. Barley is one of the oldest cultivated grains in the world, which is healthy and has high fiber content. Full of flavours, this stew can be eaten alone or with some good sausages alongside.

Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes

It is the simplest recipe for which you need baked potatoes and an array of toppings. The baked potato has a perfectly crisp, golden layer outside, which is light and fluffy on the inside. It is best to enjoy with a dash of fresh chives and crème fraiche or with the toppings of your choice like spinach, broccoli, and sweetcorn.

Fish Stew

Fish Stew

Fish stew is a quick, easy, and delicious recipe that takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. It works best with firm white fish. Cook fresh fish fillets in a stew with onion, tomato, garlic, clam juice, and white wine. You can also add some shrimps and clams to enhance the flavour of the stew.

Baked Vegetable Pasta 

Baked Vegetable Pasta 

This easy baked pasta loaded with healthy vegetables and extra cheese tastes absolutely delicious. You can use seasonal vegetables, pasta of choice, marinara sauce, fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese to prepare the pasta. It is a perfect recipe to spice up your Good Friday evening and relish with your loved ones.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are a yeast bread traditionally served on Good Friday. The buns are spiced with grounded cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and are sprinkled with raisins or currants. The top of the buns is marked with a cross, which represents the Cross of Christ & the Crucifixion. Once the buns are ready, you can brush them with sugar syrup or even honey to add a little sweetness. They can be served with butter and a slice of cheddar cheese.

You can try these recipes at home to enjoy a satisfying and filling Good Friday meal with friends and family.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.