Fathers Day Lunch Ideas from Perfect Parmas to Homemade Pies

Our Fathers Day lunch ideas for dads celebrating Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand on Sunday include a Mexican fiesta or Tex-Mex feast, perfect chicken parmas better than his local pub, Japanese home-cooking, or creative pies and sausage rolls washed down with a selection of dad’s favourite craft beers.

Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand is on Sunday 3 September, so I thought I’d share some Fathers Day lunch ideas. Holidays such as Father’s Day have become so commercialised, but nobody said you had to buy dad ‘socks and jocks’. Why not make dad Fathers Day lunch instead? Or cook him a Fathers Day dinner or even throw a boozy Fathers Day brunch?

It’s experiences that make memories, not things. Trust me: your dad is not going to remember the underpants and footwear you bought him, but he will look back fondly on those wonderful family meals you all enjoyed together for the rest of his life.

While you could take dad to a restaurant or his favourite pub, a lovingly cooked family lunch at home is much more memorable. If you don’t normally cook something special for Father’s Day lunch, why not change that this weekend and start a new family tradition?

I lost my dad long ago – he died far too early – but he’s always in my thoughts, especially on Father’s Day. My most treasured memories with my dad not surprisingly involve food and travel, and if he was alive and we were with him, we’d be cooking dad and the family one very memorable meal on Sunday.

I’ve got a tight selection of recipes for you, whether you want to cook dad and the family a casual sharing-style meal for a relaxed gathering or do something more fancy for a proper dress-up, sit-down lunch, but there are thousands more in our recipe archive.

Before I share our Father’s Day lunch ideas, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, from my Russian-Ukrainian family recipes to our extensive collection of Cambodian recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo so we can continue to develop and share recipes. Here are some ways…

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Now let me tell you about our Father’s Day lunch ideas.

Fathers Day Lunch Ideas from a Mexican Fiesta to Homemade Pies and Craft Beers

Our Fathers Day lunch ideas for dads celebrating Father’s Day in Australia and New Zealand on Sunday include everything from a casual Mexican fiesta to creative homemade pies.

Mexican Fiesta or Tex Mex Feast

Of all my Fathers Day lunch ideas for you, this is probably the most fun: a casual Mexican fiesta or Tex-Mex feast, as we have recipes from both sides of the border. Kick things off with this sopa de tortilla (tortilla soup) that we learnt to make in San Miguel de Allende.

If you have some corn cobs, follow it up with our Mexican street corn on the cob, Mexican street corn salad, or our Mexican street corn in a cup for Mexico’s esquites or elote en vaso, which means ‘corn in a cup’, and is a popular Mexican street food snack. With avocados, you can whip up an authentic Mexican guacamole.

We also love this tacos al pastor recipe based on the version we fell in love with in Mexico City. Or you can go Tex-Mex. Make Terence’s easy red tomato salsa, chili con carne and quesadillas or my ultimate nachos. Whatever you decide to make, wash it all down with these classic margaritas and micheladas.

Mexican Street Corn in a Cup Recipe – How to Make Esquites or Elote en Vaso


Chicken Parmigiana Recipe for a Classic Chicken Parma

If your dad is a fan of chicken parma at his local pub, then one of my best Fathers Day lunch ideas for you is to make him the best chicken parmigiana he has ever had. My recipe makes a delicious chicken parma in the Italian-Australian style that became a popular pub counter meal special in the 1980s.

With our homemade parmy, succulent chicken breast fillets with a crunchy breadcrumb coating are topped with a rich tomato sauce and melted parmesan cheese and mozzarella. It’s even better than your favourite Aussie pub style parmy.

If you made and enjoyed our chicken schnitzel recipe and my rich Italian tomato sauce recipe then I guarantee you’re going to love this endearingly old-fashioned chicken parmigiana recipe for a home-cooked chicken parma.

Don’t forget the sides. Indeed, it’s a good fresh garden salad and crunchy potato fries or wedges that distinguish an Italian Australian chicken parmigiana from its cousins in the USA, which are typically served with spaghetti or another pasta.

Chicken Parmigiana Recipe for a Classic Chicken Parma in the Italian Australian Style

Beer Battered Fish and Chips Recipe for Perfect Fish and Chips

Does your dad appreciate a great fish and chips? Then here’s another of my best Fathers Day lunch ideas for you: perfect beer battered fish and chips. I know you can buy fish and chips from your local takeaway, but it won’t be as delicious as our homemade fish and chips.

Our recipe makes the perfect fish and chips for the classic takeaway that is an iconic dish for us Aussies and our Kiwi cousins – as iconic as the experience of eating fish and chips by the beach is, especially on a sunny day.

What makes these fish and chips so great? The beer batter gives the crunch we all love while keeping the fish fillets deliciously moist. The secret is that the heat of the fryer goes mostly into the batter rather than the fish itself and quickly forms a crunchy crust – every single time.

Make our hand cut potato chips recipe and easy homemade tartare sauce recipe and dad will be enjoying his best fish and chips ever.

Best Beer Battered Fish and Chips Recipe for Perfect Fish and Chips


Japanese Fried Chicken and Salads

If your dad enjoys Japanese food, especially Japanese comfort food, then this is another of my best Fathers Day lunch ideas for you: Japanese fried chicken or pork tonkatsu with Japanese salads. Or Japanese fried chicken and pork tonkatsu if you’re feeding a crowd.

Our Japanese fried chicken recipe for karaage chicken makes incredibly juicy chicken pieces with a super crispy skin. Karaage is a technique that calls for marinating the chicken, before a light coating with flour, then twice-frying the chicken. While it can be applied to any meat or fish, when people think of karaage, they think of Japanese fried chicken.

A tip: while our cooking times and oil temperatures should result in fully cooked chicken, always use a deep fry thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken should be cooked to 74°C (165°F). In fact, if your dad loves to cook and he doesn’t have a good digital thermometer, that’s a much better Fathers Day gift that jocks and socks.

Japanese Fried Chicken Recipe for Crispy Juicy Karaage Chicken Pieces


Our tonkatsu recipe makes the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth, deep-fried pork cutlet that you’ll ever taste. While store-bought tonkatsu sauces can be just fine, many brands tend to be very expensive, and this tonkatsu sauce recipe can be made with ingredients that you’ll probably have at home.

Whether you’re going to cook dad up some Japanese fried chicken or some pork tonkatsu, you’ll need this Japanese potato salad recipe and this Japanese cucumber cabbage salad recipe. Both will make you a couple of incredibly delicious Japanese side dishes.

Tonkatsu Recipe for the Most Tender Juicy Japanese Deep Fried Pork Cutlet Ever

Homemade Meat Pie and Sausage Roll Recipes

If you’re thinking of keeping things super casual on Sunday then one of our best Fathers Day lunch ideas are homemade pies and sausage rolls washed down with a selection of dad’s favourite Australian craft beers. Look no further than our collection of recipes for homemade pies and sausage rolls, below.

Our best sausage roll and meat pie recipes are inspired by Southeast Asian dishes, particularly Cambodian dishes, and include everything from a gently-spiced curried chicken pie based on the quintessential Cambodian chicken curry to sausage rolls with eggplant and pork inspired by the classic Cambodia char-grilled eggplant and minced pork dish.

If there’s one positive to come from pandemic cooking during lockdowns, it’s that it’s forced us all to get more creative in the kitchen. This series on our best meat pie and sausage roll recipes inspired by Southeast Asian dishes was one of many cooking projects that kept us calm and focused during the first year of the pandemic when we were quarantine cooking here in Cambodia.

They were also a result of us getting homesick, especially for Australian food and for Australia‘s iconic meat pies and sausage rolls. These are all delicious. We guarantee dad will love them.

Our Best Meat Pie and Sausage Roll Recipes Inspired by Southeast Asian Dishes


Gourmet Hot Dog Recipes for Mediterranean Inspired Healthy Hot Dogs

My final suggestion of my best Fathers Day lunch ideas is another one for a super casual meal on Sunday and that’s a spread of gourmet hot dogs. We have recipes here for healthy hot dogs inspired by the Mediterranean cuisines of Italy, Morocco and the Middle East.

I love a traditional hot dog topped with generous squirts of chilli sauce, mustard and tomato sauce or ketchup as much as the next person. But these gourmet hot dog recipes make a fancier hot dog that’s perfect for a relaxed Fathers Day lunch.

I have to confess to not being a fan of the classic frankfurter style hot dog sausage. I much prefer to buy some good quality sausages from a butcher shop, such as Italian style herb sausages, Moroccan merguez sausages or the Lebanese makanek sauces, and fill the hot dogs with salads and spreads.

Gourmet Hot Dog Recipes for Mediterranean Inspired Healthy Hot Dogs

Please do let us know if you make any of our Fathers Day lunch ideas as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.

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