15 Classic Welsh Recipes for St. David's Day

Welsh Cakes

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In Wales, March 1st is St. David's Day. A day to honor Wales's patron saint, St. David, a Celtic monk who spread the word of Christianity across this region in the 6th century. During this day, the Welsh celebrate with fabulous regional food and drink. 

On the day of, the Welsh will wear either a daffodil or a leek, two national emblems of Wales. The leek is associated with St. David. It also acquired mystic claims that girls who slept with a leek under their pillow on St. David's Day would see their future husband in their dreams. No wonder then that leeks feature heavily in St. David's Day Recipes and Welsh food.

Wales may be the smallest country in the British Isles, but this in no way reflects on the vast array of excellent cuisine to eat and drink. The Welsh are famous on a global scale for their meats and seafood, their cheeses are unique, and they even produce a delicious wine at Llanerch Vineyard near Cardiff.

  • 01 of 15

    Welsh Breakfast Pancakes (Crempog)

    Welsh Pancakes

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    The Welsh do love a good pancake for breakfast. These Crempogs—as they are called in Welsh—more resemble an American pancake than a usual British one and as they are so delicious, are far too good just to be eaten in the morning. Serve them just as you would any other pancake, with honey, homemade jam, or a little squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar.

  • 02 of 15

    Welsh Breakfast Laver

    Laver Cakes

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    As is common across Britain, a full breakfast is the expected meal on any special day, and St. David's is no different. Laver Cakes are an essential part of a Welsh breakfast and are cooked as a side dish alongside roast meats. The cakes are a delicious mix of seaweed (fresh or canned), oatmeal, and fat, making them both hearty and tasty fare.

  • 03 of 15

    Welsh Leek and Stilton Soup

    Welsh Leek and Stilton Soup

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    Leek and potato soup is a world classic, but the Welsh have claimed a version for themselves with the addition of a little Stilton cheese. Warming and hearty, this is a must for St. David's and you will be delighted at how easy it is to make. Plus, make the Welsh Leek and Stilton soup in advance and freeze, to make your cooking on the day so much more relaxed.

  • 04 of 15

    Welsh Leek and Cheese Rarebit

    Welsh Rarebit

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    What better choice for a light lunch or snack on St. David's Day than a traditional Welsh Rarebit? It is, understandably, one of the most famous dishes in Wales. Some call it "posh cheese on toast," but that does not do justice to this delicious dish. The rarebit can be served as a little snack, or team it with a fresh green salad for an easy lunch.

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  • 05 of 15

    Giant Welsh Oggie

    Welsh Oggie

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    A massive favorite for St. David's is the Welsh version of the Cornish Pasty—the Oggie. It may look like a pasty, but this one is at least twice the size of a regular one and packs a punch with its filling of leeks, lamb, and potatoes. 

    The Oggie can be eaten warm for lunch or dinner with fresh vegetables and gravy or served cold as a snack on-the-go.

  • 06 of 15

    Chicken, Leek, and Mushroom Pie

    Chicken and Leek Pie

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    A lovely dish for your St. David's Day Celebration is a pie, and this Welsh version of chicken, leek, and mushroom is absolutely delicious. Best part is, it contains in abundance the symbolic emblem of Wales: the leek.

    The pie is perfect for a warm filling meal in and of itself and needs little else except a few boiled potatoes.

  • 07 of 15

    Classic Cheese and Leek Soufflé

    Welsh Leek Souffle

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    A classic combination of ingredients can be found here in this soufflé recipe, which makes a perfect dish for the special Welsh day. Though the classic cheese and leek soufflé must be made last minute, do not let that put you off, it is so worth the effort. If you are a little afraid (unnecessarily) of making a soufflé, there is no need. You will see that with a bit of help, it is not so difficult.

  • 08 of 15

    Anglesey Eggs

    Anglesey Eggs

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    This vegetarian dish comes from the Isle of Anglesey off the Welsh coastline, joined to the mainland by the Menai Bridge. 

    Anglesey eggs are loved in Wales, but such is its deliciousness, it has become popular throughout the British Isles and not just for this Saint's day. 

    The egg dish makes a stunning lunch and needs nothing else alongside being filled with great ingredients. 

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  • 09 of 15

    Chicken, Leek, Caerphilly Cheese, and Prune Pie

    Chicken and leek pie

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    This pie separates out from the pack with the addition, unusually, of prunes and Caerphilly—a crumbly, strong-flavored cheese from Wales. Can't find it? Then use a crumbly strong Cheshire.

    The handful of prunes add an unusual sweetness, which works so well alongside everything else.

  • 10 of 15

    Traditional Welsh Cawl

    Traditional Welsh Cawl
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    "Cystal yfed o'r cawl â bwyta's cig"—"It is as good to drink the broth as to eat the meat," and in Wales, this is so true, primarily when referring to Cawl, because it is a dish which is both a broth and a stew.

    Cawl is considered the national dish of Wales, so any St. David's Day meal would not be complete without it. 

  • 11 of 15

    Welsh Cider-Baked Ham

    Baked Ham Recipe

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    Welsh ham baked with Welsh cider, what could be as perfect for this special day in Wales? Use the meat in sandwiches, as part of a cold lunch, or a wonderful supper dish served with a creamy parsley sauce.

  • 12 of 15

    Simple Roast Leg of Welsh Lamb With Honey and Ginger

    Roast Leg of Lamb

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    Welsh meat recipes will invariably feature lamb and beef, as Wales is famous for both. In this delicious recipe for roast leg of lamb with honey and cider, the dish contains other local Welsh flavors, such as honey, cider, rosemary, and ginger. Combined together, this meal has been enjoyed in Wales since it was brought back by the Crusaders.

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  • 13 of 15

    Stuffed Leg of Welsh Lamb

    Stuffed Leg of Lamb

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    More famous lamb for St. David's Day are those raised on the wonderful rich pastures and hillsides of the country giving the meat its distinctive sweet flavor. This stuffed leg of lamb comes with a pungent stuffing of herbs, bacon, and garlic. Delicious!

  • 14 of 15

    Quick Easy Traditional Welsh Cake

    Welsh Cakes

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    There cannot be a St. David's Day celebration without a plate of Welsh cakes. They are a lovely tea time treat and were initially cooked on the hot plate of a coal oven, but can just as easily be cooked in a heavy non-stick frying pan or griddle. To taste them at their best, we recommend eating them soon after baking. 

  • 15 of 15

    Bara Brith

    Bara Brith Recipe

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

    Every country in Britain has its favorite fruit cake, and Wales is no exception. Known as Bara Brith, or "speckled bread," Wales' delectable fruity tea bread is a great treat for afternoon tea