Ploughman’s Lunch

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ploughman's lunch

Ploughman’s Lunch Meal

This meal can be used in so many different ways and at so many different times of the year. I have posted it here because with all the sweet things we usually eat during the holidays I thought this savory menu would be a nice change to have for get-togethers with friends and family.

  • It is easy to make and can be made ahead of time and served as a cold meal for games, casual holiday parties, or  an easy cold meal for after church.
  • Even though it is served cold, it is hearty enough to fill and warm you up on a cold winter’s day. Because it is usually served cold it can be used in the summer months, too.
  • I will list the usual foods that are used for this type of meal but don’t be afraid to add your own favorite foods to it for variety.
  • I would serve this ploughman’s lunch meal with mulled apple cider, large pots of hot tea or flavored coffees in the winter and iced tea or lemonade in the summer.
  • Serve with some easy desserts like cookies or brownies.
  • Make sure the cookies are big and the bread is thick. Everything in the meal should have a rustic feel.
  • The food can all be laid out on plates or, if you’ll be serving a large crowd, you can put it on large platters. You might put all the meats and cheeses on a platter, the breads in a basket or piled on a platter, all the fruits and veggies one one platter, etc. Traditionally, they put a little of everything on a large plate, which is not only different but very pleasing to the eye.


Ploughman’s Lunch

Thick slices of crusty breads or hoagie buns
Butter, mayo or mustards for spreading on bread
Cheeses, traditionally a nice sharp cheddar is used but you can use a variety of your favorites
Ham slices and once again use turkey, chicken or roast if you like
Hard boiled eggs
Pickles, dill, sweet, garlic
Pickled onions
Chutney, any kind
Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers
Fruit, apples, oranges, grapes

Photo By: sobolevnrm


  1. veronica says

    This is a very nice idea for a plowmans’ lunch but not necessarily what a plowman would expect of get in an English pub. It would be a hunk of fresh crusty bread, a lump of sharp Cheddar cheese and a pint of draft beer. He might also add sweet chutney, pickled onions or eggs and occasionally a slice of pork pie.
    It was cheap, filling and high calorie.
    These days I am sure it has been Yuppied up

    • says

      Ahh Veronica I thought that is what I had listed – crusty bread, cheese, chutney, onions and eggs that you can pick and choose from. I do agree though that I’m sure it has been Yuppied up and is served with all kinds of special cheeses, meats, breads and things in many places.

  2. Chris says

    I think the Ploughman’s Lunch gives you a good opportunity to use pieces of “this & that” for a meal – which is a terrific $ saver

  3. Carole Garrett says

    I was thinking of having a “Dead Tired” luncheon for friends in January and was wondering what to serve so I would not end up the one “Dead Tired”. This is a perfect menu for what I want to do. Probably will add a few extra’s like a big veggie plate. this is such a great suggestion.

  4. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    Looks mighty tasty and nutritious. The unprocessed foods seem to be that way, don’t they? Why do we forces ourselves to work so hard?

    Veronica-what is pork pie?

  5. LR says

    I LOVE a ploughman’s lunch. Though, ’round my house we usually just call it “grab what you can because we’re too busy too cook” lunch. 😉 I like to have this for an informal gathering where people are eating at different times or grazing for a few hours. It’s also nice when you’ve had a lot of rich holiday foods and want something a little lighter and less fussy. We usually add a few salty snacks like mixed nuts, pretzels, chips and dip, etc. to fill out the table shatter the illusion that we’re trying to eat healthy.

  6. Rachel H says

    I had this at an English tea room for my birthday last year. Something different, and my first, and so far, only time at a tea room. My youngest used to sometimes ask for a party for dinner. my husband traveled a lot, and his brother and sister were teens and not home much. I made sandwiches, cut them up, put out chips and cookies, and he and I ate while watching a movie. Such a wonderful memory!

  7. Mand says

    This is an expanded ploughman’s lunch for sure – it traditionally is bread, usually a dark bread such as grainy whole meal or rye, pickled onions, sharp cheese and ale. It had to be something that could be carried out to work in the fields without going bad.
    But this still looks very tasty.

  8. Sheila says

    When I was living in England and worked for a brewery I used to take home brewers yeast from work and made a cottage loaf to go with the cheese and homemade pickled onions. My parents had a pub and we homemade lots of pickled eggs too!

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