Medieval Recipes | 13th-15th Century in Western Europe

В средневековой Европе основу питания составляли различные виды зерновых культур - средневековые рецепты в XIII-XV веках в Западной Европе In medieval Europe, the basis of nutrition was various types of grain crops - medieval recipes in the 13th-15th centuries in Western Europe

In medieval Europe, the foundation of nutrition was comprised of various types of grains such as wheat, barley, oats, and rye. These grains were used to make bread, which was the staple food.

Besides grains, the diet of medieval people also included meat (most commonly pork, beef, and mutton), fish, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices. They prepared porridges, soups, roasted meat, and baked desserts. The beverages were water, mead, beer, and wine.

Nutrition in medieval Europe depended on a person’s social status. Wealthy individuals could afford luxurious and varied dishes, while the poor had to make do with simpler foods.

Nevertheless, nutrition in medieval Europe was quite diverse, although the living conditions and available food items differed significantly from modern standards. Let’s take a closer look at some specific medieval recipes from the 13th to 15th centuries.

Cheese flatbreads with herbs


  • Sour cream 15-20% – 300 g,
  • Eggs – 3 pcs.,
  • Hard cheese – 200 g,
  • Flour – 4-5 tbsp. spoons,
  • Greens – 1 bunch,
  • Salt – 1 pinch,
  • Vegetable oil for frying.

Cheese flatbreads with herbs

Break the eggs into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and sour cream, mix well with a whisk or mixer.
Cheese flatbreads with herbs. Add 1 tablespoon of flour to the dough, mixing well each time. The consistency of the dough should be like pancakes.

Grind the cheese on a fine grater, chop the herbs, add everything to the dough and mix. Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan, pour in 2-3 tablespoons of dough, spread over the bottom of the pan. Fry the tortilla for 3-5 minutes on each side.

Chicken in broth

Dish from the territory of modern England, 15th century.


  • 1 chicken (meat only, no bones or skin)
  • 2-3 glasses of water
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 10-20 “strands” of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3-4 teaspoons bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients except bread crumbs, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, let simmer gently for 30-40 minutes. Then add bread crumbs and cook until the broth thickens.

Boiled chicken stuffed with grapes

Dish from the territory of modern England, 15th century.


  • 2 chickens each weighing 1.1 kg
  • 225gr. green grapes
  • chopped parsley and sage leaves to cover the grapes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • black pepper
  • at least 850 ml chicken broth
  • “sweet powder”

Medieval cooks used “sweet powder” (powder douce) as a seasoning. Like modern curry powder, it consisted of a mixture of various spices. To make the powder for this recipe, mix 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, grated nutmeg, black pepper and 1 teaspoon sugar. The recipes were different, but each one certainly included cinnamon or ginger.

Prepare chickens for boiling. Cut the grapes into halves, remove the seeds and cover them with a thick layer of spices. Finely chop the garlic or crush it through a garlic press and mix with the grapes. Season the mixture to taste and then stuff the chickens. Tie the birds tightly so that the filling does not fall out.

Wrap the chickens in a thick cloth or towel and place in a pan. Add enough broth to cover 3/4 of the depth of the pan, slowly bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes until tender. Place on a warm plate and sprinkle with sweet powder.


Dish from the 1390 English cookbook Ways of Cooking. The name of the dish translates as “mushrooms”.

In medieval Europe, people were very suspicious of mushrooms. Not everyone knew how to distinguish edible species from poisonous ones, and cases of poisoning were not uncommon. But, nevertheless, they were cooked and eaten.


  • Mushrooms 10-12 pieces (it is impossible to determine which the author had in mind, because he simply indicates mushrooms without any specifics. It is known that champignons were eaten in England. They were collected in forests and pastures)
  • Leek
  • Good broth (rich chicken broth)
  • Saffron
  • Strong powder (mix ground black pepper 2 tsp, cinnamon 1/2 tsp, nutmeg 1/2 tsp, ginger ½ tsp, cloves ¼ tsp, grains of paradise or cardamom ½ tsp)

Take the mushrooms, peel and cut into cubes; take a leek, chop it finely and put it to boil in a good broth. Tint with saffron and add strong powder.
The recipe is quite easy to prepare. The stew is very pleasant to the taste of modern people. It has a rich mushroom flavor and the leeks added a nice note of sweetness. The good thing about this dish is that it is easy to prepare in the field. Set the broth to simmer in the pot while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Gilded chicken

Dish from the territory of modern France, XIII century.

You should take the chickens, scald them and cut them up, cut all the meat off the bones and chop them finely; Boil the bones, take them out of the broth and wrap them in meat. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder, then put into a dough made of wheat flour and beaten eggs, and bake in cow butter or lard. These are called “gilded chickens”.

Almond dish with cumin and chicken

Dish from Guillaume Tirel’s cookbook, 14th century.


  • chicks or hen
  • lard (for frying)
  • bouillon
  • almond
  • sour juice
  • wine
  • ginger, cumin and other spices

Boil cleaned and gutted chickens in water. Remove the chickens from the broth, save the broth, cut the chicken carcasses into four pieces and fry well in lard. Then take the almonds and grind them well, mix them with the broth, put the chicken pieces in the broth and cook the meat in it. Grind the ginger and cumin well, season with sour juice and wine and add to the chicken. This dish becomes thick on its own and is consumed as a soup. You can pour it into the bread, using it as a plate and removing the crumb.

Capon stew


  • 1 chicken or capon with liver
  • 2 bottles of red wine
  • ½ cup wine vinegar
  • Lard for frying
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground galangal root
  • ¼ crushed long pepper, or ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 5 grains of paradise
  • salt

Wash the chicken inside and out, remove excess fat, and place in a saucepan. Add liver, wine, half a liter of water, a tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil, carefully skimming off the foam. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.
Remove the chicken and pat dry thoroughly. Cut into portions. Separate the meat from half the breast and chop it together with the liver and almonds, adding 2-3 tablespoons of broth, gradually pour in the broth until you get a thick sauce.
Pour the sauce into a saucepan and simmer until slightly thickened; if too thick, add more broth.
Mix all the spices with vinegar, add to the sauce and let it boil. Melt the lard and fry the chicken pieces in it until browned on all sides. Remove excess fat and serve with sauce.

Soup with cheese and wine


  • boiled boneless chicken, finely chopped
  • chicken broth – 2 cups
  • cream – 1 cup
  • white wine – 1 glass
  • cheese – 200g
  • white pepper – to taste
  • toasted bread – to taste

Cut off the rind of the cheese. And cut it into cubes. Combine cream and chicken broth in a saucepan. Add wine and bring to a boil. Then pour into a bowl with cheese. Stir with a spatula until the cheese melts. Pour into a plate, sprinkle with white pepper, add herbs and serve.

Pears in wine syrup

This is one of the earliest versions of the ‘warduns in syruppe’ recipe. It suggests using mulberries as the red fruit, but nowadays they can be successfully replaced with loganberries (a hybrid of raspberries and blackberries). The ‘Wyn crete’ or ‘vernage’ needed for the syrup usually meant a sweet white wine from the south of Italy, Cyprus or Tuscany. Wardens are a variety of large pears.


  • 3 large, firm dessert pears
  • 298g canned mulberries or loganberries
  • 275 ml aromatic red wine
  • a few drops of red food coloring
  • 150 ml sweet white Italian wine
  • 25 g white sugar
  • a pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Peel the pears, but do not cut them. Wash and dry the berries.
Place the pears and berries in a saucepan, pour in red wine and add a few drops of coloring. Heat over low heat until the pears are tender, turning frequently so they are evenly colored pink. Cool the liquid while continuing to stir to deepen the color. Remove the pears and reserve the liquid. Cut the pears in half or into quarters. Strain the berries and return them to the pan with the cooking liquid.

Pour white wine into a clean saucepan, add sugar and spices. Bring to a temperature of 105 C or higher to obtain a syrup thick enough to glaze fruit in. Place the pears in the syrup, bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with warmed red wine and berries as a sauce.

Orange omelette

This recipe was proposed by Johannes Buckenheim, the cook of Pope Martin V, in his cookbook. For each recipe, he indicated who they were intended for – a princess or a prostitute, an Italian or a German. Why this dish, according to Bukenheim, has exactly this purpose, we apparently no longer know, but why not try it. For us, this will be more of a food than a moral depravity.


  • 6 eggs
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. Sahara
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt

Squeeze juice from oranges and lemon. Beat a mixture of juice, eggs, sugar and salt and fry the omelet in olive oil. The sugar and acidity of the juice will prevent the omelet from completely setting. It will be something like a cream.

Lenten stew

Stews were recorded in cookbooks as stews (stew soup), so the original recipe can be considered a soup or a thick second course of the Lenten menu. Depends on the amount of liquid used. Judging by the way the version of this recipe is written (and there are several of them), this one belongs to the second course.


  • 8 large onions
  • 125 ml sunflower oil for frying
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • a pinch of salt
  • 150 ml boiling water
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 8 mugs of white bread or brioche, crust trimmed. approximately 3 cm thick

Cut the onion into rings and into the oil, turning often, until soft and golden. Leave in the pan and set aside. Place almonds in a small saucepan. Stir honey and salt in water, pour in almonds and add half the amount of wine. Leave for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. During this time, lightly fry the bread on both sides. Arrange the bread pieces in a shallow dish. Add the remaining wine to the onions and warm everything thoroughly. Bring the resulting almond milk to a boil and pour over the bread. Place onions on top.

Dried pea puree with sprouts

The original recipe describes how to peel dried peas by soaking them in boiling wine and water overnight, then rubbing with a cloth and rinsing. Thanks to this process, the peas could be cooked less. The recipe below is adapted for modern shelled peas. Also, since bean sprouts are much easier to buy than pea sprouts, they are used as a substitute for pea sprouts in this recipe.


  • 625 g white or yellow peas
  • 1 bottle (700 ml) white wine
  • salt
  • 1 package bean sprouts
  • pepper

Soak the peas in the wine overnight, adding water if necessary so that the peas are completely covered with liquid. Boil in the same liquid with a little salt for 2 1/2 hours, adding water if necessary. (at the end there should be practically no liquid left, and the peas should turn into puree).
Add bean sprouts, stir and cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper before cooking.

Almond milk

Cold almond milk was the main ingredient, quickly substituted for other thick liquids used in many dishes of the Middle Ages. Only one recipe has come down to us, dating back to 1467 and quoted by Lorna Saas in her book “For the Taste of the King,” according to which almond milk should be served cold. Modern ground almonds make the liquid slightly grainy. You can get rid of this by first grinding the almonds in a blender; but do not bring the nuts to a paste-like state when oil begins to separate from them.

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For thinner milk:

  • 1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200 ml boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons white wine

For thick milk (similar to “white sauce”):

  • 1.5 ml honey or white sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 65 ml boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon white wine

Place almonds in a bowl. Add honey or sugar, salt to the water and pour the resulting liquid over the almonds. Leave to brew for 15-30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add wine. If required by the recipe, thin milk can be strained. Keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 48 hours.

The original recipe calls for boiling water with honey or sugar and salt, or even boiling syrup, indicating that the Middle Ages favored sauces much sweeter than the above recipe. For desserts, you can add more honey or sugar to the sauce.

Peas and onions with croutons

An old recipe suggests using green or white peas as an alternative. Apparently, green peas mean ordinary fresh peas, which we use today, and white peas mean dried peas, which are eaten in winter.


  • 900 g peeled fresh peas
  • 3 onions
  • 5 sprigs parsley (leaves only)
  • 2 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • a pinch of ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • pinch of saffron powder
  • salt to taste
  • 4 slices white bread, without crusts, cut into cubes

Boil the peas in boiling water (without salt) until soft. Pour 275 ml of the water in which it was boiled into a clean pan. Drain the peas and set aside.

Finely chop the onion and parsley, add to the reserved liquid with saffron and pepper. Add wine. Bring to a boil, then add all remaining ingredients except bread. Boil until half the liquid has evaporated. Add the peas, then the bread pieces. Reheat if necessary and serve.

Beef soup with vegetables

Chowder is a permanent dish present on festive and everyday tables. Most often, the broth was prepared only with vegetables, but certainly with beef bone broth with the addition of meat, when the Church and wallet allowed. The recipe for this stew was called “lange wortys de chare”.


  • 900 g beef shank
  • 4-6 short pieces of marrow bone
  • 2.3 l water
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 onions
  • 1/4 firm head of white cabbage
  • 100 g bread crumbs
  • a few sprigs of saffron
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • ground black pepper

Cut the meat into 5 cm cubes. Place in a saucepan with water and bones. Bring to a boil, skim off foam. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and boil them in a separate pan whole or cut into large pieces. When the meat is almost ready, remove the bones and add vegetables to the broth. Continue cooking until the vegetables are soft. Add medicinal crumbs, saffron and season. Bring to a boil again and cook for 2-3 minutes. Skim fat from surface before serving.

Zrazy (olives) from beef or lamb

You can use young lamb with a little vinegar instead of the sour juice (sour grape or apple juice) that was used in medieval cooking. If desired, brush olives with beaten egg just before cooking. This method was often used by spit-roasting meat to give it a golden color.


  • 4 thin slices of beef or lamb rump
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 egg yolks, hard boiled
  • 1 tbsp chopped fat
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • a whisper of ground ginger
  • a pinch of saffron powdered
  • salt
  • a little oil
  • Apple vinegar
  • a little ground ginger, cinnamon and black pepper mixed to sprinkle on top

Beat the meat thinly, finely chop the onion and mix with 4 egg yolks. Add fat, parsley, ginger, saffron and salt to taste. Combine and knead to form a smooth paste, using the liquid from the onion to help the mixture come together. Spread this paste over the pieces of meat and roll them up. Secure with a wooden toothpick. Place on a baking sheet, tucking the edges down. Place a piece of butter on top. Bake, turning once, at 180 degrees C for 35-40 minutes. Brush with the released juice 1-2 times during baking.
Place the rolls on a heated plate. Sprinkle with vinegar and sprinkle with spices before serving. Garnish with remaining egg yolk, crumbled.

Flemish meat

For 5 people: 1 kg of meat, 4 onions, several cloves of garlic, 2 tbsp. spoons of oil, 50-70 gr. lard, 4-5 pieces of bread without crusts, ready-made mustard, 1-2 liters of beer, salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the meat into portions, stuff it with lard and garlic, arrange the pieces with onion cut into rings, pour in beer and let stand for 1-2 hours. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the meat and brown it on both sides. Salt and pepper. Drain the oil from the frying into a deep frying pan and cover the entire bottom with onions removed from the beer. Place the meat on top of the onion and cover each piece with a slice of bread thickly coated with mustard (mustard side down). Pour beer over everything (so that the bread does not cover). Simmer over low heat for 1-1.5 hours. Serve with bread.

Gascony oil, for stewed vegetables, beans, mushrooms

For 500 g of sauce: 3-4 heads of garlic, 500 g of melted lard or butter.

Peel the garlic, grate and mix with melted lard or butter. For those who don’t like it very spicy, leave garlic for 5 minutes before grating. cook in lightly salted water.

We tried a version with butter and raw garlic, seasoned with beans – original, but there is nothing to catch vampires in this camp.

Honey toast with pine nuts

This is a modified recipe for a well-known dish called “Poor Knights” that is significantly lower in calories, contains no fat, and is made with meom. Pepper (long pepper in the original recipe) smoothes out the cloyingly sweet taste that honey can impart to the dish.


  • 225 g thick honey
  • a pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 4 large square pieces of crustless white bread, 10mm thick, from a tin loaf
  • 15 g pine nut kernels

Mix honey, spices and pepper in a small saucepan and place over very low heat. Melt the honey and simmer over low heat for no more than 2 minutes. Do not let the honey boil or darken, otherwise it will become viscous, like toffee. Cool slightly. At this time, lightly fry the bread on both sides. Cut each piece into four squares or rectangles. Place them on a heated plate and pour honey on top. Then stick pine nuts into each piece of bread like columns, vertically. Serve immediately and eat hot with a knife and fork.

Steak, grilled or skewered

  • 6 fairly thin steaks, vegetable oil (or fat) for grilling.
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • A pinch of ground black pepper and ginger
  • Optional: sprinkle with ground cinnamon

The original recipe calls for verjuice, a popular medieval food additive made from specially grown or (in the case of England) unripe grapes.
Another recipe for the same supplement (from The Yeoman of Paris) calls for the use of orange juice.
Score both sides of the steak and brush with butter. Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a separate container; the proportions can be changed if desired. Grill the steak to your liking, heat the sauce and drizzle it over the steak while grilling. It is recommended to serve the steak with a small amount of ground cinnamon and the remaining sauce.

Lamb kebab

700 – 900 grams of lean lamb, cut into cubes with a side of 2.5 cm. The same amount of sauce as in the case of beef.
As such, no original kebab recipe has been found, but you can simply chop the meat quite finely, divide it into 6 equal parts and thread it onto kebab skewers. Next, the meat should be fried, as in the case of beef, and the sauce should be added.


The original name of Girdle is “breads”.

For 6 flatbreads:

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron,
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 225g plain white wheat flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • A piece of lard or butter
  • 2 eggs

Lard for frying

Soak the saffron in hot water and leave until the water cools and turns a deep golden color. Mix salt with flour and grind with lard (butter) until the consistency of small crumbs. Beat the eggs with saffron water, knead the dough, but not dry dough. Add more water if necessary. Roll out the dough thinly and cut out circles 12-15 cm in diameter using a suitable plate. Grease a large heavy frying pan with a thin layer of lard and fry the tortillas until golden brown on both sides at medium heat, one at a time.
In practice: It didn’t work out with saffron this time. A piece of butter turned out to be about 40 grams to make crumbs. The proportions turned out to be excellent, the dough is plastic and easy to roll out. I didn’t need a plate, I pinched off small pieces of dough and rolled out a thin circle to fit the size of the pan. Because I baked it in a non-stick frying pan, no oil was needed. Everything was baked perfectly in a dry frying pan.
Overall, the scones turned out neutral and worked well with both homemade terrine and condensed milk.

Capon or chicken crowned with egg


  • 1 capon or large roast chicken weighing 2.3-2.7 kg
  • Chicken fat or butter for greasing
  • 850ml. chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 125 gr. Crumbs of white bread
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1\4-1\2 teaspoon each of sulfur pepper, cinnamon and ginger,
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.
  • 6 chicken eggs, hard-boiled

Yeoman argued with authority that preparing stuffed stew chicken was too difficult for the average person. I guess he decided that this dish was easier to prepare.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees (gas range 7). Brush the bird with fat (butter) and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until browned. Cool slightly and cut the meat from the bones, you can also remove the skin if desired. Cut the meat into small pieces, place in the broth, cover with a lid and simmer for 25 minutes (or until the meat is done) over low heat. During this process, pour 3-4 tablespoons of the broth into a separate container and soak the saffron in the broth.
For the sauce, mix the broth with bread crumbs, salt and spices, heat, stirring occasionally, until a thick sauce is obtained. Separate the yolks from the whites without damaging the yolks. Grind the whites. Mix hot sauce with chicken pieces and serve on warm plates. Sprinkle the finished dish around the edge with chopped egg whites and top with whole yolks.


Ruston – small round loaves of bread or large rolls that were made from a sweet dough with the addition of eggs, like brioche dough. After baking, the top of the loaf was cut off “like a crown” and the flesh was scooped out, leaving an empty “frame”. The pulp was finely chopped and mixed with melted butter. The pulp was then returned inside and covered with the cut-off “lid.” Finally, the loaves were heated in the oven for a few minutes.

Make brioche dough and bake it in a deep pan. When the loaf is ready, cut off a little from the top, scrape out the pulp and mix with butter. Return the pulp inside the bun and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes.

Spicy sticks

To prepare, take 0.5 liters of sour cream, kefir or ayran. Salt, sugar to taste. We also add herbs (parsley, dill, basil, etc. – again, to your taste). Mix with three eggs and flour to form a stiff dough. If the herbs are dried, then pre-soak them in sour cream/kefir/airan. Knead the dough and let it sit for 20 minutes, form into sticks and fry in hot fat until golden brown.

Fried pork with eggs

Take the pork and cook, when it is half cooked, chop it finely, take the eggs and mix; then put the pork in the eggs and fry in good fat.

Hot wine drink

Caudle was a drink made from hot wine with eggs added to thicken it, usually served for breakfast or before bed.
This recipe was used during Lent and on Fridays, when it was strictly forbidden to eat eggs.


  • 275 ml water
  • 850 ml white wine
  • 225 g ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon clear honey or sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of powdered saffron or a couple of drops of yellow food coloring

Bring water and wine to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the almonds and add ginger, honey or sugar, and salt. While stirring, add saffron or food coloring, remove from heat and leave for 15-30 minutes to allow the drink to infuse. Bring to the boil again and serve very hot in small cups.

Now you know what medieval recipes were in the 13th-15th centuries in Western Europe.

Additionally, through this link, you can find a wealth of fascinating information about the Middle Ages and medieval castles.