Why don’t you eat meat on Ash Wednesday?

In this short article, we will answer the question “Why don’t you eat meat on Ash Wednesday?”, explain why is this day and share with you ideas of what to cook to make this traditional Catholic day more delicious.

Numerous people observe the tradition of abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday. How many folks that you are aware of intending to cook a fish today? Some people do it without understanding why and merely because it is a habit they picked up as kids.

Why don’t you eat meat on Ash Wednesday?

The Catholic Church recommends the deprivation of meat as a way to redeem the sacrifice made by Jesus, who died on the cross to save us. Fasting and avoiding meat on Fridays is a long-standing Church tradition that has its justifications. 

The first argument is that in order to achieve spiritual perfection, all Christians must lead an austere lifestyle and forgo some pleasure. This is a fundamental tenet of the Catholic faith.

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday has exclusively religious roots; it is a significant day in the Catholic tradition, falls 46 days before Easter, and ushers in the penitential season of Lent. The customary Mass of Ashes is observed on this day. 

Do you know the source of these ashes, too? They are a blend of holy water and branches that were burned on Palm Sunday the year before.

The application of ashes represents each believer’s willingness to continue on the right path of Christianity, their willingness to convert, and their understanding of their mortality and the need for divine grace to atone for their sins. 

Many people believe that the meaning of ashes is to serve as a reminder to man, saying that he began from dust and will return to it.

What to cook on Ash Wednesday?

There are numerous meals with fish and seafood to choose from to make your family supper more memorable this season. See some ideas below:

Porto style codfish

Prepared with cod loin, Italian tomato, onions, Portuguese black olives, extra virgin olive oil, potatoes, boiled eggs, and red and yellow peppers, Bacalhau do Porto à Moda is ready to be roasted at home. 

It serves about 3 people and will make your family lunch even better. See the recipe below:


  • cod loin,
  • Italian tomato slices,
  • red chilli,
  • yellow pepper,
  • onions,
  • Portuguese black olives,
  • extra virgin olive oil,
  • potatoes and boiled eggs.

Method of preparation:

  1. Before putting the Pyrex in the oven, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for approximately 10 minutes, until the oil starts to bubble.
  2. Disposable Packaging: Place the cod to bake in the oven at 180 °C in a bain-marie for approximately 10 minutes.

Note: Remember that the temperature may vary according to each oven since each type has a different power. To make your cod more delicious, the tip is to eat it immediately after it comes out of the oven.

Salmon in almond crust

In addition to being a food that brings many health benefits, almond-crusted salmon will offer a very special flavour for your Ash Wednesday. It is served grilled with a Parmesan crust and sliced ​​almonds. A delight! See the recipe below:


For the salmon
  • 1 1/2 kg of clean salmon
  • 300 g shelled almonds, boiled and sliced
  • 6 slices of crustless bread
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of refined sugar
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed lemon
  • salt to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 lemons, squeezed
  • 500 ml fresh cream
  • 100 g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • Freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • salt to taste

Method of preparation:

For the crumbs:
  1. Place the bread in a baking dish; preheat the oven to 250oC for 10 minutes and turn it off; 
  2. place the mould in the oven and leave for 10 minutes or until the bread dries, without changing colour; Knead the bread until you get an uneven floor.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200oC.
The Salmon:
  1. Season the salmon with salt, lemon juice and freshly ground pepper; let marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the crumbs by mixing the bread flour, butter, almonds and sugar by hand.
  3. Line a pan with aluminium foil, place the salmon filet skin side down and distribute the farofa over the salmon fillet and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the farofa is golden.
  1. Put the lemon juice in a pan and boil until reduced by half; add the fresh cream and boil until reduced by half again; 
  2. Add the cold butter little by little, beating with a wire whisk, without letting it boil.
  3. Adjust salt and pepper.
  4. Finish by making the bottom of the dish with the lemon sauce, overlaid with the salmon filet and decorated with chives.


In this short article, we have answered the question “Why don’t you eat meat on Ash Wednesday?”, explained why is this day and shared with you ideas of what to cook to make this traditional Catholic day more delicious.




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