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5 Comforting Maltese recipes to try this winter

by Mr. Yellow

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One of the best things about winter is, undoubtedly, comfort food. And there’s nothing more comforting than traditional Maltese dishes that remind you of your mother or grandmother’s cooking.

Here are some of the nation’s all-time favourite recipes which you should definitely have a go at yourself. 

Of course, there are as many variations as there are families living in the Maltese islands. So feel free to take inspiration from these recipes and give them your own twist!  

Ross il-forn (oven-baked rice)


  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat
  3. Add the garlic and, soon after, the beef and cook everything until browned 
  4. Mix in the canned tomatoes, chicken stock and bay leaves, and simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, cook the rice half way and drain
  6. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce and mix with the rice
  7. Stir in the basil, mint, eggs, and mozzarella
  8. Season with salt and pepper
  9. Transfer to a greased baking dish, and sprinkle Parmesan over the top
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed

Imqarrun (baked pasta)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g ground beef
  • 500g short pasta (penne)
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml beef stock
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 5 tbsp grated cheese
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. In a large frying pan, fry the onion and garlic until soft
  3. Add the beef and cook till browned, and then add the tomato paste
  4. Add in the beef stock, chopped tomatoes and nutmeg, and bring all to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente, drain and set aside
  6. Once the sauce finishes simmering, add the pasta, beaten eggs, 4 tablespoons of grated cheese, and season with salt and pepper
  7. Gently mix everything and place in a large baking dish
  8. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and place in the oven for 45 minutes

Brodu tat-tiġieġa (chicken broth)


  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1  large onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 1 chicken cube
  • 1 whole cleaned chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 cup of rice
  • lemon juice


  1. Add olive oil to a large pot (big enough to fit the whole chicken)
  2. Cook the chopped onions, garlic, carrots and courgettes until the onions become translucent
  3. Add the chicken and pour enough water to just cover it
  4. Add the chicken cube, a pinch of salt and pepper and bay leaf
  5. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for an hour
  6. Remove the chicken and bring the soup back to a boil
  7. Add a handful of rice and cook until tender
  8. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice (you can shred some chicken into your soup, or eat the chicken as a second course with potatoes and vegetables)

Soppa tal-armla (widow’s soup)


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1kg fresh spinach
  • 1/2 small cabbage
  • 1/2 cauliflower
  • 1 small lettuce
  • 1 small endive
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 handful peas
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Parmesan cheese
  • fresh ġbejniet and eggs (one per person)


  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot
  2. Add all the roughly chopped vegetables and cook until soft
  3. Cover with water and add salt and pepper, tomato puree and stock cube 
  4. Bring to the boil, then lower heat, and simmer with lid on for about 30 minutes 
  5. Poach an egg per person in the soup, and add one ġbejna per person
  6. To serve, spoon one egg and ġbejna into individual soup bowls, then pour the soup over them
  7. Season and sprinkle with parmesan

Kusksu (broad bean and pasta soup) 


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 350g broad beans
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 150g kusksu pasta (little beads)
  • salt and pepper
  • grated Parmesan to serve
  • ġbejniet and eggs (one per person, optional)


  1. Add olive oil to a large pot and fry the onion for 5 minutes
  2. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and fry for 1 minute
  3. Add the broad beans and stock
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes
  5. Add in the pasta and simmer for 15 minutes
  6. Gently crack open each egg and put in with the pasta
  7. Add in the ġbejniet and cook for a further 10 minutes
  8. When serving, you can provide each plate with a ġbejna and egg, and season and sprinkle with parmesan

Now that you have a clear picture of what makes some of the best traditional Maltese dishes, pour yourself a glass of wine and get cooking.

Take the experience up a notch by spoiling yourself with some great cooking equipment. L-ikla t-tajba! 

Find what you’re looking for - visit www.yellow.com.mt!

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