Dine like Her Majesty! Quick and easy Dover sole recipe

Queen Elizabeth is known to be particular about her food and prefers a light, healthy lunch during the week.

While certain foods are categorically off the menu – garlic is banned, among other things – the royal chefs at Buckingham Palace serve up certain dishes for Her Majesty and Prince Philip on a regular basis.

DISCOVER: The Queen’s most unusual eating habits revealed 

One of the monarch’s favourites? Grilled Dover sole on a bed of wilted spinach or courgette. We’re sure the tasty staple will be on the menu during her summer break at Balmoral Castle.

The Queen loves grilled Dover sole 

Former royal chef Darren McGrady previously revealed: “The Queen is not a foodie. She eats to live, unlike Prince Philip who loves to eat and would stand and talk food all day. When she dines on her own, she’s very disciplined. No starch is the rule.”

While we don’t know the Queen’s exact recipe, this quick and easy dish from Brian Turner from our archives is a winner. Plus it’s super healthy; low in fat, high in protein and rich in essential nutrients like vitamins D and B-12. 

Amid the current UK heatwave, it’s also perfect for barbecue season – and we know the royals love to BBQ!



Ingredients for Brian Turner’s grilled Dover sole (serves 4)

  • 4 x 450g/1lb whole Dover sole
  • 50g/2oz plain flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g/2oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 lemons, halved, and new potatoes to serve

For the parsley butter

  • 100g/4oz unsalted butter, softened
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


Method for Brian Turner’s grilled Dover sole

Step 1

Start by making the parsley butter. Mix the butter with the lemon juice and parsley, season, then roll into a sausage shape inside dampened greaseproof paper. Store in the freezer until needed.

DELICIOUS: Try the Queen’s favourite dessert – see the decadent recipe

Step 2

To clean the Dover soles, first remove the black skin. Dip the tail into boiling water then, using the back of a knife, scrape from the tail end towards the body to loosen a piece of the skin. Hold the fish down and grip the skin in a cloth. Pull firmly and it will all come away. Turn the fish over and carefully remove the scales from the whiteskinned side. If you wish, remove the head by chopping it off, then cut the side fins away using scissors.

Step 3

Wash the fish and dry well. Preheat the grill.

Step 4

Season the flour then dip the skin-side of the sole into it. Shake off any excess flour then place the fish on the grill rack, floured-side up. Brush with melted butter and grill on one side for about 5-6 minutes.

Step 5

If necessary turn it over, but first test to see if the fish is cooked through by pushing your finger on to the backbone – if the flesh yields sufficiently for you to feel bone, the sole is ready.

Step 6

Place the grilled sole onto 4 warmed plates. Using a warm knife, cut the parsley butter into thin slices. Lay 2 slices on each piece of sole. Serve with half a lemon and new potatoes.

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