Roasted turkey, leg of lamb, or glazed ham are typical Easter dinner favorites. But for those of us who don’t have the time to make those, or who might be hosting a smaller crowd, some of the traditional choices may not be right for us this year. Luckily, there are other options that are every bit as festive and tasty, but just a bit easier to prepare and a whole lot faster to cook.
With a nod to tradition but a practical approach, we looked for recipes that are special enough for the holiday but won’t require you to spend days preparing or hours in the kitchen. With a focus on seasonal produce, and new spins on classic Easter favorites, you can create a memorable holiday meal your guests are sure to love.
Easy Easter dinner ideas
Roasted Honey-Mustard Chicken
Everyone loves a good roasted chicken recipe, and this one is not only delicious but super easy, too. The marinade practically does all the work for you in the fridge, until it’s time for roasting. Then, its wonderful aroma will permeate your kitchen with all its fragrant goodness. Paired with your favorite fresh vegetables, this is a meal that’s special enough for the holiday but easy enough for any day.
Citrus Rainbow Carrots
A spring holiday calls for spring vegetables. This one is bursting with freshness and flavor. We love using rainbow carrots (rather than the typical orange variety) for this side dish to create a beautifully colorful presentation. To get a jump start on the prep, feel free to dice your carrots a few days ahead; that way, on Easter all you’ll need to do is douse them with freshly squeezed orange juice and zest, and a handful of fragrant spices. After that, it will need just a few minutes in the roasting pan.
Ultimate Scalloped Potatoes
This Easter-worthy take on scalloped potatoes includes fragrant garlic, Swiss cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Move over, mashed potatoes — there’s a new potato favorite moving in, and this one doesn’t require any time with your hand mixer.
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Toasted Almonds & Lemon Honey Vinaigrette
Every holiday deserves a fresh salad loaded with seasonal ingredients. This one is perfect for Easter. As beautiful as it is delicious, this salad is deliciously ripe and bursting with color. It’s all about the contrast of flavors and textures — from creamy to crispy to crunchy — combined with the mix of salty goat cheese and sweet strawberries.
One-Hour Easter Dinner
If you are really pressed for time but still want to create a delicious and festive meal for you and your guests to enjoy, we absolutely love this idea from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. The entire meal roasts together in the oven, using two sheet pans, in under an hour! Not only is it tasty — and, of course, easy — but it actually includes some of the traditional Easter foods, just in a different way.
This all-in-one sheet-pan meal includes:
- Roasted Parmesan asparagus
- Honey-butter roasted carrots
- Pineapple brown sugar ham
- Cheesy au gratin potatoes
- Toasted baguettes
Sound delicious? Sound easy? You’re right on both fronts. This festive Easter meal will satisfy even the most discriminating diners at your table, and when all is said and done, you will have made the whole thing on two sheet pans!
Don’t forget about dessert!
No meal would be complete without a sweet finish, and these Easter-worthy dessert ideas should definitely do the trick.
It goes without saying that carrot cake is always a favorite, but we’ve found a recipe that we think is just about the best carrot cake ever. The recipe calls for pecans, but if you’re not a fan, leave them out (it won’t affect the taste much at all).
Coconut Key Lime Pie
Can’t decide between coconut cream pie or key lime pie for dessert? You can have them both in one decadent dish! Easier than you think, the premade graham cracker crust is filled with a delectable mixture of sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, key lime juice, and egg yolks. After it bakes, pile it high with a heaping mound of whipped cream and toasted coconut.
Easter Bunny Cake
If you have kids joining your Easter celebration — and even if you don’t — this timeless bunny cake is sure to delight. A boxed cake mix and a can of vanilla icing get all dolled up for the holiday with a few creative cuts and a liberal dousing of flaked coconut, jellybeans, and licorice.
Hosting an Easter celebration can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. New ways to cook and a focus on enjoying time spent with loved ones can result in the best Easter dinner you’ve ever prepared. Spend less time in the kitchen and more time sitting together at your Easter table.
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