We have gathered some of our favorite Easter dinner recipes so that you can mix and match them to create your own version of the best Easter dinner menu. Whether you're trying to prepare a full meal for carnivores or vegans, we have gathered a variety of delicious dishes to cater to various dietary preferences.
Easter dinner is usually composed of a main course of either ham or lamb or sometimes both. Ham comes from the tradition of slaughtering pigs in the fall, then curing the hams throughout winter, so they will be ready to enjoy in the springtime. This traditional process makes ham a go-to choice for your Easter dinner main course. Lamb is also a tradition because young lambs are born in the months before Easter and reach the perfect size to be slaughtered and eaten at Easter, thus there is now a tradition of eating lamb at Easter. Check out some of our favorite easy lamb recipes in our article, "How to Make the Perfect Crock Pot Lamb." Enrich your Easter dinner table with traditional sweetened Easter bread by checking out our article which includes recipes and the history behind Easter breads, "5 Traditional Easter Breads and their Origins."
Easter dinner usually occurs the evening of Easter. Plan your Easter dinner around the rest of your festive Easter plans and traditions. You can have your Easter dinner as early as 3 pm or as late as 8 pm. Just focus on accommodating your guests' needs and planning out your Easter festivities and traditions out accordingly.
Be sure to map out the timing of all of your dishes and plan your Easter day schedule accordingly. Focus on the timing of your main course first and according to how much time your main course will take plan your sides and appetizers around that. Make what you can a day or two ahead of time and consider purchasing pre-made or store-bought items to help prevent any time crunches. The goal is to spend minimal time in the kitchen and maximum time mingling with your guests. All of the main course recipes that are featured in this article take a long time to cook and that is not an accident. These main courses can be prepared the night before or in the morning, so that you can just pop them in the oven or slow-cooker and have a good time while your main course cooks. Prepare each course as much as you can in the morning or even the day before so that all you have to do is pop your recipe in the oven and forget it while it cooks. Consider just picking one recipe from each category to ease the stress of cooking, because guests enjoy quality over quanity, so don't overdo it, keep it simple.
Remember to keep it simple with clusters of flowers in the same color in various vases or the same color of vases. Try to keep your table within a range of about two to three colors. This will make your table setting easy to manage and, as always, use whatever you have around the house. Pick bright and cheery colors for this springtime event or more muted pastels for a more elegant feel. Lush foliage also makes great centerpieces and will give your table setting a garden-feel. This is the time to use your expensive dishes which will add a certain wow factor and elevate your table without too much fuss, but simple, plain white plates will also work well. However you decide to decorate just keep it easy-breezy and fun!
No worries, we have got you covered. Check out some of our favorite Easter desserts and consider bringing something sweet to Easter dinner. Wine is also always a good choice to bring to any dinner or party. Consider bringing a wine that you know is favorite of your host or try to pair the best wine with what your host is serving. Ham's salty, smokey, and slightly sweet flavors pair best with a Riesling, Moscato, rosé, or zinfandel because of their slightly sweeter flavors. The flavors of these wines bring out the ham's sweetness while accentuating the smoky and savory flavors of the ham. Lamb pairs best with dark, rich red wines like Bordeaux, Cabernet, or merlot. The deep flavors of these luscious reds will bring out the earthy flavors of the lamb. For vegan, vegetarian, and veggie-packed recipes pair with a robust red wine if the flavors are deeper, roasted, or braised, or pair with a lighter white wine or dry rosé for fresh vegetable dishes that have brighter vegetable flavor. If you are hosting your Easter dinner consider buying a couple of bottles of wine that will pair best with whatever main course you are preparing.
This classic Italian recipe makes the perfect, easy-to-make appetizer that will keep a crowd of hungry tummies full until it's time for dinner. Filled with the aromatic flavors of fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, good quality olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, these morsels are filled with the fresh flavors of spring and make the perfect bites before your main Easter meal. This recipe is also vegetarian-friendly and can be made vegan by using vegan bread which can be bought at any specialty grocery store.
The best appetizer recipe is one that utilizes store-bought ingredients so that you can serve your guests a beautiful appetizer platter without too much effort. This Vegetarian Mezze Platter courtesy of What's Gaby Cooking maps out the perfect appetizer platter filled with Greek favorites, such as tzatziki, hummus, assorted olives, marinated artichoke hearts, and fresh veggies for dipping. Add some fresh pita bread and you're in business.
Perfect for toothpicks, these bite-sized sausages are filled with the sweet and spicy flavors of pineapple, zesty Creole mustard, and crushed red pepper flakes for an added kick in the taste buds. These scrumptious delights will go fast so consider doubling or even tripling this recipe. Serve these on their own or with crackers and assorted cheeses, fruits, and vegetables for an appetizer spread your guests can really feast on.
This light and refreshing salad is filled with the springtime flavors of spring lettuce, juicy pears or apples, tangy blue cheese, and candied pecans. Perfect for pairing with ham, lamb, or any vegan or vegetarian main course, this salad recipe is the bright and cheerful side that your Easter dinner table craves. Courtesy of A Feast for the Eyes blog, this recipe is simple and delicious, and is sure to be a hit at your Easter celebration.
Filled with seasonal fresh produce, this recipe has all the bright springtime flavors your Easter dinner needs. Zucchini, sweet corn, rich parmesan cheese, and fresh basil come together to slay the side dish game. Savory and sweet, this recipe pairs perfectly with smoky ham, succulent lamb, or mouth-watering moussaka and whichever appetizer you decide to indulge in.
Creamy and rich, this recipe is the perfect comfort food indulgence to add to your Easter dinner menu. Gruyere, parmesan, and heavy cream elevate this dish from the typical potato side to an extraordinarily decadent side dish that all of your guests will rave about. Courtesy of A Feast for the Eyes food blog, this tried-and-true recipe pairs perfectly with your favorite ham, lamb, or veggie-infused recipe.
Brown sugar and nutty pecans elevate this recipe, but the secret ingredient is Chinese five-spice, which infuses this main course with vibrant flavor. This meaty main course is the perfect centerpiece to your best Easter dinner menu because it comes together fairly easily and cooks up in about two and half hours, so that you can get this ham in the oven and get the rest of your party necessities perfected.
Infused with the rich red wine of your choice, grainy Dijon mustard, fragrant herbs, garlic cloves, this lamb shank recipe comes together in no time and cooks in your slow-cooker so that you can focus on other more important things. Rich and meaty, this lamb shank main course will be the perfect centerpiece for your best Easter dinner.
Gluten-free, vegan, and deliciously Greek, this recipe for Moussaka will make the perfect main course for your best Easter dinner. Filled with the hearty flavors of red wine, fresh vegetables, and assorted spices, this recipe features vegan recipes for both the creamy cashew bechamel sauce and a hemp-walnut parmesan "cheese." Courtesy of Veggies Don't Bite, this recipe is a delicious trick to get veggies into anyone's mouth.
For a full list of all of our favorite dessert recipes be sure to check out our other Easter articles, "Easter Sweets that Put Chocolate Bunnies to Shame" and "5 Traditional Easter Bread and their Origins."
What's Gaby Cooking is the free-spirited food blog which focuses on healthy eats while understanding that it's really all about balance, so brownies are always an option. She encourages her followers to go on adventures and explore the world around them through food and experiences.
A Feast for the Eyes is the brainchild of Debby who lives in California and prepares recipes for her husband and son, who are her built-in family food critics. She has a long and loving history with food that has been passed down to her by her mother. She enjoys sharing her love of cooking, heirloom recipes, and new dishes with her followers.
Veggies Don't Bite is run by Sophia who is a proud mother and wife who focuses on getting good quality eats into her family's mouths. Her blog focuses on gluten-free, veggie-packed, minimally processed recipes that are also low in refined sugar, so that her followers and live a healthy, happy lifestyle.