This year, don’t sleep on the criminally underrated tradition of Easter Dinner.
With Easter right around the corner, most people are probably looking forward to egg hunts, baskets of candy and quality time with their families. But far too many folks overlook the crucial and wondrous component that is Easter dinner. As far as holiday dinners go, Thanksgiving and Christmas get all the ink. So here are some delish southern Easter recipes you can introduce into your family’s repertoire.
10. Asparagus and Carrots
Easter is the time when not-oft-seen vegetables come out to play. Enter asparagus and carrots, which taste great together and are collectively jam-packed with nutrients. You can cook them in almost anything – olive oil and butter are favorites. But for extra tang, use recipes that include some kind of vinegar. If you’re a fan, hollandaise sauce works well here too.
Like many recipes on this list, quiche is highly versatile and variable. You can choose almost any recipe for Easter and it’ll fit right in with the other dishes, but recipes that feature mushrooms, spinach or shallots are pretty safe bets.
8. Breakfast Casserole
Start your Easter off right with this hearty casserole. It combines all the breakfast favorites like eggs, bacon and hashbrowns in a convenient casserole that can be scaled up or down depending on how much company you have. And since casseroles are basically food catch-alls, you can add anything else that strikes your breakfast fancy – sausage, onion slices, croutons, you name it.
7. Jello Fruit Salad
Sure, it seems a little pedestrian. But Easter is all about springtime rejuvenation (in the broadest sense, anyways), so a wide array of fruit is a must. The addition of Jello makes a fruit salad much more palatable, and just plain fun to eat. Use any fruit you put in your favorite fruit salad, and your favorite Jello flavor, and voila.
6. Angel Food Cake
Angel Food Cake may not be the most exciting of the cake canon, but it’s versatile and so airy that it’s a guilt-free alternative to other sweets (72 calories/slice). You can pick one up at your local grocery store, or make it from scratch if you’re feeling adventurous – it can be a temperamental cake, so beware. Remember to top with whipped cream and strawberries!
5. Citrus Marshmallow Salad
This one’s also a strange combo that works better than it might at first seem. The holiday-appropriate pastels of colored marshmallows make a really great dish when added to a tangy citrus. On this front recipes vary, but I usually go with mandarin orange slices. It’s a cool, refreshing dessert that’s the perfect culinary nightcap to your Easter Sunday.
4. Potato Salad
Yes, there are a lot of salad dishes crucial to the Easter experience. The good news is they’re all easy to make, especially in large quantities. Potato salad is the food equivalent of flowers blooming in the spring – it can only be indicative of warm weather and picnic season. There are a ton of variant recipes out there, but this is a good classic one for starters. For creamier salads, up the mayo quotient.
3. Pineapple Upside Down Cake
World renowned as one of the more ridiculously named desserts, it’s actually way easier to make than you might think. For fresher results try using fresh pineapple slices instead of canned – it’s more work, but you cut out unnecessary sugar and preservatives.
2. Deviled Eggs
Eggs are always a necessary component to an Easter celebration, so buy in bulk and devil them up. The cooking process is a bit involved just because presentation takes up more of the total labor – just look at those things, all swirly and perfect! But the flavors are hard to mess up (if you like them spicier, increase mustard and decrease mayo), and they’re gone in two or three bites, so multiply the recipe as needed.
1. Country Ham
Thanksgiving has turkey, Christmas has… whatever your family usually has at Christmas. For me, it’s sometimes been Cornish game hens. But the main meat of Easter just has to be a big, spiral-sliced country ham. Every grocery store carries them in a variety of flavors and glazes – maple, honey, wood-smoked. A step up from the local Kroger would be the Honey Baked Ham Store. If you’re unfamiliar, yes, there is a chain store devoted entirely to ham – it’s heaven. But if you want to reach pinnacle Easter, we recommend shopping local and getting some spiral straight from a nearby farm.