Holiday Cooking: 9 Easter Dinner Ideas

What’s on your Easter menu? The much-awaited holiday is full of traditions, and your dinner table should be no exception! From tasty breakfast ideas to the choice between lamb or ham, there are so many great dishes to explore with the family this Easter!

To help you create the perfect spread, here are nine delicious traditional Easter recipes– these ideas aim to celebrate the best foods of spring and give you a quick tour of the famous Easter dishes from around the world!

Hot Cross Buns

When you see these decorated rolls appear in bakery windows and grocery stores, you’ll know Easter is fast approaching! Once you taste this delectable version, you’ll want to make them every year– and maybe not just for the holidays!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup water (warm; 105 to 155 F)
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk (warm; 105 to 115 F)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened, equivalent to 1/2 stick)
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour (up to 6 1/2 cups)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (chopped)

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water (mixed with the egg white)

For the Lemon Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (grated)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk


For the buns:

1) Gather the ingredients. Pour the warm water into the large bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle the yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar over it. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy. Add the remaining sugar, warm milk, salt, nutmeg, and butter.
2) Add 3 cups of flour. Using the paddle attachment of the mixer, beat at medium speed until smooth and elastic. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, currants, and apricots and 1 cup more of the flour. Beat until well mixed.
3) Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
4) Place the dough in a large greased bowl. Turn once to coat the top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. Punch down the dough. Cover with an inverted bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.
5) Divide the dough into 24 equal portions. Roll each portion into a smooth ball. Place the balls about 1 1/2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet or pan. Let the rolls rise until doubled in volume. Then, preheat the oven to 375 F.
6) Brush the rolls lightly with the egg wash. With a sharp knife, cut a cross no more than 1/2-inch deep in the top of each roll. Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack and let cool.

For icing:

1) In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients until well blended. Spoon the icing into a party bag fitted with a small plain tip, and pipe a cross over the top of each roll. Let the buns stand at least 20 minutes for the icing to set before serving.

Honey Butter Ham

Turn a plain cooked ham into something special for your Easter dinner! Serve this delicious dish with some scalloped potatoes, sautéed or steamed green beans or asparagus, and some dinner rolls, and you’re good to go!

What You’ll Need:

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Whole cloves
3 to 5 pound fully cooked half ham


1) Gather the ingredients, then preheat the oven to 325 F.
2) Stir the melted butter, honey, brown sugar, and mustard until smooth and set aside. Place the ham in a roasting pan large enough to hold it with room on the sides. Mark the top surface of your ham in a diamond pattern, making the cuts about 3/4″ apart. Push a whole clove, point side down, into the center of each diamond in the ham. Omit this step if you are adding herbs to the brown sugar glaze.
3) Spoon half of the butter mixture over the ham.
Roast the ham, uncovered, then spoon over the rest of the butter mixture. Roast for another 20 minutes (for a 3-pound ham), 40 minutes (for a 4-pound ham), or 60 minutes (for a 5-pound ham) until the ham reaches 145 F and is glazed. Baste every 20 minutes.

Smoked Pork Butt

Try this smoked pork butt recipe that can easily pass for an Eastern European-style corned beef enriched with sweet and salty flavors! We’re sure your family will find its slightly different taste and texture interesting and delicious!

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 pounds boneless smoked pork butt
  • Water (enough to cover the pork butt)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 medium to large cabbage (cut into 8 pieces)
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 6 medium potatoes (peeled but left whole)


1) Place smoked pork butt in a Dutch oven or stockpot. Add water to cover and add brown sugar. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 2 hours. (A pork butt requires about 40 minutes per pound.)
2) Halfway through the cooking process (after 1 hour), add the cabbage and peppercorns. Bring back to the boil, reduce the heat, and continue to simmer.
3) About 30 minutes before the cooking time is up, add the whole potatoes. Return to the boil, reduce the heat, and continue to simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes and meat are tender.
4) Transfer the meat to a cutting board and slice. Arrange on a platter with cabbage wedges and whole potatoes.

Irish Lamb Stew

Rustic, simple, and hearty, this Irish stew is a regular one-pot meal aiming to please your senses. You’ll surely get a taste of the Ireland flavors with this meal on your Easter spread!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 pound thick-sliced bacon, diced
  • 6 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or as needed
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups beef stock (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 cups chopped carrots (1-inch pieces)
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Chopped parsley, garnish


1) Gather the ingredients. In a large frying pan, sauté the bacon. Drain the fat and reserve both the bacon and the fat.
2) In a large mixing bowl, place the lamb, salt, pepper, and flour. Toss to coat the meat evenly.
Without cleaning, reheat the frying pan you used to fry the bacon. In batches, brown the lamb in the reserved bacon fat. If you run out of fat, use some vegetable oil.
3) Transfer the browned meat to a 10-quart stovetop casserole, leaving about 1/4 cup of fat in the frying pan. Add the garlic and the chopped yellow onion to the pan and sauté until the onion begins to color a bit. Add the garlic-onion mixture to the casserole, along with the reserved bacon pieces, beef stock, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the lamb is tender.
4) Add the carrots, the sliced onions, potatoes, thyme, bay leaf, and wine to the pot and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Taste test and add salt and pepper as needed. Top with the parsley garnish before serving.

Persian Roast Chicken

While this Roast Chicken recipe is not officially a traditional Persian dish, the combination of saffron and citrus (two ingredients vital to the country’s complex cuisine) infuses the simple roasted chicken with bursting flavors. Indeed a simple dish that does wonders!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 yellow or Spanish onion (peeled, trimmed, halved, and sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons water (warm)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling on the chicken​)
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 clementines
  • 3 1/2- to 5-pound roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt (or sea salt)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cumin


1) Preheat the oven to 450 F. Spread the onion slices in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the warm water in a small bowl. Rub the saffron threads between your fingers to crush them and add to the water. Set aside.
2) Place the olive oil in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Juice the lemons and clementines, and add the juices to the oil. Set aside the lemon rinds, and discard the clementine rinds. Remove any giblets and the neck from the chicken, and pluck any pin feathers. Rinse inside and out with cold water, and pat dry. Place the chicken breast up on top of the onions.
3) Stuff the cavity with the lemon rinds. Drizzle the chicken with a little olive oil and massage it over the skin with clean hands. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with a pinch of kosher or sea salt, cinnamon, and cumin, and rub the spices all over the skin.​
4) Add the saffron water to the oil and citrus juice mixture. Whisk to emulsify, and pour evenly over the chicken. Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
5) Lower the temperature to 425 F. Continue roasting, basting it until cooked through, about 50 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, depending on its size. When done, the juices will run clear, the leg will wiggle freely, and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh will register 160 F/71 C. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest before carving.

Easter Pie

The Italian Easter Pie is like no other. It’s loaded to the brim with mouthwatering cold meats, sweet and tangy roasted red peppers, spinach, and chunks of melted mozzarella goodness! Check this recipe out and add the dish to your Easter brunch choices.

What You’ll Need:

For the Crust:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cubed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 7 tablespoons ice water

For the Filling:

  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (shredded or cubed)
  • 4 large eggs (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces salami (cubed)
  • 4 ounces prosciutto (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup roasted red bell peppers (whole)
  • 20 ounces frozen spinach (chopped)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese


1) Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 F.
2) Cook the Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break up the sausage as it cooks and cook it until it’s cooked through and browned. Set it aside and allow it to cool.
3) Whisk together the ricotta, mozzarella cheese, 3 of the eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl until blended thoroughly. Stir the cubed salami into the egg mixture.
4) On a floured surface, roll out one of the crusts into a large 16-inch circle. Lay the curst carefully into an 8-inch springform pan and gently press into the bottom. Leave about an inch of dough hanging over the edge of the pan and trim any excess.
5) Layer the prosciutto slices into the bottom of the crust. Spread the ricotta mixture in an even layer over the top of the prosciutto. Sprinkle the top of the ricotta mixture with the cooked Italian sausage and press down to create an even layer.
6) Layer the red bell peppers over the sausage. Top with spinach and Parmesan cheese.
7) Roll out the second pie crust into another circle. This one can be smaller, more like 12 inches. Place the top crust over the top of the pie and crimp the bottom and top crusts together, sealing the pie. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl. Cut four long cuts into the top of the pie and brush the crush with the egg wash.
8) Bake on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the internal temperature has reached 150 F. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool for at least three hours before cutting. You can also cool it completely and place it in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Italian Easter Bread

Do you want a world-class version of your favorite Easter bread? Try this Italian-American family’s traditional Easter bread recipe that’s rich, aromatic, and a perfect side to your viands!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup water (100 F)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons anise extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)


1) Gather the ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water with a small pinch of sugar. Let sit 10 minutes until foamy. After 10 minutes, whisk in the remaining sugar, milk, eggs, anise seeds, anise extract, lemon extract, lemon zest, salt, oil, and melted butter. Combine well by hand, with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer.
2) Once everything is well combined, mix in the flour, one cup at a time, to form a wet, sticky dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding flour to keep the dough from sticking to the surface. Knead until you form a smooth and elastic dough.
3) Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Lightly oil up the surface of the dough, and cover the bowl with a damp towel. Place in the oven with the light on (but no heat). The dough needs to rise until doubled in size, which will take between 6 to 12 hours. The dough is slow-rising and can be left overnight without fear of it expanding so much that it runs over the bowl.
4) When doubled, punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface; divide into four pieces. Take one dough piece and cut it into three strips. Braid it, form it into a circle, then place wreath loaves on a silicone mat or parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover very loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let rise for 2 hours.
5) Heat oven to 350 F. Once loaves have risen, bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer registers 190 F to 200 F. Remove and cool on wire racks.

Potatoes Grand Mére

Do you want a cheesy, rich recipe for your Easter dinner this year? Try this Potatoes Grand Mére recipe, a combination of tender potatoes, heavy cream, mustard, garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese, a great side to compliment your main protein, thanks to its creaminess and umami flavor.

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 russet potatoes (about 6 1/2 pounds peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)


1) Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 F. Layer the sliced potatoes in a greased 9×13-inch glass baking dish and season with the salt and white pepper to taste.
2) Combine the cream, milk, mustard, garlic, and butter in a heavy saucepan and heat just to the boiling point over medium-high heat, stirring frequently with a wire whisk.
3) Pour the hot cream mixture over the potatoes. Cover the casserole dish and bake for 1 hour. Remove the cover and evenly top the potatoes with the grated Parmesan cheese.
4) Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes longer or until the cheese is golden brown, the casserole is bubbling, and the potatoes are tender.

Purple Cabbage Salad

Are you looking for a refreshing appetizer for your Easter dinner? Look no further! Try this Purple Cabbage Salad, and keep things light and easy (the vibrant colors add character to the table, too!).

What You’ll Need:

For the Salad:

  • 16 ounces cabbage (purple, shredded)
  • 1/3 cup scallions (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 carrots (julienned, or 1 (8-ounce) bag shredded carrots)
  • 1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges (reserving liquid)
  • 1 to 2 handfuls dried cranberries (can be sweetened kind)

For the Dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (fine sea salt)
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon juice (from reserved mandarin orange liquid)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon chicken consomme powder (parve)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


1) Gather the ingredients. Place the cabbage, scallions, pine nuts, carrots, oranges and cranberries into a large Ziploc bag. Set aside.
2) In a jar or cruet, mix the brown sugar, pepper, salt, vinegar, reserved liquid from the oranges, oil, consomme powder, and garlic powder. Close and shake until thoroughly mixed. Pour over the salad. Refrigerate to let the flavors mix for at least 1 hour. Can prepare early in the day.

Social Media Post:

Are you running out of ideas🥴 for your Easter dinner🐰 menu? We’ve got you!💪 Let’s continue with the Easter traditions🥚 with these nine traditional Easter dinner recipes! 🧑‍🍳This spread will surely impress the family!🙌❣️

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