26 easy recipes for Easter dinner
After a busy week, no one really feels like spending hours in the kitchen preparing an Easter feast, but eating a handful of chocolate eggs and beans doesn’t sound good either. These easy Easter recipes, most of which come together in an hour or less, are for those of us who are tired of cooking (or just plain tired), but still want to celebrate deliciously. (And yes, we’ve also included some easy drinks and desserts: without them, holiday dinner is just a meal.)
This 15-minute salmon dish from Kay Chun is like a spring afternoon on a silver platter. While the salmon is roasting, peas and radishes simmer on the stove in a light sauce of brown butter, capers, miso and mustard. And readers love it: “My husband rated this company ‘good,’” said Nav.
The earthy sweetness of carrots and the spicy crunch of crunchy chiles play beautifully in this vegetarian risotto from Alexa Weibel. Grated carrots are stirred into creamy risotto, while carrots coated in chili oil are roasted in the oven until tender. You can grate the carrots on a box grater, but if you have a food processor, this is a good time to take them out.
recipe: Carrot Risotto with Chili Crisp
Keep it classic with a dessert everyone loves, like Nancy Harmon Jenkins’ shortbread recipe. Strawberries are the obvious choice, but any ripe, juicy fruit will be fun.
If roast lamb usually graces your Easter table, but you’re looking for a more casual recipe this year, this pretty noodle dish from Kai Chun is an impressive choice. It combines ground lamb with spinach, peas, and lemon for a spring version of bianco bolognese, or white bolognese.
recipe: Spring spaghetti bolognese with lamb and peas
Leave your blender in the cupboard: This moist, refreshing carrot cake from Yossi Al-Arifi comes together in one bowl. Some readers added chopped crystallized ginger and ground ginger for a little kick, and if you run out of carrots, you can replace some of the carrots with grated apple or sweet potato.
recipe: Carrot loaf cake with a tangy lemon topping
Roasting a piece of lamb may seem intimidating, but if you have a meat thermometer, it’s hard to screw up this recipe from Jonathan Reynolds. You need lamb, salt, pepper, olive oil and rosemary, which means the true flavor of the meat shines through.
Raise your glass to spring with this refreshing five-ingredient wine cooler—remember those? — By Rebecca Pepler. All you need is a bottle of rose, lemon juice, soda water, and fresh thyme sprigs. One reader made a batch of these in a jug, allowing the thyme sprigs to sit in the mixture for a few minutes before straining it. It was such a hit she had to make a second batch.
recipe: Rosie Kohler
Readers have been enchanted by David Tanis’s bright and comforting lemon pudding from Irish pastry chef JR Ryall. As they bake, they separate into two completely different layers: the custard on the bottom, and the spongy on top.
recipe: Baked lemon pudding
Great news: This amazing vegan tart from Sue Li is made with store-bought puff pastry, so it comes together in an hour. It calls for carrots—use rainbow carrots if you can find them—but it also works with onions, parsnips, beets, zucchini, or pumpkin.
recipe: Carrot tart with ricotta and feta
Hetty McKinnon adds charred scallions and green beans to a pile of humble ramen noodles, turning it into a holiday-worthy meal. If you can get your hands on ramps, use those instead of green onions; It’s a nice nod to the season.
recipe: Vegetarian ramen with charred scallions, green beans and chile oil
Here’s another simple option for those in the Easter lamb camp: This Alison Roman recipe involves quick-cooking fillets with plenty of black pepper and fennel seeds, then serving them with cool, crunchy cucumbers, fennel, and garlic. Leek salad. Serve alongside roasted potatoes for a hearty meal.
Yes, it’s another carrot cake, but this cake from Yewande Komolafe is exceptional. They’re brought together in a blender – flour, carrots, oil, sugar and eggs – and covered in a glaze of brigadeiro, made from condensed milk and cocoa powder.
recipe: carrot cake
This Colo Henri recipe takes grilled chicken to another level with minimal effort. Simply mix grapefruit juice, honey, curry powder, and thyme and drizzle the mixture over the chicken before putting it in the oven. One reader cleverly added fingerling potatoes and whole garlic cloves to the pan during the last 30 minutes of cooking for a clever side dish.
recipe: Curried grilled chicken with grapefruit, honey and thyme
Kalbi jjim is a long braised, salty, sweet Korean short rib and vegetable dish traditionally made for special occasions, but in this version of kaechun, an electric pressure cooker makes it possible to prepare it in just over an hour. Make a bowl of rice, and you’ll have a great meal.
recipe: Kalbi jjim pressure cooker
Ali Slagle’s Lemon Orzo with Asparagus has over 2,000 five-star reviews, so you know it’s going to be good. Serve as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish to grilled chicken, pork, or lamb.
recipe: Lemon orzo with asparagus and garlic bread crumbs
It’s rhubarb season, and Mark Bittman’s five-star crispy casserole is a great way to cook with it. You can substitute the strawberries for some rhubarb if you like this traditional combination.
Start this traditional Sunday sauce from Ali Slagle while the kids hunt for eggs or rummage through their Easter baskets, and you’ll have a bowl of rich, deeply flavored sauce and tender, crumbly meat by early evening. Serve over pasta or polenta and a basket of good bread. (Find the fireplace version here.)
recipe: Sunday sauce in the slow cooker
“Loudalmite, that was delicious!” One reader wrote about Samantha Seneviratne’s 25-Minute Salty and Sweet Pork Chops. What more can be said? Serve over creamy polenta and alongside something crunchy and green like steamed asparagus or snap peas.
recipe: Bacon slices with puffed grapes
Eggs may be the only thing that makes it Easter-worthy, but for the truly jaded, we’re serving up Mark Bittman Pasta with Fried Eggs. All you need is spaghetti, four eggs, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan. Sprinkle with fresh spring herbs for a little color.
recipe: Spaghetti and fried eggs
Colo Henry’s Warm Vegetable Bean Salad is, as one reader said, “a perfect spring dish.” Creamy beans, salty miso, radishes, arugula, and tangy citrus work together for a perfectly balanced party on a plate. You can also make it with chickpeas if that’s what you have on hand.
recipe: White beans with radish, miso and greens
This super easy Citrus Custard Pie and Salty Biscuit Pie is named after a lazy beach town located on the barrier islands of North Carolina. I’ve adapted it from Bill Smith—the chef at Crook’s Corner, a Chapel Hill, N.C., restaurant that specializes in Southern comfort food—and a favorite of many readers. Ritz crackers work on the crust too.
With over 9,000 five-star reviews, this egg, tomato, and red pepper dish from Melissa Clark is a surefire hit. Serve it as brunch or as a vegetarian dinner, always with good bread.
recipe: Shakshuka with feta
Ali Slagle’s 15-Minute Vegan Chocolate Pudding is inspired by a recipe from cookbook author Alice Medrich, where she uses cocoa powder and chocolate to create depth of flavor. Sprinkle the finished pudding with flaky sea salt, cinnamon or chili powder, or top with whipped non-dairy toppings and colorful sprinkles.
recipe: Milk chocolate and oat pudding
French potato salad is delicious served at any temperature, and this salad from William Norwich is a great accompaniment to any grilled meat or chicken. Bonus: The flavors get better and more complex over time, so this is the perfect side to prepare.
recipe: Potato salad with Dijon sauce
This recipe from Martha Rose Shulman calls for you to make a simple shrimp broth, but skip it if you don’t have time and substitute chicken or vegetable broth. If you are using frozen peas, skip the boiling in Step 3, and only add them in Step 4 according to the instructions. The dish is served over mounds of fluffy white rice.
recipe: Garlic shrimp with peas
“Husband says this is the best roast ever!” one reader wrote. It takes a good eight hours to cook this, but the prep is minimal and it cooks for a long time in the slow cooker, so you can leave the house to enjoy the warm weather. When you return, sunny and windy, dinner will be ready.