Easter Menu Ideas

Whether you're the type of host who plans the party weeks ahead or thrills at whipping up a feast at the last minute, we've got all of the Easter menu ideas you'll need to entertain in style. From hot cross buns to maple glazed ham and coconut cupcakes, our archives are packed with reliable, tasty recipes for all your Easter favorites. Dealing with dietary restrictions? Not a problem: choose from one of our festive and flavorful vegetarian Easter menus or gluten free Easter menus (all of which are so enticing, everyone will want to dig in!) Not sure what to pair with that ham or leg of lamb? Take a browse through our archive of seasonal side dishes, from a creamy cauliflower gratin, to garlicky sauteed green beans, or bright and crunchy radish and citrus salad. Of course, it wouldn't be a Easter without some treats! Fill up their dessert plates with bunny-shaped cookies, perfect pound cakes, tart lemon bars, or more—we've got dozens of great ideas for Easter cakes, cupcakes, bars, and cookies.

Carrot-Celery Slaw With Yogurt Dressing

For a healthy take on coleslaw, we developed a yogurt dressing recipe for this crunchy salad. A blend of plain yogurt, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, and salt coats the shredded carrots and celery stalks. Fresh chives garnish the easy dish, which makes for a great lightened-up side dish to burgers or barbecue chicken sandwiches. Next time the kids request hot dogs for dinner, you can agree with a smile, and put this simple salad on the side to work a some vegetables into the meal. And since this dish lacks the typical mayonnaise-laden dressing, leftovers keep well in the fridge—perfect for a fresh salad the next day.

Honeyed Carrots and Oranges

Glazed with honey and slow-roasted in the oven, this carrot side dish proves a pretty sweet way to eat your vegetables. We used whole small baby carrots—and we don’t mean the little nubs you buy in a bag. Look for miniature carrots at the farmers market or grocery, or opt for regular carrots, peeled and trimmed and cut into thin, long sticks. You’ll toss the carrots and sliced orange with olive oil, honey, salt and pepper, than roast for just about 30 minutes. The versatile finished dish works well alongside chicken, steak, and turkey, and while it feels fit for a special occasion, the dish is simple enough to make anytime.

Glazed Ham With Coriander and Fennel

This is a ham glaze recipe you’ll want to keep tucked away for special suppers. The resulting ham slices have a sweet and savory flavor guests can’t quite pinpoint; in other words, this method is wildly different than the countless brown sugar and maple glazes out there. We used dried fennel and coriander seeds, along with whole black peppercorns and apricot preserves. Simply crush the seeds and peppercorns and stir them with the jam to form a spreadable glaze, which you’ll brush over the ham during its final stretch in the oven. Serve the ham with the remaining glaze on the side.

Brown Sugar and Black Pepper Glazed Ham

We took the idea behind a standard brown sugar ham glaze and amped it up a notch, with a bit of dry mustard and black pepper. The result? Not too sweet, not too spicy, and bursting with flavor. After brushing this glaze over your ham about 30 minutes before it’s completely cooked (and repeating the glazing process with the pan juices during the remaining cooking time), you’ll make a tender, juicy ham that’ll satisfy lovers of your tradition but also surprise and delight guests with a more sophisticated palate. All told, this ham takes just under three hours to bake, so you have plenty of time to prepare sides, as well.

Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato, and Pomegranate Seed Salad

With cubed, roasted sweet potato and crunchy, juicy pomegranate seeds, this salad will make you forget your wintertime woes. Sure, we might be missing the big green salads and ripe tomatoes of summer, but this entrée salad’s got it all: A base of thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, toasted pecans, salty and dry ricotta cheese, and, of course, the aforementioned stars of the show. The salad itself is so flavorful, it needs only a light homemade vinaigrette of olive oil, sherry vinegar, and a bit of salt and pepper. Come colder months, it feels great to bite into something so fresh.

Charred Brussels Sprouts Salad

This warm Brussels sprouts salad makes a hearty, healthy side dish. The tiny cabbages have certainly staged a comeback, but pickier eaters aren’t likely to dive into roasted Brussels sprouts on their own. To combat that problem, we tried roasting the vegetables with under a hot broiler alongside thinly sliced radishes and tart apple slices. After less than 10 minutes in the oven, you’ll squeeze some lemon juice over the dish and sprinkle a bit of shaved Parmesan over the whole thing. The result is a savory and sweet, bitter and tart warm “salad” everyone at the table will love.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes With Thyme

For a subtle twist on tradition, these Scalloped Sweet Potatoes actually blend one pound of sweet potatoes and one pound of russets. So the result is a mostly savory, creamy side—with a richer flavor and a touch of sweetness. To cut way down on prep time, we used a food processor outfitted with the thinnest slicing disk to slice the potatoes. Spread those slices out in a baking dish with garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper, then submerge the mixture in heavy cream. The half-and-half potatoes soak up the cream as they bake in the oven for nearly an hour. No cheese necessary.

Maple-Glazed Carrots

While this simple recipe for cooked carrots practically screams fall, it’s just as tasty and nutritious any time of year. The sweet, tender Mapled-Glazed Carrots will prove a favorite for the whole family, and they’re a sly, smart way to get a little color on picky eaters’ plates. What’s not to love? After peeling (or scrubbing) and slicing the carrots, you’ll throw them in a skillet with syrup, butter, and a bit of water and salt and pepper. The mixture caramelizes over the stove and the liquid reduces a bit, into a thick, subtly sweet glaze. Have the kids help peel the carrots while you get the rest of the meal started!

Buttered Leeks and Radishes

This leeks recipe will have you rethinking your go-to vegetable side dishes. Shake that green-salad rut—or shelve the standard broccoli or green-bean side—in favor of our French-inflected Buttered Leeks and Radishes. The dish comes together in half an hour, and involves little more than chopping and sautéing. When shopping for leeks, look for firm, straight stalks with white bases that give way to dark green leaves. Store the onion-like vegetable unwashed in the refrigerator, and wash chopped leeks thoroughly in cold water before cooking them. This preparation, which gets a touch of decadence from butter and chicken broth, doesn’t disappoint.

Horseradish Potato Gratin

This preparation of au gratin potatoes eschews cheese in favor of spicy horseradish. Trust us, you won’t mix the extra dairy (or calories). And better yet? Set aside just 10 minutes to chop and prep, then let the oven do the rest of the work. You won’t believe how easy it is: First, butter a casserole dish, then combine the remaining five ingredients in a bowl before pressing it into the pan. Bake for 25 minutes with foil covering the dish, then another hour or so without the foil. Serve with a meaty main and a green salad or vegetable for a hearty, comforting meal.