Easter is one of the most joyous occasions for Christians, as it marks Jesus’ resurrection and symbolizes salvation. It is preceded by the Lenten season when most people fast and make personal sacrifices. Thus, the holiday feast takes on a more profound significance, encouraging people to expend more effort and put out the best dishes.
Hence, Easter dinner tables are packed with the most delectable goodies, from mouthwatering hams to jam-packed casseroles. Planning the menu can be perplexing, but allow this article to give you a hand. With 26 delicious, holiday-perfect Easter side dishes, you won’t run out of options.
Most intimate family dinners feature dinner rolls, but for a special celebration like Easter, you’d have to switch it up by serving hot cross buns. These sweet and fragrant buns are named so because they’re marked with distinct, light-colored crosses. They have light and fluffy textures, similar to dinner rolls. They’re traditionally served during Easter or Good Friday and can be enjoyed as a snack, dessert, or side dish.
While hot cross buns are famous worldwide, certain cultures prefer their traditional Easter bread. For instance, the Italians have pane di pasqua, a braided treat often compared to challah. This Italian Easter bread stands out for its fun look: golden dough decked with sprinkles and a colored egg nestled in the center. It’s especially fitting when you’re hosting an Easter egg-hunting party, don’t you think?
To complete the Easter bread roster, check out this recipe for resurrection rolls. They’re named so because the core of the bread is hollow, similar to Jesus’ tomb three days after his death. It’s simple yet profound and also a fun way to teach students about the holiday’s meaning. If you’re curious about how the open center is made, that’s achieved by wrapping a crescent roll around a spiced marshmallow.
Asparagus is such a popular veggie side dish that it’s still served during Easter. But while you can get away with simple, classic recipes like roasted, steamed, or meat-wrapped spears, the specialness of the holiday might encourage you to elevate to puff pastry-wrapped asparagus rolls. Despite their sophisticated and delish look, these rolls are easy and quick to make. In fact, you’ll have it ready in ten minutes!
There’s no holiday feast without a heartwarming starter or side soup; for Easter, the choice is usually asparagus soup. It’s silky and indulgent, which is especially impressive when you realize this soup has no heavy cream! Instead, the recipe calls only for asparagus, butter, spices, seasonings, chicken broth, lemon juice, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Once you’ve turned those ingredients into a hearty, verdant soup, serve it with your favorite Easter bread!
If asparagus soup doesn’t match your tastes, you may prefer this carrot ginger soup. It’s as brightly colored as the former, albeit with striking orange hues. Its textures and flavors are similarly rich; however, unlike asparagus soup, this carrot ginger soup has a thickening dairy: sour cream. You can also swap it for coconut milk to keep the recipe vegan. Regardless of which you use, they’re delicious.
Radishes are an Easter symbol; thus, expect this holiday’s feast to feature several radish dishes. One example is this miso butter roasted radishes. Miso is a Japanese ingredient, so it’s often used in Asian cuisine. However, this recipe teaches you that it isn’t all it is good for. By coating and dotting your veggies with miso butter, you cover them with an irresistible complex of umami, buttery, and salty flavors.
Easter follows spring’s arrival, so the occasion also heralds the beginning of a new season. The timing is consistent with Easter’s message of resurrection or fresh starts. Thus, isn’t it fitting to celebrate by serving the season’s delectable produce? This roasted spring vegetables recipe features spring’s bounty, like russet potatoes, carrots, asparagus, radishes, and parsnips, creating a colorful, flavorful, and crisp-tender medley.
These Moroccan roasted carrots start like most glazed carrot recipes: coat veggies with flavorings and oil, then cook them. The caramelized brown sugar combined with the carrots’ natural sugars results in deep, sweet flavors that most recipes end at. This recipe takes it further by tossing the roasted carrots in a dressing made from orange juice, chili peppers, cumin, and cinnamon, thus resulting in an incredible layering of flavors.
Scalloped and au gratin potatoes are the traditional potato side dish for Easter. Meanwhile, Hasselback potatoes are their popular alternative. Thus, if you want to bring together tradition and innovation, make these scalloped Hasselback potatoes. They’re as indulgent and cheesy as the classic scalloped recipes, but take advantage of the sophisticated and beautiful form of Hasselback potatoes. Thus, you lock down on both looks and taste when you serve this.
These duchess potatoes also elevate a classic potato side dish into an elegant affair. In this case, the classic dish is mashed potatoes, which are usually carelessly ladled to serve. At best, some smear them on plates to make plating streaks. In this recipe, you’re doing neither of those; instead, you’ll be piping the potatoes so they come out with gorgeous forms you’d only often associate with cookies and frosting.
Au gratin, the fancier counterpart of scalloped potatoes, is also a popular Easter treat. Au gratin recipes usually use potatoes only; however, this one won’t even have potatoes! Instead, you’ll use sweet potatoes, parsnips, and beets, thus resulting in an eye-catching contrast of colors. Besides the aesthetics, the flavors are also incredible – a luxurious combination of butter, heavy cream, gruyere, and parmesan.
Creamed spinach forms a great tandem with holiday meats because of its indulgent flavors, tender textures, and exquisite nutrients. Thus, with the Easter table hardly running out of meaty main courses, you should consider making this spinach casserole. It’s the party-friendly version of creamed spinach, as you make more portions than single-serve recipes. However, it also stands out for its cracker crumb topping, which contrasts the tender, leafy spinach.
Many other veggies make great casserole side dishes, like broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. But for this recipe, you’ll use squash and zucchini; you can also stick to squash only. Those two veggies are cut into circles, stacked in the casserole dish, and covered with cheese, similar to scalloped or au gratin potatoes. The resulting elegant aesthetic matches the dish’s sophisticated and bright flavors.
Stuffing side dishes are usually reserved for Thanksgiving feasts, as it began as a partner to roasted turkey. However, that only makes your Easter table more unique when you choose this pineapple stuffing! It’s highly recommended with Easter ham, as the sweet flavors complement the meat, especially when hot and fresh. Moreover, you’ll need only white bread, sugar, butter, and pineapple chunks to make it!
16. Carrot Souffle
When you hear “soufflé,” poofed-up desserts in ramekins are the first thing on your mind. However, there are big-dish soufflés that make incredible holiday sides, like this carrot soufflé. This bright orange delicacy is recommended with ham, chicken, or meat. It’s cooked in a large oven dish, so you won’t have to make it in individual ramekins. But if you prefer the latter, go for it!
If you’re hosting an Easter party attended by adults and kids, thinking of a pasta dish that suits the main courses and would be loved by everyone is challenging. However, this is an excellent suggestion: baked mac and cheese. Admittedly, it doesn’t sound fancy for a feast, but kids and adults love it, so there’s no picking. Also, it’s excellent with ham, which you probably have on your Easter menu already.
Eggs aren’t just for hunting and hiding during Easter; they’re also great on the dinner table! However, you need a special recipe – not just boiled eggs or whatnot. Deviled eggs are the usual choice, but even with that, you need to up the ante and make these deviled egg chicks. They taste just as good but look much more adorable – kids and adults would be all over them!
Asparagus tart with goat cheese and mushrooms sounds like a luxury treat reserved for the grandest occasions. But once you peek at the recipe, you’ll find it isn’t so hard or time-consuming to make! You’ll be using puff pastry instead of made-from-scratch dough, thus saving so much time and effort. Most of the work is on ensuring the toppings taste and look incredible and fancy!
These puff pastry vegetable tarts have three main elements: veggies, goat cheese mixture, and puff pastry. The first one needs zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, and shallots. Meanwhile, the goat cheese mixture has parmesan, lemon zest, basil, thyme, and garlic. Once you’ve got them arranged and baked on puff pastry squares, each tart comes out looking like edible and sophisticated mini-paintings that taste as good as they look.
There’s no better way to impress holiday guests than by making this gorgeous and delicious zucchini galette. Such a fantastic look is achieved by the folded-over golden crust that accentuates the green and white filling. However, this dish takes more time and effort than other pastry treats. You’ll make the dough and filling by scratch, then assemble them carefully before baking. But is it worth it? We both know that it does.
These mini chicken pot pies make a great addition to the Easter dinner menu. Guests can grab one and eat it as a side dish. They can also have it as a snack. However, if you’re feeding a crowd, it can take time to shape and fill each pie. So depending on how much effort you’re willing to expend, you might want to reserve this recipe for intimate Easter celebrations.
The classic seven-layer salad is the go-to recipe for get-togethers. There are many reasons for its popularity, which include the fact that it’s easy to make for a large crowd. You fill each layer in a large, see-through container, chill briefly, and then let the people grab their fill. Moreover, there’s so much room for customization. You can switch up layers, change ingredients, or add toppings!
This side salad calls for five ingredients only: Easter egg radishes, carrots, olive oil, salt, and crumbled parmesan. Thus, it’s an excellent choice for those who need an effortless and quick side dish. However, don’t underestimate it – fast and easy doesn’t mean it’s any less than fancy, complicated recipes. This dish is an attractive medley of colors, crisp textures, and fresh, savory flavors, so it’s impressive even on its own.
This spring pasta salad doesn’t taste and look like your classic pasta salad. It uses casarecce, a short-twisted and folded pasta shell, over the usual rotini or fusilli. Moreover, popular salad veggies like cucumbers or tomatoes aren’t included. Instead, there are sugar snap peas, shallots, mint leaves, and radishes. The dressing is also a unique blend of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors from honey, shallots, mustard, lemon, salt, and pepper.
26. Citrus Salad
This citrus salad is what you need to brighten up your Easter feast menu. It has four types of oranges: cara cara, blood, navel, and tangelos. All of them are bursting with sweet and sour juices, but, at the same time, they also contribute unique notes and tastes that make the salad more interesting. Besides the oranges, there are avocados, beets, goat cheese, pistachios, and a homemade, citrusy dressing.