Easter is a time for celebration for Christians around the world. But Easter also provides those of us in the Northern Hemisphere the opportunity to celebrate springtime in all of its glory. The traditional Easter dinner is the ideal meal to showcase nature’s brightest colors and spring’s freshest ingredients after a long dreary winter. The only question you’ll need to decide is whether your traditional Easter dinner is based around ham or lamb. Once you’ve figured that out, choose the menu, from the two options below, that fits your family’s Easter dinner tradition.
Setting the Stage for a Traditional Easter Dinner
As you begin to plan your Easter table decorations, choose your favorite springtime pastel color and build layers of it on your table. Is it shades of pink? Yellow? Blue? Green? Orange? After you’ve made that decision start with table linens, both cloth and napkins, in a shade of that color. Mix in a white or other neutral color for contrast in your dinnerware or decorations. Use any or all of the following decorative accents, depending on the size of your table.
- Tulip, daffodil, pansies, or other spring flower arrangements in vases, or planted in baskets arrayed down your dinner table or buffet. As beautiful as hyacinths are, be careful if you use them that they aren’t too powerfully scented for your dinner table.
- Clear glass bowls filled with jelly beans in your selected color.
- Baskets that have either real planted grass in them, or artificial Easter grass laid in them, and filled with Easter eggs that have been dyed in shades of your chosen color.
Ham Menu for a Traditional Easter Dinner
Easter Bunny Cocktail- Begin your Easter dinner with a special themed cocktail for the grownups.
Best Deviled Eggs - This deviled egg recipe will kick off your party on a spicy note.
Strawberry Spinach Salad - Serve a salad that makes the most of one of the first fruit crops of the season.
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze - This classic recipe for a baked ham is perfect for a large holiday crowd.
Sauteed Baby Artichokes - We’ve always enjoyed artichokes at our holiday meals. The tender, baby variety are an extra special treat.
Farro Spring Salad- This quick grain salad includes several spring vegetables and can be made in advance.
Carrot Pecan Layer Cake - Pay a tribute to the Easter bunny’s favorite snack with this delicious carrot cake.
Lamb Menu for a Traditional Easter Dinner
Easter Egg Cocktail- Leave the chocolate eggs to the kids while the adults enjoy their own sweet treat to kick off Easter dinner.
Tortilla Espanola - This Spanish egg based tapa is a delicious appetizer to kick off your Easter dinner.
Mixed Baby Greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette - This salad uses your basic baby green mix you can find at the supermarket, but if you’re a home gardener, you may be lucky enough to have your own lettuce greens for this starter salad.
Stuffed Leg of Lamb - This recipe from Emeril Lagasse has the lamb marinating for eight hours prior to cooking, resulting in a moist and flavorful roast.
Pea Puree - The bright green color of this side dish will look beautiful on your plate, plus the fresh mint in the recipe will be an excellent accompaniment to your lamb.
Roasted Potatoes - Use small, new potatoes in this recipe if you can find them.
Chocolate Cheesecake - At the end of the Lenten season, everyone will welcome a decadent cake like this for dessert.