As intentional as I am with traditions and holidays, Easter is my wild card. Our family doesn’t have one set thing that we do every year for Easter. Each year looks a little bit different, and I am surprisingly fine with this arrangement.
Despite not having a set Easter tradition, there are a few common Easter threads that our family holds to from year to year. We get dressed up. We attend church. We do Easter baskets. We eat a meal. The details and specifics shift, but these are our pillars.
Today, I am sharing ideas for a delicious Easter menu. Regardless of the other variables, I do love a celebratory meal, and Easter in particular offers a large selection of options. Breakfast, brunch, or lunch? Ham or not ham? Traditional or modern? So many choices.
If you attend church services on Easter morning, you know the challenges that ensue from trying to serve a lunch-time meal after being gone for most of the morning. This is tricky logistical territory, but the good news is most of the menu items I am sharing today are make-ahead-friendly.
THE MAIN EVENTS.
Every menu needs an anchor dish (or two) to set the foundation for the other items that will be served. If you are leaning towards breakfast or brunch, Bread-Free Breakfast Casserole is a great place to begin. Obviously ham is a standard main dish, and if you choose to serve ham, I would like to suggest Ina’s recipe or Alison’s. Both are outstanding.
For other options, Hot Hammies bridge the gap between brunch and lunch beautifully, and if you are open to new ideas, might I suggest Chicken and Waffles? I served this last year (using the chicken from Ina’s Fried Chicken Sandwiches), and it was an instant hit.
Once you have established your main dish, it’s time to round out the plate with a selection of side dishes that pair well with your main dish choice and provide a collection of tastes, colors, and textures.
In my book, Deviled Eggs are non-negotiable at the Easter table.
If you are leaning towards brunch, Baked French Toast or Blueberry Breakfast Bread are both lovely sweet options. Hashed Brown Casserole goes equally well with ham or eggs.
And to finish out the plate, choose something fresh like a selection of fresh fruit, a beautiful vegetable tray with Elevated Ranch Dip, or a Sharp Green Salad.
Is it even a celebration meal without dessert? I think not. The Easter meal is the perfect setting for an inaugural spring baked good featuring a seasonal flavor or ingredient.
Lemon Cake is a lovely place to start. Strawberry Pretzel Parfaits are beautiful and easily made ahead.
If you are feeling festively ambitious, Ina’s Coconut Cake is a fun centerpiece when enhanced with marshmallow peeps. I love carrot cake at Easter, even though it has warmer flavors, and for an added festive touch, I like to decorate the top with Easter candy.
Finally, Pistachio Bundt Cake is interesting, easy, and delicious.
Regardless of what you serve, embrace the lightness of the season by adding pastel touches to your table, a casual arrangement of spring blooms, and an appreciation for the beginning of spring!
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