For several households, ham is completely compatible with Easter meals recipes, which is why it is always the centerpiece of the Easter dinner or lunch table.
However, ham is not the only main ingredient or dish that is worth trying for such an occasion, which is why this list of 10 Easter food ideas and recipes doesn’t include any ham-based meals.
In fact, in many households, ham is no longer preferred for an Easter dinner with friends and family and is considered old-fashioned and boring.
So, instead of opting for ham dishes, they have replaced them with new family favorites and Easter meal ideas that include things like salmon and lamb chops.
There are others who decide to cook some pasta dishes or even cook a traditional casserole (check out our favorite vegetable casserole recipes) and stews that they can enjoy with their guests.
No matter what they decide to choose, ham is simply not to be missed as there are tons of alternatives that are way more satisfying.
If you want to make a change this year and cook something other than ham for your Easter feast, keep on reading below to check out some amazingly delicious Easter dinner meal ideas and recipes you can cook!
Fresh salmon fillets marinated in a soy mixture with herbs and green onions and then put on the grill on the cedar planks. Sounds fancy, right?
Since it is marinated in soy, its taste does resemble a teriyaki salmon recipe so the rice can be a great side for this dish. Apart from rice, it can also be served with pan-fried or steamed broccoli or even some green salad.
You can try this Cedar Planked Salmon recipe if you wish to.
Lamb is just about as popular at Easter as ham, and it is frequently the favored Easter meal main dish outside of the United States. Add some mint-orange sauce to it and you’ve got another mouth-watering dish for Easter time.
This rendition of a traditional grilled lamb has a lot more flavor and aromas than you’d think. Lamb loin chops are marinated in a mixture of herbs (preferably Italian, Greek, or French blends) and then grilled to perfection.
To get the recipe, click here.
When thinking of Easter meals, you might consider pasta to be irrelevant, but you are far from right. Not only are pasta dishes easy to make, but they are also suitable for all occasions, especially for Easter when in some countries it might be a bit warm.
Moreover, pasta dishes typically provide you with more than enough portions, and with this recipe of white cheese chicken lasagna, you will definitely need them.
Adding a twist to the traditional lasagna recipe your family loves, it will become your new all-time favorite.
No, chicken is not only a Christmas meal. And even if you consider it as such but enjoy it too much to only have it then, why not make a juicy roasted chicken for Easter too?
While you might already have a recipe for that, there are some tricks that can help you make the juiciest roasted chicken ever. So, if you’ve cooked chicken before but felt like the juices were enough, this recipe will make up for that.
If you think that there’s nothing that can top a chicken pot pie, think twice. A chicken pot pie inside a crispy puff pastry is going to take your chicken to a whole other level!
This spring vegetable tart appears to be difficult to make but would make an excellent centerpiece for all sorts of special occasions. Simply place it on the table a tiny bit earlier so that all your guests can get their Insta moment captured.
If you only have a few people invited over for Easter lunch or dinner, cook some simple and unique dishes. Instead of being basic, substitute a light, fresh spring pasta for a meaty Easter meal main course.
An asparagus carbonara dish is light, delicious, and simple to make.
While you might be used to adding mustard to the pork marinade, the addition of horseradish and cayenne pepper makes the G.O.A.T (aka greatest of all time) of pork tenderloin recipes. Or at least the most devilishly good one!
The tenderloin is fried for a bit before it’s put in the oven. The sauce is cooked until thick and then mixed with some cold butter and chives. The result is a creamy sauce that you will want to use in so many other recipes of yours. For the full recipe, click here.
Lamb is undoubtedly a common Easter menu item, and this mint-crusted lamb is ideal for that next Easter dinner of yours.
This rack of lamb’s crust is made with fresh, herbaceous ingredients like mint, garlic, and mustard. And since lamb seems to have a more delicate gamey flavor than beef, this creates an interesting contrast to the taste of the meat.
You might know it as spanakopita, but Greek spinach pie is probably the best way to describe it. Spanakopita is a pie with a handmade and crispy phyllo crust that is filled with spinach and lots of herbs, even feta cheese for those who want to go full on.
Check out these recipes from a renowned Greek chef:
Another Greek recipe here (see also ‘30 Best Greek Recipes That you Can Make In Your Home Today‘), as Greeks are known for their Easter traditions and food. This recipe calls for a pressure cooker because lambs are one of those meats that take longer to cook.
However, if you do not have a pressure cooker and are not interested in buying one but still want to make this recipe, then you can cook it the regular way; it will just take way more time.
Lamb cooked with potatoes in lemon juice and then topped with some kefalotyri cheese. Are you drooling already?
Imagine a pork shank coated with a mix of honey, oregano, and Greek herbs and with kefalotyri cheese on top. That’s what you get in Greece when you ask for a “kleftiko,” but this time with pork shanks.
While you will have to wait for it to be cooked to perfection for around 4 hours, we can guarantee you that the taste of it will be worth all the days you will spend making it, because yes, this will not be the last time you cook this meal!
13. Roast Wild Boar
Boneless wild boar cooked in aromatic chicken stock with veggies and served with sweet potato puree and rosemary.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and so is the taste in this case too. Of course, any other side can work too, but this roast wild boar recipe is simply perfect.
Ultra-crunchy and delicious! Kontosouvli is big pork souvlaki that is typically cooked on a spit over an open charcoal grill.
As for the meat you can use, we have included both chicken and pork recipes (see also ‘24 Best Pork Belly Recipes‘) so you can either do both or choose that of your preference. Here are three recipes:
Time for some desserts and treats. Easter is all about food and family and friends gatherings, but you can’t eat your kontosouvli without following up with something sweet!
Babka is a sweet bread whose inception and preparation started in the Jewish (see also ‘27 Traditional Jewish Dishes‘) communities of the former Soviet Union.
16. Easter Bread
Moving from the Jewish traditions (see also ‘27 Traditional Jewish Dishes‘) to the Greek and Turkish ones, we’ve got the easter bread. In Greece, it is called tsoureki which might ring a bell for you too!
If you want to keep it original, try this Greek sweet bread recipe or go for some mini Easter bread buns. Tsoureki is also delicious when made with chocolate chunks, so here’s another recipe to try out.
No matter which one you choose, don’t forget to decorate your Easter bread with an Easter egg on top… the Greek way!
While “Pas-ha” means Easter in Greek, Pasca is an Italian dessert (see also our favorite easy Italian desserts) that is known worldwide for its delicious taste. Pasca is a traditional Romanian Easter bread that consists of a spongy, panettone-looking dough that has a cheesecake center.
It is the ideal recipe for a get-together so check out this Pasca Romanian Easter Bread.
You might think that this is a typing error, but it is not. Pasca and Paska are two different types of bread (see also ‘20 Various Types Of Bread – Explained‘) and what they have in common is that they are traditional Easter bread.
While Pasca is a Romanian traditional bread made particularly in Italy, Paska is a traditional Polish bread that is also said to be from Ukraine and Eastern Europe in general. In Russia, though, it is known as Kulich Bread.
19. Creamed Peas
Back to the savory dishes wish some creamed peas. This dish can be served both hot and cold, while the crispy onions that you will add on top and the fresh bread you can serve it with will make it legendary!
20. Spinach Lasagna
Who says you can’t have lasagna in Easter? This spinach lasagna recipe is vegetarian and great for an easter dinner table.
Plus, it goes great with some white wine!
Herby, citrusy, and very juicy, you will want to devour this chicken from the moment you smell it.
Whole chicken, chicken fillets, whatever you choose to go with, it will taste great. Try this recipe to make the most delicious lemon pepper chicken ever!
22. Lamb Burgers
Homemade burgers are much better than the restaurant ones, especially when you have the right recipe.
These lamb burgers are bound to surprise your family and friends and make them love Easter dinner more than they do Christmas. That’s right, we said it!
While it sounds a bit gourmet, a herb-roasted pork tenderloin recipe like this one can make you look like a top chef with no effort on your part.
Garlic, herbs, oil, a tender tenderloin (pun intended) and lots of love is all you need to make this dish!
Sometimes, simplicity is key, and these roasted carrots served with hummus can be it.
Roasted carrots release all their sweetness which is then dipped in hummus before it goes right into your mouth. Heavenly-made taste!
Lemon and pepper just go great with all kinds of meat. Here, this rib eye recipe involves marinating and then grilling the meat.
These steaks will be unlike anything you’ve tasted before, so do save this recipe even if you don’t try it this Easter.
For people who prefer to keep their Easter meals simple, this Cream of Asparagus Soup is a great option to include in your Easter menu and please everyone.
Don’t think that because it is a soup you will be left hungry after that; the heavy cream used in the soup and the bread you can serve it with will do the work!
On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who want to go all in. For you, a bacon-wrapped turkey is the only way to go.
How much bacon you want to wrap it with is up to you, but one layer is more than enough and probably the healthiest option too. Try to serve this dish with salad instead of buttered chips or anything that will add to the fat content of your meal.
Even though not all people are fans of vegetarian dishes, this pasta primavera recipe that is packed with vegetables will not make you miss the meat.
Healthy, delicious and very easy to make, it is a great option for a last-minute Easter meal gathering!
You might have tried roasted sweet potatoes many times but baking them whole is much better. Once tender on the inside, cut them open and fill them up with whatever you like.
Feta cheese or cheese that will melt is highly recommended but do go for more fancy combos like grapes and goat cheese or a caramelized onion and stuffing mix (see also ‘23 Stuffing Recipes You Need To Try‘).
Potatoes and ham go great together, and when the potatoes are scalloped we’re talking about perfection.
Everyone loves quiche. It is a super versatile dish that you can easily make to suit everyone’s diets and preferences.
If you have many guests, make one of each kind: vegetarian and meat-filled. As reference, try this easy quiche recipe and add or subtract ingredients as you wish!
This green bean casserole can make for a great Easter dish. Cheesy, beany and wholesome, it will sweep everyone off their feet.
One tray can serve a big table and if you serve it with some ciabatta bread on the side, we can guarantee that there won’t be a single bite left. Even the kids will love it!
33. Pea Salad
5 minutes, a can of peas and some cheese and you can make this easy pea salad to serve with the bacon-wrapped turkey.
Healthy, easy to make and with more taste than you imagine, it goes great with any kind of meat or even some sauteed mushrooms or vegetables!
Frequently Asked Question
Is Ham Keto Friendly?
Ham in its natural state is perfectly fine on a keto diet (see also our favorite keto casseroles). In fact, it’s fairly ideal. It’s a meat, so it has no carbs, and it is high in fat. Ham (see also ‘The Best Leftover Ham Bone Recipes‘) is perfect for driving your body into ketosis.
The Bottom Line
Easter is a great occasion to meet and gather with your friends and family, and a lunch or dinner table can make the day an unforgettable one.
These Easter food ideas are the best ones for you to try, so have a look at them, choose what’s more suitable to your and your guests’ taste, and get cooking!