Easter Sunday Lunch Menus
Delicious Easter lunch menus featuring traditional recipes such as asparagus amandine, lemon-coconut cake, and classic Easter ham.
Plum preserves spiked with fresh citrus, ginger, and crushed red pepper update the traditional baked ham. A creamy casserole of scalloped potatoes and tender Asparagus Amandine round out this family-pleasing menu. Sliced strawberries and spiced pecans make colorful Baby Blue Salad a perennial holiday favorite. And of course we wouldn’t even think about having Easter without a coconut cake!
photo: Sweet-Hot Plum Glazed Ham
No one will ever guess this elegant menu is so simple to fix. Much of the prep work can be done ahead – such as marinating the lamb and shrimp, or baking the shortbread cookies. Thin strips of cucumber shape the festive little baskets for Bacon-Blue Cheese Salads. It’s a fun idea that we use for other special meals as well. Easy Three Seed Pan Rolls are equally impressive, and get a quick start from frozen roll dough.
Gather family and friends for an afternoon of fun. Consider serving an assortment of colorful fruit-flavored iced teas, such as Blueberry-Lemon Iced Tea, Governor's Mansion Summer Peach Tea Punch, or Citrus Iced Tea. Make tea sandwiches up to a day in advance. To prevent the bread from drying out, arrange sandwiches in a single layer in an airtight container, and cover loosely with a sheet of wax paper. Place a damp kitchen towel over the wax paper; cover and refrigerate. Brownies and bars baked in a 13- x 9-inch pan can be cut into 48 bite-size (1-inch) squares.
photo: Curried Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
Mississippi native (and only female Iron Chef) Cat Cora made her favorite Easter dishes reflecting her Greek heritage for this menu. Start with a salty Feta Spread served with crostini or pita chips. The main dishes are filled with fresh Mediterranean flavors: roasted lamb (or Boston butt), lemon-roasted potatoes, and flavorful oregano green beans.
This easy make-ahead menu brings together familiar ingredients in fresh new ways, from a sweet and tangy twist on traditional poppy seed dressing to a sophisticated version of lemon icebox pie. After church, slip the chicken on the grill and the pasta in the oven. (Pencil-thin spears of asparagus roast in 10 minutes tops, and can scoot in the oven when the pasta comes out.) Put the finishing touches on the tart, toss the salad, and pour the tea.
Serves 8 to 10
Welcome guests on Easter morning with this leisurely make-ahead menu. Festive champagne flutes filled with fruit juice and a quick-to-fix casserole spooned into colorful ramekins add the finishing touches. Lightly spiced with the rich, moist flavor of carrot cake, Morning Glory Muffins are the perfect match for softened cream cheese and pear preserves.
photo: Sparkling Punch
Here’s a simple-to-fix menu that never fails to please. Perfectly roasted chickens bake vertically over opened cans of ginger ale. In the hot oven, the ginger ale steams, keeping the chicken moist. This easy roasting method allows fat to drip through and around the chickens, giving them a rich roasted flavor and beautiful golden brown color.
photo: Ginger Ale-Can Chicken
Set up a dining table on the porch or under a shady tree in the backyard and celebrate the day with this elegant but easy menu. Make the rolls up to a month ahead, and freeze. Up to a day ahead, prepare and chill the soup, and salad dressing; caramelize the onions for the pudding, and make the pastry cream for the tarts. Bake the tart shells up to a day ahead as well, but store at room temp – ready to assemble and chill on Easter morning. Sweet Onion Pudding can be assembled and baked in the oven while the lamb is on the grill.
photo: Coconut Cream Tarts with Macadamia Nut Crusts
Serves 6 to 8
Baked in a casserole dish, easy Brunch Eggs are a delicious twist on Eggs Benedict. Arugula adds a peppery bite to the sweet citrus and avocado in New Ambrosia With Buttermilk-Coconut Dressing, but the recipe is equally good when prepared with other salad greens.
photo: New Ambrosia With Buttermilk-Coconut Dressing