Classic Main Dishes for Your Easter Dinner
Browse these traditional Easter recipes for ham, lamb, and chicken to find the perfect main dish for your Easter dinner.
Find the perfect main dish recipe for your Easter brunch, Easter lunch, or Easter dinner. Choose a show-stopping centerpiece for your spring feast from our exciting selection of main dish recipes. Impress your guests with a Sweet-Hot Plum- Glazed Ham, Ginger Ale-Can Chicken, or Braised Lamb Shanks. Hosting a casual pot-luck? With an easy overnight marinade, delicious Lexington-Style Grilled Chicken goes from the grill to the table in under 50 minutes. A stunning Dijon Rack of Lamb is sure to be the focus of your traditional Easter dinner. Whether you host a formal sit-down or an easy brunch, you will find the ideal main dish to make your Easter meal memorable. Be sure to check out our Easter Side Dish Recipes for delicious ways to round out your meal.
Find the perfect centerpiece for your Easter meal
Watch: How To Make a No-Fail Glaze For Your Easter Ham
Celebrate Easter this year with a traditional dinner of ham, lamb, or chicken. We have a wide range of Easter recipes from more casual options like the Lexington-Style Grilled Chicken all the way to an elegant Dijon Rack of Lamb. So set your table and serve up one of these Easter recipes for your family. What's so wonderful about Easter dinner is that these recipes help you put your family favorites on the table with whatever main dish makes your family's mouth water, or whichever savory selection brings back the most beloved memories. Settle in for a beautiful dinner and share these recipes with your family and friends.
Braised Lamb Shank
Recipe: Braised Lamb
In the words of Chef John Hall of Post Office Pies in Birmingham, Alabama, "I love braises for brunch. They're so easy. You can make one ahead of time and warm it up right beforehand." Hall remembers settling in for family meals with lamb shanks on the table, and here he shares his love for them with you. Lamb shanks, simply seasoned with salt and pepper, are browned in hot oil to form a nice crust. The meat is then cooked in a sauce of crushed tomatoes, red wine, carrots, garlic and onion until it's falling off the bone. Serve with our savory Potato Hash with Crème Fraîche for a complete meal.
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Beets, Carrots, and Sweet Onions
Roasted lamb is a surprisingly no-fuss dish, so if you need a simple Easter meal this may be your perfect recipe. Simply season the meat, and let it rest 12 hours. The hardest part is getting the rub ready. Then, pop it in the oven—your family will love the flavors and aromas of fresh rosemary and fresh oregano as they waft through the kitchen. The Roasted Beets, Carrots, and Sweet Onions are the perfect companion. Focus on sweet baby beets and carrots to really enhance the flavors of this dish, which can double as a garnish.
Sweet-Hot Plum-Glazed Ham
Recipe: Sweet-Hot Plum-Glazed Ham
Ham is a staple on Southern Easter dinner tables, and this recipe takes that classic and gives it a new twist. Think of this recipe as bringing the flavors of spring to this family meal. Plum preserves spiked with fresh citrus, ginger, and crushed red pepper update the traditional Easter ham. The orange juice and lime juice add the right combination of sweet and tart, while the honey clings onto the ham to bake into the perfect glaze. You'll love just that hint of red-pepper heat. Garnish it with tropical fruits like kiwi and pineapple for a beautiful look.
Rack of Lamb with Carrot Salad
Recipe: Rack of Lamb with Carrot Salad
Rack of lamb is actually pretty simple if you remember three main points:
1. Seasoning only with salt and pepper, instead of marinating, lets the flavor of the lamb come through.
2.Put the lamb fat side down in a smoking hot skillet and leave it alone for a minute until it's brown. Then flip it and let it brown; then flip it again. This crisps up the fat and gives a nice brown exterior while preventing the edges from overcooking in the oven.
3. Baking lamb at 300° keeps the meat from tightening up so that it comes out very tender. Putting the lamb on a wire rack allows the hot air to circulate around the lamb.
Glazed Spiral-Cut Holiday Ham
Recipe: Glazed Spiral-Cut Holiday Ham
We love a spiral-cut ham, but we don't like the sugary mystery glaze that comes with it. Toss the packet and use one of our three easy and unique glaze recipes instead: Pineapple-Prosecco Glaze, which mixes the sweetness of fruit with the sweet-dry taste of Prosecco or Cava; Cola-Dijon-Brown Sugar Glaze, that brings the flavors of Cola and brown sugar to the spice of Dijon mustard; and Coffee-and-Pepper Jelly Glaze, that mix the boldness of coffee with the sweet heat of pepper jelly. Any of these three glazes will add distinctiveness, and delight, to Easter dinner. We're sure your family will have a favorite—it might not be the same one, though, so be prepared to enjoy them all!
Honey-Curry Glazed Lamb with Roasted Grapes and Cranberries
Recipe: Honey-Curry Glazed Lamb with Roasted Grapes and Cranberries
Lamb rib roasts can be an amazing addition to an Easter dinner table, and this recipe creates a meal ready to be sliced off the bone. You'll love how this dish looks, but you will love how it tastes even more. A honey-curry glaze elevates this lamb to a whole new level. It's just a little hint of curry—a tablespoon of red curry powder—paired with sweet honey. Roasted grapes and cranberries add a festive and tasty touch to this impressive dish. Get ready to carve and plate this incredible meal for your perfect Easter dinner.
Garlic-Herb Roasted Chicken
Recipe: Garlic-Herb Roasted Chicken
Roasting a whole chicken creates a beautiful presentation, since it will cook to a gorgeous golden-brown before being sliced. Begin by rubbing the parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme herb mixture under the skin, which really permeates the meat with delicate and subtle tastes. Then, aromatic apples and vegetables infuse Garlic-Herb Roasted Chicken with amazing flavor, from a delicate sweetness to a rich, full earthiness. After baking, the unpeeled shallots slip easily from their papery skins adding a tasty side note to the sliced chicken. In the words of one happy online reviewer, this dish is both "tasty and pretty!"
Video: Easy Roasted Chicken Recipe for Easter
Recipe: Roasted Lamb
Lamb roast can be a beautiful centerpiece for a family Easter dinner, and this cooked-to-perfection roast is a classic. Part of the joy is its simple seasonings: Just rub a lamb roast with lemon, oregano, salt and pepper; place some garlic cloves around the roast; and drizzle with olive oil. In just around two hours, this will be ready to go, and you can dress it with a garnish of roasted garlic cloves, baby carrots, radishes, and lettuce leaves. If you prefer beef to lamb, you can make this dish with Boston Butt: simply increase the cooking time and don't tie the roast.
Lexington-Style Grilled Chicken
Recipe: Lexington-Style Grilled Chicken
Southerners love putting their own twists on the traditional, and this recipe is a great way to bring barbecue to your Easter dinner table. The inspiration for the marinade on this grilled chicken comes from Carolina-style barbecue sauce, which is a spicy, vinegar-based sauce. Of course there's a little sweetness mixed in, thanks to a little brown sugar—and a little heat too, thanks to a few tablespoons of dried crushed red pepper. Be sure to marinate at least 2 hours or as long as overnight to get the most flavor from the marinade for your Easter dinner.
Brown Sugar-Bourbon-Glazed Ham
Recipe: Brown Sugar-Bourbon Glazed Ham
You know this dish will be a winner when the online reviews include comments like "the glaze is fantastic and delicious." It sure is. This classic recipe for glazed ham is not only delicious, but it is a beautiful dish for your Easter brunch. What's even better is that to enjoy this incredible dish you don't have to plan to spend all day in the kitchen. In three easy steps you can make this ham studded with cloves and flavored with a brown sugar-bourbon glaze. Then slice it, serve it, and settle in to see the happy faces as your family and friends savor every delicious bite.
Dijon Rack of Lamb
Recipe: Dijon Rack of Lamb
Dijon mustard and focaccia breadcrumbs make the crust for this impressive, yet easy, rack of lamb. And rack of lamb is a beautiful way to create individual portions because this rack is going to create chops when you slice it hot and fresh out of the oven. Just brown it, bake it, and brush it: brush the Dijon mustard on, that is, then cover it with breadcrumbs. While we've used focaccia, you can substitute French breadcrumbs should you prefer. Every chop that you carve off this rack will have a crispy crust and a perfectly cooked, juicy center. This is a perfect main course for that special Easter dinner.
Ginger Ale-Can Chicken
Recipe: Ginger Ale-Can Chicken
It is hard to get simpler, or more Southern, than Can Chicken. For this recipe, two whole chickens are marinated in a mixture that includes liquid steak seasoning, rosemary, garlic, and pepper. The chickens then get oven-baked vertically over opened cans of ginger ale until they are perfectly roasted. The secret is that in the hot oven the ginger ale steams, keeping the chicken moist. This easy roasting method also allows fat to drip through and around the chickens, giving them a rich flavor and a beautiful golden-brown color. This will taste great on the table—fresh and hot, it would certainly give "canned chicken" a whole new meaning.
Recipe: Citrus-Glazed Ham
You may expect baked ham on a Southern dinner table at Easter, but you probably did not expect one that tastes this good. Our citrus-glazed ham is sure to please your family this Easter. The key is what goes on top: a bottle of fizzy, bubbly bottled orange-juice flavored soft drink forms the foundation for a perfect glaze. Pour it on, put everything in the oven, then baste on the pan juices every 20 minutes as the ham cooks. Let it stand for 15 minutes when it comes out of the oven so the juices have time to settle. You'll savor every salty-sweet bite.
Grilled Lamb Chops with Lemon-Tarragon Aïoli and Orange Gremolata
Recipe: Grilled Lamb Chops with Lemon-Tarragon Aïoli and Orange Gremolata
These lamb chops are simply seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper, but the over-the-top flavor comes from the lemon mayonnaise topping. The Lemon-Tarragon Aïoli brings together fresh tarragon, mayonnaise, a shallot, garlic, Dijon mustard, and more for some spicy-yet-tart sensations. Orange Gremolata—a blend of parsley, garlic, and orange rind—adds just that last bit of unexpected bite, turning these two flavors into citrus delights. Serve your lamb medium-rare to medium, and your family will enjoy these fresh, spring tastes on the Easter dinner table.