Hatching Your Effortless Easter Meal Plan

By Carolyn Stine April 10, 2019 

You’ll be ready to hop to it with these tips and tricks for hosting the Easter meal.

Jelly beans. Cadbury eggs. Peeps. And our all-time favorite, Reese’s Eggs (yes we realize they’re just Reese’s Cups in the shape of Easter eggs, but we swear it makes them taste better). While we love the Easter holiday and all of its tidings of springtime, the dynamite candy selection may be our favorite facet of this April holiday. However, as we learned when we hosted the Easter meal at our place for the very first time, one cannot base their Easter menu on candy alone. Or even partially. Or really even at all. Which left us in a bit of a pickle. How does one decide if they want to serve Easter brunch, or Easter dinner? And once we decide at what time of day we are serving, how do we craft a menu for the Easter meal that feels fresh, not dated, and doesn’t leave us trapped in a hot kitchen making pancakes to serve or coddling individual eggs? We’re breaking it down for you readers to help you host an effortless Easter meal, complete with all of our favorite recipes and tips no matter what time of day you’re hosting.

Brunch

Often times, when we consider brunch, we think of individual items that are a joy to eat, but a pain to have to make for a crowd. Pancakes, waffles, and omelettes certainly fall in that category. That’s why when it comes to hosting Easter brunch, focusing on large format dishes that you can throw in the oven and serve a crowd with is the way to go. Not only can these be served at room temperature, but they allow you to prep and cook in advance so you can truly enjoy the experience alongside your guests. Now that’s what we call a win-win.

One of the best options for a hearty and crowd-pleasing Easter brunch dish is a strata. It falls into the family of a quiche, but instead of having a distinct crust, all of that goodness is incorporated into the egg mixture itself. This savory version is bursting with spinach and gooey gruyere, and bacon or sausage can be added if there are not vegetarian concerns in the group.

For those with a sweet tooth, we love whipping up a baked French toast, which is assembled in a similar way to a strata and oven-baked instead of cooking individual slices to order. This strawberry rhubarb version feels both sweet and seasonally appropriate, and we drool over the streusel topping.

If you have a bit more time on your hands and are looking for the “wow” effect, creating a delicate tart is the way to go. This one features one of our favorite spring veggies, the humble asparagus, and looks festive with a scattering of microgreens on top.

Easter Meal Plan | Bashed
Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott for Bon Appetit

For an all-star side dish, we adore a gourmet take on deviled eggs, which are traditionally an Easter brunch staple. These deviled egg mini biscuits make for a more elegant presentation, and we love the juicy trout roe and fresh dill on top.

No Easter brunch is complete without refreshing beverages. For those who are looking to caffeinate, have pitchers of homemade cold brew coffee at the ready, along with a selection of both dairy and non-dairy milks and sweeteners. For those looking for an adult beverage, we can’t get enough of this reimagined carrot orange mimosa, which has the most brilliant color and gets a kick from fresh lime juice.

Dinner

When it comes to Easter dinner, there are two show-stopping main courses that both please a crowd and fill up a crowd, and those are ham and lamb. Besides Easter candy, we would say that these are the two dishes most synonymous with the Easter holiday meal. We’re bringing you options for both so you can choose your own adventure, and providing lots of veggie-heavy sides for those in your crowd who may not be big carnivores.

When making lamb for a crew that’s rolling deep, a roast leg of lamb is an easy and elegant way to get the job done. This roast leg of lamb recipe is particularly sophisticated, and is rubbed with cumin and coriander and topped with a bright asparagus gremolata for an extra punch of flavor.

A classic glazed ham is one of the best recipes that a cook can have in their back pocket for entertaining, and there is no recipe that gets more timeless than this one. It is rich, decadent, and juicy, and the mustard-orange glaze is out of this world.

Hatch an Effortless Easter Plan | Bashed
Laura Murray for Bon Appetit

With a meaty main course that feels on the heavier side, we like to lighten up our other offerings so that the meal feels balanced for your guests. This pea and prosciutto salad features shelled green peas, sugar snap peas, and arugula for a burst of crunch, and the prosciutto can easily be kept on the side so this stays a vegetarian option.

While scalloped potatoes are an evergreen Easter dinner dish, we like messing around with the rules every once in a while. This cheesy scalloped zucchini dish adds a much-needed veggie infusion and still keeps all of the gooey gruyere and fresh parm.

Another favorite side dish that adds a hint of sweetness is this honey glazed carrots recipe. A combo of butter, honey, and fresh rosemary keeps these carrots simple yet bright, and baking them in the oven keeps the prep easy as well.

When it comes to what to serve alongside Easter dinner, chose a selection of wines that will complement the meal, white or rose if ham is the main and red or orange if you're serving lamb. However, we like offering a signature cocktail to guests as a great way to ease into the main event and showcase some spring flavors. Lillet Rose is one of our favorite aperitifs for warm weather, and can be served with champagne, or mixed with gin if guests are in a true cocktail mood.

Share all of your Easter hosting ideas, experiences, and mishaps in the comments below!

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Carolyn Stine

A party without cake is just a meeting.

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