Traditional Easter Dinner Menu Ideas

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The cold winter is behind you, flowers are appearing all over the garden, and the days are slowly getting longer. Spring has arrived, so Easter cannot be far behind. If it’s your turn to host the traditional family Easter dinner, you might be wishing for a return to winter, but with easy, traditional recipes, you can put a delicious dinner on the table and live to tell about it.

Traditional Easter Entrée Recipes

Ham is the first thing that pops into most people’s heads when they think of Easter dinner. It is certainly a traditional main course, and not difficult to make. If you want an alternative to pork, chicken is always a great choice, and also easy to prepare.

Easter Ham with Glaze Recipe (20 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 10 pound fully-cooked, bone-in ham
  • 1-1/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 large orange, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the ham in a large roasting pan.
  3. In a saucepan, mix all other ingredients together. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Bake the uncovered ham for two hours.
  5. Remove from the oven, and brush the glaze over the ham. Bake for 30 to 45 more minutes, brushing with glaze every 10 minutes.
traditional easter dinner menu ideas traditional easter dinner menu ideas

Sweet and Tangy Pineapple Chicken Breast Recipe (10 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 10 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
  • 2 cups dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup mustard
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup grated onion
  • ¾ cup water
  • 10 pineapple rings

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In shallow bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, flour, oregano, and 2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper. Roll chicken breasts in flour mixture to coat thoroughly.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet, brown chicken on each side.
  4. Layer chicken in two greased 9x13 baking pans.
  5. In large saucepan, combine brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, onion, water and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil.
  6. Pour sauce over chicken, then cover baking pans with foil.
  7. Bake for 1 hour, or until chicken is cooked through.
  8. Top each chicken breast with a pineapple ring before serving.

Traditional Easter Side Dish Recipes

Balance out the main course with a hearty potato dish, and of course, it wouldn’t be Easter dinner without asparagus. Round out your side dish offerings with a green bean casserole, and be sure to have a basket of rolls to pass around the table.

Green Bean Casserole Recipe (10 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 (16 ounce) bags frozen French cut green beans, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup crumbled buttery round crackers, such as Ritz
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In small skillet, cook the onion with cooking spray until translucent.
  3. In large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in flour, cook for 1 minute until smooth.
  4. Stir in salt, sugar, cooked onion and sour cream. Add green beans, stir to coat.
  5. Transfer green bean mixture to 2-1/2 quart casserole dish.
  6. Spread cheese over the top, then sprinkle with cracker crumbs and remaining butter.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is golden and cheese bubbles.

Scalloped Potatoes with Onions Recipe (12 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 10 large potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1-1/2 cups onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Paprika for accent

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Layer potatoes and onions in large greased baking dish.
  3. In saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in flour until smooth.
  4. Gradually mix in broth, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Stir for 2 minutes until mixture thickens and bubbles.
  5. Pour broth mixture over potatoes, then sprinkle with paprika for color.
  6. Cover baking dish with foil, bake for 2 hours or until potatoes are tender.

Asparagus with Balsamic Sauce Recipe (12 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 3 bunches fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Arrange asparagus on baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bake asparagus for 12 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Melt butter in saucepan. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir soy sauce and balsamic vinegar into butter, pour mixture over baked asparagus.

Easter Dessert Recipe

Finish your Easter dinner with a dessert special enough for the occasion. Here’s a fantastic carrot cake filled with everything good.

Carrot Cake Recipe (15 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour an 8x12 pan.
  2. In mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture, stir thoroughly.
  4. In medium bowl, combine carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins.
  5. With heavy spoon, fold carrot mixture into the batter.
  6. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from oven when toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Your Easter dinner will be a triumph with easy, traditional recipes that are guaranteed crowd pleasers. Rest easy knowing you did your part to make the holiday a special celebration of family and spring.

For more Easter ideas, see:

Last Updated: March 29, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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