With coronavirus quarantines and social distancing impacting all aspects of life, Easter celebrations are going to look at least somewhat different this year—online masses and Skype sessions with far-flung family, for instance—but we know a lot of people will still be enjoying traditions like giving Easter baskets, decorating Easter eggs, and cooking dinner. So we’re sharing ideas we hope will help bring happiness to you and yours. Here, three full Easter lamb menu ideas for those who pass on the ham.
Next to ham, lamb is the go-to centerpiece for Easter dinner. Once you know how to roast leg of lamb perfectly, you can pay around with the flavors and sides—we were inspired to put together three Easter menus, each featuring a different leg of lamb preparation and perfectly matched sides, plus drinks and desserts (because you have to have something more substantial than Easter candy). And there’s a deviled egg for each menu, too! Because what’s Easter without them?
Here are our three menus at a glance:
Classic Easter Dinner
Familiar flavors you just can’t quit (and when they’re this good, why would you want to?)!
- Boneless Roasted Leg of Lamb
- Deviled Eggs with Tarragon
- Chervil and Butter New Potatoes
- Roasted Baby Carrots with Herbed Mustard Butter
- Shaved Asparagus Salad
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Easy Berry Butter Cake
- Ruby on Rails Cocktail
Al Fresco Easter
The weather’s fine, so cook and eat your Easter dinner outside! (Just as long as you don’t invite any extra guests over this year.)
- Mediterranean Rotisserie Leg of Lamb with Potatoes, Fennel, and Olives
- Spicy Carrot Hummus
- Whipped Feta with Sweet and Hot Peppers
- Grilled Eggplant and Red Pepper with Israeli Couscous
- Steamed Artichokes with Green Garlic Aioli
- Pistou Deviled Eggs with Ratatouille
- Greek Honey and Cheese Tart
- Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries
- The Corsican Cocktail
French Easter Feast
Put a little ooh la la in your Easter menu with French accents.
- Roast Leg of Lamb in the Style of Bordeaux
- Warm Spring Vegetable Salad with Favas and Haricots Verts
- Warm Deviled Eggs
- Truffled Fingerling Smashed Potatoes
- Socca Chickpea Pancakes
- Strawberry Cream Puffs
- Rustic Blueberry Tart
- Panaché (French Lemonade Shandy)
Keep scrolling for more recipe details (and photos) from each Easter spread. But before you dive in, get our tips on how to make the perfect roast leg of lamb, and see how to carve it if you go for a bone-in roast!
All-Clad Nonstick 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Rack , $99.95 at Sur La Table
The durable hard-anodized surface of this pan sears, browns, caramelizes and deglazes beautifully, and the nonstick rack is dishwasher-safe.
Classic Easter Dinner
Our first menu features tried-and-true flavors, executed perfectly, with just a few little twists. No one will be surprised, but everyone will be satisfied.
We keep it simple with lemon, garlic, and parsley to let the lamb flavor really shine (and that also means this roast pairs well with virtually any flavors you want to throw at it in the form of sides and salads). Get our Boneless Roasted Leg of Lamb recipe.
A classic deviled egg recipe with a little lift from tarragon and capers, these will go fast, so make extra. And feel free to get fancy with a piping tip if you want an elegant presentation. Get our Deviled Eggs with Tarragon.
Baby potatoes are adorable, a sure sign of spring, and easy to make since you don’t need to peel or chop them. Simply accented with a little chervil, salt, and butter, these are a great all-purpose side that can be made with any fresh herbs you like. Get our Chervil and Butter New Potatoes recipe.
Related Reading: Avoid This Mistake When Storing Potatoes
You can’t not have carrots at Easter, and if you can’t find true baby carrots, this herbed mustard butter still tastes fantastic on full-size veggies cut down to size. Get our Roasted Baby Carrots with Herbed Mustard Butter recipe.
Instead of steaming or roasting your asparagus for a side, try shaving it for a crisp, sweet salad that refreshes the palate. Pine nuts, parmesan, and a lemon vinaigrette make it pop. Get our Shaved Asparagus Salad recipe.
For dessert, carrot cake is an obvious choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. Feel free to dress it up any way you like, or keep it simple, because the flavor is the real star (and that cream cheese frosting, of course). Get our Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
For those who turn their nose up at veggies in baked goods, this simple, buttery layer cake is tender and piled high with billows of whipped cream and spring’s first sweet, juicy berries. Garnish with edible flowers for extra impact. Get our Easy Berry Butter Cake recipe.
Speaking of berries, since strawberries are some of the first to appear in spring, work them into a refreshing ruby cocktail featuring Pimm’s, rosé, and gin. Spring in a glass! Get our Ruby on Rails Cocktail recipe.
Al Fresco Easter
It’s finally time to fire up the grill and set up a table outside. Make the most of it with this Easter menu!
This boneless leg of lamb is kissed with garlic, lemon, paprika, cumin, and coriander—and then kissed with fire, as its roasted on a rotisserie spit over an outdoor grill until crispy and browned outside and juicy within. The easiest way to make this into a full meal is to put a tray of sliced potatoes, onions, fennel, and olives underneath the meat while it rotates on the spit so that its drippings don’t go to waste, instead flavoring an incredibly easy (and delicious) side dish that cooks at the same time! Get our Mediterranean Rotisserie Leg of Lamb recipe.
Eating outside equals lots of spreads and dips casually arrayed so people can graze and chat and generally take it easy. Since it is Easter, include a spicy carrot hummus on the table, and accompany it with plenty of fresh veggies and crackers for scooping it up. Get our Spicy Carrot Hummus.
Consider adding this Mediterranean-inspired whipped feta dip to the array too. You can never have too many options when it comes to dip! Get our Whipped Feta with Sweet and Hot Peppers recipe.
While the pan of potatoes and other veggies placed under the lamb may be all you need as far as side dishes, a bowl of chewy Israeli couscous with grilled eggplant and bell peppers is a great way to round out the meal. Get our Grilled Eggplant and Red Pepper with Israeli Couscous recipe.
OK, and simple steamed artichokes would also be nice to have, for those with the patience to eat them—they’re light, springy, and the perfect marriage of fancy and finger food. The luscious green garlic aioli on the side will even tempt those who find them finicky. Get our Steamed Artichokes with Green Garlic Aioli recipe.
As promised, here’s our deviled egg pick for this round. The pistou and ratatouille are bursting with fresh flavors perfect for enjoying outdoors, and they look gorgeous too. Get our Pistou Deviled Eggs with Ratatouille recipe.
A simple make-ahead dessert with ricotta cheese, sweet honey, and slivered almonds, this tart isn’t too heavy or complicated, but a nice clean finish after all the exciting flavors of the grilled lamb and spicy sides. Get our Greek Honey and Cheese Tart recipe.
If you’re willing to put in a bit more work, a pavlova is also a glorious option, and this one is topped with tangy, sun-bright lemon curd and juicy fresh berries. Get our Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Berries.
To drink, we’re going with this light, bright (but potent!) cocktail that blends French and Italian influences in the form of Lillet Blanc and limoncello. Elderflower syrup brings a floral freshness and club soda adds a bit of sparkle. This one is also great for picnics, even if they’re confined to your own backyard. Get our Corsican Cocktail recipe.
French Easter Feast
Fancy but not fussy, this French-inspired Easter dinner is simply lovely.
Yes, it’s worth getting goose or duck fat to rub down this succulent leg of lamb, but it’s still delicious if all you’ve got is olive oil. Garlic, vinegar, and shallots infuse it with even more flavor as it roasts. (You could also make our lamb braised in wine for equally great results, no goose fat required.) Get our Roast Leg of Lamb in the Style of Bordeaux recipe.
This is one of the classiest salads we’ve ever seen, with slim French green beans, tender favas, and fresh herbs served in a warm jumble with a pleasantly bitter bite from radicchio, and a creamy lemon vinaigrette you’ll want to put on everything. You can blanch the vegetables a day ahead of time, which is always a bonus. Get our Warm Spring Vegetable Salad recipe.
Sticking with the warm theme, we chose these uncommonly elegant deviled eggs to serve with this menu. Admittedly, the bacon, provolone, and Tabasco are not particularly French, but the way these seem inherently fancy and low-key at the same time is definitely peak Parisian chic. Get our Warm Deviled Eggs recipe.
If you like to have something starchy to soak up all the lamb roast juices, smashed potatoes are a natural choice. Adding truffles elevates them, but they’re delicious without too. Get our Truffled Fingerling Smashed Potatoes recipe.
If you’d rather try something slightly less conventional, consider serving your French lamb with the savory pancakes called socca, made from chickpea flour and native to southern France. You can add a dollop of fresh goat cheese if you like, or try rolling up a bit of lamb and warm vegetables for a French fusion taco-type bite. Get our Socca recipe.
For dessert, you could go with something classically French, like chocolate mousse, macarons, or crème brûlée, but in the name of spring and its pastel shades, we have to choose these airy little cream puffs filled with pale pink strawberry cream. (For a similar but easier option that uses store-bought puff pastry, try making crisp, caramelized palmiers and pairing them with whipped cream and fresh fruit—like our Lavender-Scented Fruit Parfait, but made without the amaretti.) Get our Strawberry Cream Puffs recipe.
Another—much easier—way to showcase fresh fruit is in a free-form tart. It depends on the best-tasting berries, though, so this might be one you have to save for summer. (Not far away now…) Get our Rustic Blueberry Tart recipe.
To drink with this meal, you’ll probably want to pour some nice wine (we would), but it wouldn’t hurt to offer these bubbly beer cocktails for the appetizer hour before dinner is served. It’s basically a French shandy, made of equal parts light lager and sparkling lemonade. Get our Panaché recipe.
Related Video: How to Make Homemade Peeps for Another Easter Treat