When it comes time to plan Easter dinner, a glazed ham or a big roast leg of lamb always feel like the defaults. They’re classics for sure, but they’re far from the only options for your spring celebration. I enjoy changing up our Easter dinner menu every year, in part because ham is usually too much food for our small gathering, and not everyone enjoys lamb. Plus it’s fun to have a rotating seasonal menu that feels new.
But what to make? Large cuts of beef, roast turkey, and cheesy pans of baked pasta are well-suited for the winter months, but don’t quite have the light, fresh feeling so many of us crave in April. Instead, your best bet is sticking with crowd-pleasers like pork tenderloin or pork chops with can be easily dressed up with a sauce or simple glaze. (You might not be making a ham, but you can still use a ham glaze on your tenderloin!)
The same goes for chicken, which can be stuffed, doused with a lemony sauce, or cooked with a medley of spring veggies, to bring a little something extra to your holiday spread. Slow-roasted or poached fish is also a good choice. It’s packed with flavor and nearly foolproof to make without overcooking. (Yes, really!) And when it comes to meat-free mains, a sunny lemony pasta loaded with fresh spring vegetables or topped with burrata is all but a guaranteed hit.
If you want to switch it up this year, here are fresh ideas for Easter mains that aren’t ham or lamb.