Easter food guide

Updated on 19 April 2019

Easter recipes: the best baking, brunch, side dish and main course ideas

We've got plenty of easy Easter recipes for the long weekend, from fish on Good Friday, Saturday brunch and bakes, showstopper Sunday mains and genius leftover dishes

Easter breakfast and brunch recipes

Why wait until lunch time to enjoy a special Easter meal? With a bit more time on your hands, start the day by filling the house with the aroma of freshly-made pancakes or treat the family to a filling shakshuka. As new season asparagus starts creeping onto supermarket shelves, it's the perfect time to pair the crunchy spears with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce, or give eggs and soldiers a green update. Here are a few recipes you might want to try:

Buttermilk drop pancakes with lemon curd

Sweet potato rösti with poached eggs

Aubergine shakshuka

Tomato toast with a poached egg

Eggs en concotte

Asparagus egg dippers with smoked salmon

Green baked eggs with asparagus

Green baked eggs
Waitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

Easy Easter starter and snack recipes

Celebrate springtime ingredients coming in to season with light and colourful starters and snacks. Individual picnic pies, sausage rolls and tomato tarts are all guaranteed crowd-pleasers, or try something new like a grilled avocado salad. There's no escaping eggs at Easter so give a retro classic like devilled eggs a modern update with creamy tahini and heady za'atar. Try these:

Picnic pies with chicken and apricots

Wellington sausage rolls

Courgette, pea and broad bean tortilla

Wild rice, kale and pistachio salad

Devilled eggs with tahini and za'atar

Tomato pesto tarts

Grilled avocado salad with tahini dressing

Grilled avocado salad
Alex Head/loveFOOD

Good Friday Fish

The tradition of eating fish on Good Friday is centuries old and still observed around the world. Salmon is top choice this time of year – we like it pan-fried, turned into fish cakes or roasted whole – while meaty tuna steaks with a refreshing vinaigrette will be a bolder, more surprising choice. Crab is a good seasonal seafood option. Here are a few of our favourite fish recipes:

Harissa and lemon baked fish

Crab cakes with lemongrass

Spicy salmon quiche

Grilled tuna steaks with vegetable vinaigrette

Smoked salmon fish cakes

Roast cod with tomato and thyme dressing

Pan-fried salmon with pine nut salsa

Pan-fried salmon with pine nut salsa
Ottolenghi Simple/Ebury Press

Easter lunch mains

A hearty roast is undoubtedly Easter Sunday's main event. If you're cooking lamb, add interest with a punchy salsa verde, a tangy ginger jam, or fragrant garlic and lavender. Light meats like pork and chicken will do nicely as well – make roast chicken a touch more special by roasting the bird with a paprika rub and serving with a fiery ginger mayo. Here are our top recipes:

Roast chicken with ginger mayonnaise

Roast pork loin with perfect crackling

Rosemary and parmesan-crusted rack of lamb

Roast leg of lamb with garlic and lavender

Rhubarb and ginger jam lamb chops

Roast pork belly with sage and apple

Roast lamb with salsa verde

Roast lamb with salsa verde
Clodagh's Suppers/Kyle Books

Vegetarian and vegan recipes

With plenty of new produce coming into season, it's an excellent time to try out colourful, bright and flavoursome meat-free dishes like showstopping cauliflower shawarma and bright, Moroccan-spiced sweet potatoes. A pot of vibrant vegan jerk chilli will bring some spice into your life while a vegetable gratin is the season's top comfort food. We've picked a few recipes for you to try:

Cauliflower shawarma

Swiss chard stuffed peppers with hazelnuts

Vegan jerk chilli

Cauliflower dhansak

Aubergine, courgette and basil gratin

Crispy tofu shashlik in rich tomato sauce

Moroccan sweet potatoes

Moroccan sweet potatoes
Power Plates/Ten Speed Press

Quick side dish recipes

A good selection of sides is essential for a succesful feast. New potatoes are plentiful this time of year so take advantage of the glut and turn humble spuds into something special. Radishes and new season carrots are also around, and will offer a pleasant bite and freshness to many dishes. Here's a selection of colourful sides to serve:

Broad beans with lettuce, shallots and mint

New potatoes with pickled samphire

Crispy roast potatoes

Radish and pea salad

Warm radish salad

Roasted new potatoes with a mint and watercress dip

Roast rainbow carrots with herbed yogurt

Roast rainbow carrots with herbed yogurt

Pudding and dessert recipes

Finish Easter lunch on a sweet note with a warming crumble or light berry fool. If you're low on time, a no-bake cheesecake can be thrown together in a matter of minutes while mini tiramisús can be prepped in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to serve. Take a look at these recipes for inspiration:

Mini tiramisú

Quick no-bake cheesecake

Strawberry fool

Rhubarb and strawberry trifle

Cherry and plum crumble

Espresso crème caramel

Mixed berry crumble

Mini tiramisu
Georgia Glynn Smith/BBC Books

Easter baking recipes

Easter is a great time for baking, especially when you can enlist the youngest family members to help with adorable creations like iced biscuits. Of course, the holiday is synonymous with hot cross buns so whip up a batch with mixed dried fruit or shake things up by adding chocolate. Once Easter Sunday rolls around, finish the meal with a traditional simnel cake, mini bundt fruitcakes, or a refreshing lemon and pistachio cake. Here are a few recipes to try:

Lemon and pistachio cake

Fried egg cakes

Chocolate hot cross buns

Mini bundt fruitcakes 

Simnel cake

Hot cross buns

Easter biscuits

Easter biscuits
Waitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

Chocolate treats

All things chocolate take centre stage over Easter so you might as well include it in your desserts and bakes. From an indulgent chocolate fondant that's great with tangy berries to an easy chocolate tiffin that can be prepared ahead of time, there are plenty of ways to celebrate this versatile ingredient. For the ultimate decadent treat, whip up a cheesecake brownie with chocolate eggs on top. Give these recipes a go:

Chocolate fondant

Baked double chocolate pudding

Chocolate ganache tart

Chocolate tiffin

Malted chocolate cake

Vegan chocolate caramel tart

Swirled Easter brownies

Swirled Easter brownies
Waitrose & Partners/loveFOOD

Easter leftovers recipes

Chances are you'll buy and cook more than you need over the long weekend, and end up with a fridge full of leftovers. But there are plenty of ways to bring a day-old dish back to life.

If you serve lamb for Easter lunch, chop up leftover meat and incorporate it into a classic ragù. Or use it in a curry, chucking in potatoes and onions as well.

You could jazz up slices of leftover pork roast in a quick char siu stir-fry, transform roast chicken into fajitas with pineapple salsa and guacamole, and bake salmon into a tart. Pies are also a great way to use up odds and ends. Try chicken and bacon, fish or chicken pot pie.

Chicken pie
Simple & Classic/Phaidon

Rather than throw away hot cross buns that are becoming stale, try this twist on a bread and butter pudding, or use instead of brioche or bread in French toast.

And when no one can stomach another piece of chocolate, turn it into American chocolate chip cookies, melt to cover salted peanut butter fudge or try something completely different and give Venezuelan chocolate chilli chicken a go.

French toast
The French Revolution/Seven Dials


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