Our Best Ever Easter Recipes
From fresh spring sides to lavish Easter cakes to simple deviled eggs, there's something for everyone's Easter menu spread. And of course, don't forget the ham.
Eggs in a Garden Breakfast Tart
Thanks to ever-handy, store-bought puff pastry, this stunning savory tart is shockingly easy to make. The flakey puff pastry crust cradles 8 over easy eggs, surrounded with vibrant spring vegetables (thus, the recipe’s name). What you have here is an incredibly impressive option for your next brunch gathering. Serve with a side of roasted red potatoes or fresh fruit for a complete meal that’s sure to wow.
"Ham" for Two
Holiday ham leftovers take weeks to finish. Instead, prepare a basic one pound pork tenderloin just as you would prepare a ham. The result is a traditionally brined, brown-sugar-coated "ham" for two in just one day. It even comes out pink! This recipe uses pink brining salt from Williams Sonoma, but you could use Prague #1 instead.
Buttery Deviled Eggs
Choose arugula, basil, or mustard microgreens for a pretty and peppery finish.
Roasted Figs with Goat Cheese, Honey and Pepper
Before roasting, sandwich figs with goat cheese and drizzle them with honey. Serve with baguette slices for a delicious appetizer.
All the Green Things Salad
This salad is absolutely chock-full of lovely green spring produce, with textures ranging from crunchy to creamy. You can make the zippy lemon dressing and blanch, drain, and chill the peas and asparagus up to 2 days ahead, but combine all the elements shortly before serving to preserve the color of the avocado and the crunch of the greens. Delicate pea tendrils or shoots would be spectacular here, but watercress makes a delicious peppery substitute. Though you may be tempted to use only one herb, we urge you to use both: The parsley adds a burst of freshness, and the mint contributes deep herbal goodness.
Herbed Ricotta, Asparagus, and Phyllo Tart
If working with phyllo dough fills you with fear, don’t worry—this recipe is beginner-friendly. There’s no crimping or folding the dough; you just lay flat sheets of dough on top of each other for a rustic, unfinished edge. Do make sure to thaw the phyllo according to package directions—preferably overnight in the fridge. Properly thawed dough won’t stick together and is relatively easy to work with. Skip past the big, fat asparagus spears you might see this time of year; you need thinner spears so that they’ll get done in the 20 minutes it takes to crisp the dough.
Susan’s Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting
On the surface, so simple. A moist, richly banana-flavored, two-layer cake with a dark chocolate frosting. No frills or fancies. No nuts, chocolate chips or chunks, no crispy bits or coconut. Just a basic banana cake with a simple chocolate frosting. And yet, in the marriage of these two tastes something extraordinary happens. It is cake alchemy.
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Lemon-Herb Salt
Leg of lamb is an easy yet holiday-worthy roast. Buzz together the flavorful salt seasoning in a food processor, and rub it onto the meat at least 12 hours before roasting. Trust an instant-read meat thermometer to ensure the lamb is the perfect rosy pink in the center.
Strawberries-and-Cream Sheet Cake
Trust us: This simple and swoon-worthy sheet cake will be a keeper in your recipe box. File it under "Springtime Crowd-pleaser."
Farro Salad with Peas, Pancetta, and Radishes
Toss farro with a radish mixture, peas, pancetta, arugula, and more to make this salad.
Braised Artichokes, Favas, and Carrots in Creamy Lemon Sauce with Fennel
The olive oil emulsifies with the braising liquid to create a silky sauce that deliciously coats the bright spring veggies. Thin lemon slices, charred and caramelized in a cast-iron pan, make a nice garnish.
Time to oust your box cake mix, and embrace your inner baker with this basic yellow cake formula. This easy recipe will raise your cake-crafting confidence to new heights the first time you try it. As the name suggests, the numbers represent the measurements of the ingredients in the cake. Just remember what number matches with which ingredient, and you can easily memorize this recipe to whip up anytime you please. The buttery yellow cake is moist and has a perfectly dense crumb. Consider the 1-2-3-4 Cake a blank canvas; have fun adding layers of your buttercream frosting, whipped cream with fruit, or your own favorite frosting. One key to keep in mind when making this cake is that you really do need to have your butter softened and, ideally, your eggs at room temperature. Mixing these ingredients in when cold makes them more difficult to incorporate and can yield a “broken” batter. When baking the cake, be sure to use a light baking pan to help prevent over-browning. If you see that the top of your cake is brown, but the center is still wet, make a foil tent over the cake to keep it from getting darker.
Lamb and Rice Stuffed Eggplant
If you’ve ever experienced the disappointment that is a bland eggplant boat hidden under copious amounts of sauce and cheese… rest assured, this isn’t that. A variety of dried spices provide a wealth of warm, aromatic flavors, while ground lamb delivers a distinct richness, and fresh mint provides a pop of herbaceous energy—ultimately, making for an incredibly satisfying meal. Even if you’re not always on Team Eggplant, we’re confident that this flavor-packed dish may very well be a preparation you of the veggie you really enjoy. When shopping, look for eggplants with firm skin and no bruises. If you have trouble finding ground lamb, you can definitely substitute a different ground meat, like beef or turkey, in it’s place—just be sure to use a ground meat with at least 10% fat.
Spring Vegetable and Quinoa Salad with Bacon
This rich and dynamic quinoa salad could easily be pulled together with whatever leftover grain you have on hand, such as farro or bulgur. A trio of fresh herbs deliver a major dose of freshness while balancing out more robust flavor components, such as whole-grain Dijon mustard and toasted almonds. To make this dish vegetarian, prepare the quinoa using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and eliminate the bacon.
Goat Cheese, Artichoke, and Olive Bruschetta
As delicious as they are, artichokes have a compound that makes wine taste sweet. Tangy goat cheese brings both into balance. Serve the bruschetta with a Sauvignon Blanc that balances refreshing citrus acidity with some oak for richness. The recipe comes from chef and cookbook author John McReynolds of Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery in Sonoma, California. You can start with a fresh artichoke, as he does, or use frozen hearts if you're short on time.
Asparagus with Lemon-Parmesan Breadcrumbs
A quick hit with lemon, Parmesan, and crunchy panko breadcrumbs under the broiler and voila! An instant side dish favorite (perfect for any spring table), ready in minutes.
Confetti Flower Cake
It may be hard to believe that this stunning layer cake could taste as delightful as it looks, but trust us on this one… it’s well worth cutting into. We create an all-natural “fun-fetti” look for this Confetti Flower Cake with edible flower petals flecked throughout the moist and delicate vanilla layers. Covered in a light, fluffy strawberry frosting (and a few more garnishing edible flowers for good measure), this wow-worthy confetti cake is the perfect centerpiece for your next special occasion—be it a birthday party or a wedding shower.
Ham Steak with Cranberry-Mustard Glaze
This flavorful ham dish comes together in just 35 minutes.
Maple Mustard-Glazed Ham
For a classic flavor profile, you absolutely can't miss with this sweet glazed ham. The combination of Dijon mustard and real maple syrup beats anything you'll get from a flavor packet. Plus, this crowd-pleasing ham is made in the slow cooker, saving you effort and oven space.
White Beans with Sorrel Pesto
Fresh sorrel, a hardy, leafy green perennial, gives simple white beans a zap of color and a lemony tang. Farmers' markets often carry it from spring into early fall, depending on where you live. If you can't find it, swap in basil. This recipe comes from Erin Scott, creator of the blog (and cookbook) Yummy Supper.
Braised Leeks with Parmesan
nspired by a Marcella Hazan recipe, this side dish helps Pandolfi feel closer to his Italian heritage. Wash leeks after they’re halved by dunking them in a bowl of cold water and vigorously swishing to dislodge dirt and grit trapped between the layers. You may need to repeat the process once or twice, depending on the level of grit. We love the simplicity of this dish. White wine provides a little tangy acid to the leeks, while Parmesan cheese packs an umami wallop, making for a supremely satisfying side.
Braised Mustard Greens with Spring Onions
Meltingly tender, these mustard greens get a little snap from a drizzle of cider vinegar and a good quantity of spring onions. These onions resemble green onions, but the greens are thicker and the bulbs much larger; also, they have fairly sharp, bracing flavor that mellows when cooked. If you can't find them, use a triple amount of green onions (scallions) instead--it's equally good. The recipe comes from Tanya Holland, chef-owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side Baking Co. in Oakland.
All of the elements of a classic hummingbird cake come together here in decadent cheesecake form. Layers of banana cheesecake, pineapple-pecan praline sauce, vanilla cheesecake, and white chocolate ganache are all stacked into a pecan-coconut graham cracker crust for a show-stopping dessert you won’t soon forget. Despite the intimidation factor that often surrounds making cheesecakes at home, we highly encourage you to give this one a go. In all honesty, cheesecakes are much easier to make—and make well—than you’d probably think. A layered cheesecake like this one is certainly simpler to pull off than baking, assembling, and frosting a traditional layer cake. So break out your springform pan with confidence—you’ve got this.
This stunning watercolor effect is a surprisingly simple cake decorating technique that makes for an incredibly special dessert.
Spring Vegetable Bread Pudding Muffins
These individual savory bread puddings are an amazing addition to any spring brunch menu. Bread pudding’s rich, comfort food quality is balanced here with vibrant spring flavors contributed by fresh mint, fresh dill, green peas, and baby spinach. We love the savory-salty goodness that pancetta delivers to this delicious side dish, but if you would prefer to keep these bread pudding muffins vegetarian-friendly, you can leave this ingredient out and cook the spinach and peas in olive oil. Preparing the bread pudding in muffin tins allows for easily-served individual portions, as well as loads of potential for creating a really pretty display. You can prepare these bread pudding muffins up to a day in advance—simply keep the muffins in the pan and wrap the pan in plastic wrap once it’s completely cool. Store them in the fridge until you’re ready to reheat and serve.
Strawberry Poke Pound Cake with Strawberry Glaze
Poke cake meets pound cake in this must-make spring dessert. A perfectly moist, dense vanilla pound cake (with a delightful hint of almond) is filled with a fresh strawberry filling—adding to the cake's tender crumb and providing the perfect fruity sweet-tart flavor balance. Finish the whole thing off with an eye-catching fresh strawberry glaze, and you have a supremely awesome cake on your hands. Be warned, if you share this pound cake with friends, you'll need to be ready to share the recipe as well.
Snap Peas with Herb Butter
Chorizo Deviled Eggs
Ryan Pollnow, the chef at the San Francisco Spanish restaurant Aatxe ("Ah-chay"), always has hard-cooked eggs on his tapas menu. This version--with its smoky, creamy filling and crunchy topping of fried chorizo sausage--is especially delicious.
Ham with Spiced Cherry Sauce
Tuscan Pignoli-Orange Zucchini Bread
Got a boatload of zucchini? A loaf of so-simple quick bread is a delightful, kid-friendly way to put it to use. With bright citrusy notes, toasty pine nuts, and a delightful texture delivered by the blend of semolina and almond flours, this Italian-inspired uptake on your typical zucchini bread is sure to impress.
Sweet Portuguese Rolls
Rosemary Focaccia with Stewed Grapes and Olives
Potato and Leek Gratin
A mandoline will slice the potatoes quickly and to the same thickness, though a sharp knife will also work. Instead of being buried in cream, the potatoes and leeks are simmered in and drizzled with milk so the potatoes get wonderfully crisp and tender and the cheeses form a melty, golden crust.
Roasted Carrots with Citrus Dressing
Fresh fruit juice and chopped cilantro create a zesty dressing for roasted carrots.
Beets, Snow Peas, and New Potatoes with Garlic-Parsley Skordalia
Skordalia is a traditional Greek garlicky puree enriched with potatoes, nuts, and bread. The skordalia base can be made up to 3 days ahead; stir in the yogurt just before serving. Skip bland crudités (baby carrots, celery sticks) and try earthy beets infused with cinnamon, red potato wedges, and crisp sautéed snow peas. In addition to a dip, you can use the skordalia as a spread for sandwiches or crostini.
Lemon and Vanilla Angel Food Cake
This delicate, cloudlike cake from Kristen Murray, pastry chef and owner of Maurice restaurant in Portland, is an adaptation of one from her great-aunt Crys, using rice flour for regular flour so the cake is gluten-free, with a little crunch. For best results, beat egg whites to very soft peaks so they (and the cake) can expand further in the oven.
Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
This vibrant pink layer cake is pure strawberry-on-strawberry goodness, with fresh strawberries going into the cake batter and frosting. One thing to note about the buttercream frosting—it is absolutely bursting with berry flavor, but is easily over-mixed. If you find you've broken your emulsion when whipping this frosting up, no worries. You can simply mix in a little more powdered sugar to restore it. That said, we love how purely strawberry-forward the flavor of this frosting is, so we'd advise being very light-handed when adding extra powdered sugar, as it will dilute the berry flavor. In our opinion, it's better to have a slightly broken frosting that tastes like strawberries than a perfectly pristine frosting that tastes like sugar.
Savory Carrot Ribbon Tart
With its tangle of bright carrot strips and bits of spicy chorizo, this beautiful tart makes an exciting appetizer or even a light main dish. An all-butter puff pastry, such as Dufour, gives especially flavorful and flaky results, but it's delicious made with any kind of puff pastry.
Whole-Wheat Braided Egg Bread
Our beautiful Easter centerpiece bread offers a healthier take on the classic egg- and butter-enriched bread. It’s made completely with white whole-wheat flour and less added sugar (in this case, honey) than many traditional recipes. Our techniques and ingredient choices leave you with a soft, fluffy, lightly sweet bread that’ll garner raves: The soaking step at the beginning allows the dense flour to hydrate more fully, resulting in a more tender bread, and the vital wheat gluten—which you’ll find near the yeast and flour in well-stocked supermarkets—aids in tenderness as well. The colored eggs are decorative, though you could eat them if you’d like (they’ll be overcooked). If they discolor from baking, simply twist to remove them, and replace with more vibrant eggs. The finished bread is gloriously large and serves a crowd. If you have leftovers, try slicing and toasting for breakfast—or using for French toast or bread pudding.
Banana Pudding Cake
One of our testers called this "the ultimate banana pudding in cake form." Tender laters of cake, creamy vanilla custard, and bananas come together to create a mouthwatering dessert. Warning: There won't be leftovers.
This recipe is great for entertaining: Simply roast the carrots ahead of time and broil just before serving.
Clementine-and-Collard Greens Salad
This healthy yet hearty salad makes a great winter meal, just when you’re in need of something bright and sunny. Sweet and juicy clementines, a favorite citrus down South, liven up this mix of chicken, collard greens, pecans, and crumbled goat cheese. Massage some of the dressing into the collards to tenderize the greens and make them more flavorful.
Leek-and-Mushroom Grits Frittata
Chocolate Bundt Cake
Made with boxed cake and brownie mixes, this Bundt is decadent yet easy to pull off. Drissled with chocolate frosting and topped with edible pansies, this cake is not only easy to make, but wil impress at every occasion. We love the contrast of the colorful pansies against the dark cake. Choose flowers labeled as edible, which you can find in the produce section of specialty-food stores.
I wanted to make a glaze that was a bit punchier than the usual basic brown sugar or honey mustard, so I experimented with some of my favorite ingredients. Mango Chutney, with its sweet and sour base. Savora, a French condiment that was like a spiced Dijon, for mustard heat with a bit more oomph. Asian honey ginger jam for sweet, and garam masala for musky depth. Raw ginger and garlic and Thai chile to bring freshness to the party, and orange for familiarity and acid. The result was a ham that got demolished at the party.