15 Budget-Friendly Easter Recipes
Simple Baked Ham
Purchasing a glazed ham can be pretty pricey, but it's easy to make your own at home. Simply roast a store-bought cooked ham in the oven, baste with apple juice, and then coat the ham in a mixture of brown sugar and Dijon mustard before returning to the oven for a final 30 minutes. The heat will melt and partially caramelize the sugar, while the Dijon mustard adds savory flavor.
Basic Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a staple of just about any Southern Easter meal. Keep prep simple and budget-conscious with this recipe, which calls for just four main ingredients: eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, and sweet pickle relish (plus salt, pepper, and a dusting of paprika if desired).
This hearty scalloped potatoes recipe dresses up the humble potato for an irresistible side dish that's equally filling and budget-friendly. It's even got a secret ingredient: fried chicken coating mix. Bacon drippings are combined with the coating mix, milk, and and salt for a super-savory roux that takes the flavor of these scalloped potatoes up a notch.
Sautéed Green Beans With Bacon
This low maintenance side only calls for three ingredients (excluding salt, pepper, and water) for a recipe that couldn’t be any easier. Chopped green onions give the dish a crisp pop of freshness, while rich bacon drippings coat the green beans in a salty, savory flavor that’s simply irresistible. From the picky-eaters to the plate-fillers, everybody will love this sautéed green beans recipe.
This sweet-and-spicy carrot recipe proves that it isn't just the Easter bunny that will be eating his carrots this year. Toss boiled carrots in a spicy honey glaze for a quick side dish that is sure to please.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasting is an easy and economical way to prepare meat and vegetables alike. These roasted Brussels sprouts are a show-stopping side, making it look like you spent hours in the kitchen—when really it was mere minutes. Best of all? Except for the sprouts themselves and a sprinkling of hazelnuts, all of the ingredients are most likely already in your pantry.
Two-Cheese Mac and Cheese
Pasta dishes are a great go-to when planning a cost-conscious holiday celebration. Using both cheddar cheese and cream cheese lends this dish a creamy, ooey-gooey flavor that's hard to beat. Plus, this homemade macaroni and cheese is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.
Basic Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
Basic, yes. Boring, no. Start with this recipe, and then try some variations. The key to perfect, fluffy spuds is not overworking them with an electric mixer; a ricer (or food mill, if you have one) or potato masher is the best tool for the job.
A great way to save on menu costs is reaching for produce that's in season. One of spring's brightest stars, tender asparagus is an Easter table favorite. Simple toss with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper, then roast in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes. If desired, top with roasted slivered almonds—or skip this step if you'd like to cut costs a little more.
Spring Pea Orzo
This simple orzo dish features budget-friendly orzo pasta, in-season spring peas and snow peas, red onion, and fresh herbs. The key to this crowd-pleasing salad is to toss the warm pasta with the dressing so the orzo soaks up flavor. Make it up to two days ahead, and serve any leftovers with ham.
Lamb Shoulder Roast with Roasted Garlic Sauce
Lamb shoulder roast is a less expensive cut of this traditional Easter meat, but requires low and slow cooking to render the meat tender enough to eat. Fresh marjoram and lots of garlic perfectly complement the lamb's flavor.
Braided Lemon Bread
Homemade bread takes a good bit of extra effort compared to picking up a fresh loaf from a bakery, but the rewards make this recipe well worth it. This classic braided Easter bread is reminiscent of a lemon-poppy seed muffin, with poppy seeds, lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice baked right in. Its texture is similar to brioche or challah.
Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Almond-Mint Pesto
This lamb shoulder recipe calls for browning the roast on the stovetop, then roasting for two hours in the oven. Serve with a homemade almond-mint pesto that's easier to prepare than it looks, for a scene-stealing Easter entreé that's light on the wallet and heavy on the "wow" factor.
Carrot Easter Cake
Keep dessert really simple with this adorable carrot cake. All you need is a box of cake mix, a can (or two) of frosting, and green and orange food coloring.
Honey-Baked Pork Roast
Instead of the traditional cured ham that’s full of sodium and nitrates, bake the flavors of honey-baked ham into a pork picnic roast. The meat slowly roasts so that the sugar-honey spice rub bakes into a shellac-like crust. And the roast slices like ham, with firm but juicy slices that go perfectly with a simple honey-mustard sauce. We use a skin-on picnic roast here, which is cheaper than a Boston butt roast—making the holiday a little more affordable. Use a sharp knife to remove the skin, but leave the fat layer on to insulate the meat as it cooks.