30+ Easter Recipes for a Small Group
If this year's Easter gathering is smaller than usual, you'll need to make some adjustments. In additions to mains and sides with fewer servings, you may be looking to invest in dishes with fewer, or more affordable, ingredients. Rather than 8 or 12 people, these Easter-friendly recipes serve 2, 4, or 6 diners. A small-scale Easter celebration is a perfect opportunity to make foods that don't fit the typical Easter menu. However, if you'd rather stick to traditional foods, we've included Easter-friendly recipes that won't crowd your fridge or table.
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.
Charred Orange-Chile Broccoli
Roasting brings out the sweet flavor of broccoli while adding a pleasant bitter note. The mildly spicy soy-orange sauce brings it all into balance. Taking the extra step to remove the woody outer layer from the broccoli stems makes the entire floret tender. Look for Asian chile-garlic sauce with other Asian flavorings and condiments.
Fresh asparagus and peas lend a bright spring flavor to the classic bacon, egg yolk, and Parmesan carbonara sauce. To get just the right amount of drippings for the base of the sauce, go for center-cut bacon and cook it slowly over low heat. After cooking the asparagus, remove the skillet from the heat for a minute to cool down before combing the pasta with the egg-yolk sauce; back on the heat, stir the pasta gently but constantly so you don't end up with scrambled eggs.
Ham and Lima Bean Fried Rice
This delicious Southern twist on fried rice is made with pantry and freezer staples, so you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand.
Ham and Cheese Pizza
When a classic sandwich gets reincarnated as a cheesy pizza, rave reviews are bound to follow. Sweet, crisp Fuji apple provides a great balance to the rich, gooey cheese and savory ham, and everyone knows there's no better place to slip in some extra leafy greens than on a pizza. To get julienne-cut apple pieces, cut into thin slices; then stack and cut lengthwise into matchsticks.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Easy enough for a weeknight meal, impressively decadent enough for a holiday dinner—the Instant Pot has done it again. Beyond their creamy texture and richly savory flavor, we love these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes for the time they save. With this method, your potatoes cook in half the time and there’s no need to drain—saving an extra step and a strainer to wash. You could also apply this technique for mashed sweet potatoes.
Sautéed Green Beans With Bacon
Simplify your old, fussy sautéed green beans recipe with this simple take on the popular vegetable dish. 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.
Skillet Chicken Thighs with Spring Vegetables and Shallot Vinaigrette
This elegant single-skillet meal for two is deceptively easy to make. Ready in under an hour, this skillet chicken dinner includes your protein (perfectly golden-crisp chicken thighs), green veggies (peas and asparagus), a starch (baby Yukon gold potatoes), and a whole lot of vibrant flavor (hello, shallot vinaigrette). A great recipe for anyone cooking for one or two, this easy weeknight chicken dinner is one you’re sure to come back to again and again.
This recipe is great for entertaining: Simply roast the carrots ahead of time and broil just before serving.
Here’s the spring brunch recipe you’ve been looking for. Our Asparagus Frittata has a creamy mouthfeel with bursts of springy flavor from the veggies and a nice herb presence. The asparagus remains toothy while the spring onions get sweet, so you get good flavor and textural contrasts. Spring onions are available in most grocery stores at the height of the season, but you can find them at international groceries beyond peak season. Be sure to whisk the egg mixture thoroughly in order to fully incorporate the crème fraiche.
Turmeric Banana Bread
Though this company-worthy loaf is, no doubt, impressive, it’s really nothing more than a foolproof banana bread recipe with a few flavor tricks up its sleeve. A power couple combo of earthy turmeric and fragrant cardamon play extremely well with banana’s dense sweetness, boosting this classic quick bread’s comfy-cozy factor to delicious new heights. A sprinkling of pine nuts over top adds textural and visual intrigue with minimal effort (though, you could really use any nut you like here). And to really take your Turmeric Banana Bread up a notch, serve it with our stunning Golden Turmeric Butter.
Oven-Fried Chicken with Spring Salad
Making crispy, golden-brown chicken is possible on a weeknight if you use the oven instead of the stove-top. Enjoy the contrast between the hot cooked chicken and the tangy caper-and-lemon vinaigrette.
Spring Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie
We use cauliflower for the topping instead of the usual mashed potatoes; cauliflower has twice the fiber and about a fourth of the carbs. For a gluten-free version, use 2 tablespoons cornstarch in place of the all-purpose flour in step 3.
If you’ve never grilled a beet before, you’re missing out. Our Grilled Beets have nice, earthy flavors that are accented by the char from the grill. The cheese and herbs really round it all out. If you’re looking for some added flavor, you could add citrus, such as fresh orange juice and zest, and some pistachios. This already easy recipe can be prepared ahead of time by roasting the beets beforehand. Be sure to wrap the yellow and red beets separately so the red beet color doesn’t bleed onto the yellow beets. These are perfect as a side at a weeknight dinner, especially as a companion to fish or meat.
Gnocchi Gratin with Ham and Peas
You'll love the flavor of this simple gratin. Gruyère is an aged Swiss cheese with a firm texture and sweet, slightly nutty flavor. If you can’t find Gruyère, Comté, Appenzeller, and Emmenthaler are in the same cheese family and good substitutes. This dish is easy to make-ahead. Simply prep the unbaked gratin up to two days ahead and store in the refrigerator. When you're ready to server, bake as directed.
Pantry Beans and Greens
If it’s a cold-weather, feel-good meal you want, Pantry Beans and Greens is everything you need. This hearty yet healthy dish is both easy on your wallet and incredibly easy to pull together. But don’t be fooled—just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s not one of the most satisfying meals you’ll eat this winter. (It is.) And the best part is, while this pantry meal is delicious as is, it’s also endlessly customizable. Swap in a different, heartier green if you like; ditch the Parmesan to make it vegan; add bacon or ground meat to bulk up the protein; transform it into a pasta or soup—it’s really up to you. Enjoy the base recipe and then try changing it up with one of the variations written below.
Sheet Pan Steak with Blistered Veggies
We have a saying around here: A good sheet pan dinner is always a winner. And this quick and easy steak and veggie supper is a shining example. It’s a delicious taste of what cookbook author Julie Grimes offers in $10 Dinners: Delicious Meals for a Family of 4 that Don't Break the Bank; grab a copy today for more family-friendly recipes that are equally friendly on your wallet.
Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
Kids aren’t the only ones who love this melty, Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole. The rice, broccoli, and chicken provide a nice substance for the creamy, béchamel type sauce, while the buttery topping adds crunch and richness. In other words, it’s pure comfort food, and you can have it ready for a weeknight dinner right at under an hour. Rotisserie chicken works wonderfully here, but you can use whatever leftover chicken you have on hand. To shake things up, substitute in a different cooked vegetable, such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus, for the broccoli.
Easy Air Fryer Asparagus
If you’re looking for an easy way to cook tender-on-the-inside but crunchy-on-the-outside asparagus, then your air fryer is the way to go. This is basically roasted asparagus, but with a textural bonus. Plus, it’s super simple ti cook asparagus in the air fryer and walk away. If you prefer your asparagus softer, cook for 10 minutes instead of 8. You’ll want to use medium thick asparagus, but if that’s not available then adjust the cook time accordingly.
Instant Pot Hoppin' John
Use your instant pot to make a Hoppin' John dish that is so hearty and flavorful, the promise of luck when eaten on New Years is merely an added bonus. The old Southern tradition says that each person should eat one pea per year for good luck and posterity. You've got everyone covered with this fast, delicious go-to recipe.
Elegant dinners don't have to take a long time and a ton of effort—this one only takes 10 minutes.
Instant Pot Melting Potatoes
You’ve seen the Internet-famous “melting potatoes;” now here’s how to do them in your Instant Pot—i.e. without cranking your oven up to 500°. Buttery, creamy, perfectly salty Instant Pot Melting Potatoes make for a divinely decadent celebration of potato—no cream or cheese necessary. If you want to double the recipe, you’ll need to brown your potatoes in batches, but can steam them all together. Feel free to garnish with a sprinkling of whatever herbs you desire; parsley, sage, or rosemary are all great options.
Chicken Asparagus Pasta
Our Chicken Asparagus Pasta celebrates spring flavors, but it still easy and comes together quickly. The creamy sauce is balanced by the lemon juice and zest, which cuts the fat and makes the dish feel a little lighter. Feel free to add other in-season produce, like chopped Brussels sprouts or garlic scapes. Plus, all those herbs and the asparagus add a freshness to the sauce. All ingredients are easy to source, but you can also utilize leftover chicken or veggies to make this even more economical.
Herby Pea and Lemon Pasta Salad
This verdant pasta salad signals a fantastic start to spring with a shower of fresh herbs. Mini shell pasta and peas are a perfect pair—the pasta serves as a kind of catcher’s mitt for the sweet, bright green peas. You could also use orecchiette, an ear-shaped pasta that serves the same purpose. Skip the chicken and add 1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese for a vegetarian main, or try 2 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon for meat lovers. If you have a nut allergy but still want some crunch, try toasted coarse breadcrumbs or sunflower seed kernels.
Coriander Chicken Thighs with Spring Vegetables, Gnocchi, and Lemon-Butter Sauce
Succulent, crispy-skinned thighs, vibrant veggies, and pillowy potato dumplings, all dressed in a luscious lemon-butter pan sauce—really, what more could you ask for? Treat yourself to a chicken dinner that’s 100% as impressive as it sounds. It’s not one of those “ready-in-15-minutes” meals, but it is a plate you’ll be happy you pulled together after a weekend trip to the farmers’ market.
"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.
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.
Early Summer Succotash
In this fresh take on succotash, we use a pan-steaming technique (no steamer basket required) to cut down on cooking time and keep the beans and corn crisp-tender rather than ultra-soft. For succotash, fresh corn always tastes more delicious than frozen, but thawed frozen corn would certainly be a good stand-in here in a pinch. If you are using fresh corn, after you cut the kernels off, run the dull side of your knife down the kernel and scrape some of the corn “milk” into the pan, too. This recipe makes a small portion but can be doubled or even tripled to serve a crowd.
Sheet Pan Seafood Bake with Buttery Wine Sauce
Finally, a seafood “bake” that lives up to its name. This lively platter of mussels, clams, sausage, and potatoes is a super fun alternative to your typical sheet pan suppers. It’s easy to make and doused in a ridiculously tasty, buttery white wine sauce—kicked up a bit with a little hot sauce and seafood seasoning—which is heavenly sopped up with the potatoes, as well as some crusty bread if you have it on hand. As far as seafood seasoning blends go, we prefer Slap Ya Mama brand, as we’ve found they use high quality ingredients, but feel free to use whatever you have kicking around your spice cabinet. When cleaning the shellfish prior to cooking, tap any partially opened mussels on the counter; if they close their shell, they’re fine to cook. However if they don’t close up—toss them, that means they’re dead, and no good to eat. Also discard any mussels or clams with broken shells. The clams will take a bit longer to cook, which is why you’ll want to start these on the pan first. Doing so also allows the pan to preheat, so when you add the wine, instant steam is created to help open the mollusks. We consider this dish the ultimate in laid-back evening eats, so crack a cold beer open and enjoy. And if you wanted to dress this dish up a bit, you could eliminate the potatoes and serve the shellfish, sausage, and sauce over a bed of linguine.
Instant Pot Lasagna
Weeknight dinner doesn't get easier than this—we're talking cheesy, gooey, and ready in a flash. The next time the craving for hearty, comfort food strikes, just remember, Instant Pot Lasagna has your back.
Niçoise Gnocchi Salad
Haven’t made it to the grocery store in a minute? That doesn’t mean you can’t whip up an impressive dish. This lovely, snackable take on a salad Niçoise is composed largely from pantry items, like canned tuna and roasted red peppers, plus a couple of common refrigerator staples—frozen green beans and eggs. We use packaged gnocchi, shelf-stable gnocchi as a creative swap for the fresh potatoes typically found in a salad Niçoise. Dressed up with a super simple vinaigrette this “throw-together” salad could easily pass for a well-planned. In other words, keep this one in your back pocket for the next time you need a last-minute appetizer for entertaining.
Bucatini with White Beans, Tonnato, and Olive Oil Breadcrumbs
Elevate humble mayo via a quick ride through the blender with high-quality canned tuna and anchovies (think Ortiz or Genova brands). The velvety result? Tonnato, an Italian condiment-turned-pasta-sauce to coat every bit of bucatini. Reserve a spoonful or two of the sauce for future sandwich spreads or a dip for roasted veggies.
Instant Pot Asparagus
Our Instant Pot Asparagus is tender, but still has a nice crunch and flavor thanks to toasted almonds and orange zest. Everything you need is super easy to find—just make sure to buy asparagus with medium thickness, as asparagus that’s too thin or small will become mushy. Same thing goes for cooking them at too much pressure—be sure your Instant Pot is cooking on low pressure for truly tender asparagus.