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If you are looking for Easter menu ideas, and especially Easter roasts, then you are definitely in the right place. Whether you are holding a large gathering or an intimate family meal, I've got recipes for every occasion.
Formal, relaxed or al fresco? Whatever your plan, there are plenty of recipes to choose from, including the all important make-ahead dishes and the ones that take no effort to make for fuss free cooking.
Welcome to a delicious Easter!
Why you will love these Easter menu ideas
If you live in the UK like I do, the weather really dictates your food plans at Easter. Some years the weather is gorgeous and we are running into the garden in our shorts to set up a barbecue, yet other years it's cold, wet and windy and we are hunkering down with a comforting slow roast, which is warming the kitchen and filling the house with mouth-watering aromas as it cooks.
Whatever the weather is doing where you are, I've got you covered with starters, main courses, sides and desserts. I've broken them down too, into three sections, depending on your Easter mood.
All sections include recipes that you can make in advance to save time on the day. They also include recipes that are simple to cook, from slam-it-in-the-oven roasts to easy desserts.
There are formal recipes, which are perfect for family gatherings, when only an Easter roast will do. These include elegant starters and desserts that are dressed to impress.
Then, there are relaxed recipes. If you are having a few friends for lunch, or just staying home, there are plenty of recipes that are delicious without the ceremony. Think of all those favourites that are great; some eaten hot or cold, family-friendly or just plain easy, designed so you can enjoy the day with minimal fuss.
Lastly, if you have great weather, it's time to get outside and enjoy it al fresco style! Get the barbie lit, prepare some great salads and chillax in the garden with your favourite tipple while lunch is cooking. I find that this is a great time to delegate the grilling if you've done all the prep!
Let's get cracking!
Formal Easter Lunch
This is the time to put in a bit of extra effort with presentation and ingredients, but that doesn't have to mean hours in the kitchen on the day. The great thing about Easter roasts is that they are so easy, leaving you time to cook the vegetables and spend time with your loved ones. Prepare the starter and dessert in advance and it's all plain sailing.
- Salmon Gravlax with Gin and Juniper - This takes 3 days to prepare properly so it's perfect for making in advance. It's great served on blinis as an appetiser or simply with a dollop of crème fraîche, flavoured with dill and horseradish, accompanied with a slice of good brown bread and butter.
- Prawn Crab and Lobster Bisque - Elegant and basically free! I keep all my shells from preparing seafood in a big bag in the freezer, then when I have enough I make this velvety soup. Perfect with a drizzle of cream and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Duck Terrine with Asparagus -Perfect for making a day or so before, this is basically an assembly job before putting it in the oven. So easy, delicious and elegant, served in slices with a red onion chutney.
- Smoked Salmon Timbales - These are so easy to make with fresh and smoked salmon, cucumber and avocado. They will happily sit in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Main Courses and Easter roasts
- Belly pork with perfect crackling - An easy and economical cut that just needs a bit of preparation before letting the oven take over. The onions and apples roast in the same pan, so the juices for the gravy are ready when you are.
- Slow roast lamb shoulder with garlic and rosemary - Prep, roast and forget. Go and take a walk, enjoy family time or simply curl up with a good book, this recipe needs very little attention and is amazing!
- Turkey ballotine - This is perfect for a small gathering using a turkey breast, which is stuffed with cranberries and chestnuts. Perfect hot as a roast or cold for decadent sandwiches or with salad.
- Honey garlic salmon - For a lighter lunch, opt for this side of salmon, smothered in honey, garlic, lemon and butter.
- French onion sauce soubise - Creamy, buttery and perfect with lamb and all roast meats, this sauce is easy to make from store cupboard ingredients.
- Perfect roast potatoes - It's so easy to get perfect roasties every time when you know a few tips. These potatoes are great with any roast.
- French crispy potatoes pavé - These are scalloped potatoes cooked in stock and garlic, then pressed overnight. They are then cut into portions and smothered in butter, before they are roasted until crisp. Often served in French restaurants, these are so amazing!
- Roasted root vegetables - I find that roasting brings out the flavours and natural sweetness of carrots and parsnips, and I also like to sprinkle them with earthy cumin and coriander before roasting.
- Duchess Potatoes - Perfect for making in advance and then freezing. Cook from frozen on the day for fuss free potatoes.
- 2 ingredient chocolate mousse - There's no cream in this mousse, just good chocolate and eggs. It's great for making the day before and is so light and fluffy, whilst being seriously chocolatey.
- Lavender crème brûlée - Here's another classic, that is easier than you think. You can make the day before and replace the lavender with vanilla if you like.
- Baileys Sabayon - This recipe uses just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes to make. Feather light, creamy and delicious!
- Raspberry frangipane tart -A crisp buttery base filled with almond frangipane and topped with fresh raspberries and flaked almonds.
Relaxed Easter Lunch
Sometimes, if you are on your own or have a small family at home, it's nice to keep the food a bit more casual. Here are a selection of Easter menu ideas that are a little more rustic, but no less delicious.
- Chicken liver parfait with brandy -Easy and economical. Lay out the parfait with plenty of pickles and crusty bread, as a sharing platter.
- Garlic mushrooms in a Parmesan panko crust - These always go down well and they are baked, not fried, so no last minute fuss in the kitchen.
- Tarragon and mushroom soup - This is a frugal soup, made in just 15 minutes, giving you time to enjoy yourself too.
- Coq au vin - There's no fuss with this version, which just uses chicken thighs, to make it really easy to prepare. Button onions, mushrooms and bacon make this recipe rich and comforting too.
- Lamb kleftiko - Slow roast lamb shoulder Greek style with plenty of garlic, lemon and mint. Perfect to serve with just salads.
- Pulled pork with pineapple barbecue sauce - Ever popular and easy too. I like to make mine the day before and heat through on the day. Great in buns, on jacket potatoes, wraps or with salads, and the kids always love it.
- Ham with bourbon ginger glaze - Serve it hot or make life easier and serve it cold with jacket potatoes and salads.
- Monkfish with chorizo - An easy, tasty treat, that is perfect for 1 or 2 people. One of my favourites and popular on the site.
- Quiche Lorraine - The smell of quiche cooking has got to be one of my favourite things. Make it in advance and serve it hot or cold with salads, for an easy lunch.
- Broccoli and cauliflower cheese - Who can resist vegetables in a creamy cheesy sauce? This is such a comfort dish and you can add any vegetables you want too.
- Potatoes dauphinoise - Probably my favourite potatoes and this recipe is so easy. Just assemble in advance and put it in the oven when you're ready. Tender creamy potatoes and a crispy top!
- Crispy smashed potatoes - Fun and simple to prepare in advance then just crisp up in the oven with a little Parmesan.
- Parmentier potatoes - These mini roast potato cubes with garlic, onions and rosemary are so easy and delicious.
- Blueberry and strawberry Eton mess - Make the meringues in advance and just assemble on the day. You can use bought meringues to make it even easier.
- Brioche chocolate bread and butter pudding - Always a favourite in our house. Prepare in advance and just pop it in the oven when you sit down to eat the main course.
- Strawberry galette - Rustic and easy to whip up with any fruit you like.
- Apple crumble caramel pie - This is wickedly good made the day before and just warmed in the oven. Serve with a dollop of cream or vanilla ice-cream.
Al Fresco Dining
If you're lucky enough to have good weather then it's a shame not to make the most of it and eat outside in the fresh air.
Whether you like to grill or barbecue, or just serve food from the kitchen, there's a range of dishes that are perfect for east outdoor dining.
- Chicken caesar salad - Cook the chicken in advance and just assemble before serving. This is a lighter fat version that still has all the taste.
- Fougasse bread - Classic French tear and share bread to serve with your favourite dips. I love warm olive oil with a few drops of balsamic.
- Halloumi fries - Always popular, these fries are dipped in panko and then baked, so no last minute frying is required.
- Salmon timbales - Easy to make the day before with poached and smoked salmon to just serve on the day.
- Mussels in white wine - These are so easy to make and there's step by step instructions on preparing them too. The garlic, parsley and white wine juices just need a good hunk of crusty bread to enjoy.
- Venison burger with bacon - Venison mince is so rich and low in fat, so you can enjoy a burger with all the trimmings. These ones have bacon mixed in to keep them extra juicy and tender.
- Raised turkey pie - This pie is great for outdoor gatherings and be made in advance. Sausage meat is layered in hot water crust pastry with turkey and cranberries.
- Thai fish burgers - These burgers are easy to make in advance and are full of chillies and coriander, for a spicy kick.
- Pomegranate lamb - Take a whole leg of lamb, stuff it with garlic and spit roast or oven roast it with a delicious glaze of pomegranate molasses.
- Tuscan roast pork - Rindless pork is rolled in a mixture of herbs and spices, including fennel, chilli and oregano.
- Twice baked stuffed potatoes - These are almost a meal in themselves, with cheese, spring onions and bacon. Easy to make in advance too.
- Greek salad - This is such a great fresh salad, full of crunch and the creamy tang of feta.
- Asian coleslaw - Great for making ahead, with an Asian dressing.
- Sweet potato fries - Sweet and crispy, these are oven baked, so easy to cook.
- Asparagus, feta and endamame salad - Perfect with lamb, with asparagus in season and so easy to put together.
- Pomegranate and pistachio couscous salad - This salad is happy to sit in the fridge until you need it.
- Nutella meringues - Make these a few days before ad serve with fresh fruit and whipped cream. Raspberries and strawberries are perfect.
- Brown butter nectarines - While the drill is still warm you can make this dessert in minutes! So simple.
- Caramel chocolate tart - Chocolate and salted caramel are a wicked combination that everyone loves.
- Lemon meringue cheesecake - No bake, no gelatin and no hassle. Serve with fruit or an easy meringue top.
More Easter recipes to try
Give these Easter menu recipes a try for Easter or any other time. And, if you love entertaining take a look at the French Dinner party menus.
Have a great Easter!
Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder
Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder
- deep sided oven dish
- 1 bulb garlic
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 kg lamb shoulder bone in
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Put the rosemary sprigs at the bottom of the pan and lay the lamb on top.
- Cut the bulb of garlic in half and place in the pan.
- Peel the remaining garlic cloves and slice each one into three. Make large slits in the lamb and push in the sliced garlic.
- Rub the olive oil into the skin and season with the salt and pepper.
- Cover the tin tightly with foil, avoiding touching the lamb underneath.
- Turn the oven down to 160C/350F and roast for 5 hours
- Remove the foil and turn the temperature up to 200C/400F to brown the meat for 30 minutes.
- Remove the garlic and rosemary then put the meat on a carving tray and cover loosely with the foil for a further 30 minutes.
- Cut the meat into chunks and serve with the gravy. Squeeze out some of the garlic cloves to serve.
- for 2kg allow at least 3 hours slow roasting and 4 hours for fork tender meat, plus 30 minutes browning time
- for 4kg allow at least 5 hours slow roasting and up to 8 hours for fork tender meat, plus 30 minutes browning time
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
We sometimes take for a granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove