If you're planning your Easter dinner menu and looking for a main dish that isn't ham, you've got plenty of options. You're still looking for a dish that will feed all your guests, fit in with all the sides you'd expect on the Easter table — from the asparagus to the rolls to the carrot soufflé — and of course it needs to feel like spring. So with ham off the table, what should you serve?
1. Lamb! (Is that obvious?)
Maybe this is a little obvious, but if you're not serving ham, what could be better than a classic lamb dish? If leg of lamb isn't your pace, consider chops instead. You can buy them by the piece — so only as much as you need — and still give them a celebratory feel with a sauce or special garnish. This recipe includes a pesto (it calls for matzo as binder, but it's fine to leave it out) that keeps the dish feeling springy.
The great thing about roast chicken is that its level of fanciness is scalable. You can shower it with salt and roast it under high heat until it's crispy and golden and it will be guaranteed delicious. But when you're making it the center of the Easter table, an extra bit of fuss is welcome. Take a cue from the beloved chicken from Zuni Cafe and salt the chicken a few days ahead, sear it to make sure you get the best crispy skin before roasting, and then use the pan drippings to drape over a salad with lots of bread to soak it all up. Ham who?
3. Kinda Fancy Lasagna
I love serving lasagna on holidays because just like chicken you can fancy it up to feel special. Also, a pan of lasagna is perfect for a big crowd and you can even make it ahead. Even though our Thanksgiving lasagna has squash in it, I wouldn't hesitate to serve it for Easter since it's vegetarian-friendly and lovely and light. Want to keep it classic? The red sauce version is always a favorite.
I'm always surprised how quickly salmon cooks and how delicious it is chilled. It such a winning dish when it comes to effortless entertaining. Serve salmon at your Easter dinner and know everything from the sides to the desserts will play nicely with the light and springy option. This is a good time to brush up on how to cook it properly so you're bringing a perfectly cooked dish to the table.
Do you know what temp is correct? How To Cook Salmon in the Oven
5. Beef, but Keep it Light
Easter isn't exactly the time to serve a pot roast (I'm all ears if you want to make that case, though) since there are so many lighter ways to serve beef. Steak is alway a good idea, especially if you slice it and serve it on a platter rather than make a personal steak for everyone. Pan-fry it, grill it, or make it in the oven — all those options are fair game. Regardless of how you prepared it, serving it with a tangy, herby chimichurri sauce would keep it bright. Another option, and certainly one worthy of company, is a steak roll-up. Our recipe is stuffed with arugula, roasted red peppers, and gorgonzola.
Are you making ham for Easter? If not, what are you serving instead?