How to Cook for Easter in 2020: Keep It Small, Easy, and Delicious (Deviled Eggs Are a Must)

published Apr 8, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Easter is fast approaching, and as the world continues to stay home and practice social distancing, many of us are starting to plan out what this year’s holiday menu might look like. The once-yearly tradition of sitting down together and enjoying a festive spring spread is something we look forward to each year — but, as we all know, that tradition is not going to be the same this year.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Celebrating a holiday through food is a small way to mimic normalcy — a moment to slow down and recenter— and we think that even the humblest Easter menu can do just that. Easter brunch will be different this year, but that isn’t a bad thing. This is why we’ve created this simple guide for cooking a small-scale, fuss-free Easter with what you have.

Kitchn’s Guide for an Easy, Small-Scale Easter Menu

You don’t need to put in a ton of work to create an Easter menu that feels special. And we think that no matter what ingredients you have on hand, there’s an opportunity to create a meal that feels festive. That’s why we’ve rounded up a collection of some of our favorite Easter recipes that accomplish just that. We’ve outlined each course and provided a recipe suggestion that we think strikes the perfect balance of festive-yet-simple — and we’ve included a few backup recipes and ingredient swaps in case you don’t have everything on hand. Keep in mind that Easter cooking is all about having fun and celebrating, so don’t fret if you can’t whip up one of these suggestions. A simple tray of deviled eggs is plenty festive and just the thing to make the day special.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Appetizer: Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a great, festive appetizer that come together with just a handful of staple ingredients. If you’re planning to dye eggs this year, this is the perfect recipe to use them up to create a beloved spring snack. They take fewer than five ingredients to make and can be prepped ahead of time to get a head start. If you don’t have Dijon on hand, you can swap it out with any other type of mustard you might have. And if you don’t have paprika and parsley to garnish them, simply omit it. They are super flexible and can be dressed up or down however you like.

Get the recipe: Deviled Eggs

Other simple appetizers we love:
Spinach-Artichoke Pinwheels
Stuffed Mushrooms

Read more: 20 Easy-to-Make Easter Brunch Appetizers

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Side Dish: Better-than-Grandma’s Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

The thing about these potatoes is that they look super fancy but are fairly simple to throw together. The recipe take just eight ingredients and transforms Yukon Gold potatoes into a comforting dish that makes perfect leftovers. If you don’t have ham, you can leave it out or make use of any leftover ham you might have here. And if you don’t have heavy cream, you can go ahead and use any milk you have. The cheese is also flexible and can be swapped out with shredded white cheddar or Gouda.

Other simple side dishes we love:
How To Make Parker House Rolls
How To Make Scalloped Potatoes

Credit: Joe Lingeman

The Veggie: Honey-Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots

Roasted carrots are a great festive vegetable choice that take just five ingredients to make. This recipe uses a bit of honey to sweeten the carrots and give them a shiny glaze, but you can swap it out for equal parts agave, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup. And the recipe finishes them in a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley, which you can completely omit if you don’t have it on hand. There’s no need to use fancy rainbow carrots here — any type of carrots will work just fine.

Other simple veggie sides we love:
Lemon-Pepper Asparagus
Brown-Butter Radishes

Main: 20-Minute Garlic Butter Lamb Chops

The thing about lamb is that even the simplest preparation of it is incredibly impressive. This entire recipe takes just six ingredients and is a serious show-stopper. This recipe crusts them in a simple pesto that can be made with any herb you have. Mint, basil, and parsley would all work well. And you can use frozen or fresh lamb chops — just make sure to thaw them out before roasting. (If you’re more of a ham-for-Easter kind of person, we also have you covered.)

Credit: Joe Lingeman
Strawberry Shortcake

Dessert: Strawberry Shortcake

Sure, carrot cake and Easter breads are great, but a simple spring dessert that is just as impressive is strawberry shortcake. The shortcakes can be made in advance, and the strawberry filling can be jazzed up with whatever you have on hand. You can even swap out the strawberries for another fruit such as raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries. If you have a box of Bisquick on hand, you can go ahead and use that for the base as well — nobody will know!

Get the recipe: Strawberry Shortcake

What are you planning to cook this Easter? Let us know in the comments!