6 Impressive and Easy Recipes to Serve for Easter Dinner

With Easter already on the horizon, celebrants are on the hunt for dishes to make their holiday dinners shine. Every family has their own way of celebrating Easter, and almost all of these traditions culminate with a comforting home-cooked dinner. Rather than spending your whole holiday in the kitchen, make Easter dinner easy using any of these 6 impressive and surprisingly simple recipes.

spinach salad with strawberry, goat cheese, nuts

Source: iStock

1. Strawberry Salad With Raspberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Nothing quite says spring like a vibrant salad incorporating the fresh flavors of strawberries. This Strawberry Salad With Raspberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette brings a little bit of everything to the table. Tangy goat cheese offsets the sweet, fruity flavors of the vinaigrette dressing, while candied pecans offer a tantalizing crunch to each bite. This easy recipe from Malibu Kitchen blog requires about 20 minutes in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

Raspberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup raspberry vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Candied pecans:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • ¼ cup sugar

Salad:

  • 4 (6 ounce) bags (or 6 cups) power greens or baby spinach
  • 2 pints strawberries, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • Raspberry-poppy seed vinaigrette
  • Candied pecans

Directions: For the raspberry-poppy seed vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, add the mustard, honey, vinegar, olive oil, poppy seeds, salt, and pepper, and whisk until combined. Can be stored in a mason jar and refrigerated until ready to use.

For the candied pecans: In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the pecans, sprinkle the sugar evenly over the pecans, and cook stirring constantly, until the pecans begin to brown and the sugar becomes candied on the surface, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a spatula, remove the pecans from the skillet and scatter them in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet. Allow to pecans to cool completely.

For the salad: In a large bowl, combine the power greens, strawberries, onion, and goat cheese. Drizzle the vinaigrette  over the salad and toss gently. Top with pecans and serve remaining vinaigrette along side of the salad.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Pancetta, Tortellini, and White Bean Stew

Dispel that last bit of winter chill in the air by serving a simple and warming Pancetta, Tortellini, and White Bean Stew, courtesy of Let’s Dish Recipes. Adapted from a Giada de Laurentiis recipe, the dish incorporates cheesy tortellini pasta into a savory, garlic-infused broth. Pancetta brings a bold kick to the finish while flavors of parsley and thyme mingle in every bite, yielding an understated yet oh-so-heavenly taste. The recipe is ready to serve in just 20 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1½ cups shredded carrots
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 16 to 20 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 2 cans white beans, drained
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

DirectionsIn a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the pancetta, garlic, shallots, carrots, and thyme and cook until the pancetta is crispy, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and beans and simmer until tortellini is tender. Stir in fresh parsley and season with pepper, to taste. Serve with Parmesan cheese for garnish.

asparagus chopping, knife

Source: iStock

3. Mediterranean Skillet Lasagna

Liven up the dinner spread this Easter with a hearty Mediterranean Skillet Lasagna from Half Baked Harvest. Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes lend a distinctive character to the meal, blending with a variety of veggies and 3 types of cheese for a truly satiating holiday entrée. The recipe takes about 45 minutes to complete, yielding 6 servings per batch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas or 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 to 4 green onions, chopped
  • ⅓ cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil reserved
  • ⅓ cup kalamata olives
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2⅓ cups milk
  • 4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½ teaspoon crushed, red pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 to 10 no-boil whole wheat or regular lasagna noodles, broken into thirds or fourths
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 12 pepperonis (optional)

DirectionsPreheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a large oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil, the asparagus, and sugar snap peas. Cover and allow the veggies to cook about 5 to 10 minutes or until tender crisp, stirring once or twice.

Add the green onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until the onions have softened. Season with salt and pepper. Slide the veggies out onto a plate. Set aside.

In the same skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring over medium-low heat for 3 minutes or until the butter is lightly browned and the garlic is caramelized. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk in a steady stream. Simmer for 2 minutes, whisking. Remove from the heat, stir in fontina, provolone and mozzarella. Add the crushed red peppers and season with salt and pepper.

Add the noodles and veggies to the skillet. Add the parsley and basil and carefully give the skillet a good stir, making sure everything is coated in the sauce and and in an even layer. Add the parmesan and pepperonis, if using. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden and the cheese is bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes.

Salmon, lemon, thyme

Source: iStock

4. Slow-Baked Lemon-Thyme Salmon

The light flavors of salmon are a perfect addition to a springtime holiday meal. This Slow-Baked Lemon-Thyme Salmon recipe from Leeves And Berries is a simple, 6-ingredient solution to satisfy even the pickiest eater in your family. The dish takes about a half hour to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of salmon, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 2 lemon wedges (for serving)

DirectionsPreheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet, skin side down. In a small bowl mix together the chopped thyme, olive oil, and lemon zest. Evenly spread the thyme mixture over the salmon filet then season with salt and pepper.

Allow to stand for 10 minutes for flavors to meld then bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until salmon is just opaque in the center. Serve with lemon wedges.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Lamb Chops With Mint Gremolata

Gremolata, a garnish-cum-condiment made up of lemon, garlic, and parsley, is an easy-to-make, popular accoutrement for meat dishes. Country Living builds upon the standard recipe for gremolata, topping off simply-seasoned lamb chops with a citrus-mint garnish. These Lamb Chops With Mint Gremolata are sure to make your holiday guests’ mouths water. The recipe takes 20 minutes to make (plus 2 hours marination time) and serves 2 people.

Ingredients:

Lamb chops:

  • 4 rib lamb chops
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprig torn mint
  • 2 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Gremolata:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

DirectionsPlace lamb chops, olive oil, torn mint, garlic, and pepper in a large, sealable plastic bag. Toss to coat lamb chops and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Remove chops, wipe off excess marinade, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Broil chops on high until medium-rare, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.

For the gremolata: Crush garlic, lemon zest, and salt into a paste using the side of a large knife or a mortar and pestle. In a small bowl, stir together garlic paste and mint leaves with olive oil. Transfer chops to serving plate, drizzle with mint gremolata, and garnish with fresh mint.

Cooking gnocchi, pasta
Source: iStock

6. Creamy Ham and Pea Spring Gnocchi

In keeping with the long-held Christian tradition of serving ham for Easter dinner, Dinners Dishes And Desserts offers this recipe for Creamy Ham And Pea Spring Gnocchi. Warm, chewy gnocchi are wrapped in velvety cream sauce, while peas bring a delightful texture to the dish. Chunks of ham add that last irresistible note of savory flavor. The recipe takes just 15 minutes to make and yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces potato gnocchi
  • 1½ cups asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • 1 cup ham, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • ¾ cup half-and-half
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

DirectionsIn a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ham, sauté until ham starts to brown. Add cream cheese and half-and-half, stirring to melt and combine.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil. Add gnocchi. After 1 minute add asparagus and peas. Once the gnocchi are floating to the top, drain. Add to the skillet. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, and cook for a few minute until sauce thickens.

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