When I was growing up, we had ham for Easter dinner every. single. year. So, I’ve decided to post about non-ham Easter dinner ideas.
The ham of my youth was always accompanied by such calorie-bomb side dishes as cheesy potatoes or pasta salad. Later on, my mom liked to order a ham from Honeybaked Hams for the occasion.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t have anything against ham. In fact, the hubster sometimes smokes a ham for dinner, which is always delicious—then I use up the leftovers in soup. If, after reading this, you opt for a ham Easter dinner, I won’t judge you. In fact, I’ve even got a perfect recipe for using up the leftovers.
These Easter dinner ideas (with the possible exception of the duck) are very easy to make, but oh-so-impressive and yummy.
|One-Pan Meyer Lemon Chicken: This is a Frank family favorite for special-occasion dinners. The fact that it’s cooked in one pan makes cleanup a cinch. It’s also very impressive if you bring the pan to the table for serving. This dish has citrus notes and wonderful, savory flavors.|
|Herb-Roasted Rack of Pork: this easy meal is fancy enough to impress at Christmas, Easter, or any special-occasion dinner. The roast is cut into gigantic chops that are more than enough for one person (I usually eat half of one). Delicious served with stuffing, mashed potatoes, or even with a simple house salad.|
|Milk-Braised Pork Loin: This tender pork loin simmers in its own succulent sauce, flavored by onions and herbs. It’s a perfect weekend cooking project for a special Sunday Dinner. The sauce isn’t pretty, but you won’t care. Any leftovers are fantastic during the week. Mashed potatoes, polenta, or even rice would be a lovely accompaniment.|
|Roast Duck: Herbed Roasted Duck is an impressive holiday dinner, but is also perfect for a romantic dinner à deux for Valentine’s Day. The bird is perfumed with herbs from the inside and garnished with an aromatics-infused, tangy sauce.|
If you DO decide to make ham for Easter, make sure to choose a bone-in ham so that you can use the bone and leftover meat to make THIS soup:
|Ham and Navy Bean Soup: comfort food at its easiest! I always make a huge batch of this soup, since it freezes really well. I store the leftovers in 1-2 portion sizes and freeze them for an easy meal later. You can go completely vegetarian with this (vegetable broth and no cheese), or you can make it meaty enough for your most carnivorous cravings. I like to float a couple of smoked ham hocks in the slow-cooker, then pick the meat off the bones and add it back at the end of the cook time. Rosemary is a great addition: if you don’t mind rosemary needles, float the entire sprig in the soup. Otherwise, strip it off the stem and chop it. You can also add a cheese rind to amp up the flavor even more!|