Chef John's Best Easter Dinner Recipes
Hippity hoppity Easter's on its way!
If Chef John has a superpower, it's his ability to combine creativity in the kitchen with down-to-earth tips that help you cook with confidence. That's why we're turning to him for his best Easter recipes for your holiday feast.
After all, a special occasion dinner like Easter calls for dishes that have that little something extra to set them apart. We've hand-picked some of our favorite recipes from Chef John that'll make your Easter dinner special indeed, and each one comes with a how-to video to help you every step of the way.
Never one to be basic, Chef John adds cream cheese to the filling for a richer texture and tops each deviled egg with a ring of homemade candied jalapeno pepper (included in the recipe).
"Served this for a dinner party of 15 guests and every single one complimented me on them. Huge hit," raves dchoya.
Fresh asparagus is baked on a raft of crispy puff pastry for a simple but elegant Easter appetizer. You can quickly boil and blanch the asparagus ahead of time and assemble the tart just before baking.
"Very nice, very easy and made a good presentation for company," says ttkc. Watch the video to see how to make it.
Easter Main Dishes
Here's a stunning centerpiece recipe for your Easter feast. "A great holiday ham glaze needs to have three things: wonderful flavor, gorgeous, shiny appearance, and a crispy, crackling crust you can hear across the room," says Chef John. "I'm happy to report this easy-to-make glaze has all those things in abundance." Check out the video for tips and how-tos.
If your Easter tastes run more to lamb than ham, try this roast leg of lamb brushed with a sweet pomegranate glaze. The accompanying video shows you how to roast the lamb, and links you to how to make pomegranate molasses (it's so simple!) and even how to debone and butterfly a leg of lamb — or you could just have your butcher do it for you.
Another take on Easter lamb, this time with tender rack of lamb served with a fruity strawberry sauce brightened with mint. "I made this for Easter Dinner and it turned out picture perfect," says Rob Hoffman. "It looked impressive and really was pretty easy to whip up."
Easter Side Dishes
No canned ingredients in this classic casserole — just fresh green beans and caramelized onions baked in a homemade white sauce and topped with two kinds of cheese. You can easily put this together the night before and bake it on the day.
"Why are there only 5 stars? This recipe deserves 10! So much better than the canned soup version. Everyone declared it a hit, and hubby said it was the star of the meal." — lucylove
Potatoes and mushrooms bake together in cream and chicken stock flavored with fresh thyme and truffle cheese. Don't let the truffle cheese scare you off; Linda klopatek made hers with Fontina cheese and gives it 5 stars.
"The secret to these deliciously crusty potatoes is the pre-oven boiling in a salted and seasoned liquid," explains Chef John. C.H.A.O.S. Mommie agrees, saying, "I cannot believe what a difference this method makes! Turned out absolutely perfect on my first try."
Thinly sliced potato rounds are coated with butter, herbs,and cheese, then layered in muffin tins to bake until tender. As they bake, the edges brown and curl to create flower-like potato "petals" that look incredibly impressive on a plate. But as fancy as they look, the only "fancy" part is slicing them with a mandolin to get the thin layers you need.
Reen McGurl says, "They turned out so cute and fun to make. I found if I stack the potatoes up above the edge of the cupcake cups, they turn out better with more of a flower effect."
Definitely a special occasion dish, what with all that butter, sugar, and bourbon. But we're talking about a special occasion meal, right?
"My, oh my! Thank you Chef John," says GourmetGale. "Served it to my husband and friends and there wasn't a carrot left over!"
Cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg gently spice these traditional Easter yeast bread buns. "I've made Hot Cross Buns for Easter for years, but this is by far the best recipe I have ever tried." — Candice Gage
Chef John calls this his "old and trusty recipe for carrot cake." You can bake the batter in a 9x13 pan or in 9-inch round pans if you want a layer cake. Either way, you'll top it with a simple cream cheese frosting and optional candied carrot garnishes.
Alexandria M says, "I made this and used vegetable oil instead of coconut oil, and walnuts instead of pecans. It came out deliciously! It was easy, straight forward, with amazing results!"
Just in case your Easter table needs an extra helping of bright, cheerful color, here's a strawberry dessert that should do it for you.
"This tart is so lovely and really makes the flavor of fresh strawberries stand out," says sonjagroset. "I like that the cheese [layer] is not too sweet. My tart turned out a little larger, but I still had plenty of sauce.
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