A Southern Easter Dinner Party Menu

Suggestions for a Special Sunday Meal

Orange Glazed Ham
Orange Glazed Ham. Diana Rattray

When we think about the Easter holiday, images of yellow marshmallow peeps, chocolate bunnies, and painted pastel eggs come to mind. For many, Easter is a special gathering time for families celebrating Pascha, Resurrection Sunday, and other religious traditions. No matter where you're from, trying out a new dish on Easter can delight your guests. You can make a traditional ham or roast leg of lamb, a breakfast or brunch meal, a large buffet with a little bit of everything, or a simple Southern dinner party menu.

A Southern Easter Menu

Easter dinner in the South is typically centered around Spring foods and all-time favorite Southern plates. For the main dish, many southerners prepare an orange glazed ham with boneless smoked ham, orange marmalade, orange juice, and more. Add side dishes like baked sweet potatoescreamed spinach, and a seven-layer salad for a classic touch. For a Southern meal, you can also get creative by making a skillet corn medley with peppers and onions, which can be made with fresh or frozen ingredients. Of course, you can't have Easter dinner without some warm cornmeal biscuits. Finally, finish your holiday meal with desserts like ambrosia, daffodil cake with lemon frosting, or peach cream pie.

An Herbed Lamb Dinner

There's nothing like an herb and garlic roasted leg of lamb for Easter dinner. Start this dish with a fresh ginger ale molded salad or a spinach salad with strawberries and pecans while dinner is cooking.

For side dishes, pair the meat with vegetables and starches like Delmonico potatoesbaked parsnips, and roasted asparagus. You can also share some light and airy angel biscuits with your guests to round the full course out. Complete your meal with a hummingbird cake (if you like banana, pineapple, and spice) or an apple crumb pie for a simple end to Easter.

Breakfast or Brunch for Easter

Whether you're serving breakfast for dinner or want to use leftovers the day after Easter, this is a great way to celebrate. Kick off your breakfast theme with bread like sweet rolls, pancakes, waffles, fritters, or coffee cakes. Then, serve the main dish from an egg recipe like an omelet, quiche, or strata. Alternatively, a breakfast casserole made out of vegetables, pasta, or rice will do the job. Whichever main course you choose, feel free to add some baked ham slices or ground ham. Add fruits and vegetables like coleslaw, greens, beans, and fruit salad to freshen up the mix.

Main Dish Meat Selections

If orange glazed ham and herbed lamb isn't up your alley, there's plenty of more meats to choose from for your main dish. Consider spicing up the party with a Jack Daniels glazed ham, or a baked ham with pineapple or bourbon glaze. There are many variations of glazed ham to use, like beer glaze, which uses a brown sugar-sweetened flavor. More creative main dish recipes include:

Vegetables and Bread

You can't have a holiday dinner without some veggies. Instead of crying over canned peas, whip up something tasty like scalloped vegetables, creamy potatoes with peas, or classic garlic-mashed potatoes.

You could also try something on the healthier side, like a cauliflower or broccoli casserole, smothered cabbage wedges, or Asian-inspired sweet and sour carrots. If you can't help yourself when it comes to cheese, you can make baked onions or other veggies in a cheese sauce.

After you've selected some nutritious vegetable sides, serve a bread that fits the theme of your course:

Desserts and Confections

Saving the best for last is often worth it. Choose a delicious dessert or confection to pair with your Easter dinner, with selections like Easter nests, peanut butter eggs, and lemon chiffon cake. Maybe caramel baked apples with raisins or banana delight cake topped with coconut frosting is more up your alley.

Pick from over 10 tasty sweet dishes to finish your holiday celebration with: