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15 Easter Dinner Ideas that AREN'T Ham

Lamb, salmon, and chicken work just as beautifully as the main attraction
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Ham for Easter is a no-brainer: it’s simple and mostly hands-off, and pairs so well with everything that belongs on the springtime table. But let’s be honest, don’t you sometimes want to flex a little more culinary muscle? These 15 main dishes, from a fancied-up chicken pot pie to meatless asparagus ravioli, pair just as well with those glorious spring vegetables, and all are worthy of a special occasion meal.

  • Recipe

    Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Honey and Orange

    Cornish game hens work well for entertaining. They’re a nice departure from chicken, and they don’t require any last-minute carving. Marinating in honey and basting with butter adds flavor and encourages the skin to brown, but sometimes they also need a flash under the broiler to finish.

  • Recipe

    Herb-Roasted Rack of Pork with Morel Sauce

    This roast gets much of its flavor from an aromatic paste of garlic, herbs, and fennel, so be sure to rub the meat with the paste a day ahead to give it plenty of time to penetrate.

  • Recipe

    Salmon and Spring Vegetables in Parchment

    Talk about a pretty package. This salmon is all about its unique presentation, which also conveniently happens to be its cooking method. By wrapping the fish, along with a variety of vegetables and herbs, in a parchment pouch, you get a delicately steamed, perfectly moist result.
  • Recipe

    Pastry-Wrapped Chicken with Vegetable Stuffing

    Chicken stuffed with aromatic vegetables and wrapped in a buttery bread-like crust, known as “poulet au pain” in France, is the ultimate comfort food. As it bakes, the dough becomes golden and flaky, perfect for eating along with the tender meat and vegetables. It's a bit reminiscent of chicken pot pie.
  • Recipe

    Sear-Roasted Garlic and Fennel Pork Tenderloin

    Fennel is a classic flavoring for pork because it brings out the sweetness of the meat. Although this recipe is straightforward, you can make it even easier by skipping the browning step. Instead, roll the raw tenderloin in the garlic mixture and roast for about 30 minutes.

  • Recipe

    Salt-Crusted Trout with Lemon-Dill Beurre Blanc

    Salt-crusting has all the drama of a restaurant technique, yet it's easy to do at home. In this recipe, the trout becomes ultramoist and tender during roasting and pairs nicely with the classic lemon-dill sauce. Watch the Video Recipe to see the salt-crusting technique in action. 

  • Recipe

    Rack of Lamb with Raisin-Pine Nut Relish

    A bright topping, sort of a cross between a gremolata and a sauce, dresses up the otherwise straightforward roast lamb. If you want deeper flavor in the relish, add a finely minced anchovy.

  • Recipe

    Seared Scallops with Pea Purée and Crisp Pancetta

    This recipe may look fussy, but it’s actually feasible for a weeknight. The luscious sweet pea purée comes together quickly, and the pancetta bakes while you sear the scallops. Easy and elegant, this dish is great for guests or for a special family meal.

  • Recipe

    Asparagus Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce

    Wonton wrappers are a quick alternative to homemade pasta for ravioli. The rich brown butter, bright lemon zest, and crunchy almond garnish perfectly complement the creamy asparagus filling.

  • Recipe

    Mustard-Herb-Crusted Lamb Loins

    The crunchy, sweet-and-savory breadcrumb crust is a delicious contrast to the tender, rosy-red meat of these small roasts. Serve with roasted potatoes and asparagus.

  • Recipe

    Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie in a Potato Bowl

    In this riff on the classic pot pie, a "bowl" of buttery whipped potatoes replaces the traditional pastry crust, while the stew gets sophisticated flavor from fennel and exotic mushrooms. Roasted baby carrots make a striking topper.    

  • Recipe

    Mushroom-and-Coppa-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

    Not only is this a flavorful way to enjoy pork tenderloin, but it also looks impressive. Your little secret is how simple this dish is to prepare.

  • Recipe

    Southern-Style Shrimp and Grits

    This take on shrimp and grits keeps close to the dish’s roots but elevates it with the addition of fresh tomatoes and kale.

  • Recipe

    Grilled Flap Steak with Béarnaise Butter and Asparagus

    A compound butter packed with tarragon and shallot mimics the flavors of béarnaise sauce with much less effort. If you have any left over, try it on salmon or rice.

  • Recipe

    Apricot-and-Herb-Stuffed Leg of Lamb

    Rolling the lamb around the filling means you get some of those bright flavors in just about every bite. For the best flavor, stuff the lamb the day before you roast it. Garnish the platter of lamb with some of the same herbs from the filling, if you like.

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