A round up of non-traditional Easter dinner ideas for main dishes and sides alike! Ideas that include beef, salmon, roasts, pasta and more!
Easter is almost here! The grip of winter is finally relaxing and it’s time for spring and its celebrations. And that means Easter dinner! This is one of my favourite special occasions. Maybe it looks different for you this year than it usually does. Maybe you’re having just a small Easter Sunday celebration with immediate family and don’t want to cook a large turkey or ham, or maybe you are just tired of those options and want to do something new and surprising to treat your guests! Whatever the reason, I’ve put together this roundup of non-traditional Easter dinner ideas for main dishes and sides alike, and I hope you find some inspiration here!
Non-Traditional Turkey Ideas
Turkey is a traditional meat for Easter, but that doesn’t mean you have to serve it in a traditional way! I’ve created some delicious recipes for turkey that are just a little bit different. I hope they fit the bill for what you’re looking for this season.
Here’s a fun way to serve a traditional meat a non-traditional way! This Creamy White Turkey Lasagna is made with a lovely white cheese sauce, lean and delicious ground turkey, fresh spinach and lasagna noodles. Whether just for your family or for a small Easter gathering, served with a fresh green salad and some dinner buns this lasagna would make a delightfully comfortable holiday dinner with rave reviews.
This Lemon Garlic Turkey with Orzo Pasta and Roasted Spring Vegetables is a perfectly simple yet scrumptious and celebratory non-traditional Easter dinner idea. These pan-fried turkey fillets are simmered in a lemon, garlic, butter and white wine sauce and then served with Orzo and roasted vegetables of your choice. I love this perfectly portioned meal for a small gathering! Your guests will be amazed at the flavours and the pretty presentation of this delicious turkey recipe.
Over the last couple of years our gatherings have been a little smaller, with just the 5 of us, and I have found that I really enjoy roasting a turkey breast. Turkey breasts are the perfect size for my family, they’re easy to make, and they’re quick! So if you’re like me and looking for something a little different yet traditional this Easter, consider making this Slow Roasted Herb Marinated Turkey Breast for your smaller crew. A tender and juicy turkey breast with the nostalgic holiday flavours of rosemary and thyme, served with whatever sides you choose. And, you’ll also end up with some amazing pan drippings for gravy!
Non-Traditional Easter Dinner Ideas with Salmon
I think salmon is the perfect way to celebrate in a non-traditional way! It usually pleases everyone (including the picky eaters of the group), and can be done up in so many different ways. I’ve included two of my long time favourite salmon recipes here, and who knows? Maybe salmon for Easter will become one of your family traditions!
My family is a big fan of salmon! If yours is too, consider this Baked Salmon + Pasta dish for your Easter dinner table. This salmon is baked and served over perfectly seasoned pasta and then drizzled with an incredible sauce made from dijon mustard, thyme, crumbled goat cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. This easy to prepare dish feels luxurious and celebratory, just what you need for a small Easter gathering!
Here’s another non-traditional Easter dinner idea that involves salmon! This Macadamia Nut Maple Roasted Salmon recipe is such a flavourful and delicious way to serve salmon. Slathered in sweet chili sauce and maple syrup, and then coated in crushed macadamia nuts and roasted to perfection, this dish is perfect for a fancy dinner. Pair it with your choice of sides and serve it up as a very impressive holiday menu this Easter!
Unexpectedly Perfect Easter Dinner Ideas
Maybe you’re ready to throw out the Easter playbook entirely and serve something totally different and unexpected! While you might not consider these next ideas to be fancy dinner fare, they all encourage a cozy, comfy dinner table. Now you can have more time for visiting than cleaning up the kitchen.
This Creamy Lemon Pasta recipe is fresh, bright, and cheery. Perfect for an Easter table! Serve this as one of your delicious Easter side dishes, or add some protein (turkey, perhaps?) and make it into a main course all on its own. This pasta is ready in less than an hour. Perfect for a casual get together where you just want something a little special and different! It’s also wonderful with this Lemon Garlic Broccolini.
This is not your classic ham recipe! Maybe you’re planning a more casual, brunch-like gathering for Easter this year. If so, might I suggest this Easy Ham and Cheese Crustless Quiche? Crustless quiches, or frittatas, are really easy and delicious dishes. They’re perfect for Sunday or holiday brunch, and depending on what cheeses you use they can be quite elegant and interesting! Serve with fresh fruit for a beautiful Easter brunch experience for all. If brunch is your thing and you’re looking for more easy brunch ideas to choose from, check out these 21 Easter brunch ideas with sweet and savoury options!
Take your Easter celebrations in a totally different yet delicious direction with this delectable Corn Chowder! This soup is creamy, comforting and delicious. And you can take your meal to the next level with my Bread Machine Bread Bowls! Is there anything more delicious and comforting than eating a hearty meal right out of a bowl you can eat too? Serve it up with a salad if you like, and you have a comfy, casual meal to share with a group that will inspire laughter and conversation. What could be better on any holiday?
This Sheet Pan Bruschetta Chicken recipe is made with perfectly seasoned chicken, flavourful fresh bruschetta and loads of mozzarella cheese. With bright colours and delicious classic fresh flavour, this would be a lovely non-traditional Easter dinner idea! Serve with orzo pasta, a green salad or Caprese salad, and some crusty bread for a light and memorable meal your guests will love.
If you have decided to stay away from tradition this Easter season, try these Creamy Smothered Pork Chops with a rich and flavourful sauce made with mushrooms, onions, white wine and sour cream. This is a one pot meal that still feels fancy enough to serve as a holiday dinner. Sear the chops, saute the vegetables and simmer the creamy sauce all in one pan! This makes cleanup so simple and leaves you more time for quality visiting. Serve with pasta and a vegetable or some other delicious side dish and you have all you need.
I’m not sure why a good roast is not considered traditional Easter fare. But since we are here doing non-traditional things, I guess I have the perfect chance to talk about my favourite roast! This pot roast gently roasts in beef broth with vegetables, leaving you with a delicious au jus, tender roast beef and flavourful vegetables. With very little hands-on time for prep and cooking, it is actually a relaxing way to serve a formal feeling meal to large groups. AND, you can use the leftovers for soup! Serve this roast with my popovers for a perfect Easter dinner the entire family will enjoy.
If you’re looking for THE perfect non-traditional Easter dish this year, this Braised Beef Ragu is it! Rich, warm, flavourful and a family favourite. The ultimate comfort food.The beef is slow cooked with tomatoes, minced vegetables, wine and stock. I like to serve this over fresh pappardelle pasta. The long, wide noodles are perfect for holding onto the thick sauce and tender meat. This meal is perfect for an intimate, family style gathering and would be perfect for your cozy Easter table this year.
Sample Menu Plan for Easter
Are you here because the thought of pulling off a traditional Easter dinner was just too much this year? I get it! If you still want traditional without all the extra prep and planning, I have an Easy Easter Dinner for you below that includes everything you need to put it together! I also have complete meals (entree, sides, and dessert!) that are already chosen and tried, tested, and true!
Sometimes the hardest part of making Easter dinner is actually deciding what to have. If you would rather have things planned out for you, I’m here to help! Here is a complete chicken dinner that would be perfect for a holiday table. It may not be a traditional Easter menu, but it’s worthy all the same. An oven roasted whole chicken with vegetables, a green salad with homemade dressing, dinner rolls, and a scrumptious dessert are all right at your fingertips, taking all the decision making out of your preparations.
Here is another full menu that would be perfect as a non-traditional Easter dinner idea! This comforting Oven Roasted Pork Dinner Menu includes an Oven Roasted Bone In Pork Rib Roast with vegetables, dinner rolls, a green salad and Banana Bread Pudding for dessert! Everything you need including simple, easy recipes so you can enjoy hosting guests without all the stress.
I know we said this was all about non-traditional Easter dinner ideas, but I’m going to break the rules for one minute because I just can’t help it! This easy Easter dinner menu includes a delicious brown sugar glaze ham recipe paired with classic scalloped potatoes, a simple carrot recipe, braided bread made in a bread machine, and a decadent sheet of carrot cake for dessert. It just doesn’t get more traditional than that, does it? And to give you that extra bit of confidence I’m including a grocery shopping list and serving tips too!
There you have it! A whole bunch of non-traditional Easter dinner ideas (well, mostly). I hope I convinced you that you don’t have to serve a giant turkey or ham to make a family Easter meal special. No matter what meal you choose to make, you can really increase the Easter feelings with a pretty Easter tablescape, and I can help you achieve that easily and on a budget too! And I haven’t forgotten about the most memorable part of a meal, either. Here’s my list of favourite Easter desserts (hot cross buns, anyone?) that you can add to any of these non-traditional meals to make it just that much more special!
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Happy Easter everyone!