16 Spring Side Dishes That Pair Beautifully with Easter Ham
Ham is an easy main dish for spring holidays, and part of the pleasure of serving it is enjoying it with favorite side dishes, from new season vegetables to potato gratin and drop biscuits, that play well with its rich, savory flavors.
The classic centerpiece of many Easter feasts is a glazed ham, and not only is a ham easy to make, but it's terrific with a range of side dishes. So, what should you pair with your holiday main? There are so many options that it's hard to go wrong, so it's best to consider your tastes and preferences. Need a little inspiration? All of the dishes we've gathered in this collection nicely balance out the ham's richness, and none are too heavy on the sodium, since ham itself can be a bit salty.
Spring vegetables are an obvious choice, whether you choose asparagus, peas, or early season lettuces. Green beans, too, are a great option, as is broccolini. Any green vegetable (or orange, for that matter—carrots, we're looking at you) will be a nice counterpoint to the ham, both in terms of color and taste; just take the Quick Carrots and Snap Peas with Lemony Mustard Dressing you see right here—this dish is a perfect example of a side that plays nicely with him, neither overshadowing your impressive main nor getting lost beside it.
If your family prefers starches as sides, consider mashed potatoes, a grain salad, cornbread or a gratin; all of these can work nicely alongside an Easter ham. And there's no need for the gratin to be a traditional potato one—consider a spaghetti squash gratin laced with anchovies and Parmesan; or an asparagus-potato version made with goat cheese and Pecorino Romano.
Finally, don't forget biscuits and rolls. You can slice them and slip a few slices of ham inside for mini sandwiches, or just spread them with butter for a no-fuss, everyone-loves-it side. Bonus: If you have any extras for the day after, a biscuit or roll makes a fine breakfast, lunch or dinner, whether stuffed with ham (if you've got leftovers) or not.
White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes
When your Easter centerpiece is a gorgeously marbled ham, your menu just needs a few sides for a surefire feast. These Cheddar-topped scalloped potatoes are a crowd pleaser that complement the main.
Hard-cooked eggs aren't just for decorating. Here's another seasonal way to enjoy them: in asparagus mimosa, a classic dish named for the pretty yellow-and-white flower. Press a peeled hard-cooked egg through a fine, stainless steel sieve to create the bright and fluffy garnish.
Sweet Peas with Shallots and Gem Lettuce
Caramelized shallots and sautéd lettuce enhance the sweetness of fresh peas in this warm spring salad.
Using small, slender carrots makes this an especially stunning side, but large carrots work equally well when halved lengthwise. Mint really makes them pop.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Who'd have thought the Instant Pot would be a winning way to make this classic side? It's true, though: creamy, buttery mashed potatoes are a snap to make in this appliance. Plus, you can keep them warm there until it's time to transfer them to a serving bowl.
Easy Creamed Spinach
This take on the classic creamed spinach side dish uses fresh spinach and cream cheese as a thickener. It's a crowd-pleasing recipe that won't lead you astray.
Farro Salad with Fennel, Golden Raisins, and Radicchio
Not just good looking, the contrasting flavors and texture in this salad make it a lively complement to sliced ham.
Prosciutto adds extra flavor to this delightful gratin, as do two cheeses: goat (with sweet, grassy undertones) and Pecorino Romano (which has a pleasantly sharp taste).
Looking to keep things simple? Broccolini and garlic, plus chicken broth, should do the trick. This side is easy, delicious, and beautifully bright.
Cheddar-Pepper Drop Biscuits
These flaky, fluffy, and buttery biscuits are delicious on their own but even better with a thin slice of ham tucked inside.
Herbed Green Beans with Warm Mustard Vinaigrette
This garden-fresh side combines green beans with a mustard vinaigrette and raisin-nut croutons.
Spaghetti Squash Gratin
You can make this savory spaghetti squash casserole ahead of time and reheat it when you're ready to eat. It gets an umami boost from anchovies and Parmesan.
These warm, buttery rolls only take a little hands-on prep (the yeast does all the work) and they fill the house with a delicious aroma.
Minted Pea Mash
Green is the color, or it should be, of at least one of the sides for an Easter ham. And nothing is easier than than this three-ingredient mash.
Hot sauce and cheddar amp up the flavor of these creamy grits.