An Elegant Easter Dinner Menu That Serves a Crowd
Easter is a time to gather family and friends in celebration of spring. Whether or not you have a large number of people surrounding your dinner table, having more mouths to feed on a holiday always calls for a feast. Don't be daunted by the idea of preparing a banquet; this Easter menu for a crowd is both simple and delicious.
The secret to keeping everyone happy? Food and drinks. A signature cocktail served in a punch bowl, a crowd-pleasing dip, and some store-bought nibbles are sure to please your Easter guests. Select a few people to help you serve the starter, a make-ahead asparagus soup, and then move into family-style mains and sides. An iconic Easter ham could serve an army, but we're supplementing it with some salmon for variety—it's easier and faster to grill than you might think. Although the sides feature fancy flavors and look almost too good to eat, the truth is they are simple to prepare. In fact, our delicious Roasted Baby Carrots and a Potato-and-Snap Pea Salad can both be prepared in advance. Finish off the feast with a spectacular dessert for a suitably grand finale.
Before Dinner: Elderflower-Champagne Punch and Artichoke-and-Feta Dip
Just prior to guests' arrival, stir together a delicately floral, sparkling Elderflower-Champagne Punch. Serve the punch with a warm, deconstructed cheesy Artichoke-and-Feta Dip—make sure there is plenty of crusty bread to break up the feta and sop up the juices. Add some saltiness to the mix and set out small bowls of toasted nuts and olives and let everyone help themselves.
Starters: Cream of Asparagus Soup
Make the Cream of Asparagus Soup ahead, the first course is an elegant soup that's ready when you are. For a gorgeous Easter presentation, peel and grate hardboiled eggs in advance. They'll be the garnish for each soup bowl—a preparation called mimosa because the yellow and white resemble the eponymous flowers. The recipe can easily be doubled and enjoyed hot or cold.
Main One: Glazed Ham with Horseradish Cream
When serving a crowd, it is always good to have two mains and several sides to capture everyone's meat (or lack of meat) preferences. Our recipe for the perfect Easter dish: Glazed Ham with Horseradish Cream. Score the skin for a pretty presentation and to help the glaze soak in. Whisk together a spicy-sweet horseradish glaze and baste the ham a few times while baking to balance the saltiness of the meat. Serve with a creamy horseradish sauce. Nothing beats the crispy skin—make sure everyone has a little on their plate.
Main Two: Grilled Salmon with Fennel and Olive Relish
Since the oven will be ham central, light up the grill and serve Grilled Salmon with Fennel and Olive Relish as the second main. Spring is the perfect time to kick off grilling season, after all. No need to flip the fish; just cover and it will be cooked to perfection in less than 10 minutes. Plate with crispy fennel-and-olive relish and use the fresh fennel fronds for garnish.
Sides Dishes: Potato, Snap Pea, and Pea-Tendril Salad
Dress up your potato salad for the holiday with spring peas and their delicate sweet tendrils in the Potato, Snap Pea, and Pea-Tendril Salad. Tossing the potatoes with dressing while they are still hot is a great trick to infuse the whole potato with flavor rather than leaving seasoning only on the outside. Once cool, add in the peas, tendrils, bacon, and mint.
Roasted Carrots with Chimichurri
Super sweet and cute, first-of-the-season baby carrots are a perfect Easter side dish. Look for carrots with nice green tops, and since they are so tender, don't waste time peeling them; just gently scrub them clean to create Roasted Carrots with Chimichurri. Cooking the carrots until they are golden and caramelized emphasizes their natural sweetness, and a generous dressing of herbaceous Argentine-inspired chimichurri sauce is the perfect complement. These carrots are just as delightful served at room temperature as they are warm. Another plus: you can eat the tops.
Dessert: Carrot-Cake Parfaits
You can never go wrong with carrot cake. These Carrot-Cake Parfaits are a delicious twist on the classic cake and have the perfect cream cheese filing-to-cake ratio for frosting lovers. We added a jewel-like apricot layer on the bottom that shines through glass cups and adds irresistibly tangy fruit flavor and a splash of color.