In many families, gathering for Easter dinner means enjoying a feast featuring glazed ham or a rack of lamb, warm buttery dinner rolls, lots of desserts — and some really tasty Easter side dishes. Regardless of what you choose to make the main event, you can get really creative with the sides. Think: fresh and bright spring salads, roasty-toasty Brussels sprouts and honey-glazed carrots, alongside comforting classics like scalloped potatoes and macaroni and cheese.
Here, we’re sharing recipes for all of those sides and more. Whether your Easter plan is organized with a well thought-out spreadsheet and days of prep or you’re looking for a quick way to feed the family after Easter egg hunting, we’ve got a recipe for every kind of Easter side dish to round out your meal.
Looking to impress with a fabulous Easter side dish but short on time? With these cacio e pepe roasted potatoes, it’s possible. Prepare a three-ingredient sauce with just heavy cream, pecorino Romano and cracked black pepper while you wait for the potatoes to roast to a beautiful golden brown.
Mashing potatoes to a perfectly smooth, creamy consistency is truly an art, and this recipe breaks it all down. Get ready for a bit of smooth operation — a few tablespoons of cream cheese added at the very end help to guarantee delicious results.
This four-ingredient recipe relies on one essential kitchen tool — a mandoline. Don’t be scared; otherwise you might drive yourself to the brink attempting to get your potatoes cut evenly and thinly enough using just a knife. But once you get the hang of it, the effect and the texture is worth every slice.
Dare to impress with this stunner, in which you’ll pack sweet Vidalia onions with a creamy, indulgent potato gratin. It’s two sides in one and we couldn’t be happier about it.
If you like Sunny Anderson’s Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Thyme, then you’ll love this cheesy, creamy twist. Roasted potatoes are mashed with cream, butter, cream cheese, a cheddar-pepper jack blend and Parmesan. The mixture is transferred to ramekins, baked and topped with crispy bacon and fresh scallions just before serving.
From Joanna Gaines is this all-time classic recipe: scalloped potatoes. In Joanna’s version, the cheesy goodness gets a little bite, thanks to sharp gruyère cheese and a half-dozen garlic cloves.
When it comes to entertaining around the holidays, we’ll take any and every shortcut that we can. You can still get the crowd-pleasing comfort of a scalloped potato recipe, but in this version, you’ll layer everything into a slow cooker about 5 hours before go-time. Then, just pop the top and serve.
This German-style potato salad gets a little zing from whole grain mustard and ramps. Bonus: Without any mayo, this makes for a perfect Easter picnic side dish (no fridge required!).
Want to know Ina’s secret to the best-ever mashed potatoes? Heat any dairy — in this case, half-and-half and butter — before adding to your smashed potatoes. The reason being is that by combining consistently hot ingredients, you’ll prevent gummy spuds. The result is hot and ready-to-eat potatoes— but the dish also reheats easily in just 20 or so minutes, if you want to make it ahead.
This is no ordinary sweet potato side. Here, they’re baked whole and then drizzled with a sweet and spiced combination of maple syrup, apple cider and warm spices such as cinnamon, cloves and orange zest. And yep, you can still add some marshmallows in the final minutes of baking.
Creamy sweet potatoes are topped with a classic crumble in this casserole. Missing the crunch of pecans or walnuts? No problem; just add them to the topping mix along with flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In another deceptively simple side dish, sweet potatoes get pops of flavor from fresh rosemary and garlic. They’re sliced into rounds and layered in a cast-iron skillet to bake.
In Bobby Flay’s world, sweet potatoes are served both sweet and smoky. Thanks to a bit of maple syrup and chipotles in adobo, this recipe offers an unexpected twist on a classic Easter side.
Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s roasted sweet potatoes come with a pop of color and flavor in the form of fresh pomegranate seeds, grated ginger and shallots. If you’re looking for a fun way to reintroduce a classic side dish, this recipe makes it easy.
In Joy Bauer’s sweet potato casserole, she sneaks in another essential Easter vegetable: Carrots. Both get mashed and blended together with a bit of almond milk to lay the base for mini marshmallows before everything is browned to golden perfection.
Siri Daly’s one-skillet sweet potato side is just right. Two pounds of spuds are sliced into thick rounds and seasoned with a combination of chili powder, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and flaky sea salt.
St. Lucia’s own Nina Compton delivers a classic recipe for roasted sweet potatoes with a bit of Caribbean flavor. This dish couldn’t be simpler to throw together — toss the taters with a combination of allspice, ground cinnamon, light brown sugar, red pepper flakes, ground cloves and ground cumin. With just a handful of ingredients and a short roasting time, you’ll have it on the table in no time at all.
Macaroni and cheese
Two classic sides — canned sweet potatoes and mac and cheese — come together for one cozy side dish. It’s sweet — thanks to a bit of maple syrup and brown sugar — and it’s savory — thanks to three (yes, three!) kinds of cheese. Simply put, it’s everything you need in an Easter side dish.
Look, we get it: The classics are classic for a reason, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to try a homemade version of the ready-made stuff, right? In this Stouffer’s-style mac, there’s a dreamy ratio of sauce to noodles (read: lots and lots of sauce). The thing about this beloved frozen food is that it’s not fancy — here you won’t find a trio of Alpine cheeses, but rather Velvetta and extra-sharp cheddar cheese.
Load up your mac and cheese with a bit of fresh sweet corn and salty bacon for a taste of warmer days to come. Can’t find any fresh corn in March or April? No worries; frozen sweet corn will sub in just fine.
There’s a reason that we still joke about sneaking veggies into your kids’ food by covering them in cheese: It works! In Siri Daly’s recipe, she adds an entire bag of puréed cauliflower into the bechamel sauce, packing in a secret nutritious punch.
Salad and slaws
From Melissa Ben-Ishay, founder of Baked By Melissa, comes an easy-to-throw-together green goddess salad with a tangy pesto dressing. Unlike a traditional green goddess salad dressing, this one is totally vegan. It’s made with a bevy of good-for-you ingredients such as nuts, fresh basil, spinach and nutritional yeast for a little cheesiness.
Lighten up your Easter sides with this slaw from Valerie Bertinelli. There’s no mayo here — just a light, bright bite from fresh fennel, cabbage, celery and apple.
For Irish cookbook author Clodagh McKenna’s recipe, you’ll shave fresh asparagus into long, thin strips before tossing it with fennel and arugula. Dress the salad with a citrusy Dijon mustard vinaigrette to make this dish memorable — but still so easy.
There’s a reason “Cook This Book” author Molly Baz calls this her greatest salad of all time. This tried-and-true Caesar salad hits all the classic notes — garlic, Parmesan cheese, anchovies (or capers) and crusty baguette croutons. What makes it special is the quality; the dressing and croutons are made from scratch.
No need to cook your veggies here; just grab a vegetable peeler to shave them into thin ribbons before you get started. The result is a quick and crisp salad, where each bite is served coated in a simple but delicious vinaigrette.
We’re declaring this the MVP of Easter dinner, thanks to the unexpected combination of artichokes, creamy avocado and tart grapefruit. If that wasn’t enough, it all gets topped with a lemon-Dijon dressing and shards of ricotta salata.
If you’re struggling to decide what to bring to an Easter potluck, consider this. A protein-packed, plant-based salad, which leans on the wholesome grain. Lentils get dressed up with fennel, celery leaves, mint and oregano for a bright, interesting side dish.
Punch up your Caesar salad with a little smokiness, which comes in the form of charred radicchio. It’s served with large, crunchy endive leaves, roasted potato “croutons” and a spicy dressing made with Tabasco hot sauce and serrano pepper.
There’s nothing boring about this salad, which is a delicious accompaniment to grilled meats or a glazed ham. With a bit of crunch from toasted sunflower seeds and an herby dressing, everyone will reach for seconds.
Dinner rolls and bread
The perfect biscuit recipe must produce light, flaky and buttery biscuits, and you can bet Ina Garten’s recipe delivers. Her tip: Grate your butter, just like you would a block of cheese, which helps it incorporate it into the dough more quickly and evenly — both of which are crucial to scoring the perfect texture.
If you think zucchini makes for a perfectly moist breakfast bread, just wait ‘til you try it in this cornbread recipe. If you’ve got one, bust out the family cast-iron skillet for a crisp, golden bread edge. (If not, a glass baking dish will work just fine, too!)
Planning an elegant sit-down for supper? It might be just the right moment to try out this popover recipe from Australian chef Curtis Stone, which delivers a dinner bread that’s light and airy so as to not weigh you down, but is still perfect for sopping up any drippings from your Easter roast.
One of the best things about this cornbread recipe is that it’s easily adaptable to you and your family’s preferences. Want to toss in a couple of chopped jalapeños or a handful or two of shredded cheddar cheese? No problem. It’s both a classic staple that’s solid enough to stand on its own, or the perfect base for your favorite own mix-ins.
For Kristina Cho, this whimsical recipe is full of nostalgia for everyone’s favorite party starter, pigs in a blanket. Want to change it up? It’s easy to swap out the hot dogs for something new, such as chicken or pork sausage, or even roasted carrots for a vegetarian “hot dog.”
Toss together just a few ingredients — asparagus spears, olive oil, salt and pepper — and you’ve got this perfect side. The magic is in the freshly squeezed lemon juice, which revs up the flavor in every bite.
This dish combines two simple but elegant dishes: Fresh asparagus and cacio e pepe, the traditional Roman pasta. Here, it translates to a simple toss of your veggies in cracked black pepper and lots of pecorino Romano cheese.
Sure, you can always buy some pre-made pesto, but try this homemade version and you’ll be reaching for this recipe all the time. The pesto can be prepared while the asparagus roasts, making it a quick and easy side dish that you can prep in no time at all.
This tart is the perfect make-ahead dish to serve for Easter brunch. Plus, it’s great for serving to a crowd because it can easily slip in as a side, one of a few appetizers or the star of the show.
In Italian, the name of this recipe translates to Insalata di Scalogna e Asparagi, but regardless of what language you’re speaking, the meaning is clear: Delicious. A big bunch of in-season asparagus and hard-boiled eggs are dressed with a simple, tangy vinaigrette.
Amp up seasonal green beans with a bit of fatty, salty bacon and sharp shallots. This dish is served warm, but luckily, it comes together in just 20 minutes, making it an easy final addition to your Easter dinner.
In this Arab-inspired green bean side dish, Reem Assil pairs blistered fresh tomatoes with caramelized onions and sautéed green beans. This garlicky dish has plenty of spice, thanks to a Serrano chile.
Leave the canned green beans in the pantry for this casserole, which instead calls for a pound and a half of fresh beans. It’s a natural choice given that they’re in season around Easter. But this old-fashioned side dish is as easy as ever: You’ll still be reaching for a can of fried onions for that classically crunchy topping.
It’s back to basics with this guide to roasting every type of vegetable. Whether you’re starting from fresh, frozen or just reheating, we’ve got the tricks you need to get it right every time.
Is it even Easter if you don’t have carrots on the table? Amp up the flavor of basic roasted carrots with a balsamic, honey and thyme-laced glaze, which lends a savory sweetness to the dish.
Dill, tarragon and basil dress up this ordinary creamed spinach recipe. Plus, it can be served either hot or cold, making it a flexible side to serve on Easter Sunday.
This classic southern side has all the marks of an old favorite: frozen corn, crushed Saltine crackers, fresh sage and not one but two cups of whipping cream. The dish, which comes from Little Big Town singer Kimberly Schlapman, is rich, creamy and a perfect addition to any holiday meal.
To Kwame Onwuachi, the steamed cabbage he knows from Jamaican recipes has always been a little, well, boring, so he revs things up by braising the greens in coconut milk instead. Throw in a ginger-garlic purée, and no one could ever call this side boring.
This cheesy corn side dish is sure to become an instant must-make for Easter dinners for years to come. Sure, it might be a Kansas City tradition, but that’s no reason not to try it out wherever you’re celebrating.
How do you make an old-fashioned recipe even better? Add bacon. At least, that’s the case with Al Roker’s spinach recipe, in which he adds a bit of smoky flavor to the classic side.
Chef Gerald Sombright of Knife & Spoon, the steak and seafood restaurant inside the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes, adds a bit of kimchi to this staple holiday side The fermented cabbage adds a bit of zing, which is a delicious contrast against the creamy bechamel.