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Easy Easter Dinner Ideas (With The Best Ham Ever)

collage: Easter dinner table decorated/Easter dinner place serving with blue plate, gold polka dot napkin, a small terracotta pot filled with Easter egg-shaped candies, and a yellow and pale blue beverage can.
Such a welcome scene after a long, cold winter!

Simple And Affordable Easter Dinner Ideas

Since Easter is around the corner, I thought it might be fun to challenge myself to come up with a simple and affordable Easter dinner — decor and all! After deciding that a delicious Dr Pepper Glazed Ham would be the perfect star of the meal (seriously the best ham recipe ever), the rest of my Easter holiday menu came together quickly.

My family knows exactly what will be on the menu for Christmas, but I prefer to play it by ear on other holidays like Easter. I love celebrating ANY holiday, but I also believe it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to have a festive and flavorful Easter holiday dinner!

The Easter dinner menu and decor ideas featured throughout this post are things you can easily put together for your family, and for an affordable price too. So let’s get started!

Easter Dinner Table & Decor Ideas

Blue dinner plate with a gold polka dot napkin and a small terracotta pot filled with Easter egg-shaped candies
Who wouldn’t smile as they sit down to this adorable place setting?

Place Settings

The blue and yellow plates we found at Target, and I already had the white plates. Don’t be afraid to mix and match plates! It adds interest to the table. Check out thrift stores for fun, colorful plates.

We mixed and matched scrapbook paper we already had and used them for placemats, placed on some burlap ribbon I found at Walmart.

Easter dinner table with moss, Easter eggs, and vases of pink tulips
I adore tulips, but that patch of “grass” in the center really sets them off nicely!

Table Centerpiece

We used both real and plastic eggs in our Easter dinner centerpiece, along with jars of pink tulips from Costco. They have great prices on flowers and they seem to last forever! I put them in quart-sized mason jars we had on hand.

The sheet moss was found at Walmart on the craft aisle. I ended up using 5 packages and just pieced them together. The candles are also from Walmart and the bunny votive holders are from Target.

Three Easter garlands: brown twine with brown burlap bunny shapes/string of gold eggs/string of colorful plastic eggs
There’s just something about banners and garlands that make any occasion more festive!

Banners & Garlands

We found the burlap bunny banner at Target and the colorful eggs banner at Walmart. The gold eggs banner we made ourselves using plastic Easter eggs strung together with yellow baker’s twine.

On to the Easter dinner FOOD!

Easter Dinner Holiday Menu (With Recipes!)

Britta and I handled the cooking for our Easter feast and we chose fairly traditional dishes: ham, potatoes, carrots, salad, and cookies for dessert.

Every recipe we made turned out really delicious. I personally was completely smitten with the potatoes — there’s a reason they are the signature side dish of an award-winning chain of steakhouses! But, honestly, ANY of these dishes would be a wonderful addition to your Easter dinner!

Dr. Pepper glazed ham for Easter Dinner
The cross cuts and cloves make this Dr Pepper Glazed Ham as beautiful as it is delicious!

Dr Pepper Glazed Ham Recipe

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • 1 picnic ham (5 – 10 pounds)
  • Whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 12-ounce can Dr Pepper (or any cola)
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern about 1/4 inch deep. Place cloves in the middle of each diamond.

Place the ham in a roasting pan with a rack, tent it with foil, and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the center registers 100 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer — it should take about 17 minutes per pound.

While the ham bakes, bring the brown sugar, mustard, Dr Pepper, and vinegar to a simmer in a medium saucepan and cook until syrupy and reduced (about 10 minutes.)

After about 2 hours, remove the foil from the ham and brush on the glaze. Return it to the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, add more glaze, return to oven again for another 20 minutes. Repeat until nice and glossy then allow to rest 15-20 minutes before slicing.

Leftover ham? Use it to make Hot Ham And Swiss Sliders With Poppy Seed Sauce!

More Easter Recipes To Round Out Your Holiday Meal

Fleming Steakhouse Signature Potatoes
I could eat these potatoes for every meal!

Fleming’s Steakhouse Signature Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 small leeks, white part only, sliced
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 lbs russet potatoes, thinly sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and next 3 ingredients; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add cream and half-and-half; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat; add cheeses, stirring until melted.

Add potatoes to cream mixture; toss gently. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Related: This Is The One Thing I Look Forward To The Most On Easter

Maple glazed whole carrots with slivered almonds
Carrots never looked or tasted so good!

Maple Glazed Carrots

Adapted from Fifteen Spatulas

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of uniformly-sized carrots
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Heat up a large skillet over medium heat (I used my dutch oven), and melt the butter. Cook it for just a couple of minutes until it turns a golden brown color.

Add the carrots and cook for another 5 minutes, tossing the carrots every minute or so.
Add the maple syrup, slivered almonds, and salt to the pan.

Cook the carrots for another 3-5 minutes until the glaze is sticky sweet and the carrots are fork tender.

Grilled asparagus salad
The vinaigrette makes this asparagus dish stand out.

Grilled Asparagus Salad

adapted from Free People Blog

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup pea shoots (or bean sprouts)
  • 1 tsp fresh chives, thinly sliced

For the vinaigrette:

  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 3 tsp honey
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat your grill (stovetop grill pan) on high. Prepare the asparagus by breaking off the tough ends of each spear.

Toss the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus for 5 to 10 minutes until browned and tender, turning them every few minutes.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, olive oil, shallots, honey, and salt & pepper. Layer the arugula and pea shoots (or bean sprouts) on a serving plate and top with the grilled asparagus. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the asparagus and sprinkle with fresh chives.

Strawberry shortcake cookies
Not too sweet, not too tart….perfect sweet ending to a delectable meal.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

adapted from Food Fanatic

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used a gluten free flour blend)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, grated
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Hull and dice the strawberries into small pieces (approximately the size of M&M’s). Add the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar to a medium bowl and whisk together to combine.

Next, add the grated butter and cut it in to the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or two knives. You want the butter to be evenly dispersed throughout the flour mixture. Add the heavy cream and strawberries to the dough and stir until just combined.

Form 12 balls of dough (if the dough is too sticky, just add a bit more flour) and place them onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Immediately remove the cookies from the baking sheet and transfer to a cooling rack.

close-up of pink tulips
Did I mention I LOVE tulips!? :-)

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as we did putting it together! But more importantly, I hope something we’ve shared will help make your Easter celebration more memorable and delightful!

Looking for more Easter ideas? Find links to all of my Easter ideas here!

Do you have plans for an Easter feast?

Easter Dinner

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham Recipe

Jill Nystul
This sweet and sticky glazed ham is sure to be the star of your Easter feast.
Servings 10
Calories 696 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5-10 pounds picnic ham
  • whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cups Dijon mustard
  • 12 ounces Dr. Pepper or cola
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern about 1/4" deep, then place a whole clove in the middle of each diamond.
  • Place the ham in a roasting pan with a rack, tent it with foil, and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the center registers 100°F (about 17 minutes per pound).
  • While the ham bakes, bring the brown sugar, mustard, Dr. Pepper, and vinegar to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then and cook until syrupy and reduced (about 10 minutes).
  • Remove the foil from the ham and brush on the glaze. Return it to the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the ham from the oven again, add more glaze, bake for another 20 minutes.
  • When the ham looks nice and glossy, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 696kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 49gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 2776mgPotassium: 705mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 0.03mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg


MORE IDEAS FROM

Holidays

  • The asparagus recipe looks great. A lot of sugar in the Ham dish and carrots. Yes – sugar always makes things taste good but with an epidemic of diabetes and undiagnosed pre-diabetes may want to consider omitting the Coke and cutting back on the sugar. There is plenty of sugar in the delicious desert.

  • At our house our Easter and other holiday decorations we’ve had for years – so it’s not really a big expense.I saved the little M&Ms characters from years ago and have some cute Easter ones. Another centerpiece is back from when the old dollar store in our town had amazing- not cheap looking things We do the ham , but we use a fancy from scratch shredded potatoes that we’ve been doing for holidays since I was a kid.My siblings use it for their families too. I definitely want to try the Strawberry shortcake cookies.

  • […] Sunday our extended family got together for a potluck-type Easter dinner. I decided to bring the Fleming’s Steakhouse Potatoes from my Easter Dinner post a few weeks ago and one of my favorite salads…a Craisin Spinach […]

  • Jillee,

    First, I want to say thank you for getting this post out in advance so I could see all the wonderful things you suggested and was able to pick and choose what would work for my family and I. I picked the carrots and the ham. Both were delicious! Thanks so much! I just had two issues that I was wondering if you had any suggestions? I was unable to get the glaze to be syrupy. I did not have a can of coke so I used a 16 ounce bottle and guessed at the 12 ounces. Maybe that was it? For the carrots, I timed it the way you did but our carrots were still hard and not tender. Would boiling them in advance to soften then up help at all? Or would you not recommend that? Everyone loved how everything tasted but I thought I would seek your advice and add it to our yearly Easter dinner! Thanks again for everything. I learn so much from your blog!

    • Hmmmm…there is a chance you used too much coke. That’s the only thing I can think of. But even if you use too much you should be able to cook it longer until some of the liquid cooks off. For the carrots you probably need to cook them longer – every stove seems to be different. But I don’t think boiling them would hurt!

  • I just wanted to say thanks for the ideas! My table looked beautiful and the carrots were delicious as well as the yummy ham glaze. Thanks for all of your hard work! Love your blog.

  • Jillee,
    Of all the blogs I have subscribed to, I have only kept two. You are one of them. You are imaginative and gracious. I think it’s a silly waste of time when someone complains when a post doesn’t fit their need exactly. I will be taking some of your ideas- I’m going to get real moss from our creek, a clean drop cloth for a tablecloth, dyed eggs and wrapped chocolate eggs! No waste and all things we would buy or use anyway. My kids will love to help me decorate. Thank you for your suggestions and ideas to use as a springboard for our own ideas.

  • “Clear plastic silverware” ????? I think you mean “Clear plastic cutlery”, or “Clear plastic (eating) utensils.

    Hope you don’t mind guys reading your mail :] but I do all my own cooking washing cleaning etc etc etc being a widower for a few years now. I do find all your “stuff” very informative, I learn something every day, sometimes from here, sometimes from there, or there . . . .

    Many thanks,
    H.

  • You can purchase the mini flower pots @ Dollar Tree. They come wrapped 3 to a package for just one dollar. So many uses for them too. Happy Easter everyone.

  • I agree that I don’t do decorations like that for Easter — or Christmas or Thanksgiving. That table is quite pretty, though. What I do for Easter usually is have someone run out in the yard and pick anything that’s blooming (I live in the deep South — the azaleas are often done blooming by Easter, but other things are blooming) and put it in a cute blue teapot that also does non-holiday duty as — a working teapot! That’s my centerpiece. I use my dear old wedding china for all holidays, with simple white or light blue linens (my kitchen is painted light blue). Some chickens lay beautiful pastel blue, green, or even pink eggs — if you have access to those, they are very pretty on the table, and if you don’t leave them out all day, you can cook and eat them later.
    About the potato dish — I’m a big fan of raw dairy products, and I use raw cream, raw butter, raw cheese and raw milk liberally, yet my cholesterol is great. That dish doesn’t scare me at all. I say, go for it!

  • Love you table decor for Easter and the recipes look great! I fell in love with the ceramic bunny votive holders but can’t seem to locate them at Target. Did you buy them recently or have you had them for a while? Please let me know…thank you, and sure enjoy your blog!

    • Hey Diane! I did get them recently. They weren’t in Easter section – they were in the new spring Threshold section at my Target. I hope that helps!

  • Love the Recipes….yeah, maybe the potatoes are not the healthiest, but like Thanksgiving where I eat waaaay to much, and I enjoy celebrating once in awhile! I eat healthy otherwise. I also loved your decorating. As I have a totefull of Easter decorations, I see where I can take from your ideas and incorporate what I have already! I may not do the colored plates and I loved the idea someone had with clear plates with holiday themed paper ones underneath for dessert. I may have to look into plastic at a party warehouse. But I definitely can see where I can pretty much copy what you have shown us. Thanks for just planning my Easter dinner for me!!

  • I’m not sure why there are so many critical comments out here. Jillee does so many frugal things so why can’t she be festive on a HOLIDAY? Especially Easter when our Lord rose from the dead!?! That’s a special occasion for sure.

    No one said that you have to do all the ideas. I don’t have pastel plates, either, so I won’t use that. I don’t necessarily want to buy all the items, but I sure love the idea of having tulips because they are my favorite flower. I can get those at my grocery store and I do have mason jars. Burlap is cheap and I do have scrapbook paper and colorful plastic eggs. You can use anything to hold the candy. My Easter baskets will be full of m&ms so I’ll use that and I have pretty glass dishes that were wedding presents (what a great time to get them out). It’s a beautiful table and it’s meant to inspire, not necessarily copy down to the last egg.

    As far as the food…if you can’t have those potatoes, don’t! Have something else. But if you can, splurge and eat them ONCE a year. They look delicious.

    My point? Don’t criticize…just take from it what you can, make more suggestions and enjoy the holiday.

    Have a blessed Easter!

    • I agree…everyone can take ideas from this lovely celebration and make it your own, whether it be splurging or low cost! I bought lots of mismatched plates for my son’s rustic wedding last year, and some of them will be perfect for Easter. I got them very cheap at local thrift shops. All the shops have their Easter items out!
      Use what you have, people, if you don’t want to buy! Have the kids cut out paper eggs and decorate them string them and have an egg banner. I’m bringing in flowers from the garden for my table.
      My decorations will be different, but my family will appreciate the effort.

  • Jillian, it all looks lovely! My mom loves to decorate too, for holidays, and I share the same deco- gene.
    It’s her turn now for Easter, so I will be basking in the frillery. I love that you had asparagus on your menu. My 18 year old daughter is a foodie, and sauteed asparagus for dinner. We didn’t have any lemon, so after sauteing in butter, she used fresh lime juice and sea salt, and coarse ground pepper on top! The lime juice added another dimension to the asparagus!

  • I agree with some of the other comments…. it’s very cute, but certainly not affordable. Just the 3 items she told the price on (flower pots, bunny votives, & burlap bunnies) adds up to $48.00. Then there’s the flowers, moss, burlap runners, plastic eggs, candles, plates, & more. Yes, most of those items can be used again another year, but to me it sure doesn’t add up to “simple and affordable”. Looks very nice though, she did a great job.

  • Wow, it all looks gorgeous, though I have never gone in much for the table decorations. I bet the kids love it! But I could feel my arteries cringing when I read the recipe for potatoes. Is there a lower calorie/fat version? I would love to make this but at my age I just can’t afford the cholesterol and calories.

  • Absolutely darling! My daughter got a banner on Etsy that says “He Is Risen”. I looked everywhere and finally found chocolate crosses at Target to give the grandchildren. Thanks, Russell Stover! Anyway, Jillee and girls, your ideas are young, fresh and fun. The recipes look delicious. Happy Easter, everyone. He Is Risen…. He Is Risen Indeed!

  • I do not have pastel colored dishes, nor the room to store them from year to year.
    What I did when I was a newly married woman was to buy CLEAR dinnerware.
    Whenever a holiday approaches I buy a package of holiday paper plates and put them UNDER my CLEAR dinner plates. So festive!
    Then I shop after the holiday and buy 1/2 price paper plates to use for the next year’s holiday!
    I also do this for birthdays, graduations, etc.
    PS After the main meal, the clear dinner plates are removed from the table to be washed and the fancy paper plates are used for the dessert! Double duty – now that’s savings!

  • Cute! I sure would like to see the price breakdown on everything. This way I could better decide which elements of the decorating & food would work for my budget.
    Thanks for putting all of the ideas out there.

  • As for me and mine, we DO DECORATE for Easter. We don’t go to extremes and we use last years decorations and buy what we need for the next celebration after the holiday at half to 75 percent off. Saving money and isn’t that the main idea…………………..Hope your Easter is a wonderful time of year for you and yours…………GOD BLESS

  • Wow! That really is gorgeous, but I wouldn’t call it simple or affordable. And when you say that “I think we get carried away with all the frills, flourishes, and festooning” I thought you were talking about other people, but I guess you were talking about yourself and daughter-in-law! Ha,ha. But it sure is a beautiful table – but way too much work for me. Thanks for the ideas, though.

  • You know, maybe it’s my upbringing, or maybe it’s living on a budget, but I’ve never been to an Easter dinner party where the house is decorated, and so much money has been spent on dishes in certain colours, containers for candies, bunting, moss, fresh flowers on the table….nor would I think of doing so when money is so tight, and what is spent on flowers alone could pay for a meal…….when the price of the little flower pots ($18 for candy containers?) would pay for 2 meals. I guess it’s all in the perspective, and how much extra money one has for frivolities. I wonder, too, if all these items are then tossed away afterwards, or saved for the next year………. ?
    While I enjoy your frugal DIY and MIY posts for saving money and being more green, this one just does not apply to me.

    • I’m sorry Suztats! This is really meant to be an inspiration post. I actually don’t generally get this fancy either. But we have a fun time doing these posts to show simple ideas for people who do like to craft and decorate and may have things they can use on hand. We saved everything we used for decorations and I plan to use them again!

  • Fun ideas. We’re trying to decide about Easter dinner this year.
    We’re doing the family thing on Friday, because Sunday is too
    Crazy with everyone’s schedules.

  • Oh-my-gosh, can I come to YOUR house for Easter??! just the potatoes alone look/sound like they’d be worth the trip – truly to-die-for (which is a good thing with all that cream!) Haha! :) I’m saving ALL of these recipes, they all sound fantastic! Thanks Jillee! :)

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