Even if Easter plans are low key this year, getting loved ones around the table to share delicious food is more important than ever. Whether it’s flatmates, partners or the family, a scaled-down lunch can still be special, and we’ve got simple solutions for smaller celebration lunches to enjoy this Easter, whatever your plans.
Keep the kids busy while you’re cooking lunch, with our colouring in activity sheet. Add a loo roll and you have an Easter Bunny! Download the Easter Bunny loo roll template here
Here you’ll find inspiration for alternative mains, seasonal sides, and a pud you can personalise, plus some savvy swaps and tips for any leftovers.
Kick off lunch in style, with a quick and easy starter that’s big on spring flavours. Go green with this fresh-tasting broccoli and cheese soup, or use up stale bread to make bruschetta topped with any veg you’ve got to hand. Grab a jar of chickpeas from the cupboard to make a delicious dip., while sad-looking salad leaves can be transformed into this seasonal watercress soup (frozen peas also work really well). And those with courgettes to use up will want to whip up these tasty feta fritters. Get creative with what you’ve got.
A mega main course
For a small-scale Easter main course, we’re talking easy roasts, simple sharing dishes and all-on-one traybakes. Go classic with this perfect roast chicken recipe, but if you like things spicy, make this Indian-inspired tikka chicken dish.
A flexible traybake is the ultimate alternative to your traditional roast. Harissa chicken with sweet peppers will go down well with the whole family, or use chicken thighs with potatoes and tomatoes in this crispy, sticky one-pan wonder. Use up leftover chicken in this chicken pot pie, or in a fresh spring salad that’s great any day of the week. Make sure you hold on to your chicken carcass too, to make your own stock and pop in the freezer for future meals.
If you don’t want to miss out on lamb, give this five-ingredient lamb rump recipe a go, or have a go at making these simple sticky lamb chops. Get creative with cheaper cuts in these lovely lamb hotpots, but if slow-cooked is more your thing this showstopper, ale lamb shanks, is for you.
Salmon makes a great centrepiece at any springtime celebration. Serve it with Mediterranean flavours in this smoky salmon recipe, while this freezer-raid peasto or classic basil pesto (check out the alternative flavour combos for even more inspiration) will bring some sunshine to your meal.
The veggie option
Combine veg and a few store-cupboard staples to make an amazing veggie quiche, tart or pie. A pack of ready-made pastry makes the perfect base, although homemade is always a winner. Try this asparagus quiche for the ultimate seasonal centrepiece, while this celeriac pithivier pie is a real showstopper. Personalise your toppings with these vegetable tartlets, or keep it simple with onions and sweet garlic in this sticky tart.
Take your sides to the next level with these easy tips and tricks. Roast your root veg with garlic and rosemary (you can swap carrots and parsnips for celeriac, sweet potato or squash), or toss peas and beans with chilli and mint. A new potato salad is great dressed in an easy homemade dressing, and you can throw any herbs, nuts and dried fruit in a mixed rice salad. Have fun with your seasonal side dishes and use up whatever veg you’ve got!
And finally, dessert
A classic crumble is the perfect personalised pud – flour, butter and sugar make a delicious crunchy topping for whatever fruit you can find. Keep it traditional with an apple crumble, mix things up with some roasted stone fruit, go gluten-free with this strawberries and raspberries dessert, or top frozen fruit with an almond crumble for something different.