As with any holiday, I like to actually enjoy myself and my guests instead of spending hours in the kitchen. Thus, today I will share the easiest meal to make for Easter.
It has become our tradition to invite a houseful of college students over to enjoy our Easter dinner with us. It is worth noting that young adults are most certainly not too old to enjoy plastic eggs filled with bunny-shaped sugar. We fill eggs with candy, then half of our guests hide the eggs all over our yard, hoping to challenge their fellow college students to climb into precarious places to find said eggs. We dig out plastic grocery sacks for everyone to use as Easter baskets because at our house, we like to be fancy.
The meal I serve? Well, college kids love any form of home-cooking, thus they tend to not care what I make, as long as I’ve made it.
It is a good thing that simple food just so happens to also be delicious. Love makes food taste better. Praying over my guests while I’m preparing the food has become my favorite hospitality practice. This takes away all the stress over the meal as I know God is the One who makes the food and the fellowship sweet and memorable.
I’ve found that the easiest meal to make for Easter includes ham, potato casserole, veggies, rolls, and a simple dessert. Nothing fancy necessary, except for the above mentioned plastic grocery bags we use as Easter Baskets. Those always wow our guests.
The Easiest Meal to Make for Easter
1. I buy a Spiral Sliced Ham.
These taste incredible and are super simple to make. I plop it in a pan, throw away the packet of glaze, cover the ham, and bake it while we are at church. Just before serving we cut it off the bone and put it on our buffet. It is a hit every time and it takes no work to prepare. Spiral sliced ham for the win!
2. I make a Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole ahead of time.
Then I slide it into the oven along with the ham to bake while we are at church. This is multi-tasking at its finest.
3. I quickly make some veggies and/or a salad.
Steamed green beans, Honey Glazed Carrots, a tray of raw veggies – none of these takes much time or effort to prepare. If I have time, I might put together a “fancy” salad like this Strawberry Spinach Salad.
4. I buy rolls.
I never thought I’d see the day, but I’ve learned that relationships and hospitality can look like homemade rolls AND store-bought rolls. For this season in my life, I have decided to buy rolls, plop them in a basket, and go love on the people. Maybe eventually I’ll get back to making homemade rolls, seeing as they are hard to beat!
5. Dessert isn’t fancy.
Sometimes I skip making dessert altogether and simply sprinkle Easter candy across the middles of the tables. If I have time to do more, I bake brownies, buy ice cream, and set up a Brownie Sundae Bar.
This Easter meal is simple but fabulous, our tables are filled with people we love, and I guess it goes without saying that hiding/hunting Easter eggs with college students who are walking around holding fancy grocery bags provides enough fun to last us all year round.
Any idea how long and oven temp for your ham? We have the hardest time not drying out a spiral sliced but when it is cooked right, it is so good. We throw away the glaze too. The more I leave it alone, the better it tastes.
Off the top of my head I don’t remember. I simply read the instructions on the glaze packet (before I toss it!) for time and temp and go with that. :)
If you can fit it in your crockpot, that’s the easiest (and also very unlikely to dry it out!)
Karen Hostetler Deyhle says
My family’s house was right in the center of Messiah College’s campus in Grantham PA. We often had college students for holiday meals, especially if they were far from home. Sometimes we invited professor’s families if they were new to the area. Our table stretched way out past the dining room into the living room. My sisters and I helped mom with the cooking and serving. Mom was a master pie baker. Dad set up the table and chairs and got the talk going as people arrived. I have many warm memories of food and conversation at those meals.,
Jillian Johnson (Lewis) says
That is so great. I went to Messiah College from 2006-2010. I really enjoyed my time there. I was from NH but I had the privilege of flying home for every holiday but I know many students who weren’t able to go home.
What an awesome ministry you have! I also love your take on dinner rolls! I have learned through the years to let go of the look of perfection and stress (not to mention being stuck in the kitchen, usually while everyone is having fun without me) and just enjoy the day and the people around me :) Enjoy your Easter!
Since you are already having ham did your cheesy hash browns contain any meat like the recipe calls for? Did you just eliminate it all together (the meat) or does the recipe need altered a bit then to just be the cheesy hash browns?
I’d love to hear back from you so I can make this this Easter!! Thanks :)
I left out the meat for this, but no adjustments need to be made. Happy Easter!
Hi Laura! I really appreciate your Easter meal post. I am mostly copying it to serve for my own family! QUICK QUESTION: I just made your hash brown casserole recipe and I think if I made the entire thing it would be too much for my family. Can I put half in a pyrex covered bowl and freeze it?? (unsure how sour cream freezes)
I am making a spiral sliced ham, my mother in law’s sweet potatoes (basically a lot of cut, boiled sweet potatoes drained, topped with a stick of butter pats, liberal brown sugar on top of that and cinnamon to top it all off, baked for 40 min at 350 – gets all carmelized and wonderful), homemade loaf of bread (thank you for recommending the nutrimill years ago!), your hash brown potato casserole recipe and oven roasted asparagus and butter lettuce/avocado/tomato salad. What is great is almost all of it can be prepared in advance and the ham can warm in the crock pot.
Thanks for all you do and blessings to you and your ever growing family this Easter and always.
Yes! This freezes wonderfully in a covered Pyrex dish!
Thanks, Laura! You inspire me to greater hospitality (with less stress ?). You’ve got lots of helpful posts about food but do you have any about the logistics of hosting (squeezing in seats for everyone, wrangling little ones underfoot, tips for occupying kids while having grown-up conversations, etc)? Those are the details that are currently puzzling me.