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Easter Lunch Ideas

Easter Lunch Ideas

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Perfect for an afternoon Easter gathering, this collection of simple (and quick) recipes will make any springtime lunch a breeze. There are no large hams or roasts here to consume hours of your time. Instead, rely on faster family-favorites like Roasted Salmon with Thyme or Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad to be your centerpiece dish. Fill out the rest of table with easy spring veggie sides, and maybe a dessert or two, and you'll have a meal that will leave guests raving.

Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad

Simple and bright, this is the kind of main that puts us in the mood for spring. If you’ve never thrown fresh lemons on the grill, try it: The slight edge of char intensifies their tartness, and they look gorgeous. The marinade is more of a wet rub since the chicken goes straight to the grill, though you could refrigerate up to a day ahead. This salad is endlessly adaptable for spring and summer vegetables: Try shaved carrot and summer squash ribbons, haricots verts, or even just a shower of fresh herbs.

Dijon-Herb Crusted Salmon With Creamy Dill Sauce

This elegant meal comes together in just 30 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to eat, clean, and settle in for catching up with the family. Salmon is a rich, dense fish, so it takes longer to cook through than white flaked fish like trout or tilapia. Rather than bread the fillets first, add the panko topping to the salmon when it's almost done and broil just until toasted so that the crust doesn't burn before the fish is done. Panko has an incredibly light, crisp texture that's ideal for breading. You could also use regular coarse-ground breadcrumbs or finely-chopped nuts. Dill adds a fresh, vibrant note to the yogurt mixture. Serve with our Warm Buttered Radish and Edamame Salad for a quick side.

Fava Bean and Mushroom Crostini

Nutty fava beans get the spotlight here in this festive spring appetizer. Lemon and goat cheese balance the deep umami notes from the mushrooms.

Chicken-and-Vegetable Hand Pies

Enjoy easy potpies with extra veggies and hearty whole grains. Definitely family--friendly, these hand pies deliver a hearty meal.

Vegetable Soup au Pistou

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

A traditional French pistou is a nut-free pesto, but the spinach pesto (or any refrigerated brand) is delicious here. Don't rinse the canned beans after draining; any remaining starches will help bring the soup together.

Turmeric-Pickled Deviled Eggs

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

Deviled eggs get way more interesting when the eggs are pickled in a tangy turmeric-spiked brine that also dyes them a lovely color. The longer the eggs marinate in the brine, the firmer they become and the more vibrant the color gets. For a tangier flavor, use some of the brine instead of water to loosen the filling.

Herby Pea and Lemon Pasta Salad

This verdant pasta salad signals a fantastic start to spring with a shower of fresh herbs. Mini shell pasta and peas are a perfect pair—the pasta serves as a kind of catcher's mitt for the sweet, bright green peas. You could also use orecchiette, an ear-shaped pasta that serves the same purpose.

Roasted Salmon with Thyme and Honey-Mustard Glaze

A bed of fragrant fresh thyme lends wonderful flavor to the fish. Have your fishmonger remove the pin bones from the fillet, and choose one cut toward the head end of the fish.

Strawberry and Watermelon Punch With Lime and Tarragon

Photo: Christopher Testani

You can buy strawberry puree or make it yourself: Blend 16 ounces thawed frozen strawberries in a food processor. Strain through a fine sieve; discard seeds. Serve Mike DeCamp's (executive chef at Monello and Constantine) refreshing punch with or without alcohol.

Herbed Ricotta, Asparagus, and Phyllo Tart

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

If working with phyllo dough fills you with fear, don't worry—this recipe is beginner-friendly. There's no crimping or folding the dough; you just lay flat sheets of dough on top of each other for a rustic, unfinished edge.

Spinach-Artichoke Strata

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

This easy get-ahead dish plays off the appeal of spinach-artichoke dip. Assemble everything the night before; in the morning, let the strata stand while the oven preheats, and then pop it in. You don't need to fully blend in the herbed cheese; it's nice to hit little "pockets" of creamy goodness.

Browned Butter Carrot Cake With Toasted Pecans

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

The Bundt pan makes for a much easier dessert, freeing you from the fuss of stacking and frosting layers. You can bake the cake ahead and freeze it, unglazed: Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap, and freeze in a zip-top plastic freezer bag for up to 3 months (glaze the thawed cake).

Green Pea and Asparagus Soup with Poached Eggs and Toast

Light, lovely, and lush, this egg-topped soup is all you need for a well-rounded spring supper.

Cod With Fennel and Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes add some satisfying heft to a light dish of fish and veggies in a clean broth.

Avocado and Almond Salad

Creamy avocado and crunchy almonds make for a perfectly balanced salad.

Spaghetti with Pistachio-Mint Pesto and Spinach

Pistachios lend deep, earthy flavors to this pasta dish that is ideal for potlucks and feeding large crowds.

Asparagus and Peas with Warm Tarragon Vinaigrette

Fresh spring produce needs little embellishment, although a quick toss with bacon never hurts.

Strawberry Rhubarb Trifle

The combination of tart strawberries and rhubarb balance out the sweetness from the custard and create one wow-worthy presentation that will impress your guests.

Simple Flaky Crab Cakes

Photo: Christopher Testani

These crab cakes hold together best with dry, finely ground whole-wheat breadcrumbs; if you use whole-wheat panko, they may fall apart in the pan. Chives have a delicate onion flavor that won't overpower the crab.

Parmesan Carrots With Lemon-Parsley Dressing

Steaming and sautéing the carrots in the same pan is the time-saving trick to making them tender and beautifully glazed.

Strawberry-Chicken Salad With Pecans

This main-dish salad features juicy strawberries at their seasonal peak.

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