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After hosting friends and family for brunch, dyeing hard boiled eggs, and organizing an egg hunt for the kids, the thought of cooking a special holiday meal can be overwhelming — it's tempting to make a reservation at your favorite restaurant instead. But, before you try to wrangle a car-load of family members (including the kids, who are likely experiencing an Easter candy sugar rush) into a nice restaurant, consider this; there are a number of holiday-worthy main dishes that you can create at home with very little effort — even if you don't make a ham.
Click here to see the 8 Tasty Alternatives to Easter Ham (Slideshow)
Though ham is traditional in many homes (perhaps because it is so easy to prepare — most are precooked and simply need to be reheated), there are just as many people who would prefer something different for dinner on Easter Sunday. Even if ham is a long-time family tradition, it can be rewarding to try something else (and perhaps even create a new custom) during the holidays. There are a number of excellent main dish options that feature beef, poultry, and game.
One of the keys to holiday cooking is finding a recipe that is low-maintenance (so that you can spend more time with friends and family and less in the kitchen cooking), but that feels somehow more special than what you would cook on a regular basis. Cooking a roast is a great solution; just about any roast can be made juicy and flavorful if it’s well-seasoned and cooked properly, and once it’s in the oven, it rarely needs more than a bit of basting or to have its temperature checked. A roast can also make a visually stunning centerpiece on the holiday table. Slice a few colorful citrus fruits and sprinkle some fresh herbs around it and you’ll have a colorful and appetizing display.
If you want to make a delicious, sure-to-impress, home-cooked meal this Easter but need a recipe that’s easy and ham-free, here are a few excellent alternatives.
Apple-Shallot Roasted Turkey
This delicious turkey recipe has lots of sweet and savory flavor thanks to the easy apple and shallot stuffing and the quick herb mixture that you rub onto the surface of the turkey before roasting. If you don’t have the exact herbs called for in this Apple-Shallot Roasted Turkey recipe, feel free to make substitutions.
Believe it or not, you only need four things to make a savory roast chicken with a crispy skin: a chicken, butter, salt, and fresh herbs.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.
8 Recipes with Ham
Recipes with ham are one of those recipe-box staples that are always in season. Ham is always flavorful, always filling, and always a crowd-pleaser. It makes a great diabetic dinner option, or even an easy diabetic snack. These ham recipes are simple and tasty enough to please the whole gang while helping you stick to your diabetic diet.
If you’re looking for an Easter ham recipe for diabetics, then you have to try our Apple Butter Glazed Ham. It’s flavor-packed and diabetic friendly! If you’re looking for something a little simpler, like a snack recipe with ham, then try our Easy Cucumber Cups -- they’re light and refreshing and filled with cubes of ham!
Diabetic ham recipes this tasty and unique will make your next meal a treat. You’ll hardly believe you’re staying on track with your diabetes diet! All you have to do is decide which of these recipes with ham you want to try and dig in.
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Recipes with Ham
These easy Cheesy Asparagus Ham Rollups are a great choice for a diabetic snack with ham. You can serve 'em as an appetizer to impress your guests, as a healthier snack to keep you going, or with a big green salad as part of dinner.
This recipe with ham is tropically-delicious! You might just get inspired to put on a grass skirt and dance the hula after you prepare our easy diabetes-friendly recipe for Tropical Ham Steak.
This diabetic ham recipe is holiday-ready, so it's no surprise this is one of our most popular holiday dinner recipes. Your friends and family will be wowed with this recipe for Apple Butter Glazed Ham, and better yet, they'll never know it's fit for a diabetes diet!
This easy diabetic snack recipe is great for everyday, or when company is coming over. Give your guests a healthier option by setting out a platter of these Easy Cucumber Cups. These bite-sized cups look company-fancy and taste anytime-amazing. Plus, this diabetic snack recipe is easy to make, too!
A homemade, tangy vinaigrette complements this Ham and Apple Salad perfectly. We just love how the fresh apple slices add a little sweetness to this sensational recipe with ham.
This diabetic ham recipe is an old-fashioned classic perfect for fancying up your holiday meal (or any meal for that matter).Our recipe for Ham with Raisin Sauce is so tasty, you'll hardly believe it's a diabetic dinner recipe!
Chef salads are known to be hearty, thanks to all the filling lunch meat included. However, all that cheese and heavy dressing can undo a healthy start. Our Chef Salad Skewers take the best part of a chef salad, lighten it up, and put it on a skewer. That way, you can enjoy this recipe with ham and healthy veggies without all the added calories.
This salad recipe with ham packs an extra punch of protein thanks to nutritious edamame! Plus, since it's loaded with other goodies, like ham, cheese, and fresh veggies, this Ham and Edamame Chop Salad from the "Diabetes Carb Control Cookbook" is a super choice when you're looking for a healthy and filling salad recipe!
13 Easter Main Dishes for People Who Hate Ham
Confession: I hate ham. Pork chops are a go-to dinner in my house, but if you ask me, ham is just glorified bologna (which I also hate). And with Easter coming up, it’s time once again to put on my Google-emblazoned thinking cap, and scour the internet for Easter main dishes I can serve in place of my food nemesis.
For many, ham becomes the star of special meals like Easter and Christmas because it’s a time of year that calls for a special menu, and whole hams aren’t something most families invest the time and money in for normal weekly meals. So this collection of recipes features memorable mains fit for a holiday meal in addition to dressed-up daily dinner favorites for less adventurous palates. And yes, there’s also lamb, the de facto alternative for a ham-free Easter feast.
The Easter Pork Roast That’s Better Than Ham
Think of an Easter pork roast that’s boasting all of the salty, juicy, and savory delights of ham but without the long roasting time (for a product that's essentially already cooked!), without the manufacturer-added flavors, without all of that salt, and without the need to readjust your entire life to find a place for it in your fridge. You’re not thinking crazy. You’re thinking pork loin.
The Charming Easter Breads That Are Baked in Tin Cans
Easter ham is delicious feeling like you need to hook yourself up to a fire hydrant afterwards isn’t. According to food director emeritus Rhoda Boone, “hams are injected with water and are notoriously salty.” By brining a pork loin instead, you can control the salt level, creating juicy, sliceable pork that doesn't taste like a salt lick but still has a satisfying, ham-like bite.
For Epi's 2016 Easter menu, Rhoda “wanted to create a pork loin inspired by traditional ham—but with even better flavor.” And you know what? She pulled it off. The best Easter hams are all about that combo of savory and sweet. To achieve the sweet, she added plenty of apple cider to the salty, spiced brine—plus poured a generous dose into the base of the roasting pan. After only 8 hours of brining time, the pork gets more fork tender, sweeter, and juicier than run-of-the-mill roasted pork. Or ham, for that matter. Bonus: a sweet Dijon and cider glaze gives this pork loin a final ham-like finish—no clove-studding required.
Another bonus of opting for loin over ham: no awkward carving, having to maneuver around a ham bone. Boneless pork loin is almost embarrassingly easy to slice, so you can keep the electric knife stowed.
If you have leftover pork loin, leave it unsliced until ready to use. And be sure to use it. This pork roast tastes even better the day after Easter and can be used in place of either ham or roast pork in recipes. Try it in an astoundingly good Cubano sandwich or a midnight Hamgiving biscuit—or Porkgiving as it were. Just don't call it ham.
60 Best Easter Dinner Ideas and Easy Recipes for Your Holiday Feast
The long, cold days of winter are finally coming to an end, and we&rsquore ready to celebrate spring! Easter is the perfect holiday for embracing the change of seasons. It&rsquos all about getting outside, dying eggs, and other memorable Easter activities. Not to mention, creating a seasonal, delicious Easter dinner menu to share with family and friends. While some families prefer to sit down to Easter brunch, others will opt for Easter dinner&mdashheck, some will just eat all day long. No matter what your strategy is for Easter this year, you can be sure that eating will likely be involved. Don&rsquot be stuck without a plan for your Easter meal. Make your holiday celebration one to remember with these best Easter dinner ideas.
Whether you&rsquore looking for impressive Easter appetizers, showstopping main courses, or Easter sides, this collection of Easter dinner recipes will have you covered. Ahead, find traditional dishes like glazed ham, deviled eggs, and creamy potatoes&mdashall of which hold a special place in the Drummond family&rsquos hearts. But we&rsquore also making room for some innovative recipes and soon-to-be new family favorites, like lamb chops and baked salmon. To balance out the hearty mains, serve up some of spring&rsquos freshest produce&mdashwe&rsquore talking peas, radishes, asparagus, and mint. No matter which menu you choose, your Easter dinner will be something to celebrate. Before the day is through, make room for dessert. There are tons of Easter cupcake ideas and Easter cookie recipes that might just steal the spotlight.
45 Easy Easter Side Dishes That Are Perfect for Spring
No holiday meal is ever complete without an array of side dishes&mdashand that&rsquos especially true for Easter Sunday. Sure, a glazed ham might sit front and center on the table, but it&rsquos these delicious, easy Easter side dishes that are sure to steal the spotlight. Whether you're serving ham and eggs for Sunday brunch or a rack of lamb for Easter dinner, you&rsquoll need some supporting sides to bring all your Easter recipes together. Look no further than these Easter sides to round out the meal. You&rsquoll find everything from spring veggies to dinner rolls to mac and cheese&mdashand so much more!
When it comes to the best Easter side dishes, there&rsquos something for everyone. There are traditional family favorites, quick and easy ideas, and even something a little unexpected. Not to mention, these seasonal sides are the best way to fill your table with all the fresh produce that spring has to offer. We&rsquore talking asparagus, peas, carrots, radishes, and so much more. They don&rsquot need much to make them shine&mdashtry them roasted, sautéed, or even glazed. Pair your vegetables with homemade bread, hearty salads, or a multitude of potato recipes. If there&rsquos one thing we&rsquore certain of, it&rsquos that potatoes are a must-have on any Easter table: from creamy scalloped potatoes to oven-roasted spuds to the sweet potato variety. The best thing about these Easter side dishes is that they&rsquore just as tasty as the main course. Add them to your menu of Easter brunch ideas, bring them to a potluck, or serve them up all on their own.
15 Best Ham Recipes for the Holidays
There’s a reason we pull out the best ham recipes every holiday season: A beautiful, golden-brown, bone-in ham is impressive, it feeds the whole household, and it makes for amazing second-day sandwiches (among other delights). But, most important, it’s also super easy to make. Because ham is, by definition, preserved through either curing, salting, or smoking, it’s already cooked when you bring it home. (One exception: fresh ham, which is really just the cut of pork that’s used to make ham. Fresh ham can be found at some butcher shops and specialty markets.)
All it takes to transform a cured ham into a showstopping main course is a flavorful glaze, preferably one with a bit of sweetness and acidity to play off the meat’s rich saltiness. (That’s why pineapple juice is a perennial ham-glaze favorite.)
It’s no wonder, then, that there are literally hundreds of renditions of this iconic dish. Ahead, you’ll find a selection of our very best ham recipes. But first, here a a few tips on buying and baking hams that will come in handy regardless of the recipe you choose.
When it comes to purchasing ham, there are a variety of choices. Whole hams are the entire back leg portion that has been cured in a wet brine, heated, and cooked through. Sometimes smoke is added to the cooking process in which case the ham should be labeled “smoked.” These types of hams, also called city hams, are typically sold bone-in, though boneless options are available too.
Whole hams can be broken down and sold as half hams, which are either the butt or shank end of the leg. The butt can be meatier, but some people find it more difficult to carve. Because the shank is lower on the leg, the muscles get more action and the meat can be slightly less tender than that of the butt section.
Fresh hams can also be the whole back leg portion, but they have not been cured or smoked and will require more time in the oven than cured hams.
Country hams are another option. A Southern favorite that’s mostly available online or at specialty shops, country hams are cured with a dry brine and heavily salted. Some are hung and aged in cold storage. Because they’re so salty, it’s common to soak country hams before cooking them, though it’s not essential.
To help you determine what size ham to cook, consider these basic guidelines: For bone-in hams, count on serving two to three people per pound for boneless, four to five people per pound.
You likely already own everything you need to make ham. The National Pork Board recommends cooking ham on a flat rack in a roasting pan. A heavy-duty roasting pan is a must, and if yours has sturdy handles, all the better for lifting the meat in and out of the oven. You’ll also need a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the ham as well as a brush to apply any glaze.
Most hams are “fairly well trimmed,” so you likely won’t need to do anything to the meat, explains Pamela Johnson, the director of consumer communications for the National Pork Board. If necessary, use a sharp knife to remove any tough rind or skin as well as any excess fat—you want a ⅛- to ¼-inch-thick layer of fat. Most recipes will ask you to score the fat in a diamond pattern, which Johnson says helps the glaze to penetrate and flavor the meat. When you’re ready to put the ham in the oven, arrange the meat with the cut or exposed side down, which keeps it from drying out. Most recipes also call for adding at least a small amount of water to the bottom of the roasting pan to prevent the juices or any glaze from burning when they hit the hot pan.
Most hams are fully cooked and simply need to be reheated. Technically, any fully cooked ham can be served cold, but most cooks find that glazing and warming greatly improves both the flavor and appearance. When reheating a fully cooked ham, the internal temperature needs to reach 140°F. If you’re cooking a fresh ham, the Board recommends taking it to 145°F for medium-rare, or 160°F for medium. As with all large cuts, it’s important to give the meat a brief rest, so that the juices can return to the center. The National Pork Board advises a minimum three-minute rest before carving and recommends slicing as you need it, so the meat doesn’t dry out.
Ham yields enough to feed a whole family, and then some. Leftover ham is great for making fried rice, hash, pasta, omelets, quiche, and, of course, sandwiches. Johnson adds that frozen ham can be used to make soups, stews, and chowders.
Easter breakfast recipes
I wish you all a wonderful holiday. Enjoy these light and delicious Easter recipes!
This post is originally published in April 2020. It's updated with new recipes and republished in April 2021.
Natalie Knezic is a certified nutrition coach, and weight loss specialist, and creator of Natalie's health blog. She's passionate about helping others live healthier more fulfilled lives through a healthy diet and active lifestyle. She actively coaches, creates recipes, and writes about a healthy lifestyle. Her articles have been featured on many popular websites, like Shape, Men’s Fitness, Greatist, Pure Wow, Mashed, The Huffington Post, ELLE Magazine, and many more.
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase, I’ll make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only link products that I recommend. Thank you for supporting Natalie’s Health!
This Easter we made our best ham to date. The glaze for this delicious ham uses traditional ingredients, like cloves, brown sugar and spicy brown mustard but adds in a can of Dr. Pepper for an interesting and tasty flavor. Enjoy!
Dr. Pepper Glazed Easter Ham
Makes enough to glaze one ham
- 1 whole fully cooked bone-in ham (15-18 Pounds)
- whole cloves
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
- 1 can Dr. Pepper
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 325-f degrees.
- Score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern about 1/8-inch deep. Place cloves in the middle of each diamond. Place the ham in a large roasting pan with a rack, tent it with foil, and bake for 2 to 2/12 hours---or longer, depending on the package directions. (Some hams may require 3 to 3 1/2 hours at a lower temp just check the package.)
- Heat the brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and soda in a small saucepan until bubbly. Cook until reduced and a bit thicker, about 15 minutes.
- After about 2 hours of baking time, remove the foil and brush the glaze on the ham in 20 minutes intervals (put the ham back in the oven, uncovered, in between) until it's nice and glossy. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 15-20 minutes before carving. Pour any leftover glaze over the sliced ham.
This recipe produced a moist flavorful ham for our dinner. I subbed dijon mustard (that's what was in the fridge) and it clumped instead of blending. I will definitely do this again with a brown mustard. Thanks for an alternative to the traditional ones.
Thank you for your feedback! Mustard I have found in glazes like this do tend to clump until the glaze warms up in the pan. A whisk should help if you stir it very well while it simmers.
Waterbury Publications, Inc.
While there aren't many Easter recipes that are staples, making a quiche always feels like an easy go-to for Easter brunch. Make individual quiches for the family with this mini muffin-tin recipe.
Get our recipe for Muffin-Tin Quiches.
30. Retro Jello Salad
Hopefully, your moms and grandmas have been making you jello salad since birth. But if not, you&rsquove got to try this uniquely classic side.
A jello salad made with 7 Up, lime jello, cream cheese, and cherries. It&rsquos always a showstopper and tastes surprisingly delightful as well. It&rsquos zesty, and creamy, and will bring everyone back to the 70s, in the best way.