Nearly 80 percent of Americans will celebrate Easter this year, according to Statista. That means many households are looking for special recipes to prepare for the Christian holiday. Easter calls for a special meal. Around the world, there are certain dishes that have become the staple Easter meal. In West Africa, Jollof Rice — spicy, tomato-based rice filled with mouthwatering herbs, veggies and meat — is often consumed on this holiday. In South Africa, it isn’t Easter without a braai (a South African BBQ), and you’ll often find Snoek, which is a kind of mackerel, on the grill.
If you have guests with many certain diets coming to your home for Easter, or you yourself don’t eat the foods that are synonymous with this holiday, you might want to try alternative recipes. We’ve rounded up a list of delicious Easter recipes, all from creative and inspiring Black chefs, that run the gamut from gluten-free to pescetarian to traditional. Grab your forks, knives and bunny ears and dig in.
Traditional, But Make It Spring
5 Spiced Lamb Chops with Cilantro Mint Pesto
Lamb is a traditional Easter protein, but many of its recipes can feel too heavy for a warm Spring day. This dish from Chef Kai Chase is light, bright and makes use of seasonal herbs. It’s loaded with spices for bold flavor. Plus, unlike a rack of lamb or a roast that needs time in the oven, once marinated, these chops only need a few minutes on each side in a large skillet.
A Fancy Favorite
Lobster Topped Deviled Eggs
Looking for a Good Friday dish that skips the meat? This one is mostly meant to serve as inspiration for your own recipe. Chef Erica Barrett serves it at her restaurant SoCu Prime, and isn’t sharing the recipe. But put some battered mini lobster tails over deviled eggs and you’ll get close. It’s the perfect Easter side dish or appetizer, utilizing the traditional Easter food of egg, which symbolizes life and rebirth, with that elevated touch of the lobster.
A Vegan Appetizer
Plant-Based Cheese Board
Charcuterie boards loaded with dairy and cold cuts are a traditional Easter food. However, those on a vegan diet need to get creative. We love that London-based vegan chef Rachel Ama walks us through her favorite ingredients for a plant-based cheese board. Though she created this for Christmas, it can easily be repurposed for Easter. It’s colorful, beautifully displayed and easy for guests to snack on while waiting for the main course.
A Versatile Side
Air Fryer Hush Puppies
Easter meals can contain diverse spreads of dishes. If you’re going to a potluck, you never know what others will bring. So if you want to contribute a dish that tastes great with just about anything, or if you’re the main chef and hope to just make a couple of sides, try these hush puppies from the co-owner of @blackpeoplesrecipes. They are sweet and savory so they pair great with everything from omelets to roasts to soups. This is a snack guests won’t be able to get enough of.
A Pescetarian Entrée
Air Fryer Cumin Paprika Lime Fish
If you keep a pescetarian household but still want a hearty, filling entrée for your Easter meal, you have to try this fish. One of the best things about it is that, though it’s made for the air fryer, you can also easily cook it up on the stovetop in 15 minutes or less. Plus, it calls for just seven ingredients and can be done with the white fish of your choosing like halibut, cod or sole. The flavors are bright, a little zesty and melt-in-your-mouth good.
A Carnivore Classic
Smoked Rack of Lamb
Lamb is one of the most traditional foods to eat on Easter. For Christians, the lamb is a representation of Jesus Christ sacrificing himself and being “the lamb of God.” If you’re a carnivore house, you have to try this mouthwatering, lick-your-fingers rack of lamb recipe from Chef Angela Davis. It uses a spice rub made with coffee, peppercorns, Aleppo and rose. This one might be for the more advanced chef but it’s worth the effort.
Strawberry Tart w/ Granola Crust
If you have fun Easter games and activities planned after the big meal, you may not want a heavy dessert. This sweet treat from Jerrelle Guy (author of “Black Girl Baking”) is light while still satisfying and is totally gluten-free. Though the filling calls for Greek yogurt, you can also make this a vegan tart by filling it with the dairy-free yogurt of your choice. We love that it showcases beautiful fresh strawberries, bringing out the colors of spring. The full recipe and instructions are in the image caption.