8 Tasty Alternatives to Easter Ham

You can still make a show-stopping holiday dinner even if you don't roast an entire ham
8 Tasty Alternatives to Easter Ham


Beef, poultry, and game all make excellent main dishes for a holiday meal.

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.

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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.

Crispy Roast Chicken


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.