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A Ham and Potatoes Easter Dinner Menu with Dessert and a Timeline for Success

You’re having your family over for Easter dinner and you are in need of a stellar Easter dinner menu that will impress your guests, but you also need to be able to pull it off without pulling out your hair!

Our Easter dinner menu below is one that we use often so we know that it can be done, and done well!  Using our timeline for getting dinner ready, and a little planning, you can easily pull this off and still have time to have a glass of wine or a cocktail with guests before dinner!

Our Easter dinner menu starts off with an easy appetizer that you can make ahead of time and bake just before serving.  This peach, prosciutto, and brie puff pastry tart is one of our most popular recipes.  Sometimes the most simple recipes are the absolute best! The main event includes a boiled ham, potatoes au gratin, a layered salad, and brussel sprouts.

The hardest part about this menu is waiting for the ham to be done cuz it smells so damn good as it cooks.  All your guests will be salivating as soon as they step through the door.  And they wont be disappointed! Dinner is finished with a light and fluffy pavlova dessert that looks and tastes so AMAZING!  It can be made ahead of time and assembled just before your guests arrive. Here’s how to get it all done:

3-4 Days Before Easter Dinner: 

  • Make your grocery list and go grocery shopping.
  • Tackle any big house cleaning chores today.
  • Make sure that you have enough plates, cutlery, glasses, serving dishes, chairs and spots around the table for all your guests.  In the past Debbie and I have commissioned our husbands to build extensions to tables, or re-arrange furniture to add another table in order to fit everyone!  But you need to figure this out ahead of time or it can get stressful.

2 Days Before Easter Dinner: 

  • If your ham is frozen, make sure to pull it out of the freezer today.  It will need 24 -36 hours to thaw out in the fridge.
  • Make the cherry compote for the pavlova.  It’s quick to make but keeps great for days in the fridge so make it now.
  • Tidy and clean your house if need be.  It doesn’t need to be spotless, but just neat and tidy.

1 Day Before Easter Dinner: 

  • Put together the puff pastry appetizer, but don’t bake it.  Put it on baking trays and store it in the fridge.
  • Make the pavlova meringues.  When they have cooled completely, store them in airtight containers or wrap well with plastic wrap.  They will keep great until tomorrow when you will assemble the dessert.
  • Assemble the potatoes au gratin dish, cover and store in the fridge.  You will bake this tomorrow.
  • Cook the bacon for the layered salad and the brussel sprouts.   Store the bacon for the brussel sprouts in paper towel in the fridge.
  • If you are making the candied pumpkin seeds and pomegranate gastrique for the brussel sprouts, make them today too.
  • Make the layered salad, cover and store in the fridge.
  • Relax

The Day of Your Easter Dinner:

  • Set the table in the morning and get out all your serving plates and bowls.  This gets it out of the way first thing and you don’t have to think about it anymore 🙂
  • Get your wine chilling.
  • 3.5 hours before dinner, start getting your ham into a pot and start cooking it.  It will need around 3 hours to cook, 10 mins to rest, and 10 mins to carve before serving.
  • Make the whipping cream for the pavlova and assemble the dessert.  Don’t top with the fruit compote until right before you serve.  Store the dessert in the fridge and bring it out when you serve dinner so it comes to room temperature before you eat it.
  • Take the potatoes out of the fridge so they come to room temperature before you cook them.
  • Tidy up the kitchen.  This won’t take much since you did most of the hard work yesterday!
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cook your puff pastry tart about 20 mins before you know your guests will start to arrive.  Place it in a spot where guests can help themselves and you can grab a piece too!
  • An hour before dinner, start cooking your potatoes.  When they are done, allow them to cool for 10 mins before serving.
  • Wash your brussel sprouts and slice your onions.  Take the salad out of the fridge.
  • Now is your chance to take 20 mins and have a glass of wine with your guests!
  • Enlist someone to help you get all the dishes onto the table when they are ready.
  • When your ham is done, pull it out of the pot, cover it and let it rest for 10 mins.  Then carve it up and cover it on the serving platter to keep it warm.
  • While the ham is resting, quickly fry up the onions and brussel sprouts and add the cooked bacon.   Transfer to a serving dish and cover.
  • Call everyone to the table and eat!

Below are the links to the recipes for this Easter dinner menu: 

puff pastry tart with peach, prosciutto & brie ~ simple and amazing

Such a great way to start off your Easter dinner.  A sweet and savory puff pastry tart baked with peaches, brie and prosciutto then drizzled in honey and a syrupy balsamic reduction.  It really is simple and amazing.   You better make lots, it won’t last long.

fall apart beautiful boiled ham

A delicious boiled ham recipe that falls apart and melts in your mouth. So easy to make and perfect for Easter dinner. 

simple & amazing potatoes au gratin recipe with yams & sweet potatoes

A one-pan easy and creamy potatoes au gratin recipe with three types of potatoes baked with loads of aged cheddar and gruyere.  Its so great for feeding a crowd.

pan fried brussel sprouts with bacon & onions that everyone will actually eat

Pan fried brussel sprouts are caramelized with bacon and red onion with crispy bits on the edges.  To make them even more amazing, you can then toss them with crunchy candied pumpkin seeds and served with an easy pomegranate gastrique.

our favorite layered salad

It starts with crispy romaine lettuce on the bottom followed by buttery hard boiled eggs and sweet little peas, then a layer of dressing topped with my favorite Gruyere cheese, crispy bits of smoky bacon and fresh chives.

Pavlova with Red Wine Cherry Compote & Marscapone Whipped Cream

perfect pavlova recipe with red wine cherry compote & mascarpone whipped cream

Fruity, sweet, chewy and creamy.   It’s delicious, so easy to make and the perfect way to finish off a special meal.

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