30 Simple Recipes for a Memorable Easter Brunch

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HOP TO IT

Instead of hosting a traditional Easter dinner this year, gather family and friends for brunch after the egg hunt. With simple recipes and often-thrifty ingredients, this fun twist on the holiday meal can be easier on the wallet. These menu suggestions go all the way from a welcome cocktail (or mocktail) to a sweet array of desserts.

Related: 20 Easter Recipes From Around the World

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RASPBERRY COOLER

Welcome guests with a simple yet elegant raspberry cooler from Woman’s Day. With just two ingredients -- and non-alcoholic variations -- it will kick off Easter brunch in high style

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'BEST LEMONADE EVER'

Is there a more classic harbinger of warm days than lemonade? Impress with a homemade version, not-so-humbly called the “Best Lemonade Ever,” posted on Allrecipes (where reviewers seem to agree). It’s easy to make -- do it a day ahead to allow it to chill properly. At just 72 calories a glass, it leaves room to indulge in the brunch buffet to follow.

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NON-ALCOHOLIC SANGRIA

Let the kids join the fun with a non-alcoholic sangria recipe posted on Food.com.  It’s filled with juice and fresh fruit and destined to become a favorite for summer barbecues, as well.

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BLOODY MARY

For a lot of people, brunch just isn’t brunch without a bloody mary. Most of the ingredients for a “classic” recipe from Real Simple are likely on hand already. Don’t fret about having to purchase a small bottle of Worcestershire sauce -- guests will be asking for another round.

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CITRUS COCKTAIL

Trisha Yearwood’s reputation in the country-music world is certainly established, and she’s showing similar prowess on the food scene. Guests will love the zesty spirit of her citrus cocktail featured by Food Network.  The drink includes a selection of fresh citrus fruit and citrus soda mixed with vodka.

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BLUEBERRY TEA

It may be called “blueberry tea,” but this recipe from home website The Spruce includes no blueberries. It’s a warm-you-up, spiked hot-tea drink that will take the chill off, should Easter morning be a bit brisk, and inexplicably tastes a bit like its namesake fruit.

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WHITE BEAN DIP AND PITA CHIPS

As guests gather, put out appetizers like Giada De Laurentiis’ white bean dip with pita chips from Food Network. The centerpiece is canned cannellini beans -- a more-than-thrifty ingredient, although dried beans are even cheaper. To save more pennies -- and carbs -- skip the pita chips and serve with cut vegetables.

Related: 17 Unusual Canned Foods You Might Actually Want to Use

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BAKED GOAT CHEESE

Sometimes a rich and savory showstopper is worth a tiny splurge. These days, goat cheese has become a supermarket staple, so it’s not hard to find the ingredients for a baked-goat-cheese recipe from the blog The Wicked Noodle, home of “sinfully delicious dishes.” We’re drooling already.

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HIDDEN VALLEY OYSTER CRACKERS

This recipe for seasoned oyster crackers from the salad-dressing giant Hidden Valley is sure to delight all ages. Coat traditional oyster crackers with salad dressing/seasoning mix and a few simple ingredients, then bake to create an unexpected flavor.

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3-INGREDIENT SAUSAGE-CREAM-CHEESE CRESCENT BUNDLES

The name pretty much says it all. Be prepared to whip up more than one batch of this easy crowd-pleaser from Pillsbury, which features ready-made dough wrapped around sausage and cream cheese.

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ARTICHOKE HEARTS GRATIN

Video blogger and YouTube celebrity Chef John offers up this appetizer on Allrecipes. Canned artichoke hearts and staples such as grated Parmesan, olive oil, and bread crumbs combine with an elegance that keeps the humble ingredients a secret.

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MEXICAN MAC AND CHEESE

This hearty budget casserole by Better Homes and Gardens is a lively twist on an all-time favorite. Pasta, jarred salsa, fresh onion, tomato, and bulk sausage (skip for vegetarians) combine for a zippy entree that’s just $1.72 per serving.


Related: 20 Dishes That Celebrate the Many Faces of Pasta

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CANADIAN BACON AND EGG CUPS

Guests following a gluten-free or low-carb diet may have to scramble to get their share of these little delights made with a recipe by Jones Dairy Farm.  The dish features just Canadian bacon, eggs, cheddar, and, if desired, parsley.


Related: Go Gluten-Free Without Busting the Food Budget

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ZUCCHINI-AND-POTATO FRITTATA

There are countless easy frittata recipes out there. This one featured on MyRecipes can be made up to four hours ahead. If there’s any left over (doubtful), it makes a great breakfast sandwich the next morning -- especially if you add a slice of bacon.

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STUFFED OVERNIGHT FRENCH TOAST

No one will know you didn’t spend the whole morning in the kitchen when you pull out this dish, made with a recipe by Kraft. It’s built around reduced-fat cream cheese (any brand will do) and cinnamon-swirl bread for shopping-list simplicity.

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QUICHE

Quiche belongs in every frugal cook's repertoire, thanks to its base of inexpensive eggs and impressive presentation. Turn a store-bought pie shell, eggs, and whatever cheeses, meats, and vegetables you have on hand into a singular creation based on a basic quiche recipe posted on Food.com. 


Related: 10 Simple Ways to Cook Eggs

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MAPLE-MUSTARD-ROSEMARY HAM GLAZE

For those who prefer full-on Easter dinner, offer baked ham with a simple-to-make glaze from Betty Crocker.  It features maple syrup and takes just five minutes to whip up before slathering on the ham in its final minutes of cooking.

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SAUTÉED ASPARAGUS

Asparagus also often finds a place on the Easter table, whether for brunch or dinner. Fresh asparagus takes center stage in a side dish posted on Allrecipes. An elegant green vegetable is just a simple sauté away.

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BOBBY FLAY COLESLAW

A touch of sour cream adds richness to Bobby Flay’s recipe for creamy coleslaw, from Food Network.  It’s an easy side that guests will no doubt pile on their plates.

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QUICK CAESAR SALAD FOR A CROWD

When serving multiple dishes, feel free to take a few shortcuts. Pick up a premium jar of refrigerated salad dressing on sale, and you have the decadent basis for a Caesar salad featured on the General Mills food site Tablespoon

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CHEDDAR CORN CASSEROLE

There’s a reason casseroles are a favorite of home cooks. Just assemble the ingredients, combine, and bake. A corn casserole recipe from Del Monte relies on canned whole-kernel corn for even easier prep.

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ONION ROASTED POTATOES

Bring a bit of heft -- and plenty of flavor -- to the selection of side dishes with a recipe for spuds from Lipton. An envelope of the brand’s Recipe Secrets onion soup mix -- oh, and potatoes and olive oil -- is all you need to make this crowd-pleasing starch.


Related: Celebrate Spuds With 27 Tasty Ways to Cook Potatoes

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PEAS WITH LETTUCE AND CARROTS

Add nutrition and a jolt of color to the table with a twist on peas and carrots from Rachael Ray. Made with frozen peas, iceberg lettuce, and a few carrots, this dish features simple -- and affordable -- flavors.


Related: 30 Spring Vegetables You Should Be Eating Now

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BANANA BREAD

Banana bread is easy to make, easier to serve, and almost universally liked. When you have a simple, trusted banana bread recipe that can be made ahead, like a version from Simply Recipes, that’s one less worry on Easter.


Related: Banana Lovers Rejoice: 20 Cheap and Easy Recipes

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STRAWBERRY MUFFINS

Strawberry Muffins

Muffins are made for multiplying. Make a batch; make two. After trying a strawberry muffin recipe posted on Allrecipes, you might want to make three. Either fresh or frozen strawberries can go in these little treats, so opt for whichever is cheaper -- the taste will still shine through.
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CHOCOLATE PUDDING PIE

No cooking skills -- or long shopping lists -- are needed to whip up this chocolate pudding pie recipe by Kraft.  Featuring instant pudding, a store-bought crust, milk, and frozen whipped topping (feel free to choose any brands), this pie is easy to assemble with only a whisk and a few hours to set in the fridge.


Related: 18 Cheap Recipes That Celebrate Chocolate

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LEMON BARS

If there’s a chance of overloading on sweets, mix it up a bit with these lemon bars, a satisfyingly tart option posted on Allrecipes. Standard ingredients plus an hour of time yield a perfectly seasonal selection.


Related: 20 Low-Cost Desserts That Are Easy As Pie

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COCONUT BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Start by whipping up a plain dessert (cake, cupcakes) from a box mix. What’s underneath won’t matter when you slather it with homemade coconut buttercream frosting. A recipe featured by the blog Baked by an Introvert uses just powdered sugar, butter, and coconut milk to transport guests to an island paradise.

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BROWN SUGAR PEACHES WITH ICE CREAM

Bargain ice cream will never be the same. Bring brunch to an unexpectedly elegant finish with a recipe from Williams Sonoma. Serve this dessert in martini glasses (skip the rum for the kids). Everyone will be lining up for seconds.

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CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

As if you weren’t already the “host with the most,” send guests home with a special treat: chocolate truffles. This recipe posted on Allrecipes  does take time, but the instructions for this recipe are straightforward and, hey, you’re already in the kitchen making the rest of the menu, so relish this chance to leave a dazzling final impression.