20 Easter Recipes From Around the World

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STEEPED IN TRADITION

There's more to Easter than colored eggs, chocolate rabbits, and Peeps. People around the world honor the annual occasion with distinct meals specially prepared just for the holiday. Although the menus for Easter dinner vary widely between nations, each meal is tied to delicious cultural traditions. Here are a few of the tastiest ones to try this year.

Related: 12 Easy Ways to Decorate for Easter on the Cheap

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TSOUREKI

Few nations boast as many culinary traditions for this time of year as Greece, where a food-filled Holy Week begins with a braided sweet bread called tsoureki. This recipe omits the red-dyed egg usually baked into the bread, as well as the hard-to-find spices mastic and mahlepi, making it easy to prepare tsoureki with little more than sugar, butter, flour, yeast, and eggs. Recipe: Hip Foodie Mom
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GREEK EASTER SOUP

The Greek soup magiritsa is traditionally prepared for Easter using meat from a freshly slaughtered lamb, but this version foregoes the usual intestines in favor of lamb shank and shoulder. The other ingredients are cheap and simple, resulting in a fragrant soup that can be left to simmer during holiday festivities. Recipe: Saveur
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FRENCH LEG OF LAMB

For symbolic reasons, the French favor lamb as their main course on Easter Sunday. A leg of lamb isn't always cheap, but this recipe requires very few added seasonings to create a delicious centerpiece for Easter dinner. Make sure the meat is still a little pink, to keep with French tradition. Recipe: French Today

Related: 15 Classic and Budget-Friendly French Dishes

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TANGY LEMON TART

There's no one traditional Easter dessert in French cuisine, but this minimalist lemon tart uses one of season's brightest flavors to create a light, prototypical French dessert. It requires only eight ingredients and one hour to prepare. Recipe: BBC Good Food
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PARAGUAYAN CHIPA

Throughout Holy Week, most Paraguayans and Argentineans repeatedly enjoy the traditional cheese breads called chipas. The recipe contains a few odd ingredients, including manioc starch, which can be replaced with arrowroot or another thickening agent, and a South American specialty cheese, which can be substituted with more-common Italian varieties. Recipe: Our Eyes Eat First
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HOT CROSS BUNS

Hot cross buns, so-called because they are marked with a symbolic cross on the top, are a seasonal favorite in Great Britain and many of its former colonies. This recipe uses chocolate chips for sweetness and results in a perfectly crunchy pull-apart bread best served warm with a pat of butter. Recipe: Things for Boys
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CHERVIL SOUP

In Germany, the Thursday before Easter is called "Green Thursday," an occasion to celebrate the arrival of spring with a spread of green vegetables associated with the season. A common staple is chervil soup, a colorful and fragrant green soup flavored with crème fraiche, hard-boiled eggs, and chervil, also called French parsley. Recipe: German Foods
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CAPIROTADA

Everything has religious significance in this Mexican spin on bread pudding traditionally prepared on Ash Wednesday, including the cloves, which are used to symbolize nails on the cross. This version of the dessert takes only an hour to prepare and incorporates a spiced brown sugar syrup and a cup of Monterey Jack cheese. Recipe: Brown Eyed Baker
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POLISH WHITE BORSCHT

In Poland, meatless white borscht is served frequently throughout the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, when Lent is over and the meat-centric version makes its triumphant return. This recipe uses easy-to-find smoked kielbasa sausage as its chief protein and can be made with prepared horseradish rather than fresh. Recipe: Saveur
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SIMNEL CAKE

A popular Easter dessert throughout the British Isles, simnel cake is a richly spiced fruit dessert made with at least two layers of almond paste and topped with bronzed marzipan nuggets as a kind of garnish. This recipe loses none of the flavor in translating the original preparation to cupcake-size versions. Recipe: Nutmegs, Seven
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OBE EJA

This Nigerian fish soup is packed with exotic flavor, but the ingredients are mostly familiar staples. The exception is the Goya Adobo seasoning blend, which can be found in the international sections of many supermarkets, or ordered online. The recipe can employ almost any variety of white fish you happen to have on hand, including catfish or tilapia, and even salmon. Recipe: Avartsy Cooking
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HAM AND SAUERKRAUT

In Austria, a typical Easter ham is baked right into a loaf of bread, but it's much easier and just as tasty to prepare the pork in a slow cooker with traditional Central European fixings, such as grated apples, onions, potatoes, and sauerkraut. The ham is easily prepared and left to stew for several hours, allowing families to attend church before eating. Recipe: Recipe 4 Living

Related: 50 Slow-Cooker Recipes to Feed a Family of Four for $20 or Less

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PIZZA CHENA

A culinary staple of Easter for Italians living abroad and in the United States, pizza chena is a decadent flaky pie stuffed with sweet Italian sausage, mozzarella, salami, ricotta, and prosciutto (though regular ham can be used instead to save money). The recipe requires a spring-form pan to prepare the crust, or you can use a premade piecrust to save time and effort. Recipe: Just a Pinch

Related: From Plain Cheese to Peking Duck: 25 Yummy Pizza Recipes

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POTICA

Croatia and Slovenia are just two of several Eastern European nations that traditionally consume the sweet nut cake called potica on Easter morning. This recipe uses walnuts and cranberries to create the cake's swirled filling, but any number of sweet or savory ingredients can be substituted at your convenience (tarragon and cottage cheese are a popular alternative). Recipe: Oh The Goodies
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MAZUREK

Mazurek is a Polish Easter cake that is no less delicious for its relative simplicity. The subtly sweet treat consists primarily of ingredients most bakers already have on hand, plus an optional addition of preserves, dried fruits, meringues, or nuts to decorate the cake's surface. Recipe: Allrecipes UK
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PASKHA

Paskha is an Easter tradition in many Eastern Orthodox cultures, a side dish easily adaptable and usually served with a holiday bread called (rather confusingly) paska. This no-bake recipe is quick and requires little more than "farmer's cheese," which usually means using dairy from a goat or sheep. Recipe: Russian Mom Cooks
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JAMAICAN EASTER BUN

Like many Jamaican dishes, the spiced bread most of the nation's residents enjoy for Easter Sunday is bursting with flavor. Molasses and cinnamon join a host of optional dried fruits in this recipe, which includes instructions for substituting Guinness Stout for milk, adding even more distinct flavor. Serve with hard cheese. Recipe: African Bites
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CODFISH CAKES

Codfish cakes, made with potatoes to supplement this affordable variety of white fish, are popular throughout the year in Bermuda, and they're all but mandatory come Easter morning. This recipe, which requires simmering the cod in potato water before molding the cakes, is slightly more involved than most, but it makes up for the time spent with delicious authenticity. Recipe: The Bermudian
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TORRIJAS

A better name for torrijas might be "Spanish toast." This spin on French toast -- usually prepared from stale brioche bread, dipped in egg and fried in olive oil -- is a popular dessert in Spain throughout Lent. The recipe is about as simple as it gets, even if you choose to soak the bread in wine rather than the usual milk. Recipe: Saffron and Sun
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ROSQUILLAS

Rosquillas are Spanish Easter pastries that are equally enticing for children and adults. This recipe for the doughnut-shaped dessert uses a liqueur called anisette, but preparations vary by region throughout Spain, with alternate versions incorporating rosemary and cinnamon. Recipe: My Life in Two Words