The big Easter feast is a time for celebrating with family and friends. It shouldn’t be a holiday gathering that burdens you with budget woes, so if you follow our tasty tips for a budget-friendly feast, you’ll be able to impress your holiday guests without draining your wallet.
Here’s our guide to hosting an inexpensive Easter dinner menu for six for under $100.
Quick tips for a budget-friendly Easter feast
Work the grocery store sales to save big. Start planning your Easter dinner menu at least one week in advance and scan your local grocery store sales flyers to find the cheapest prices for the ingredients you need. If you don’t have time to look at flyers, download a grocery app such as Grocery Pal, Ibotta or Flipp so you can find the cheapest groceries in your area while you’re on the go.
Be flexible. Your initial holiday dinner plan may be to have lamb, but if you can’t find it cheap, adjust your Easter menu to feature another less-expensive meat, such as turkey or ham. Same goes for your appetizers, side dishes and desserts.
Keep recipes simple. Stop stressing about finding the scads of ingredients for complicated recipes. Choose scrumptious, streamlined recipes that deliver big satisfying flavors without a long, expensive ingredient list.
Let your dinner guests help. When your family or friends ask if they can bring something, say yes. Have them bring the rolls, a salad or a bottle of wine. Letting them be involved in the meal will make it more meaningful and it will be easier on your budget.
Excellent Easter appetizers
Instead of buying eggs specifically for your Easter dinner menu, put those decorated hard-boiled eggs to use by turning them into deviled eggs for your appetizer menu. Eggs are insanely cheap around Easter — a dollar or less per dozen — and can serve double duty after the Easter egg hunt. Serve these feisty Sriracha deviled eggs from Budget Bytes or these tasty bacon jalapeño deviled eggs from Real House Moms.
You will need about four deviled eggs per person. At $1 per dozen for eggs and a few dollars for the other ingredients, your Easter appetizer will cost $5 to $10.
Build your own vegetable platter
Buy inexpensive vegetables and make a pretty vegetable platter with a homemade dip or a colorful trio of hummus. Resist the convenience of buying a veggie platter because you’ll save money if you slice and dice your own produce.
Figure about one-quarter of a pound of vegetables per person. You’ll need 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of assorted veggies. Expect to pay less than $5 for your vegetables if you buy just the amount you need.
Carrots: $.60/pound Celery: $1.25/pound Head of broccoli: $.90/pound Radishes: $.80/bunch Bunch of green onions: $.89 Green bell pepper: $.90/each.
Ham is typically a great buy around Easter. Avoid the popular honey baked ham that could cost upwards of $100 all by itself. Instead, buy a much less expensive ham and dress it up with a homemade glaze for your Easter dinner menu.
You will need about a half-pound of boneless ham per person — and at about $2.50 per pound, you can expect to pay around $10 for your meat.
Let’s talk turkey
Turkey is another inexpensive meat you can put on your Easter table. Though it is essential at Thanksgiving, this juicy bird will satisfy your hungry Easter guests, too. Instead of buying a whole turkey, which can feed a small army, opt for a boneless turkey breast roast that is more reasonably sized and priced for your small dinner party.
You will need about a half-pound of boneless turkey per person — and at about $3.50 per pound, you can expect to pay $10 to $15 for your poultry.
Go for the lamb
Lamb is a traditional Easter diner menu main course meat and is also often on sale around the holiday. Per pound, a boneless leg of lamb will be your most economical choice. Lamb chops are also a budget-friendly choice because you can buy just the number of chops you need for your dinner. As impressive as a rack of lamb is, it is also the steepest in price.
You will need about a half-pound of boneless lamb per person — and at $6.50 per pound, you can expect to pay around $20 for your meat.
Dare to be non-traditional
A great alternative to a big centerpiece meat entrée is to serve a main course meal that features either lamb or ham. For example, make a shepherd’s pie using ground lamb or make a ham and potato casserole — both will help you stretch the pricier ingredients.
For the shepherd’s pie, you’ll need 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of ground lamb. Expect to pay about $10 to $15 for the lamb. Russet potatoes are always a budget buy. Purchase two big potatoes — at $.50/pound — and make mashed potatoes for the shepherd’s pie topping. The other ingredients will cost about $5 to $10, giving you an Easter main course meal for $20 to $25.
Roasted vegetables are always a welcome accompaniment for a meat-centric Easter entrée. Best yet, they take very little hands-on prep. Pick a colorful array of vegetables, toss them with olive oil and a few herbs and spices, then roast them until tender and browned. Simple, delicious and nutritious. You can also roast a single vegetable and gussy it up with spices and cheese.
This smoky Parmesan roasted cauliflower from Budget Bytes will serve six for approximately $5.
Potatoes are insanely cheap and are an ultra-versatile ingredient for Easter side dishes. Check out these roasted garlic mashed potatoes from Spabettie, which will set you back just about $2.
A big green salad is a frugal Easter side dish that will add color to your Easter dinner menu and act as a fresh counterpart to the heavier holiday dishes. Purchase a head of red leaf lettuce, add an assortment of fresh vegetables, and shake up a homemade vinaigrette. Expect to pay less than $5.
Approximate total cost for an Easter dinner menu for 6 = $70
Easter appetizer: $10 for deviled eggs, $10 for vegetable platter and dip Easter entrée: $25 for lamb chops Easter side dishes: $5 for roasted vegetables, $5 for a green salad, less than $5 for mashed potatoes Easter Dessert: $10 for dessert
At $70 for food, that leaves you some extra dough for the wine, too! We recommend a cabernet sauvignon, merlot or pinot noir to really bring out the flavors of the lamb. Riesling (dry), Chenin Blanc, Moscato, Sweet Riesling, and Vin Santo will complement the sweet, salty richness of the ham. Turkey is versatile meat when it comes to pairing so red or white, like Beaujolais Nouveau or Pinot Noir, work well.