Fix a Southern Style Easter Dinner

Apr 1, 2010 by

For many families, Easter Sunday has traditionally included a feast to accompany the celebration.  While menus may vary based on cultural influences, here in the South, Easter Sunday fare has remained somewhat standard for many generations.  Although there are variations for coastal regions, which incorporate seafood and local specialities, for most of the Carolinas, a ham is the entree and simple vegetable dishes round out the menu.

We enjoy adding a Charleston dish we have modified, Cheesy Shrimp ‘n Grits, instead of potatoes, and thought you may enjoy trying a lowcountry specialty, too.

It doesn’t take a lot of preparation to create a lovely dinner for a crowd using our Easter menu suggestions.  If you don’t have the time to prepare a ham yourself, buy one that is already cooked and add our simple-to-prepare glaze for a delicious main entree.

No Southern-style Easter spread is authentic without deviled eggs.  Although there are many ways to prepare deviled eggs, we use a simple recipe and add a bit of cayenne  pepper to the filling.

Too often, the cook is frazzled by the time the meal is ready to serve.  We have kept things simple, with prepare-ahead Ambrosia, Marinated Carrots, Deviled Eggs and veggies that require little attention.

Easter Menu

Spiral-cut, glazed Ham

Marinated Carrots

Deviled Eggs

Cheesy Shrimp ‘n Grits

Corn on the Cob

Victorian  Ambrosia

Old Fashioned Green Beans

Yeast Rolls (frozen)

Lemon Pound Cake

Cheesy Shrimp ‘n Grits


1 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese, grated
1 c. grits
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs, well beaten
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 lb. frozen shrimp (thawed)
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
6-slices bacon


Cook the grits, according to directions.

While grits are cooking, brown bacon in a skillet. Set bacon aside to drain on a plate w/ paper towels.  Add diced onion and bell pepper; saute. Pat shrimp dry; pour shrimp into skillet with onions and peppers and stir well.  Brown for about three minutes. Remove from heat.

Add 1 stick butter and grated sharp cheese to grits; mix. Add the beaten eggs to 1/4 cup milk; stir well.  Pour eggs and milk into the grits. Add the shrimp, onions, peppers and Tabasco.  Crumble the bacon and add to mixture. Stir gently.

Pour into a greased casserole. Bake 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

If desired, add 1/2 cup of grated cheese as a topping during the last 10 minutes in the oven.

Serves 8



6 navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 large bunch seedless white grapes
1 jar (8 oz) maraschino cherries, undrained (save juice)
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Peel oranges; separate sections;  cut sections into quarters. Cut cherries and grapes  in half.
Combine all ingredients (including cherry juice) in a large tupperware container or glass bowl with lid. Add the sherry last. Chill until serving time.
This can be made a day ahead.
Serve on a bed of lettuce on individual salad plates, or serve from a cut glass bowl.

Marinated Carrots

This is a recipe I have been making for over 20 years.  I originally found it in a community cookbook.


2 lbs carrots, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
3/4 cup sugar


Place the carrots in a saucepan. Cover with lightly salted water.  Bring to a boil; cook til nearly done, usually five or so minutes.

While the carrots cook, combine the vinegar, olive oil, tomato soup and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook for a minute. Remove from heat.

Drain the cooked carrots, and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the bell pepper and onions to the carrots. Pour the liquid over the vegetables.

This can be served immediately, or stored for up to a week in a container with a tight lid.

Simple Ham Glaze

This is as easy as it gets . . . Buy a jar of jelly (any flavor . . . I like to use cherry jam or orange marmalade) and mix it with about half of a small bottle of Dijon or stone ground mustard.

How much more simple can it get?  You can adjust the flavor by adding more jelly or mustard.

Spread it on the ham before heating . . . and again about half-way through baking.  If you have a spiral cut ham, be sure to let the glaze drizzle down across each slice of ham.

If you prefer a maple flavor, mix maple syrup, brown sugar and Dijon mustard.  I start off with about a cup of brown sugar, mix in mustard til it is the consistency of a paste, then add maple syrup.  You might want to heat this mixture, but it’s not necessary.

No excuses; glazing a ham is no work at all!