Traditional Easter Food

easter cock and chicken with easter-eggs image by Maria Brzostowska from

Easter Sunday is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Christ and is typically celebrated near the beginning of spring season. While there are many Easter traditions such as Easter egg hunts and the Easter bunny, there are also many foods that have become staples of the Easter dinner.

Easter Eggs

Easter eggs are a traditional food and a traditional craft project on Easter Sunday. Families often spend the night before Easter decorating and dying hard boiled eggs in preparation for an Easter Sunday egg hunt. Once the hunt has commenced and the eggs collected, a popular Easter Sunday snack is to peel and eat the collected Easter eggs. These eggs can serve as an appetizer for a big Easter dinner or as a compliment to the Easter breakfast.


According to Mircea Eliade, editor of the Encyclopedia of Religion, ham became the choice entree for Easter dinner due to the belief of Pre-Christian Europe that pigs were a symbol of luck. Sometimes hosts will serve another meat, such as a roast turkey or hen, but ham will likely be on the table regardless. Spiral hams are popular choices and the manner in which you dress up and season the ham will vary family to family. Some families bake the ham with pineapple and brown sugar while others will go the meat and potatoes route with baked potatoes and carrots.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns, a Easter celebration staple, are also commonly consumed on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday. The cross on top of the bun is created by a mark cut into the bread dough or by strips of dough put on top of the bun just before it is baked. The tradition can be traced back to Tudor times in London when a by-law allowed the sale of buns only on religious days such as Good Friday, Christmas and on days of a burial.


Candies, such as chocolate bunnies and eggs, are traditional Easter gifts typically consumed between Easter meals or as dessert. The Cadbury company is thought to have spearheaded this tradition when it began mass producing chocolate treats.


Mashed potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans or a green bean casserole and sweet potatoes are popular side choices that are often passed down from one generation to the next. Most of them got attached to the Easter meal just because they are economically feasible and easy to prepare.