5 Side Dishes That Are More Important Than the Easter Ham

Load up your Easter menu with crowd-pleasing, seasonal side dishes that will complement whatever holiday ham, roast of lamb or other main dish you choose.
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Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Anna Williams

Anna Williams

For those who celebrate Easter, the holiday's food is a whole lot more than bunny-shaped marshmallows, giant chocolate rabbits and candy eggs. Instead, it's all about the  real food — the substantial dishes that tear everyone away from the Easter egg hunt and get them to the table. This year, load up your menu with crowd-pleasing, seasonal Easter sides that will complement (and might just outshine) any  ham, roast of lamb or holiday main dish you choose.

If your carrot dish has been pretty one-dimensional in the past, let these  Marmalade-Glazed Carrots with Candied Pecans (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine change all that. Cooked in a buttery orange juice-marmalade glaze, this sweet and crunchy dish is extra-striking thanks to multicolored carrots.

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KO_FN_06ProvencalPotatoes1_010.tif

Photo by: Kana Okada ©2012

Kana Okada, 2012

There's a reason scalloped potatoes grace holiday table after holiday table on Thanksgiving, Christmas and even Easter. Creamy and comforting, the dish is highly luxurious and decadent, but all the while deceivingly easy to pull off. Though cold winter holidays need not much more than potatoes and cream, Easter deserves a scalloped potato recipe that ramps up the springtime brightness. That's where Food Network Magazine's  Scalloped Potatoes with Tomatoes and Bell Peppers comes in.

It's officially spring, after all, so you should definitely be eating like it come Easter Sunday. Load up your menu with perfect in-season asparagus, and do more than just roast the spears.  Mushroom, Barley and Roasted Asparagus Salad makes for a guilt-free holiday indulgence that's super-satisfying.

A big holiday demands something as comforting as macaroni and cheese be on the table, and Giada De Laurentiis' Venetian-inspired Macaroni and Cheese will have you going back for seconds. That's because this fresh-for-spring reboot is loaded with diced ham and chopped parsley.

It's probably not every day that you dig into home-cooked artichokes, but Anne Burrell's Braised Baby Artichokes from Food Network Magazine makes it super easy. Braised with lemon juice and garlic until tender, these springtime beauties are topped off with Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings for a nutty, salty finishing touch.

Get more ideas for Easter side dishes from our friends of #SensationalSides:

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