The Best Nigella Lawson’s Easter Recipes

Spring’s in the air, blossom’s in the trees and (you guessed it) we’re still living through a global pandemic. But things aren’t all bad. As Easter rolls around this year, things are looking significantly less grim. Vaccines are being rolled out, pubs are getting ready to open again and Boris Johnson doesn’t hold a press conference every night. There are reasons to be cheerful.

So if you’re anything like me, you might feel the need to make Easter extra special this year. How, you ask? Why, with some celebratory cooking of course. And who else is there to turn, if not Nigella Lawson? The Queen of Cooking herself has absolutely loads of Easter recipes for you to choose from — I’ve just picked out a few of the best ones.

Whether this is your first time in the kitchen or you’re an experienced cook looking for new dishes, there are recipes in here for you. Carnivores, pescatarians, veggies and vegans — you’ll find something Easter-y to cook, promise. The recipes are split into bakes, main courses and side dishes, so those of you who want to lay on the Ultime Easter Feast can pick and choose. And yes, there are loads of eggs.

Hot Cross Buns

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Potentially the ultimate Easter bake. Hot cross buns are easy to buy, but they’re infinitely better handmade and straight from the oven. Nigella (yes, we’re on first-name terms) makes hers slightly smaller than the standard size, presumably so she can justify eating five at a go. Our kind of woman. While this recipe may look long, it isn’t complex — it requires a little patience, but it’s worth it. The full recipe is on her website.

Skill level: Medium

Suitable for vegetarians

Easter Egg Nest Cake

If this is good enough for Nigella to bake every year for Easter, then it’s good enough for us. This Easter egg nest cake is sublime — it requires very little skill and it’s actually meant to sink in the middle when it’s baked right, so no need to be concerned there. You then fill the crater with chocolate cream and mini eggs. Yum.

It’s a flourless chocolate cake, so it’s incidentally great if you’re cooking for someone gluten-intolerant.

Skill level: Medium

Suitable for vegetarians

Simnel Cake

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And here’s one for the traditionalists out there. Simnel cake is the definitive Easter bake (although Nigella’s recipe explains that it was originally prepared for Mothering Sunday). It’s a distinctive fruit and marzipan cake that’s perfect for sharing out among your family and friends this year — even if that means dropping a slice of cake on their doorstep and running away.

Skill level: Medium

Suitable for vegetarians

Roast Herbed Leg Of Lamb

Lamb is synonymous with Easter. And a well roasted, beautifully carved leg of lamb is synonymous with a good time. This classic recipe for a herbed leg of lamb is gorgeously easy to follow and the results are pretty damn impressive. If you’re not cooking for a crowd this year, then the leftovers are perfect in salads and pasta dishes.

Skill level: Easy

Ham In Coca-Cola

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In the U.S., ham is the traditional centrepiece for the Easter meal. And who are we to argue with tradition? Nigella’s ham in Coca-Cola is a brilliantly ridiculous recipe that may make you laugh — until you eat it and realise it’s genius. It calls for boiling your ham in Coca-Cola and then roasting it in a sweet, sticky glaze. The result is a moist, burnished ham that is knock-your-socks-off tasty.

Skill level: Easy

Courgette & Chickpea Filo Pie

This is a pie filled with plump courgettes, Iranian spicing and crisp filo pastry. So, it’s basically delicious and a perfect centrepiece for a feast. It’s as delicious cold as it is hot, so perfect for leftovers the next day. If you’re vegan, then omit the melted butter and replace with a plant-based fat for the perfect Easter dish. The full recipe can be found on her website.

Skill level: Medium

Suitable for vegetarians (and can be suitable for vegans)

Kedgeree Risotto

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Now it gets interesting. This hybrid recipe for kedgeree risotto is exactly what it sounds like The — a delicious mix of comforting rice, warming spices, and comforting smoked fish. And when you top it with six boiled quail eggs, it looks almost too cute to eat. Perfect for a fish-focused meal on Good Friday. Or for any other day, for that matter.

Skill level: Medium

Creamy Potato Gratin

This is decadence in a dish. If you’re looking to celebrate with food this Easter, then look no further than this creamy potato gratin. I could sit and eat this with a spoon, genuinely. It’s simple to throw together, and so much more than the sum of its parts. Basically, make it.

Skill level: Easy

Suitable for vegetarians

Devilled Eggs

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No, it’s not your traditional Easter side dish. But they’re adorable kitsch and truly delicious. The trick to creating Nigella’s devilled eggs, according to Queen Nige herself, is to leave the boiled eggs on their side as they cool so the yolk stays centred. The recipe is a little fiddly, but it’s an enjoyable faff when you know the end result is so scrumptious.

Skill level: Hard

Suitable for vegetarians