Make Ahead Easter Dinner Recipes

If you are of the Catholic faith and happen to be Polish as well, you might want to partake of the Easter food blessing called Swieconka. According to custom, families take a sampling of their Easter meal to the church in an Easter basket and a priest blesses it. Though Easter is one of those times when a hot meal is warranted, in order to participate in the blessing of the food, you'll want to follow some Easter dinner recipes for items that can be made the day before the actual Easter meal. Traditionally, the food is blessed the day before Easter and not touched until the next day.

For a traditional Easter meal, make the following Easter recipes on Saturday afternoon and simply pop the dishes into the oven on Sunday afternoon so they are ready with plenty of time for the Easter meal. For a traditional meal that compliments itself, try bacon mashed potatoes and ham baked in a marinade of ginger ale and pineapple juice, with green bean casserole, hot cross buns, and an Easter bunny cake for dessert. And for a brand new Easter dinner menu that the kids will love, make green spaghetti nests with meatball eggs instead of, or in addition to, a traditional meal.

Green Spaghetti Nests
Ingredients You Will Need:
1 pound spaghetti
1 package frozen meatballs, thawed
1 large jar spaghetti sauce
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon parsley
½ tablespoon oregano

Garlic Bread Bunnies
Ingredients You Will Need:
2 loaves frozen bread
1 cup soft unsalted butter
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon paprika

Simply make spaghetti according to the box directions. Add green food coloring to the water. Cool the spaghetti and store in the refrigerator in sealed plastic bags. Thaw the meatballs and cook them in the jar of spaghetti sauce until the sauce has thickened nicely. Doctor up the sauce by adding the onions, garlic and spices until you reach a taste and consistency that your children will enjoy.

To reheat the spaghetti, place the bag into a pot of boiling water for about one minute. By keeping the pasta in the bag, you will not lose the exquisite shade of green, but it will still heat quickly.

To make garlic bunnies, place a loaf of bread on a greased cookie sheet. Carefully make an incision down the center of the bread, so that it is split to about the halfway mark. (This will form ears when you cut the bread.) Use your hands to make a slight indent just below the cut. (This will make a separating line between the face and the ears.) Bake according to the direction on the package.

When the bread is done, cut the entire loaf into slices. (You should now have slices that look like a rounded bunny face with the ears sticking out of the top.) Brush each slice with the garlic butter. Place the bread slices on a cookie sheet. Bake the garlic slices for about six minutes in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Serve the spaghetti nests with one or two meatballs and a slice of bunny garlic bread.

Make ahead meals
Recipes that can be made in advance-even green spaghetti-can be made up to several days before the actual event and then popped into the microwave or oven for a quick warm-up before you place them on the table.

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