Published: 12 April 2022.
Our seasonal dishes include meat-free, dairy-free and gluten-free options, so everyone can join in the fun with these Easter recipes!
The long Easter weekend is the perfect time for gathering together with family and friends, kicking back and relaxing over long, lazy meals together. With these dishes as part of your bank holiday repertoire, no one needs to miss out on a special seasonal celebration.
The dairy-free chocolate dessert: Vegan chocolate pots
These decadent little pots are made with minimal natural sugar, silken tofu and dairy-free cream alternative to replace cream and the addition of cardamom to add some spice.
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus chilling
Cook time: approx 5 minutes
- 90g vegan-friendly dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 x 300g silken tofu (we used Clearspring Organic Silken Tofu)
- 75g agave syrup, plus 1 tsp
- Zest of ½ orange, plus 1 tbsp juice
- 2 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground
- 60g thick dairy-free cream alternative (we used Oatly! Creamy Oat Fraiche)
- 1 tsp Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Pretty Rose Petals
What to do:
- Fill a small pan a quarter full with water and place over a low/medium heat. Once the water is simmering, place a heatproof bowl on top, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water. Add the chocolate to the bowl and leave to melt, stirring occasionally.
- Using a sieve, drain the tofu, gently pressing out any excess liquid. Put the tofu in a food processor with 75g agave syrup, the orange juice and zest, ground cardamom and a pinch of salt. Blitz until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the melted chocolate and briefly blitz until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl again.
- Divide the mixture between 6 x 175ml ramekins. Transfer to the fridge for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, whisk the cream alternative with 1 tsp agave syrup. Once ready to serve, top each chocolate pot with some ‘cream’ and garnish with rose petals.
The gluten-free Easter treat: Marzipan hot cross buns
Don’t panic if your hot cross bun dough doesn’t swell up like a typical bake during the proving stages. Gluten-free yeasty dough is always a little heavier but these are still a total crowd-pleaser, the addition of marzipan making them extra moreish.
Prep time: 45 minutes, plus proving
Cook time: approx 40 minutes
- 300ml milk, plus 3 tbsp
- 50g salted butter
- 500g gluten-free bread flour, plus 3 tbsp
- 75g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp
- 2 tsp fast action dried yeast
- 2 tbsp mixed spice
- 2½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 175g golden marzipan, chilled
- 100g dried mixed fruit
- 50g glacé cherries, finely chopped
- 25g mixed peel
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
What to do:
- In a small saucepan, heat 300ml milk until hot but not boiling (about 3 minutes). Turn off the heat, add the butter and leave to melt.
- In a large bowl, combine the 500g flour, 75g sugar, yeast, mixed spice, xanthan gum and baking powder. Once the milk is lukewarm, pour it into the flour mixture with 1 beaten egg and stir until the mixture starts to clump. Briefly bring the dough together with your hands, using a silicone spatula if possible to scrape any mixture off the sides. Loosely cover with cling film or a kitchen towel and leave to prove for 1½ hours – it won’t double in size but it will puff up.
- Push the dough down in the bowl, creating a well. Grate the marzipan directly into it, adding the mixed fruit, chopped cherries and mixed peel. Mix everything together with your hands. Using the oil to grease your hands, divide the dough into 9 pieces and briefly roll each piece into a rough ball. Transfer to a large baking dish, loosely cover with cling film or a kitchen towel and leave to prove in a warm area for around 1 hour or until puffed up.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. In a small bowl combine the extra 3 tbsp gluten-free flour with 3 tbsp milk and spoon into a piping bag. Once the buns have had their second prove, pipe the flour mixture over them in crosses. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Beat the remaining egg. Remove the buns from the oven and brush with the egg. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 tbsp sugar with 1 tbsp freshly boiled water, stirring together until the sugar has melted. As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush immediately with the sugar glaze. Leave the buns in the baking dish for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The meat-free showstopper main: Rainbow veg boulangère
True, the prep for this might take some time, but the final dish is a delicious kaleidoscope of root veg, a stand-alone main that takes pride of place on the dinner table. Mix it up using parsnips or celeriac. Most herbs will work too, as with any roast.
Prep time: 50 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- 3 medium potatoes (about 350g)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 350g)
- 2 medium beetroot (about 250g)
- 1 large courgette (about 250g)
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 thyme sprigs, leaves only, plus extra sprigs to garnish
- 300ml vegetable stock, made using 1 good-quality stock cube
What to do:
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Peel the potatoes, sweet potatoes and beetroot, and slice thinly, using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, to about 1.5mm thick. Trim the courgette and slice thinly to the same thickness as the other vegetables.
- Grease a 21cm round ovenproof dish with ½ tbsp oil. Starting at the outer edge of the dish, arrange 2-3 slices of each vegetable next to each other in 2 concentric circles, making sure everything is packed in tightly. Nestle the garlic cloves in between the vegetables and sprinkle the thyme leaves over the top. Pour the stock over, then cover tightly with foil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and remove the foil. Brush with the remaining oil and lightly season the top of the veg. Return to the oven and bake for a further 45 minutes or until lightly browned and the veg is tender. Garnish with extra thyme sprigs.
The alcohol-free cocktail: Blood orange sizzler
Serves: 1 Prep time: Less than 10 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes
- 1 small orange
- 1 tsp smoked salt
- Good pinch of chilli powder
- Wedge of lime, plus 20ml lime juice
- 100ml Waitrose Sicilian Blood Orange Juice
- 10ml agave syrup
- 50ml sparkling water
- Angostura bitters
What to do:
- Preheat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas mark 1. Thinly slice the orange and arrange the slices on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Transfer to the oven and slowly bake for 40 minutes, turning over halfway through, until dried out and crisp.
- On a small plate, mix the smoked salt and chilli powder. Taking the lime wedge, use the pulp to coat the rim of your glass, making sure it’s covered in the juice. Hold the glass upside down and dip the wet rim into the smoky, spicy salt, twisting it around until evenly coated.
- Put some ice, the blood orange juice, 20ml lime juice and the agave syrup in a cocktail shaker. Shake together for 10 seconds. Fill the salt-rimmed glass with ice and pour in the cocktail. Top up with the sparkling water, sprinkle some of the bitters over, and garnish with the dried orange slice. Serve.
NOTE: Want to stick to the same cocktail for alcohol drinkers? Halve the sparkling water and add a 25ml shot of tequila to keep the Mexican vibes.
Having an Easter party? Then why not check out these 5 winning mocktail recipes for any occasion!
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