Food by VICE

20 Recipes to Make Your Family Holidays Less Stressful

Easter and Passover are not immune to family bickering. But everyone shuts up for a minute while they're eating, right?

by Munchies Staff
Mar 29 2018, 7:00pm

Photo by Heami Lee. 

Cooking for family holidays is... a lot. Especially if there are cherished family recipes that, if screwed up, will ruin everyone's day and bring shame upon you and potentially get you written out of your grandmother's will. Dear God, we're getting ready to apologize to our mothers just writing this. Okay, deep breath. No matter what you're celebrating this weekend, spring holidays don't have to be terrifying. Easter doesn't have to be filled with "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed"-s. Passover doesn't have to induce panic sweats when your grandmother lifts a matzo ball to her mouth, waiting for her approval. You can do this! Moms and grandmas are always gonna judge, but you can do holidays your way because you're a freaking adult. We rounded up some of our favorite dishes for celebrating these two anxiety-inducing holidays that are delicious and definitely un-stuffy. Let the dinner-table political arguments commence!

A seder staple. Our version stays pretty true to form, schmaltz and all.

This roast chicken could be the centerpiece of your table no matter which holiday you’re celebrating.

If you Google “Easter food” nearly every menu you find includes scalloped potatoes. (We know because we did that like 20 minutes ago.) No idea why, mostly because scalloped potatoes are a pain in the ass and not that great in the end tbh. This is an easier and more delicious variation on it.

Your mother’s pineapple-pinned ham this is not. If you thought baked ham was too Betty Crocker for you, chef Edward Lee will show you how to spice it up with some gochujang. And yes, obviously this isn't for Passover, unless your family is more Reform than most.

Few foods pair better with your honey-glazed ham than peas, and this easy green pasta is packed with them. Plus, those bowtie noodles just might keep your kid cousins entertained.

This dish translates to “Full Pizza” for a reason: It’s loaded with meat, eggs, and cheese. While it might be a little heavy for your weekly pie, it’s worth making for Easter, just the way Italian tradition would have it.

Lamb is super traditional for Easter, of course, but why not go rogue with meatballs instead of roasting a whole leg?

Easter = rabbits = carrots = duh, you have your side dish covered. Even if you don’t have fancy rainbow colored carrots, this dish is an easy A.

These lamb chops are rubbed with a truly delicious spice mix, but the yogurt-mint-pine-nut sauce that accompanies them is everything you want in a lamb dish.

A kosher dessert (no need to garnish with those graham crackers) that will impress even the pickiest of bubbes.

This is freaking springtime on a plate, and non-denominational to boot. Both Jews and gentiles alike can enjoy this side.

Sure, Passover brisket is great, but have you tried baking a whole fish in salt?

Who doesn’t love a good rump? Everything in this dish gets a little char, a little smoke, and you’ll never want to eat an eggplant any other way.

We guess deviled eggs are required for Easter because, like decapitating a hollow chocolate bunny, dying Easter eggs and making a goddamned mess of your kitchen table is mandatory to celebrate properly. Make yours a little more exciting with some smoky chipotle.

Let’s be honest, no one really likes coconut macaroons. These kosher delights, however, are a perfect, easy dessert for seder.

Dorie Greenspan is the queen of cookies, and we dare you to tell us that these wouldn’t be the best dang Passover dessert you’ve ever had.

This is the kind of dessert you serve if you want everyone around the table to pass out on the couch afterward. What, you don’t have to strategically plan to knock your family out after holiday gatherings? Well lucky you.

When it comes to party-worthy spring desserts, we’re always going to trust Natasha Pickowicz, the star baker behind the pastries at Cafe Altro Paradiso and Flora Bar, and this carrot cake is no exception.

This 30-minute, no-bake dessert is perfect for the last minute scramble when you realize that your family gathering is actually supposed to be a potluck, whoops.

If you didn’t eat a hot cross bun, did Jesus even rise from the dead?