Easter recipes

Tips for Easter feasting on a budget

Tips for spending less while still enjoying fabulous food over the holiday weekend.
Save money with our quick-mix chocolate cupcakes
Save money with our quick-mix chocolate cupcakes

With just a few savvy swaps you can enjoy a lower-cost Easter feast with your family. We asked our Food Director Fran Abdallaoui and our Facebook community to share their top tips for keeping a lid on costs while spending Easter with family and friends.

Tuna mornay
Tuna mornay

1. Seafood savers

For those who eat seafood on Good Friday, skip the grilled salmon or barramundi. Instead, whip up a fish pie for a fraction of the cost. You can grab frozen fish fillets for around $9 per kilo at the supermarket.

“If you do want to serve prawns as a touch of indulgence to an Easter feast, peel and devein cooked prawns, slice them in half lengthways and serve them in leafy salad with a zesty herb dressing” says Abdallaoui.

Helen Wray from our Facebook community will be dishing up another favourite low-cost fish recipe. “Tuna mornay for lunch Friday.”

Roast leg of lamb with gravy and potatoes
Roast leg of lamb with gravy

2. Extend the lamb

Whether you’re cooking a classic leg of lamb or a Greek-style lamb shoulder, make the meal go further by buying a smaller portion of lamb. Then, increase the number of guests it serves by bulking it up with a generous amount of roast potatoes. They’re delicious, filling and affordable.

“Potatoes are always a crowd pleaser and to create a super crispy exterior, rough up the surface while draining them in the colander,” says Abdallaoui. “Adding an extra knob or two of butter and a few unpeeled garlic cloves before roasting encourages extra browning and next level flavour.”

Our readers are making the most of homegrown produce for fresh, affordable meat and vegie dishes. Barbara Storey’s family will be enjoying “food out of the garden and the paddock.” While Kate Johnson is planning a “lamb leg from the freezer for Sunday and homegrown veg”.

For Margaret Rech Tedeschi, it’ll be a homemade lasagne “with eggs from my neighbour’s chooks for the pasta, the bolognese will be made from my homegrown tomatoes, homegrown garlic, onions, parsley and basil.” Delicious!

Roast pumpkin wedges with walnuts & fetta
Roast pumpkin wedges with walnuts & fetta

3. Give sides a starring role

Swap the expensive meat mains for a shared feast with smaller sides. “Share the load by delegating to your guests,” says Abdallaoui. “Why not send them a link to one of our recipes so you know all the dishes will complement each other”.

A vibrant and colourful table filled with a roast chicken or leg of lamb plus side dishes such as roast pumpkin wedges with walnuts & fetta, perfect potato salad or rice salad will be just as special.

“Minimal eggs for grandkids and all family contributing to Sunday lunch,” agrees Facebook reader Susan Hume.

Roasted cauliflower with miso glaze
Roasted cauliflower with miso glaze

4. Meat-free mains

With cauliflower prices sitting around $5, turn this tasty vegetable into an affordable vegetarian main your family will love. This whole roasted cauliflower with miso glaze makes an impressive centrepiece and is quick to prepare.

“If you’ve not tried miso before you’re in for a flavour feast, it’s a thick and creamy Japanese paste derived from soybeans. It adds an instant tangy, umami flavour to vegies and also great with seafood and noodle soups,” explains Abdallaoui.

Easter trifle
Easter trifle

5. Just as sweet

Like many items in our shopping trolleys, the price of chocolate has increased, and cutting back on store bought chocolate eggs is one of our readers’ top ways to save money. Instead, have fun with some creative recipes.

“I’m baking cookies and chocolate cupcakes to help fill the kids Easter baskets instead of all chocolate eggs,” says reader Linda Cain. Em Stacey agrees: “Not buying chocolate this year. So overpriced. Baking some treats to share instead.”

Get the kids involved in the treat making too.

“Our budget-friendly quick-mix chocolate cupcakes are the perfect recipe to get the kids interested in baking, especially the icing and decorating,” says Abdallaoui.

Try a sweet Easter bunny cake using $1.20 supermarket butter cake mixes as the base and our Easter trifle with leftover hot cross buns.

Or keep it simple with reader Sheli Major’s gift idea: “In previous years, I’ve been more than happy to receive my favourite dark chocolate blocks instead of Easter products. They’re usually on sale at some point, as part of the regular cycles.”

Do have have more ideas to save money this Easter? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

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