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Celebrate this spring holiday with these homemade favorites.

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Welcome to Thrifty. A weekly column where assistant nutrition editor and registered dietitian, Jessica Ball, keeps it real on how to grocery shop on a budget, make healthy meals for one or two, and make earth-friendly choices without overhauling your entire life.

Easter is fast approaching. Even though your celebration might look a little different than usual, any reason is a good reason to celebrate and make a festive meal for those you care about. This holiday always reminds me of Easter egg hunts, succulent roasted ham (and, weirdly, it's the only time I really crave Jell-O). Best of all, the warmer weather means you might be lucky enough to enjoy your meal outside. Easter brunch or dinner can feel just as special at home as they would at a nice restaurant with a little planning and prep. Here are some holiday favorites you should be making, not buying

Marmalade-Horseradish-Rosemary Glazed Ham Recipe

6 Easter Foods You Should Be Making, Not Buying

Making these foods at home will help save you money, customize your meal and make the holiday feel extra special—no matter how you are celebrating. 

Ham 

If you are only going to roast a ham a few times a year, why not go big? Making this main yourself can help save you money and customize the flavors to your liking. Plus, making your ham at home can help you control the added sodium compared to what you would get at a restaurant or precooked from the store. Our Marmalade-Horseradish-Rosemary Glazed Ham recipe utilizes the sweet flavors of orange marmalade and brown sugar to pair with tangy mustard and horseradish. Fresh herbs bring the dish together for a savory, dreamy centerpiece fit for any holiday.  

Deviled Eggs 3 Ways

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are an Easter classic. They make for a great brunch side or appetizer to help tide people over until the main event. When you make them at home, you can stick with the classics or choose to get creative with new flavors. We have a recipe for deviled eggs three ways where you can make them spicy with jalapeños, fresh with cucumber and dill, or savory with bacon. 

Quiche

If you are not into deviled eggs, maybe make a quiche instead. It's easier to make than you might think, and healthier too. Whether it's a classic Quiche Lorraine or Spinach & Mushroom, you can customize flavors and easily add vegetables for a nutrition boost. Try a crustless quiche, like our Broccoli-Cheddar Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust, which is perfect for those following a lower-carb diet. You can even make some quiches ahead of time, like our Make-Ahead Broccoli-Cheddar Quiche, to save you time.

carrot cake on a white cake stand with a slice taken out against a blue background

Carrot Cake 

Carrot cake is a classic dessert to go with an Easter celebration. Pack on the vegetables without sacrificing flavor with our Carrot Cake with Candied Curls. For something less traditional, try our Carrot Cake Cheesecake or skip carrots all together and have this cute and festive Bunny Butt Cake. Eating a plant-based diet? We have you covered with this Vegan Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting. Best of all, all of these options are significantly cheaper than cake from a bakery!

Veggie Sides

Take advantage of seasonal flavors and root vegetables to boost the color and the nutrition of your Easter table. Recipes like Salt-&-Vinegar Roasted Radishes and Maple Roasted Carrots will keep people coming back for more. And what's a celebration without our Easy Scalloped Potatoes? Even a simple batch of roasted root vegetables adds major flavor and elevates any meal. 

Soufflé

Looking for something that will impress your guests (or housemates)? Soufflés look like they require a lot of effort, but are surprisingly easy to make at home. Most soufflés can be prepped a day in advance and baked the day of your celebration to help save you time. Make something rich and savory like our Asparagus-Goat Cheese Soufflés or our Asiago, Artichoke & Spinach Soufflé. Or make it dessert with our Kahlua & Chocolate Soufflé or Easy Lemon Soufflés that will satisfy any sweet tooth.  

Bottom Line 

These Easter foods are worth making from scratch, regardless of how you are celebrating the holiday this year. From delicious appetizers like deviled eggs to a mouthwatering carrot cake dessert, these Easter recipes are better made than bought. Opting for homemade where you can helps you save money and customize flavors and is a thoughtful way to make your celebration feel extra special.