A Step-by-Step Guide to the Perfect Easter Lunch

Don't be intimidated by the prospect of hosting Easter lunch – our step-by-step guide is here to make sure it all goes smoothy. We include recipes, a grocery list, all the kitchen equipment you need, and a three-day schedule, courtesy of longtime friend and collaborator Fran Warde. Fran's recipes have been published in BBC Good Food and Waitrose Food Illustrated, and she co-authored both Ginger Pig cookbooks with Tim Wilson.

'This is a family-pleasing meal,' says Fran, 'with tasty classics that deliver every time.' These recipes, linked below, are intended for a gathering of six; adjust proportions as needed.


Here are Fran's classic recipes for the perfect Easter feast. If you'd like to use different recipes for lamb, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, steamed vegetables, and a sweet tart, you can still follow our guidelines for timing but adjust your ingredients accordingly. 

Roast Leg of Lamb with Oregano, Garlic and Anchovy
Butter-Roast Potatoes
Cauliflower Cheese 
Steamed Savoy Cabbage 
Chocolate, Pear & Almond Tart

Shopping List

We've made sub-groups of your shopping list based on different areas of the supermarket, to streamline the process.

Meat & Dairy

  • Leg of lamb (about 2kg)
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Cheddar, Gruyère or Parmesan cheese
  • Crème fraîche, double cream or ice cream

Fruit & Veg

  • Floury potatoes (1.5kg), such as Maris Piper
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 Savoy cabbage
  • 6 large shallots (Banana or Echalion) 
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 2 bunches of oregano 
  • 3 ripe pears


  • Olive oil
  • Anchovy fillets
  • Vegetable stock
  • Red wine, for cooking
  • Red currant jelly
  • Sea salt
  • Black peppercorns
  • Goose fat, olive oil or sunflower oil
  • English mustard powder
  • Cayenne pepper


  • Plain flour
  • Icing sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Self-raising flour
  • Ground almonds
  • Baking powder
  • Cocoa
  • Flaked almonds

Kitchen Tools

These are all the tools you'll need for cooking this feast, linked to our favourite quality-tested products.


Two Days Before

  1. Do all your shopping. If possible, get your lamb from the butcher.

One Day Before (Allow 3 Hours)

  1. Make the pastry for the tart, wrap in cling film, and leave in the fridge.
  2. Weigh out the butter and sugar for filling, cover and set aside.
  3. Marinate the leg of lamb by studding it with the garlic and anchovies. Mix the oregano and oil and massage into the meat. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge.
  4. Peel the potatoes and blanch them according to your recipe's instructions (step 2 in our Buttery Roast Potatoes recipe). Store blanched potatoes in the fridge; you'll finish cooking them tomorrow. Good news: Blanching the potatoes in advance helps them crisp up better the next day. 
  5. Prepare the cauliflower cheese, apart from the final bake. (See our Cauliflower Cheese recipe here.) Cover with cling film and store in the fridge.
  6. Set your table – it's best to do this the night before, so you can perfect the look of your settings, napkins, serving dishes, flowers and/or candles in an unhurried way.

One Day Of (Allow 3 Hours)

  1. Heat the oven to 190°C / Fan 170°C / Gas 5 and remove tart pastry from fridge.
  2. Butter pastry tin and make the rest of the Chocolate and Pear Tart.
  3. Remove lamb and cauliflower cheese from the fridge to bring up to room temperature.
  4. When the tart has finished baking, increase the oven temperature to 200°C / Fan 180°C / Gas 6.
  5. Remove cling film from lamb and place in the roasting pan. Cut the shallots in half, scatter around the lamb. Place the lamb in the oven to cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes for medium-rare, or 1 hour and 30 minutes for well-done. (See our Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic, Oregano and Anchovy recipe.)
  6. Find a roasting pan large enough to hold the blanched potatoes in one layer, and add enough oil to the bottom for it to cover the base. Place the oiled roasting pan in the oven with the lamb for 10 minutes, to pre-heat the oil. Take the blanched potatoes out of the fridge and carefully add them to the roasting pan with the pre-heated oil. Add the blanched potatoes to the pan and season with salt and pepper, as well as butter if you are using our Buttery Roast Potatoes recipe.) Roast for 1 hour, tossing and turning with a wooden spoon halfway through cooking.
  7. Steam the Savoy Cabbage or a different hearty cabbage of your choice. Once the potatoes have finished cooking, remove and place the cauliflower cheese in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. The lamb will be done around this time – remove from oven once a meat thermometer registers between 60°C (medium-rare) to 75°C (well-done). Remove from the oven and let it rest. 
  8. Make our red wine and currant sauce (or a sauce of your choice). Take the cauliflower cheese out of the oven when it looks done, and turn the oven off. 
  9. Set all your finished dishes aside, and tidy up your kitchen as much as possible.
  10. Warm plates on a low setting in the oven, if you'd like. If you have some time before guests arrive, you can warm up the dishes in the same low oven setting. Transfer the dishes to serving pieces, or serve directly on the pan. For the lamb, we suggest placing it on a carving board and taking it to the table to carve and serve the meat in front of your guests. Alternatively, you can carve the meat in the kitchen and take the prepared meat slices to the table on a serving platter. Place food on table, admire your handiwork and take a picture. Now it's time to enjoy the feast with your guests!

Hot Cross Buns

No Easter is complete without hot cross buns, whether you serve them with tea and coffee after your Easter feast, or a few days before. Our hot cross buns recipe, courtesy of bread expert Jack Sturgess, is a team favourite.