Hilariously "Weird" Easter Dishes That Southerners Serve Every Year
Don't knock them until you try them.
The South has never been too shy to put something unique on the table, from passed-down family recipes that become delicious heirlooms to soulful cultural dishes that you can only find in certain places. However, that sentiment of boldness also goes for our more obscure and, er, interesting recipes as well. Along with the many calling cards of Southern cuisine such as buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, and peach cobbler, there are plenty of unexpected and unusual-sounding dishes that are just as beloved—some of which are served by families every Easter.
We're talking about mayonnaise-based salads that don't include anything green, creamy casseroles that contain surprise ingredients, and even some recipes that wiggle and jiggle. Here are 13 "weird" Easter dishes that Southerners will never stop making.
Lime Jello Salad
Starting off strong with an old-fashioned, wiggly, jiggly congealed salad. It lives amongst the long list of dishes that Southerners like to call "salad," despite not containing a single vegetable. What it does include? Mayonnaise! Horseradish! Canned pineapple! Believe it or not, these gelatin salads still make the occasional appearance at Easter lunch.
Fried Deviled Eggs
No matter the fact that classic deviled eggs need no editing, this deep-fried take on the Easter staple is sure to spark up conversation—and bring back memories of all the many deep-fried foods at the state fair. These crispy bites require an extra step that includes dredging and frying the boiled egg whites before topping with a dill-infused filling. Southerners are game to deep-fry anything!
Hot Cross Buns
There’s much legend behind these sweet rolls. For example, English folklore says that Hot Cross Buns baked on Good Friday will never spoil throughout the following year, amongst other luck-giving stories. Basically, good tidings for all! The soft, squishy buns are packed with tangy dried fruit, zesty citrus, and warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. They make a great addition to an Easter brunch, or perhaps just an early-morning snack to power up for cooking and hosting.
While a big, glistening, glazed ham is often the centerpiece of many Easter meals, sometimes you might want something slightly more subtle and easy to pull off. Ham salad is also lovingly referred to as deviled ham, and you can serve it on miniature croissants for a grabbable dish for Easter brunch.
This is one of those "don't knock it until you try it" recipes. It includes canned pineapple chunks, Cheddar cheese, and a crispy Ritz cracker crust—which may sound a little bizarre, but will surprise many naysayers! While this retro casserole is slightly less well-known, many Southerners still swear it's just not Easter without it.
Southern Fried Cabbage
It wouldn't be a Southern side dish if it wasn't layered in a creamy casserole or, in this case, sautéed with bacon. Cabbage offers a green pairing for a big meal and also happens to be cost-efficient. Its inherent sweetness mixed with the smoky bacon results in a veggie dish that practically melts in your mouth.
These old-fashioned sweet rolls are perfect for making with kiddos during the Easter season, as it is meant to tell the story of Jesus’ burial and resurrection. Complete with sugar, cinnamon, marshmallows, and hot-from-the-oven crescent rolls, this recipe is an instant crowd pleaser.
Basically a hashbrown casserole, this niche dish is a familiar favorite that, yes, also happens to be served at funerals and church potlucks. Funeral potatoes accommodate numerous substitutions, but all include potatoes as a base ingredient. Most include cheese, a cream-based soup, onions, butter, and a flaky, crunchy topping, which is usually made of potato chips or cornflakes. For more reasons than one, it feels appropriate for an Easter meal.
Pear salad is another dish that is remarkable for its loose status as a salad. Usually, this old-school recipe includes canned pear halves, a dollop of mayonnaise, a red maraschino cherry, and a sprinkling of shredded Cheddar cheese. Much like the pineapple casserole, you just need to taste it for yourself.
Why not combine two Easter classics into one? Deviled eggs and potato salad are the inspiration behind this side dish that feels special for the Easter occasion and will go perfectly with glazed ham. Mustard, capers, dill, and sour cream make for a flavorful filling.
Classic Macaroni Salad with Ham
A mayonnaise-based salad is always welcome at a big Southern family gathering, and this nostalgic recipe feels ready for Easter thanks to cubed chunks of ham and colorful bits of crunchy vegetables. It'll be so popular that you just might bring it back for other holidays that call for cold side dishes, such as Memorial Day and Fourth of July.
Sweet Tea Bundt Cake
You might have heard of Coca-Cola cake, but there's a good chance many have not heard of this cake recipe that pays homage to the South's signature beverage: sweet tea. Bundts are a staple at a springtime affair, and when this cake is out of the oven, it’s brushed with a sweet tea syrup that gives the flavor of sweet tea and moistens the entire cake.
Reunion Pea Casserole
The reason that this casserole is known for being a go-to for big gatherings such as reunions—hence the name!—and potlucks? It's deceivingly hearty and layered with beautiful slices of zucchini and squash. The filling contains peas, cheese, and sausage, which makes it a particularly welcome addition in lieu or alongside a main dish.
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Read the original article on Southern Living.