Hosting a big family meal this Easter may have you wondering how you’ll please every palate, avoid allergens and pack the table with healthy options. We’ve made choosing recipes that match your healthy-living goals easy. This collection of potluck-style meals with superstar ingredients, includes recipes that are low in unhealthy fats and carbs and high in healthy protein, to leave everyone satisfied and impressed. From paleo or gluten-free to high-protein or vegetarian, here are three healthy Easter recipes for your potluck gathering.

Herbed Meatballs

Serves: 4 | Time: 30 minutes | Gluten-free

You need only a few minutes to roll out these savory meatballs. These high-in-protein toppers will complement a zucchini pasta or a bed of vinaigrette greens perfectly; or their rich flavor makes them great for eating on their own. Spinach adds antioxidants, iron and other essential vitamins and minerals, and heart-healthy fiber too. Almond meal, rather than wheat flour, makes these family favorites gluten-free.


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup spinach, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the ground beef, spinach, garlic, almond meal, eggs, onion powder, oregano, basil and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Form meatballs the size of ping-pong balls, and place them on the baking sheet. Bake until the meatballs are brown, about 25 minutes, and serve.

This recipe is adapted from “Paleo in 28: 4 Weeks, 5 Ingredients, 130 Recipes” by Kenzie Swanhart.

Lemon Butter Cod

Serves: 4 | Time: 15 minutes | Gluten-free

Super-light, fresh and easy-to-prepare cod fish makes this seafood dish an ideal main for a potluck. And the FDA recommends women consume 8 to 12 ounces of low-mercury fish weekly. (Examples are: salmon, shrimp, pollock, tuna, tilapia, catfish and cod). Though the butter in this recipe adds saturated fat, grass-fed butter also contains CLAs (conjugated linoleic acid, which helps combat belly fat and cancer) and vitamins A, D and E.


  • 4 Tbsp. grass-fed butter, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb. cod
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lemon, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices


In a large pan over low heat, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add the garlic to the pan, and sauté for 30 seconds.

Season the cod with the parsley, salt and pepper.

Turn the heat up to medium-high, and add the cod. Sauté on each side for two minutes. Remove the cod from the pan, and plate the pieces. Pour the lemon juice and chicken stock into the pan, and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the remaining butter, and whisk until the sauce is well blended. Once the butter is melted, add the lemon slices and sauté for 45 seconds. Add a slice of lemon to each slice of cod, pour the sauce over the plates, and serve.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Serves: 4 as main, 8 as side | Time: 50 minutes | Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

Packed with good-for-you ingredients, this dish is a crowd pleaser, without even knowing how healthy it is. Anti-inflammatory curry powder and gut-healthy yogurt help counter the indulgences of the holiday. Plus, not only is butternut squash a great source of fiber, it is also a good source of potassium, which assists bone and heart health and vitamin B6 and assists immune and nervous system function. Chickpeas and quinoa add your nine essential amino acids, for a complete protein that’s as good as it is filling. Meatless-meal lovers rejoice.


  • 1 large butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 can (14 to 19 oz.) chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tsp. mild curry powder
  • 1½ tsp. garam masala
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 3 cup cooked red or white quinoa, cooled
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6 cup packed baby arugula leaves


Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease. In a large bowl, combine butternut squash, chickpeas, curry powder, garam masala and two tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and chickpeas are crispy. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine yogurt and one tablespoon of the lemon juice.

In a large bowl, combine squash mixture and quinoa. Add cranberries, mint, orange zest, orange juice, the remaining oil and the remaining lemon juice, gently tossing to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange arugula in bowls and spoon quinoa mixture on top. Drizzle with some of the yogurt mixture and serve the rest on the side.

Excerpted with publisher permission. “500 Best Quinoa Recipes” by Camilla V. Saulsbury, 2012.