Italian Christmas Dinner Ideas

Have an Italian style Christmas dinner this year with yummy breads, soups, salads, meats, and pastas with delicious Italian flavors. Check out this collection of all kinds of Italian Christmas Dinner ideas!

More Collections: Christmas Side Dishes, Christmas Desserts, Christmas Appetizers, Christmas Cookies, Mexican Christmas Food, Christmas Dinner Ideas

Collage of Italian Christmas Dinner Ideas

italian christmas food menu

Italian + Family + Food—you really can’t have one without the other. Christmas is an especially wonderful time for all three.

Italians begin celebrating on December 8th and celebrate into the New Year. The climax of the celebration is, of course, Christmas.

You can easily celebrate your own Christmas Cenone. That delectable sounding Italian word translates to ‘big dinner’. From start to finish an Italian meal certainly satisfies the senses. The smells, tastes, textures and beauty of the dishes draw everyone in for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Easy fettuccine alfredo - a great main dish for your Italian Christmas dinner menu

Tips to Consider:

Menu variation: Italian food is definitely delicious, but all the creamy pastas and breads can sit heavy. Be sure to serve a mix of heavier dishes with lighter ones.

Prepping ahead: When hosting you want to be able to enjoy the company of those who have come and not spend the entire time in the kitchen. Include dishes that can be made ahead of time and prep any other ingredients that you can the day before.

Keeping the dishes warm: Use chaffing dishes and crock pots to help keep things warm through the evening.

Serve Family Style: If there’s any type of food that asks to be served family style its Italian. Serving family style means the dishes are set out on large plates and bowls and you serve yourself at the table. It’s less formal than individual courses, but more formal than buffet style. Figure out how many tables you will be setting up and be sure to have a platter/bowl of each dish at every table.

Focaccia bread - one of many Italian Christmas Appetizers

italian christmas Appetizers

We have so many yummy appetizers on the site that woulds be great for your Italian Christmas food menu. Just pick a few of the following and you’ll be sure to impress with these Italian Christmas appetizers.

Italian Bread Recipe
It is so easy to make Italian Bread at home with just a few simple ingredients. Nothing beats a soft and crusty bread warm from the oven!
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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Buttery Bread Knots Recipe
Delicious Buttery Bread Knots. So soft and the prefect side!! 
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 1 vote
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Focaccia Bread Recipe
Crisp yet fluffy bread topped with delicious herbs and seasonings. This flavorful focaccia bread is so easy to make, and is perfect for sandwiches, dipping in soups, or enjoying on its own!
Total Time: 8 hours 55 minutes
4.86 from 14 votes
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Mozzarella Bites Recipe
Fried Mozzarella Balls recipe - these bite-size snacks are delicious, easy and perfect for any party served with marinara.
Total Time: 15 minutes
4.5 from 2 votes
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Bruschetta Recipe
This yummy appetizer is quick, simple and perfect for any party! This easy Homemade Bruschetta Recipe only requires 5 ingredients!! Everyone loves how easy it is!
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 16 votes
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Fried Ravioli Recipe
Fried Ravioli - one of our favorite side dishes or appetizers when serving Italian food!
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 11 votes
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Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe
This is by far our favorite Garlic Bread recipe. It takes minutes to put together and is SO cheesy and delicious. It's the perfect side dish for any meal, but especially for pasta and Italian dishes!
Total Time: 17 minutes
5 from 13 votes
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Deep Dish Mini Pizzas Recipe
Deep Dish Mini Pizzas - our new favorite dinner recipe. They're easy, quick and can be made custom for each person with their favorite toppings!
Total Time: 17 minutes
5 from 1 vote
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Olive Garden Breadstick Recipe
Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks - this delicious recipe is simple and tastes just like the real thing - but beware, they're addicting!
Total Time: 27 minutes
4.91 from 20 votes
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Mozzarella Sticks Recipe
Everyone is obsessed with these ooey gooey homemade mozzarella sticks, breaded with a flavorful coating and fried to a golden perfection.
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 10 votes
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Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe
Super easy Stuffed Peppers recipe - full of onions, garlic, spinach, seasoning, ricotta and parmesan cheese, and a grain of your choice! We love to serve our stuffed peppers with rice. 
Total Time: 45 minutes
4.75 from 8 votes
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Lasagna Soup - Italian Christmas soup idea

Italian christmas Soup and Salad

We love a good soup and salad around Christmas time. We’ve collected a few of each and hope these help out as sides for your Italian Christmas dinner.

Tomato Mozzarella Salad Recipe
Fresh, light, and healthy tomato mozzarella salad! Perfect for lunches with friends or a side salad to dinner!
Total Time: 8 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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Spinach Tortellini Salad Recipe
This cold tortellini salad is the ultimate side dish for bbq and potlucks! With tortellini, spinach, tomatoes, olives, and parmesan tossed in Italian dressing, this Tortellini Spinach Salad is packed with all the best flavors!
Total Time: 20 minutes
4.88 from 8 votes
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Sausage and Tortellini Soup Recipe
Italian Tortellini Soup - a delicious recipe filled with tortellini, sausage, tomatoes, spinach, basil and more! So hearty and delicious!
Total Time: 17 minutes
4.89 from 18 votes
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Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup Recipe
This hearty Chicken Vegetable Soup is packed full of Italian flavor with chicken, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and cheese! With so many healthy ingredients, this chicken and veggie soup is a great lightweight soup option perfect for any day of the year!
Total Time: 45 minutes
5 from 1 vote
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Lasagna Soup Recipe
Everything you love about lasagna (noodles, meat, and cheese), minus all the things you don't (layering, and tons of time)! This lasagna soup is easy, filling, and beyond delicious!!
Total Time: 50 minutes
4.93 from 13 votes
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Chicken Florentine Soup Recipe
With a combination of chicken, potato, white beans, carrots, spinach and more, this chicken florentine soup is hearty and absolutely delicious. It tastes similar to Olive Garden's recipe, but it's made in the slow cooker!
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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Zuppa Toscana Recipe
Bring the taste of Italy home with this Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup recipe. It's filled with sausage, bacon, kale, and potatoes! So creamy and delicious, the whole family loves this soup!
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 1 vote
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Caprese Stuffed Avocados Recipe
Caprese Stuffed Avocados - filled with Mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and balsamic glaze providing a great side/salad to any meal.
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 1 vote
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Penne Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Recipe
Penne Tomato Mozzarella Salad - a DELICIOUS pasta salad filled with pasta, tomatoes, olives, garlic, chopped basil, and cheese! This makes the perfect summer side dish!!
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 1 vote
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Tortellini Salad Recipe
Super YUMMY and easy Tortellini Salad filled with tortellini, salad, ranch, tomatoes and bacon bits - perfect for summer time!
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 5 votes
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Italian Christmas dinner main dish - manicotti

italian Christmas main dish ideas

I think it’s safe to say that all Italian dishes are delicious. With the cheese, and sauces and spices- they’re hard NOT to love. Here are some of our favorites to try for your Italian Christmas Eve or Christmas day dinners.

Italian Pork Chops Recipe
These Italian Pork Chops are so easy to make and they are baked in the oven with your favorite veggies!
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 2 votes
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Italian Sausage and Penne Recipe
Italian Sausage and Penne - a delicious and flavorful pasta dish filled with broccoli, tomatoes, sausage, cheese and more making it a new favorite dinner recipe!
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 3 votes
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Bruschetta Chicken Recipe
A Simple And DELICIOUS Way To Cook Chicken! Marinating The Chicken Breasts In Italian Dressing And Topping Them With Cheese, Tomatoes, Olive Oil, And Basil Adds SO Much Flavor!
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
5 from 5 votes
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Chicken Manicotti Recipe
These manicotti shells are stuffed with a cheesy chicken mixture, and topped with tasty marinara!
Total Time: 43 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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Pasta Carbonara Recipe
A creamy, delicious and flavorful pasta dish filled with cream cheese, parmesan, garlic and bacon. For only having a few ingredients, this Pasta Carbonara has big flavor!
Total Time: 25 minutes
4.75 from 8 votes
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Chicken Parmigiana Recipe
Flavorful and delicious Chicken Parmigiana - this delicious Italian dish is served over pasta, topped with cheese and coated in a homemade tomato sauce.
Total Time: 37 minutes
5 from 4 votes
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Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe
Easy and Quick Fettuccine Alfredo that takes just 15 minutes to make! This family favorite recipe includes fettuccine, garlic, parmesan, and whipping cream and is sure to become a go-to dinner idea!
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 19 votes
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Mozzarella Penne Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes
Chicken Scallopini recipe
This Chicken Scallopini is a delicious dish of crusted chicken over lemon butter pasta. The flavorful, butter chicken and pasta combo is irresistible and perfect for dinner any night of the week.
Total Time: 35 minutes
4.75 from 4 votes
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Easy Lasagna Recipe
Our family's favorite lasagna recipe - not only because it's delicious but because it's so EASY! You don't even have to precook the lasagna noodles! With beef, pork, three cheeses, and tons of seasonings, you know this recipe is going to be a hit!
Total Time: 50 minutes
4.75 from 39 votes
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Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe
Everyone loves this Italian Sausage Pasta recipe! Not only is it easy, cheesy, and delicious, but it is a hit with the entire family and can be made mild or spicy depending on your preferences.
Total Time: 20 minutes
4.91 from 33 votes
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Italian Christmas cookies

Desserts to add to the menu

We don’t have many Italian desserts here on the site, but our Italian cookies are out of this world. And be sure to check out some of these other favorites that would be great with your Italian meal.

Italian Cookies Recipe
Italian Cookies - these soft round cookies are dipped in creamy glaze, then topped with colorful sprinkles. A fun cookie for any occasion, and especially for holidays.
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
5 from 3 votes
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Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe
5 from 8 votes
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Pistachio Dessert Recipe
Pistachio Shortbread Dessert - layered treat with a Sandies Cookies crust, cream cheese layer, pistachio pudding layer and topped with Cool whip! YUM!
Total Time: 18 minutes
4.5 from 4 votes
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Mud Pie Recipe
This Mud Pie only takes a few minutes to make, but it is simply divine. With a cookie crumb crust, creamy ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream, it is a perfect summer dessert!
4.86 from 7 votes
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Bread Pudding Recipe
Bread pudding is a simple, easy dessert made with fluffy white bread and simple, everyday ingredients. It's an old-fashioned recipe that your whole family will love.
Total Time: 50 minutes
5 from 17 votes
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Peppermint Chocolate Delight Recipe
Peppermint Chocolate Delight - Nilla wafer crust, cream cheese layer, chocolate pudding layer, whipped cream and candy cane pieces. It's our new favorite Christmas dessert!
Total Time: 10 minutes
3.67 from 3 votes
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We hope these recipes help you in creating a delicious Italian Christmas dinner menu. Because we all know, it’s always a hit!

Author

Kristi Ritchey

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