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 – Simple loaves of crusty Italian bread made with only a handful of Ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
  • Buttery Bread Knots – Tasty bread knots smothered in butter and flavored with Italian seasoning.
  • Homemade Focaccia Bread – Crisp and fluffy bread topped with all kinds of herbs and seasonings. It’s great on its own, but also makes the best sandwiches.
  • Mozzarella Bites – Bite sized pieces of mozzarella cheese, breaded and fried to perfection.
  • Homemade Bruschetta – Only 5 ingredients to make this simple bruschetta—tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil. Serve the mixture on toasted bread for an easy appetizer.
  • Fried Ravioli – Pieces of ravioli breaded in bread crumbs and parmesan, then fried in olive oil. They’re delicious dipped in marinara sauce!
  • Cheesy Garlic Bread – A loaf of french bread sliced in half and slathered with butter, garlic, seasons, and melty cheese.
  • Deep Dish Mini Pizzas – Pizza dough, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your topping of choice baked in a mini muffin tin for individual sized pizzas.
  • Olive Garden Bread Sticks – Light and airy breadsticks topped with butter and garlic salt, just like they came from the restaurant!
  • Mozzarella Sticks – A classic appetizer that everyone loves—ooey gooey and melty mozzarella cheese sticks breaded and fried.
  • Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Peppers – Bell peppers full of onions, garlic, spinach, seasoning, ricotta and parmesan cheese, and a grain of your choice.

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 – Sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil drilled with a balsamic glaze. Simple, light, and delicious.
  • Spinach and Tortellini Salad – A cold salad made with tortellini, spinach, tomatoes, olives, and parmesan cheese all tossed in an Italian dressing.
  • Italian Tortellini Soup – A delicious soup recipe filled with tortellini, sausage, tomatoes, spinach, basil and more!
  • Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup – Hearty chicken vegetable soup packed full of Italian flavor with chicken, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and cheese!
  • Lasagna Soup – Everything you love about lasagna (noodles, meat, and cheese), in a tomato based broth.
  • Chicken Florentine Soup – A combination of chicken, potato, white beans, carrots, spinach and more.
  • Zuppa Toscana – Creamy and hearty soup filled with sausage, kale, potatoes, and bacon crumbles.
  • Caprese Stuffed Avocados – Avocados cut in half and filled with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and drizzled with balsamic glaze.
  • Penne Tomato Mozzarella Salad – Pasta salad filled with pasta, tomatoes, olives, garlic, chopped basil, and cheese!
  • Tortellini Salad – Romaine lettuce combined with tortellini, tomatoes, and bacon bits with ranch dressing.

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 – Bone-in pork chops flavored with several Italian seasonings, and baked with a handful of delicious vegetables.
  • Italian Sausage and Penne – Delicious and flavorful pasta dish filled with broccoli, tomatoes, sausage, cheese, and more.
  • Bruschetta Chicken – Chicken breasts marinated in Italian dressing, then topped with cheese, tomatoes, and olive oil.
  • Parmesan Chicken Manicotti – Manicotti shells stuffed with a cheesy chicken mixture and topped with tomato sauce and cheese.
  • Pasta Carbonara – A creamy, delicious and flavorful pasta dish filled with cream cheese, parmesan, garlic and bacon.
  • Chicken Parmigiana – Chicken breasts cooked in tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese served over a bed of pasta noodles.
  • Easy Fettuccine Alfredo – One of the most classic creamy white sauce pasta recipes made with a simple homemade alfredo sauce.
  • Mozzarella Penne – Penne noodles covered in a deliciously seasoned and ultra-cheesy red sauce.
  • Chicken Scallopini – Breaded and lightly fried chicken breasts served with noodles in a homemade lemon butter sauce.
  • Easy Lasagna – Layers of goodness in our family-favorite lasagna recipe.
  • Italian Sausage Pasta – This simple Italian dinner is filled with Italian sausage, tomatoes and bowtie pasta.

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 – Soft round cookies dipped in a delicious glaze and topped with sprinkles.
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding – Delicious and sticky, this is a Christmas staple dessert.
  • Pistachio Dessert – Layers of goodness in this cake that include shortbread cookies, pistachio pudding, cream cheese and whipped topping.
  • Mud Pie – A delicious and chocolate-y pie that is simple and great for the holidays.
  • Bread Pudding – An old-fashioned and tasty treat that is made with fluffy white bread.
  • Peppermint Chocolate Delight – Layers of goodness in this simple but delicious Christmas treat.

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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