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

the best italian christmas food!

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 17 votes
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Buttery Bread Knots
Bread Buttery Bread Knots Recipe
Delicious Buttery Bread Knots. So soft and the prefect side!! 
Total Time: 20 minutes
3 from 2 votes
Bread 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
4.93 from 52 votes
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Appetizer Mozzarella Balls Recipe
Fried mozzarella bites are delicious, easy and the perfect party appetizer when served with marinara. Everyone loves this bite-sized snack!
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
4.72 from 7 votes
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Appetizer 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 19 votes
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Main Course Fried Ravioli Recipe
Fried Ravioli - one of our favorite side dishes or appetizers when serving Italian food!
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 12 votes
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Bread 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 19 votes
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Appetizer, Main Course Mini Deep Dish Pizza Recipe
Mini Deep Dish Pizzas are 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 6 votes
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Bread Olive Garden Breadstick Recipe
Just like the originals, these copycat Olive Garden breadsticks are light and airy on the inside, and flavored with butter and garlic salt on the outside. You can never eat just one!
Total Time: 2 hours 27 minutes
4.92 from 24 votes
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Appetizer 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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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.

Salad 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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Salad 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
4.7 from 10 votes
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Soup Sausage 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
4.94 from 29 votes
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Soup Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup Recipe
Hearty Italian Chicken Vegetable Soup is packed full of flavor. It's 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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Main Course, Soup 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
4.94 from 16 votes
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Soup 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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Main Course Zuppa Toscana Recipe
Bring the taste of Italy home with this creamy and delicious Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana soup. The whole family loves this soup!
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 1 vote
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Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish Caprese Stuffed Avocados Recipe
Simple and Fresh Caprese Stuffed Avocados are a twist on classic flavors. This is a perfect appetizer or side to any meal!
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 1 vote
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Appetizer, Side Dish 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
Check out this recipe
Salad 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
4.91 from 10 votes
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Soup Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
This classic Italian Wedding soup is hearty and comes together quickly, and is filled with mini meatballs, carrots, Escarole, orzo and more. It is easy to put together for a perfect weeknight meal!
4.88 from 8 votes
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Soup Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe
This Chicken Gnocchi Soup is so hearty and so flavorful. It is filled with chicken, carrots, spinach, broccoli and gnocchi! It's perfect all year long and is bound to be a new favorite.
Total Time: 30 minutes
4.93 from 14 votes
Check out this recipe

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.

Main Course Italian Pork Chops Recipe
These Italian Pork Chops require just a few ingredients and are baked in the oven with loads of veggies. Have it ready and on the table in just 30 minutes!
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 10 votes
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Main Course Spaghetti Recipe
This easy spaghetti recipe is kid-friendly and is made with a delicious homemade spaghetti sauce making it the perfect family dinner recipe!
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
5 from 31 votes
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Main Course Italian Sausage and Penne Recipe
Lightly sauced Italian Sausage and Penne is flavorful and filling. This kid-friendly dish comes together quickly for a busy weeknight meal!
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 3 votes
Main Course Bruschetta Chicken Recipe
Baked Bruschetta Chicken is marinated in Italian dressing and topped with cheese. It is simple and delicious!!
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
5 from 5 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Spaghetti Casserole Recipe
Spaghetti casserole is the definition of comfort food! Hearty, delicious, and an easy way to make and eat spaghetti.
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
5 from 16 votes
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Main Course Chicken Manicotti Recipe
These manicotti shells are stuffed with a cheesy chicken mixture, and topped with tasty marinara!
Total Time: 43 minutes
4.88 from 8 votes
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Main Course 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
4.78 from 9 votes
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Main Course Chicken Parmigiana Recipe
Tasty chicken parmigiana is hearty and filling crispy chicken a top a bed of pasta covered in a rich homemade tomato sauce.
Total Time: 37 minutes
5 from 5 votes
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Main Course 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 28 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Chicken Penne Pasta Recipe
Deliciously simple Mozzarella Penne with Italian Sausage is a super tasty and cheesy recipe everyone will love!
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 3 votes
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Main Course 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
4.73 from 11 votes
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Main Course 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 47 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course 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
4.92 from 49 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Chicken Piccata Recipe
Chicken piccata is flavorful and beyond easy to make! This tasty dish requires surprisingly few ingredients and is cooked in a lemon butter sauce topped with capers.
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 15 votes
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Main Course Spaghetti Pie Recipe
Spaghetti Pie makes a hearty and delicious twist for a dinner time win! It's a perfect recipe for busy weeknights and family-friendly dinners.
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 9 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Crock Pot Spaghetti Recipe
We make this yummy crock pot spaghetti all the time! Buttery noodles topped with a flavorful meaty sauce—DELISH!
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Chicken Alfredo Recipe
Cheesy chicken Alfredo pasta is a go-to dinner meal in our house. Creamy sauce mixed in with fettuccine pasta and sautéed chicken. A one-pot meal that the whole family will enjoy!
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 11 votes
Check out this recipe

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.

Dessert Italian Cookies Recipe
Soft Italian Cookies are dipped in a creamy glaze, topped with colorful sprinkles. They are perfect for holidays and special occasions!!
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
4.81 from 21 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe
Buttery, sweet, and moist - this sticky toffee pudding is a MUST have treat! It takes several steps but is one of those desserts that is well worth the work and great for holidays and get togethers.
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
5 from 8 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert 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
4.89 from 18 votes
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Dessert 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 20 votes
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Dessert Yule Log Recipe
Yule log is a traditional holiday dessert made from a chocolate cake rolled with a chocolate filling and covered in a chocolatey ganache. It's as beautiful as it is tasty!
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Crème brûlée Recipe
Crème brûlée is smooth and creamy with a tasty crunch on top. It is surprisingly easy to achieve this fancy treat at home!!
5 from 6 votes
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Dessert Christmas Cookie Bar Recipe
Christmas cookie bars are chewy and delicious. The M&Ms add a festive pop, making them perfect for any party!
Total Time: 28 minutes
5 from 8 votes
Check out this recipe

We hope these recipes help you in creating a delicious Italian Christmas dinner menu. Because we all know, it’s always a hit!

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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