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Have an Italian-style Christmas dinner with yummy bread, soups, salads, meats, and pasta. Check out this collection of all kinds of Italian Christmas dinner ideas!

More Collections: Christmas Side Dishes, Mexican Christmas Food, Christmas Dinner Ideas

Collage of Italian Christmas dinner recipes.

Love This 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.

Why we love it:

  • Feeds the masses. Easily celebrate your own Christmas Cenone (big dinner) with these hearty dishes.
  • Delicious! The smells, tastes, textures, and beauty of the dishes draw everyone in for a delicious and satisfying meal.
  • Something for everyone. From start to finish, an Italian meal certainly satisfies the senses.

Buon Natale and Merry Christmas!

Bruschetta recipe served on a white platter.

Italian Christmas Eve Dinner

I love learning about other cultures, and most often food is an integral part of celebrations. In Italy, La Vigilia Di Natale is celebrated the day before Christmas. It translates to the “Vigil of the Birthing”, fitting right?

Another way of referring to this day is as “The Feast of the Seven Fishes”. Catholicism has a heavy presence in Italy, and as far as I can tell 7 is a reoccurring number: 7-day creation, 7 Catholic Sacraments, and 7 deadly sins.

Also, Catholics refrain from eating red meat on Christmas Eve and serve seafood dishes like frutti di mare, or clams, eel (capitone), salt cod (baccalà), halibut, shrimp, mussels, anchovy, calamari, scallops, squid, and more.

Spaghetti in a white bowl.

A traditional Feast

Once the 25th comes, all delicious foods are fair game to eat. Whether you’re serving a big dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, a traditional Italian Christmas meal will typically consist of 5 courses:

  • Antipasti – the appetizers.
  • Primo Piatto – the first part of the main meal. This is often a pasta dish such as ravioli, tortellini, lasagna.
  • Secondo Piatto – the second part of the main meal and is served with contorni, side dishes. Often meat such as lamb or veal is served as the main meal with a side.
  • Dolce – or dessert, is the final course. This often includes chocolate-covered fruits, chocolate bonbons, truffles, cakes, or especially famous Panna Cotta.

Favorite Italian Christmas Dishes

These classics should look familiar! Traditional Italian Christmas food is enjoyed by people all over the country, and these are our favorites.

From linguine to lasagne there are plenty of flavorful sauces and pastas to choose from!

1 Easy Lasagna Recipe

Main Course Easy Lasagna Recipe
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Recipe Video

4.88 from 88 votes
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2 Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

Main Course Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 374 votes
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3 Chicken Parmigiana Recipe

Main Course Chicken Parmigiana Recipe
Total Time: 37 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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4 Italian Pork Chops Recipe

Main Course Italian Pork Chops Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 25 votes
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5 White Sauce Recipe

Main Course White Sauce Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 865 votes
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6 Spaghetti Recipe

Main Course Spaghetti Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 357 votes
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7 Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe

Main Course Italian Sausage Pasta Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 250 votes
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8 Chicken Scallopini Recipe

Main Course Chicken Scallopini Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

4.87 from 23 votes
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9 Chicken Piccata Recipe

Main Course Chicken Piccata Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 15 votes
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10 Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Main Course Pasta Carbonara Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
4.73 from 18 votes
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Italian Christmas Appetizers

Everyone loves to start a grand meal with a few munchies and we have plenty of delectable Italian bites to choose from! Many are quick and easy – all are delicious.

11 Focaccia Bread Recipe

Bread Focaccia Bread Recipe
Total Time: 8 hours 55 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 237 votes
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12 Mozzarella Sticks Recipe

Appetizer Mozzarella Sticks Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 24 votes
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13 Easy Bruschetta Recipe

Appetizer Easy Bruschetta Recipe
Total Time: 14 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 28 votes
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14 Tortellini Skewers Recipe

Appetizer Tortellini Skewers Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 13 votes
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15 Fried Ravioli Recipe

Main Course Fried Ravioli Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

4.91 from 22 votes
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16 Spinach Puffs Recipe

Appetizer Spinach Puffs Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 194 votes
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17 Garlic Bread Recipe

Bread Garlic Bread Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.89 from 36 votes
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18 Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe

Bread Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe
Total Time: 2 hours 27 minutes

Recipe Video

4.96 from 64 votes
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19 Caprese Kabobs Recipe

Appetizer Caprese Kabobs Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 12 votes
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20 Italian Meatball Recipe

Appetizer, Main Course Italian Meatball Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 48 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 9 votes
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Italian Christmas Soup And Salad

Soups and salads are frequently served as one of the courses of an Italian feast. These flavorful options are sure to be a hit!

21 Crockpot Tortellini Soup Recipe

Main Course, Soup Crockpot Tortellini Soup Recipe
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 215 votes
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22 Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe

Soup Chicken Gnocchi Soup Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

4.95 from 17 votes
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Minestrone Soup Recipe
This Minestrone Soup is not only delicious and comforting, but it's also really nutritious! It makes a hearty meal or side.
Total Time: 1 hour
5 from 10 votes
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23 Chicken Alfredo Soup Recipe

Soup Chicken Alfredo Soup Recipe
Total Time: 50 minutes
5 from 20 votes
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24 Zuppa Toscana Recipe

Main Course Zuppa Toscana Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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25 Tomato Mozzarella Salad Recipe

Salad Tomato Mozzarella Salad Recipe
Total Time: 8 minutes
5 from 10 votes
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26 Caesar Salad Cups Recipe

Appetizer, Salad Caesar Salad Cups Recipe
Total Time: 14 minutes
5 from 9 votes
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27 Pizza Salad Recipe

Salad Pizza Salad Recipe
Total Time: 8 minutes
5 from 14 votes
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28 Creamy Pesto Dressing Recipe

Dressing Creamy Pesto Dressing Recipe
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 12 votes
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29 Easy Tortellini Salad Recipe

Salad Easy Tortellini Salad Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.95 from 19 votes
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Italian Christmas Desserts

Dessert is always a must, and Italians know how to do it right! From puddings to cakes to cookies there are sweets for everyone. I suggest making a few and indulging!

30 Panna Cotta Recipe

Dessert Panna Cotta Recipe
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 6 votes
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31 Italian Cookies Recipe

Dessert Italian Cookies Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 462 votes
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32 Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe

Dessert Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe
Total Time: 50 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 266 votes
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33 Bread Pudding Recipe

Dessert Bread Pudding Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 76 votes
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34 Pistachio Dessert Recipe

Dessert Pistachio Dessert Recipe
Total Time: 2 hours 18 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 98 votes
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35 Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Dessert Shortbread Cookie Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 156 votes
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36 White Chocolate Lasagna Recipe

Dessert White Chocolate Lasagna Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

4.92 from 49 votes
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37 Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Dessert Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 80 votes
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38 Mini Fruit Tarts Recipe

Dessert Mini Fruit Tarts Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 13 votes
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39 Cream Puffs Recipe

Dessert Cream Puffs Recipe
Total Time: 55 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 49 votes

40 Lemon Lasagna Recipe

Dessert Lemon Lasagna Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 158 votes
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Our Go-To Italian Christmas Dessert

With an Italian menu, you have to top it off with dessert.

Even though we listed a few other ideas above, a MUST-HAVE are these Italian Christmas cookies.

Not only are they soft and simple, but they’re the perfect addition to your Christmas menu and are especially festive with Christmas sprinkles.

Here is the recipe:

5 from 13 votes

40+ Italian Christmas Dinner Ideas

By: Lil’ Luna
Soft Italian cookies are dipped in a creamy glaze, topped with colorful sprinkles. They are perfect for holidays and special occasions!!
Servings: 30 cookies
Prep: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients 

Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond anise, or vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons cream or milk, warmed

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Whisk together eggs, oil, sugar, and extract in a mixing bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Roll dough by tablespoonfuls into balls. Chill balls of dough for at least an hour, or freeze for 15-20 minutes.  Place cold dough balls on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 350° for about 9 minutes, or till tops are set. Bottoms will be lightly browned, but tops should still be white. Remove cookies to cooling racks and cool completely.
  • For glaze, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk till smooth, adding enough warm cream to get a thin but creamy consistency.
  • Dip tops of the cookies in the glaze, then top with Christmas sprinkles.

Nutrition

Calories: 106kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 8mg, Potassium: 48mg, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 20IU, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

An Italian Spread

We hope this helps you in creating a delicious Italian Christmas dinner menu. It’s sure to be a big hit!

We hope you enjoy this list of Italian Christmas dinner ideas.

Be sure to check out all of our Christmas Recipes!

More Collections: Italian Appetizers, Italian Side Dishes, Italian Soups

About Kristyn

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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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I appreciate the explanation of the courses of an Italian dinner as well as the recipe suggestions that fit. I’ve already made several of your appetizers and cant wait to work through the different pasta dishes.

  2. 5 stars
    I love this list!! I make your tortellini salad all the time!! It helps to see all the options on this one post, so thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    We do a different theme for Christmas dinner every year, and this year is Italian. So glad I found this GREAT collection of recipes to help me put together my menu!

  4. 5 stars
    Aside from Mexican this is the next best dinner for us……Italian! We love pretty much anything pasta. The food is great and not hard to make.