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Italian Christmas Eve Menu: 31 Italian Christmas Recipes

Explore old world recipes with our list of Italian Christmas Recipes

Updated December 13, 2017

Christmas Eve dinner is a big deal in the Italian household. You'll find lots of soups, salads, appetizers, pasta, risotto — and most importantly, seafood. In fact, you may have heard this Christmas feast referred to as the Feast of the Seven Fishes, now celebrated with seven different seafood dishes. We've included a variety of seafood dishes to choose from along with some other favorite recipes. For a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner, choose any combination of these menu items and have a very merry feast!

Must-Make Italian Appetizers & Starters

No traditional Italian Christmas meal is complete without a tasty starter. These yummy appetizers will set the stage for the rest of your meal. We've provided a list of four tasty and traditional options including seafood appetizers as well as the always-popular, never-disappointing Caprese Toast!

  • Fried Calamari: Calamari is an Italian favorite and this take on the classic recipe is one you do not want to miss! Be sure to serve this one fresh.
  • Pepped Up Oysters: Another seafood favorite you will not want to miss. If you're looking to impress guests, oysters are definitely the way to go.

Caprese Toasts

Caprese recipes are ideal for appetizers because they're light and lovely. Skippy the mess of serving a Caprese salad and serve these yummy toasts instead. This finger food version of a traditional Italian salad recipe is always a crowd-pleaser.

Crispy Bruschetta

You absolutely cannot compile a list of Italian apps without mentioning bruschetta. These tasty toasts topped with tomatoes and more are a popular option for a reason. They combine popular Italian flavors like fresh tomatoes and olive oil with a portable snack.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

If you're looking for a heartier option to serve right off the bat, we recommend these stuffed mushrooms. Filled with spicy Italian and baked to perfection, this is a wonderful appetizer for cold weather. Serving these mushrooms first thing or during a cocktail hour? Consider serving them with toothpicks to help guests keep their fingers clean.

Italian Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are the ultimate appetizer! They're on nearly every single list of classic starters for a reason. These yummy, simple finger foods are almost expected at dinner parties and potlucks. Our Italy-inspired version uses pesto for an extra POP of flavor.

Traditional Soups & Salads

Serving a simple soup or salad option is a lovely way to help prepare the palate for the main course while making sure that your guests save room in their bellies for the main course! We recommend providing a few options for dressings and topping when serving salads. If you have a gluten-free eater at the table, make sure to leave the croutons on the side.

Bonus Recipe!
Buttery Italian Breadsticks: If you're serving soup or salad, you absolutely need to offer a simple breadstick alongside. This crazy easy and insanely yummy breadstick recipe is the ideal choice. Be sure to make enough for everyone to have at least 2 (or 3)!

Big Bowl Antipasto

This Italian-style salad can be a meal all on its own! Chock full of fresh veggies and smothered in a yummy dressing, your guests might even take seconds of this Italian antipasto salad. Our recipe includes store-bought dressing, but you could easily make your own. Keep in mind that this recipe includes deli meat, so you might want to make a meat-free batch if you are having any vegetarians join you for the meal.

Delicious and warm, this classic soup recipe is ideal for cold winter days and nights. If you're serving a hearty, homemade meal for Christmas, a small bowl of this minestrone can easily set a cozy mood. Even better, this recipe is created with frozen veggies, allowing you to skip all those extra hours of chopping up ingridients.

Candy Cane Bread Sticks

We admit that these adorable breadsticks were likely not served back in the day, but they are too cute to pass by! Make these simple, breadsticks shaped like candy canes to add some cheer to your table. If you're feeling especially festive you could even create them with some food dye in festive colors. Either way, guests are sure to oh and ah at the charming outline of this otherwise plain and simple breadstick. 

Mama Maries Wedding Soup

This comforting soup is another warm and toasty option to set a cozy mood for your Christmas Eve dinner. Made with meatballs and fresh spinach, this yummy marriage of flavors is sure to be a hit with your guests. Plus, our recipe is made in the slow cooker, so you can set it and forget about it while you prepare the rest of your meal. 

Tuscan One Pot

If you're looking for an extra hearty stew to add to your meal, this is the one for you. Made out of sausage, beans, and spinach, this stew is a yummy option. Hearty enough to be a meal all on its own, this Tuscan One Pot only takes about an hour to create. Consider spicing it up with some red pepper flakes if you're looking for a stew with a kick.

Spiked Italian Fruit Salad

Looking for something light and fun? Consider chopping up some fresh fruit for this adults-only salad. This boozy treat would be ideal for a Christmas Eve dinner party with friends. This fruit salad is spiked with Galliano, but you can easily substitute it for orange juice for a kid-friendly version.

Traditional Italian Entrees & Pasta Dishes

And now for the best part, the main course! Our list of traditional Italian entrees to serve for Christmas dinner includes several pasta recipes as well as options like eggplant parmigiana and scallops. When cooking up a traditional Italian dinner, make sure to make plenty of food! Depending on the amount of your party, you may even want to double or triple the recipe. 

Anyone looking to serve a light and lovely recipe as their entree will love linguine with white clam sauce. Made with a dry white wine, the white sauce on this recipe pairs perfectly with the clams. Serving seafood for Christmas Eve is a yummy tradition and this recipe makes it easy.

Linguine with Mussels

Mussels are a yummy source of protein that can easily transform a plain pasta dish into something to brag about! Spiced with crushed red peppers, parsley, oregano, and basil, this is a truly Italian pasta dish! Make sure to pair it with the perfect wine for an amazing culinary treat,

Short on time this holiday? Then consider whipping up this super speedy but just as scrumptious scampi recipe. The secret to this fast seafood option is using already de-veined and peeled shrimp from the grocery store. Skipping that step will save you tons of time.

Pizza Margherita

Serving pizza for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner might sound silly, but we guarantee it will be a hit. This traditional pizza recipe is way better than anything you could have delivered. Pair it with another specialty pizza like our Artichoke Pesto Pizza to give your guests plenty of options. Pizzas make a fabulous vegetarian option, as well!

Cheesy Stuffed Shells

Big shells, big taste, and big "easy", too! With this recipe for Cheesy Stuffed Shells you can make a five-star quality meal in your own kitchen that's full of melty, ooey, and cheesy goodness. 

Skillet Eggplant Parmigiana

If your oven is busy baking up another course, consider creating this skillet recipe as your entree! This Skillet Eggplant Parmigiana is a yummy and quick way to serve up a regional favorite. Made on the stovetop, this dish is easy enough to whip up while guests are enjoying cocktail hour and appetizers. They'll be impressed with how fresh dinner tastes!

One Pot Italian Feast

Nothing saves time like making meals in one pot! This Italian feast has all the flavors you're probably looking for in your Christmas meal, including pasta, Italian sausage, garlic, basil, and, of course, cheese! Prepare everything in just one pot in under an hour with the penne creation.

Italian-Style Meatloaf

While meatloaf is a decidedly American dish, you can serve up a fusion of the USA and Italy with this incredibly yummy meatloaf recipe. This recipe is packed with parmesan and olive oil, giving it an Italian flavor in an American package. 

Little Italy Eggplant Rollatini

If you're looking to be especially decadent this holiday season, this rollatini is the recipe for you. Based on a restaurant favorite, this hearty and cheesy dish will leave your guests with very full and very happy bellies.

Scallops Oreganata

Last but not least, this scallop entree is a heavenly combo of butter, pasty, and cooked-to-perfection scallops. Unlike other scallop option, this recipe is not smothered in white wine sauce and instead relies on the flavor of the butter, spices, and garlic to season the already yummy and tender scallops.

Christmas Desserts

End your meal on a sweet note with this tasty, Italian dessert recipes. Including traditional cookie recipes like biscotti as well as some new takes on old favorites, this list of desserts is too sweet to pass by. If you're truly serving an Italian dinner this Christmas make sure to serve dessert with a tasty cup of coffee to perk your guests up for the drive home. 

Chocolate-Kissed Italian Biscotti

Biscotti is probably one of the most well-known Italian dessert options. Traditionally served with coffee, these cookies are the perfect way to end a meal. Our recipe is drizzled with chocolate, giving it some extra sweetness. Serve these Italian cookies with coffee or tea.

Italian Honey Balls

Sweet and simple, these honey-drenched balls are a yummy end-of-meal option. Chefs looking for a sweet option to end the meal that is lighter than traditional pies and cookies will love this option. With few ingredients, this recipe is an easy-minute last option. I guarantee you have everything you need in your pantry.

Italian Pastry Squares

Serving pastries at the end of the meal absolutely guarantee that your guests will go home raving about your meal. These made-from-scratch squares are simple and sweet. Dusted with powdered sugar, they're a snowy little option for your perfect winter night.

Melt in Your Mouth Tiramisu

We could not list all the must-haves for a traditional Italian Christmas meal without mentioning tiramisu! Tiramisu is a popular coffee-flavored dessert that is the ideal way to end a meal. Your guests will not be disappointed. 

Panna Cotta

While it is not as well known as classics like the biscotti or tiramisu, panna cotta is another dessert favorite from Italy. Translating to "cooked cream" this tasty little dish is made from heavy whipping cream and unflavored gelatin (to give it its lovely shape).

Italian Christmas Cookies

Add cheer to the table with these Italian Christmas cookies. These simple and rounded cookies are covered with festive frosting and sprinkles, adding some cute colors to your tablescape. If your guests are far too full to enjoy dessert, this treat is easy to send home for later.

Cappuccino Twist

Italians love to end their meals with a cup of coffee. This pick-me-up makes the drive or walks home easier. Combine dessert and this end-of-meal tradition with our Cappucino Twist. This recipe takes mere minutes to make and is made from real coffee and pudding mix.

Cannoli Cheesecake

Our list would not be complete without a cannoli option! Instead of serving traditional cannoli, consider impressing your guests with this tasty cheesecake recipe instead. If you are going to be short on time the night of your event, you can even make this the week before and freeze it until the day of!

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