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Italian Side Dishes for Christmas: 35 Authentic Recipes

If you’re planning an Italian Christmas Eve dinner or looking to add some Italian food to your Christmas feast, try out these 35 delicious Italian side dishes for Christmas that are sure to elevate your spread.

These recipes represent the best Italian cuisine, from classic salads to veggie sides.

Italian Side Dishes for Christmas

The holidays are a time to cherish with family and friends, and what better way to do so than over a delicious meal? 

Sharing delicious food with loved ones is a valuable lesson my grandmother taught me.

It’s something that makes the occasion unforgettable and brings people closer together.


In Italy, the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner, known as La Vigilia, is celebrated with a family dinner called Il Cenone – a meatless feast of the seven fishes, as per old religious tradition in some families, to represent abundance and fertility for the new year. 

Common choices include clams, mussels, cod, and baccala (salt cod).

Seven fish dishes may be served to represent the seven sacraments.

Other ritual foods include torrone (nougat), panettone or pandoro (sweet bread), and wine for good luck.

35 Italian side dish recipes for Christmas

These Italian sides are not only delicious but also easy to prepare, making them the perfect addition to your Christmas feast.

They are sure to impress your family and friends with a range of classic favorites and unique creations to choose from.

#1 Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan, or “Parmigiana di Melanzane,” is an authentic Italian-style dish that will steal the show as a side dish on your Christmas dinner table.

Layers of fried eggplant, tomato sauce, and parmesan cheese create a harmonious blend of flavors.

#2 Orange and Fennel Salad

Add a citrusy freshness to your Christmas feast with an Orange and Fennel Salad.

Combining sweet oranges, raw fennel, and a tangy dressing creates a refreshing and vibrant side dish. This Italian salad is delicious and a visual delight with its vibrant color.

It’s a lovely side dish perfect as a palate cleanser between your rich and savory Christmas menu.

#3 Italian Potato Salad With Green Beans

The combination of tender potatoes, crisp green beans, red onions, and a zesty Italian dressing creates a delightful medley of flavors and textures.

This salad is a great addition to your Christmas Italian table, as it can be served warm or cold.

#4 Caponata

Caponata is a southern Italy specialty that will bring a burst of Mediterranean flavors to your Christmas dinner.

This sweet and sour eggplant relish is made with a combination of eggplant, tomatoes, olives, capers, and celery. It’s a perfect accompaniment to roasted meats or grilled fish.

#5 Italian Sauteed Eggplant

Sometimes, simplicity is the key to perfection.

This classic Italian dish is perfect for your holiday dinner party.

#6 Rapini with Raisins and Hazelnuts

Rapini with Hazelnuts and Raisins is a classic Italian side dish at Christmas time that is so good it may steal the spotlight.

#7 Burrata Caprese Salad Recipe

This simple burrata salad is a twist on a classic.

Thick sliced fresh tomatoes are topped with burrata cheese, olive oil, balsamic, and fresh basil.

#8 Focaccia

No Italian meal is complete without delicious bread, and focaccia is the perfect choice to accompany your Christmas feast.


Peas and pancetta is the most straightforward side dish, perfect alongside your Christmas Day dinner.

Super easy and packed with flavor, it is made with salty cured pancetta, sweet peas, garlic, and fresh parsley.

#10 Ciambotta

Experience a touch of Italian flair on your Christmas table with our Ciambotta, a rich and hearty Italian Ratatouille.

This savory side dish, brimming with seasonal vegetables, pairs perfectly with festive mains and brings a Mediterranean warmth to your holiday feast.

#11 Panzanella Toscana with Fresh Mozzarella Caprese

This Tuscan-inspired Panzanella Toscana with Fresh Mozzarella is a bread and vegetable salad with a solid nod to the southern Italian island of Capri–with fresh mozzarella, extra tomatoes, and extra basil. It’s extra delicious!

The creamy mozzarella is harmonious, paired with the oil-kissed, toasted bread and macerated tomatoes.

#12 Baked Tomato Parmesan

Here’s an elegant-looking side dish that is so nice to serve with any main dish Christmas meal.

It is so simple to make that it also makes a great weeknight recipe.

#13 Roasted Italian Peppers

These Italian sweet roasted peppers are the perfect way to add brightness and flavor to your Christmas bakes!

#14 Sheet Pan Sausage with Mushrooms and Fennel

Sheet Pan Sausage with Mushrooms and Fennel is a festive and flavorful side dish that will impress your guests.

Combining juicy sausages, earthy mushrooms, and sweet fennel creates a delicious medley of flavors.

This dish is easy to prepare, making it a convenient option for your Christmas dinner. 


Italian Green Beans, or “Fagiolini,” is a classic side dish that adds freshness to your Christmas table.

These tender and vibrant green beans are sautéed with garlic and olive oil,

#16 Italian Tomato Salad Recipe

This simple side dish showcases the natural sweetness of ripe tomatoes and fresh basil, olive oil, and salt.

It’s a light and refreshing side dish that the whole family will love. 

#17 Peperonata

Peperonata is a colorful, vibrant side dish that adds Mediterranean flair to your Christmas feast.


Tender artichoke hearts with a crunchy coating of bread crumbs are fried to golden perfection.

The result is a crunchy, flavorful treat that will delight your taste buds.

#19 Fava Beans with Tomatoes

Fava Beans with Tomatoes, or “Fave e Pomodori,” is a nutritious and flavorful side dish that celebrates the simplicity of Italian cuisine.

Tender fava beans are sautéed with juicy tomatoes, garlic, and a hint of fresh herbs.

#20 Roasted Pesto Potatoes

Roasted Pesto Potatoes are a delicious twist on traditional roasted potatoes.

Combining crispy potatoes and fragrant homemade pesto creates flavor in every bite.


Roasted Asparagus with Gorgonzola is a sophisticated and elegant side dish that will impress even the most discerning palates.

Tender asparagus spears are roasted to perfection and topped with creamy gorgonzola cheese.

#22 Roasted Peppers and Onions

The caramelized onions enhance the sweet and smoky flavors of roasted bell peppers, creating a harmonious combination that pairs well with a variety of main courses.

This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.

#23 Italian Mixed Greens Salad with Prosciutto

Italian Mixed Greens Salad with Prosciutto is a perfect accompaniment to your Christmas feast, providing a light and refreshing touch of elegance to the table.

#24 White Bean Panzanella

White Bean Panzanella is a rustic and hearty side dish showcasing the best Italian ingredients.

#25 Italian Oven-Roasted Vegetables

 The vibrant colors and aromatic herbs make these veggies a showstopper on your holiday table.

#26 Stuffed Artichokes

Baked to perfection, these stuffed artichokes are a symphony of textures and flavors.


Add some spice to your Christmas feast with this Calabrian chili garlic bread.

This Italian twist on a classic favorite takes ordinary garlic bread to a whole new level.

#28 Polenta

Creamy, comforting, and oh-so-delicious, polenta is a classic Italian side dish that deserves a place on your Christmas table.

#29 Italian Chopped Salad

Add a refreshing touch to your holiday table with an Italian chopped salad.

Bursting with fresh flavors and vibrant colors, this salad is the perfect side dish to your main course.

#30 Simply Sauteed Green Beans Recipe

Keep things simple yet delicious with this sautéed green beans recipe.

This great side dish adds green to your Christmas table without sacrificing taste.

#31 Easy Grilled Eggplant

Eggplant lovers, rejoice!

This easy grilled eggplant recipe is a must-try for your Christmas feast.


This Genovese-style focaccia is a true crowd-pleaser with its fluffy interior, crispy exterior, and aromatic topping.

#33 Boiled Potatoes

Sometimes simplicity is the key, and boiled potatoes are a classic Italian side dish that always satisfies.

Tender and creamy potatoes are cooked to perfection and then lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

They perfectly accompany any main course and will surely be a hit at your Christmas table.

#34 Boiled Cauliflower

For a lighter side dish option, try boiled cauliflower.

Simple yet delicious, this dish showcases the natural flavors of cauliflower.

#35 Breaded Eggplant

Lastly, we have breaded eggplant, a classic Italian side dish loved by all.

Slices of eggplant are coated in breadcrumbs, seasoned with herbs and spices, and then fried to golden perfection.

It’s a fantastic way to enjoy eggplant and add Italian flair to your holiday spread.

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If you’re planning a traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast, include some classic Italian Christmas desserts to finish the main meal.

Trust me, they’re an essential part of the dinner!

Merry Christmas

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