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Italy Christmas Food and Drinks Recipes

Italy christmas food and drinks – Italian households’ recipes for the best time of year: Christmas!

Italy Christmas Food and Drinks


On December 25 we celebrate one of the most popular beloved holidays in the world, that of Christmas.

One of the most popular for the Italian Christmas traditions symbol is certainly the nativity scene, a catholic tradition.

Another popular symbol in Italy is Christmas trees, the origin of which is also medieval, but linked to Northern European countries.

Christmas in Italy is a magical time, especially for the palate.

Italian tables on Christmas season are traversed by a single red thread, that of tradition.

Italian families gather for Christmas Eve dinner,  lunch on the December 25th, and also on the following day (il giorno di santo stefano).

Italians love to enjoy the dishes of culinary traditions, those that our grandmothers prepared and that are handed down from mother to daughter.

During the Christmas holidays, which usually end on January 6 with the celebration of the Epiphany (la befana), the true homegrown tradition manifests itself at the stove.

In fact, the Christmas holidays are the occasion during which the most traditional dishes such as lasagna, roasts and typical desserts like Pandoro and Panettone are cooked.

Today we want to tell you what is eaten in different regions of Italy during the holidays by taking a journey through traditional Italian Christmas food.

The traditional Italian Christmas eve dinner (La Vigilia) is traditionally based on seafood, as a meatless day before the decadence of the 25th.

Some households will serve seven types of fish, as the meal is known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes (Festa dei sette pesci) and seven is a symbolic number in Christianity with different seafood dishes.

Drinks For Christmas Holiday

In Italy red wine or white wine is usually served to go with religious holiday, and after the meal is finished, it is time to move on to bubbly.

Prosecco, or another variety of Italian sparkling wine, is one of the best ways to finish the meal.

Appetizers – Holiday Traditions

Take a seat and get comfortable because Christmas lunch is now a reality: napkin on your lap and off to the festive season with the first round of appetizers.

#1 Burrata Bruschetta

These Tomato Burrata Bruschetta Toasts are fancy and flavorful without too much fuss.

Made with creamy burrata cheese, crispy ciabatta bread, and plenty of tomatoes and garlic, these tasty toasts are the perfect appetizer for all of your christmas holidays gatherings.

#2 Bagna Cauda Dip

Bagna cauda is traditionally served around Christmas time in Piemonte.

It’s an easy appetizer made with good olive oil, anchovies and lots of garlic! Bread or veggies are popular dipping options.

#3 Arancini Recipe

If you need a crispy, deep-fried side dish to satisfy your cravings, try these delicious Arancini or stuffed Italian rice balls from southern italy.

They’re precisely what you need for Christmas!

#4 Caprese Christmas Wreath

This Caprese Christmas Wreath is delicious, simple to prepare and ideal for entertaining.

It will make the perfect addition to your festive table.

#5 Italian Seafood Salad

This salad is a beautiful mix of fresh, brightly colored seafood set against a backdrop of traditional Italian flavors.

It’s perfect for a festive Christmas dinner.

#6 Fried Squash Blossoms (fiori di zucca fritti).

If you’re looking for a unique and tasty way to enjoy squash blossoms this Christmas, try fried squash blossoms!

This dish is easy to make and can be enjoyed as a side dish or main course.

Fried squash blossoms are a delicious and festive way to celebrate the holidays!

#7 Christmas Tree Pastry With Pesto

This Christmas, enjoy a homemade treat that’s as pretty as it is delicious!

This Christmas Tree Pastry With Pesto is a show-stopping holiday dessert that’s sure to impress.

Flaky puff pastry is filled with a rich and flavorful pesto, then shaped into a tree and baked to perfection.

#8 Focaccia


This simple focaccia recipe is perfect is a perfect holiday appetizer!

Made with just a few ingredients, it’s very easy to make!

Pasta Dishes – Holiday Traditions

It would not be a true Italian meal without a pasta dish. 

#1 Lasagna

lasagna recipe

Bolognese-style, with minced meat and béchamel sauce, Neapolitan-style, with ricotta, sauce, fior di latte, and meatballs, lasagna is a dish that is chosen by many families at Christmas time, It is never missing from the Christmas tables of Emilia Romagna.

#2 Italian Manicotti Recipe

This authentic Italian manicotti recipe is one of the best out there!

With manicotti shells made from crepes and a rich ricotta cheese filling, this comforting pasta dish is perfect for Christmas dinner.

#3 Spinach And Ricotta Cannelloni

Are you looking for an impressive, yet easy Christmas dinner recipe?

Look no further than this Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni!

Tender pasta sheets are filled with a creamy ricotta and spinach mixture, then baked in a delicious tomato sauce. This Northern Italy dish is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters!

#5 Spaghetti With Clams Recipe

spaghetti with clams

If you’re looking for a festive seafood pasta dish to make this Christmas, look no further than this spaghetti with clams recipe.

This easy-to-follow recipe will have you whipping up a tasty plate of spaghetti with clams in no time at all.

So get cooking and enjoy a delicious seafood feast this holiday season!

#6 Pasta al Forno

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And what better way to celebrate than with a delicious pasta al forno Christmas lunch.

This traditional Italian dish is sure to please any and all holiday guests.

#7 Stuffed Shells

This dish is not only delicious, but it’s also beautiful and perfect for a holiday party.

The shells are stuffed with a mixture of spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheeses, and then topped with a homemade tomato sauce.

#8 Pasta With Sardines And Cherry Tomatoes

Pasta With Sardines And Cherry Tomatoes

Looking for a unique Christmas pasta dish?

This Christmas pasta with sardines is a delicious and easy way to enjoy the holiday season.

It is a simple but flavorful dish typically served on Christmas Eve.

Few ingredients are needed to prepare this dish, which is crunchy to the palate, thanks to the toasted breadcrumbs, and flavorful thanks to the savoriness of the sardines.

#9 Sartù di Riso alla Napoletana

This traditional Italian dish is the perfect way to celebrate Christmas.

Sartù di Riso alla Napoletana is a savory rice dish that is usually served as a main course.

It is packed with flavor and can be made ahead of time, making it the perfect holiday dish.

Second Course – Best Italian Christmas Food

From fish main courses suitable for Christmas Eve to meat main courses here are some great recipes to prepare at Christmas time.

#1 Italian Braciole

This classic recipe for Italian Braciole features tender beef rolled up with breadcrumbs, pine nuts, raisins, cheese and simmered all day in a rich tomato sauce.

Perfect for holidays main course.

#2 Braised Pork Osso Bucco

This holiday season, try something new for your Christmas dinner!

This Braised Pork Osso Buco is an impressive, yet easy to make, dish that is sure to please your guests.

#3 Battered Salt Cod (Baccalà)

Christmas Eve Italian style isn’t complete without baccala, or salt cod.

This is how Nonna used to make it and will please both the kids and adults.

A prince of Christmas tables, baccala is eaten in many regions in the dinner of December 24.

#4 Calamari Fritti

When it comes to holiday eating, Italians know how to do it right.

In Southern Italy, a dish called Calamari fritti is a popular Christmas Eve tradition. 

#5 Cioppino

It’s Christmas Eve, and you’re in the mood for something special.

Make cioppino, a seafood stew that is traditional in many Italian families.

This recipe is easy to follow and produce a delicious, hearty fish stew!

#6 Spiedini alla Siciliana

This traditional Italian dish is a must-have for Christmas!

Spiedini alla Siciliana a traditional italian food from Sicily.

#7 Italian Wedding Soup

A symbol of the Neapolitan holiday season, “minestra maritata” sees the union of vegetables and different cuts of meat.

The result is a tasty, nutritious soup with a balanced flavor.

Even today, wedding soup can still be found on the Christmas tables of Campania and Calabria.

Italian Desserts and Christmas Cookies

There is no holiday without typical Italian sweets.

#1 Cannoli

Don’t be intimidated by cannoli!

This recipe walks you step-by-step through the process for flawless, traditional results for your holiday get together!

#2 Struffoli

Italian Honey Balls or Struffoli are served on various occasions, especially on Christmas.

They are crunchy on the outside, soft and warm inside.

#3 Panettone Recipe

This famous Italian sweet bread is commonly given as a gift during the holiday season.

Filled with bits of fruit, the cake-like yeast bread is delicious toasted and served with coffee.

Lombardy is the region of panettone, the world-renowned Christmas dessert.

#4 Cuccidati (Italian Fig Cookies)

These Cuccidati (Italian Fig Cookies) are fantastically festive with a snowy white glaze and colored sprinkles.

Take a bite and you know it’s Christmas time.

Cuccidati are full of dried fruits, toasted nuts, spices and a little honey.

#5 Frittelle

These doughnuts are a typical Christmas Eve tradition in Italy. Just be warned, they are addictive!

#6 Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake

A beautiful Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake made with Pistachios and White Chocolate.

This festive season tree shaped cake is a super fun and impressive Italian dessert yet it won’t take you longer than 15 minutes to make!

#7 Ricciarelli

If you’re looking for a delicious, traditional Christmas cookie, look no further than the ricciarelli!

These Tuscan cookies are made with almond flour and have a light, delicate flavor that is sure to please.

#8 Panforte

A panforte nero is a type of dense, chewy Italian fruit and nut cake that is traditionally serve around Christmas time.

This cake is filled with flavors of candied citrus peel, nuts, and spices, and is often coated in a thin layer of chocolate. Panforte is a festive and delicious treat that is perfect for sharing with family and friends during the holidays.

#9 Torrone

Christmas is a time for family, friends, and of course, food.

One of the most popular traditional sweets is torrone, a nougat candy that originates from Italy.

#10 Soft Italian Ricotta Cookies

Soft Italian Ricotta Cookies are a Christmas must-have dessert every holiday season.

With a hint of lemon & a moist cake-like texture these frosted cookies are irresistible.

#11 Classic Tiramisu Recipe

tiramisu recipe

This traditional Italian dessert is a showstopper, and perfect for the holidays!

Layers of rich espresso-soaked ladyfingers, creamy mascarpone filling, and chocolate shavings make this tiramisu irresistible.

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