Food

20 Italian Christmas recipes for an amazing holiday feast

From Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, celebrate the holidays like an Italian with amazing recipes from star chefs like Giada DeLaurentiis, Lidia Bastianich and Andrew Carmellini. Here are 20 amazing Italian Christmas recipes to try for appetizers, mains, pastas, sides, desserts, and cocktails.

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An Italian twist on Christmas Eve dinner

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An Italian twist on Christmas Eve dinner

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Italian Christmas appetizers

Easy Jumbo Shrimp Wrapped in Pancetta and Sage
Easy Jumbo Shrimp Wrapped in Pancetta and Sage
Quentin Bacon
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4
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For a Feast of Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve or entertaining on Christmas Day, try these juicy prawns that can be served as hors d'oeuvres or an appetizer.

Baked Clams Oreganata
Baked Clams Oreganata
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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Servings:
4
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Baked clams oreganata are a must-have for a traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is celebrated on Christmas Eve, but these would be a lovely appetizer for any special meal.

Salmon and Avocado Tartare
Salmon and Avocado Tartare
Mariecar Frias / TODAY
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4
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This elegant appetizer has layers of salmon tartare, avocado puree and a crunchy shaved raw vegetable salad dressed with citrus vinaigrette.

Italian Christmas mains

Lidia Bastianich's Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Onions

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Make Lidia Bastianich's pork tenderloin with balsamic onions

Play Video - 4:10

Make Lidia Bastianich's pork tenderloin with balsamic onions

Play Video - 4:10

Although it's made with just a handful of ingredients, this pork tenderloin looks (and tastes!) impressive. Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut, meaning this simple recipe is healthy too. You can use any combination of onions you like, as long as you have about 8 cups in total.

Short Ribs Braciole
Short Ribs Braciole
Quentin Bacon / Quentin Bacon
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4
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This tender meat dish is a no-brainer crowd-pleasing main course for Christmas.

Giada's Pork Chop Agrodolce

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Giada's pork chop agrodolce, mushroom pea farrotto: Get the recipe!

Play Video - 4:27

Giada's pork chop agrodolce, mushroom pea farrotto: Get the recipe!

Play Video - 4:27

The chops have a balanced rich flavor (agrodolce means "sweet and sour") without adding tons of additional fats.

Italian Christmas pastas

Slow-Cooker Spinach Lasagna

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Slow-cooker lasagna is incredibly indulgent (and surprisingly light)

Play Video - 3:52

Slow-cooker lasagna is incredibly indulgent (and surprisingly light)

Play Video - 3:52

Celebrate Christmas the Italian way. This classic dish is surprisingly successful and easy to make in your Crock-Pot.

Tagliolini with Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Tagliolini with Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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Perfect for an easy seafood dinner and an Italian Feast of Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve.

Tagliatelle and Italian Sausage with Sage Cream Sauce
Toni Alberti's Tagliatelle and Italian Sausage with Sage Cream Sauce
Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY
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4
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Creamy, rich and way easier than it looks, cook up this fast pasta dinner idea from twin Italian chefs Tony and John Alberti. Fresh sage make the sauce especially fragrant. Serve topped with crispy fried sage leaves.

Italian Christmas side dishes

Lidia's Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Bacon
Lidia's Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Bacon
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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Servings:
6
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Bacon makes everything better, especially star chef Lidia Bastianich's sauteed brussels sprouts with walnuts and bacon.

Spaghetti Squash with Sage and Walnuts
Spaghetti Squash with Sage and Walnuts
Quentin Bacon
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6
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It's so aromatic that it makes a great textural complement to meaty dishes like the Short Ribs Braciole here.

Ina Garten's Roasted Broccolini
Broccolini
Shutterstock
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Servings:
5-6
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Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale. Besides being a little more elegant, it's more interesting — sweeter and a little more peppery than regular broccoli. All you need to do is toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, toss it on a sheet pan, and roast it. Side dishes don't get any easier than this!

Italian Christmas desserts

Nutella Cake

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Make the Alberti twins' Nutella cake and orange polenta cake for the holidays

Play Video - 4:45

Make the Alberti twins' Nutella cake and orange polenta cake for the holidays

Play Video - 4:45

The Alberti brothers serve this Nutella cake with an espresso martini.

Italian Cheesecake with Biscotti Crust
Italian Cheesecake with Biscotti Crust
Quentin Bacon
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Servings:
6 to 8
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This gorgeous dessert has a luscious ricotta filling and irresistible biscotti crust.

Sicilian Fig Cookies

Joanie Zisk / ZagLeft

This sprinkle-covered treat is a classic Christmastime snack in Italy that Joanie Z. of ZagLeft makes year after year.

Orange Polenta Cake
Orange Polenta Cake
TODAY
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8
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Try serving this lovely orange cake with a citrusy sparkling cocktail. The Alberti brothers suggest serving the cake with non-dairy ice cream, but it would also be delicious with regular ice cream.

Tiramisu parfaits: The ultimate easy dessert
Tiramisu Parfaits
Grace Parisi / TODAY
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4
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Come dessert time, serving individual glasses of tiramisu is a piece of cake (well not literally). Not only will these impress your guests, but everyone is guaranteed to get one!

Italian Christmas cocktails

Italian Aperol Spritz Punch
Italian Aperol Spritz Punch
Shutterstock
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Servings:
12-16
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This sparkling Italian Aperol spritz punch is perfect for a party.

Espresso Martini
Espresso Martini
TODAY
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1
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Keep the pep in your party step with this cocktail that's made with coffee liqueur and espresso.

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The Alberti twins call this citrusy sparkling cocktail the Albertini.

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