Italian Christmas Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Italian Christmas recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Nonna's Spaghetti & Meatballs

Rating: Unrated
10
The meatballs and sauce are cooked in the slow cooker for this traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs recipe. You could also serve the meatballs over creamy polenta or on a sandwich with melted provolone.

Seafood Lasagna (Lasagna di Pesce)

Rating: Unrated
2
Shrimp, sole and salmon come together in a beautiful lasagna dish. Serve with an arugula salad and crusty whole-grain baguette.

Basic Risotto

Rating: Unrated
8
Slowly adding hot broth to arborio rice helps release the starch from the rice, giving risotto its characteristic silky, creamy texture. We add a splash of wine along with each addition of broth to give the dish a more pronounced wine flavor. If you'd prefer the wine to be more subtle, add the entire cup at the end of Step 2 and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed, then begin adding the broth. If you prefer to omit wine, use more broth in its place.

Seafood Linguine

Rating: Unrated
6
This restaurant-worthy seafood pasta dish is a snap to make and an easy way to impress guests. We like the sweet taste and extra-saucy consistency of canned diced San Marzano tomatoes in sauces like this one. Marjoram pairs well with the seafood, but basil or even parsley works too. Serve with a Caesar salad.

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Lasagna

Rating: Unrated
45
Sure, the slow cooker's great for stews and soups, but it also happens to make a mean lasagna! In this ingenious slow-cooker recipe, all you have to do is chop your veggies, then layer the ingredients (raw) into the crockpot. Serve with: Garlic bread and a green salad.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Arugula Salad

Rating: Unrated
1
This recipe for jumbo shrimp wrapped in thin strips of prosciutto and served on a lemony bed of arugula is a practically effortless dish that's sure to impress your guests. Wrap your shrimp and make the dressing ahead of time, and you'll have dinner on the table even faster. Serve with toasted whole-wheat baguette sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Pear & Camembert Crostini

Rating: Unrated
1
Up your appetizer game with this fruit-topped cheese crostini recipe. Warm preserves give the pears a shiny glaze and prevent them from browning.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Roasted vegetables add tons of hearty flavor to this easy vegetarian lasagna made with jarred pasta sauce.

Celeriac & Parsnip Mash

Rating: Unrated
3
Tangy and aromatic, celeriac (or celery root) has long been a staple in French cooking. Here, it's combined with parsnips and russet potatoes for a side dish worthy of your favorite bistro--or trattoria, because we've relocated the dish south, from Paris to Tuscany, using olive oil and Parmesan cheese. The potato is kept separate from the celeriac and parsnip because it gets gluey when pureed in a food processor.

Hunter's Chicken Stew

Rating: Unrated
9
Hunter's Chicken is found across Northern Italy, with many variations. This version uses meaty bone-in chicken thighs and is full of onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. It's also delicious served over egg noodles.

Pignoli Cookies

This crispy-on-the-bottom-and-chewy-on-the-inside gluten-free cookie recipe is a twist on a traditional Italian holiday treat, pignoli, or pine nut cookies. Look for almond paste--a mixture of ground almonds and sugar (available in tubes or sometimes tubs)--near other baking supplies in well-stocked supermarkets or specialty stores. Sweeter marzipan doesn't work well in these cookies.

Rustic Mushroom Tart

Rating: Unrated
6
Don't let phyllo dough's fussy reputation put you off: our method of brushing olive oil and sprinkling breadcrumbs between the layers makes this tart actually quite simple to assemble, and helps keep it healthy. It can be served as a main course or cut into smaller pieces and enjoyed as an appetizer.

Inspiration and Ideas

28 Impressive Seafood Recipes to Make for the Feast of the Seven Fishes

Many Italian and Italian-American families celebrate Christmas Eve by cooking up a Feast of the Seven Fishes. While every family puts their own spin on the tradition, having delicious fish and seafood recipes is a must. Even if you don’t make all seven fish, get inspired to serve up some seafood dishes that are sure to wow. We’ve got recipes for appetizers, soups, mains and pastas to help you cook up a special holiday feast.

Traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes Menu for an Italian-Style Christmas Eve

Feast of the Seven Fishes is the Italian-American name for a multicourse seafood feast on Christmas Eve. This menu features a hearty seafood stew, garlic shrimp, salmon crudo and a bitter greens salad with blood oranges. End your meal with a round or two of amaro and tiramisù with a twist. Recipes by Domenica Marchetti.

Tuscan Pork Loin

Rating: Unrated
5

Roasted pork loin is a staple of Italian cooking. In this recipe we coat the lean meat with garlic, rosemary and aromatic lemon zest before it goes in the oven, and then deglaze the pan with vermouth to make a savory gravy. The roast is perfect for entertaining but equally at home for a Sunday family supper.