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
5
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.

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.

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.

Green Risotto

Rating: Unrated
5
Serve this pretty, pesto-flavored risotto alongside roasted chicken or pork roast or serve with a big salad for a light dinner. 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 3 and cook, stirring, until the liquid is gone, then begin adding the broth. You can substitute more broth in place of the wine.

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Rating: Unrated
2
Traditional homemade gnocchi (little Italian dumplings) are made with just potato, flour, egg and salt. Be sure not to work the dough too much or the gnocchi will be tough. Toss them with your favorite sauce and dinner is served!

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.

Hunter's Chicken Stew

Rating: Unrated
6
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.

Mushroom Risotto

Rating: Unrated
2
Although traditional risottos use refined arborio rice and require constant stirring, you can achieve excellent results with this oven-baked version using short-grain brown rice, taking advantage of its whole-grain benefits.

Fennel, Porcini & Chicken Cacciatore

Rating: Unrated
2
Dried porcini give an earthy, punch to this Italian classic. Although it tastes great hot from the oven, the fennel-and-mushroom combination mellows beautifully overnight.

Wild Mushroom & Barley Risotto

Rating: Unrated
5
In this pungent mushroom risotto, we substitute fiber-rich barley for the more traditional arborio rice. Any combination of mushrooms will work; if you use shiitakes, remove the stems from the caps before using.

Celeriac & Parsnip Mash

Rating: Unrated
1
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.

Seafood Linguine

Rating: Unrated
2
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.

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.

Nut & Honey Biscotti

This crunchy Italian cookie recipe isn't traditionally very sweet, so just a touch of honey adds flavor along with mild sweetness. Dipping them in chocolate makes them extra special.