Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (2024)

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These Italian Thanksgiving dinner menu ideas are the perfect way to celebrate the holidays with your family! This menu features crowd-pleasing Italian-inspired recipes that will make an epic Thanksgiving spread. There are appetizers, main courses, side dishes, and desserts- everything you need is right here!

Italian-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes

Maybe you miss Nonna's home cooking, or maybe you're just tired of turkey and pumpkin pie. No matter the reason, these Italian Thanksgiving dinner menu ideas are just what you need to switch things up this year!

You won't hear a single complaint when you serve these incredible Italian-inspired dinner recipes. Appetizers, sides, dessert, you name it, it's all on the menu!

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (1)
Jump to:
  • Italian-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes
  • Tasty Italian-Inspired Appetizers
  • 1. Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
  • 2. Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • 3. Tomato Caprese
  • 4. Antipasto Platter
  • 5. Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta
  • Hearty Main Courses
  • 6. Herbes de Provence Roasted Turkey
  • 7. Lasagna
  • 8. Baked Italian Meatballs
  • 9. Baked Eggplant Parmesan
  • 10. Turkey Tetrazzini
  • 11. Frutti di Mare
  • Italian Side Dishes
  • 12. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • 13. Butternut Squash Risotto
  • 14. Italian Sausage Stuffing
  • 15. Potato Croquettes
  • 16. Italian Baked Mac and Cheese
  • 17. Broccoli Rabe
  • Amazing Desserts To Serve
  • 18. Pumpkin Cannoli
  • 19. Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake
  • 20. Mandarin Orange Olive Oil Cake
  • 21. Pumpkin Tiramisu
  • 🦃 More Thanksgiving Recipes
  • 📖 Recipe Card
  • Italian Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Ideas: Frutti di Mare (+More Incredible Recipes!)
  • IngredientsUS CustomaryMetric
  • Instructions
  • 💬 Reviews

Whether you're a pro at hosting Thanksgiving dinner and holiday parties or giving it a try for the first time this year, you're sure to find my ultimate guide to planning Thanksgiving a help! Don't forget to safely thaw your holiday turkey early, too!

Italian Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with the rest of us, but they often add their own spin on things. After all, you can't have an Italian family dinner without pasta!

Tasty Italian-Inspired Appetizers

1. Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

These tasty morsels are the perfect way to get your Thanksgiving dinner started. Tender, juicy mushrooms are filled with seasoned cream cheese and Parmesan and baked!

Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

My quick and easy cream cheese stuffed mushrooms are the perfect bite-sized appetizers for any dinner, celebration, party, or get-together! These incredible hors d'oeuvres are stuffed with cream cheese and Parmesan filling seasoned to perfection - you can't eat just one!

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (2)

2. Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach artichoke dip is a classic Italian-American starter. It's creamy, cheesy, and meant for feeding a crowd!

Baked Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

This baked hot spinach artichoke dip is a wonderfully delicious appetizer that is amazing with chips or fresh bread for dipping! Perfect for game days, family gatherings, or just a comforting snack, this dip is sure to be a hit!

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (3)

3. Tomato Caprese

When you have a large dinner planned, a light appetizer like this simple tomato Caprese salad is the way to go. Fresh, thick slices of tomato and mozzarella are drizzled with a balsamic reduction and basil. It's refreshing and delicious!

Caprese Salad With Balsamic And Olive Oil

This classic caprese salad recipe is an especially cool and refreshing appetizer, side dish, or snack for the hot summer months! You don't have to be eating Italian food to enjoy fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, balsamic, and olive oil- it's an easy side salad that goes with anything!

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (4)

4. Antipasto Platter

All Italian parties have an antipasto platter, and Thanksgiving should be no different. Translated, it means "before the meal".

This recipe includes beans, cheese, pepperoncini, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, and Italian dressing. Though, you can easily customize your antipasto.

Antipasto Platter

This antipasto platter is an excellent appetizer for parties with a variety of tasty meats, cheeses, olives, and more to snack on! It's super simple to assemble, and you don't have to cook a thing! You can even prepare all the ingredients the day before, which means more time to spend at your party!

Check out this recipe

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5. Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta

A slice of crusty bread with a heaping pile of juicy tomato bruschetta is the first thing I'm grabbing at an Italian dinner. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar with some fresh basil gives this bruschetta a ton of flavor!

Balsamic Bruschetta Recipe

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (6)

Hearty Main Courses

6. Herbes de Provence Roasted Turkey

This expertly seasoned roasted turkey is suitable for any Thanksgiving dinner. Fragrant herb butter is slathered all over (and inside) of the bird before it is roasted to absolute perfection.

Herbes de Provence Roasted Turkey

Moist and buttery herbes de provence roasted turkey is such a delectable main course for the holiday season or to enjoy throughout the year! The turkey is slathered with an aromatic herb butter and roasted to perfect to create a Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey that everyone will be raving over!

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (7)

7. Lasagna

A hearty lasagna is a classic family dinner that would make a fabulous main course on Thanksgiving. Layers of pasta, homemade meat sauce, and melted cheese will call you back for seconds.

Lasagna

A homemade lasagna full of tender noodles and a hearty meat sauce covered in melted cheese is one of the best comfort foods you can make. All the time you spend making it will be more than worth it when you see your family lining up for seconds.

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (8)

8. Baked Italian Meatballs

Baked Italian meatballs can be an appetizer or main course! They are incredibly easy, and you can serve them with rice, pasta, or on thier own!

Baked Italian Meatballs

These scrumptious baked Italian meatballs are savory, flavorful, and mildly sweet - making them a welcome addition to any meal! These easy yet flavorful meatballs will have you feeling like you're in Nonna's kitchen in no time!

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (9)

9. Baked Eggplant Parmesan

This comforting baked eggplant Parmesan is a vegetarian entree that even meat lovers will enjoy.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

With a few tips and tricks, you can make a crispybaked eggplant Parmesanso delicious you will prefer it to chicken! This method ishealthierthan frying, although the layers of crispy Panko, melty mozzarella, and savory tomato sauce really makes it feel like a cheat meal!

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (10)

10. Turkey Tetrazzini

Get the best of both worlds by making this tasty turkey pasta! Turkey tetrazzini is creamy with crunchy bacon and a breadcrumb topping.

If you don't serve it on the day of Thanksgiving, you can use leftover turkey to make it the next day! In fact, I have lots of leftover turkey recipes you can try!

Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini

This creamy baked leftover turkey tetrazzini dinner is a wonderful use of your leftover turkey, topped with bacon and breadcrumb for a crunchy baked topping!

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (11)

11. Frutti di Mare

A heaping plate of pasta and seafood makes any meal feel like a special occasion. There are clams, mussels, squid, shrimp, and scallops in this classic Italian dish!

Frutti di Mare

Frutti di mare is a flavorful, decadent pasta dish that’s full of mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops, and squid to make this incredibly delicious seafood pasta! The seafood is cooked in layers to add flavor as it cooks and to keep the different seafood varieties from overcooking in this tasty Italian dinner! It is then coated in a spicy marinara sauce for the perfect dish!

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (12)

Italian Side Dishes

12. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

You've got to have mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving! Roasted garlic adds an incredible depth of flavor that makes these potatoes extra tasty (with or without gravy).

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted garlic mashed potatoes are smooth and fluffy with a rich garlic flavor from incorporating oven-roasted garlic! These mashed potatoes are so creamy and rich that you won't even need gravy. They're sure to become your new go-to favorite mashed potato recipe!

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (13)

13. Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut squash is a fall staple! Adding it to risotto takes an Italian classic and makes it totally Thanksgiving-worthy.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut squash risotto is a perfect fall dish that's really creamy and full of great flavors. This dish is great whether you want something small like an appetizer, a side dish, or even a main meal. The roasted squash makes it sweet and goes really well with the creamy rice. It also has garlic, onion, and herbs, plus a little optional white wine to make it extra special.

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (14)

14. Italian Sausage Stuffing

Sweet Italian sausage brings this classic stuffing to the next level. It's soft and savory, with some saltiness from the sausage.

Italian Sausage Stuffing

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (15)

15. Potato Croquettes

Crispy potato croquettes are a simple side dish you will want to make again and again. You can even make these using leftover mashed potatoes if you have some on hand.

Potato Croquettes

These potato croquettes are a great way to transform your leftover mashed potatoes into a delicious and crispy appetizer or side dish! All you have to do is mix mashed potatoes with an egg, salt, pepper, and parsley, then form them into a ball and fry them to golden perfection! They're incredibly easy to prepare and are sure to be hit with the whole family!

Check out this recipe

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16. Italian Baked Mac and Cheese

All mac and cheese is good mac and cheese, but using an aged Italian blend adds incredible flavor! The mac and cheese are baked so the top is crispy while the inside is melty and creamy. Yum!

Aged Italian Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe | Sargento® Foods Incorporated

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (17)

17. Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe (or rapini) is actually its own vegetable and not from a broccoli plant. It's a staple in all Italian households because the slightly nutty flavor pairs perfectly with garlic and Parmesan when sauteed!

Maria’s Broccoli Rabe Recipe

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (18)

Amazing Desserts To Serve

18. Pumpkin Cannoli

A crispy pastry shell with creamy spiced pumpkin and ricotta filling. They make for a fabulous alternative to pumpkin pie with the same fall flavor!

Pumpkin Cannoli | Imperial Sugar

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (19)

19. Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake

Ricotta cheese makes the moistest and most decadent cakes you can imagine. This light and fluffy lemon ricotta cake is the perfect example.

Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake | Light & Moist Recipe

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (20)

20. Mandarin Orange Olive Oil Cake

Olive oil is another secret ingredient to making moist cakes. This one has heavenly mandarin icing and is adorned with bits of kumquat, mandarin peel, and mint leaves.

Mandarin Olive Oil Cake

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (21)

21. Pumpkin Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a traditional Italian coffee-flavored dessert. Though you likely won't find this pumpkin version in Italy, it is the perfect recipe for closing out an Italian-inspired Thanksgiving dinner.

Pumpkin Tiramisu

Check out this recipe

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (22)

These Italian Thanksgiving dinner menu ideas may convince you to ditch classic Thanksgiving recipes all together! If you try one of the recipes on this list, please return to let me know how it turned out!

>>>>See all of my recipes here<<<<

🦃 More Thanksgiving Recipes

  • Thanksgiving Pie Recipes - A complete list of all the best pies to try this Thanksgiving!
  • Top 10 Thanksgiving Recipes - The most popular and well-loved Thanksgiving recipes in the United States!
  • Thanksgiving Menu Ideas For 2 - Everything you need to host an intimate Thanksgiving dinner for 2.
  • Elegant Thanksgiving Menu Ideas - Throw a showstopping gourmet Thanksgiving dinner with these recipes!
  • Southern Thanksgiving Menu - Southern holiday classics that are meant to be shared with family and friends!
  • Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes - Tried and true classic recipes that are guaranteed to be a hit!

See more Thanksgiving recipes →

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Italian Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Ideas: Frutti di Mare (+More Incredible Recipes!)

These Italian Thanksgiving dinner menu ideas are the perfect way to celebrate the holidays with your family! This menu features crowd-pleasing Italian-inspired recipes that will make an epic Thanksgiving spread. There are appetizers, main courses, side dishes, and desserts- everything you need is right here!

Author | Angela

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 485kcal

Prep 10 minutes minutes

Cooking 20 minutes minutes

Total Time 30 minutes minutes

Pin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fettuccine (or favorite pasta)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
  • ½ tablespoon garlic (finely minced or thinly sliced)
  • 1 lb mussels (scrubbed, beards removed)
  • 1 lb steamer clams (scrubbed)
  • cup dry white wine (I like Pinot Grigio best, or Pinot Gris)
  • ½ lb shrimp (large shrimp, thawed, peeled, and deveined)
  • ¼ lb bay scallops
  • ¼ lb squid (sliced tentacle rings and bodies)
  • 32 oz arrabbiata sauce (see recipe or use your favorite brand)

Help Us Out!If you love a recipe, be sure to come back and share your ratings. This helps future users, and allows me to continue sharing free recipes! Angela

Instructions

  • Fill a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it reaches an al dente texture (firm to the bite). Drain, rinse under cool tap water, and set aside.

  • Heat a large, deep skillet with the olive oil over medium heat until the oil just begins to shimmer. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute then stir in the mussels and clams until well coated.

  • Increase heat to medium-high then add the dry white wine and cover the pan to steam the mussels and clams. Cook with the lid on for about 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels and clams have opened.

  • Uncover the skillet, add the shrimp and toss with the seafood. Cover and continue to steam for an additional 2 minutes or until the shrimp begins curling up, turning pink and opaque.

  • Once more remove the lid and add the final portions of seafood (squid and bay scallops). Cover and cook until the squid tentacles curl up and the scallops are no longer transparent, or about 1 minute.

  • Pour in the arrabbiata sauce, stir to coat the seafood evenly, then simmer over medium heat for 2-3 minutes (uncovered). Add the pasta into the seafood sauce and toss until well coated. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 485kcal (24%) | Carbohydrates: 66g (22%) | Protein: 32g (64%) | Fat: 10g (15%) | Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 187mg (62%) | Sodium: 1115mg (48%) | Potassium: 1011mg (29%) | Fiber: 5g (21%) | Sugar: 8g (9%) | Vitamin A: 804IU (16%) | Vitamin C: 15mg (18%) | Calcium: 94mg (9%) | Iron: 5mg (28%)

Did you try this recipe? Rate it below!I can’t wait to see your results! Mention @bake_it_with_love or tag #bake_it_with_love!

best dishes to serve for an Italian inspired Thanksgiving, Frutti di Mare, Italian Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Ideas, Thanksgiving menu for Italian-Americans

Course Dinner Recipes, Main Dish, Pasta, Seafood

Cuisine Italian

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (24)

Angela @ BakeItWithLove.com

Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!

bakeitwithlove.com/about/

Italian Dinner Menu Ideas: The Best Holiday Recipes to Try This Year! (2024)

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