Best Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve recipe and menu ideas for 2018

07 Dec 2018
Best Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve recipe and menu ideas for 2018

Are you looking for Italian Christmas eve menu ideas, traditional recipes for Christmas, and New Year’s Eve party food ideas?

Christmas is only around the corner (18 days to be exact). It is not only time to decorate your Christmas tree and home to set the festive mood but to plan your festive menus as well! 2018 is the year for fabulous Christmas Eve, Christmas (lunch or dinner) and New Year’s Eve meals. We have chosen only the best dishes for our suggested menus to make your day extra special. They are even suitable for larger gatherings of 10 or more people.

In Australia, Christmas falls in summer. It can fall on extremely hot days so it is very easy to organise for your entire Christmas feast to be cooked on the barbecue, but not this year. 2018 is the year to cook the Italian classics – lasagne, cannelloni, roasts and lots of delicious Italian desserts.

An amazing party not only has a great menu, but festive dinner table setting. It is time to think about which festive centrepieces you want to use – flowers, holly, ornaments, candles, and gingerbread houses make great choices. You are going to need a theme – my favourite would have to be the elegant and timeless gold, white and silver theme and of course lots of sparkle. Take out your Christmas decorations or perhaps it is the year for an update on your table decorations for a special touch.

So which recipes are the best and worthy of a place on your Christmas Eve, Christmas or New Year’s Eve menu? I have suggested an amazing menu selection for each of these events and included Antipasti, Primi piatti (First Courses), Secondi piatti (Second courses), Contorni sfiziosi (Delicious side dishes), Dolci (Italian Desserts) and of course selections of what to drink. It is the season to be merry and your friends and family will love it.

Menu vigilia di Natale (Christmas Eve menu)














For Christmas Eve, I am going with this amazing fish and seafood-based menu:


Baccalà mantecato alla veneziana (creamed salted cod) or Gamberi aglio e peperoncino (Garlic and chilli prawns)

Primi piatti (First Courses):

Farfalle pasta with zucchini and gamberetti (shrimp) or Spaghetti pasta ‘alle vongole’ (with clams)

Secondi piatti (Second courses):

Nonna’s Sicilian-style calamari ripieni (stuffed) or Orata al forno (oven baked snapper/sea bream) with potato and fennel

Contorni sfiziosi (Delicious side dishes):

Fennel and blood orange salad and Pumpkin (squash), goat’s cheese, pine nut and rocket salad. Add even more delicious sides – the more, the merrier.

Dolci (Italian Desserts):

The world’s best Tiramisù or Carrot cake with lime mascarpone icing. Coffee served with Snowflake gingerbread biscuits.

What to Drink for Christmas Eve?

When guests arrive, serve a welcome flute of Bellavista Franciacorta sparkling brut. With the first and second course, serve a nice bottle of White Tamellini Soave from Veneto. With the Italian dessert, offer a Passito di Pantelleria Donna-Fugata dessert wine.


Menu di Natale (Christmas lunch or dinner menu)

Traditional meat lasagne Italian stuffed Christmas PorchettaPandoro Christmas tree filled with Crema diplomatica














This menu not only tastes but smells like Christmas! 2018 is a year of classic Italian show-stoppers like Italian Spoon’s Italian stuffed Christmas Porchetta. Get ready for the best tasting Christmas feast of your life.


Oysters kilpatric with prosciutto or Antipasto ‘di carne’ (of meat)

Primi piatti (First Courses):

Traditional meat lasagne or Ricotta and basil cannelloni

Secondi piatti (Second courses):

Italian stuffed Christmas Porchetta or Rolled turkey with sausage and sage stuffing

Contorni sfiziosi (Delicious side dishes):

Italian roasted potatoes, Peperoni al forno (oven baked capsicum/peppers) with aromatic minty breadcrumbs, Peas with onion, carrot and pancetta and Italian roasted potatoes

Dolci (Italian Desserts):

Pandoro Christmas tree filled with Crema diplomatica or Trifle of Panettone. Coffee served with Pignuccata Siciliana.

What to Drink for Christmas lunch or dinner?

Serve a welcome flute of Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label, the go to celebration champagne. With the first and second course, serve a nice lighter body red wine such as Massolino Barbera D’Alba. With the Italian dessert, offer one of my favourite De Bortoli Noble One dessert wine.


Menu di Capodanno (New Year’s Eve menu)

Olive Ascolane (meat stuffed olives)Salmon and prawns 'al cartoccio' (in paper parcel)Zuccotto with strawberries and cream














Host the ultimate New Year’s Eve party with this amazing menu:


Olive all’ ascolana (meat stuffed olives) or Creamy tuna and caper dip

Primi piatti (First Courses):

Linguini pasta ‘allo scoglio’ (on the rocks) or Vitello tonnato

Secondi piatti (Second courses):

Salmon and prawns ‘al cartoccio’ (in paper parcel) or Spigola alla griglia (grilled sea bass) with Salmoriglio sauce

Contorni sfiziosi (Delicious side dishes):

Insalata (salad) of asparagus, egg, prosciutto and parmigiano and Insalata caprese

Dolci (Italian Desserts):

Coffee-flavoured panna cotta and walnut crumb or Zuccotto with strawberries and cream. Coffee served with Florentine biscuits

What to Drink for New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve would not be the same without champagne. Serve a welcome flute of Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label, the go to celebration champagne.. With the first and second course, serve a nice bottle of La Fuga from Donna-Fugata. With the Italian dessert, offer a glass of Vin Santo.


It is time to take out your special dinner sets, silverware and ironed tablecloth. Italian Spoon wishes you and your families a very special Christmas and safe New Year. Buon appetito!


Best Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve recipe and menu ideas for 2018 blog authored by Vanessa Bottaro.

Vanessa Bottaro

Founder and Owner at Italian Spoon
What is second best thing to being in beautiful Italy? Cooking and writing about Italian food, of course!

I live in Melbourne, Australia with my husband Simone and two children. They are my first love! Italian Spoon brings my second love for cooking Italian food and blogging to life and I am loving it!

I hope to inspire you to continue the tradition of Italian home cooking. Buon appetito!
Vanessa Bottaro

Great blog!

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