Italian Christmas menu ideas

06 Dec 2019
Italian Christmas menu ideas

Are you looking for Italian Christmas menu ideas?

Christmas is only around the corner (18 days to be exact). By now you may have already started to decorate your Christmas tree and home starting to set the festive mood. It is now time to plan your Christmas menu! We have chosen only the best dishes for our suggested Italian Christmas menu to make your day extra special. They are even suitable for larger gatherings of 10 or more people.

In Australia, Christmas falls in summer. In Melbourne, we can have some extreme changes of temperature in summer. On Christmas day, the temperature could range anywhere from 15 to 40 degrees which makes it difficult to menu plan. The temptation for many Australians is to cook the entire Christmas feast on the barbecue, but not this year. Christmas is one of those events that unites Italians at the table. Christmas 2019 is the year to cook an Italian feast.


So which recipes are the best and worthy of a place on your Christmas table? 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), including biscotti with coffee and of course selections of what to drink.


Italian Spoon’s Menu di Natale (Christmas lunch or dinner menu)


Carpaccio of Bresaola, Rocket and Parmigiano Reggiano

Oysters kilpatric with prosciutto or Carpaccio of Bresaola, Rocket and Parmigiano Reggiano





Ricotta and basil cannelloniRisotto with rock lobster and zucchini
Primi piatti (First Courses):

Ricotta and basil cannelloni or Risotto with rock lobster and zucchini





Italian stuffed Christmas PorchettaOrata al forno (oven baked snapper/sea bream) with potato and fennel
Secondi piatti (Second courses):

Italian stuffed Christmas Porchetta or Orata al forno (oven baked snapper/sea bream) with potato and fennel




Italian roasted potatoesPumpkin (squash), goat’s cheese, pine nut and rocket salad
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 Pumpkin (squash), goat’s cheese, pine nut and rocket salad



Pandoro Christmas tree filled with Crema diplomaticaTorrone Semifreddo
Dolci (Italian Desserts):

Pandoro Christmas tree filled with Crema diplomatica or Torrone Semifreddo.





Cantucci - Tuscan-style biscottiChocolate and hazelnut tartufi balls

Coffee served with:

Cantucci – Tuscan-style biscotti or Chocolate and hazelnut tartufi balls







What to drink for Christmas lunch or dinner?

Christmas 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 or one of my favourites, De Bortoli Noble One dessert wine.


Italian Christmas traditions

Food aside, there is one more thing that unites Italians all over Italy during the Christmas festivities, regardless of the region – to play tombola. Tombola is Italian Bingo which is traditionally played at Christmas. The main difference between Tombola and regular Bingo that in addition to winning Tombola (completing full ticket of 15 numbers) there are also sub prizes including ‘ambo’ (two numbers on the same line) ‘quaterna’ (three numbers on the same line) and ‘cinquina’ for five numbers in a line. Italians traditionally use dried beans or my husband’s favourite, torn mandarin skins to mark the numbers. Sadly there are no mandarins in Australia at the moment but just the thought of it makes me almost be able to smell Christmas in the air.

In Italy, the Christmas and New Year celebrations are extended until Epifania on 6th January (also known as la Befana), a religious day when the three Kings came to visit baby Jesus. The concept of la Befana is similar to that of Santa Claus, with the difference that the Befana is a witch-like old lady who flies around the world on a broomstick and comes down chimneys to fill stockings with sweets and deliver presents to children who have been good during the year or a lump of coal (ouch) or dark sweets if they are bad.

What dish best represents Christmas at your table? Please write a review and let us know!

Happy Cooking X


Italian Christmas menu ideas 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
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