Are you craving a taste of Italy for dinner tonight? Look no further! In this blog post, we will explore the best Italian dinner recipes that will transport you straight to the streets of Rome or the coast of Sicily.
From hearty pasta dishes to flavorful risottos and mouthwatering meat dishes, get ready to indulge in the rich flavors and vibrant colors of Italian cuisine. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned chef, these recipes are sure to impress your family and friends. So, grab your apron and let's dive into the world of Italian cooking!
1. Pasta with Zucchini, Ricotta Cheese, & Basil Pesto
Pasta with Zucchini, Ricotta Cheese, & Basil Pesto is a delightful Italian dinner recipe that showcases the simplicity and freshness of Italian cuisine. The dish combines tender zucchini, creamy ricotta cheese, and fragrant basil pesto to create a harmonious blend of flavors.
The use of seasonal ingredients and basic cooking techniques allows the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through. This recipe is a perfect choice for those looking to experience the joy of Italian cooking.
2. Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta
Creamy Tuscan Chicken Pasta is a comforting and delicious Italian dinner recipe. Made with tender chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, baby spinach, and penne noodles, all smothered in a creamy sauce, this dish is full of big Italian flavors.
The best part is that it can be made in just 30 minutes and in one pot, making it a quick and easy weeknight meal option. Perfectly creamy and satisfying, this recipe is a must-try for pasta lovers.
3. Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti
Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti is a comforting and delicious Italian casserole. It features creamy alfredo sauce, savory chicken, hearty pasta, and two types of melty cheese.
This recipe can be customized with extra veggies and seasonings, and can be made healthier by using whole wheat pasta or making it gluten-free. It is a crowd-pleasing dish that can be ready in less than 45 minutes.
4. Baked Ziti
Baked Ziti is a delicious and hearty Italian dish that is sure to please a crowd. With a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage, it has an authentic flavor. The sauce is generous, ensuring that the dish is not dry.
The classic ziti noodles trap the sauce and cheese perfectly, creating a satisfying bite. The trio of mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta cheese adds a creamy and cheesy filling. Overall, Baked Ziti is a must-try comfort food that resembles lasagna in its layers and flavors.
5. Pasta alla Carbonara
Pasta alla Carbonara is a classic Italian dish that is both easy to make and incredibly flavorful. With just four simple ingredients, this recipe delivers a decadent and delicious meal.
The combination of perfectly cooked pasta, crispy guanciale (or pancetta), creamy egg sauce, and sharp Pecorino Romano cheese creates a harmonious balance of flavors. This traditional Roman pasta is a must-try for any Italian food lover.
6. Italian Drunken Noodles
Italian Drunken Noodles are a unique twist on traditional pasta dishes. This fusion recipe combines Italian spices with the Thai flavors of Pad kee mao. The dish features egg noodles or pappardelle tossed with Italian sausage, bell peppers, onions, and garlic in a flavorful tomato-based sauce.
The addition of white wine adds a depth of flavor to the dish. Overall, Italian Drunken Noodles are a moist and tasty alternative to the usual tomato or cream-based pasta dishes.
7. Italian Pasta al Pomodoro
Italian Pasta al Pomodoro is a classic and authentic Italian dinner recipe that features spaghetti tossed in a simple and delicious San Marzano tomato sauce. The sauce is made by sautéing garlic in olive oil and simmering the tomatoes until they are thick and falling apart, then pureeing it until smooth.
The pasta is cooked and then tossed with the sauce and some of the pasta water to create a flavorful and satisfying dish. It is topped with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese for added depth of flavor. This recipe is easy to make and perfect for those who appreciate the beauty of simple and perfectly executed Italian cuisine.
8. Sicilian Meatloaf
Sicilian Meatloaf is a flavorful and impressive dish that combines the flavors of Italian meatballs with the comfort of a classic meatloaf. Filled with ham, mozzarella cheese, and aromatic sautéed onions and garlic, this meatloaf is rolled up like a jelly roll and baked to perfection.
Served with pasta or zucchini noodles and topped with marinara sauce, it is a delicious and satisfying meal that is perfect for both family dinners and entertaining guests.
9. Creamy Tomato Pasta with Italian Sausage
Creamy Tomato Pasta with Italian Sausage is a hearty and flavorful dish that combines chewy rigatoni pasta with Italian sausage in a velvety, garlicky creamy tomato sauce. The addition of spinach adds a touch of freshness to the dish.
Topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, this pasta is a comforting and satisfying meal option. Perfect for busy weeknights, this recipe can be prepared in just 30 minutes. Overall, it is a delicious and easy-to-make Italian dinner option that will surely impress your taste buds.
10. Creamy Garlic Mushroom Pasta
Creamy Garlic Mushroom Pasta is a delightful and satisfying Italian dinner recipe. The combination of fragrant garlic, earthy mushrooms, and silky pappardelle pasta creates a delicious and comforting dish.
The creamy sauce, made with heavy cream and cheese, adds a rich and indulgent flavor. The recipe is versatile, allowing you to use any type of mushrooms available. Overall, this recipe is quick, easy, and budget-friendly, making it a perfect choice for busy weeknights.
Manicotti is a classic Italian dish that combines zesty sausage and three types of cheese, stuffed into pasta shells and baked with marinara sauce.
It's a comforting and cheesy meal that's perfect for feeding a large crowd. The flavors are delicious and the dish is easy to make at home. Overall, manicotti is a must-try for any Italian food lover.
12. Italian Chicken Tortellini Skillet
The Italian Chicken Tortellini Skillet is a delicious one-pot meal that combines cheese tortellini, pan-seared chicken, and a creamy sauce with roasted red peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and herbs.
Topped with mozzarella and parmesan, this dish is packed with classic Italian flavors and is ready in just 25 minutes. It's a convenient and flavorful option for a quick and satisfying Italian dinner.
13. Italian Chicken Pasta
Italian Chicken Pasta is a delightful and satisfying dish that captures the essence of Italian cuisine. This recipe features tender chicken breasts coated in a flavorful blend of herbs and spices, cooked to perfection. The creamy white wine Parmesan sauce adds a luxurious touch, complemented by the addition of onions, garlic, scallions, and tomatoes.
The pasta is cooked al dente, providing the ideal texture to soak up the delicious sauce. Overall, this Italian Chicken Pasta is a quick and easy weeknight dinner option that will impress both family and guests with its simplicity and delightful flavors.
14. Garlic Lovers' Spaghetti
Garlic Lovers' Spaghetti is a quick and easy Italian dish that is bursting with garlic flavor. Made with simple ingredients like butter, garlic, white wine, and Italian seasoning, this spaghetti is a delicious and satisfying comfort food.
It pairs well with a variety of proteins and vegetables, and can be customized with toppings like Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes. If you love garlic, this recipe is a must-try.
15. Homemade Cheese Manicotti
Homemade Cheese Manicotti is a delicious and comforting Italian dinner recipe. It features manicotti pasta stuffed with a creamy cheese mixture and smothered in marinara sauce. The dish is easy to make and perfect for feeding a large crowd or a big family dinner.
The filling consists of three different kinds of cheese and herbs, resulting in a rich and flavorful dish. This recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator or freezer, making it convenient for busy weeknights. Overall, Homemade Cheese Manicotti is a satisfying and no-fuss dinner option that will surely please everyone's taste buds.
This focaccia recipe is inspired by a trip to Italy and a meeting with a kind-hearted Italian grandmother. Topped with caramelized onions, tomatoes, rosemary, and Parmesan cheese, it offers a delicious combination of flavors.
The dough is soft and fluffy, while the toppings add a savory and aromatic touch. Perfect for a dinner party or a cozy night in, this focaccia is a must-try Italian dish.
17. Easy Italian Salad
The Easy Italian Salad is a delicious and healthy dinner option that can be easily customized to suit individual preferences. With a flavorful herb dressing and a variety of veggies, this salad pairs well with meat-heavy meals or can be enjoyed on its own. The dressing, made with fresh herbs and olive oil, adds a fresh and vibrant taste to the salad.
The recipe also provides suggestions for additional ingredients such as pepperoni, salami, chickpeas, grilled chicken, or steak to enhance the flavor. Overall, the Easy Italian Salad is a versatile and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for a satisfying Italian dinner.
18. Italian Wedding Soup
Italian Wedding Soup is a comforting and flavorful dish that is easy to make. The meatballs, made with a combination of ground beef and pork, are seared to add extra flavor. Fresh herbs, such as parsley and oregano, enhance the taste.
The addition of finely shredded parmesan and tiny pasta, like acini de pepe, sets this soup apart. Spinach adds a vibrant color and freshness. Overall, Italian Wedding Soup is a delicious option for a satisfying Italian dinner.
19. Chicken Scampi
Chicken Scampi is a flavorful Italian dinner recipe that features tender chicken tenders cooked in a creamy wine sauce with sautéed peppers. It is quick and easy to make, making it a convenient option for busy weeknight meals.
The combination of the creamy sauce, juicy chicken, and sautéed peppers creates a mouthwatering flavor profile that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Serve it with an antipasto salad and bread for a complete and delicious meal.
20. Italian Chicken Gnocchi
The Italian Chicken Gnocchi recipe is a quick and easy dinner option that can be prepared in less than 20 minutes. Made with potato gnocchi, chicken sausage, spinach, and parmesan cheese, this dish is hearty and flavorful.
It can also be easily customized to be vegetarian by omitting the sausage and adding a substitute protein. The combination of ingredients creates a delicious and filling meal that is perfect for a family dinner. Overall, the Italian Chicken Gnocchi recipe is a great option for those looking for a simple and satisfying Italian dinner.
21. Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken Cacciatore is a classic Italian dish that brings the flavors of rustic stew-like cooking to your dinner table. Made with tender chicken thighs, tomatoes, mushrooms, and a splash of wine or vinegar, this recipe delivers a richly flavored sauce that is sure to satisfy.
Whether served over pasta, rice, or even zucchini noodles, Chicken Cacciatore is a versatile and delicious option for a hearty Italian dinner.
Cannelloni is a classic Italian dish that combines the comfort of baked pasta with a rich, flavorful sauce and a cheesy filling. This recipe takes a clever shortcut by using no-boil lasagna noodles instead of traditional cannelloni tubes, making it easier to assemble.
The homemade red sauce is simple to make, but you can also use your favorite prepared sauce for convenience. The dish is topped with a generous amount of melted mozzarella cheese, adding a deliciously gooey finish. Overall, Cannelloni is a satisfying and impressive pasta bake that will leave your guests impressed.
23. Italian Meatloaf
Italian Meatloaf is a flavorful twist on the classic meatloaf recipe. It combines the delicious flavors of Italian beef meatballs with the traditional meatloaf preparation. The ground beef is mixed with Italian dressing mix, panko bread crumbs, milk, and parmesan cheese for a tender and moist texture.
Topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella cheese, this meatloaf is a satisfying and hearty dish. It pairs well with pasta or a fresh Italian salad for a complete Italian dinner.
24. Farfalle Pasta
Creamy Farfalle Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Caramelized Onions is a delicious and comforting Italian dinner recipe. The bow-tie shaped pasta is perfectly paired with a rich and buttery Parmesan sauce.
This meatless dish can be enjoyed as is or with the addition of grilled chicken or seafood. The recipe is flexible, allowing for substitutions of different types of pasta, vegetables, and mushrooms. It is a quick and easy weeknight dinner option that the whole family will love.
25. Penne alla Vodka
Penne alla Vodka is a classic Italian-American dish that combines perfectly cooked penne pasta with a creamy and vibrant tomato sauce infused with vodka. The sauce is seasoned with fresh herbs and parmesan, resulting in a deliciously flavorful and satisfying dinner. The vodka adds depth to the tomato flavors without overpowering the dish.
With a hint of spiciness from red pepper flakes, this dish is a delightful combination of flavors. It can be prepared in just 30 minutes, making it a quick and easy option for a weeknight meal. Overall, Penne alla Vodka is a must-try recipe that brings the taste of Italian cuisine to your dinner table.
26. Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes
Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes is a flavorful and satisfying Italian dinner recipe. The chicken is coated in Italian seasoning and seared to perfection before being smothered in a creamy garlic sauce.
The addition of spinach, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers adds a burst of flavor to the dish. This one-pot meal is quick and easy to make, making it perfect for busy weeknights. It's a low-carb and gluten-free option that the whole family will love.
27. Bucatini with Spinach, Bacon, Creamy Parmesan Sauce
Bucatini with Spinach, Bacon, Creamy Parmesan Sauce is a delicious and comforting Italian dinner recipe. The bucatini pasta is cooked al dente and combined with a buttery garlic Parmesan sauce.
The addition of spinach and bacon adds flavor and texture, while the creamy sauce is rich and satisfying. This recipe is easy to make and can be prepared in just 30 minutes. Overall, it's a fantastic choice for a quick and flavorful weeknight meal.
28. Whipped Ricotta Cheese Spread with Roasted Tomatoes
The Whipped Ricotta Cheese Spread with Roasted Tomatoes is a delightful Italian appetizer. The creamy ricotta cheese is whipped with herbs and served with slow-roasted tomatoes on grilled bread slices.
It's an easy-to-make dish that can be prepared in advance, making it perfect for entertaining. The combination of the smooth ricotta and the sweet roasted tomatoes creates a burst of flavors that will please everyone's palate. Serve it at room temperature for the best taste.
29. Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
Spaghetti Squash Bolognese is a hearty and flavorful Italian dinner recipe. The thick and delicious meat sauce perfectly complements the spaghetti squash, creating a healthier twist on a classic dish.
The bolognese sauce is rich and satisfying, and it clings to the strands of spaghetti squash beautifully. Whether cooked in the oven or in the Instant Pot, this recipe is a winner. Overall, Spaghetti Squash Bolognese is a fantastic option for those looking for a comforting and lighter Italian dinner.
30. Easiest Rigatoni Bolognese
The Easiest Rigatoni Bolognese is a flavorful and comforting Italian dinner recipe. Made with a hearty meat sauce featuring ground pork and beef, tomatoes, herbs, and soffrito, this dish is perfect for chilly nights.
The wide tubular rigatoni pasta captures the sauce, delivering bursts of meatiness and flavor with every bite. Serve it with parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh parsley or basil for a heavenly meal. This recipe can be made ahead of time and freezes well for future enjoyment.
31. Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta is a delicious Italian-inspired dinner featuring a homemade creamy pasta sauce made from scratch. The sauce combines sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes with cream and shredded Mozzarella cheese.
This flavorful sauce coats cooked chicken and penne pasta, creating a satisfying and creamy dish. The addition of paprika and salt enhances the flavors of the basil and sun-dried tomatoes. Overall, Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta is a must-try recipe for those seeking a tasty and comforting Italian dinner.
32. Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage
Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage is a hearty and flavorful Italian comfort food. This recipe combines creamy ricotta, melty cheeses, spinach, and Italian sausage for a delicious and satisfying dinner.
It's a family favorite that never fails to impress. Serve it hot with garlic bread or a side salad for a complete meal. Leftovers are just as amazing and can be easily reheated. Overall, this recipe is a must-try for Italian food lovers.
33. Classic Italian Meatballs
Classic Italian Meatballs is a must-try recipe for any Italian dinner enthusiast. This family-style dish is known for its tender and juicy meatballs that are bursting with flavor. Made with a combination of ground beef and pork, these meatballs are enhanced with fresh parsley, garlic, and grated cheese.
The secret to their delectable texture lies in the inclusion of soft, milk-soaked breadcrumbs. Whether baked in the oven or cooked on the stovetop, these meatballs are sure to impress. Serve them with a quick homemade marinara sauce or your favorite sauce for a truly satisfying meal.
34. Creamy Sausage Pasta
Creamy Sausage Pasta is a delectable Italian dinner recipe that combines the richness of cream cheese and Parmesan with the savory flavors of roasted red peppers and Italian sausage.
The addition of spinach adds a pop of freshness to the dish. With its versatile ingredients, you can easily customize this recipe to suit your preferences. A must-try for pasta lovers seeking a creamy and flavorful meal.
Porchetta is a classic Italian dish that is a must-try for any dinner party or holiday feast. This all-belly porchetta recipe features tender meat seasoned with fennel and traditional Italian spices, and boasts the crispiest crackling.
It is a visually stunning centerpiece that requires minimal last-minute preparation and is nearly impossible to overcook. The rich and indulgent flavors of porchetta pair perfectly with lighter sides like a simple green salad and roast potatoes. Overall, porchetta is a show-stopping dish that will leave your guests impressed and satisfied.
36. Lemon Chicken Piccata
Lemon Chicken Piccata is a delicious Italian dish made with thinly sliced chicken coated in parmesan and served with a tangy lemon sauce.
The combination of flavors is irresistible, and the dish is quick and easy to prepare in just one skillet. It can be served with pasta, rice, or roasted vegetables, making it a versatile and satisfying dinner option.