There’s nothing quite like sitting down to a good Italian meal. Whether it’s a classic dinner of pasta and a creamy sauce, or a tasty cannoli.
Despite what many think, Italian recipes don’t have to be restricted to simple pasta, pizza, or breads. There is so much more to this culturally rich food.
In this list we’ll cover 17 of the best Italian recipes, filled with flavor and savory aromas. The best part? We’ll provide the recipe too!
17 Best Italian Recipes
Here are 17 of the best Italian recipes to try at home.
This classic Italian side dish can be cooked up in so many different ways, making it easy to pair with just about any main dish.
This recipe is for a creamy garlic parmesan risotto. It takes about a half hour to make and uses pretty standard ingredients to make this rice side dish.
Caponata is a delicious, vegetable-filled side dish or appetizer. It’s a summery dish best paired with fish or meat dinners, as well as grilled foods.
The ingredients list is a little long for this recipe, but caponata is so full of flavor, and the reason is because of the many different vegetables!
3. Zuppa Toscana
Made with bacon, potatoes, Italian sausage, and kale, this delicious soup is perfect for a cold day. Top it with cheese and it’s ready to go!
Zuppa Toscana translates to Tuscan soup. This recipe takes less than an hour to make, and is filled with tons of delicious, authentic Italian flavor.
4. Florentine Pasta
This Italian-inspired meal can be made with pasta alone, but it’s typically served with chicken. It’s creamy, full of flavor, and will definitely be a family favorite.
It takes about 30 minutes to put this recipe together. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredients list! Most of it is your typical everyday seasonings.
5. Parmesan Polenta
Polenta is an excellent choice to serve with a bed of vegetables or a savory meat dish. It’s made with cornmeal and has the consistency of mush.
Other than the ground cornmeal, the ingredients in this recipe are pretty standard. In just 30 minutes you’ll have your own polenta side dish ready to eat!
6. Italian Meatballs
Italian dishes aren’t your typical meals. They’re made with accents and additions that bring the whole meal together into a single dish, like pasta and meatballs.
This recipe takes about an hour to prepare, and can be made in the oven or on the stovetop. Once finished, plop them on your favorite pasta!
7. Bocconcini Salad
This summery salad is made with cherry tomatoes, fresh seasonings, and bocconcini mozzarella balls. It’s perfect on those warm summer days when you need a refreshing salad.
The ingredients list is small and simple, making this one of the easiest salads to make. It is best served chilled. Here’s an easy recipe to try.
Technically, muffulettas came from New Orleans. However, the original inventor was a Sicilian immigrant, so we’ll chalk this one up as a mix of both!
The muffuletta comes in two parts: the sandwich, and the olive salad. This page has a recipe for both, and instructions on how to put it all together.
9. Tuscan Chicken
Tuscan chicken is an amazingly creamy Italian meal that consists of your typical Italian-style ingredients: spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic. It’s packed with flavor and aroma.
The best part about this Tuscan chicken recipe is that it’s all cooked in one skillet. So no messy kitchen clean up afterward. It takes about 30 minutes to make.
10. Roasted Romanesco
Romanesco is a vegetable that brings out the best flavors of both broccoli and cauliflower. It looks a little weird, but when roasted it tastes amazing.
This delicious recipe uses lemon and garlic to really spruce up the flavor of this versatile vegetable. It takes less than a half hour to prepare.
11. Caprese Chicken
Caprese chicken combines the most classic Italian ingredients: tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. It’s basically a Caprese salad with chicken, with all ingredients baked in a skillet.
When it’s all said and done it takes about 35 minutes to prepare and cook Caprese chicken. This recipe is great for lunch or a light dinner.
12. Pasta alla Norma
This dish originated in Sicily and consists of eggplant, pasta, marinara, and basil. The ingredients may be simple, but the flavor is far from boring.
While many recipes use fried eggplant, this recipe features roasted eggplant instead. You can use store-bought marinara sauce, or make your own at home.
Also known as Fisherman’s stew, cioppino is an Italian-American stew that is delightful and flavorful, and made with fresh seafood in a tomato and wine broth
The ingredients list can be a bit intimidating, but once you’re finished and taste a bite, you’ll know it was worth the time! Here’s the recipe.
14. Pasta Fagioli
Despite the name, pasta fagioli is actually a soup, not a pasta dish. It’s a hearty and flavorful soup made with beans, pasta, and a handful of vegetables.
Pasta Fagioli is the perfect soup for fall and winter, when the days get cold and you need a hot meal to warm back up! Here’s the recipe.
Arancini are Italian rice balls that are excellent to serve as bite sized snacks or a side. They’re made with red sauce and cheese and rolled with breadcrumbs.
This recipe has three parts: The filling (sauce, cheese, and peas), the risotto, and the outside breading. Most of your time will be spent prepping these delicious arancini balls.
16. Stuffed Shells
One of the most versatile dinners out there, stuffed shells can fit the bill of Italian, American, and many more, depending how you make them.
The classic Italian recipe is for cheese stuffed shells. This recipe takes about an hour to make, including cook time, and the results are worth it.
Just because cappuccinos are served at your favorite coffee house doesn’t mean you can’t make it at home! The best part? It’s easier than you think.
You’ll need an espresso maker to concoct this delicious drink. Other than that, all you need is whole milk! Here’s an easy recipe to try.
Italian culture is deeply imbedded in many societies, and it’s hard to find someone who isn’t a fan of the rich flavors of Italian cuisine.
Most Italian dishes pair great with some kind of bread with butter or garlic bread. Try a new recipe for your next big family meal.