Home Recipe Roundup 50 Best Italian Recipes to Make Nonna Proud

50 Best Italian Recipes to Make Nonna Proud

From chicken parmesan to Neapolitan pizza, bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen with these classic Italian recipes

Italian food is widely known around the world and is a lot more than just pasta.

Italian Ground Beef Lasagna

While we all love the popular Italian recipes like lasagna, spaghetti, and calzone, and stromboli, it’s time to dig a little deeper.

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Cooking up these traditional Italian dishes will make it feel like your Italian nonna is in the kitchen with you! 

Find something everyone will love with these 25 easy Italian recipes. 

Classic Italian Recipes We Can’t Get Enough Of

1. Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan is a classic Italian recipe your whole family will fall in love with.

Pound chicken breasts thinly and evenly.

Set up your breading station with flour, eggs and cream, and breadcrumbs.

Fry up the chicken and get layering in your baking pan – marinara sauce, chicken, and more marinara sauce.

Top it all off with mozzarella cheese. Mangia!

2. Italian Meatballs

Everyone needs to have a go-to recipe for Italian meatballs. Juicy and flavorful, these meatballs are the perfect addition to so many meals!

The secret? Three meats – ground beef, ground pork, and Italian sausage.

And don’t forget the panada – a thick paste made from soaking breadcrumbs in milk – to keep those meatballs perfectly moist.

3. Italian Hot Chocolate

Italian cuisine is more than pasta and pizza, as you’ll discover with this velvety Italian hot chocolate.

Don’t even think about instant hot chocolate – this recipe is on another level.

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Made with real dark chocolate, whole milk, and sugar, it’s thick, slightly sweet, and so decadent.

Close your eyes and you might just find yourself transported to Italy.

4. Calzone

Crispy calzones stuffed with cheese beat pizza slices any day. Try this recipe for yourself and see!

These savory pockets are perfect for on-the-go meals and can be frozen for later.

Use store-bought pizza dough and fill it with your favorite toppings – sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella, veggies – for calzone heaven.

5. Caprese Chicken

Gooey cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and a slightly sweet balsamic reduction give so much flavor to this Caprese chicken. 

The dish may look fancy, but it’s surprisingly easy to put together. 

Saute the chicken until golden brown.

Pile it high with sun-dried tomatoes and cheese slices. Bake for about 10 minutes. 

Finish the dish off with a healthy drizzle of your balsamic reduction.

6. Rosemary Mushroom Risotto

Think risotto is hard to make? Think again! Try this scrumptious rosemary mushroom risotto and see just how simple it can be.

The trick is to add warm broth slowly, so the rice cooks perfectly. Don’t rush this meal!

With mustard for tang and rosemary for flavor, this risotto is sure to impress your guests with its aroma and taste.

7. Tuscan Chicken

Short on time? This one-pan Tuscan chicken has got you covered!

It’s creamy, delicious, and ready in under 30 minutes.

Don’t be fooled by the simple ingredients – this dish packs a flavor punch.

Made with Alfredo, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and cheese, the rich sauce coats the chicken for bold flavors.

Serve it solo or with pasta and enjoy.

8. Tuscan Seafood Stew

Tuscan seafood stew, also called cacciucco, includes five types of seafood, one for each ‘c’ in its name.

Seasoned with garlic, parsley, sage, and red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes add just the right amount of heat.

Serve the succulent stew on top of homemade croutons to soak up the flavorful broth.

9. Neapolitan Pizza

Can’t go to Naples for authentic Neapolitan pizza? This recipe is the next best thing. Pizza night just got an upgrade!

Neapolitan pizza is all about simplicity. The sauce is just canned tomatoes, and you’ll top it with fresh mozzarella and basil.

Homemade dough is instrumental in getting that authentic crust. Don’t be intimidated, because it’s super easy.

10. Pizzette

Pizzette, aka mini pizza, is a perfect finger food for a fun night with friends or a fancy party. 

The recipe uses store-bought pizza dough for a quick shortcut. Top with fontina, tomatoes, and parmesan for a tasty mini pizza.

Finish it off with basil and olive oil after baking. Experiment with toppings to find your perfect match.

11. Sausage Arugula Pizza

Crispy and mouthwatering, this sausage arugula pizza is about to become a new family favorite.

Arugula on pizza might sound weird, but just hear me out.

The fresh and nutty arugula perfectly balances out the greasy pork sausage, creating the ultimate combination. 

Add in the tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, and you’ll never want plain pepperoni pizza again. 

Use homemade dough or store-bought.

12. Strawberry Nutella Pizza

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this strawberry Nutella pizza, the perfect dessert-pizza hybrid!

Nutella’s nutty flavor complements the juicy strawberries, while sliced almonds add crunch.

To make dessert pizza, bake the crust completely and let it cool slightly before adding toppings.

Mix it up with toppings like peanut butter, chocolate chips, or bananas.

13. Pasta Fagioli al Forno

Gather your loved ones for Pasta Fagioli al Forno, or “baked pasta with beans.”

This cheesy Italian dish is bursting with flavor from herbs, spices, and Italian sausage.

Sauteed onions, carrots, celery, and garlic create the base, followed by a medley of delicious ingredients, including two types of cheese.

Bake until golden and bubbly for a dish that’s sure to please.

14. Italian Tomato Sauce

A rich and flavorful Italian tomato sauce is the cornerstone of Italian cooking. This is a recipe you’ll want to pass down through the generations. 

Simplicity is key, and cooking low and slow brings out all the flavors.

Oregano, basil, and mint add a fresh touch, while garlic, onion, and olive oil balance the acidity in the tomatoes.

15. Bellini

Class up your next brunch with this simple and refreshing bellini recipe.

With only two ingredients – peaches and prosecco – you can create a perfect bubbly and fresh drink.

Blend the peeled and pitted peaches to get a smooth puree. Chill for 30 minutes, add 2 ounces of puree to a flute, and top with prosecco. Cheers!

16. Cheesy Florentine Pasta

This versatile cheesy florentine pasta is perfect for any meal.

The parmesan sauce is made with mozzarella, and it’s packed with spinach and bell peppers for a pop of color.

Ready in under 30 minutes, this meal is perfect for busy nights. It can be served hot or cold, making it great for picnics.

Pair it with steak for a complete dinner.

17. Stuffed Shells

Italian stuffed shells are a fun and delicious meal that’ll satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. 

The shell-shaped pasta is stuffed with creamy ricotta and parmesan cheese and topped with flavorful meat sauce.

It’s finished off with melted mozzarella cheese. Get ready for a quiet dinner time! 

18. Muffuletta

Discover the deliciousness of muffuletta, a sandwich piled high with meat and veggies.

A classic muffuletta sandwich features a fresh olive salad made with olives, capers, peppers, parsley, giardiniera, and garlic.

Spread this on your roll, then layer on soppressata, mortadella, capicola, and provolone, repeating the layers for a mouthwatering meal.

19. Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

You’ll never need to visit Olive Garden again after making this copycat Olive Garden Alfredo sauce.

The sauce is easy with just a few simple ingredients: heavy cream, butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese.

For the smoothest sauce, add cheese in small batches while the cream and butter are bubbling.

20. Italian Salad

This Italian salad is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite pasta dish. Or whip this up on its own for a quick and fresh lunch. 

The homemade dressing is easy to make in a processor with parsley, basil, garlic, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and honey.

Use romaine lettuce, carrot, tomato, olives, bell pepper, and feta cheese for a delicious salad.

21. Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta alla norma is a Sicilian dish full of eggplant, flavorful marinara, and fresh basil. 

Roasting the eggplant instead of frying it makes it lighter and easier to prepare. That’s a win-win in my book!

Not many ingredients are needed to make this simple dish, so you can have it on the dinner table in no time.

22. Caponata

The combination of savory, sweet, and sour will have you falling in love with this traditional caponata.

Browning the onion and celery before adding the olives and capers add a great depth of flavor.

Then you’ll stir in the vinegar, giving this dish its slightly sour taste. 

Let the dish sit to allow the flavors to marry. Serve with some crusty bread.

23. Florentine Steak

Florentine steak is also known as “Bistecca alla Fiorentina.” It’s a thick steak, seasoned simply and designed to be shared with others. 

A thick porterhouse steak is best for this recipe. The only seasoning is olive oil, salt, and pepper, so you’ll want a quality piece of meat. 

Serve with sides like roasted potatoes or a beautiful Italian salad.

24. Lasagna

Simplify lasagna with this recipe that’s perfect for busy nights. No need to pre-cook noodles or make a homemade sauce!

Layer meat sauce, uncooked noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan, then repeat.

Bake and enjoy the amazing flavors of this comforting dish.

25. Cappuccino

End your epic dinner party with great conversation and a hot, foamy cappuccino. 

A rich cappuccino isn’t difficult to make. All you need is coffee, water, and milk. A cappuccino maker is also helpful for doing all the hard work!

Foamy milk is the key to a great cappuccino. It’s the perfect drink to start your morning or end your evening.

26. Ziti Al Forno (Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce)

Baked ziti is one of many Italian recipes we all love. This bake is loaded with rich marinara and melty cheese, so there’s no surprise why.

The cheese gets bubbly after baking and then forms a thin crust as it cools, creating a wonderful contrast of crisp and gooey.

It’s comfort food with an Italian twist, and it’s a winner.

27. Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage and Kale

When it’s cold outside and you need something comforting to warm you up, you can always count on tortellini soup.

From the creamy broth to the meaty sausage to the chewy tortellini, this cozy soup will have you licking the bowl.

28. Chicken Piccata with Capers and Lemon

American and Italian cuisines unite to bring you the scrumptious dinner dish that is the chicken piccata.

Here, chicken cutlets are paired with tangy & briny capers and bathed in a bold white wine and lemon butter sauce.

If you’re looking to level up your chicken game, this recipe won’t let you down.

29. Focaccia Bread

Focaccia bread is famed for its dimpled surface and soft & chewy texture. Let’s also not forget the many toppings embedded in it, such as herbs, spices, & tomatoes.

If you’re up for the challenge of baking bread, it’s among the Italian recipes I recommend. After all, when you’re putting plenty of effort into something, you want it to be worth it!

30. Minestrone Soup

One doesn’t usually associate vegetables with pasta, which is why minestrone soup is such a nice surprise.

It’s a tomato broth-based soup with pasta shells and a medley of greens & vegetables.

The soup is finished off with parmesan cheese for an element of richness. It somewhat covers up the soup’s vegetal taste, making it perfect for kids.

31. Creamy Garlic Butter Tuscan Shrimp

This one’s not exactly a traditional Italian recipe, but it does take inspiration from the classic Tuscan chicken.

As you can maybe gather from its name, this dish is Tuscan chicken, shrimp-ified.

It also takes things to the next level by frying the shrimp in garlic butter. After all, garlic, butter, and shrimp together is kind of a no-brainer.

32. Chicken Marsala

If you’re the type who doesn’t shy away from ridiculously umami-rich dishes, chicken marsala is one of the Italian recipes you MUST try. 

Pan-fried chicken cutlets and mushrooms are coated in a thick, earthy, savory, & slightly sweet sauce of Marsala wine, heavy cream, and herbs.

Serve this dish with jasmine rice or buttered noodles for a hearty Italian meal.

33. Spaghetti Bolognese

The timeless bolognese always hits the spot with its rich, meaty, and tomato-ey goodness. It’s that trusty dish you make when you’re short on time but want to impress.

That said, everyone has to have a recipe for it in their pocket. If you don’t have one yet, this one won’t disappoint.

34. Osso Buco

If you’ve never had osso buco, you’re missing out. This recipe’s not beginner-friendly, but trust me, you have to try it. 

Osso buco features melt-in-your-mouth, fall-off-the-bone veal shanks slow-cooked in a white wine and tomato broth.

Pair it with gremolata, a sauce made of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest, to cut through its richness. Serve with risotto or mashed potatoes.

35. Lasagna Soup

This recipe is for lasagna lovers who don’t want the burden of making a complex dish from scratch.

Packed with cut-up lasagna noodles, ground beef, sausage, and 3 kinds of cheese, it’s literally lasagna in soup form, or as I like to call it – happiness in a bowl.

36. Tomato Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze

This appetizer features toasted Italian bread brushed with olive oil and topped with a mixture of fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil.

It only calls for inexpensive, easily accessible ingredients, yet it delivers epic tastes & textures. It’s the simple things, amirite?

This particular recipe is extra special thanks to the sweet & tangy balsamic glaze drizzled over the toast. 

37. Soft Italian Breadsticks

There’s something about breadsticks that’s just way too addictive. So be warned – when you try this recipe, you’re also basically throwing your self-control out the window.

These breadsticks have a thin outer crust that gives way to an irresistibly pillowy tender center. They’re brushed generously with garlic butter, giving them a lip-smacking, can’t-stop-eating flavor.

38. Tomato Basil Soup

Here’s another one of the many Italian recipes that showcase fresh vegetables in their delicious glory.

As its name suggests, this soup has only two main components – tomatoes and basil. As long as their fresh, these two create an outstandingly bright and tasty combination.

Serve this refreshing and nourishing (an unintentionally vegan) soup with breadsticks and you’re golden.

39. Cacio e Pepe

There aren’t many Italian recipes that amaze me the way cacio e pepe does. 

Meaning “cheese and pepper,” cacio e pepe is literally that – a pasta dish with pecorino-romano cheese and ground pepper.

The two ingredients are mixed with butter to create a sauce, but at its core, it’s simply cheese and pepper. I guarantee it will blow you away.

40. Classic Italian Caprese Salad

If you have fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella on hand, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t whip up a classic caprese salad.

A combination of sweet juicy tomatoes, peppery basil, and mildly rich mozzarella drizzled with olive oil, this summer salad is delicious in its simplicity. 

Be sure to use high-quality, fresh ingredients. That’s how this appetizer gets its magic.

41. Margherita Pizza

Picture this: a thin, crispy crust topped with a bright red tomato sauce, creamy white mozzarella cheese, and fragrant basil leaves. 

Folks, say hello to the simple yet undeniably delicious pizza Margherita. 

Each bite is a perfect balance of tangy tomato, savory cheese, and fresh herb flavors, all coming together to create a flavorful symphony.

42. Traditional Italian Carbonara

PSA: Don’t risk getting the ire of Italians by adding heavy cream to your carbonara!

If you want authentic carbonara, you’ll only need 5 ingredients: spaghetti, guanciale, black pepper, pecorino Romano, and eggs. 

That’s it. There shouldn’t be any cream, milk, bacon, or garlic in there. Don’t believe any recipe that says otherwise.

43. No-Knead Ciabatta Bread

Ciabatta bread is an Italian sandwich bread with a crispy exterior and a soft chewy interior.

It’s similar to the French baguette, but with a more porous texture, thanks to its dough’s high water-to-flour ratio.

And if you’re determined to make one yourself, this recipe won’t let you down.

44. Italian Pesto Chicken

This recipe uses rich and earthy ingredients such as pesto sauce and mozzarella cheese to elevate a humble chicken breast.

Here, you’ll learn to make a simple homemade pesto sauce using basil, almonds, olive oil, lemon, parmesan, and more.

But, while fresh pesto is always the besto (comment below if you get the reference), I won’t judge if you use store-bought.

45. Baked Feta Pasta

While I’m not on Tik Tok, the news of this viral feta pasta hit me like a storm. In case this recipe hasn’t reached you yet, this is your sign to try it.

This trendy bake features spiral-shaped pasta in a roasted sauce of feta and cherry tomatoes – a beautiful harmony of rich and refreshing flavors. 

46. Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

If you like your carbonara or Alfredo extra decadent, consider chicken tetrazzini.

What makes this casserole iconic is its unbelievably rich and creamy sauce made of creamed soups, sour cream, butter, and all kinds of cheeses.

It’s umami overload and I love it.

47. Orzo Soup

This Italian soup combines orzo and fresh vegetables in a flavorful tomato broth, packing a flavor punch with every spoonful. 

Nothing beats cozying up on the couch and allowing this soup to warm you up on a chilly day!

Plus, it’s also a great way to sneak in some veggies and get your daily dose of nutrients. 

48. Garlic Knots

Garlic knots are the delicious offspring of pizza and breadsticks. 

These savory little treats are made by tying a strip of dough into a knot, baking it until it’s golden brown, and then brushing it with a mixture of butter, garlic, and herbs. 

While this recipe calls for making dough from scratch, you can simplify things by using store-bought pizza dough.

49. Baked Ravioli

This casserole has layers of ravioli (whatever kind works), meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese, baked to perfection.

It’s a mash-up between lasagna and ravioli, and it is beyond phenomenal.

If you’re looking for a way to upgrade that bag of frozen ravioli, you know what to do.

50. Lasagna Roll Ups

Here’s a fun twist on the classic Italian dish sure to add excitement to your dinner table.

This version has all the familiar components of a lasagna, including meat sauce and cheeses. The difference is it features rolled-up noodles for a faster bake and easier portion control. 

Perfect if you love lasagna but don’t want to spend hours assembling it.

50 Best Italian Recipes (Pasta, Pizza, Lasagna, and More)

Looking for the best Italian recipes? From chicken parmesan to Neapolitan pizza, bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen with these classic Italian dishes. They’re easy to make and so delicious!



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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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