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

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

Italian Ground Beef Lasagna
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

Classic Italian Recipes We Can’t Get Enough Of

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

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

I’m talking sides, drinks, and, yes, dessert!

Ready to find your new weeknight go-to? Let’s dive in!

Italian Appetizers and Sides

Homemade Tomato Bruschetta with Onions and Balsamic Glaze
Source: Aheadofthyme.com

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. 

Italian Salad with Romaine Lettuce, Carrots, Tomatoes, Olives and Feta Cheese
Source: Onceuponachef.com

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.

Sauce Eggplant Caponata Served with Bread
Source: Norecipes.com

Caponata (Saucy Aubergine Salad)

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. 

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

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

Focaccia Bread with Herbs and spices
Source: Alexandracooks.com

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 dinner recipes I recommend.

After all, when you’re putting plenty of effort into something, you want it to be worth it!

Homemade Risotto Balls Stuffed with Molten Mozzarella and Pesto
Source: Thetableofspice.com

Pesto Mozzarella Arancini (Risotto Balls)

Pesto mozzarella arancini are crispy outside and gooey inside.

They’re risotto balls but with a twist: a heart of molten mozzarella and a swirl of pesto.

It’s street food turned gourmet.

Classic Italian Caprese Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
Source: Anitalianinmykitchen.com

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.

Homemade No-Knead Ciabatta Bread on a Wooden Board
Source: Anitalianinmykitchen.com

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.

Marina Sauce in a White Ceramic Bowl

Homemade Marinara Sauce

For Italian food lovers, homemade marinara is a kitchen must-have.

It elevates pasta, pizza, and more.

This easy recipe beats store-bought versions, boasting rich tomato flavor infused with herbs.

And in just 30 minutes, you’ll have a delicious sauce without needing any special skills.

Easy Chicken Dinners

Classic Chicken Parmesan with Parsley in a White Casserole
Source: Veronikaskitchen.com

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!

Chicken Piccata with Capers and Lemons

Chicken Piccata

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.

Delicious Homemade Chicken Marsala with Pasta and Mushrooms Served with Green Salad

Chicken Marsala

If you’re the type who doesn’t shy away from umami-rich Italian 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 and herbs.

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

Homemade Italian Pesto Chicken with Mozzarella Cheese

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.

Chicken Cacciatore in Tomato Sauce Garnished with Parsley
Source: Thestayathomechef.com

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken cacciatore is rustic, hearty, and full of flavor.

Tender chicken simmer in a rich tomato sauce with bell peppers, onions, and a mix of herbs.

Serve it over pasta or rice, and it’s a surefire hit.

Plus, it’s a cinch to whip up. You get that slow-cooked Sunday dinner taste but on a Wednesday time budget.

Tuscan Chicken cooked in an iron cast

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Short on time? This one-pan Tuscan chicken has 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, tomatoes, spinach, and parmesan, the rich sauce coats the chicken for bold flavors.

Serve it solo or with pasta and enjoy.

Homemade Caprese Chicken Drizzled with Balsamic Reduction
Source: Pinchofyum.com

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.


Neopolitan Pizza with Melted Cheese in Tomato Sauce
Source: Acouplecooks.com

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.

White Pizza Drizzled with Olive Oil, Garlic and White Cheese
Source: Tastesbetterfromscratch.com

Pizza Bianca (White Pizza)

Sink your teeth into pizza Bianca – a white pizza with olive oil, garlic, and a mix of white cheeses.

No tomato sauce in sight! It’s pure Italian simplicity, with a touch of sophistication.

Customize it your way and savor the deliciousness.

Calzone Stuffed with Pepperoni and Cheese on a Parchment Paper
Source: Spendwithpennies.com


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.

Homemade Margherita Pizza in Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella
Source: Cookieandkate.com

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.

Italian Dinner Recipes

Muffuletta Sandwich with Meat, Olives, Capers and Parsley
Source: Seriouseats.com

Muffuletta (Sicilian Sandwich)

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.


Florentine Steak Seasoned with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper
Source: Curiouscuisiniere.com

Bistecca alla Fiorentina (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.

Gordon Ramsay Meatballs

Gordon Ramsay Meatballs

These meatballs are golden and crisp outside, soft as a cloud within.

Draped in rich marinara, each bite is a burst of homestyle Italian goodness.

Pair them with pasta or tuck them into a sandwich, and just like that, dinner’s served.

Rosemary Mushroom Risotto with Green Peas
Source: Mississippivegan.com

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.

Braised Veal Shanks Served with Risotto
Source: Recipetineats.com

Osso Buco (Braised Veal Shanks)

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.

Baked Eggplant with Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese
Source: Insidetherustickitchen.com

Parmigiana di Melanazane (Eggplant Parmesan)

Eggplant parmesan stacks eggplant’s earthy flavor with gooey mozzarella and sharp Parmesan.

Baked until golden, it’s hearty without being heavy.

And that aroma of melting cheese and tomato? It’s what dinner dreams are made of.

It gives eggplant the spotlight it deserves.

Pasta and Gnocchi Dishes

Rich and Meaty Spaghetti Bolognese in Tomato Sauce
Source: Recipetineats.com

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.

Potato Dumplings in Zesty Sauce and Cheese Garnished with Fresh Basil
Source: Maricruzavalos.com

Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina brings the taste of Italy home to your table.

It’s simple: pillowy potato dumplings meet zesty sauce and a heap of cheese.

Garnish with fresh basil, and you’ve got an Italian hit without the flight ticket.

Homemade Cheese and Pepper Pasta in a Plate
Source: Gimmesomeoven.com

Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper Pasta)

There aren’t many Italian dinner 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.

Classic Italian Spaghetti Carbonara with Ham and Black Pepper
Source: Recipesfromitaly.com

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.

Cheesey Pasta Chicken in a Casserole with Creamy Sauce
Source: Bellyfull.net

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.

Homemade Ravioli Lasagna with Ground Beef and Mozzarella

Baked Ravioli Lasagna

This ravioli lasagna layers plump pillows of ravioli robust marinara and melty cheese.

It’s comfort food with a clever shortcut, ready to conquer dinner with ease.

Homemade Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato Sauce in Small Casseroles
Source: Seasonsandsuppers.ca

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato Sauce 

Gnudi are soft dumplings made with ricotta cheese and spinach.

They’re like the cheesy spinach filling of ravioli but without the pasta outside.

Served in a tomato sauce, they’re simple and delicious.

Cheesy Homemade Pasta Fagioli with Beans
Source: Tasteofhome.com

Pasta Fagioli al Forno (Baked Pasta and Beans)

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.

Homemade Tender Chicken Florentine Pasta

Chicken Florentine Pasta

Chicken florentine pasta hits the spot with its creamy goodness.

Each forkful brings you juicy chicken, al dente pasta, and a creamy sauce.

I love how the sauce is rich, but not too heavy. It’s thanks to white wine and sun-dried tomatoes that cut through the cream.

It’s the kind of meal you whip up on a whim, but it eats like a weekend treat.

Homemade Creamy Chicken Alfredo with Basil

Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo is like a warm blanket in the form of food.

You’ve got pasta, cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese all coming together for a satisfying dish.

It’s rich, sure, but sometimes that’s exactly what you’re looking for.

Just a bowl of that creamy pasta can turn a bad day around or make a good day even better.

Bowl of Sicilian Pasta with Eggplant, Marinara and Fresh Basil
Source: Cookieandkate.com

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.

Pasta Lasagna with Tomatoes, Ground Beef and Cheese


Lasagna usually takes forever to make, but not this one.

Grab some store-bought marinara, and you’ve slashed the prep time.

Layer it up with meat and cheese, bake until bubbly, and you’ve got a full-flavored feast without the usual fuss.

It’s lasagna on the fast track, still loaded with all the classic comfort.

Homemade Cheesy Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti

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.

Soups and Stews

Bowl of Homemade Tuscan White Bean Soup Rebolita with Bread
Source: Aspicyperspective.com

Rustic Ribollita (White Bean Soup)

Ribollita is Tuscan soul food. A veggie-packed soup with white beans and garden veggies.

Bread thickens the mix, giving it a unique, stew-like texture.

A one-hour simmer, and you’ve got a comforting, filling feast.

Homemade Creamy Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage and Kale in a Bowl

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.

Cacciucco: Tuscan Seafood Stew Served with Bread on a Plate
Source: Curiouscuisiniere.com

Cacciucco (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.

Bowl of Vegetarian Minestrone Soup with Parmesan Cheese
Source: Cookieandkate.com

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.

Creamy Garlic Butter Tuscan Shrimp with Spinach
Source: Cafedelites.com

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.

The Best Italian Desserts and Drinks

Almond biscotti in a white box
Source: Theclevermeal.com

Biscotti (Cantucci)

These almond biscotti crackle with every bite, blending toasty nuts with a dash of orange.

Crisp, crunchy, and just sweet enough, these Italian classics make coffee time more special.

Dunk one in your espresso and let that crunch be the highlight of your break.

Homemade Tiramisu with Mascaporne, Whipped Cream and Cocoa Powder

Authentic Tiramisu

Authentic tiramisu features creamy mascarpone, espresso-soaked ladyfingers, and a dust-up of cocoa.

Smooth, coffee-kissed, and no baking needed! It’s a chill-in-the-fridge kind of deal.

Perfect for when you want to impress with zero fuss. Grab a fork, and you’re in for a treat.

Hot Chocolate with Milk and Sugar
Source: Anitalianinmykitchen.com

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.

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.

Homemade Strawberry Nutella Pizza with Almonds
Source: Lilluna.com

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.

Boozy and Refreshing Bellini with Fresh Peaches
Source: Cookieandkate.com


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!

A Cup of Cappuccino with Foamy Milk
Source: Thespruceeats.com


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.

Affogato with Ice Cream in a Clear Glass


Affogato is your espresso’s dream date with ice cream.

Picture a scoop of vanilla gelato taking a steamy espresso shower.

The ice cream melts into a silky river, and each spoonful is a wake-up call to your senses.

It’s like a dessert but with a caffeine kick.

50 Best Italian Recipes

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!


  • Chicken Parmesan

  • Gordon Ramsay Meatballs

  • Italian Hot Chocolate

  • Calzone

  • Caprese Chicken

  • Rosemary Mushroom Risotto

  • Creamy Tuscan Chicken

  • Cacciucco (Tuscan Seafood Stew)

  • Neapolitan Pizza

  • Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato Sauce

  • Pizza Bianca (White Pizza)

  • Strawberry Nutella Pizza

  • Pasta Fagioli al Forno (Baked Pasta and Beans)

  • Homemade Marinara Sauce

  • Bellini

  • Chicken Florentine Pasta

  • Rustic Ribollita (White Bean Soup)

  • Muffuletta (Sicilian Sandwich)

  • Fettuccine Alfredo

  • Italian Salad

  • Pasta Alla Norma

  • Caponata (Saucy Aubergine Salad)

  • Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine Steak)

  • Lasagna

  • Cappuccino

  • Baked Ziti

  • Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage and Kale

  • Chicken Piccata

  • Foccaccia Bread

  • Minestrone Soup


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep an Italian dish in 30 minutes or less!

Italian Recipes

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.9 / 5. Vote count: 34

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
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 :)

Leave a Comment