Home Recipe Roundup 30 Best Sicilian Foods (+ Traditional Dishes)

30 Best Sicilian Foods (+ Traditional Dishes)

From the sweet and savory to everything in between, Sicilian foods are always a hit.

And between the tender Panelle and dreamy gelato, this list has it all.

Sweet Sicilian Cannoli
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There’s something wonderfully delightful about Sicilian dishes. And while Italy has many regional cuisines, the foods of Sicily are unlike any other. 

They often combine unusual ingredients like pine nuts, raisins, and sardines to incorporate tons of different flavors into every bite.

So, if you want to experience some exciting dishes, try these Sicilian foods! 

1. Sicilian Pasta

If you’re new to Sicilian foods and want to start with something “safe,” this pasta is the way to go.

It’s enough like American or Italian pasta that it doesn’t seem too different. Plus, it’s just phenomenal.

Packed with your favorite pasta seasonings – garlic, oregano, basil, and more – there’s also plenty of tomatoes and cheesy goodness.

Add in some eggplant and hot pepper flakes, and you can’t beat it. Don’t forget the garlic bread! 

2. Caponata

If you enjoy relish and love eggplant, caponata is the dish for you.

It’s a combination of both, plus celery, peppers, onions, capers, and olives.

Mix all that with tomatoes, and you’ve got a robust, fresh, briny salad that you won’t soon forget.

3. Pasta Alla Norma

This simple but delicious pasta dish uses fewer than ten ingredients. And nearly half of them come from your spice rack!

It also features marinara, pasta, and eggplant. (Yes, Sicilian dishes use a lot of eggplants.)

However, it’s not as salty or pungent as caponata. So, try it if you want something more like the pasta dishes you’re used to eating.

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4. Panelle (Sicilian Chickpea Fritters)

These crispy, bright yellow fritters are a must-try.

Many street vendors sell them in Sicily, probably because they’re so simple to make.

You can whip them up with just five ingredients, and it shouldn’t take longer than 45 minutes for a whole batch.

Serve them by themselves as appetizers, or you can stick a few on a bun.

Either way, they’re sure to delight everyone who tries them.

5. Pane Siciliano (Sesame Seed Sicilian Bread)

This gorgeous bread is almost too pretty to eat.

Like most homemade breads, it takes quite a bit of time to make.

Don’t let that stop you, though. The bread is tender and just a tiny bit sweet. 

Its golden-brown crust is perfect for dipping in olive oil. You can also cover it in your favorite spread.

Just be very careful if you decide to give it as a gift. Make it for someone once, and they’ll want it again and again.

6. Arancini di Riso: Sicilian Rice Balls

Who knew deep-fried balls of rice could taste so good? These crunchy appetizers are incredible

The breadcrumb coating is delightful. It’s the perfect complement to the warm mozzarella and meat filling. 

They look like hush puppies. However, their taste is like mozzarella sticks combined with meatballs.


7. Casarecce Pasta with Sicilian Pesto (Pesto alla Siciliana)

This nine-ingredient dish looks like total decadence. Just check out all that cheese!

Actually, though, it’s pretty light, and the tomatoes add a wonderful freshness.

If you want a quick, creamy, not-too-rich lunch option, this is a great one.

8. Pasta Con le Sarde (Sicilian Pasta With Sardines)

This meal, on the other hand, is totally decadent.

Unfortunately, it’s high in both carbs and calories. But after one bite, you won’t care at all!

The taste is through the roof.

So while you probably shouldn’t have this meal every night, it’s perfect for indulging.

Do you have a special occasion coming up and want a dish that’s sure to impress? 

Pasta con le Sarde is that dish.

Everything about it is delectable, from the golden raisins to the anchovies. It’s rich and full of umami goodness.

9. Make Ahead Sicilian Antipasto Platter

It doesn’t matter if you call this antipasto or charcuterie, one thing is for sure: these platters make ideal appetizers.

It takes 30 minutes or less to prepare one, and you can add whatever you like.

I think this recipe has the best selection, which is why I chose it. However, you can get as creative (or go as simple) as you like. 

10. Parmigiana di Melanzane (Eggplant Parmigiana)

Olive Garden has a fantastic eggplant parmigiana recipe. However, this Sicilian version is one of the tastiest and easiest I’ve ever found.

It uses just eight ingredients and has a garden-fresh, herby flavor. And you can serve it as a main dish or a side.

It’s so tasty that even your non-vegetarian friends will appreciate it. 

11. Busiate Pasta with Trapanese Pesto

Here’s another quick, cheesy pasta dish that’s not nearly as heavy as it looks.

You’ll add plenty of fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic. They help lighten the rich cheesiness of the dish. 

It works well as an easy-to-make lunch, but you could also serve it as a light dinner.

Since it only takes 35 minutes from start to finish, it’s ideal for busy weeknights.

12. Macco di Fave

This Sicilian soup is light, tasty, and very healthy. It’s also low in carbs and calories and has an impressive amount of fiber in every serving. 

You’ll make it with five simple ingredients in about 30 minutes. It makes a lovely appetizer, or you could pair it with a hearty salad for a complete meal. 

If you have leftovers, dust them in flour and fry them. It’s the same great taste with a different consistency (and a few more calories, of course). 

13. Pasta chi Vruoccoli Arriminati (Sicilian Pasta With Cauliflower and Toasted Breadcrumbs)

Are you in the mood for classic pasta or something different? Either way, this Sicilian pasta is sure to please.

The cauliflower and breadcrumbs combo makes for a delicious and hearty meal. 

The extra anchovies, raisins, and pine nuts add texture and flavor. You’ll even toss in a few saffron threads to make it extra special. 

It takes 30 minutes to make and tastes like something straight from Sicily. What’s not to love about that?

14. Linguine with Sicilian Pesto

You can make this pasta dish with nothing more than linguine and Sicilian pesto.

It shouldn’t take more than half an hour from start to finish. Talk about simple!!

You don’t have to add all the toppings if you don’t want. However, they will take it to the next level flavor-wise.

I especially love the capers and breadcrumbs. 

15. Sicilian Cannoli

Let’s switch gears and look at some sweet treats!

You know I have a serious sweet tooth, and luckily, Sicily has plenty of options to choose from.

These Sicilian cannolis have a crispy, chocolatey shell and a rich, sweet-n-tangy filling.

And they’re one of my biggest weaknesses.

You can add whatever “extras” you like to suit your preferences. For example, I love the look of chopped pistachios and a swirl of raspberry inside.

16. Sicilian Almond Cookies

All you need to make these Sicilian almond cookies is four simple ingredients: almonds, egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract. 

They’re crunchy, mildly sweet, and a little nutty. They’re also gluten-free if that’s important to you.

Serve them with some hot tea or coffee because they’re perfect for dipping.

17. Sicilian Pizza aka Lo Sfincione

Do you often order your pizza with extra tomato sauce? If so, you’ll love Sicilian pizza.

It features a thick, chewy crust and lots of robust sauce.

There’s also cheese, anchovies, and a breadcrumb topping.

If you like saucy pizza, I guarantee you’ll enjoy this one.

18. Original Sicilian Cassata Cake

Cassata cake is another fantastic Sicilian dessert.

It’s a phenomenal short-crust cake made with dark chocolate and a ricotta cream filling.

Most people top theirs with a candied fruit topping, as well. 

This recipe keeps it simple, but feel free to add whatever you like to the top.

Candied bananas and cherries are my go-to’s.

19. Involtini di Pesce Spada

Move over, crab cakes because these swordfish rolls are this year’s umami-packed appetizer.

Sounds fancy, but all you need to do is roll swordfish and stuff it with tasty herbs and seasonings. 

Then, you’ll toss them on the grill and let it do its thing.

Serve them with an herby salmoriglio for dipping along with lemon slices for a lighter, zestier finish.

They’re small and convenient enough to eat as appetizers. However, they’re also filling enough to act as a main course. 

20. Strawberry Sicilian Granita

Strawberry granitas are the quintessential summertime dessert. And you can whip one up with zero culinary prowess. 

Do you have water, strawberries, sugar, a lemon, and a blender? That’s all you’ll need!

Blend everything and stick the mixture in the freezer. (You can also make it in an ice cream maker.)

It’s sweet, tart, and refreshing. Even better, it’s gluten- and dairy-free and naturally vegan.

21. Lemon Granita  

The strawberry granita above is pretty tart, but it has some sweetness, too.

But if you want something super sour and invigorating, try this lemon granita instead. 

It’s just as refreshing and just as simple to make. However, it has a lighter, brighter flavor that’s much zestier.

22. Sicilian Almond Granita

Almond granita has a richer, sweeter, nuttier flavor. Still, it uses just four ingredients and is effortless to make. 

Instead of fruit, you’ll use almonds, almond milk, sugar, and powdered sugar. It’s a cool, sweet summer beverage perfect for sipping by the pool.

23. Brioche Bun Recipe (Sicilian Style)

Here you have a slightly sweet, golden-brown brioche bun.

It’s delectable as all good brioche bread is, but this one has an interesting shape.

If you’re looking to impress your guests with your bread-making skills, give this recipe a try.

24. Brioche Gelato

Want to sweeten those already sweet brioche buns? Add three or four scoops of gelato to each one.

It’s literally an ice cream (gelato) sandwich!

Add chocolate syrup, nuts, and whipped cream for a genuinely decadent treat.

25. Minni di Virgini (St. Agatha’s Breasts)

No, you didn’t read that wrong. It does say St. Agatha’s breasts.

And you should read through the entire recipe page for more info on that. (It’s a fascinating, though gory, story!)

As for the recipe, yes, they do look like tiny boobs. Their taste, though, is incredible.

They’re soft sponge cakes with tangy and chocolatey ricotta fillings.

And there’s actually a cherry on top. It’s hard to argue with a recipe like that. Plus, their breast-shaped appearance is bound to turn heads.

26. Sarde a Beccafico Recipe | Sicilian Stuffed Sardines

Help liven up the usual taste of sardines with this zesty, savory recipe.

You’ll stuff the sardines with a plethora of ingredients that don’t seem to go together but do.

You’ll use oranges, raisins, parsley, pine nuts, and more. It’s an interesting flavor profile that’s hard to describe but easy to enjoy. 

27. Cipollate Catanesi

Have you ever tried cipollate catanesi? If not, then you’re missing out!

These delicious, two-ingredient appetizers are spectacular

Basically, they’re bacon-wrapped green onions. So, if you like both of those ingredients – who doesn’t?! – then you’ll love these. 

And you’ll really love them if you need an easy appetizer in a hurry.

You can’t beat wrapping onions in bacon and throwing them on the grill. It’s easy peasy, catanesi! 

28. Italian Potato Crocchè

How do you make parsley-flecked mashed potatoes even tastier? By breading them and frying them, of course!

These crunchy, deep-fried, golden-brown delicacies are heavenly. 

They’re a little like tater tots; only these are so much better. 

29. Cuccidati – Sicilian Fig Cookies

These are traditional Sicilian Christmas cookies, and they just taste as good as they look.

The sweet, buttery cookies are superb on their own. But when you add figs, raisins, nuts, chocolate, jam, honey, and more?

They’re downright sinful.

These babies are sweet, rich, fruity, and gently spiced. And they’ll make your whole house smell amazing as they bake.

30. Sicilian Cassatelle with Ricotta

These may look like old-fashioned apple pies, but they aren’t. Instead, they’re what Sicilians and Italians call “sweet ravioli.” 

They have a golden, fried crust (similar to those old-fashioned apple pies). The filling, though, is a sweet, cinnamony ricotta cheese mixture. 

Be sure you make a couple of batches because everyone who tries them will want at least one more.

30 Best Sicilian Foods You Need to Try

From the sweet and savory to everything in between, Sicilian foods are always a hit. Between the tender Panelle and dreamy gelato, this list has it all.


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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 :)

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