My Best Italian Christmas Roundup

Sunday, December 8, 2019
Every year Mom had special traditions in our Italian family on Christmas Day and of course we celebrate the birthday of our Lord.

These recipes are all handed down through the years in our Italian household from Grandma, Mom, and Aunts and the recipes were continued on through each generation on to our kids and grandchildren.

We still do the 7 fishes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is traditionally Lasagna, Antipasto and Ham or Lamb ,but don't forget to check out our Holiday side dishes.

We all love Italian desserts and struffoli is at the top of the list of must make along with many cookies.

Stroll through this delicious gallery of recipes and see if anything jars your Italian family's memory of Christmas traditional meals.

During the month of December, we love to make homemade candies and special treats for the kids and holidays are perfect for family fun, carrying on traditions and keeping our loved ones alive with their memories in the kitchen.

Here is a great roundup I make every year to celebrate the present family and those we lost with love and gratitude they left behind their culinary legacy.

collage of Christmas recipes

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

The tradition in an Italian family on Christmas Eve is to not eat meat.

In Italy, the Christmas celebration lasts about one month, starting on December 8th, the day of the Immacolata, on which traditionally the presepe (Nativity scene) and the Christmas tree are set up, and lasting until the Epiphany, celebrating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus, on January 6th.

In Italy, Christmas Eve is usually a family gathering.

Traditionally, the cenone (Christmas supper) is served at home and children recite little verses for their parents and family.

Festive Holiday Appetizers

The Menu

Presents are given on Christmas Eve or on the 25th.

The menu of the Cenone varies from region to region, but traditionally it excludes meat items and is based mainly on fish.

For dessert, there are all kinds of fancy holiday bread such as panettone, filled with raisins and candied fruits, and such sweets as cannoli, a cheese-filled pastry, and many other delicacies.

Family parties continue until almost midnight when everyone attends church services and worships.

The Christmas Day dinner is the most important Christmas family tradition in Italy.

While Christmas Eve’s supper is a meatless meal, on Christmas Day it is permissible to eat meat.

Usually, it will be stuffed cappone (capon) or tacchino, or mixed roast or roast beef.

Panettone is served as a dessert or as breakfast.

Another famous Christmas bread is pandoro which originated from Verona. The Torrone (nougat), with honey or chocolate almonds or pistachios, is the most typical of the Christmas sweets.

You will find some of these delicious traditional treats below.

this is how to make a honey spiral ham from scratch and the glaze over the ham

Honey Spiral Ham

this is how to make calamari that is stuffed in sauce and then will be served over pasta

Stuffed Calamari

this is how to make salted cod fish called Italian baccala over pasta


this is how to make a christmas day Antipasto tray

Christmas Day Antipasto

this is how to make an Amaretto White Chocolate Pistachio fudge

Amaretto Fudge

this is an appetizer made with brie, raspberries and pecans

Baked Brie with Raspberries

these are how to make the best deviled eggs and decorated for Christmas as an appetizer

Deviled Eggs

Butter Crumb Escargot in Wine

this is how to make Christmas trees with frosting out of sugar cones

Sugar Cone Trees Cake Topper

this is how to make homemade pizza dough and then pizza with toppings like sausage, mushrooms and peppers

Homemade Pizza

roasted Rooster, Capon a male chicken

Capon(aka Rooster)

Traditional Sunday Sauce

this is 24 kinds of cookie recipes for the holiday

24 Cookie Recipes

this how to make homemade candy called peanut brittle from scratch, it's my mom's recipe

Mom's Peanut Brittle

this is how to make panettone with golden and dark raisins in the bread from scratch


this is how to make golden cake which is called Pandoro in Italian


this is how to make pizzelle cookies from scratch


this is how to make White Chocolate dipped strawberries

White Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

this is an Italian rainbow cookie recipe

Italian Rainbow Cookies

this is homemade struffoli with honey in a Christmas Tree pan


this is how to make leg of lamb

Leg of Lamb

this is how to make Italian Lasagna from scratch

Mom's Lasagna Recipe

the feast of 7 fishes recipe for Christmas eve

The Story Of 7 Fishes on Christmas Eve


Spinach and Eggs

Utica New York Tomato Pie

Best Christmas Roundup Pin for Later

Try Some Other Holiday Recipes We Enjoy

Easter Recipes

Game Day Recipes

Best Holiday Side Dishes

Red White and Blue Recipes

Halloween Roundup

Thanksgiving Recipes

Christmas Recipes

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2014. It was edited and re-published in 2019.


  1. Oh my Claudia!! Everything looks so good. I would love to try it all.
    xoxo Catherine

  2. Now, this sounds like my kind of Christmas! We also put up our Christmas tree on the 8th, it's an Irish tradition too. My daughter just the other day asked if we could go to Italy for Christmas, I think we'll try and do it next year! In the mean time I'm going to enjoy trying some of these lovely recipes. Thank you for sharing them x

  3. So many delicious recipes. Here in Veneto we always have too many panettone or pandoro at Christmas! My husband is a family doctor and so many of his patients give him one or the other as a Christmas gift I end up having to give them away!

  4. Many ideas to choose for the ultimate Italian-style Christmas table! And it's really hard to choose only few...

  5. This all looks fabulous! There are a lot of similarities in our Christmas traditions, but learning something new is fun too!

  6. The honey ham and stuffed calamari caught my eye right away! What a wonderful round-up!

  7. It is very interesting to about the Italian Christmas traditions. Loved your delicious recipe round up - so helpful for anyone planning a menu.
    Wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

  8. How wonderful! Living away from my family, I miss Christmas Eve dinners the most - the 7 fishes! The best! Everything here looks wonderful! I will at least make pizzelle :)

  9. Fantastic roundup! I mean I don't even know where to start - I want to try them all! Thanks so much for sharing it just in time for Christmas!

  10. What a great collection of recipes. Our Christmas Eve dinner is our Christmas dinner. We celebrate at night time so that the little ones can stay home and play. We love it that way. I bet your delicious dishes are a welcome addition. I especially like your stuffed calamari.

  11. Bintu | Recipes From A PantryDecember 19, 2018 at 8:38 AM

    What a delicious selection of Christmas recipes! I definitely will have to give some a try!

  12. Wow, what a fabulous selection!! I wish we were having an Italian Christmas now! We do always have panettone which is just delicious, but so many of these look scrumptious!

  13. What a delicious looking menu. We keep things very southern traditional at my house. Not very different from THanksgiving with the addition of a Red Velvet Cake and sometimes my aunt makes ham.

  14. I love to hear about different traditions around the world and learn about all of the regional recipes too! Delicious!

  15. It's nice to read about other country's traditions. In my family we always put the Christmas tree up on 24th December :)

  16. I believe I'd enjoy eating at your house for a month or so. My parents had Italian friends and I loved visiting them during the holidays where live in grandma, from the old country, was doing the cooking and baking.

  17. Your awesome post was featured on Full Plate Thursday,464. Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us and hope you have a great New Year! Hope to see you in 2020!
    Miz Helen


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