Italian Christmas Eve Recipes: 33 Dishes Everyone Will Love (2023)

Since little,GoodnightIt has always been my favorite night of the year. And it has nothing to do with Santa Claus or toys. it's the food

When I was younger, we always stayed at my grandparents' house on my father's side. That was my Italian side of the family, and in case you didn't know, Christmas Eve is a big event for Italian families.

I would see all my aunts and uncles and cousins ​​and we would have a lot offabulous food and laughs. It was a family tradition that still happens today, only now it's at my aunt's house.

My grandparents are gone, so it's great to have a family member willing to carry on ourtraditional italian christmas eve dinner.

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Christmas Eve and seafood

Christmas Eve in Italy, orEveas is known, it has always been considered a day of fasting. The religious tradition of fasting days in the Catholic Church is that you cannot eat meat. And when you can't eat meat, you have to eat fish.

you need to save thelasagna with meat sauceit's himlarge starter lawnloaded with cold cuts for Christmas day.

As a result, thisMeatless Meal on Christmas Eveit turned into a table filled with various seafood dishes.

When Italians immigrated to the United States, they broughtTraditional Italian Christmas Eve Menuwith them. Now, for so many families, it's an Italian-American tradition that's passed down from generation to generation.

Most of the Italians who came to Boston, New York and other major US cities came fromSul from Italy. Thus, a typical Christmas Eve meal for Italian-American families will be filled with fish recipes that originated in that part of Italy. Not all fish will be the same, because locally caught fish makes for a better meal. But the preparation techniques and recipes will be those brought from the country of origin.

Of course, families who come from northern Italy or central Italy will have their own favorite recipes and fish dishes.

No matter what part of Italy a family comes from, theirchristmas dishesit will be made from different types of seafood cooked with Italian recipes in many different ways. Christmas Eve is an Italian-American celebration of fish.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes

So what is traditional?Italian Feast of the Seven Fishesanyway? Is it really an Italian tradition? Maybe not.

They say this is aitalian american concept. While they eat fish on Christmas Eve in Italy, there is no Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner. In fact, Christmas Eve supper is not even considered a feast because it is supposed to be a day of fasting. Christmas Day is actually the holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus.

In an Italian-American family, Christmas festivities begin with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. The reason why there are seven fish is because the number seven is very significant in theCatholic church. The Vatican is in Rome and there are seven hills in Rome. There are also seven Sacraments in the Catholic Church. Somehow there were seven fish on Christmas Eve dinner with Italian Americans.

In fact, most families don't haveset the number of fishThey serve it on Christmas Eve. is usually amulti-course mealConsisting of many different seafood dishes. There are a handful of recipes that you're likely to find on everyone's menu.

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If you are a big fan of Italian food and want to prepare your own traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes, here is a list of some dishes you should prepare. You don't have to be Italian or Italian-American to have your own Christmas dinner.

Just roll up your sleeves, pour yourself a nice glass of red wine and start cooking up some of your own Christmas traditions.

*And if you don't want to spend your holidays cooking, we cansend delicious italian foodat your door. If you are in the Boston area, we are also hostingchristmas catering services. Let us help you impress your guests!*

Italian Christmas Eve Recipes: 33 Dishes Everyone Will Love (1)

Italian Recipes for Christmas Eve You Must Try

here is onelist of recipesthat I want to share with you on your next Christmas night. It's a mix of things you might see at a Christmas Eve celebration in Italy or at an Italian-American family's traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes.

It does not intend to be a catalog of traditionalitalian christmas mealsthat you will only find in a small town on the coast of Italy. I want it to be more like arepresentationof things you'll see made by people who take their Italian culture and heritage seriously, while at the same time using thelocal ingredientsavailable to them here in the United States.

I selected this list of recipes from somedifferent places. It includes meals I've eaten on my travels in Italy, dishes my family has always prepared on Christmas Eve, and ideas from friends and colleagues who have shared their own Christmas traditions with me.

These recipes are perfect for the seasoned veteran who has been preparing Italian cuisine on Christmas Eve for decades, or someone making it for the first time.

Appetizers to Serve on an Italian Christmas Eve

I list these dishes as appetizers for organizational purposes, but really any of them can serve as a main course. In fact, it is very common for all food, whether starters, main courses or side dishes, to be placed on a large table. Each one helps himself to what he wants and fills his plate.

sautéed squid

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This is a quick and easy recipe that cooks in minutes. Take some clean squid, tentacles and rings and put them in a pan with olive oil, garlic and parsley. Add a little white wine and let it reduce. If you prefer red, add a little tomato sauce at the end.

→ Go see the full recipe to learnhow to braise squid! You can also combine it with our72 hour pizza dough recipeand make a delicious Fra Diavolo squid pizza like Sebby does in the video below!

@mortadellaheadAre we crazy or geniuses? Would you try this Calamari Fra Diavolo pizza??#bostonfoodies #recetasofttiktok #bostonma #bostontiktok #tiktokhowto ♬ original sound – mortadella head

Clams Casino

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This is a very common recipe on the menus of Italian restaurants here in the United States. It is usually a hard-shelled quahog or clam that is opened and stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, olive oil, garlic and herbs. It is then baked in the oven until the breadcrumb filling is golden brown. Clams Casino is aclassic italian american.

sautéed prawns

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This is a good appetizer to serve with somegarlic bread toastpoint to absorb the sauce. My garlic shrimp recipe uses olive oil, a lot of garlic, a little butter, white wine and parsley. At the end, squeeze some fresh lemon juice.

fried products

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This is one of the things you'll find on almost every table on Italian Christmas Eve. Smelts are small fish sprinkled with flour and quickly fried in olive oil. Season them with salt and pepper and squeeze the lemon. Put everything in your mouth... you can eat the bones and the head, they are very small.

salty powder

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(Video) How to Make Italian BRUSCHETTA - Easy Appetizer

There are many opinions on the best way to prepare octopus. Some say it should be pounded into the ground to make it soft. Some say it is boiled with a wine cork in water. Whatever you do, make sure it's cooked through and add a few simple ingredients. I like an octopus salad with garlic, celery, olives and fresh parsley. Season with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It's so simple, yet so good.

squid salad

When you make a squid salad, you must first boil the squid. Once cooked, let it cook and add thin slices of red onion, celery, olives, capers, oil and a little vinegar.

sautéed mussels

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Mussels are one of those things I can eat and never feel full. I like an easy recipe with olive oil, garlic, parsley, white wine and chopped tomatoes. Add a little butter at the end and cover the pan. When the mussels open, they are ready.

Fried cod

Baccala is the Italian word forsalted cod. Most European cultures have their own versions of a cod recipe, but one of my favorites is from a small restaurant near Campo dei Fiori in Rome. They soak the salted cod in water for a few days to rinse off the salt. Then they dip in a very light batter and fry. Seems like it's not a big deal, but when you squeeze some lemon and take a bite, you'll understand.

fish balls

This is a recipe my grandma made every Christmas night and my aunts still make it now. It's basically a meatball, but instead of ground beef, it's made with haddock or any other flaky white fish. Mix the fish with the breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic and egg. Then make a ball and fry it in a frying pan. Put them in some tomato sauce to simmer a little and you have a delicious first course.

Seafood salad

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This is a dish I had at friends' houses on Christmas Eve, but I have to admit I've never made it myself. It's a kind of cold fish salad and can be made with a variety of ingredients, depending on what you like and what's available. There is an amazing seafood salad that stands out in my mind that had cod, mussels, prawns and squid marinated in a really nice vinaigrette.

fried squid

This is a simple recipe. Just dip the squid slices and tentacles in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Fry them in olive oil and serve with slices of fresh lemon, or withour spicy aioli sauceand some garlic bread.

→ Go see oursquid recipe in fryer!

@mortadellaheadReplying to @meganreis340 if you've never had calamari in a sub, you're missing out. Save this recipe to try for yourself!#receitacalamares #bostonfoodies #bostontiktok #recetasofttiktok #tiktokhowto ♬ Anti-heroes - Taylor Swift

rough cherry stones

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These hard-shelled clams can be served raw with a squeeze of lemon and cocktail sauce. It's a New England seafood favorite that has become a staple at an Italian-American Christmas Eve dinner.

I got this basket of clams straight from the bay last year.

→ If you need more inspiration, check out Gianna'sfavorite seafood appetizers for christmas!

Main dishes

Now, let's talk about the main dishes. As you might expect, Italy has many excellentseafood pasta recipeswhich are perfect for a Christmas Eve menu. And then there are baked or stuffed dishes that are great for any special event.

Here are my favorites.

squid ink pasta

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If you can find it, buy it. that strange lookblack spaghettiworth trying. It's also fun to scare people when they come and have never seen this before. It's fresh pasta made with squid ink. It turns dark black and is very interesting to taste. It's not suspicious and overwhelming as you might expect. When eating it, you will notice a delicate balance between the flavor of the sea and the sauce you put in it.

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Fish Soup

The zuppa di pesce is a mixture of different shellfish, usuallybraised in a rich tomato sauce. In New England it usually has clams, shrimp, mussels, squid and some type of white fish. It can be served mixed with spaghetti or linguini. It can also be eaten with a spoon like a soup. You'll have fun pulling clams out of their shells.

@mortadellaheadReplying to @jennleo89 The moment everyone's been waiting for! Save this video to try it out for yourself! FULL RECIPE BELOW 👇 Ingredients: -3 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes -½ cup olive oil -2 cups yellow onion, diced into ¼ inch cubes -2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic -1 tablespoon kosher salt – ½ tablespoon black pepper – 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves -2 ½ cups water Instructions: Place the pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent. This should last approximately 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat to a simmer. Add basil leaves. Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours if you really want a thick, rich sauce. Always stir so it doesn't burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.#yawned #bostonfoodies #bostontiktok #recetasofttiktok #tiktokhowto #marinara sauce ♬ I Can Love You – Mary J. Blige


Italian Christmas Eve Recipes: 33 Dishes Everyone Will Love (12)

A frutti di mare is very similar to a zuppe di pesce. This is almost always served with long, thin pasta. It can be in red or white sauce. The sauce usually has a lot of garlic and is best made with a good fish broth.

Langosta de Diavolo

In New England, a lobster fra diavolo is a dish you'll see on nearly every Italian restaurant menu. It's not really a classic Italian dish you'd find in Italy, but it's a great example of how Italian immigrants took their cooking style and combined it with local ingredients. It is a spicy dish, hence the name. “Diavolo” means “devil" in Italian. Increase the heat to your liking by adding red pepper flakes to the sauce.

baked stuffed lobster

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I usually only see this dish on special occasions and it's not even Italian. I would call itNew England classic. But for some reason I see it served in so many Italian homes on Christmas Eve. It's a large New England lobster, split in half and stuffed with breadcrumbs, butter, garlic and lots of other seafood.

It probably made it to the Italian-American Christmas Eve dinner table because of its association with special occasions.

Squid Stuffed

I often see this dish made with the long tubes of squid. They are stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, pine nuts and other ingredients according to the family recipe. It is then boiled in tomato sauce until the squid is very soft.

grilled whole fish

Take a whole fish, clean and season with oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Bake in the oven and serve as a centerpiece. The eyeballs are a nice touch and will keep the kids entertained.

sword art puttanesca

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This is a very simple but beautiful dish. Brown some swordfish fillets and let them braise in a sauce made with tomato, olives, capers, onion and garlic.

I took this photo while walking through the fish market in Ortigia, Sicily. The swordfish there was amazing.

Tiella de Gaeta

This is a recipe I always had at my grandparents' house when I was younger. It is common in the town of Gaeta, which is on the Italian coast between Rome and Naples. It is a simple dish made with octopus or squid, tomatoes, garlic and parsley baked in a pie crust.

spaghetti and clams

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Spaghetti and clam sauce or “Spaghetti with Clams” as it is called in Italy, it is a classic Italian dish. Make this recipe with small hard clams. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add the garlic, red pepper flakes and parsley. Add the clams and some white white. When the clams open, add a littleAl dentelinguine and give it a good shake.

Garnishes to Serve on an Italian Christmas Eve

eggplant parmesan

eggplant parmesanit's the perfect side dish or meatless main course. It's layers of fried eggplant, cheese and roasted tomato sauce. It's one of my all-time favorite dishes. I have a great recipe that everyone loves.

Sautéed Broccoli Rabe

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The bitter taste of broccoli rabe is a great addition to any main course. It cleanses the palate and prepares you for the next bite of your big Italian meal. It's something I do all the time andthe recipe is very easy.

eggplant rollatini

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It is also known as eggplant involtini. This is another dish that can be a side dish or a main dish. It's fried eggplant stuffed with ricotta and whatever else you want. I've seen them stuffed with roasted peppers, spinach, and even leeks. It is then topped with tomato sauce and cheese before being baked in the oven. You'll love it when you do this to meeggplant roll recipe.

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pepperoni pepper

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Take some colored peppers and cook over low heat with onion and oil until caramelized and golden. Add a little vinegar or capers for sourness and it's the perfect accompaniment. I think they are best when served at room temperature.

Sautéed Green Dandelion

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This is another great bitter green. It is very common around Rome. It's called "cicoria" in Italian. You may also see it called chicory in the United States. Just scald in boiling water and sauté in olive oil and garlic. Give it a squeeze of lemon at the end like I do inmy personal recipe.

sauteed mushrooms

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There are so many different mushrooms to choose from. A simple recipe of slow cooking them in olive oil and garlic with lots of salt and pepper makes them an easy and delicious dish.

Sautéed Green Beans with Pancetta and Tomatoes

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This is such an easy recipe. Mash the pancetta first, then let the beans cook in the fat. Tomatoes and onions make a very good sauce for boiling beans. It's a recipe my kids love.

→ Go checkthe complete recipe!

Green beans sautéed with peppers, white wine and butter

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This is another recipe that will make people want to eat your veggies. The green beans cook over high heat and the peppers and onions add a lot of flavor. You don't need to cook for a long time. You want some crunch in the beans. When you make this recipe once, it will be in your regular rotation.

→ Go checkthe complete recipe!

sautéed spinach

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I love to eat spinach with a big, fat steak. The good thing is that it also goes well with seafood. i use onesimple recipemade with olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese and lemon. Try it and you'll see why I love it.

Celery Sautéed in Tomato Sauce

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When I first saw this recipe, I thought it was a little strange. Celery is something that's always part of a recipe, but it's not the star of the show. In this recipe, celery is simmered in a very rich tomato sauce until soft and tender. Add some grated parmesan at the end and you have a really delicious garnish.

Caprese salad

This is a side dish that appeals to everyone. It's best in summer when you can pick some vibrant red tomatoes straight from the garden. But, with the help of good olive oil and a little fresh mozzarella, even the Caprese Salad in winter makes a great accompaniment.

→ Go see ourcaprese salad recipe!

Caesar salad

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The classic Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, grated Parmesan cheese and homemade croutons is the perfect accompaniment. I like to make it with a simple homemade Caesar dressing that I make at the restaurant. It's quick, easy and delicious.

Whether Merry Christmas or Buon Natale in your house this Christmas Eve, try making some of these recipes and it will be an unforgettable night.


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