25 Easy Italian Dinner Recipes Everyone Will Love

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If you’re looking for delicious and easy Italian dinner recipes for a quick family meal or special occasion, these dinner ideas will do the trick.

This collection of Italian recipes are ones that I’ve made time and time again for various occasions… and they are super simple to make! Italian cooking doesn’t need to be complicated at all. From soups, to baked pastas, to pizza and salads, I’m sure you’ll find recipes that will be perfect for your dinner menu.

italian dinner recipes list

About these Italian dinner recipes

One thing you’ll notice is that some of these recipes are traditional and authentic, having been passed down from my Italian family. Yet I’ve also included recipes I’ve created over the years to accommodate healthier food choices or more convenient methods for our busy lifestyles.

A number of these recipes are perfect for romantic evenings, others are great for quick weeknight dinners, and some are recommended for gatherings or parties. I’ll mention below which dishes I recommend for each scenario.

Make sure to also check out my Italian side dishes and Italian soup recipes too!

So get inspired and let me know in the comments below how the recipes you choose turn out for you, and especially if you made any tweaks to make it your own. Let’s get started!

easy Italian meatless lasagna recipe th
Classic Lasagna Recipe
Who doesn't love lasagna?! This classic Italian meatless lasagna is perfect for special dinners. It can also easily be made in advance and frozen for later. If you want to add meat you can, or you can make some of my all-beef meatballs on the side.
Make this recipe for parties and events, special holidays, or Sunday dinners.
Check out this recipe
spinach manicotti recipe th
Manicotti Tubes Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta Mixture
There are two ways to make manicotti. You can buy premade manicotti pasta tubes or for a truly authentic touch you can create your own. This recipe with the spinach is for the store bought shells which you stuff. However if you want to make your own check out the next recipe below.
This recipe is great for holidays like Christmas or romantic evenings!
Check out this recipe
manicotti crepes th
Homemade Manicotti Crepes stuffed with Ricotta
These homemade manicotti crepes are amazingly delicious. They are delicate in nature and stuffed with a ricotta cheese filling.
This style of manicotti is great for romantic Italian dinners or holidays. Each batch makes about 16 crepes and a serving is approximately 3 to 4 crepes. So make sure you plan accordingly if this is for a large gathering.
I recommend making this recipe for special occasions due to the extra touch of making the crepes from scratch.
Check out this recipe
chicken breasts with italian seasoning
Chicken Breasts with Italian Seasoning
You'll appreciate this easy Italian dinner dish thanks to using store bought Italian seasoning. But make sure to get the right type of seasoning. I explain more in the recipe post, but this chicken dinner can be made in the oven or in the skillet, whichever you prefer.
This is a good recipe for weeknight dinners!
Check out this recipe
pasta alfredo con pollo
Pasta Alfredo con Pollo (Chicken)
Here's another chicken recipe, that is delicious! You can use leftover chicken or fresh chicken breast meat. It's basically a one pan dish and uses a light alfredo sauce that coats the pasta noodles without drowning them.
This recipe is great for a quick weeknight dinner or a simple romantic meal thanks to the avoidance of using garlic!
Check out this recipe
Italian tuna pasta salad
Italian Tuna Pasta Salad
Here's a delightfully refreshing recipe that is perfect for quick weeknight meals, especially during the warmer summer months. The tuna with the red onion and Italian flavors are a perfect marriage. Not only is it easy, it's also just as good the next day!
Use this recipe for picnics and quick weeknight dinners. Check out my list of more Italian pasta salad recipes if you love pasta salads!
Check out this recipe
stuffed pasta shells round up th
Stuffed Shells with Spinach and Ricotta
I remember when my mom would make stuffed shells for special Italian meals, especially during the holidays. Contrary to what you might think, this recipe is very easy to make! This flavorful Italian dinner can also be frozen in advance. In fact I wrote a full article about the proper way to reheat and cook frozen stuffed shells so they come out as if you just made them!
This recipe is great for holidays and family get togethers. Estimate 3 – 4 shells per serving.
Check out this recipe
Recipe for Italian Breaded Chicken Breasts
This is one of my favorite Italian chicken recipes. It's also the first one I ever learned that came out spectacular. It's so easy to make and it's my go-to chicken dinner recipe that I use frequently.
This is perfect for weeknight dinners, holidays, or romantic evenings because it's so simple to make and yet tastes so delicious! It also goes great with a side dish of pasta!
Check out this recipe
chicken piccata round up th
Chicken Piccata Recipe
Chicken piccata is a simple recipe that is popular during the spring months. It is cooked over the stove and has a delicate flavor thanks to the lemon and capers. You'll see it frequently on Italian menus, but don't let that deter you from making it yourself.
This easy dinner recipe is best served fresh and is a good choice for romantic evenings or holidays like Easter, or special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.
Check out this recipe
italian mac n cheese for dinner
Easy Italian Mac and Cheese Recipe
Here's a kid-friendly recipe that is an Italian twist to the classic mac-n-cheese dinner. For this recipe I use a few different Italian cheeses, and cheddar is NOT one of them! It's then topped with crispy breadcrumbs and baked in the oven. Super simple!
This recipe is a good option for weeknight dinners or a date night.
Check out this recipe
homemade italian wedding soup
Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
Italian wedding soup is much easier to make for dinner than you might think. The most time consuming part is making the tiny meatballs, and that takes about 20 to 25 minutes. This classic delicate soup is perfect for first courses or for a light dinner meal. It's a very romantic meal, but be careful with the name if you're afraid someone might get the wrong idea if you haven't tied the knot yet!
Serve this soup for holidays or special occasions.
Check out this recipe
Pasta and Peas Recipe
Pasta and Peas Recipe
This is one of the easiest pasta recipes you can make. And believe it or not, your picky eaters may just enjoy eating their peas for the first time ever! I like to use frozen sweet peas in this recipe. You can cook them separately in a saucepan or cook them in a frying pan, where we add the cooked pasta and toss together.
I recommend this Italian dinner for when you're limited on time because the meal is pretty much done by the time the pasta is done cooking.
Check out this recipe
italian meatloaf dinner round up th
Italian Traditional Meatloaf Recipe
If you like meatballs, you will fall in love with this Italian meatloaf recipe. This recipe uses all beef, and there is absolutely no ketchup, but we do use tomato sauce. In my opinion it tastes like a big meatball!
I recommend this for a Sunday night dinner, and to be served with some garlic mashed potatoes and a nice simple Italian salad.
Check out this recipe
Pasta with Spinach and Cannellini Beans Recipe
Here's a creative way to use your spinach! This combination of using cannellini beans cooked with spinach in olive oil and garlic, along with tomatoes, then tossed together with freshly cooked pasta is a perfect blend.
I recommend making this dish for weeknight dinners for family or for simple date nights. It's a healthy recipe and is simple to make. Serve with some easy Italian garlic bread. https://www.simpleitaliancooking.com/italian-garlic-bread-recipe/
Check out this recipe
eggplant parm for special dinner
Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant parmesan is a classic Italian dish that I grew up with. It was my father's favorite dish. This dish can be served as a secondary main dish or the main dish itself. For holidays we would always have it alongside some lasagna or other baked pasta recipe.
Make this dinner recipe for holidays and special occasions.
Check out this recipe
stuffed cubanelles for ITalian meal
Italian Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers Recipe
These stuffed peppers are like no other. Cubanelle peppers are long, not round like a regular green pepper. They are mild in flavor and are perfect for stuffing with ground beef and Italian herbs and seasonings. It's practically the only way I enjoy eating stuffed peppers. It's a recipe I learned from my in-laws and it goes great with a side dish of spaghetti.
It takes about 45 to 60 minutes to bake, so it's not a quick recipe. I recommend using it for a Sunday Italian dinner or family get together or holiday.
Check out this recipe
arugula pizza th
Arugula Pizza
Check out this fun recipe for arugula pizza. It's an Italian white pizza that uses ricotta cheese instead of a tomato-based sauce. You can make this pizza using store bought pizza crust or make your own easy pizza dough. Just remember to precook the dough halfway if making it homemade.
If using premade crusts, this is a great recipe for quick family dinners.
Check out this recipe
pasta th
Spaghetti Sauce with Meat
This isn't a meal in and of itself, but it's an easy Italian sauce that goes great with just about any type of pasta. I like mine with spaghetti or penne, but it's totally up to you!
I'd make this sauce in advance and use it for a quick pasta dish anytime you want!
Check out this recipe
italian tortellini pasta salad
Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad
If you've never had cold tortellini, it's a must try for a nice easy Italian dinner menu. Full of Italian flavors, this pasta salad is perfect for hot days! Serve with some caprese salad and some fried eggplant.
This recipe is ready to serve by the time the tortellini is done boiling, so it's great for busy days when limited on time!
Check out this recipe
zoodles with breadcrumbs and romano cheese
Zoodles with Breadcrumbs and Romano Cheese
Zoodles are simply zucchini that's been spiralized to make noodles. To do it the right way you do need a spiralizer that you can get on Amazon for around $30. Otherwise you need to slice manually and that just takes a long time. This Italian dinner item is great for those who can't or don't want to eat any pasta. It is still full of Italian flavors and is satisfying.
This is an easy and quick recipe to make, so it can be made during busy weeknights. Estimate one zucchini per serving.
Check out this recipe

Vegetable Spiralizer

Here’s a spiralizer that will work with more than zucchini. You can use it for other vegetables such as carrots and onions!

chicken cacciatore recipe
Easy Italian Chicken Cacciatore Recipe
Chicken cacciatore is one of my favorite recipes for an Italian dinner. Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian and basically the traditional recipe really depended on what they had on hand when they cooked it. So I've put together my own version of this recipe and it's so easy to swap out ingredients or just use up what you have on hand.
This recipe is great for special occasions, date nights, or Sunday meals when you have more time to prep and cook. It's an easy recipe, but takes some time to bake the chicken.
Check out this recipe
ricotta spinach pizza th
Ricotta Spinach Pizza
Here's a pizza that uses ricotta, tomatoes and spinach. So it's technically not a white pizza since it uses tomato products. But it's super simple and easy to make. Serve with a large side salad or a healthy cannellini bean salad.
Serve this recipe during the week or on weekends for a light and simple dinner.
Check out this recipe
Easy Italian Pasta Bake
This recipe for an Italian pasta bake is not only super easy, it's absolutely delicious! It's so flexible with quantities and I give you guidelines to follow so you can make it with great success. This recipe uses ricotta cheese as the main cheese. I recommend using whole milk ricotta for a creamier texture.
Any type of pasta bake is perfect when hosting parties and entertaining because it can be made in advance and reheated/cooked the day of. It can also be frozen if you want to really get ahead with your meal prep!
Check out this recipe
peppers, sausage and onion
Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions Recipe
This recipe can be used as a main dish or a side dish for your Italian meal. I grew up using this recipe as a complimentary recipe along side baked pasta dishes. But the great thing about any sausage and peppers recipe is that it can also be used in sandwiches, whether as part of the meal or as leftovers!
I recommend making this a part of your holiday menu. It's also good for catering or entertaining dinner parties.
Check out this recipe
Traditional Italian Pasta Fagioli Soup with Ditalini in a bowl
Pasta Fagioli Soup Recipe
I'm including this Italian soup recipe, because it is a hearty soup that can be used as a main meal for weeknight dinners, or a first course for a larger meal plan. It's also healthy with all the beans!
Using pasta fagioli soup as part of your menu is great for quick dinners on cold days or as part of a holiday menu. Just remember to add the pasta to the soup bowls first before adding the soup. This way it doesn't get overcooked while sitting in the soup.
Check out this recipe
chicken farro
Chicken and Farro with Tomatoes and Spinach
If you're looking for a super healthy Italian dinner that doesn't use pasta, this is it. It uses farro which is a very healthy grain. This recipe is full of Italian and Mediterranean flavors and is super easy to make.
This is a great recipe for family dinners!
Check out this recipe

I hope you enjoy these creative Italian dinner recipes, whether for a party or just a simple Italian dinner. Let me know in the comments if you have your favorite recipes, or if you used one of mine!

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25 Easy Italian Dinner Recipes Everyone Will Love25 Easy Italian Dinner Recipes Everyone Will Love25 Easy Italian Dinner Recipes Everyone Will Love25 Easy Italian Dinner Recipes Everyone Will Love

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