Easter is a time for celebrating with family and friends, and nothing brings people together like a delicious meal. While the main course may be the centerpiece of the table, the perfect side dishes can make all the difference.
Italian side dishes for Easter are the perfect combination for a food lover like me, and I am sure you will also love them. If you’re looking for ways to add some Italian flair to your Easter feast, you’re in luck! In this post, we’ve compiled a list of some mouth-watering Italian side dishes to serve on Easter that are sure to impress your guests.
22 Italian Side Dishes For Easter
1. Lemon and Herb Roasted Vegetables
Lemon and Herb Roasted Vegetables is a simple yet elegant dish perfect for spring. Chop up your favorite vegetables – we recommend carrots, zucchini, and fennel – and toss them with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a variety of fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and oregano.
Roast in the oven until tender and fragrant. The bright flavors and colors of this dish will complement any main course.
2. Stuffed Artichokes
Artichokes are a classic Italian vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of ways. For Easter, try stuffing them with breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, and grated cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano.
Drizzle with olive oil and bake until the artichokes are tender and the stuffing is golden brown. This dish is perfect for sharing and adds a touch of elegance to your table.
Risotto is a creamy and decadent dish that is often served as a main course in Italy. For a lighter Easter side dish, try making a refreshing risotto with asparagus and peas.
Sauté the vegetables in butter and shallots, then add the Arborio rice and white wine. Gradually add chicken broth and Parmesan cheese until the rice is cooked to perfection.
4. Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish that is typically baked in the oven. However, for a fresh and unique twist, try grilling the eggplant instead. Slice the eggplant lengthwise and brush with olive oil.
Grill until tender and charred, then layer with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. This dish is perfect for outdoor Easter celebrations and adds a smoky flavor to a classic recipe.
5. Braised Greens with Garlic and Lemon
Spring is the perfect time to enjoy fresh greens like kale and Swiss chard.
For a flavorful Easter side dish, try braising your greens with garlic, lemon, and red pepper flakes. Cook the greens in a mixture of chicken broth and white wine until they are tender and flavorful. This dish is a great way to balance out richer main courses like ham or lamb.
6. Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is a classic Italian dish that’s perfect for serving as a fresh and light side dish.
It consists of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil. This salad is not only easy to prepare but also adds some vibrant colors to your Easter table. It complements any dish you serve, making it a versatile option for your Easter dinner.
Bruschetta is a simple Italian appetizer that can double as a side dish.
All you need is some ripe tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil. Toast some bread and rub it with garlic before adding the tomato mixture on top. It’s an easy and flavorful way to add some Italian flavors to your Easter feast.
8. Fritto Misto All’Italiana
Fritto Misto All’Italiana is an Italian version of tempura which includes vegetables such as carrots, squash blossoms or courgettes as well as seafood such as calamari or shrimp that is coated in a light batter before frying in hot oil until golden brown and crispy on the outside yet tender inside.
9. Crocchette al Formaggio
Crocchette al Formaggio, another Italian side goes in Easter.
Basically made up of mashed potato dumplings filled with melted mozzarella cheese, then deep-fried until golden brown and crunchy outside yet soft inside when bitten into them.
10 . Gnocchi alla Romana
Gnocchi alla Romana is serve well as Italian sides. It is prepared with semolina dumplings flavored with Parmesan cheese and then baked in the oven until crisp at the edges yet tender inside for a truly delicious experience. (Recipe)
11. Bruschetta con Pomodori e Basilico
Bruschetta con Pomodori e Basilico is toasted baguette slices topped with chopped tomatoes mixed with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and basil leaves for an Italian appetizer perfect for any occasion.
12. Involtini di Melanzane
Involtini di Melanzane is grilled or baked aubergines rolled up around fillings of ricotta cheese, tomatoes, and herbs combined together to form a unique flavor profile unique to Italy’s cuisine.
13. Tortellini al Burro e Salvia
Tortellini al Burro e Salvia is freshly cooked tortellini pasta tossed in butter sauce flavored with sage leaves for an aromatic savory treat ideal for any party or special occasion throughout the year.
14. Fagottini di Spinaci e Ricotta
Fagottini di Spinaci e Ricotta is prepared with spinach ricotta turnovers deep-fried until golden brown on the outside while still keeping their soft melt-in-your-mouth texture inside after being bitten into it, making it not just delicious but also beautiful to look at!
15. Crostoli o Chiacchiere
Crostoli o Chiacchiere is fried strips of dough sprinkled generously with icing sugar on top for a traditional Italian Carnival treat enjoyed by all during Easter time! (Recipe)
16. Carciofi alla Romana
Carciofi alla Romana is Roman-style artichoke cooked in olive oil, garlic, and white wine vinegar.
17. Sformatino di patate
Sformatino di patate is the potato flan made with grated potatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
18. Peperoni Arrostiti
Pepperoni Arrostiti is the roasted bell peppers marinated in olive oil and garlic.
19. Insalata di Riso
Insalata di Riso is a rice salad with vegetables like olives and artichoke hearts.
20. Zucchine Ripiene
Zucchini Ripieni is prepared with zucchini stuffed with bread crumbs, herbs, cheese, and prosciutto.
Caponata is a sweet-and-sour eggplant dish from Sicily made with tomatoes, onions, capers, olives, celery and pine nuts.
22. Polpette di Baccalà
Polpette di Baccalà is the salted cod croquette fried in olive oil and served with aioli dip (garlic mayonnaise).
Easter bread is a traditional treat in many countries around the world. In some cultures, such as Greek and Italian, the bread is served during the Easter holiday season.
The sweet, egg-rich bread can be made with a variety of ingredients and flavors, including nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins, orange zest, lemon zest, and currants. It’s also often braided or twisted into an attractive shape before baking.
Each culture has its own unique way of preparing the Easter bread – Greeks often braid it into three separate strands to represent the Holy Trinity, while Italians bake it with colored eggs tucked inside. The end result is a delicious and festive loaf that can be served with butter or honey for a truly special treat!
Casatiello is a traditional Italian Easter bread that originated in the Naples region. It is usually made with a dough of flour, eggs, cheese, salt, and lard or olive oil. The most common ingredients used in Casatiello are salami and cheese, although some variations include ham, olives, peppers and other ingredients.
The dough is then formed into a ring shape and the filling is added before the two ends are twisted together to form a closed circle. The top of the loaf is often decorated with food coloring or herbs for an attractive presentation. After baking for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit yields a golden-brown crust with a soft and flavorful inside.
Casatiello can be served as an appetizer or main course and can be eaten either hot or cold. It’s traditionally served on Holy Thursday during Easter festivities but can be found in many bakeries year-round.
Its unique taste comes from the combination of both sweet and savory flavors that are created by mixing in salty meats with cheese and herbs. Casatiello also has symbolic meaning; its circular form represents eternity, while its hollow center symbolizes resurrection.
Colomba di Pasqua
Colomba di Pasqua is the perfect solution for an Easter gift! This traditional Italian Easter cake is made with soft dough and candied fruit, making it a delicious treat for any occasion.
It’s an elegant way to show your family and friends just how much you appreciate them this Easter season. Plus, it’s an easy and affordable way to add a unique and personal touch to any Easter celebration. With Colomba di Pasqua, you can make sure your loved ones have the perfect gift this Easter.
Wedding soup is a classic Italian-American dish that has been popular for generations. It is traditionally made with a combination of meatballs, cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, and often pasta such as acini di pepe or ditalini. The broth used in wedding soup typically consists of chicken or beef stock plus chicken broth and can be seasoned with garlic, oregano and parsley.
The origins of the name are disputed, with some saying it is called wedding soup because the various ingredients represent the bride’s dowry, while others believe that the variety of ingredients mimics the traditional Italian wedding feast.
Others have speculated that its name may have come from its popularity at weddings or that “minestra maritata” (married soup) was mistranslated as ‘wedding’ due to similar pronunciation.
Whichever story is true, this hearty dish has become an iconic part of many family recipes around the world and continues to be enjoyed by all ages today!
What is a typical Italian Easter menu?
A typical Italian Easter menu includes an array of traditional dishes. These include roasted lamb, torte rustica (a cheese and vegetable tart), artichokes in olive oil, traditional pizza pasqualina (an egg and ricotta pie) with asparagus and mushrooms, risotto alla primavera (spring vegetable risotto), braised spinach with garlic and anchovies, pasta con le sarde or spaghetti alle vongole (pasta with sardines or clams) along with a selection of other seafood dishes such as calamari fritti or grilled swordfish.
Sweet treats usually consist of pastiera di grano (wheat cake filled with dried fruit) or struffoli (honey-glazed dough balls). As accompaniments, Italian Easter recipes usually include a variety of typical Easter biscuits and sweet bread, such as colomba pasquale (Easter dove cake) and pane di Pasqua (Easter bread). Finally, the meal is often accompanied by red wine or prosecco. Buon appetito!
This menu can vary from region to region in Italy. Each area has its own variations of traditional dishes and desserts that have been passed down through generations. Some regions even have their own Easter specialties like Sicilian cassata (ricotta cheesecake filled with candied fruit) or calzone ripieno con uvetta e pinole (stuffed pizza pockets with raisins and pine nuts). However, the traditional dishes listed above are generally found on any Italian Easter table.
How do Italians decorate for Easter?
When it comes to decorations for Easter, Italians typically adhere to the traditional Christian meaning of the holiday. This often includes displaying a cross or crucifix in their home and church as a reminder of Jesus’s death and resurrection.
They may also display religious statues, paintings, or decorative figurines depicting different aspects of Christianity, such as the Virgin Mary or saints. Aside from these items, many Italians choose to decorate with bright colors and spring-themed elements like artificial flowers, wreaths made of pastel ribbons and bows, Easter eggs (often decorated), baskets filled with candy and other treats, brightly colored banners featuring Easter bunnies or chicks, and more.
Additionally, some households will hang garlic cloves on a string around their doorways to ward off any evil spirits. It’s a fun and colorful way to celebrate the season of Easter!
Wrap Up on Best Italian Side Dishes to Serve On Easter
Easter is the perfect time to gather around the table with family and friends and enjoy a delicious meal. These Italian side dishes are a perfect way to add some excitement and flavor to your feast. Whether you opt for the fresh flavors of caprese salad or the hearty textures of eggplant parmesan, these dishes are sure to please.
Get creative and experiment with these and other Italian side dishes to make your Easter dinner a memorable one. Buon appetito!
What do you serve at an Italian dinner party?
An Italian dinner party typically includes dishes such as antipasti, pasta, risotto, seafood, meats such as chicken or beef, and vegetable side dishes. Desserts such as gelato, tiramisu and cannoli are also commonly served at an Italian dinner parties.
A variety of wines may be offered to complement the meal. Some popular Italian appetizers include bruschetta, crostini with caponata and arancini (fried rice balls). Pasta choices could include spaghetti Bolognese or carbonara. Risotto is a creamy rice dish often prepared with pesto sauce or mushrooms.
Popular main courses could include chicken Parmigiana or veal scaloppine al limone. Vegetable side dishes could include a caprese salad or roasted vegetables. No Italian dinner party is complete without a selection of cheeses, such as parmesan, ricotta and mozzarella. Lastly, desserts might include tiramisu, gelato or cannoli.
Along with the food, a variety of wines should be offered to pair with each dish. Popular Italian red wines include Chianti and Barolo, while popular whites are Pinot Grigio and Soave. Aperitifs like limoncello or Campari can also be served before meals.
What are Italian foods eaten on special occasions?
Italian foods eaten on special occasions often depend on the region and type of celebration. Traditional dishes vary widely, but some popular items include risotto alla Milanese, ossobuco, polenta e salsiccia (sausage and cornmeal), lasagna, spaghetti carbonara, braciole di maiale (pork rolls), caponata (a traditional Sicilian dish made of eggplant) and tiramisu.
For celebratory meals, you may also find roast dishes such as porchetta or cotechino con lenticchie. Many regions also have unique regional dishes to mark a special occasion, like baccalà in Veneto or panettone from Milan.
Special times are also celebrated with traditional desserts like panna cotta and cannoli. Wine is also a popular accompaniment for most special occasions. Whatever the occasion, Italian cuisine will always have something tasty to offer!