These Italian Thanksgiving dinner menu ideas are the perfect way to celebrate the holidays with your family! This menu features crowd-pleasing Italian-inspired recipes that will make an epic Thanksgiving spread. There are appetizers, main courses, side dishes, and desserts- everything you need is right here!
Italian-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes
Maybe you miss Nonna's home cooking, or maybe you're just tired of turkey and pumpkin pie. No matter the reason, these Italian Thanksgiving dinner menu ideas are just what you need to switch things up this year!
You won't hear a single complaint when you serve these incredible Italian-inspired dinner recipes. Appetizers, sides, dessert, you name it, it's all on the menu!
- Italian-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes
- Tasty Italian-Inspired Appetizers
- 1. Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- 2. Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 3. Tomato Caprese
- 4. Antipasto Platter
- 5. Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta
- Hearty Main Courses
- 6. Herbes de Provence Roasted Turkey
- 7. Lasagna
- 8. Baked Italian Meatballs
- 9. Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- 10. Turkey Tetrazzini
- 11. Frutti di Mare
- Italian Side Dishes
- 12. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 13. Butternut Squash Risotto
- 14. Italian Sausage Stuffing
- 15. Potato Croquettes
- 16. Italian Baked Mac and Cheese
- 17. Broccoli Rabe
- Amazing Desserts To Serve
- 18. Pumpkin Cannoli
- 19. Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake
- 20. Mandarin Orange Olive Oil Cake
- 21. Pumpkin Tiramisu
- 🦃 More Thanksgiving Recipes
- 📖 Recipe Card
- Italian Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Ideas: Frutti di Mare (+More Incredible Recipes!)
- 💬 Reviews
Whether you're a pro at hosting Thanksgiving dinner and holiday parties or giving it a try for the first time this year, you're sure to find my ultimate guide to planning Thanksgiving a help! Don't forget to safely thaw your holiday turkey early, too!
Italian Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with the rest of us, but they often add their own spin on things. After all, you can't have an Italian family dinner without pasta!
Tasty Italian-Inspired Appetizers
1. Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
These tasty morsels are the perfect way to get your Thanksgiving dinner started. Tender, juicy mushrooms are filled with seasoned cream cheese and Parmesan and baked!
2. Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip
Spinach artichoke dip is a classic Italian-American starter. It's creamy, cheesy, and meant for feeding a crowd!
3. Tomato Caprese
When you have a large dinner planned, a light appetizer like this simple tomato Caprese salad is the way to go. Fresh, thick slices of tomato and mozzarella are drizzled with a balsamic reduction and basil. It's refreshing and delicious!
4. Antipasto Platter
All Italian parties have an antipasto platter, and Thanksgiving should be no different. Translated, it means "before the meal".
This recipe includes beans, cheese, pepperoncini, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, and Italian dressing. Though, you can easily customize your antipasto.
5. Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta
A slice of crusty bread with a heaping pile of juicy tomato bruschetta is the first thing I'm grabbing at an Italian dinner. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar with some fresh basil gives this bruschetta a ton of flavor!
Hearty Main Courses
6. Herbes de Provence Roasted Turkey
This expertly seasoned roasted turkey is suitable for any Thanksgiving dinner. Fragrant herb butter is slathered all over (and inside) of the bird before it is roasted to absolute perfection.
A hearty lasagna is a classic family dinner that would make a fabulous main course on Thanksgiving. Layers of pasta, homemade meat sauce, and melted cheese will call you back for seconds.
8. Baked Italian Meatballs
Baked Italian meatballs can be an appetizer or main course! They are incredibly easy, and you can serve them with rice, pasta, or on thier own!
9. Baked Eggplant Parmesan
This comforting baked eggplant Parmesan is a vegetarian entree that even meat lovers will enjoy.
10. Turkey Tetrazzini
Get the best of both worlds by making this tasty turkey pasta! Turkey tetrazzini is creamy with crunchy bacon and a breadcrumb topping.
If you don't serve it on the day of Thanksgiving, you can use leftover turkey to make it the next day! In fact, I have lots of leftover turkey recipes you can try!
11. Frutti di Mare
A heaping plate of pasta and seafood makes any meal feel like a special occasion. There are clams, mussels, squid, shrimp, and scallops in this classic Italian dish!
Italian Side Dishes
12. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
You've got to have mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving! Roasted garlic adds an incredible depth of flavor that makes these potatoes extra tasty (with or without gravy).
13. Butternut Squash Risotto
Butternut squash is a fall staple! Adding it to risotto takes an Italian classic and makes it totally Thanksgiving-worthy.
14. Italian Sausage Stuffing
Sweet Italian sausage brings this classic stuffing to the next level. It's soft and savory, with some saltiness from the sausage.
15. Potato Croquettes
Crispy potato croquettes are a simple side dish you will want to make again and again. You can even make these using leftover mashed potatoes if you have some on hand.
16. Italian Baked Mac and Cheese
All mac and cheese is good mac and cheese, but using an aged Italian blend adds incredible flavor! The mac and cheese are baked so the top is crispy while the inside is melty and creamy. Yum!
17. Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe (or rapini) is actually its own vegetable and not from a broccoli plant. It's a staple in all Italian households because the slightly nutty flavor pairs perfectly with garlic and Parmesan when sauteed!
Amazing Desserts To Serve
18. Pumpkin Cannoli
A crispy pastry shell with creamy spiced pumpkin and ricotta filling. They make for a fabulous alternative to pumpkin pie with the same fall flavor!
19. Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake
Ricotta cheese makes the moistest and most decadent cakes you can imagine. This light and fluffy lemon ricotta cake is the perfect example.
20. Mandarin Orange Olive Oil Cake
Olive oil is another secret ingredient to making moist cakes. This one has heavenly mandarin icing and is adorned with bits of kumquat, mandarin peel, and mint leaves.
21. Pumpkin Tiramisu
Tiramisu is a traditional Italian coffee-flavored dessert. Though you likely won't find this pumpkin version in Italy, it is the perfect recipe for closing out an Italian-inspired Thanksgiving dinner.
These Italian Thanksgiving dinner menu ideas may convince you to ditch classic Thanksgiving recipes all together! If you try one of the recipes on this list, please come back and let me know how it turned out!
>>>>See all of my recipes HERE<<<<
🦃 More Thanksgiving Recipes
- Thanksgiving Pie Recipes - A complete list of all the best pies to try this Thanksgiving!
- Top 10 Thanksgiving Recipes - The most popular and well-loved Thanksgiving recipes in the United States!
- Thanksgiving Menu Ideas For 2 - Everything you need to host an intimate Thanksgiving dinner for 2.
- Elegant Thanksgiving Menu Ideas - Throw a showstopping gourmet Thanksgiving dinner with these recipes!
- Southern Thanksgiving Menu - Southern holiday classics that are meant to be shared with family and friends!
- Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes - Tried and true classic recipes that are guaranteed to be a hit!
See more Thanksgiving recipes →
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📖 Recipe Card
Italian Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Ideas: Frutti di Mare (+More Incredible Recipes!)
- 1 lb fettuccine (or favorite pasta)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- ½ tablespoon garlic (finely minced or thinly sliced)
- 1 lb mussels (scrubbed, beards removed)
- 1 lb steamer clams (scrubbed)
- ⅓ cup dry white wine (I like Pinot Grigio best, or Pinot Gris)
- ½ lb shrimp (large shrimp, thawed, peeled, and deveined)
- ¼ lb bay scallops
- ¼ lb squid (sliced tentacle rings and bodies)
- 32 oz arrabbiata sauce (see recipe or use your favorite brand)
- Fill a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it reaches an al dente texture (firm to the bite). Drain, rinse under cool tap water, and set aside.1 lb fettuccine
- Heat a large, deep skillet with the olive oil over medium heat until the oil just begins to shimmer. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute then stir in the mussels and clams until well coated.2 tablespoon olive oil, ½ tablespoon garlic, 1 lb mussels, 1 lb steamer clams
- Increase heat to medium-high then add the dry white wine and cover the pan to steam the mussels and clams. Cook with the lid on for about 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels and clams have opened.⅓ cup dry white wine
- Uncover the skillet, add the shrimp and toss with the seafood. Cover and continue to steam for an additional 2 minutes or until the shrimp begins curling up, turning pink and opaque.½ lb shrimp
- Once more remove the lid and add the final portions of seafood (squid and bay scallops). Cover and cook until the squid tentacles curl up and the scallops are no longer transparent, or about 1 minute.¼ lb bay scallops, ¼ lb squid
- Pour in the arrabbiata sauce, stir to coat the seafood evenly, then simmer over medium heat for 2-3 minutes (uncovered). Add the pasta into the seafood sauce and toss until well coated. Remove from heat and serve immediately.32 oz arrabbiata sauce
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!