13 Most Delicious Italian Wedding Food Dishes

Food is always one of the most important features of a wedding. The wedding catering options are endless and tremendous for how you choose to feed your guests. Italian weddings are traditionally served with a large variety of foods, and everything from sweet to savoury, from carbs to meat to vegetables, and with a healthy dose of alcohol to boot.

Below are thirteen of the most delicious Italian wedding food dishes, based on our personal recommendations:

1. Cocktail hour

A collection of different foods will be brought around on trays by waiters to the guests as they mingle, or placed on the tables for self-service. Antipasto options include bruschetta, caprese salad, and a variety of meats and cheeses.

2. Antipasto

Antipasto literally means “before the meal”. This popular Italian wedding food is often served as an appetizer. The dish can be pretty much any small dish from a shrimp cocktail to a mushroom dish or bruschetta to smoked salmon, and beyond. Whatever it is, it will be small – just enough to start the meal off.

3. Tortellini soup

A traditional tortellini soup is a common option for Italian wedding meals. It is most often made with a chicken broth, tortellini stuffed with Italian sausage, fresh vegetables like spinach, onion, and carrots, herbs and spices, and sometimes tomato puree. Served after the antipasto, the soup precedes the first main dish.

4. Italian wedding soup

Another soup that could be served is Italian wedding soup. This soup is also made with a chicken broth base, and is accompanied with pieces of Italian sausage or little meatballs, a leafy green like kale or spinach, and often a small pasta like Acini de pepe. For clarification though, don’t be fooled that Italian wedding soup is the ultimate Italian wedding dish because of its name. The name actually comes from the way the flavours of the meat and the greens in the soup combine well or “marry”.

5. Ravioli

After the soup, the first main dish will be served. This is usually a pasta dish like ravioli. Ravioli can be stuffed with pretty much anything. This Italian wedding food varies per region, but ricotta cheese is a very common stuffing. Other common ravioli fillings include spinach, lemon zest, and meat.

6. Pasta with sauce

It’s not the pasta that matters, it’s the sauce. A plain pasta with either a white or a red sauce is a super common primary main dish for an Italian wedding. It is very open to interpretation. Any pasta can be used, common ones include spaghetti, fusilli, penne, or linguini. Alternatively, the spouses-to-be may opt for risotto or gnocchi.

7. Bread

Bread, bread, bread! At an Italian wedding, you should have all the bread you can eat. This classic Italian wedding food will likely be served with the antipasto, and also on the table throughout the main courses. Bread is a huge staple with Italian dishes, so it shouldn’t be overlooked.

8. Meat

Whether it is chicken, beef, lamb, or pork, meat will be a big part of the main dish. It will likely be accompanied by some side dishes, but the important part is the meat. It is very common to offer some sort of spit roasted animal – like a lamb or a pig. Another option is a stuffed medallion or a traditional chicken dish like chicken Sorrento or chicken parmesan. Fish and other seafood may also be served during this part of the meal.

9. Contorno

The contorno, or side dish, will be served with the second main dish to accompany the meat. The side dish can be pretty much any vegetable, and is often something roasted – like eggplant or potato – or simply a mixed salad. Let’s be honest, the contorno is not the star of the show.

10. Dolce

An Italian wedding wouldn’t be complete without dessert, and dessert there will be. Cannoli is a popular option. It is a fried pastry stuffed with a sweet, cream filling and sometimes dipped in or sprinkled with chocolate. Also popular is tiramisu – a coffee-flavoured, many-layered cake that contains chocolate and mascarpone cheese.

11. Gelato

The famous ice cream-like dessert is a common Italian wedding food choice at traditional weddings. Some will have several different flavours to choose from. The most common flavours of gelato are Stracciatella – a plain gelato with chocolate shavings in it, vanilla, pistachio, hazelnut, and strawberry. Another specialty kind of gelato is tartufo, which means truffle.

12. Wine

What kind of wine? It doesn’t matter! Usually the wine would be paired with the meat that is offered, and there would be different kinds available before, during, and after the meal. A sweeter wine would likely be offered with dessert – like a Moscato. In addition to wine, there is usually a variety of other alcohol available.

13. Wedding cake

In addition to the other dessert, there will also be wedding cake! The torta nuziale, as is common in North America, is a single or layered cake that is beautifully decorated with icing and shared by the newlyweds with their guests after the dinner.

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