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85 Italian Easter Dishes You’ll Want to Make This Year

Get ready to host a proper Italian Easter feast! Stir up plenty of sweets (think braided bread, pizzelle and cream cake) as well as savories like braciole, lasagna and risotto filled with spring veggies.

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Italian Ricotta Easter Bread

I changed our family’s traditional Italian Easter bread by adding ricotta and a few other ingredients. The almond flavoring works wonders! — Tina Mirilovich, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

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Easy Italian Potato Salad Exps Ft22 14909 F 0405 1

Easy Italian Potato Salad

You'll want to take this simple-to-assemble potato salad to all your picnics and outings. It's always on the menu when my tomato plants yield a bumper crop. Feel free to improvise by adding other fresh vegetables.
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Parmesan Risotto

Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish. In this version, the rice is briefly sauteed, then slowly cooked in wine and seasonings. It makes a wonderful addition to any Italian Easter spread. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Italian Baked Eggs & Sausage

This isn’t your typical egg bake! I serve this robust casserole of eggs, Italian sausage and fire-roasted tomatoes in bowls with warm, crusty rolls spread with butter. It’s delightful served up for holiday brunches. —Shelly Bevington-Fisher, Hermiston, Oregon
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Italian Marinated Olives

A friend shared this recipe for Italian marinated olives with me more than 25 years ago, and I still get raves when I serve them as part of an antipasto platter. —Jean Johnson, Reno, Nevada
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Grandma Nardi's Italian Easter Bread

My Grandma Nardi’s bread with dyed Easter eggs represents family and tradition. I fondly remember how she taught me the recipe when I was a little girl. —Pat Merkovich, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

My family was growing tired of traditional red sauce lasagna, so I created this fun twist using a creamy homemade Alfredo sauce. It makes for a terrfic Italian Easter supper. —Caitlin MacNeilly, Uncasville, Connecticut
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Pea Risotto with Lemon

Lemon adds a refreshing taste to this lovely pea risotto dish that’s perfect for spring. —Sue Dannahower, Fort Pierce, Florida
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Chicken Francese

I grew up on this tender, lemony chicken Francese recipe that's a classic in Italian cooking. It's delicious as is, but we sometimes add sauteed mushrooms. Serve it with pasta or crusty bread to mop up all that delicious pan sauce. —Joe Losardo, New York, New York
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Antipasto Platter

Before you serve up a big Italian Easter dinner, put out an antipasto platter full of crowd-pleasing bites. Guests love having their choice of so many delicious nibbles, including pepperoni and cubes of provolone. —Teri Lindquist, Gurnee, Illinois
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Mascarpone Cheesecake

This rich dessert is sure to delight with its creamy filling, whipped topping and sweet caramel drizzle. It makes an ideal ending to a special meal. —Deanna Polito-Laughinghouse, Raleigh, North Carolina
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Slow-Cooker Clam Sauce

Serve this delectable clam sauce as a hot dip for holiday get-togethers. The sauce is bright and fresh with pasta, too. —Frances Pietsch, Flower Mound, Texas
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Nonni’s Fritole

My Italian grandmother was famous for her fritole and made these treats for her family and friends. Years later we found her recipe card, but we tried making them without success. We finally figured out the missing part of the recipe—the self-rising flour! Now we can have these as often as we like. They bring back so many wonderful memories of our grandmother. —Ann Marie Eberhart, Gig Harbor, Washington
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Homemade Limoncello

This limoncello recipe makes a drink better than any store-bought version. It’s perfect as an after-dinner treat on its own, or whipped up in a cocktail. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Calamari Salad

This is one of the seven fish dishes we serve at Christmas time. It is easy to make and quite delicious! I enjoy it served both warm and cold. Either way, it has become one of our traditional dishes each year. The recipe has been passed down to me through my grandparents, who were excellent cooks. —Paul Rinaldi, Easton, Pennsylvania
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Spumoni Torte

I made up this recipe to end a big Italian Christmas Eve dinner. I thought it would be nice and light after a heavy meal. The cake frosts the best when it's been stored in the freezer for a day. —Lynne Ogg, East Bethel, Minnesota
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Sweet Pea Pesto Crostini

I made a healthier spin on my favorite celebrity chef’s recipe by subbing in vegetable broth for some of the oil and going easy on the cheese. To top crostini, use this recipe for a pastelike pesto. For use on pasta, add more broth for a saucelike consistency. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Roasted Asparagus Risotto

This recipe’s wow factor makes it perfect for special occasions. To save time, the asparagus and prosciutto can be roasting while the rice cooks on the stovetop. Then both will be ready to stir into the risotto by the time the rice is done. —Deonna Mazur, Buffalo, New York
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Italian Herb-Crusted Pork Loin

I like to change things up during the holidays with pork loin recipes that incorporate my favorite herbs and veggies. This showpiece dish really dazzles my family. —Kim Palmer, Kingston, Georgia
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Pasta with Asparagus

Many terrific recipes change hands at my ladies' bridge group's monthly get-togethers. That's where I discovered this zippy, tempting dish. The garlic, asparagus, Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes create an irresistible taste combination. —Jean Fisher, Redlands, California
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Mixed Olive Crostini

“These little toasts are pretty and irresistible—they’re always a big hit. Even though they look like you fussed, the ingredients are probably in your pantry.” —Laurie LaClair, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Lemon Artichoke Romaine Salad

I created this dish when I was trying to duplicate a very lemony Caesar salad. I serve it often, including at holidays. It’s nice to have a fresh salad at the Easter table.—Kathy Armstrong, Post Falls, Idaho
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Tender Italian Sugar Cookies

These traditional Italian cookies are moist and tender. With a pastel finish, they make for a wonderful addition to your Easter dessert spread. —Weda Mosellie, Phillipsburg, New Jersey
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Pasta Fagioli Soup

My husband enjoys my version of this dish so much that he doesn’t order it at restaurants anymore. With fresh spinach, pasta and seasoned sausage, this fast-to-fix soup is a meal on its own. —Brenda Thomas, Springfield, Missouri
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Italian Pineapple Trifle

My grandmother made this rich, tempting trifle every year for our family’s Christmas Eve celebrations. Now I make it to carry on her special tradition. It’s an easy, delicious no-bake dessert everyone will love. —Ann-Marie Milano, Milton, Massachusetts
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Italian Apricot-Pancetta Strata

For me, the combination of sweet and savory along with easy preparation make this Italian-inspired strata a winning dish for home cooks everywhere! It can be served for breakfast, brunch, or as a late afternoon meal.—Naylet LaRochelle, Miami, Florida
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Lemon Risotto with Broccoli

A creamy, rich party-special alternative to potatoes. —Judy Grebetz, Racine, Wisconsin
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Italian Bread Salad with Olives

This quick and flavorful bread salad always gets rave reviews from my friends and family. This panzanella-style dish is a timesaver during the holidays, as it can be made ahead. Just keep the bread cubes separate and add them right before serving. —Angela Spengler, Niceville, Florida
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Penne alla Vodka

This easy and impressive pasta is always on the menu when my husband and I have new friends over for dinner. Years later, they've asked me to make this Penne alla Vodka recipe again. —Cara Langer, Overland Park, Kansas
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Chicken Salad Caprese

This unique, flavorful salad and bread combo will get rave reviews—guaranteed. —Frances Pietsch, Flower Mound, Texas
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Italian Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

For an Italian twist on salad, I mix greens with red onion, mushrooms, olives, pepperoncini, lemon juice and Italian seasoning. Add tomatoes and carrots if you'd like. —Deborah Loop, Clinton Township, Michigan
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Fig & Almond Cookies

In our family, holiday cookies—like these nutty fig ones—are a big deal. I'm so proud to be passing on this Italian tradition to my two boys. —Angela Lemoine, Howell, New Jersey
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Sausage Lasagna

The idea for this sausage lasagna recipe comes from my mother-in-law, who always makes it for my three boys on special holidays. I've put an easy twist on Carole's classic dish, and it's become one of my go-to dinners as well! —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, VA
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Sweet Almond Twists

These delicate almond pastries make lovely light-as-air accompaniments for coffee, tea or cocoa. Your guests will never guess the recipe calls for packaged frozen dough. When I give them as a fresh-baked gift, I tuck in a note saying that they're best served warmed—and right away! —Gloria Devendittis, Waterford, Connecticut
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Tuscan Truffles

For holiday potlucks, I make an appetizer truffle out of prosciutto, figs and toasted pine nuts. Mascarpone and goat cheese make them melt-in-your-mouth creamy. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Favorite Mediterranean Salad

Cut the richness of a big Italian Easter with a nice salad. This crisp, big-batch Mediterranean salad recipe makes a great accompaniment to any main dish you fix on the grill. —Pat Stevens, Granbury, Texas
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Italian Cream Cheese Cake

Buttermilk makes every bite of this awesome Italian cream cheese cake recipe moist and flavorful. I rely on this recipe year-round, but it’s especially delicious served up at Italian Easter celebrations. —Joyce Lutz, Centerview, Missouri
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Italian Brunch Torte

We always serve this impressive layered breakfast bake with a salad of mixed greens and tomato wedges. It is one of our most requested dishes and can be served warm or cold. —Danny Diamond, Farmington Hills, Michigan
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Parmesan Asparagus

Nothing could be more simple than this side dish. Since it has just four ingredients, I assemble it in no time, then pop it into the oven for about 15 minutes. It turns out perfect every time. —Mary Ann Marino, West Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Petite Sausage Quiches

You won't be able to eat just one of these mini quiches. Filled with savory sausage, Swiss cheese and a dash of cayenne, the mouthwatering morsels will disappear fast from the breakfast or buffet table. —Dawn Stitt, Hesperia, Michigan
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Limoncello Cream Pie

After a big Christmas dinner, we love the cool refreshment of a frozen lemon pie. Limoncello brings a little sophistication to each smooth, creamy slice. —Jessie Grearson-Sapat, Falmouth, Maine. If you like this, you must learn how to make Italian Easter pie.
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Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas

This elevated pasta with prosciutto and peas will make your guests think you spent all day in the kitchen. It’s the perfect holiday dish without a lot of work. —Amy White, Manchester, Connecticut
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Eggplant Parmesan

We really like eggplant and would rather have it baked than fried. This can be served as a side dish or main dish. —Donna Wardlow-Keating, Omaha, Nebraska
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Pesto Chicken Strata

I like this rustic strata for its hearty flavor. It's also nice to have something savory along with sweeter brunch dishes like cinnamon rolls and doughnuts. —Michael Cohen, Los Angeles, California
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Warm Fava Bean & Pea Salad

This is a springtime staple in my house; my mom has been making it forever. I know that when the favas are at the market I can always find this refreshing and tasty salad in her fridge! If fresh favas or peas are not available, frozen is fine — but if you use frozen favas, be sure to take off the tough outer skin. —Francesca Ferenczi, New York, New York.
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Sweet Onion & Sausage Spaghetti

Sweet onion seasons turkey, adding rich flavor to Mary Relyea’s wholesome pasta dish. At home in Canastota, New York, she tosses it together with light cream, basil and tomatoes for a quick, springy meal in minutes.
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Italian Pignoli Cookies

Cookies are the crown jewels of Italian confections. I can’t let a holiday go by without baking these traditional almond cookies rolled in mild pine nuts.—Maria Regakis, Somerville, Massachusetts
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Antipasto Salad Platter

I used to work in a pizza shop where this salad was the most popular item on the menu. The dish is perfect for nights when it’s just too hot to cook. —Webbie Carvajal, Alpine, Texas
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Roasted Balsamic Red Potatoes

When I found a potato recipe that called for vinegar, I was intrigued. But without all the ingredients on hand, I had to improvise and gave it a whirl using Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar. It turned out great! —Lisa M. Varner, El Paso, TX
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Ricotta Cheesecake

When I was a nurse, my co-workers and I regularly swapped recipes during lunch breaks. This creamy cheesecake was one of the best I received. —Georgiann Franklin, Canfield, Ohio
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Chocolate Amaretti

These classic almond paste cookies are like ones you'd find in an Italian bakery. My husband and children are always excited when I include these goodies in my holiday baking lineup. —Kathy Long, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
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Tangerine Chocolate Semifreddo

When I wanted a new frozen treat for my family, I came up with this citrusy, chocolaty version of classic Italian semifreddo. For an elegant presentation on special occasions, top each serving with whipped cream, a tangerine section and baking cocoa. —Claire Cruce, Atlanta, Georgia
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Dreamy Polenta

I grew up eating polenta, so it’s a must at my holiday gatherings. Traditional recipes require constant stirring, but using my handy slow cooker allows me to turn my attention to the lineup of other foods on my spread. —Ann Voccola, Milford, Connecticut
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Braciole

In our family braciole was served as a special treat for birthdays and holidays. It was Grandma’s specialty and the preparation was time-consuming. When the meat and sauce were fully cooked, Grandma called us into the kitchen to watch her lift the big braciole roll from the sauce to the cutting board to slice it. The pinwheels of meat, laid side by side on the platter, topped with Grandma’s delicious sauce, made a colorful picture. —Cookie Curci, San Jose, California
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Marinated Almond-Stuffed Olives

Marinated stuffed olives go over so well with company that I try to keep a batch of them in the fridge at all times. —Larissa Delk, Columbia, Tennessee
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Olive Focaccia

When I add my own special touches to a basic focaccia recipe—including sun-dried tomatoes, olives and roasted sweet red peppers—the results were simply delectable. The flavorful, chewy loaf makes a wonderful accompaniment to nearly any meal. —Dee Froemel, Hayward, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Cannoli

Our version of a famous Italian dessert features a creamy filling dotted with chocolate chunks. The chopped pistachios are an attractive touch.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Asparagus Shrimp Linguine

My family really enjoys asparagus and shrimp. We often have this on busy weeknights because its healthy and cooks quickly. —Ehnes Wannetta, Eagle Bend, Minnesota
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Affogato

Affogato, which is espresso and ice cream mixed together, is awesome. You can also try it with Cuban coffee. —Cathy Killinger Lopez, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Asparagus with Fresh Basil Sauce

Add flair to your appetizer platter with this easy asparagus starter. The dip also doubles as a flavorful sandwich spread. —Janie Colle, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Amaretto Ricotta Cheesecake

There's a good reason why a relative handed this cherished recipe down to me. It's a keeper! The amaretto and ricotta make for a truly unique dessert. —Isabel Neuman, Surprise, Arizona
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Italian Appetizer Meatballs

Store-bought spaghetti sauce speeds up the preparation of these homemade meatball appetizers. Leftovers make terrific sub sandwiches. —Rene McCrory, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Italian Artichoke-Green Bean Casserole

My mother and I made a few small changes to a recipe we found in a cookbook to create this comforting side dish. We increased the vegetable count and tossed in some seasonings to take the flavor up a notch. It's definitely not your average green bean casserole. —Denise Klibert, Shreveport, Louisiana
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Slow-Cooker Caponata

This Italian eggplant dip preps quickly and actually gets better as it stands. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Try adding a little leftover caponata to scrambled eggs for a savory breakfast. —Nancy Beckman, Helena, Montana
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Coconut-Macadamia Biscotti

I came up with this recipe after my husband and I returned from our first trip to Hawaii. Dipping these tropical treats in a good cup of coffee brings us right back to the wonderful memories we made there. —Shannon Koene, Blacksburg, Virginia
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Super Italian Chopped Salad

Antipasto ingredients are sliced and diced to make this substantial salad. I like to buy sliced meat from the deli and chop it all so we can get a bit of everything in each bite. —Kim Molina, Duarte, California
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Sweet Italian Holiday Bread

This is authentic ciambellotto, a sweet loaf my great-grandmother used to bake in Italy. I still use her traditional recipe—the only update I made was for using modern appliances. —Denise Perrin, Vancouver, Washington
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Olive Oil Dip

Combine a blend of herbs to create this mouthwatering mix. Plumping the herbs in water before stirring into olive oil enhances the flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Italian Honey Clusters

My mother made these treats flavored with cinnamon and anise for neighbors, teachers and anyone who stopped by. Make sure the honey doesn’t boil longer than a minute or it could burn.—Sarah Knoblock, Hyde Park, Indiana
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White Seafood Lasagna

We make lasagna with shrimp and scallops as part of the traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes. Every bite delivers a tasty “jewel” from the sea. —Joe Colamonico, North Charleston, South Carolina
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Italian Garden Frittata

I like to serve this pretty frittata with melon wedges for a delicious breakfast or brunch. —Sally Maloney, Dallas, Georgia
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Italian Rainbow Cookies

My family has made these classic Italian rainbow cookies for generations, and this homemade version is so much better than the bakery version. They are always a special treat during the holidays or any time of year! —Cindy Casazza, Hopewell, New Jersey
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Hearty Sausage and Cheese Lasagna

During the holidays, it's nice to welcome friends and family into your home for a hearty meal of lasagna. Every bite is packed with cheese, sausage and sauce. —Gay Barker, Chanute, Kansas
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Mamma’s Caponata

This is fabulous as an appetizer, but you can easily turn it into a meal. Instead of having it on bread, serve it over warm pasta. —Georgette Stubin, Canton, Michigan
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Orange Ricotta Cake Roll

I come from a big Italian family where my mom cooked and baked many delicious meals and desserts from scratch. Now I like to do the same for my family. This cake is my finale to our Italian Christmas Eve dinner. —Cathy Banks, Encinitas, California
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Crab-Stuffed Manicotti

I love pasta, and my husband loves seafood. I combined them to create this dish, and he raved that it’s the best meal ever. —Sonya Polfliet, Anza, California
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Almond Chocolate Biscotti

These white chocolate-drizzled cookies are a cinch to make, so I’m always happy to whip up a batch. This is good because my neighbors always look forward to them! —Ginger Chatfield, Muscatine, Iowa
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Anise Pizzelle

These lovely, golden brown anise pizzelle cookies have a crisp texture and delicate anise flavor. I create them using a pizzelle iron. —Barbara Colucci, Rockledge, Florida
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Spaghetti All’Amatriciana

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana is a traditional Italian dish that reminds me of my roots. This amatriciana sauce recipe features guanciale (dried pork cheek). Guanciale can be hard to find, but pancetta or thick-cut bacon are good substitutes. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
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Italian Chocolate-Hazelnut Cheesecake Pie

I first prepared an Italian-style cheese pie years ago. When I added a chocolate-hazelnut topping, it proved so popular that I had to give out copies of the recipe.—Steve Meredith, Streamwood, Illinois
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Spring Green Risotto

Once a week I create a new recipe for my blog, An Officer and a Vegan. I first made this risotto when I needed something cheerful and comforting. It would be fantastic with asparagus, zucchini or summer squash, but use whatever veggies are in season. —Deanna McDonald, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Italian Cream-Filled Cake

This Italian cream dessert is very simple but fancy enough to serve as a birthday cake. It’s low on sugar and big on flavor. You can swap the lemon zest for orange or lime to change things up. You can also add a layer of jam on top of the first layer of dough—raspberry jam, marmalade jam or even Nutella work well. —Maria Morelli, West Kelowna, British Columbia
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Prosciutto-Pesto Breakfast Strata

I'd never tried prosciutto before this recipe, and it instantly made me a die-hard fan! The layers of flavor in this dish are brilliant, making it well worth the time and a must for your recipe box. —Vicki Anderson, Farmington, Minnesota
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Simple Italian Salad

Homemade croutons star in this easy Italian salad recipe, filled with grape tomatoes, olives and pepperoncinis. I like to serve it with fresh Italian or focaccia bread. —Nancy Granaman, Burlington, Iowa
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Traditional Lasagna

My family first tasted this rich, homemade lasagna recipe at a friend's home on Christmas Eve. We were so impressed that it became our own holiday tradition as well. I also prepare it other times of the year. This classic lasagna recipe is requested often by my sister's Italian in-laws—I consider that the highest compliment! —Lorri Foockle, Granville, Illinois

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.