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

Serve up some old-world fare this Easter with traditional Italian dishes like lasagna, ricotta bread, limoncello pie and more.

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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. Store-bought rotisserie chicken keeps prep simple and fast. —Caitlin MacNeilly, Uncasville, Connecticut
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Easter Pie

Easter Pie

Easter Pie is a specialty in many Italian homes, so mothers make sure their daughters master the recipe to ensure that the tradition continues. —Barbara Tierney, Farmington, Connecticut
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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, Taste of Home Executive Marketing Manager
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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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Winter Fruit with Prosecco Sabayon

This recipe is special to me because it allows me to treat my dinner guests to a special, unusual dessert. The bright, vivid colors are perfect for the holidays. Omit the Prosecco when serving to children. —Jerry Gulley, Pleasant Prairie, 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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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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Italian Ricotta Easter Bread

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

The marinade for this dish makes the shrimp so flavorful, you won't even need a dipping sauce. Even those who claim they don’t like shellfish really dig this appetizer. —Kendra Doss, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Tender Italian Sugar Cookies

These traditional Italian cookies are moist and tender. —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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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 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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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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Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Chocolate, pistachios and cranberries make a dramatic, delicious trio. Introducing the cranberries to this recipe added tartness, texture and color, too. —Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
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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
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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 Potato Panzanella

This is my favorite lunch dish during the fall season. Every bite is filled with flavor and texture, but it isn't too high in calories. —Mary M. Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
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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 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. —Shelly Bevington-Fisher, Hermiston, Oregon
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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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Roasted Italian Green Beans & Tomatoes

When you roast green beans and tomatoes, their flavors really shine through. The vibrant colors light up a table. What a perfect side dish for the holidays! —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona
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Lemon Salmon with Basil

At our house we opt for healthy foods, and this lemony salmon with basil is a knockout in the good-for-you category. We have it with asparagus or zucchini. —Shanna Belz, Prineville, Oregon
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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 coworkers 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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Pesto Rice-Stuffed Chicken

Juicy stuffed chicken is perfect for basil fans, but I've just as easily used shredded cheese in place of the pesto for my pickier eaters. —Rachel Dion, Port Charlotte, Florida
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Garlic Green Beans with Gorgonzola

I updated this green bean holiday side dish by adding a touch of white wine, fresh thyme and green onions. It's delicious, easy to make and my family loves it! —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Parmesan Scones

The addition of onions gives these scones a nice bite. You can even stir in some basil or oregano if you like. —Jolie Stinson, Marion, Indiana
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Chicken Escarole Soup with Meatballs

This is an old recipe from southern Italy. My mother gave it to me when I was first married. It started out as a holidays-only dish...but my children and grandchildren love it so much that we have it every chance we get!—Norma Manna, Hobe Sound, Florida
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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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Baked Baby Potatoes with Olive Pesto

These little cuties pack all the appeal of a dinner baked potato into the perfect bite-sized appetizer. I top off each one with a dollop of sour cream and coarsely ground pepper. —Sarah Shaikh, Mumbai, India
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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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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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Hot Chocolate Tiramisu

Instead of using coffee and rum, I let cinnamon shine in this tiramisu. It's best if eaten within two days—if it even lasts that long! —Cathy Geniti, Saratoga Springs, New York
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Calabrian Holiday Soup

My family is from the Italian region of Calabria; our version of Italian wedding soup has been handed down through the generations. We serve this soup with the Christmas meal as well as at weddings. —Gwen Keefer, Sylvania, Ohio
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Asparagus Wraps

Asparagus makes lovely finger food, especially wrapped in pastry and tasty filling. Easily assembled, it’s perfect for weeknight noshing or something a little fancier for entertaining. —Linda Hall, Evington, Virginia
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Italian Orange-Fig Cookies

This is one of the first holiday cookies I made when I found out I could no longer eat gluten. In those eight years, six of my family members and friends have also had to give up gluten, so these delicious Italian cookies have now become a treasured holiday tradition for all of us. By the way, no one will know they're gluten free unless you tell them! The cookies last for weeks if stored in a dry place. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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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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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 this cherished recipe was handed down to me by a relative. It's a keeper! The amaretto and ricotta make for a truly unique dessert. —Isabel Neuman, Surprise, Arizona
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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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Make-Ahead Tiramisu

This variation of the popular Italian dessert is so easy to assemble. It's convenient, too, since you can make it the day before your dinner party or potluck. —Linda Finn, Louisville, Mississippi
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Potato Minestrone

Let the aroma of this savory soup waft through your home while you get ready for the holidays. I only have to slice some bread and prepare a salad to have dinner ready. For a thicker soup, mash half of the garbanzo beans before adding them to the slow cooker. —Paula Zsiray, Logan, Utah
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Balsamic Green Bean Salad

Serve up those green beans in a whole new way–with a green bean salad recipe! The tangy flavors and crunch of these balsamic green beans complement any special meal or holiday potluck. —Megan Spencer, Farmington Hills, Michigan
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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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Tomato-Topped Italian Pork Chops

Get out the slow cooker: You’re only seven ingredients away from a saucy, delicious meal. —Krystie Chasse, Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia
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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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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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Lemon Parmesan Orzo

A splash of lemon and a shower of chopped parsley make this orzo one of my family's most-requested sides. It's fantastic with chicken, pork and fish. —Leslie Palmer, Swampscott, Massachusetts
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Turkey Saltimbocca

I kept prosciutto and sage in this Italian classic, but instead of veal I added turkey. This saltimbocca is so divine, you won't believe how quick and easy it is. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Coconut Italian Cream Cake

I’d never tasted an Italian cream cake before moving to Colorado. Now I bake for people in the area, and this beauty is one of my most requested treats. —Ann Bush, Colorado City, Colorado
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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 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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Herbed Bubble Bread

"It takes just five ingredients to dress up a package of frozen rolls to make this buttery, crusty loaf," says Anita Whorton of Powder Springs, Georgia.
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Almond Chocolate Biscotti

My neighbors look forward to getting my gifts of these chocolate-covered cookies. I love that this chocolate biscotti recipe is such a cinch to make. —Ginger Chatfield, Muscatine, Iowa
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Tortellini with Asparagus & Lemon

This is a terrific warm-weather dish, loaded with fresh flavors. I make mine meatless, but some sliced grilled chicken on top would be awesome, too. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Brie and Prosciutto Tart

Feel free to experiment with this versatile tart. Substitute ham or Canadian bacon for prosciutto, Swiss chard for spinach and your favorite kind of creamy cheese for Brie.—Amy Tong, Anaheim, California
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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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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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Cheese & Pesto Biscuits

Biscuits always liven up a meal, especially when they’re golden brown and filled with pesto, garlic and cheese for extra zip. —Liz Bellville, Jacksonville, North Carolina
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Homemade Makeover Italian Cream Cake

Toasted pecans and coconut take this moist cake from good to great, but it’s the cream cheese frosting that makes it truly extraordinary. And it's lower in fat and calories than similar recipes. You’ll definitely want seconds!—Christy White, Oxford, Mississippi
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Festive Meat Loaf Pinwheel

This crowd-size pinwheel is special enough for holiday dinner and features ham, Swiss cheese and a delicious homemade tomato sauce.—Vera Sullivan, Amity, Oregon
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Three-Cheese Turkey Manicotti

This is my husband’s favorite dish. He always requests it, even for holidays! You’ll love the variety of cheeses and spices that jazz it up. It’s restaurant-quality, but at a quarter of the price! —LuAnne Wallace Bennett, Powder Springs, Georgia
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Ricotta Pie (Pizza Dolce) with Chocolate and Raspberry

My grandmother recalls ricotta pie always making an appearance on Easter when she was little. Now I've taken here recipe and created a pared down version for a more upscale appearance at holidays and other gatherings. —Stephen DeBenedictis, Wakefield, Massachusetts
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Mostaccioli

Even though we're not Italian, this rich, cheesy pasta dish is a "family tradition" for holidays and special occasions. I was delighted the first time I tried this mostaccioli recipe—it has all the flavor of lasagna without the work of layering the ingredients. Try it…I'm sure it'll become one of your family's favorites, too! —Nancy Mundhenke, Kinsley, Kansas
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Bacon and Fontina Stuffed Mushrooms

What's better than lots of bacon and cheese in a mushroom cap? Yum! They'll be a hit with your guests, too. —Tammy Rex, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania
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Double-Drizzled Biscotti

Semisweet and white chocolate drizzles give these biscotti a pretty look. The baking time is shorter than for some biscotti, so they're a little softer. —Cheryl Ludemann, Boonville, New York
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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.

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