If you’re looking for dinner party ideas, here is an Italian dinner menu you’ll love. It is vegetarian-friendly and works well for 6, 8, or more people. 

A beautiful al fresco Italian dinner party in front of an outdoor fireplace. The table is set with a white linen tablecloth, and family-style plates of food are on the table including a Burrata Salad and antipasti platter. A beautiful Italian dinner party idea.

This Italian Dinner Party video got many requests for a written menu, so I am sharing all the details here! I threw this family weekend dinner together quickly and took a semi-homemade approach. It felt fancier than a regular weeknight dinner but was comfortable and doable. 

As the family is half vegetarian and half omnivore, with a couple of low-carb preferences, I wanted to make sure everyone had plenty to enjoy. This menu is great for vegetarians or pescatarians. I served all the courses at once, other than dessert, family-style on the table so that everyone could make their plates, from kids to grandparents.  


A white plate with toasted bread and a small bowl of garlic confit with balsamic.

Crusty bread with olive oil is often served with Italian food. To elevate it, we added some Garlic Confit to dipping dishes with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Alternatively, we recommend serving Fettunta (authentic Tuscan bruschetta). 


A white rectangular platter topped with antipasti: grilled zucchini, grilled eggplant, artichokes, olives, marinated mushroooms, and cherry tomatoes.

This antipasti platter was assembled with ingredients to-go from a local Italian restaurant, Via Maestra. It consisted of: 

  • Grilled Eggplant 
  • Grilled Zucchini 
  • Castelverano Olives 
  • Marinated mushrooms & peppers 
  • Artichokes 

Insalata (Salad) 

A beautiful large white ceramic platter with mixed greens topped with tomatoes and two balls of burrata cheese. This is a great Italian dinner party menu salad served on white tablecloth with peach colored roses.

This big beautiful burrata salad is simple to throw together. Top a bed of greens (I like arugula here but used mixed greens) with tomatoes, basil, and room-temperature burrata cheese. Fresh mozzarella works well too. Dress this salad with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. 

Primi (First Course) 

A white plate with ravioli covered in black truffle sauce garnished with parsley.

Porcini mushroom ravioli with black truffle sauce is my go-to for dinner parties. I picked up a catering portion from Via Maestra, so I don’t have a recipe for you. If you’d like to try making this, cook your favorite mushroom ravioli, then add olive oil and black truffle sauce. Here is everything you need to know about truffles. 

Here are our favorite Pasta Recipes you might like as well. If you prefer vegan, we recommend these Vegan Stuffed Shells or the Best Vegan Lasagna

Secondi (Entree) 

We served grilled salmon with lemon and herbs for a dinner party menu secondi. The Lemon Artichoke Pesto Salmon from my cookbook, The Yummy Mummy Kitchen, is my favorite for dinner parties. 

Fish was not necessary here since the pasta was so rich and we had plenty of other dishes. However, it was nice to have for our low-carb family members. 

Dolci (Dessert) 

A white ceramic ramekin filled with vanilla bean ice cream topped with sliced strawberries, a sprig of mint, and a pizzelle cookie. An easy Italian dinner party dessert.

Again, this was a simple, semi-homemade dish. The locally-made vanilla bean ice cream with berries and Pizzele cookies, which you can buy or make.  

Vegetarian Italian Dinner Party Menu

A beautiful long table set in a backyard. An aperol spritz sits on the table set with white dishes, pink napkins, and olive branch floral arrangements.

We created a similar dinner party, but on a larger scale for 30 people, for a backyard birthday party. We went with a similar Italian vegetarian menu that was served family-style. Each course was presented on platters for 6 people. 

  • Aperol Spritz to welcome guests 
  • Organic Greens with Balsamic Dressing, and Shaved Grana Padano Cheese
  • Organic Farro Grain Salad 
  • Antipasto platter: Grilled Eggplants/Zucchini/Asparagus, Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato Caprese, Italian Grilled Artichoke Halves
  • Warm Polenta with Porcini Mushrooms
  • Penne alla Puttanesca
  • Ravioli Zuccotto with Browned Butter and Sage Sauce

This fancy yet relaxed Italian dinner party menu was absolutely perfect. Feel free to use these ideas or modify them for your own dinner party.