Having a hearty meal with delicious Italian breakfast foods is one of the best ways to start your day. If you’re thinking about pasta and cappuccino, that’s not very far off the mark. But you will be seriously mistaken to believe that it’s the only thing that the boot-shaped land can offer.
For example, you have a wide diversity of Italian bread to content yourself with. Then, there are numerous side dishes you can pair with them to improve the flavor and nutritional value of your breakfast. This post will tell you about all those options.
The Best Italians Breakfast Foods For Champions
If your children, or your inner child, are throwing a tantrum at breakfast for being fed up with run-of-the-mill foods, let’s soothe them with those Italian delights. They are packed with enough flavors and nutrients to make eating great again.
1. Breakfast Frittata – Italian-Style Omelet
When you want to do away with the ordinary omelet, give your breakfast egg-based dishes a new look with this Italian classic. “Frittata” means something like “fried”, but it involves more than just frying your eggs.
The making of Frittata starts with onions, diced potatoes (optional), and Pancetta. The last one is an Italian delicacy made from cured pork belly and an essential ingredient to the success of Frittata.
However, don’t be afraid to swap it for juicy bacon if you can’t easily find Pancetta. When all is done, pour in a mixture of whisked eggs and cheese (ideally Parmesan, but Cheddar cheese can also do the trick).
Make sure you cook the runny parts of the dish properly by making them go under the cooked portions with a spatula. After about 5 minutes, your sweet and creamy Frittata is ready to serve. Don’t forget to garnish it with chopped herbs to bring out the fattiness of the cooked eggs.
If you want to make your Frittata even more nutritious, follow this thorough guide.
2. Crespelle – Italian Crepes
People automatically think of France upon the mention of crepe. But do you know that Italians enjoy their own version of this pancake for breakfast? If you want to experience it, order that dish by its Italian name Crespelle.
Like its French equivalent, Crespelle is a thin, yellow pancake mainly made from flour, eggs, and milk. There are two principal types of Crespelle, each with different additives. Sweet Crespelle requires plenty of sugar and some wine, while the savory one calls for more salt.
When you have prepared a batter according to each type’s requirement, prepare a skillet. Then, cook 2 to 3 tablespoons of the dough at a time for several minutes. You should enjoy your crisp Crespelle hot alone or with cheese, jams, or fruits.
3. Cannoli – Tube-Shaped Italian Dessert
If somebody says to you that Cannoli is an enticing Italian dessert, they are telling half the truth. This tube-shaped pastry from Sicily can make a surprisingly elegant breakfast, especially if you pair it with coffee or milk.
You can buy Cannoli at a supermarket or spend two hours preparing your own batch. In the latter case, start with mixing together flour, sugar, and some spices. Complete the dough by blending them smoothly with egg yolks and wine.
Next comes the tricky part: dividing the dough into small pieces and flattening each as thinly as possible. Now, wrap the thin dough into a cylindrical shape using a Cannoli mold. Any substitute like a wooden tube, a tomato paste can, or even a curtain rod can work as well.
But you should choose the mold’s material carefully because the next step is deep-frying the Cannoli shells along with their molds in hot oil until golden brown. When the shells cool down, take them out and stuff with a filling of Ricotta, candied orange peel, and sugar before serving.
Instead of traveling to Sicily, you can enjoy homemade Cannoli with help from this tutorial.
4. Ciambella – Lemon Yogurt Breakfast Cake
Like health-conscious eaters around the world, a lot of Italians enjoy a combo of yogurt and fruits for breakfast. But many more people prefer to savor yogurt in another way. They whip up the fruity Ciambella, a traditional Italian cake usually served for breakfast.
Basic stuff like flour, sugar, and baking soda is undoubtedly necessary for Ciambella. Other main ingredients are full-fat yogurt (or cream), lemon juice, eggs, and seasonings. You also need a specialized bundt pan to bake the dough.
When the cake turns golden and emits a pleasant citrus scent, it’s time to take it off the pan. Sink your teeth into the soft bread and feel the combined creaminess of yogurt and eggs. If you add olive oil to Ciambella, its Italian fragrance will be even more pronounced.
5. Biscotti – Italian Almond Biscuit
Like Cannoli, Biscotti is always alluring whether you have it as a dessert or for breakfast. In fact, a serving of Biscotti and cappuccino is one of the most popular Italian dishes for the first meal of the day in this Mediterranean country.
Technically, Biscotti is a generic term for all types of crunchy cookies in Italy. In this instance, it refers to a nut-studded bread made from flour, butter, eggs, and, sometimes, dried fruits. Toasted almonds, walnuts, or pecans can also make an appearance in this breakfast item.
The making and baking of Biscotti are pretty much the same as other types of bread. The difference lies in how locals enjoy it. This Italian delight is rather dry and bland, so Italians usually dip it in milk or coffee. And they don’t eat much. Several cookies are enough to round off a meal.
6. Italian Breakfast Casserole
If a few cookies with coffee aren’t sufficient to satisfy you, let’s turn to this more fulfilling Italian dish. It is an economical dish to enjoy the Italian sausages or meat leftover from the night before.
The main ingredients for this breakfast dish are crescent rolls, eggs, cheese (ideally Parmesan), and ham. You can also add sausages, Salami (fermented sausages), and bacon.
Don’t be alarmed by such a high amount of fat and proteins. This dish also includes various kinds of spices, herbs, and veggies to offset its greasy taste.
You need to cook the veggies lightly in olive oil first before preparing this dish in a casserole dish. Start with arranging sauteed veggies, rolls, sausages, and meat at the bottom, followed by an egg-cheese mixture on top.
You can refrigerate the casserole overnight or put it in the oven immediately. Bake it for 30 – 60 minutes until the casserole turns golden and fragrant before slicing it for serving. This dish is highly shelf-stable and can be stored in the refrigerator for later use.
Cooking Italian breakfast casserole is no longer a challenge when you follow this tutorial.
7. Uova in Purgatorio – Eggs In Purgatory
Eggs In Purgatory, or Uova in Purgatorio in Italian, is a savory Neapolitan breakfast dish perfect for a toast. Its name is probably derived from its starkly contrasting appearance with the white and yellow eggs stuck between a “purgatory” of red tomato sauce.
If you find that hard to believe, let’s whip this extremely easy U-something dish up at home to see for yourself. Begin by cooking the tomato sauce by sauteing a mixture of tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, and pepper in olive oil.
The sauce will thicken in 5 minutes. When it does, push the sauce to the edge of the skillet to make room to fry eggs. Add some fatty ingredients like grated Parmesan cheese or Pancetta, and wait until the eggs are done to your liking. Garnish it with parsley and serve right away.
8. Italian Baked Eggs And Sausage
Another baked dish with eggs? How is it different from the Italian casserole dish for breakfast above? It takes relatively less time to make and is tangier due to the inclusion of tomatoes. In addition, it doesn’t require a large amount of spices, so your cupboard will breathe easier.
To make Italian baked eggs, you need to whisk sausage pieces, tomatoes, and cheese (such as Mozzarella or Ricotta) in a large bowl. Gently break the eggs onto the mixture in such a way that their whites and yolks still keep their shape, not being blended with the mixture.
Now, bake everything in the oven for about 7 – 10 minutes. The important thing is to take the dish out when the egg whites harden while the yolks are still soft. Serve the mouth-watering eggs and sausages with buttered bread for a nutritious and flavor-packed meal.
9. Bruschetta – Toasted Bread With Olive Oil And Tomatoes
Pane, burro e marmellata (“bread, butter, and jam”) is a favorite breakfast combo for countless Italians. But here, I’ll tell you about a more savory alternative: Bruschetta, a well-loved Italian appetizer.
You can enjoy this elegant dish by using a toaster oven or regular oven to prepare some slices of buttered French bread (like a baguette). Next, cook a flavor-packed mixture of balsamic vinegar, spices, herbs, and, occasionally, butter.
Now, immerse slices of juicy tomatoes in this marinade for about 30 minutes. After that, spread this upgraded version of tomatoes over each slice of toasted bread just before serving.
Your Bruschetta will be even more flavorful and nutritious if you add mashed avocados to the mix. When you’re done beholding its lovely beauty, you know what has to be done next: devouring it.
Check out this easy recipe for whipping up tasty Bruschetta at home.
10. Ricotta Pancakes
Here is a fantastic recipe for breakfast to enjoy the soft, creamy Ricotta. Tanginess and fattiness sound contradictory, but their infusion in this dish is quite fantastic. For the pancakes, you can make them the same way as you do with Crespelle.
The only difference occurs during the mixing of the dough: don’t forget to add fresh Ricotta and lemon juice to the batter. When the pancakes are golden, fluffy, and deliciously fragrant, drizzle some berry syrup over them. If you have blueberries around, they will be an excellent garnish.
11. Cornetto – Italian Crescent-Shaped Pastry
At first glance, Cornetto (or Cornetti) seems like an Italian attempt at imitating the famous French baked goods. You might think it is made to look like a croissant, to be more precise. However, this popular Italian breakfast item is modeled after the Austrian yeast bread Kifli (or Kipfel).
Therefore, Cornetto is considerably different from a croissant. This finger-licking sweet recipe for the morning is softer and less buttered. Italians love to have a few Cornettos with coffee or milk in the morning.
In the northern region of the country, locals call this delight Brioche (don’t confuse it with the French bread).
Anyway, it is a little tricky to make Cornetto at home. You have to create a yeast dough with butter, milk, and, perhaps, something aromatic like vanilla. Then, roll the dough thinly and cut it into multiple triangular pieces, which you wrap into horn-shaped Cornetto.
After the cakes have risen, the next step is to brush them with sugar syrup or milk and bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes. You can take them out and enjoy when they are golden brown, tender-textured, and milky-smelling.
Learn how to cook Cornetto from scratch here.
12. Italian Cloud Eggs
If Eggs in Purgatory makes a point of placing eggs in a sea of red tomato sauce, Cloud Eggs rely on a white, fluffy background. This dish boasts a beautiful sight of golden egg yolks sitting on top of airy egg whites, a simple yet amazing picture to add more beauty to your breakfast.
Cloud Eggs are a French specialty that first appeared in the 17th century. To give it an Italian vibe, make sure that you have Italian seasonings (a special mixture of ground herbs) and shredded top-tier Parmesan.
This easy yet decadent Italian recipe starts with blending the seasonings with beaten egg whites until the blend is all fluffy. Next, you have to divide the mixture into small mounds and cook them in a pan.
Don’t forget to create a small hole in each mound. When the egg whites puff up and taste just right, carefully slip the egg yolks into the empty spaces that you have saved.
Sprinkle the dish with Parmesan and wait until the yolks are cooked as you like. Ideally, you should wait until they are no longer runny but aren’t hard yet. At that point, garnish the eggs with some herbs, and you can enjoy your heavenly breakfast!
13. Panettone French Toast
Wait, isn’t Panettone a famous sweet bread that is part of the large family of Italian desserts for Christmas? That’s right, but I’m not talking about that standard version. Read on to discover how you can deliciously turn it into a toast for everyday breakfast.
Obviously, the first step is to gather a loaf of Panettone that you can comfortably buy from any supermarket. Cut it into many slices and coat them in a mixture of eggs, milk, butter, and cinnamon.
The next step is to cook the toasts in a skillet over a medium-low flame (preferably a non-stick skillet to save the headache of cleaning up). It takes about 4-5 minutes to cook the Panettone French toasts to perfection. You can top it with sugar dust, whipping cream, and juicy berries.
14. Polenta Cereal
Do people have cereals for breakfast in Italy? The answer is a big yes. While a large number of Italians enjoy cereal varieties similar to those in Western countries, the staple dish of Polenta is still a popular choice when local inhabitants want to fill their empty stomachs in the morning.
By definition, Polenta is a creamy, hot porridge made from boiled cornmeal and/ or buckwheat flour. Like other breakfast cereals, making Polenta from scratch is a nastily time-consuming task, so you should buy the packaged version from grocery stores or supermarkets.
You should cook Polenta in hot water for about 15 minutes. Don’t forget to adjust the amount of water to achieve your preferred level of thickness. Since plain Polenta is bland, you should enhance it with cheese, milk, butter, or honey.
However, if you want to enjoy a meatless recipe from Italy, go for fruits and nuts instead. You should cook dried plums, apricots, or walnuts with citrus juice in a pan for about 10 minutes. Now, mix this richly sweet paste with the gluten-free Polenta for a healthy breakfast.
Here is how you can prepare Polenta with Parmesan and sauteed onions.
15. Italian Brunch Torte
A Torte is a savory, multilayered cake usually of Central and Eastern European origin. While that description doesn’t read like an ideal breakfast food, the Italian version is really scrumptious and suitable for your breakfast, lunch, and anything in between.
The list of ingredients is a little long, so you may want to prepare it the night before. For the dough, you will need some puff pastry or crescent dough, eggs, and Parmesan. Meanwhile, the filling requires ham, Salami (cured sausage), some veggies, and Italian seasonings.
The making of Italian brunch Torte begins with lining the bottom of a springform pan with the dough. Next, you evenly arrange a layer of sauteed veggies, Salami, cheese, and ham. On top of that layer is a mixture of eggs and cheese. You can also add a layer of roasted red pepper.
Stop here, or give the Torte another trilogy of veggies-ham, egg, and red pepper layers. Either way, the next step is to bake the dish for 60 – 75 minutes. If you don’t want your Torte to be excessively browned, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
Now, take the cake out of the pan with a knife and leave it to cool down. You can cut it into triangles and serve hot or cold. The combined tastiness of rich mushrooms, sweet spinach, umami-packed meat, and nutty cheese is too good to miss.
16. Italian Strata – Italian Layered Casserole
You’re probably familiar with the American recipe of Strata (layered casserole). But what will it taste like with premier Italian ingredients? Let’s find out right away. Italian Strata can be prepared at night so that you can enjoy it hot for breakfast the next day.
This Strata version consists of multiple layers. Each one includes buttered bread (even leftover bread will do), sauteed Pancetta (or sausages), browned onions, and grated types of Italian cheese (like Parmesan and Fontina). At the top of the casserole is a blend of eggs, milk, and spices.
The casserole should be covered and chilled for at least 8 hours. When it is ready, all you have to do is bake it uncovered for about 50 minutes, give or take. Now, the golden brown Italian Strata, in its decadent creaminess, can deliver an excitingly savory delight to your meal.
Bring the fabulous flavor of Italian Strata to your home with this guide.
When cappuccino was invented in early 20th-century Italy, probably no one could believe that few Italians could start a new day without it one day. Yet, that’s exactly what happens these days. Cappuccino is one of the universal drinks in Italy, perfect for biscuits, eggs, or toast.
If you have an espresso machine, whipping up a robust cappuccino is no difficult task. You just need to pour some finely ground coffee into the machine and operate it to extract the espresso. Ideally, your machine should have a built-in steam wand for you to heat the milk with.
In case it doesn’t, you have to resort to a separate milk steamer. When the steamed milk is ready, pour it into the espresso very slowly. You can blend the warmed milk and foamed milk together to create a smooth cappuccino, or save the foam and spoon it over the top.
That’s right, but can I make a cappuccino without a machine? The answer is yes if you take the extra step of containing steamed milk in a sealable jar and shake it well to manually form foam. Another alternative is to add whipped coffee foam to your coffee before pouring in the milk.
18. Caffè Latte
A ubiquitous morning ritual in Italy is to concoct a cup of Caffè Latte or buy it from a drink stand. That doesn’t sound too different from the rest of the world, right? But here’s the thing: Italians never have espresso with milk in the afternoon.
Let’s get back to the main topic of brewing Caffè Latte. By the way, “latte” only means “milk” in Italian, so you have to say the whole phrase to get the right drink in Italy. That drink is pretty much similar to cappuccino, so it follows roughly the same preparation method.
You can brew espresso and steamed milk with or without an espresso machine. Don’t forget that Caffè Latte has more steamed milk than coffee. Also, it combines the espresso and milk well together, not layering them distinctly like a cappuccino.
If you want to make Caffè Latte like an Italian, find out how here.
Give Yourself A Head Start With Italian Breakfast Foods
The foods that Italians enjoy for breakfast are exceptionally diverse. They can be a frugal yet flavorful serving of some cookies or a labor-intensive dish of brunch Torte. Whatever you eat, remember to wash it down with enchanting Italian drinks like cappuccino.
And how beautiful Italian dishes are! The contrasting shades of Eggs in Purgatory or the elegance of lovely Bruschetta will make you feel bad when you wolf them down. But the beauty of these dishes doesn’t compromise their practical and nutritional value at all.
So what are you waiting for? Go to your kitchen, and make it come alive with the smell of yummy Italian breakfast foods every morning! Feel free to tell me about your experience in the comment section. And if you want to share this post, go ahead and thank you very much!
6 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories204
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 4.1g 21%
- Cholesterol 278mg 93%
- Sodium 606mg 26%
- Potassium 271mg 8%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
- Sugars 1.3g
- Protein 12.6g 26%
- Calcium 130%
- Iron 2%
- Vitamin D 26%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Linda Dean is a talented food blogger and cookbook author with a passion for creating simple and delicious recipes. With a focus on using wholesome ingredients and showcasing their flavors with minimal fuss, Linda’s recipes have become a favorite among busy home cooks looking for quick and nutritious meals.
With years of experience in the kitchen and a love for experimenting with new ingredients and flavor combinations, Linda has honed her culinary skills and developed a signature style that is both approachable and sophisticated. Whether she’s sharing a classic recipe with a twist or showcasing the latest food trends, Linda’s work is always fresh, innovative, and inspiring.
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