21 Popular Italian Breakfast Recipes to Start The Day

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There’s something about an Italian breakfast that just screams ‘comfort.’ These traditional Italian breakfast foods embody that for the most important meal of the day!

Maybe it’s the warm, well-balanced flavors. Or maybe it’s the seasonal ingredients like fresh fruit and the Italian love of good food.

Whatever it is, one thing’s for sure. Having an assortment of Italian breakfast recipes in your back pocket for the first meal of the day is essential to living the good life. Luckily, you’re here!

Let’s dive into twenty-one of the best breakfast recipes and Italian meals hailing from the motherland of flavor: Italy.

Italian breakfast recipes

A good place to start with a country’s cuisine is usually by looking at what the locals eat the most. In the case of Italy, breakfast is typically a little lighter to make room for the larger meals in the day.

Think buttery pastries like an Italian croissant, Italian coffee, or a sweet treat like cookies; it’s almost always sweet.

While this might be a little shock for anyone used to a savory meal first thing in the morning, it’s rare to find savory Italian food on the menu around breakfast time in Italy.

That said, every family does their Italian breakfast table their way! The list of Italian cuisine recipes ahead is a wide range of potential Italian breakfast recipes, so go forth and explore!

It’s time to put down the breakfast cereals and enjoy your morning coffee with this collection of Italian breakfast recipes.

Typical Italian Breakfast Recipes

Let’s start with the most popular breakfast foods you’ll likely find on a nonna’s kitchen table. Made with love and care, each easy recipe is guaranteed to arm you with the nutrients to take on any day.

1. Savory French Toast

savory french toast

Source: lucismorsels.com

While French toast is usually sweet, this savory spin uses Italian flavors to spark your tastebuds. This savory breakfast is a great way to enjoy a healthy – yet indulgent – breakfast.

The best part is that French toast is quite easy to make. You only need an egg, herbs, and a high-quality type of bread to work. This is comforting, fragrant, and ideal for a Sunday morning.

2. Orange Ricotta Pancakes

orange ricotta pancakes

Source: yummyaddiction.com

Pancakes have long been home to some of the world’s most well-loved flavor combinations. This orange and ricotta cheese pancake recipe proves what good hosts pancakes are to great taste!

You can have a plate of luscious pancakes ready in just twenty minutes in the best way. That makes this hearty breakfast recipe so good for entertaining family and friends for brunch.

3. Prosciutto Eggs Benedict

prosciutto eggs benedict

Source: threeolivesbranch.com

If you fancy yourself a breakfast master, this traditional breakfast recipe is essential to your cookbook.

Classic Italian flavors combine with a traditional English breakfast to make a perfect choice!

Imagine the buttery glaze of hollandaise sauce cut through with sweet balsamic vinegar. There’s a reason this is a popular choice and restaurant favorite for Italian hotels.

Pair this with some fresh citrus fruit, an Italian pastry, and a double shot of espresso for a complete Italian culture breakfast.

4. Lemon Bread

lemon bread

Source: the-bella-vita.com

Lean into Italian tradition with this delicious example of a simple, sweet breakfast. Whether you need a quick start or a delicious end to the day, this lemon bread will serve you well.

The sweet bread itself is buttery and crumbly, with a light lemon tang. The glaze with a sweet flavor on top holds most of the lemon flavor, so you can control how strong you’d like it to be.

5. Butternut Squash, Bacon, Kale, and Goat Cheese Frittata

butternut squash, bacon, kale and frittata

Source: coleycooks.com

A frittata might be the ultimate breakfast recipe if you are looking for savory options for a healthy breakfast.

Everything you need to get through your day is contained in a simple egg dish! The flavors, textures, and even looks are out of this world.

This super healthy frittata comes together in no time. One pan will easily feed a four-person family, and you can tweak the ingredients to suit everyone’s tastes.

6. Zabaglione with Berries and Espresso

zabaglione with berries and espresso

Source: cookingwithmammac.com

Zabaglione is traditionally an alcoholic dessert. But this version swaps out the booze for beans, adding a dose of much-needed espresso to your morning. It’s sweet, creamy, and super smooth.

Best of all, this breakfast only uses two ingredients! Raw egg yolks and sugar cook gently together into the perfect custard. This is ideal for special occasions (or spooned over a cup of coffee).

7. Panettone Bread Pudding

panettone bread pudding

Source: brunchandbatter.com

Never let leftover panettone go to waste! This bread pudding recipe gives excess panettone new life, using oranges, almonds, and tons of heavy cream to reawaken the leftovers.

Like all bread puddings, this proves that comfort can come in food form. The panettone base cranks up the flavor! Make your holidays something to remember with this delightful breakfast.  

8. Broccoli Frittata

broccoli frittata

Source: theforkedspoon.com

Sneak some greens into your meals with this delicious broccoli frittata first thing in the morning. This is a great way to get your kids on the broccoli train, especially if they love eggs for breakfast!

The storm of Italian flavors hiding in every spoonful will distract them from the greenery.

9. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

lemon ricotta pancakes

Source: easyhomemaderecipes.ca

Ricotta is beautiful with citrus, so you can change out any form of citrus to enjoy the interplay of acidity and creaminess. This lemon and ricotta blend is the perfect filling for a pancake.

Serve them hot with a knob of butter and a handful of berries to complete the picture. This is sweet, fluffy, and rich. The perfect way to start a lazy Sunday!

10. Pastina with Egg

pastina with egg

Source: saporitokitchen.com

Take twenty minutes to create this family-friendly Italian classic. Kids and adults will love this fluffy, salty start to the day.

Pastina is a tiny type of pasta – any shape. When cooked with egg, it becomes fluffy, almost like scrambled eggs with cheese! Top with crispy prosciutto for the ultimate kickstarter.

Enjoy more egg recipes like this yummy cast iron breakfast skillet!

11. Ricotta Toast

ricotta toast

Source: lovefromthetable.com

Crank your toast up a notch with a smear of creamy ricotta. You can top this versatile ingredient with any fruit, so get creative! Top with a drizzle of honey for the best experience.

This is a crunchy, creamy, sweet, refreshing way to start the day.

You’ll enjoy these other lovely healthy toast ideas for breakfast!

12. Tomato Bruschetta

tomato bruschetta

Source: healthyrecipes101.com

When we think of ‘Italian breakfast,’ many people think of bruschetta first! This refreshing recipe is perfect for a summer brunch.

You can easily feed many guests without spending hours in the kitchen. Pro tip: make sure you’re using seasonal ingredients! That makes them taste their absolute best.

Italian Breakfast Pastries

Next, we’re in the realm of pastry! It’s a good place to be.

These Italian pastries are typical, especially in the city where cafes and bakeries run amok. Kick off your day with a spike of sugar and caffeine to be ready for whatever the world has waiting.

13. Vegan Italian Pear Almond Cake

vegan Italian pear almond cake

Source: tyberrymuch.com

Start your day with a delicate, buttery pastry topped with crunchy almonds. This is a crumbly pastry that goes beautifully with a cup of coffee.

This is an example of cozy holiday baking. The cake takes only twenty minutes of hands-on time. Then you have enough to feed a crowd of hungry holiday attendees.

This is also a wonderful option for taking a picnic or a potluck!

14. Anise Biscotti

anise biscotti

Source: barleyandsage.com

Biscotti is another perfect example of a classic Italian breakfast. They’re small, sweet, crunchy, and heaven with a cup of coffee. If you’re headed somewhere for breakfast, bring these with you!

Not only will they impress with their flavor, but they won’t go stale in the time it takes to reach your destination. Perfect cookies without needing a hermetically sealed container? I call that a win.

These tasty biscottis are one of the best breakfast potluck ideas!

15. Vegan Panettone

vegan panettone

Source: tyberrymuch.com

Panettone is just one of those things many vegans feel they have to give up… but never fear!

This delicious recipe is soft, fluffy, and packed with all the little trimmings you expect from the genuine article. The lack of dairy doesn’t hurt the flavor or texture of this tasty dessert.

So, you can serve this as your main event without worrying that non-vegans will complain. Trust me. They won’t even know the difference.

Enjoy these other decadent vegan brunch recipes!

16. Homemade Italian Zeppoles

Italian zeppoles

Source: knifeandpaddle.com

Zeppoles are Italy’s answer to the donut hole, cranked up 500%. They’re insanely light and fluffy, with an addictive cinnamon-sugar coating on the outside to add texture and flavor.

When you’re celebrating something special, there’s nothing better than a batch of zeppoles to get you in the mood for fun. Serve with a cup of coffee for a warm, comforting start to the day.

17. Brioche Bun

brioche bun

Source: christinascucina.com

Brioche might be the king of bread. You make brioche with an enriched dough, meaning there is dairy, whereas other loaves of bread have none. These buns come straight from Sicily.

There, serving your brioche buns with cream-topped granita is par for the course. The cool, refreshing dessert is perfect for warm and fluffy brioche.

18. Apple Cake

apple cake

Source: marcellinaincucina.com

Set aside the American apple pie in favor of Italy’s more refined apple cake. This is a moist and dense cake – almost like a coffee cake. It’s the perfect way to kick off brunch with friends!

Serve with your favorite hot beverages to counteract the dense crumb. The apples keep everything naturally sweet without tipping things into ‘candy’ territory.

This yummy raspberry smoothie would pair nicely with your apple cake!

Italian Breakfast Casseroles

Finally, we have some of the simplest recipes you can reach for when feeding an entire family. There’s nothing like the warm embrace of a delicious casserole in the morning.

19. Sausage and Peppers Casserole

sausage and peppers casserole

Source: cookingwithmammac.com

Feed a crowd for breakfast in a hurry with this tasty casserole. Packed with sausage meat and minced peppers, this egg casserole is like the easier version of a frittata.

The key to this casserole’s success is being generous with the cheese. The melted cheese on top brings everything together, adding a golden brown that calls you to keep eating.

20. Caprese Hashbrown Casserole

caprese hashbrown casseroles

Source: threeolivesbranch.com

Did somebody say ‘hashbrown casserole’?

This Italian twist on a family favorite combines a hashbrown casserole with a fresh caprese salad. The basil and tomato lift the flavor of the hashbrowns, adding a dash of acidity that livens it up.

21. Pizza Casserole

pizza casserole

Source: smalltownwoman.com

Finally, we have one of my favorites, the pizza casserole! This quick and easy dish is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It even makes wonderful leftovers the next day.

Instead of a bread crust, this recipe uses a bed of marinara pasta to add the essential carbs. Top that with your favorite pizza toppings and a generous layer of cheese, then bake!

What emerges is a crowd-pleaser of a dish, guaranteed to bring the whole family running to the table, no wake-up call needed.

Which Italian breakfast recipes are your favorite? Did I miss any essentials? Let me know in the comments below which recipes you’ll try in the coming week!

Check out the rest of All Nutritious for more round-ups of delicious food from all over the world.

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