Italian food is so familiar that it’s easy to forget the reasons why the cuisine is such a crowd pleaser, from the slurp of twirled pasta and rich bites of slow-cooked meats to creamy tiramisu. Plus, Italian food is so flexible that you can use it again and again for your catered meetings, whether you need to feed a VIP meeting or casual team lunch. When you spend most of the week running between emails and meetings, it’s helpful to have a go-to catering option like Italian. The next time you need food for a meeting, try these delicious ideas for Italian catering.
Italian Salads and Apps
1. Caprese Salad
For your next meeting, try some of our favorite catering ideas for Italian starters, like the caprese salad.
Soft mozzarella pieces are arranged with fat tomato slices and torn basil. A drizzle of olive oil brings out the lusciousness of the tomatoes. Caprese is a great catering menu idea for gluten-free and vegetarian eaters.
2. Antipasto Platter
If you need Italian catering ideas for a formal meeting, consider ordering an antipasto platter to avoid a messy or distracting lunch.
If you want to avoid dishes that require forks and knives, nibble on apps. Small bites like rich cured meats, creamy and nutty cheeses, and roasted veggies are full of flavor and hold up well at room temperature.
3. Caesar Salad
Italian catering ideas like the Caesar salad are not only affordable but tasty.
Juicy, chopped romaine plays against the texture of craggy-crunchy croutons. Nutty parmesan adds another level of flavor in every bite. Order a big Italian salad like the Caesar to stretch your budget and round out your catering menu.
You'll find dishes like puttanesca and many more tasty catering ideas at your local Italian restaurants.
Light eaters may enjoy puttanesca, a bright pasta tossed with jammy tomatoes and briny olives. The dish is satisfying, and you can absolutely get it with chicken.
5. Eggplant Parmesan
If you need Italian catering ideas for casual team meetings, try eggplant parmesan, which is delicious and filling.
Feel confident that both meat eaters and vegetarians will tango with this dish. Fried eggplant slices are draped in marinara and showered with grated parmesan and mozzarella, then baked until the edges crisp.
6. Chicken Parmesan
Bookmark this list of Italian catering ideas so that you remember to order dishes like chicken parmesan. Fill up your team with hearty chicken parm. Chicken cutlets are pounded thin and pan-fried until golden and crunchy. Then the chicken is sauced with marinara, topped with a fistful of cheese, and broiled until the flavors meld.
7. Fettuccini Alfredo
Across the country, you'll find Italian restaurants catering dishes like fettuccini Alfredo.
This luxe dish will make any VIP meeting feel special. Ribbons of noodles are coated with rich, creamy Alfredo sauce and finely grated parmesan. Try this versatile dish with chicken, shrimp, or loads of veggies.
8. Orecchiette with Broccoli and Sausage
No matter what kind of office event you're planning, go for catering ideas that will be filling, like this Italian dish, orecchiette.
This pasta dish is dressed up with browned sausage, seared broccoli, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat. The best part is that the ear-shaped orecchiette nicely catches bits of crumbly sausage and garlicky olive oil.
9. Pasta with Pesto
If you need affordable Italian catering ideas for a work event, you can't go wrong with pasta with pesto.
If you want an alternative to a tomato- or cream-based sauce, this is a great Italian catering menu idea. This zesty pesto blends sweet basil, olive oil, and loads of toasted pine nuts and parmesan. The bright pasta dish pairs perfectly with fresh salad and hunks of bread. If nut allergies are a concern, pesto can be just as tasty made sans nuts.
10. Stuffed Pasta Shells
Shake up your next meeting with Italian catering ideas like this classic dish of stuffed pasta shells.
When you bite into these giant stuffed shells, they gush with milky ricotta, spinach, and marinara. If you’re planning catering for an office lunch menu, this filling dish is a great idea for those on a budget.
From Caesar salad to spaghetti, your coworkers are sure to enjoy these ideas for Italian catering.
Part of the satisfaction of eating spaghetti comes from twirling a big saucy forkful and slurping it up. But spaghetti is also popular for its tender, golden-brown meatballs, which simmer for hours in tomato sauce infused with garlic and onions.
12. Lasagna Bolognese
A great idea for Italian catering is meaty lasagna bolognese.
The secret weapon behind this lasagna is bolognese, an hours-long meat sauce made with different cuts of meat and aromatics to produce a complex, velvety sauce. Altogether, the trio of meaty bolognese, silky pasta sheets, and creamy béchamel brings a lot to the table. Plus, hearty lasagna is a great way to fill up the team.
If you need catering for a casual team lunch and don't know where to begin, consider ordering pizza, one of the most popular ideas for Italian catering.
A tender crust, bright sauce, and strings of mozzarella are reminders of why pizza never goes out of style. Pizza is one all time favorite catering menu idea for feeding meat lovers, vegetarians, and gluten-free eaters in one fell swoop.
14. Italian Cookies
On our list of Italian catering ideas is this dessert, Italian cookies.
When you need a treat for a ton of employees, consider ordering a catering tray of crisp, buttery Italian cookies. Cookies are a nice (budget-friendly) touch that can brighten up a meeting.
For a delicious Italian dessert, a great catering idea is a tray of tiramisu.
There’s nothing like a decadent Italian dessert to make coworkers and clients feel special. Tender ladyfingers are soaked in bitter espresso and handsomely dolloped with rich mascarpone cream.
For more information or ideas on catering for your office or corporate event, contact Simple Fare Catering.