Looking for Italian starters to serve at your next dinner party? We have plenty of primi dishes to choose from… think grilled veggie antipasti, burrata bruschetta and a show-stopping Italian flatbread with pear, walnut and gorgonzola. Looking for more Italian recipes? We have plenty of posh pasta dishes (including how to make pasta from scratch) and easy pizza ideas, as well as the best Italian desserts and best Italian baking recipes.


Italian starter recipes

Burrata bruschetta

Lello Favuzzi, of London's Mortimer House, has created a deluxe starter to kick off an Italian dinner. Creamy burrata is paired with homemade red onion jam and drizzled in balsamic vinegar for a vibrant, sophisticated treat.

Bruschetta with cured ham on the side

Burrata al tartufo

Taking 15 minutes to make, this starter of oozing, milky burrata with mushroom and truffles will impress at your next dinner party. We have Covent Garden’s Ave Mario to thank for the recipe.

a silver plate of burrata covered in shavings of truffle

’Nduja arancini

Italian restaurant Bancone's perfectly formed and crunchy 'nduja arancini, laced with Grano Padano and saffron, makes for an easy yet impressive starter with a kick.

Arancini with 'Nduja Sausage

Italian scotch olives

Italian scotch olives make a great starter or nibble to serve with drinks. This recipe comes from Italian restaurant Luca.

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A plate of olives coated in golden breadcrumbs with fresh herbs

Puntarelle salad with anchovies and capers

Puntarelle, a bitter green plant popular in Italy, features in this salad from Ombra restaurant's Mitshel Ibrahim. If you’re after a light, fresh salad to serve at your Italian dinner party, this is a fail-safe recipe.

A green salad plated up

Sicilian salad

This typically Sicilian-style salad of watermelon, chicory and salty pecorinos, topped with toasted pistachios and fennel herb, is a great starter to serve to friends and family at an Italian-style dinner party.

Watermelon salad

Grilled vegetable antipasti

An impressive, make-ahead option to serve at an Italian dinner party. Grill these vibrant veggies and serve alongside fresh focaccia, plenty of olives and cured meats.

Grilled Vegetable Antipasti Recipe

Grilled peaches with burrata

For a bright and colourful salad that acts as the perfect Italian starter, check out this combination of juicy peaches, creamy burrata and salty serrano ham.

A grey plate topped with green leaves, orange peaches and a ball of white cheese

Italian flatbread with pear, walnut and gorgonzola

Kick off a classic Italian meal with a molten cheesy flatbread, featuring a dazzling combination of gorgonzola, pears and walnuts.

Italian Flatbread Recipe with Pear, Walnut and Gorgonzola

Figs with Grana Padano and pink peppercorn dressing

Finely grated Grana Padano in the dressing provides a creamy, piquant contrast to sweet figs in this vibrant Italian starter, a dish that's guaranteed to satisfy everyone at the table.

Halved figs and salad leaves on a plate


Who can say no to focaccia? Satisfy your guests with this moreish and springy Italian bread, glistening with olive oil and studded with rosemary.

Focaccia Bread Recipe With Rosemary and Olive Oil

Chicory with mixed pulses and grains

Italian restaurant Bancone's chicory salad, starring lentils, borlotti beans and crunchy panko breadcrumbs, is an easy yet show-off starter for your Italian dinner party.

Chicory with Grain Salad Recipe

Marinated figs with mozzarella and serrano ham

This simple Italian assortment of figs, creamy mozzarella, salty serrano ham and peppery rocket is easy to assemble yet offers impressive results, perfect for a starter without any of the fuss.

Figs, mozzarella, and serrano ham salad on a plate

Tomato salad with burrata and ‘nduja sauce

A punchy 'nduja sauce is the perfect counterbalance to creamy burrata and vibrant tomatoes in this fresh Italian salad, ideal for a summery dinner party starter.

Tomato Salad Recipe with Burrata

Broad bean and mint panzanella with burrata

For your next Italian dinner party with friends, why not open the evening with this broad bean and mint panzanella with burrata? It packs in plenty of salty flavours which offset the creamy burrata and fresh broad beans.

Panzanella Salad Recipe with Broad Beans and Mint

Tomatoes and lardo on toast with basil oil

For your first course, whip up a plateful of crunchy toasted sourdough with velvety lardo and juicy tomatoes as part of an antipasti at an Italian-style get-together.

Tomatoes on Toast Recipe with Lardo

Marinated melon and bocconcini

Make a plate of bocconcini, paired with sweet honeyed melon, for a retro Italian salad to present at your next dinner party.

Colourful melon and mozzarella balls in a black salad bowl

Ricotta gnudi with sage butter

If you’re looking for an Italian-style starter that'll wow your guests, have a go at making these delicate, light-as-air ricotta gnudi in a dreamy pool of sage butter.

ricotta gnudi

Cannellini bean, chilli and lemon bruschetta

This colourful Italian bruschetta topped with cannellini, chilli and lemon is ready in just 25 minutes, making it a dependable starter to serve at your Italian dinner party.

White Bean Bruschetta Recipe


Janine Ratcliffe Portrait
Janine RatcliffeFood director

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