Published on:
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

20 Italian Breakfast Recipes

The beautiful country of Italy is famous for architecture, fashion, art, and unparalleled cuisine. Upon waking up in Italy, the excitement looms in the air anticipating what delicious foods you will eat that day. Do you ever wonder what 20 Italian breakfast recipes are favorites in Italy?

Forget the pancakes, sausage, and heavy breakfast foods you are used to eating. Italian breakfast, or colazione in Italian, is usually quick and simple, made using seasonal quality ingredients combining local fresh flavors with easy cooking techniques. A cup of coffee and a pastry is a typical Italian breakfast.

So if you are vacationing in Italy or just want a taste of their morning culture, this article is for you. What do Italians eat for breakfast on an everyday basis? We will tell you!

Here are 20 Italian breakfast recipes that are tasty and authentic.

Mangiamo!

Coffee is the main Italian breakfast essential recipe.

Coffee

Almost every single Italian starts their day off with coffee or un caffe. Many Italians consume these coffees at home, but many also head to a local cafe, a local bar for coffee.

Some strictly drink their coffee in the morning, while others like to sip their drink with biscotti. Italian breakfast centers around coffee in many ways.

There are tons of variations of Italian coffee orders, but here are some of the most common:

Un Caffe – A simple, bare shot of espresso.

Caffe Latte – A shot of espresso with milk, served in a tall glass.

Macchiato – An espresso shot with foamy milk.

Caffe Lungo – A cup of watered-down espresso, also known as an Americano in the U.S.

Hot chocolate is a warm Italian breakfast pick-me-up alternative to coffee.

Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate, or cioccolata calda, is nothing like the American hot beverage we all know and love. It is a thick, rich chocolate cup with a pudding-like consistency made of simple chocolate, sugar, and milk.

A cioccolata calda is the perfect morning pick-me-up in Italy if you are not in the mood for caffeine. This drink is so thick that it’s commonly served with a spoon!

A hot cappuccino is commonly drank in a cafe in Italy before work.

Cappuccino

This drink is possibly the most popular aside from un caffe. You make a cappuccino from a double shot of espresso, add steamed milk and then top with milk foam.

This cappuccino is thick and filling, so most Italians will have this drink in place of a pastry or croissant. Italians typically do not eat a massive breakfast like some other parts of the world.

Tea is a popular Italian breakfast recipe instead of coffee.

Tea

All Italian cafes serve tea in addition to coffee. Tea is not nearly as common as coffee is in Italy, but it is always a lighter option for those who don’t need the caffeine.

Orzo, made from barley, is a warm Italian drink recipe commonly drank for breakfast.

Orzo

No, not the pasta shape. Orzo is a hot beverage made from roasted barley and looks like hot chocolate.  Orzo means barley in Italian.

Much like hot chocolate, this drink is consumed by people who want to warm their bellies in the morning without drinking coffee.

Cornetto is the Italian croissant, commonly enjoyed in Italy for breakfast.

Croissant (Cornetto)

Croissants are technically a French pastry, but a cornetto is an Italian version. Cornetto translates to “little horn,” which is precisely what it resembles!

A cornetto is different from a croissant because the dough uses less butter. The result is a little softer than a traditional flaky croissant. Italians eat Cornetto sparingly as it is a more fattening breakfast option.

Biscotti is a twice-baked Italian breakfast cookie, perfect for dunking in coffee.

Biscotti

These crunchy almond-based biscuits are the perfect food to dip into a cup of coffee. Biscotti has a very crisp exterior, which melts and softens slightly in your hot beverage.

You will typically find biscotti flavored with fennel seeds, dried fruits, or chocolate. They are usually lightly sweetened.

Commonly found in Italy, a frittata is an open-faced omelet served for breakfast.

Frittata

Most Italians enjoy baked goods along with their coffee in the morning. For a more extensive breakfast, Italians will make egg-based dishes, most notably frittatas.

Frittatas are similar to a crustless quiche or unfolded omelet. Italians commonly fill frittatas with seasonal vegetables, cheeses, and meats.

Crepes are a common breakfast in Italy, served either sweet or savory.

Crepes

Crepes are, again, a French item. Italian crepes are called crespelle, which is much crisper and thinner than a crepe. 

Sweet or savory fillings accompany crespelle. Children might have hazelnut spread inside theirs, while adults may have theirs with prosciutto.

Panettone is enjoyed for Italian breakfast usually over the holidays with a cup of coffee.

Panettone

Traditionally seen around Christmastime, panettone is a staple bread item in Italian culture. A slice alongside your morning coffee is how Italians enjoy their panettone. Lucky Americans can also find this delicacy in Italian markets around the holidays.

This eggy bread is served for breakfast in Italy with butter, jam, and a cup of coffee.

Brioche

Brioches are an Italian pastry made of a lightly sweetened yeast dough. They are eggy, fluffy, and very tender.

Italian breakfasts will consist of a coffee and brioche cup filled with almond paste, jam, or cream. Brioche can also be a dessert filled with gelato, redefining the original ice cream sandwich!

Famous across many cultures, bread and butter/jam is loved for an Italian breakfast.

Bread with Jam and Butter

Aside from the traditional pastries, a simple slice of fresh-baked bread is also extremely common for Italian colazione, topping the bread with either freshly made jam or butter for a flavorful treat.

For breakfast, Italians love dipping crisp biscuits into their morning coffee.

Biscuits

Crumbly biscuits are often associated with British culture. However, Italians love to enjoy them with their morning coffee. A simple dunk into your coffee makes this a popular breakfast in Italy.

A light meal of yogurt and fruit is the perfect light Italian breakfast.

Yogurt

Italian breakfast consists of bread and pastries. If you want to avoid a lower-carb meal, a simple bowl of yogurt will do. Seasonal fresh fruit can top a bowl of fresh, local yogurt.

Prosciutto, mortadella, and other cold cuts are delicious on bread for an Italian breakfast,

Cold Cuts

Another breadless Italian breakfast recipe consists of simple, sliced meats. Thinly sliced prosciutto, mortadella, or capicola is the perfect protein pick-me-up for going forward with your day. Breakfast in Italy will include bread with cold cuts.

Much like an American breakfast sandwich, Italians enjoy pressed sandwiches occasionally for breakfast.

Breakfast Panino

More similar to an American breakfast sandwich, some Italians top their breakfast bread with fillings for a more satisfying Italian brunch. 

A panino is a pressed and grilled sandwich stuffed with items like prosciutto, fontina, and mayonnaise. Panino’s are a slightly heavier Italian breakfast than what is traditional.

A folded pie, or crostata, is a flaky pastry served for breakfast in Italy.

Crostata

Crostata is a pastry that can be sweet or savory, filled with fruits, vegetables, and occasionally meat. It is an open-faced tart with the dough’s sides folded over the filling, preventing any leaking. Crostatas are also commonly referred to as galettes, a similar French pastry.

Stuffed donuts, called Ciambella, are a fried Italian breakfast delicacy.

Ciambella (Donuts)

Who doesn’t love coffee and a donut? Italians sure do! A Ciambella is a little ball of fried dough rolled in sugar, often filled with sweet cream or jam.

You may also find zeppole, which is also fried dough rolled in sugar and stuffed with ricotta or a pumpkin filling.

Fresh seasonal fruit is always found on an Italian breakfast table.

Fruit

Fresh seasonal fruit is always on the Italian breakfast table. Hotels usually offer fruits along with different bread and pastries to traveling guests. Common fruits found in Italy include Bananas, apples, and oranges.

A fresh zucchini bake is a seasonal dish that Italians love to enjoy for breakfast.

Other Baked Items

Healthy baked dishes with seasonal vegetables are a fantastic Italian breakfast. Take some simple zucchini from the garden and toss it with Parmesan and breadcrumbs before baking. Before you know it, your family has a hot, healthy Italian brunch recipe that is decadent and filling.

For this fantastic breakfast recipe, try our Italian Zucchini Bake!

20 Italian Breakfast Recipes 2
20 Italian Breakfast Recipes 2

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