Italian Dinner Party Ideas, Recipes and More

by Alli

This shop, Italian Dinner Party, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #STOUFFERSGOODNESS #CollectiveBias

There’s nothing I love better than having the entire family over for dinner at least once a week. I love the laughter, the togetherness and spending time with the grandkids. The grown kids still argue over who gets to sit next to their dad and me. Isn’t that cute? This easy to make, semi-homemade Italian Dinner Party is always a hit. 

Big family get-togethers are important to me. That doesn't mean I want to spend the entire day in the kitchen. I've got tips and tricks to get you out of the kitchen and in the midst of family fun.

Since there’s 15 of us now, sometimes it can be difficult to come up with a menu that everyone likes. I usually throw a big Italian feast because it’s the one meal that the entire family can agree on.

Italian Dinner Feast

Some of you are probably thinking that there’s no way you would have 15 people over for dinner on a weekly basis. Hold that thought and come with me. I’m going to show you how easy it is to host a family dinner.

Italian Dinner Party Ideas, Recipes and More

The grandkids always request STOUFFER’S® Mac & Cheese. I love it, too.  It’s delicious, easy to prepare, has no preservatives and made with real cheddar. I really like that it comes in family and party sizes. Psst: Don’t tell anyone, but STOUFFER’S® Mac and Cheese taste much better than mine.

Stouffer's Mac and Cheese

STOUFFER’S Is Made With Love

When making out my menu, STOUFFER’S® Lasagna with Meat and Sauce and STOUFFER’S® Meat Lovers Lasagna joins the Mac & Cheese as must-haves for my Italian feast. I trust STOUFFER’S® because it’s made with love, just like you’d make it.

Italian Feast

Italian Dinner

Parmesan Tomatoes, Antipasta Skewers, Garlic Breadsticks

I also add easy to make Parmesan Tomatoes, Antipasto Skewers, and garlic breadsticks to round out the menu. Dessert is usually cupcakes. Once the menu is planned, I head to Walmart to find everything I need.

While in Walmart, I stopped by the frozen food aisle to stock up on STOUFFER’S® Family Size meals. Have you tried the Meat Lovers Lasagna? It’s the same lasagna we know and love, but with added Italian sausage and pepperoni. It’s my husband’s favorite.

Of course, we all love the classic Lasagna with Meat and Sauce. It has no preservatives and real mozzarella. They all come in family size (yes!) so it’s easy to feed my large family.

STOUFFER'S Instore Photo

Easy Herb Centerpiece

Head to the garden section in Walmart for some herbs to use as a centerpiece. They’re inexpensive and once the party is over, you can send the herbs home with your guests or keep them all for yourself. I like to use parsley, sage, and rosemary. Pot them in terra cotta pots. I also bought a couple of flowers to add some color. The centerpiece is done!

Centerpiece for Italian Dinner

As the family arrives for dinner, I serve antipasto skewers. Everyone arrives hungry and we always have to wait a few minutes for one of my children to arrive. I won’t call names, but there’s always one in the bunch that’s always late.

How to Make the Skewers

The skewers are easy to assemble. I gather up kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers, and fresh mozzarella.

Antipasto Skewers

After threading on skewers, they go in the fridge to chill until dinnertime.

Antipasto Skewers

These skewers add so much color to the table. They’re really tasty, too!

Antipasto Skewers

Antipasto Skewers

Big family get-togethers are important to me. That doesn't mean I want to spend the entire day in the kitchen. I've got tips and tricks to get you out of the kitchen and in the midst of family fun.


  • Kalamata Olives, pitted
  • Artichoke Hearts, drained
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Pepperoncini Peppers
  • Fresh Mozzarella slices


  1. Thread all ingredients onto skewers.

Did you make this recipe?

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Parmesan Tomatoes

Once everyone arrives, it’s time to eat! Parmesan Tomatoes pair nicely with lasagna and only takes minutes to prepare.

Slice tomatoes and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Tomato Parmasan

Mix mayo, Dijon mustard, and Italian seasoning. Top each tomato with the mayo mixture and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Tomato Parm

These are always a big hit at my family gatherings.

Tomatoes Parm

Parmesan Tomatoes

Big family get-togethers are important to me. That doesn't mean I want to spend the entire day in the kitchen. I've got tips and tricks to get you out of the kitchen and in the midst of family fun.


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Slice tomatoes and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and Italian seasoning.
  4. Top each tomato with a spoonful of mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cook for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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Chocolate Mustache Cupcake Toppers

For dessert, I add chocolate mustaches to cupcakes. The kids get a big laugh and they go right along with my Italian theme. I use an inexpensive candy mold and fill it with melted chocolate. Once it hardens, just pop it out and you’re done.

Cupcakes with Mustaches

Italian Dinner Party

I also attach mustaches to black and white straws for the grandkids. Lemonade tastes much better when sipped through a mustache straw.

Mustache Straws

Here’s a free mustache printable for you.

Mustache Free Printable

Thanks to STOUFFER’S®, my big family dinner party is a snap to put together and I get to spend a memorable time with my family. There’s nothing that compares to enjoying good food and good times with my family.

Tomato Cans are Perfect to Hold Silverware

One More Helpful Hint: Use tomato cans to hold breadsticks and silverware. It adds another rustic element to your Italian Dinner.

Tomato Cans

I said I wasn’t going to call any names, but my son and his fiancée were late to the party. Good thing I saved them some food!

Late to the Party

I “mustache” you a question. What do you serve alongside your STOUFFER’S®?

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Angelic Sinova March 7, 2016 - 7:50 am

Those mustaches are so adorable! I LOVE STOUFFER’S® Lasagna with Meat and Sauce but I’ve yet to try their Mac & Cheese. I’ll definitely have to pick some up next time I’m at the store <3

Alli March 7, 2016 - 8:56 am

The Mac & Cheese is amazing. In the past I always made homemade mac and cheese. Those days are over. I love that there’s no preservatives and it tastes better than my homemade. 🙂

Zan March 7, 2016 - 8:38 am

Ahhh, what a fun meal! I love how everything turned out. In the past, my hubby has bought the lasagna but I did not know they now have them with pepperoni. We’ll have to try this one.
My little kids are always wanting to sit next to a parent at the table, too, so I guess we should go easy on them:) They love lemonade whenever I make it for them once in while when we run out of other juice – maybe I should have them sip it through mustache straws for the fun of it. BTW: That last photo makes me smile. They are so cute together – love it:)

Alli March 7, 2016 - 8:55 am

They’re getting married in November! My youngest daughter is getting married in May, so we are in wedding planning overload at my house. We love his girlfriend, Brandyce. I knew she was the one as soon as I met her. Glad they felt the same way. 🙂

Jaclyn Shimmel March 7, 2016 - 9:44 am

How cute are those mustache cupcakes?! I love them! I also am obsessed with Stouffer’s Frozen Lasagna – we buy those very often. I will have to try their Macaroni & Cheese as well!

Dina March 7, 2016 - 10:41 am

I love stouffers mac and cheese and their lasagne. I usually serve a big salad with my lasagne. Yum! Those moustaches look like something my kids would love!

Travel Blogger March 7, 2016 - 11:15 am

What great dish ideas! I love the tomato can idea! I love to have big dinners at my house and just enjoy the chaos of a big family as they fight over a delicious dinner.

Michelle March 7, 2016 - 2:25 pm

I have a large Italian family to plan dinners for too and plan to use some of your ideas. I love the idea of using herbs as centerpieces!

Kristen from The Road to Domestication March 7, 2016 - 3:27 pm

Alli! These are fantastic ideas! I don’t know how you can take tin cans and make them look so good, but you DO!

Liz Mays March 7, 2016 - 3:44 pm

Oh how fun! I love these ideas. Stouffers lasagnas are really good. We pick them up every now and then!

Anosa March 7, 2016 - 6:23 pm

Oh wow, these are amazing ideas, I am trying out the Parmesan tomatoes tomorrow as they look delicious to my palate right now

aaronica @ the crunchy mommy March 7, 2016 - 10:09 pm

i’m seriously giggling at the “i mustache you a question”!!!!

i always like a nice, big, fresh salad with some homemade italian dressing!

tiaras and tantrums March 7, 2016 - 11:07 pm

what a fabulous idea to have a themed family dinner night! my family lives in another state and my brother told me a few weeks ago I need to move hear him so we can have family dinner nights!! I couldn’t agree more

Chantal March 8, 2016 - 12:57 am

This is perfect for hosting a party. I really enjoy stouffers entrees!

[email protected] March 8, 2016 - 4:03 am

Thanks for this. Will come in handy for future parties. Great recipe too!

Terri Beavers March 8, 2016 - 7:50 am

Ha, I love the mustaches. I am going to try your Parmesan Tomatoes in the very near future. Your post reminded me I need to buy more rosemary, mine died last fall.

Tori Gabriel March 8, 2016 - 8:53 am

What a fun meal. I still think cooking for fifteen people is rather daunting. I love the moustaches!

Chris Hoov March 8, 2016 - 11:59 am

Oh my goodness! Lasagna looking yummy and very tempting! Italian food is one of my favorite foods.

Jennifer March 8, 2016 - 1:09 pm

Italian food is pretty much my favorite type of cuisine! And I desperately miss pasta now that I am gluten free, but I can eat those Parmesan tomatoes and I plan to make some as soon as I can get my hands on the right cheeses!

Up Run for Life March 8, 2016 - 2:40 pm

This meal looks so good. I love the stoffers lasagna. We pick these up occasionally.

Kayla March 8, 2016 - 5:00 pm

Whoah what a wonderful post! I love your blog Alli I always find good ideas here! Those skewers are a great twist on antipasti. xx

April Mims March 8, 2016 - 8:57 pm

I want to come to your house for dinner! We love lasagna, especially Stouffers. Some kind of cheesy bread is a must for my family.

Oriana @Mommyhood's Diary March 9, 2016 - 6:40 am

Wonderful dinner party! I bet they all enjoyed it. That is why I love STOUFFER’S…It makes thing so much easier. Thanks #client

Rosey March 10, 2016 - 1:44 pm

Girl I’m with you on all accounts. I love Stouffer’s. And I love to have the family over, the more the merrier. And it is cute that they fight over who gets to sit next to you.

Leah March 11, 2016 - 2:17 pm

The recipe for Parmesan Tomatoes lists Mozzarella cheese, but no Parmesan. Was an ingredient omitted, or should the name be changed?

Alli March 12, 2016 - 6:34 am

Oops! I accidentally left out an ingredient and I’m so glad you caught it. it’s fixed now. Thanks bunches!

Alex @ Toprew March 14, 2016 - 9:00 am

This looks just amazing!

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