Small Plates, Big Flavor: What are the Most Popular Italian Appetizers

When it comes to Italian cuisine, Italian appetizers are just as important as the main course. These small plates are often packed with big flavors that will leave you wanting more.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or looking for some new easy Italian appetizers to try, knowing what are the most popular Italian appetizers will greatly help you.

In this article, we’ll explore the most popular Italian appetizers and provide some easy Italian appetizer recipes you can try at home.

7 Great Italian Appetizers

Many people are familiar with the list of what is the most popular Italian food as they may have encountered them in their own country. However, the delicious appetizers of Italy are often overlooked

So, what are the most popular Italian appetizers? Here are the 7 amazing appetizers that you won’t want to miss!

1. Bruschetta

Two Bruschettas in a White Plate
Two Bruschettas in a White Plate

Bruschetta is one of the classic Italian appetizers that consists of grilled bread topped with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and basil.

It’s a simple and delicious dish that is perfect for any occasion. To make this classic Italian appetizer, start by grilling or toasting some bread.

Once the bread is ready, rub it with a clove of garlic and top it with diced tomatoes and fresh basil. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top, and you’re ready to serve.

2. Caprese Salad

Two Plates of Caprese Salad
Two Plates of Caprese Salad

A fresh salad, Caprese salad is a beloved Italian appetizer that highlights the flavors of fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil.

It’s a light and refreshing dish that’s especially popular in summer. To create this fresh salad, slice some mozzarella cheese and tomatoes and arrange them on a platter. Top with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

3. Crostini

Crostini Served in a White Plate
Crostini Served on a White Plate

Crostini is a versatile Italian appetizer that can be customized with various ingredients. It’s made with freshly baked bread topped with toppings such as Italian meats, parmesan cheese, or vegetables.

To create this dish, begin by toasting some bread. Once the bread is toasted, add your desired toppings. Some popular options include prosciutto and fig, roasted red pepper and cheese, or ricotta and honey.

4. Focaccia Bread

Rosemary Focaccia
Rosemary Focaccia

Focaccia bread is an Italian bread that shares similarities with pizza dough. It’s a delicious and savory bread that is often seasoned with olive oil, fresh herbs, and occasionally cheese.

To create this dish, prepare the dough and allow it to rise. Once the dough has risen, press it into a pan and spread olive oil, salt, and herbs on top. Then, bake the bread until it’s golden brown and crispy.

5. Garlic Knots

Garlic Knots Freshly Baked
Garlic Knots Freshly Baked

Garlic knots are a popular Italian appetizer that is often served at pizzerias. They consist of dough knots brushed with garlic butter and baked until golden brown.

To make this dish, start by making the dough and forming it into knots. Once the knots are formed, brush them with garlic butter and bake until golden brown.

6. Garlic Parmesan Wings

Five Pieces of Garlic Parmesan Wings
Five Pieces of Garlic Parmesan Wings

Garlic Parmesan Wings is a type of chicken wing dish that is coated in a sauce made from garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese.

The wings are typically baked or fried and then tossed in the sauce, giving them a savory and slightly tangy flavor. They are a popular menu item at many restaurants and are often served as an appetizer or main dish.

7. Caponata

Caponata & Shin of Lamb
Caponata & Shin of Lamb

Caponata is a classic Italian appetizer that combines a range of vegetables, including eggplant, onions, and tomatoes, with a tangy sweet, and sour sauce made from capers, vinegar, and sugar.

To prepare the dish, begin by sautéing the eggplant, onions, and tomatoes. Once the vegetables are cooked, mix them with the sweet and sour sauce and serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good appetizer to serve before lasagna?

An antipasto platter is a great option to serve before lasagna. The variety of meats, cheeses, olives, and other toppings will provide a range of flavors and textures to stimulate the taste buds and prepare the palate for the rich flavors of the lasagna.

However, if you’re looking for a specific dish, bruschetta is also a good choice. The fresh tomatoes and garlic will complement the lasagna nicely.

What is considered the simplest appetizer to prepare?

One of the easiest and most versatile Italian appetizers to prepare is crostini. All you need is some crusty bread, toasted to perfection, and your desired toppings, such as Italian tomato salad.

This dish can be customized to your liking and is a great addition to any occasion. Its flexibility is one of the reasons why is Italian food popular.

What is a light snack in Italian?

An Italian term for a light snack is spuntino, ranging from a small sandwich to a plate of olives or cheese. These small bites are often enhanced with Italian seasonings and are meant to hold you over until your next meal.

What do Italians eat for afternoon snacks?

For a satisfying afternoon snack, Italians often indulge in an antipasto platter, which features an array of meats, cheeses, and vegetables.

Antipasto skewers, consisting of meats, cheeses, and marinated vegetables threaded onto a stick, are also a popular choice.

To satisfy their sweet tooth, they may enjoy a delicious pastry or a scoop of gelato.

What do Italians drink with appetizers?

Italians typically drink wine with their appetizers. A light white wine or a red wine with low tannins are great options to pair with antipasti.

Alternatively, they may also enjoy a spritz, which is a popular aperitif made with Prosecco, Aperol, and soda water.

These drinks are also examples of what are the most popular Italian drinks.


Italian cuisine is renowned for its bold and flavorful appetizers. With a vast array of options, including garlic knots and bruschetta, among others, it’s no wonder that Italian cuisine is a go-to for many when hosting dinner parties or seeking new recipes.

Understanding what are the most popular Italian appetizers will bring you more information about what dishes are sure to delight your taste buds and leave you craving more.

So, the next time you’re looking to indulge in small plates with massive flavor, give one of these top Italian appetizers a try.

Andrea Abbondanza

Andrea Abbondanza, born in Milan (Italy) and now a proud Australian citizen, is a passionate food lover and the dynamic CEO of With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes around the world elevate their online presence. His journey from Italy to Australia has infused his work with a unique blend of European flair and Aussie charm, making him a go-to resource for cafes and restaurants looking to elevate their digital presence and grow their businesses.

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Andrea Abbondanza is a passionate food lover and the CEO of Seo for Restaurants. With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes worldwide elevate their online presence and increase

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