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Italian Dishes That Do Well In Catering Situations

When you have a party catered, you need to think not only about which foods will taste good but also about which ones will hold up well in a catering situation. Usually, when food is catered, it sits for a while before it is served, and it also sits on display waiting for people to have seconds. Not every dish will be delicious after an hour in a warming tray, but the following are four Italian dishes that do tend to stand up well in catering situations.

Chicken Piccata

Many Italian chicken dishes are thickened with cream, which will separate when it sits over heat for too long. But chicken piccata is thickened with flour, which makes for a more stable sauce. This dish consists of chicken that has been dredged in flour and pan-fried, along with a sauce made from lemon juice, chicken stock, capers, and butter. It's rich and flavorful, yet it appeals to most palates, which is another reason why it works well at catered parties.


Many pasta dishes would become overly soft and unappealing if they were to sit on the warmer for too long. Manicotti is perhaps the one exception. The dish consists of long tubes of pasta stuffed with a ricotta cheese mixture. Because the cheese is only inside the pasta and not on top of it, the pasta does not absorb as much liquid from the cheese as it does in a dish like lasagna. For best results, have your caterers bring the sauce separately so the pasta does not sit in it until it is served.


Gnocchi is a type of hand-shaped potato pasta. Gnocchi have a lot of body and texture to them, and as such, they do not become soggy like traditional wheat pasta. Various caterers will top gnocchi with different sauces. Choose a red sauce over a cream sauce for your catered event. A white sauce may separate when held over heat, but a red sauce will remain delicious.


Arancini are balls made from rice, cheese, tomato sauce, and seasonings. They are breaded and lightly fried. As long as they are only covered loosely so that the steam escapes, they should remain lightly crispy when held in catering situations. The coating will keep the rice and other ingredients inside the balls moist. Enjoy the balls with some red sauce scooped over them, or even with some Italian dressing on top. 

Contact an Italian catering company for more information about these dishes.