The Restaurant Experience

Italian Dishes That Work Well For A Catered Lunch

When you think of Italian food, the first dishes that come to mind may be pizza and spaghetti. Of course these are delicious, but they do not exactly scream "business lunch." Luckily, there are some other Italian dishes that work really well when you want to have a lunch catered.

1. Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is a salad made with only three main ingredients: mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil leaves. Typically, small balls of mozzarella, known as bocconcini, will be used. Some caterers might use slices or chunks of fresh mozzarella instead. The salad is dressed with a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing, sometimes with a few other herbs and spices added. Caprese is simple, yet filling, and it is a great choice for a catered lunch because it is not messy. It's also vegetarian (although not vegan), which makes it a choice that will appeal to many.

2. Arancini

Arancini are balls made from rice, cheeses, and sauce. The balls are then breaded and fried. Sometimes they are topped with a red sauce before serving. Because they are compact and shaped into tidy balls, arancini are a delicious Italian lunch option. If you are worried that some will find the red sauce messy, you can ask the caterers to just offer it on the side; the rice balls are still very delicious without it. Consider ordering some arancini with meat (usually Italian sausage is used) and some without so that vegetarians have something to eat.

3. Paninis

Paninis are like fancy Italian grilled cheese sandwiches. Various ingredients are placed between slices of bread, usually ciabatta, which is then grilled to a crisp. Paninis come in a wide range of varieties. They're easy to pick up and eat, but they are a little more special than pizza. You can have the caterers bring a few different types to satisfy everyone. For instance, a mozzarella, basil, and salami panini might appeal to some, whereas others might like sliced apple, gouda, and chives.

4. Antipasto Platter

Another option is to have the catering company bring a couple of large antipasto platters. These platters typically include slices of various cheeses, olives, tomatoes, sliced meats, and sometimes other sliced veggies. It's like an Italian version of charcutterie. Everyone can choose and nibble on whatever they like most.

These four ideas all make for a delicious lunch from Italian catering. Keep them in mind the next time you order from an Italian place.