Top Popular Italian Meat Dishes

Italy has it all. The glorious sun, winter snow, lakeside villages, coastal towns, centuries-old traditions, art, opera, fashion, and perhaps most famously of them all…food. Italian food is adored and recreated around the world. There are few locations that don’t serve their take on pizza and pasta. Italian food is far more diverse than just pizza and pasta, though, with each region offering us a whole new culinary experience. 


1. Bella Ciao (Bolognese)

Often touted as the food capital of Italy, Bologna is a trendy, terracotta-tinged university town in Northern Italy that’s famous for its Tortelloni, Tortellini, and Tagliatelle al Ragu (to name just a few of its most loved dishes). What’s known as Tagliatelle al Ragu in Bologna has come to be known as Bolognese around the world, paying homage to its home town. 

Bolognese is without a doubt one of the most popular Italian meat dishes for its comforting, nostalgic qualities. A hearty bowl of pasta and savory ground beef does wonders for warming up a dreary Winter’s day. 

Despite the ragu being most popularly served with spaghetti outside of Italy – we’ve all heard of spaghetti bolognese – our recipe respects its authentic roots by pairing the delicious ragu with tagliatelle, as is traditional. There’s more pasta surface area for the silky ragu to adhere to with each bite, you won’t look back. 


2. Winter Storm (Meatballs with Sofrito Sauce)

Sofrito is popular across Mediterranean cuisines in different variations. A sofrito done the Italian way involves sauteing finely diced celery, carrot, and white onion in olive oil to form the base of a multitude of delectable sauces. It’s aromatic, indulgent, and the ideal base for classic Italian meatballs.

meatballs with sofrito sauce

3. Earth Poem (Vegetables Stuffed with new-meat)

Turn yourself into an Italian nonna by trying your hand at Italian stuffed vegetables, Ligurian style. This is both a delicious and indulgent healthy meal option, which explains its global popularity. It’s comforting, health-oriented, and can take advantage of seasonality if you mix up the vegetables you choose to stuff.

Italian stuffed vegetables with meat

4. Arrosticini (Skewered Lamb)

In Abruzzese cuisine, skewering chunks of lamb gives you Arrositicini. They’re a delicious derivative of traditional shepherd’s food from the mountainous Italian region of Abruzzo. They are typically served with fresh bread doused in extra-virgin olive oil and local Abruzzese wine. The best way to enjoy Arrosticini is to not hold back – get stuck in and use your teeth to pull each tender piece of lamb off the skewer.

Italian Arrosticini

5. Lasagne (Pasta Layered with Bechamel and Ragu)

Lasagne is synonymous with comfort food. A cold winter’s night is instantly warmed up with merely the smell of a steaming hot lasagne cooking away in the oven. Lasagne is indulgent in every sense of the word – layers of silky pasta sheets, velvety and creamy bechamel sauce, and richly savory ragu bolognese come together with a crispy layer of cheese adorning the top. 

Redefine Pro Beef Mince offers a wonderful way to take this home-cooking staple dish from a meat fest to a new-meat Fest that’s perfect for vegetarians, flexitarians, and meat lovers alike. 

Italian lasagne

6. Pasta with Salsiccia (Pasta with Italian Sausage)

Salsiccia is the Italian word for sausage, and it typically refers to types of Italian sausage made with minced pork that are flavored differently across various regions of Italy. In the north, salsiccia commonly features adored aromatics garlic, cinnamon, and pepper. While in the south, it’s customary to use a host of ingredients including fennel, chili, local cheese, and sun-dried tomato. 

With all of the additional flavors added to salsiccia, some new-meat, and olive oil in a pan, it’s a delight to make the base of a pasta dish. The salty, deep heat characteristic of salsiccia lusciously envelopes each piece of pasta for a delectably moreish meal. 

sausages for pasta with salsiccia

7. Pappardelle alla Cacciatora (Pasta with Mushrooms and Beef

The umami touch that mushrooms give to any dish is perfectly complemented by the meaty texture of mushrooms. The combination makes for the perfect addition to a meat-free dish, except here, mushrooms are used to pair with meat. Replace the beef with new-meat and you won’t be able to tell the difference. The mushrooms will do a dance on your plate alongside the new-meat and swirls of steaming pappardelle.

pasta with beef

8. Polpette (Meatballs with Breadcrumbs)

After a delicious, hearty meal? You can’t go far wrong with fluffy Polpette in a rich tomato sauce. Serve them with spaghetti or in a meatball sandwich, whichever you prefer. These are so moreish you might not be able to stop yourself snacking on them like finger food.

meat for Italian meatballs


What is the most popular meat dish in Italy?

There’s not one singular most popular meat dish in Italy given the subjectivity, but some of the top most popular Italian meat dishes include bolognese, polpette, pasta with salsiccia, and lasagne. 


What meat is common in Italy?

Beef and pork are common in Italy, often paired together to form the base of meatballs, ragu, and sausages. 


What Italian dishes use ground beef? 

Bolognese ragu uses ground beef, as do polpette and other meatball varieties, and lasagne to name just a few.