Traditional Sicilian wedding food you can’t miss

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Are you looking for information about the traditional Sicilian wedding food you can’t miss on your big day in this beautiful land? You are in the right place! As a true Sicilian, before being a wedding planner, I know food is essential for the success of your event. In this article, I will show you the traditional Sicilian wedding food you can add to your Italian menu and all the new trends for a trendy wedding.

The key point is that food will be one of the elements that your guests will remember most. For this reason, it should be perfect!

In my article about the wedding banquet, I have already told you about the organization of an Italian traditional wedding table service. I have also described the new proposals for an original and highly impactful banquet: the picnic, the cocktail party, the morning brunch.

Now I want to go into detail and tell you something more about traditional Sicilian wedding food and how to create an authentic menu that is tasty, innovative and suitable for young and old.

Let’s go and discover the king of all wedding menus: the fish menu. In its typically Sicilian declination! Are you ready?


The Sicilian fish menu for your wedding: not just tradition

The fish menu is chich and elegant. In southern Italy, it is the wedding menu by definition, perhaps enjoyed in a restaurant a few steps from the beach. The protagonists of the fish menu in Sicily are octopus, swordfish, tuna, anchovies, sardines and red shrimp.

Some traditional recipes also include codfish, squid and cuttlefish. Some tasty types of fish but not always appreciated by all palates.

How to insert these ingredients into your wedding menu? I am sure that the restaurant or catering that will take care of your banquet will know what to recommend based on the number and type of guests, but if you want some suggestions, here are some ideas!

The octopus

Let’s start with the octopus. This could be enjoyed in the classic cold octopus salad and inserted into the appetizers. While in Northern Italy, it is common to see octopus salad made with boiled potatoes, everything acquires a different colour and a different flavour in Sicily. According to taste, the salad is prepared with fresh boiled and very tender octopus, flanked by white onion, carrots, celery, green olives, and capers.

Another recipe to be made with this ingredient is grilled octopus. Perhaps combined with an impressive show cooking for your guests!


Swordfish and tuna

The tradition of Messina provides that the swordfish is prepared with four ingredients: olives, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil. A fresh and light dish perfect for hot summer weddings in Sicily. For those who want a more composed course, we can add black pepper, capers, onions and tomato sauce to the preparation. A real explosion of flavours! However, nothing detracts from the fact that swordfish, like tuna, are very well suited to being presented as appetizers in the form of carpaccio or cut.

Tuna steak, breaded with Bronte pistachio grains, is another second course to consider, especially in the case of young guests eager to try new flavours.


Red shrimp from Mazara del Vallo and anchovies

How not include the famous red prawn from Mazara del Vallo in your Sicilian wedding menu? Another Sicilian typicality celebrated all over the world. Many recipes can be made with this precious ingredient: from raw to first courses to show cooking. You just have to choose!

Last but not least, in a land as rich as Sicily, I could not fail to mention anchovies and sardines. These, too, are incredibly flexible ingredients that you can add in the form of fritters to your appetizer, buffet or brunch, or enjoy marinades or even with the typical but elegant “butter and anchovies” formula.

The possibility of preparing the classic Sicilian sardines pasta with raisins, pine nuts, wild fennel and saffron should also be considered.

In short, in Sicily, when it comes to fish, the possibilities are almost endless! Are you afraid that your menu is too standard and not very typical? So let’s go and see what is the traditional Sicilian wedding food to include in your local menu.

Traditional Sicilian wedding food for weddings: must

Sicily is a land rich in culinary traditions, even if very different from each other. It is difficult to make a concise list of all our typical dishes – which differ from area to area! But if we want to list those that the whole world associates with Sicily, we should talk about these.

  • Caponata. The classic Sicilian cold salad made with aubergines and fried peppers with black olives, tomato sauce, onion, pine nuts, capers and raisins.
  • Parmigiana. Another unmissable dish based on fried aubergines, parmesan, tomato pulp and onion;
  • Fried seafood: squid, shrimp and mixed;
  • Arancini. Here the recipes are many, but all share rice, saffron and a filling that can be meat-based or vegetarian;
  • Panelle. A typical Sicilian street food based on chickpea flour, parsley and water… fried!

All these are preparations that fit well between buffet appetizers and in the picnic and brunch trend formulas. And why not, enriched by the skillful hand of the chefs who will follow your big day, even as main courses in a Sicilian wedding menu to be enjoyed at the table!

If you do not like the fish proposals or want a perfect banquet for the innermost locations of our land, the menu based on typical local products at km 0 is the one for you. Let’s see it together!


Traditional Sicilian wedding food in a farm

As I have stressed in my articles, the wedding should be harmonious, in shapes, colours and content. If you want to know more about this topic, I invite you to read my article Wedding theme: why is it important?

In a wedding celebrated on a farm, surrounded by flowers, fruit trees, colours and scents, a km 0 menu with products from the field is undoubtedly an excellent choice. I speak, for example, of the richness of Sicilian cheeses. Ragusano DOC, Pecorino Siciliano DOC, Provola Iblea, Fiore Sicano or fresh ricotta are just some of the many. Of the fine cured meats of Nebrodi and Busambrina. But also of the typical agricultural products: oil, olives, vegetables – protagonists of many of our typical recipes.

All accompanied by first courses with handmade egg pasta or extruded through bronze in small Sicilian pasta factories. Short-cut pasta if the guests are many, long to amaze guests when the number is small. Without forgetting local wines and a large dessert buffet!


Some of you may be thinking: “Yes, Tania, all perfect and authentic, but we would like to add a touch of innovation to this traditional Sicilian food wedding menu”. Quite right: read on!

Corner finger food, sushi, pizza party

Among the many trends of recent years, the sushi and finger food corner is perhaps the most popular. How to integrate these innovations into a real Sicilian wedding? Simple!

Sicilian cuisine offers many possibilities for finger food: pancakes, rolls, arancini, fried. The same caponata and parmigiana served in single-portions can fully enter the finger food corner.

And what about sushi? Even sushi can be made with the typical Sicilian fish: fresh tuna, swordfish, red shrimp. A type of sushi certainly revisited but which maintains its original charm.

On the other hand, the pizza party is a new formula that has established itself above all for weddings of foreign couples. Upon arrival at the location, it welcomes the guests with a pizza-based aperitif rather than the classic welcome buffet. An excellent idea also for weddings with a large presence of children!

Traditional Sicilian wedding food: pastries and desserts

As much as we may try to create the best wedding menu possible, our guests will always look forward to dessert! With its typical sweets, Sicily had no problem adapting to the spread of the “dessert buffet” formula!

Unmissable in a Sicilian wedding menu is obviously cannoli and cassata, always loved by young and old. But for summer weddings, original and refreshing proposals are the ice cream corners, snow cones and “geli” – popsicles.

Snow cones and icicles at a wedding? Yes, because in the tradition of the hot Sicilian summers, granita and popsicles have taken on a role as protagonists. Prepared with fresh and typical fruit – oranges, mandarins, grapefruits – they can be a refreshing and fun moment for your guests.

Your perfect Sicilian wedding

Getting married in Sicily means immersing yourself in an environment suspended between earth, sky and sea, rich in history, traditions and quality. Sicilian scents, smells, colours, flavours will make your wedding unique and unforgettable. 

As I always say, however, Sicily is also a large land, sometimes harsh, with beautiful places but often challenging to reach. I told you about it in my article Aeolian Islands wedding: 5 dream locations.

Organizing a wedding here, choosing the perfect traditional Sicilian wedding food for your menu, coordinating suppliers is no joke!

For this reason, I can only advise you to rely on a wedding professional. Write to me and let’s start planning your dream wedding in Sicily together!

Tania Costantino – Full Service Wedding Planner in Sicily

Special Thanks to  UrbAlessio for his images story telling, where the main subject is the food that tells the our territory