24 Italian Cooking Shows for Authentic Recipes and Language Learning

It’s no secret: Italian has some of the best food.

Want to learn how to cook up some delectable Italian meals, while also studying up on the Italian language?

Then you’ll want to tune in to these amazing Italian cooking shows!

Dive into recent recipes or take a trip down memory lane with some older series

No matter which show you choose, you’ll soon be sating your hunger for delicious Italian food and learning.



Find it on: RaiPlay
Year aired: 2022

Cook40′ is a fun and fast-paced Italian cooking show hosted by Flavio Montrucchio. Each episode features a celebrity guest who joins him in the kitchen to create a delicious three-course meal in just 40 minutes. Chef Montrucchio guides the guest through the process, sharing tips and tricks for making quick and flavorful dishes.

The show also offers a glimpse into the lives of the guests as they chat and share stories while preparing the meal.

“Fatto da mamma e da papà” (Made By Mom and Dad)

Find it on: RaiPlay
Year aired: 2021

The show is hosted by Flora Canto and each episode features a different celebrity guest who joins her in the kitchen to prepare a meal. The twist? The guest’s mother or father also joins them!

The guests work together to create a dish that’s special to their family. As they do, they share stories about their own families and childhoods. The show is a celebration of Italian family, food and traditions, and features a wide variety of recipes from different regions of Italy.

“Una macara ai fornelli—magie dalla Puglia” (A Cook in the Kitchen—Magic from Apulia)

Find it on: Food Network
Year aired: 2021

Hosted by the charismatic chef Daniela Montinaro, this show takes you on a culinary journey through the rich traditions and flavors of Puglian (from the Apulia region) cuisine.

Each episode has Daniela preparing three dishes that showcase the region’s unique ingredients and cooking techniques. She also travels away from the kitchen to explore charming local farms and bustling markets, meeting with experts and artisans who share cooking secrets that have been passed down through generations. 

“È sempre mezzogiorno!” (It’s Always Midday)

Find it on: RaiPlay
Year aired: 2020

“È sempre mezzogiorno!” is an Italian talk show, cooking show and game show all rolled into one. Each episode unfolds like a visit to host Antonella Clerici’s home, with a focus on delicious and accessible dishes for everyday meals.

From regional Italian classics to modern twists, the show offers something for everyone. As she cooks, Antonella chats with guest chefs, experts and even viewers, fostering a sense of community through cooking. 

“Le ricette del convento” (The Recipes of the Convent)

Find it on: Food Network (also available on YouTube)
Year aired: 2020

This is a unique Italian cooking show that blends history, spirituality and delectable cuisine. Set within the stunning Basilica Abbaziale di San Martino delle Scale in Sicily, the show follows three Benedictine monks: the skilled chef Don Salvatore, the engaging storyteller Don Anselmo and the discerning taster Don Riccardo.

Together, they teach viewers ancient monastic recipes, passed down through generations within the abbey walls. With each episode, viewers get a glimpse into the cooking traditions of the Benedictines, where sustainability, local ingredients and mindful preparation are key.

“Senti chi mangia” (Listen Who Eats)

Find it on: LA7
Year aired: 2020

This cooking show is more of a culinary competition. In each episode, host Benedetta Parodi throws two professional chefs—Felix Lo Basso and Eugenio Boer—and two amateur cooks into a playful battle. The challenge? To transform a set of mystery ingredients into a gourmet dish within a limited timeframe.

The chefs guide their amateur partners, sharing their expertise and navigating hilarious mishaps along the way. The pressure mounts as they present their creations to the discerning judge, Andrea Grignaffini, who declares the winner and even awards a consolation prize to the second best.

Stick around for what’s possibly the best part: At the end of each episode, Bendetta transforms the leftover ingredients into a surprise dish!

“Ricette di un sognatore” (Recipes of a Dreamer)

Find it on: Discovery Plus
Year aired: 2019

This show takes viewers inside pastry chef Damiano Carrara’s kitchen as he shares his passion for baking and creates delicious desserts.

Carrara’s recipes are inspired by his childhood memories and his travels around the world. He uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to create unique and flavorful desserts that are sure to impress. In each episode, Carrara shares tips and techniques for making desserts at home, and he also provides inspiration for viewers to create their own recipes.

“Italia a morsi” (Bite-sized Italy)

Find it on: Food Network
Year aired: 2019

Join Chiara Maci as she explores the food of different Italian regions. She visits local farms, markets and family-owned businesses and meets with artisans and home cooks, who share their knowledge and stories. From observing the cheesemaking process in Piedmont to learning the secrets of fresh pasta in Emilia-Romagna, this show will give you a better understanding of the ingredients and techniques that define each region’s cuisine.

Maci also prepares several iconic dishes from each region, with easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips. Whether it’s the delicate flavors of a Ligurian pesto or the hearty warmth of a Tuscan ragù, Maci brings the regional specialties to life in her warm and inviting kitchen.

“Pizza Hero—la sfida dei forni” (The Challenge of the Ovens)

Find it on: nove.tv
Year aired: 2019

“Pizza Hero” is an Italian cooking show hosted by the renowned pizzaiolo, Gabriele Bonci, who acts as a guide and mentor to local pizzerias. Bonci visits three different pizzerias in each city, sampling their signature pizzas and unique approaches to the beloved dish. He then selects the two most impressive contenders to participate in a head-to-head challenge.

Contestants are tasked with preparing two pizzas based on surprise ingredients provided by Bonci. Their creations are then judged by a panel of local experts and by Bonci himself, with the winner receiving a prize to help elevate their pizzeria.

“Un dolce da maestro” (A Masterful Sweet)

Find it on: LA7
Year aired: 2019

This show follows seven aspiring pastry chefs, each with their own unique style, as they compete for a life-changing opportunity under the guidance of three renowned pastry masters. 

Each episode presents a new challenge, like crafting delicate mousses and constructing towering multi-tiered cakes. The pressure is on as the pastry maestros race against the clock to impress the judges. The show delves into the personal stories and aspirations of each contestant, showcasing their dedication and resilience as they face setbacks and triumphs.

“L’ingrediente perfetto” (The Perfect Ingredient)

Find it on: LA7
Year aired: 2019

This Italian cooking show is hosted by Maria Grazia Cucinotta. Each episode revolves around a unique “perfect ingredient,” highlighting its origin and significance in Italian cuisine. Cucinotta visits local producers and artisans and witnesses traditional harvesting methods, showing the ingredient’s journey from source to plate.

But the true magic unfolds in the kitchen. Joined by guest chefs and friends, Cucinotta creates a delectable multi-course menu featuring the star ingredient. The show offers a delightful mix of demonstration and conversation, with Cucinotta sharing anecdotes and tips while the chefs showcase their culinary interpretations. Cucinotta’s warm personality and genuine passion for food create a welcoming and inviting atmosphere, making viewers feel like they’re part of the kitchen experience.

“Uno chef in fattoria” (One Chef on a Farm)

Find it on: Food Network
Year aired: 2019

This Italian cooking show blends the charm of rural life with delicious recipes and heartwarming stories. Chef Roberto Valbuzzi, known for his love of fresh ingredients and traditional flavors, takes viewers on a journey to his family farm nestled in the beautiful Valtellina region. Each episode unfolds with Valbuzzi tending to his vegetable garden, milking the goats and sharing the simple pleasures of farm life.

He then transforms these fresh, seasonal ingredients into mouth-watering dishes. From hearty pastas and stews to homemade cheeses and decadent desserts, Valbuzzi celebrates the magic of farm-to-table cooking through his rustic yet refined culinary style.

Valbuzzi is often joined by his nonna Gisella, who shares her wisdom and authentic recipes passed down through generations. Their playful banter and genuine connection add a heartwarming touch to the show, making it feel like a glimpse into a close-knit family gathering.

“Little Big Italy”

Find it on: Discovery Plus
Year aired: 2018

“Little Big Italy” is an Italian adventure series with a focus on the “Made in Italy” spirit across the globe. Hosted by Francesco Panella, each episode embarks on a culinary journey to a new European city, seeking out the best Italian restaurants outside of Italy’s borders.

Panella doesn’t just visit fancy establishments—he immerses himself in the local Italian community, connecting with passionate expats who run restaurants that feel like home away from home. He visits three restaurants per city, guided by the recommendations of these Italian residents. Each stop features a taste of their signature dish, offering a glimpse into their unique interpretation of Italian cuisine influenced by their adopted home.

“‘O mare mio” (Oh My Sea)

Find it on: nove.tv
Year aired: 2017

The show follows Antonino Cannavacciuolo as he sails around the Mediterranean Sea, exploring coastal towns and discovering their culinary treasures. He interacts with local fishermen, artisans and cooks, learning about their traditions and ingredients.

Each episode features Cannavacciuolo preparing a dish inspired by his discoveries that shows off the fresh flavors and cultural influences of the region. The show is a delightful blend of travelogue and cooking show, with Cannavacciuolo’s infectious enthusiasm and passion for food on full display. The show also features stunning visuals of the Mediterranean Sea, making it a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.

“Che diavolo di pasticceria!” (What a Darn Pastry Shop!)

Find it on: Apple TV, Discovery Plus
Year aired: 2015

This delightfully titled reality show has a sweet mission: to rescue struggling pasticcerias (pastry shops) from the brink of closure. Master pastry chef Ernst Knam takes center stage, his stern demeanor and exacting standards balanced by a genuine passion for the craft. Each episode focuses on a single pasticceria and Knam tears into it ruthlessly, peppered with his signature exclamations of “Mamma mia!” He evaluates the shop’s presentation, cleanliness and, most importantly, the quality of its pastries. 

Knam then works hand-in-hand with the owners and staff, offering invaluable lessons in techniques, ingredient selection and presentation. He pushes them to experiment, to rediscover their love for the craft and to embrace his demanding standards. The show doesn’t shy away from the emotional journey, the struggles and triumphs as the pasticceria works towards its grand re-opening.

“Dolci dopo il tiggì” (Desserts After the News)

Find it on: RaiTV
Year aired: 2014

This show was hosted by Antonella Clerici and featured a variety of chefs and bakers competing to create the best desserts. Each episode is divided into two segments. In the first segment, the chefs  compete in a challenge to create a dessert using a specific ingredient or technique. In the second, the bakers compete to create a traditional Italian dessert.

The winner of each episode was determined by a panel of judges, including Clerici, pastry chef Iginio Massari and food critic Carlo Cracco.

“Bake Off Italia”

Find it on: Discovery Plus
Year aired: 2013

“Bake Off Italia” is the Italian adaptation of the hugely popular international baking competition, “The Great British Bake Off.” It has been a sweet success since its debut in 2013, capturing hearts with its heartwarming format and focus on amateur bakers.

Hosted by Benedetta Parodi, the show follows a group of passionate home bakers as they compete in a series of baking challenges. The chefs are judged by the exacting Ersnt Knam, the warmth of Clelia d’Onofrio (until season nine) and, later, Damiano Carrara and Tommaso Foglia.

There are also several spinoffs if you enjoy this one and want more, including “Junior Bake Off Italia” and “Bake Off Italia—All Stars.”

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“Cucine da incubo” (Kitchen from Hell)

Find it on: Sky
Year aired: 2013

“Cucine da incubo,” literally meaning “Kitchen from Hell,” is the Italian adaptation of the popular Gordon Ramsay show, “Kitchen Nightmares.” Hosted by the fiery chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo, the show takes viewers on a journey to struggling restaurants across Italy, offering a helping hand and a chance at redemption.

Cannavacciuolo first arrives at the restaurant, often disguised as a regular customer, to experience the issues firsthand. After he makes his observations, he meets the owners and staff, bluntly pointing out the problems and suggesting steps toward fixing them.  The host then works alongside the staff, revamping the menu, teaching new techniques and instilling a sense of teamwork.

The culmination is a grand re-opening, where the restaurant faces the public once again, hoping to impress with its newfound identity.

“Vito con i suoi” (Vito with His Own)

Find it on: Sky
Year aired: 2013

Each episode takes viewers to the home of Stefano Biocchi, known as Vito, where he’s joined by his parents, Roberto and Paola and his nephew, Lorenzo. Together, they cook up delicious and authentic Bolognese recipes, passed down through generations.

More than just sharing recipes, the show celebrates the warmth and joy of family cooking, with laughter, playful banter and genuine love for food filling the air. Vito leads the way with his laid-back approach and infectious enthusiasm. He shares insightful tips and techniques, but never takes himself too seriously.

The recipes themselves range from classic Bolognese staples like tagliatelle al ragù and lasagna to lesser-known regional specialties, each prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients and a touch of family flair. Whether it’s Vito’s secret pizza dough recipe or Paola’s decadent tiramisu, the dishes always come with a warm story and a sprinkle of family love.

“Torte in corso con Renato” (Cake in Progress with Renato)

Find it on: Discovery Plus
Year aired: 2012

“Torte in corso con Renato” is a delightful Italian show starring the eccentric pastry chef Renato Ardovino. Each episode follows Renato as he creates extraordinary cakes for special occasions, from birthdays to anniversaries.

With his contagious energy and playful personality, Renato guides viewers through his creative process, from brainstorming unique designs to meticulously crafting elaborate decorations. He doesn’t shy away from experimentation, incorporating surprising ingredients and techniques to achieve unforgettable results.

“MasterChef Italia”

Find it on: Sky
Year aired: 2011

Passionate home cooks face rigorous challenges in this Italian spinoff of the “MasterChef” series. The contestants are joined by judges Bruno Barbieri, Antonino Cannavacciuolo and Giorgio Locatelli, who deliver sharp critiques and invaluable guidance. The pressure intensifies as they compete, each elimination bringing them closer to victory.

This intense competition, coupled with mouthwatering dishes and vibrant personalities, makes “MasterChef Italia” a must-watch for anyone who loves Italian cuisine and high-stakes drama. And if you like this show, you may also get hooked on “Junior MasterChef Italia,” where talented youngsters tackle their own culinary challenges. 

“I menù di Benedetta” (Benedetta’s Menus)

Find it on: LA7
Year aired: 2011

This vibrant Italian cooking show is hosted by the bubbly Benedetta Parodi (who you may recognize as the host of several of the previous shows!). In each episode, Bendetta whips up delicious and easy-to-follow recipes for every occasion. Whether it’s a quick weeknight dinner, a festive family gathering, or a gourmet treat, Benedetta shares her passion for food and practical tips along the way.

Expect seasonal ingredients, classic Italian dishes with her personal twist, and even international inspirations. The show often features special themes or guest chefs, adding variety and keeping things fresh. With Benedetta’s infectious enthusiasm and warm personality, “I menù di Benedetta” feels like a fun and friendly cooking session with a friend. 

“Cuochi e fiamme” (Cooks and Flames)

Find it on: LA7
Year aired: 2010

This fast-paced Italian cooking competition was hosted first by Alessandro Borghese and later by Simone Rugiati. The show pits two non-professional cooks against each other in four culinary battles: manual skill, creativity, skill with a specific main ingredient and final presentation.

With judges critiquing each dish and the pressure of a live audience, “Cuochi e fiamme” brings drama, competition and delicious Italian cuisine to viewers. 

“La prova del cuoco” (The Proof of the Cook)

Find it on: RaiPlay
Year aired: 2000

This classic show was a staple of Italian television for 20 years, airing from 2000 to 2020. Hosted by Antonella Clerici (with Elisa Isoardi taking over later), the show featured two main segments: a competition and cooking demonstrations. The competition pitted chefs of different skill levels in culinary challenges. Viewers enjoyed the camaraderie and friendly rivalry as they showcased their skills and creativity.

Beyond the competition, “La prova del cuoco” offered informative and engaging cooking demonstrations. Renowned chefs presented classic Italian recipes and regional specialties, providing step-by-step instructions and insightful tips. Additionally, the show delved into food history and traditions, enriching viewers’ understanding of Italian cuisine.


Now go cook up an authentic Italian meal thanks to these Italian cooking shows. You’ll never run out of recipes—or Italian learning content—again! 

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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