Viva Italiano! 14 Lightened-Up Italian Recipes
While there are plenty of ways to order smart Italian takeout| you can never be sure of exactly what’s going into your food. Take matters into your own hands u2014 and kitchen u2014 with these healthier Italian recipes| only lightened up for a healthy diet!
u2014 Additional reporting by Aemilia Madden
Source: Jenny Sugar and Lizzie Fuhr
| Cucumber Avocado Caprese Salad
For a refreshing salad with an Italian twist| whip up this caprese salad that is packed with both fiber and protein.
| Vegan Pesto
If you love the bright flavor of traditional pesto but you want to skip all the calories| this basil pesto recipe is a healthy topping for pasta or pizza.
| Baked Chicken Parmesan
For a 357-calorie dinner that packs in 47 grams of protein| enjoy a serving of baked chicken parmesan that’s crunchy and bursting with Italian flavor.
| Paleo Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash
This Paleo spin on spaghetti and meatballs uses spaghetti squash as a nutrient-rich alternative to traditional pasta.
| Vegan Stuffed Shells
Instead of the traditional stuffed shells| whip up this vegan recipe for a lightened-up alternative that truly tastes like the real thing.
| Penne Alla “”Not-ka””
Penne alla vodka is an Italian staple that heavily lays on the cream and calories. Even without the booze and significantly less dairy thrown into the pot| this penne alla “”not-ka”” brings the same tangy flavor and comforting texture indicative of the original.
| Fish Parmigiana
Instead of veal or chicken| try out lightened-up fish parmigiana. It’s far less fattening and calorie-laden than the restaurant options.
| Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
Why buy a pizza when it takes less time to make one? Gluten-free pizza crust is incredibly simple to make and packs in enough protein to forgo the meat if you choose!
| Quinoa Pizza Bites
Another gluten-free option! Cute quinoa pizza bites bring all the classic flavors of pizza to the table. They hold their cute shape after being cooked in a muffin tin.
| Low-Cal Fettuccine Alfredo
This fettuccine alfredo dramatically lightens the load by making wise (low-fat) dairy choices that don’t affect the flavor or texture and by skipping the butter altogether. And it’s fewer than 350 calories per serving!
| Turkey and Quinoa Balls
Bring some grain power to the table with a variation on the classic Italian staple. Turkey and quinoa balls stuffed with goat cheese make an elegant appetizer for cocktail hour or a healthier addition to your spaghetti.
| Spicy Cauliflower Lasagna
Heavy layers of meat and cup upon cup of cheese go into classic lasagna| but this recipe for spicy cauliflower lasagna takes a guilt-free twist on tradition.
| Kale Ricotta Dip
Gooey Italian-style spinach dip is always a welcome treat that packs on the calories. This creamy kale ricotta dip is surprisingly delicious! And at only 24 calories per 1/4-cup serving (not to mention a good dose of vitamin A)| it’s practically guilt-free.
| Oven-Baked Eggplant
Cut the calories with this recipe for 30-minute oven-baked eggplant parmesan. Not only will you save calories| but you’ll also save plenty of time by cutting out all that coating and frying.