Viva Italiano! 14 Lightened-Up Italian Recipes

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.