Healthy Italian Recipes

Carbs aren't the only thing Italians are good at. These healthy Italian recipes—chicken calzones, prosciutto paninis, saucy Italian meatball subs, and more—go past just pasta and sauce and into protein-packed dinners less than 400 calories per serving. Mangia!

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  • 1 of 30

    Cauliflower Pizza Crust

    Looking to cut the calories and carbs from your pizza? Try this cauliflower and cheese crust, then top with marinara, plenty of vegetables, and a light sprinkle of cheese.

  • Italian Garden Casserole 2 of 30

    Italian Garden Casserole

    Each scoop of this 200-calorie casserole tastes just like a stuffed artichoke, and you don’t have to overdose on butter to enjoy it! Heart-healthy olive oil brings this cheesy vegetable casserole together.

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    Italian Barley and Sausage Casserole

    Instead of white rice or pasta, whole grain barley acts as the base of this vegetable-rich casserole recipe. Since each serving cooks in a ramekin, portion control is built in.

  • 4 of 30

    Italian Roasted Chicken and Veggie Toss

    A gluten-free Italian entree is possible! Load up a sheet pan with chicken and veggies, roast, and pile the toasty ingredients atop a bed of leafy greens. Drizzle with a simple balsamic vinaigrette, and dinner is done.

  • 5 of 30

    Chicken Saltimbocca

    With a remarkable 42 grams of protein per plate, this skillet chicken recipe will satisfy even the heartiest appetites. (But don't worry—at just 375 calories, this healthy Italian recipe saves enough room in your diet for a scoop of gelato for dessert.)

  • 6 of 30

    Italian Spinach Soup

    Start your pasta or pizza dinner with a cup of this vitamin-rich soup. To make the 150-calorie recipe vegetarian, simply trade vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

  • 7 of 30

    Italian-Style Turkey and Penne Toss

    Penne, you've never looked better. Toss the multigrain noodle with herb-packed tomato sauce, iron-rich baby spinach, and lean turkey breast for a healthy Italian dinner. A generous 2-cup serving weighs in at only 301 calories.

  • 8 of 30

    Lightened-Up Spaghetti Pie

    Cover your carb cravings with a slice of this healthy spaghetti pie. Three secrets to lightening it up: reduced-fat dairy products, lots of veggies, and lean ground turkey

  • 9 of 30

    Zoodle Pizza Casserole

    When you hear pizza and casserole, you’re probably more likely to think of comfort food than calorie conscious. But this spiralized zucchini recipe actually checks all of those boxes, with its perfect ratio of gooey cheese topping, mini pepperonis, and pasta-like zoodles.

  • 10 of 30

    Spring Minestrone

    This soup has staying power! With a healthy dose of fiber from the green veggies and plenty of protein from beans, each 300-calorie serving will keep you full for hours.

  • 11 of 30

    Italian Meatball Rolls

    These aren't your regular meatball subs. They're better! Chow down on fresh cremini mushrooms, protein-packed turkey meatballs, and Italy's quintessential duo: balsamic and mozzarella. Loads of flavor comes from herbs, garlic, and vinegar—not fat and salt.

  • 12 of 30

    Meatballs, Greens, and Orecchiette

    It's our little secret! No one needs to know that these lean meatballs are hiding zucchini (for nutrition and moisture). To give this well-balanced pasta recipe more fiber, opt for whole wheat pasta.

  • 13 of 30

    Gazpacho Shrimp Salad

    Half salad, half soup, and completely delicious, this light and refreshing shrimp recipe is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. Garnish with fresh parsley, basil, or marjoram if you have any on hand.

  • 14 of 30

    Mini Spaghetti and Meatball Pies

    Enjoy a double fix of spaghetti. Two mini pies come in under 300 calories. These muffin tin minis use reduced-fat Italian cheese and a lighter, sugar-free version of your favorite tomato-basil sauce. 

  • 15 of 30

    Italian Pesto Pasta Salad

    Stretch four servings of pasta to serve 10 people (yes, 10!) by mixing mac with hearty canned beans, punchy basil pesto, and peppery arugula.

  • 16 of 30

    Roasted Salmon with Broccoli and Tomatoes

    Basil and parsley infuse this sheet-pan supper’s fresh finishing sauce with Italian flavors. Make a double batch of the light lemon drizzle, then use the second batch to drizzle over tomorrow’s lunch salad.

  • 17 of 30

    Prosciutto and Artichoke Panini

    The coolest thing since sliced bread? Panini! This healthy one pairs salty prosciutto with artichoke hearts and a whole lot of basil. But don't thank us—thank the Italians!

  • 18 of 30

    Quinoa Pizza Bites

    All of the flavors you love in a slice now come in a poppable, healthy snack format. Bonus: Quinoa offers 8 grams of protein per cup!

  • 19 of 30

    Rotini with Beef and Beans

    This healthy one-skillet wonder is the perfect weeknight dinner. It's packed with protein, plus you can cook the noodles right in the skillet! Bubble it all in a reduced-sodium broth for a pasta dinner you can actually feel good about. 

  • 20 of 30

    Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Shrimp

    Enjoy this light Italian shrimp-filled pasta recipe, complete with tasty herbs and spices such as basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

  • 21 of 30

    Make-Ahead Chicken-Spinach Calzones

    Pop open that pizza dough sitting in your fridge and make a party-worthy Italian dinner: calzones! These healthy versions are oozing with melty (skim) mozzarella, seasoned chopped chicken, and garlicky spinach. Plus, they can be made up to a month ahead.

  • 22 of 30

    Broccoli Rabe and Mushroom Pizza

    Crispy whole wheat dough sets the stage for leafy broccoli rabe, tender cremini mushrooms, and creamy ricotta on this healthy pizza. Sweeten your pizza pie with a sprinkling of golden raisins.

  • 23 of 30

    Mama's Spicy Meatballs

    Saucy, spicy, and under 400 calories, our meatball pasta is the perfect weeknight meal. The homemade red sauce recipe features fresh roma tomatoes simmered in dry red wine for a tangy, sweet sauce that's healthier than the bottled stuff.  

  • 24 of 30

    Whole Grain Panzanella

    Instead of white bread, this entree salad calls for whole wheat baguette cubes and diced potatoes to pack more nutrition into every bite. Toss in a handful of leftover grilled chicken for more protein.

  • 25 of 30

    Mini Margherita Pizzas

    Guests will gobble up these mini margherita pizzas just in time for the main course. Each low-calorie appetizer features a sweet-and-savory stack of creamy mozzarella, sliced tomato, and fresh basil.

  • 26 of 30

    Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

    This low-fat vegetarian pasta can be made in minutes with ingredients that you probably have on hand. Cut mushrooms into thicker slices for a meatier texture.

  • 27 of 30

    Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs

    A few simple swaps—like using spaghetti squash instead of pasta—cut calories and fat from a traditional spaghetti and meatball recipe. Make a leaner meatball by adding fiber-rich bulgur and using lean ground beef.

  • 28 of 30

    Vegetable Lasagna

    Go on—give in to your love of lasagna! Our veggie-packed version features all the melty mozzarella you love, and the layers of fresh mushrooms, spinach, and broccoli keep it low-cal and full of vitamins.

  • 29 of 30

    Lasagna Rolls al Forno

    Creating individual rolls with lasagna noodles makes portion control so much easier, and they taste just as good as the classic. Fill each noodle with a scoop of our veggie-loaded sausage Bolognese, then roll it up for a healthy Italian recipe.

  • Next Slideshow All-Time Favorite Italian Recipes

    All-Time Favorite Italian Recipes

    Calling all spaghetti-lovers and pizza purists! You're going to fall for all of our delicious Italian recipes. These traditional dishes are our favorite Italian recipes -- ones you'll want to share, hand down, and save in your recipe box. Sure, we have classics like spaghetti bolognese and baked ziti, but be sure to start with bruschetta and end with tiramisu for the complete Italian experience!
    Begin Slideshow »
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