Healthy Italian Recipes

Experts have found that following a Mediterranean diet can be beneficial for your health. These Mediterranean-inspired recipes prove eating healthfully can be a delicious experience.


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Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Shrimp
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Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Shrimp

    Seafood and Italy go hand-in-hand. Enjoy this light, shrimp-filled pasta dish, complete with tasty spices, such as basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

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Peppered Chicken in Marsala Sauce

    Marsala sauce boasts simple ingredients--butter, meat juices left after browning, and Marsala wine (produced in Sicily). Marsala has a rich, smoky flavor that develops as the wine ages and is a wonderful complement to white meat.

3/30
Five-Tomato Salad

    Gorgonzola cheese and Dijon-style mustard add a delightful tang to this take on Caprese salad. Always keep tomatoes at room temperature--refrigerating them can change the flavor, nutrients, and texture.

    Tip: Gorgonzola is a creamy, Italian blue cheese that ranges in texture from soft to firm. The longer it ages, the firmer it becomes.

4/30
Rosemary-Rubbed Lamb Chops

    Rosemary is a very popular herb to use on roasted meats, and lamb is often served in Italy on special occasions.

    Tip: A little rosemary goes a long way, so if you're not used to cooking with it, go easy on it.

5/30
Grilled Vegetables on Focaccia

    Either an indoor or outdoor grill with do the trick for cooking the sweet peppers, zucchini, and eggplant.

    Tip: Purchase smaller, immature eggplants. Larger, puffy ones tend to be more bitter and have hard seeds.

6/30
Chunky Minestrone

    One serving of this soup provides almost half of your daily vitamin C needs. Chock-full of veggies and beans, it's also high in dietary fiber. Enjoy!

7/30
Quick Campanelle with Peas and Artichokes

    These thick, ruffled noodles absorb moisture. They are intended to be served with a thicker sauce or baked in a casserole, but they are deliciously light and fluffy when tossed with olive oil and vegetables.

8/30
Caramelized Onion Pizza

    Two kinds of cheese, tomato, basil, and onion top this less-than-300-calorie dinner. For a sweeter flavor, use yellow onions instead of red, as they contain more natural sugar.

    Tip: Top off the pizza with a delicious caramel syrup by deglazing the saucepan with a few tablespoons of white wine.

9/30
Beefy Italian Skillet

    A true Italian rarely uses only tomatoes in the sauce; they load it up with yummy vegetables--even carrots! Most of the vegetables in this sauce are part of Cleveland Clinic's top veggie picks, too.

10/30
White Bean and Pine Nut Dip

    Pine nuts are high in monounsaturated fats, which contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system. This creamy Italian-style dip helps encourage you to eat your vegetables.

    Tip: Try the dip on sweet potato chips or artichoke hearts.

11/30
Sea Bass with Fennel Slaw

    Preparations for seafood in Italy are simple: Use top-quality ingredients and avoid masking the flavor of the fish with heavy spices and seasonings. Fennel's mild essence is a perfect complement to sea bass and is known to reduce elevated cholesterol.

12/30
Chicken with Orzo

    Make an Italian dinner in a snap! This recipe calls for picking up a roasted chicken on the way home. Leftovers taste great the next day, too.

13/30
Healthy Caesar Salad

    Traditional Caesar dressing calls for egg yolks. Our heart-healthy version replaces them with low-fat mayonnaise, without skimping on that irresistibly creamy texture.

14/30
Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

    Low in fat, this vegetarian pasta can be made in minutes with ingredients that you likely have on hand. Cut mushrooms into thicker slices for a "meatier" texture.

    Tip: For extra flavor, marinate mushrooms in your favorite vinaigrette. Cover and refrigerate for up to two days.

15/30
Herb-and-Bean-Stuffed Tomatoes

    White beans are a staple in Italian cooking. They're also an excellent source of protein and a delicious stuffing in these hollowed-out ripe tomatoes.

16/30
Salmon with Whole Wheat Pasta

    Whole wheat pasta has almost three times the fiber of regular pasta. Paired with heart-healthy salmon, this Italian pasta dish is a guilt-free crowd-pleaser.

17/30
Scallops with Orange and Honey

    You'd never guess that this flavorful dish is both low-fat and low-calorie. Honey and orange add a touch of sweetness to the mild scallops, while cilantro and garlic balance out the recipe's savory side.

18/30
Tuna and White Bean Panini

    Served hot or cold, panini are filled with yummy ingredients that won't cost you a lot. Canned beans and tuna provide the protein for little expense and just 277 calories.

    Tip: Save on the grocery budget by turning last night's roasted chicken into a delicious panini for lunch today.

19/30
Linguini with Fresh Veggies

    This versatile Italian dish can be served warm right after you make it or later as a chilled pasta salad. Heart-healthy olive oil serves as the dressing.

20/30
Garlic-and-Chili-Rubbed Lamb

    Light cuts of lamb rubbed with a chili-and-garlic-infused spice could be the star of your Italian dinner. You'll love them even more when you learn they're just 200 calories per serving.

21/30
Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce

    Red pepper sauce is an extremely versatile Italian favorite: Try it over meatloaf or white fish. For a more robust flavor, increase the garlic and herbs to taste.

22/30
Spring Peas Risotto

    It may take a little longer to prepare, but this dish rewards your effort with its rich, creamy texture. Stir-ins can be forgiving, so feel free to experiment with your favorite vegetables.

23/30
Pasta Spinach Salad

    This salad uses a prepared dressing, so it can be made in minutes. It's perfect on its own as a light vegetarian meal, or grill your favorite lean meat to complement the Italian dish.

24/30
Mama's Amazing Ziti

    Comfort food at its finest! There's nothing like a soothing pasta dish to come home to at the end of the day. Better yet, it's low in saturated fat, so there are two reasons to smile.

25/30
Tarragon Biscotti

    Biscotti means "twice-baked" because these classic Italian treats are first baked in one long loaf, then sliced, turned on their sides, and baked again for an extra-crunchy texture.

26/30
Tropical Fig Salad

    Serve this deliciously sweet salad as a complement for chicken dishes, or grill a chicken breast and add to the salad for a complete meal.

    Tip: Figs don't ripen after picking, so buy only ripe ones and use them as soon as possible. They can be stored for up to two days in the refrigerator.

27/30
Cool Antipasto Kabobs

    Antipasto courses in Italy often include foods with a vinegar-based marinade. These skewers add a festive flair to any party.

    Tip: Variety is the spice of life: Thread artichoke or celery hearts, green peppers, scallions, mushrooms, radishes, or fresh tomato chunks onto skewers.

28/30
Chocolate Ricotta Mousse

    Quick and easy to make, this recipe doesn't require any cooking or chilling. It's instant payoff: a rich, chocolaty confection at a guilt-free 153 calories per serving.

29/30
Meyer Lemon Sorbet

    Italian granita, or sorbetto, is made with sugar, water, and flavorings but no dairy. The citrus flavors in this frozen treat are especially refreshing.

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