Italian Recipes That Won't Kill Your Diet

By: Lindsay Damast

Now that we’re eleven days into the new year, it's time for a resolutions reality check. Those of you who set super strict goals — ridding carbs, fearing fats, swearing away sweets – may find yourselves faltering. But a sensible, long-term solution to either weight loss or healthy living involves all three of these forbidden categories — in moderation.

One cuisine you likely haven’t been incorporating into your recipe roster, known for high-sugar, high-fat sauces and loads of carbs, is Italian food. But you can dine on creamy, cheesy pastas, pizzas and Parmesan-style dishes while watching your waistline — we promise.

Take, for instance, this insanely delicious-looking Chicken Parmesan. At little more than 400 calories a serving, Ellie Krieger’s spin on this Italian staple is totally diet-friendly. She coats chicken breasts in a nicely spiced, whole-wheat breadcrumb mixture and then bakes them instead of frying. A measured topping of part-skim mozzarella and Parmesan cheese keeps the fat content in check.

And then there’s pizza, which is pretty much synonymous with “diet saboteur” — right? Not so, with Bobby Deen ( yes, son of Paula Deen), who lightens up his pie using whole wheat dough, reduced-fat cheese and Tex-Mex ingredients for a fun southwestern twist.

Same goes for pastas (sub in whole-wheat noodles, beware of heavy cream-based sauces) and more. Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, who knows a thing or two about taking the guilt out of guilty pleasures, shows you how by stocking your pantry with these 10 staples, you can make plenty of healthy pasta recipes and mind your budget.

For even more pasta ideas, these recipes and more, check out our top 20 healthy Italian recipes.

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