Healthy Italian Recipes

Enjoy creamy sauces, bowls of pasta and cheese-topped favorites with our healthy Italian recipes.

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Chicken Parmesan

We can’t stop drooling over Ellie’s healthier Chicken Parmesan — baked, not fried, and breaded with fiber-rich whole-wheat crumbs. Mix part-skim mozzarella with regular Parmesan for full flavor and fewer calories.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Parmesan

Portobello Lasagna Rollups

Part-skim ricotta and mozzarella keep the fat count low in these cheesy whole-wheat roll-ups. And remember: A little bold-flavored Parmesan goes a long way flavor-wise.

Get the Recipe: Portobello Lasagna Rollups

Chicken Scallopine with Sage and Fontina Cheese

Giada's rolled chicken cutlets are stuffed with sage and fontina cheese, breaded and pan-fried, then cooked until tender in a tomato-white wine sauce.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Scallopine with Sage and Fontina Cheese

Linguine with Chicken Ragu

This pasta dish features chicken that's simmered with an array of vegetables — including celery, carrots and tomatoes —  for a leaner, yet still hearty twist on a traditional Italian meat sauce.

Get the Recipe: Linguine with Chicken Ragu

Chicken Saltimbocca

Saltimbocca is a traditional Italian dish made with veal wrapped around prosciutto and sage, but Giada gives it a healthier spin by swapping out the veal for chicken and adding fresh spinach in the center.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Saltimbocca

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

Amp up cubed chicken breast by combining it with bite-sized pasta, diced tomatoes and mozzarella in a baking dish. A final sprinkling of Parmesan and parsley ready this eash one-pot dish for serving, family-style.

Get the Recipe: Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

Roman-Style Chicken

Braise chicken in a colorful red- and yellow-pepper sauce for a fragrant, naturally low-calorie Italian chicken classic.

Get the Recipe: Roman-Style Chicken

Fettuccine With Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce

Roasted red peppers and naturally light feta cheese are blended to form this pasta’s indulgent yet lower-calorie creamy sauce.

Get the Recipe: Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce

Caesar Salad

The lightened-up Caesar dressing swaps out the traditional egg yolks with light mayonaise but creates a classic flavor as delicious as any you've tried.

Get the Recipe: Caesar Salad

Linguini with Carrot Turkey Ragu

Turn this pasta dish into a guiltless pleasure by combining thin ribbons of shaved carrots with whole wheat linguine and topping them with a hearty turkey ragu.

Get the Recipe: Linguini with Carrot Turkey Ragu

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Ellie makes a few tablespoons of fragrant thyme and sage go a long way in this low-calorie, veggie-loaded soup.

Get the Recipe: Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Pasta Puttanesca

Ellie melts powerful anchovy paste into her puttanesca sauce to deepen the flavor and adds crushed red pepper flakes for a kick of heat.

Get the Recipe: Pasta Puttanesca

Kelsey's Vegetable Lasagna

Veggie lasagna is always lighter than its meat-filled counterpart, and in this recipe, Kelsey further lightens things up with part-skim ricotta.

Get the Recipe: Vegetable Lasagna

Meatballs With Tomato Sauce

David Rocco's meatballs, made with extra-lean ground beef and thickened with sundried tomatoes, possess tremendous texture and flavor and come in at under 300 calories per serving.

Get the Recipe: Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Penne with Spinach Sauce

This light and fresh pasta dish is full of nutrients thanks to a sauce made out of our favorite super veggie, spinach. Naturally low-fat goat cheese lends a creamy texture and pleasantly tangy flavor.

Get the Recipe: Penne with Spinach Sauce

Chicken Cacciatore

Ellie lightens this classic Italian favorite by cooking with skinless chicken breasts instead of thighs and skipping the flour coating.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Cacciatore

Asparagus and Jack Cheese Frittata

Aida Mollenkamp fills her frittata with jack cheese and fresh ingredients like asparagus and cilantro. Cut it into wedges and serve with a salad or potatoes for a complete meal.

Get the Recipe: Asparagus and Jack Cheese Frittata

No Guilt Caesar

Though not technically Italian, Caesar salad is a mainstay on Italian menus — and a notorious calorie trap. Alton’s secret for a creamy and guilt-free Caesar dressing? Silken tofu.

Get the Recipe: No Guilt Caesar

Penne With Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans

Ellie enhances tomatoes’ natural sweetness by roasting them in the oven with just a touch of olive oil. All her pasta dish then needs is some aromatic roasted garlic cloves.

Get the Recipe: Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil, and Salmon

This five-star-rated recipe is beloved for its healthy qualities, flavor and speed. Ready in under 20 minutes, its whole-grain noodles and lemon-basil-caper sauce complement the simply prepared, good-for-you fish.

Get the Recipe: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil, and Salmon

Sweet Pepper Crostini

Giada’s sweet pepper crostini is a simple and light appetizer that’s perfect for any party. Smoked mozzarella has a strong, nutty flavor — so a little goes a long way.

Get the Recipe: Sweet Pepper Crostini

Focaccia Topped With Grapes

This sweeter, lighter take on pizza — a marker of the Italian grape harvest — calls for the dough to be topped with fresh grapes, rosemary and a sprinkling of sugar.

Get the Recipe: Schiacciata Con l'Uva: Focaccia Topped with Grapes

Cavatappi al Vino

Fragrant ingredients like saffron, onion, rosemary and sage lend tremendous flavor to Debi and Gabriele’s Cavatappi al Vino.

Get the Recipe: Cavatappi al Vino

Rachael's Hearty and Healthy Minestrone

Rachael’s trick for a flavorful, rich soup? Prepare a stock with the rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Lean Prosciutto di Parma and oven-roasted tomatoes lend even more flavor.

Get the Recipe: Hearty and Healthy 3 Bean Minestrone

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese

Vitamin-packed Swiss chard and salty pecorino cheeses pair perfectly with nutty whole-wheat spaghetti in this simple dish inspired by classic Italian flavors.

Get the Recipe: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Pecorino Cheese

Turkey con Funghi Misti: Turkey with Mushroom Medley

David Rocco proves that turkey is meant to be enjoyed beyond Thanksgiving with this savory turkey-and-mushroom dish cooked in a white wine sauce.

Get the Recipe: Turkey con Funghi Misti: Turkey with Mushroom Medley

Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream

Balsamic syrup adds a rich, savory note to a bowl of berries, best complemented by a super-sweet ricotta, honey and vanilla cream.

Get the Recipe: Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta

Bulk up whole-wheat fettucine by working zucchini ribbons (mandoline-sliced or thinly cut strips) into your pasta bowl. Sprigs of basil and parsley and large red pepper flakes add ample flavor and round out this dish's rainbow spectrum.

Get the Recipe: Zucchini Ribbon Pasta

Butternut Orzotto

This healthier take on risotto subs orzo for the high-starch rice ordinarily used. Kelsey bulks the dish up with sweet butternut squash and a minimal amount of half-and-half for that same creamy consistency.

Get the Recipe: Butternut Orzotto

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera is always a great lighter Italian option: It's chockfull of fresh vegetables and herbs.

Get the Recipe: Pasta Primavera

David Rocco's Pasta Salad With Tuna

David Rocco’s mayo-free twist on tuna salad layers seared, sushi-grade tuna, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes atop pasta.

Get the Recipe: Insalata di Pasta con Tonno: Pasta Salad with Tuna


Onions, porcini mushrooms, spinach and chili peppers lend their fresh flavors to the watery broth, making this Tuscan dish a healthful — and low-sodium — soup.

Get the Recipe: Acquacotta

Better Beef Lasagna

Whole-grain pasta adds fiber to this Italian classic, which gets meaty flavor and texture from lean ground beef and naturally low-calorie portobello mushrooms.

Get the Recipe: Better Beef Lasagna

Tuscan Beans

Garlic, sage, rosemary and olive oil transform dried cannellini beans into a flavorful, protein-rich side.

Get the Recipe: Tuscan Beans

Mascarpone Amaretti Cup

Debi and Gabriele's elegant mascarpone mousse, topped with chocolate shavings and crumbled amaretti cookies, is perfect for serving as a party dessert.

Get the Recipe: Mascarpone Amaretti Cup