9 Healthy Italian Recipes We’re Making on Repeat

By Carrie Havranek
|
September 6, 2022
healthy stuffed shells
Courtesy of Cookie and Kate

We could probably eat Italian every night of the week. Pizza, pasta, chicken parm — what’s not to love? Except maybe the way you feel after a cheesy, carb-heavy meal. That’s why we’ve found lighter versions of all your favorites. These healthy Italian recipes deliver all the comfort and flavor you’d expect. Plus, healthier swaps mean they’re often loaded with extra nutrition as well. Buon appetito!

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1. Healthy Alfredo Sauce Recipe

healthy fettuccine alfredo sauce

Courtesy of Show Me The Yummy

This recipe from brings leans on broth and Greek yogurt to bring the flavor and plenty of nutrition, without overindulgence. We promise you won’t even miss the cream! Serve with your favorite pasta — gluten-free, plant-based, or conventional.

Try the recipe from Show Me The Yummy.

2. Turkey Meatballs

healthier italian recipes

Courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen

Sometimes, you just need a bowl of meatballs. Make these leaner turkey meatballs that still pack plenty of protein into a healthier meatball sub, serve them with spaghetti squash or regular spaghetti, or just eat them as is. A green salad to go with is always a good idea.

Try the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

3. Best Vegan Lasagna

vegan lasagna slice on a plate

Courtesy of Sweet Simple Vegan

If you’re following a vegan diet, or just trying to eat more plant-based foods, this vegan lasagna is for you. It uses tofu in place of ricotta, vegan shredded cheese, and an easy homemade cheese sauce to deliver the ooey-gooey part you love. This recipe calls for vegan ground beef, but you could just as easily load it up with your favorite vegetables.

Try the recipe from Sweet Simple Vegan.

4. Easy Healthy Chicken Piccata

chicken piccata in a skillet with lemon slices

Courtesy of Chew Out Loud

Chicken is a great source of protein, but it’s often, well, slightly boring. This lighter piccata sauce brings tons of lemony, garlicky flavor, with the brininess of capers and some fresh parsley. It only calls for one tablespoon of butter, and if you want to skip the butter entirely (and use all EVOO), go ahead. You can also use gluten-free flour instead of regular flour, or just skip it altogether. Really this dish is all about the lemon-garlic-caper trifecta.

Try the recipe from Chew Out Loud.

5. 20 Minute Healthy Chicken Parmesan

chicken parmesan with zoodles on a plate

Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

Sometimes the secret to making something healthier is simply adding vegetables. That’s mostly the case here with chicken parm that goes easy on the cheese and sits on a bed of zucchini noodles. This feels like it’s not going to weigh you down — and it won’t. Even better? It’s actually (truly) ready in 20 minutes.

Try the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

6. Best Stuffed Shells

healthy stuffed shells

Courtesy of Cookie and Kate

These stuffed shells use an entire pound of spinach! There are also plenty of options if you want to cut back on the cheese or make it with vegan sour cream instead of ricotta. This wins points for versatility and deliciousness in equal parts.

Try the recipe from Cookie and Kate.

7. Turkey Bolognese

healthy Italian recipe turkey bolognese in a bowl

Courtesy of Well Plated

Bless the simplicity and keeping-it-real nature of this recipe, which calls for turkey instead of beef and whole milk instead of cream.  Smart shortcuts, such as buying good-quality refrigerated pasta, are encouraged here, too. If you want, make it totally vegan with plant-based ground beef.

Try the recipe from Well Plated.

8. 15-Minute Healthy Shrimp Scampi

shrimp scampi with zoodles in a large pot

Courtesy of Sweet Pea Chef

Shrimp scampi is so timelessly tasty because of butter, and lots of it. This recipe cuts back on the butter, ups the lemon and herbs (easy and healthy moves), and pairs it all with zoodles to bring a seriously lightened-up scampi to the table. Serve with veggie-based rice like RightRice instead of veggie noodles, if you like.

Try the recipe from A Sweet Pea Chef.

9. Tuscan Steak with Marinated Cherries

tuscan steak with egg and cherry tomatoes on a cutting board

Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest

Yes, we’re talking about steak here with a fried egg on top, which is pretty traditional in Tuscany. The key here is to choose the best-quality egg and best-quality steak. Rubbing the meat with plenty of garlic, rosemary, and olive oil lends tons of flavor. Marinating tomatoes saves even a lackluster off-season selection, and a handful of fresh arugula gives the whole thing some zing.

Try the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

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