25 Healthy Italian Recipes

Whole-Wheat Linguine with Walnuts, Orange and Chile

Whether you want a healthy take on spaghetti or are craving a seafood supper, Italian cooking doesn't have to be heavy. These light and easy recipes are perfect for any season, and by making simple swaps you can make your favorite dishes a little healthier.

01 of 25

Spaghetti with Mushroom Bolognese

Spaghetti with Mushroom Bolognese
© Con Poulos

Three kinds of mushroom plus eggplant and carrots come together in this satisfying vegetarian Bolognese from F&W's Kay Chun.

02 of 25

Ligurian Seafood Stew

Ligurian Seafood Stew
© Tina Rupp

After blanching peas, snap peas and fingerling potatoes, Andrew Carmellini adds them to a homemade mussel broth along with sea bass, clams, an herb pesto and little seafood meatballs made with shrimp, chorizo and scallops.

03 of 25

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

Super Fast Grilling Recipes for a Last-Minute Barbecue
JOHN KERNICK

This grilled-vegetable version of eggplant Parmesan, like the one Grace Parisi's Calabrian grandmother used to make, is much lighter than the fried kind.Slideshow:More Terrific Vegetarian Recipes

04 of 25

Garlicky Spaghetti with Mixed Greens

Garlicky Spaghetti with Mixed Greens
© Marcus Nilsson

Food & Wine's Kay Chun makes her silky, garlicky pasta with an abundance of greens so that each bite is equal parts of both.

05 of 25

Big Italian Salad

Big Italian Salad
© Quentin Bacon

Part green salad, part antipasto salad, this recipe combines lettuce, celery, onion, peperoncini, olives and cherry tomatoes—all tossed in a dressing made with olive oil, vinegar and a little mayonnaise.

06 of 25

Braised Chicken all'Arrabbiata

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All'Arrabbiata means "in an angry style" in Italian.

07 of 25

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Hearty Minestrone Soup

This satisfying soup from David Bull is an excellent source of fiber.

08 of 25

Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Roasted Vegetables

Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Roasted Vegetables

Tossed with sweet acorn squash and roasted tomatoes, this whole wheat pasta from Eric Chopin is packed with fiber and vitamins A and C. Olives and toasted pine nuts add heart-healthy fats.

09 of 25

Chopped Italian Salad

Chopped Italian Salad

Antipasto ingredients are sliced and diced to make a fun, flexible chopped salad. We've thrown in our favorites, and so should you. Add the dressing ingredients to the bowl, too, and mix them when you toss the salad—it's the Italian way.

10 of 25

Spaghetti with Clams and Garlic

Spaghetti with Clams and Garlic

This exquisite, supersimple spaghetti is packed with garlic and a judicious amount of crushed red pepper. If you prefer, shell the clams before tossing them with their juices in the pasta.

11 of 25

Fennel and Red-Onion Salad with Parmesan

Fennel and Red-Onion Salad with Parmesan

Crisp raw fennel, pungent onion, and a sprightly lemon and orange dressing make for a delectable salad. A food processor with a slicing attachment cuts the fennel in no time.

12 of 25

Lemony Chickpea Bruschetta

Lemony Chickpea Bruschetta

Chickpeas are a fine source of protein and heart-healthy folic acid. Here, they're pureed until creamy and flavored with preserved lemon, typically sold at specialty food stores.

13 of 25

Pennette with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Pennette with Spicy Tomato Sauce

When he was trying to lose weight, Mark Strausman relied on this garlicky, rustic whole wheat pasta. Not only is it loaded with fiber and lycopene-rich canned tomatoes, but it's also deeply satisfying.

14 of 25

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Salsify, Chestnuts and Ham

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Salsify, Chestnuts and Ham
© Lucy Schaeffer

Michel Nischan transforms a traditional Italian dish with local produce and country ham. "This satisfies people's yearning for pasta, but with a more American approach," he says.

15 of 25

Italian Seafood Stew

Italian Seafood Stew
© John Kernick

In this luscious, tomato-rich stew, Marco Canora cooks calamari slowly until it becomes supertender. He says calamari is absolutely essential to the success of the dish, because it releases its liquid as it simmers, which adds a huge amount of flavor to the sauce. "I'm a big fan of substitutions," he says, "but not in this case."

16 of 25

Spelt Focaccia with Kale, Squash and Pecorino

Spelt Focaccia with Kale, Squash and Pecorino
© John Kernick

Chef Paul Kahan makes this healthy focaccia with spelt flour, which is high in protein and gives the bread an appealingly hearty texture. Instead of using an excessive amount of cheese or meat, he tops the focaccia with tangy marinated kale, soft and sweet slices of winter squash and a few shavings of nutty, salty pecorino cheese.

17 of 25

Concord Grape Granita

Concord Grape Granita
© Tina Rupp

This icy dessert gets its sweet, tangy taste from Concord grape juice, which has three times the antioxidant power of orange and grapefruit juices.

18 of 25

Chickpea Soup with Swiss Chard

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The humble chickpea is enormously popular in Italy, especially for soups. Here, in this Tuscan specialty, it's joined by tomatoes, macaroni, Swiss-chard leaves and a generous quantity of garlic.

19 of 25

Red Wine Bagna Cauda with Crudités

Red Wine Bagna Cauda with Crudités
© Cedric Angeles

This garnet sauce is Chris Cosentino's take on the classic Piedmontese anchovy-and-olive-oil dip, enriched here with red wine. Italian for "hot bath," bagna cauda is served warm with crudités. This version, with both oil-packed and marinated anchovies, doubles as a terrific sauce for grilled meat.

20 of 25

Sardinian-Style Paella

Sardinian-Style Paella

Fregola, the pearl-size Sardinian pasta that is quite similar to couscous, makes a terrific substitute for rice in this paella-style dish; it soaks up a lot of the cooking liquid from the seafood, tomato and chorizo stew and still stays nicely chewy. For such an impressive main course, it can be prepared surprisingly quickly.

21 of 25

Stone-Fruit Panzanella with Zabaglione

Stone-Fruit Panzanella with Zabaglione
© Cedric Angeles

A classic Italian panzanella (bread salad) combines juicy tomatoes and bread cubes. Here, Chris Cosentino swaps in stone fruits like apricots and peaches for the tomatoes. Then he pushes the dessert over the top by dolloping the "salad" with an airy zabaglione, a frothy sauce of egg yolks whipped with sweet dessert wine.

22 of 25

Grilled Shrimp with Oregano and Lemon

Grilled Shrimp with Oregano and Lemon. Photo © John Kernick
© John Kernick

The sauce for this shrimp is a simple version of Italy's salmoriglio, typically made with lemon and herbs in a mortar. The sauce is also delicious spooned over grilled swordfish or any other meaty fish.

23 of 25

Grilled Fish with Artichoke Caponata

Grilled Fish with Artichoke Caponata
© Stephanie Foley

To top meaty mahimahi, chef Michael White makes a vinegary caponata (a Sicilian relish) with fresh artichoke hearts, not the traditional tomatoes and eggplant. Trimming artichokes can be time-consuming, so buy marinated artichoke hearts from the grocery store instead.

24 of 25

Cheesy Farro-and-Tomato Risotto

Cheesy Farro-and-Tomato Risotto
© Lucy Schaeffer

Rajat Parr came up with this vibrant risotto when trying to feed a bunch of hungry friends in his San Francisco apartment from a pantry that happened to contain tomatoes and farro.

25 of 25

Swordfish Sicilian-Style

Swordfish Sicilian-Style

From cookbook genius Marcella Hazan, a little herb-infused dressing transforms just-grilled swordfish steaks.

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