Italian food is usually associated with large portions, as well as carbohydrate heavy meals of pasta, breadsticks, pizza and cannolis. But there are plenty of healthy Italian favorites that feature healthier choices like beans, roasted meats, vegetables, and seafood . For healthier Italian options, consider:

  • Pizza margherita (tomatoes, basil and a small amount of mozzarella cheese).  Thin crust pizza topped with vegetables may be a healthy choice, just watch portion sizes.
  • Roasted peppers, artichokes, or minestrone soup can make a healthy appetizer, instead of fried cheese or ravioli.
  • Choose spaghetti squash instead of traditional pasta when possible.
  • Split large portions and take half home.
  • Pasta with marinara or pomodoro sauces are leaner choices than Alfredo, or Parmesan sauces.
  • Chicken marsala or piccata dishes may be lower in calories than cheesy lasagna, or other stuffed pasta.
  • Italian ices, melon, citrus fruit or Italian coffee are traditional treats that are lower in calories than cannoli or napoleons.