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58 Perfect Italian Recipes for People with Diabetes

Unlike carb-heavy pasta dishes and casseroles, these Italian (and Italian-inspired) dishes are perfect for your healthy, balanced lifestyle. We've even included dessert, too!

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Goat Cheese And Spinach Stuffed Chicken Exps Toham20 198868 E10 30 3b 2

Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Nutrition Facts
1 stuffed chicken breast: 347 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 111mg cholesterol, 532mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 5g fiber), 39g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 7 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

This spinach-stuffed chicken breast recipe is special to me because it has so much flavor, yet not too many calories. I love Italian food, but most of the time it is too heavy. This is a healthy twist on an Italian dish! —Nicole Stevens, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Understand diabetic exchanges to simplify your healthy diet.

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Tomato Cucumber Mozzarella Salad Exps Ft20 40874 F 0604 1 Home

Tomato-Cucumber Mozzarella Salad

Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 160 calories, 14g fat (3g saturated fat), 11mg cholesterol, 265mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 fat, 1 vegetable.

I used fresh mozzarella for the first time last year and loved it. I wanted to incorporate it into as many dishes as possible and came up with this salad. It has quickly become a mainstay at my house. —Jennifer Klann, Corbett, Oregon

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Italian Chicken And Penne Exps20748 Fm143298b03 11 9b Rms

Italian Chicken and Penne

Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 291 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 214mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 23g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 0.500 fat.

This easy stir-fry combines the pasta with green pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes in an Italian-style sauce. I made up this recipe one evening, and it was a big hit with my family. —Janeen Longfellow, Wolcottville, Indiana

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Italian Tomato Cucumber Salad

Nutrition Facts
1/2 cup: 93 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 257mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

This yummy medley of vegetables is a cool complement to zesty dishes like my fish, and also barbecued meats and poultry.—Florine Bruns, Fredericksburg, Texas

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Italian Cloud Eggs

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 96 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 190mg cholesterol, 234mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 8g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 medium-fat meat.

Drop egg yolks on nests of whipped Italian-seasoned egg whites, then bake in a cast-iron skillet. Dreamy! —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin

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Sicilian Steamed Leeks Exps Mcmzsp17 192473 B01 10 4b 1

Sicilian Steamed Leeks

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 83 calories, 2g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 77mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fat.

I love the challenge of developing recipes for my garden leeks, a delicious underused vegetable. This Italian-flavored dish is a family favorite. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California

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Exps190291 Cw163680d09 01 1b 3

Must-Have Tiramisu

Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 177 calories, 6g fat (4g saturated fat), 41mg cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 0 fiber), 6g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fat-free milk, 1 fat.

This is the perfect guilt-free version of a classic dessert. My friends even say that they prefer my lighter recipe over other tiramisu.—Ale Gambini, Beverly Hills, California

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Exps188906 Hck163687c07 31 2b 5

Cioppino-Style Soup

Nutrition Facts
1-3/4 cups (calculated without cheese): 208 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 83mg cholesterol, 631mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 4g fiber), 21g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

This classic Italian-American soup makes an easy, healthy and flavorful dinner. I serve it every New Year’s Eve, and I’ll often include salmon along with the cod, shrimp and crab. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Exps186047 Th153340b09 25 11b 1

Saucy Spiced Pears

Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 192 calories, 6g fat (4g saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 130mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 5g fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fruit, 1 fat.

We serve these tangy, saucy pears over angel food cake, pound cake or with a little yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle with a favorite topping. —Joy Zacharia, Clearwater, Florida

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Italian Cabbage Soup

Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 111 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 537mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 6g fiber), 8g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 1-1/2 starch.

After doing yard work on a windy day, we love to come in for a light but hearty soup like this one. It’s brimming with cabbage, veggies and white beans. Pass the oven-warmed bread! —Jennifer Stowell, Deep River, Iowa

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Basil Vegetable Strata

Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 322 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat), 201mg cholesterol, 620mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 24g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 medium-fat meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

I’ve been cooking this strata for years, and my family just can’t get enough! The fresh basil gives this healthy brunch dish an added flavor boost. —Jean L. Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin

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Chicken & Garlic with Fresh Herbs

Nutrition Facts
1 chicken thigh with 2 tablespoons cooking juices: 203 calories, 11g fat (3g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 346mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 22g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

The key to this savory chicken is the combination of garlic and fresh rosemary and thyme. I like to serve it with mashed potatoes or crusty Italian bread. —Jan Valdez, Lombard, Illinois

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Exps165681 Lr153742d08 21 9b

Lemon Chicken with Orzo

Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 399 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated fat), 63mg cholesterol, 807mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 9g fiber), 32g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1-1/2 fat, 1 vegetable.

Here’s a dish that’s light and summery but still filling. My kids love all the veggies…for real! If you like a lot of lemon, stir in an extra splash of lemon juice just before serving. —Shannon Humphrey, Hampton, Virginia

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Exps162481 Sd163575b10 08 8b 4

Cod with Hearty Tomato Sauce

Nutrition Facts
1 fillet with 3/4 cup sauce: 271 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 746mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 29g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1-1/2 fat.

My father made up this sweet, flavorful recipe for my mother when he took over the cooking. We serve it with whole wheat pasta or brown rice. —Ann Marie Eberhart, Gig Harbor, Washington

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Chicken Sausages With Polenta Exps138141 Sd142780d08 07 3b Rms 4

Chicken Sausages with Polenta

Nutrition Facts
2/3 cup sausage mixture with 2 slices polenta: 212 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 628mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 13g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

I get a kick out of serving this chicken sausage dish—everyone’s always on time for dinner when they know it’s on the menu. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida

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Contest Winning Easy Minestrone Exps119788 Fm143298b03 11 2bc Rms

Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 180 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 4mg cholesterol, 443mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 7g fiber), 8g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 lean meat.

This minestrone soup recipe is special to me because it’s one of the few dinners my entire family loves. And I can feel good about serving it because it’s full of nutrition and low in fat. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon

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Kale And Fennel Skillet Exps Thso17 201693 D04 21 2b 2

Kale and Fennel Skillet

Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 167 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 398mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 9g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat.

I love to mix different vegetables together and use unexpected herbs and spices to change things up. If you can’t find apple sausage for this skillet, a good mild Italian sausage would work just fine. —Patricia Levenson, Santa Ana, California

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Italian Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 109 calories, 11g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 343mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fat, 1 vegetable.

For an Italian twist on salad, I mix greens with red onion, mushrooms, olives, pepperoncini, lemon juice and seasoning. Add tomatoes and carrots if you like. —Deborah Loop, Clinton Township, Michigan

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Orange Ricotta Cake Roll Exps Hrbz17 159774 B09 06 5b 1

Orange Ricotta Cake Roll

Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 169 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 95mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 0 fiber), 7g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fat, 1 starch.

I come from a big Italian family where my mom cooked and baked many delicious meals and desserts from scratch. Now I like to do the same for my family. This cake is my finale to our Italian Christmas Eve dinner. —Cathy Banks, Encinitas, California

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Garden Chicken Cacciatore Exps Thas21 133377 B04 13 8b

Garden Chicken Cacciatore

Nutrition Facts
3 ounces cooked chicken with about 1/2 cup sauce: 207 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 410mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 23g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

Here’s the perfect Italian meal to serve company. While simmering, it frees you up to visit with your guests and always receives rave reviews! I like to serve it with hot cooked pasta, a tossed salad and a dry red wine. Mangia! —Martha Schirmacher, Sterling Heights, Michigan

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Exps112154 Lr153742b08 20 6b 3

Cheesy Spinach-Stuffed Shells

Nutrition Facts
3 stuffed shells: 313 calories, 13g fat (7g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 642mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 18g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 medium-fat meat, 1/2 fat.

This is my own personal recipe. I’m very proud of it because I am still a beginner cook and it was the first recipe I created. You can adjust it to your liking by doubling the spinach or adding some meat. —Laci Hooten, McKinney, Texas

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Exps112152 Thhc1998108d03 22 6b Web2

Contest-Winning Eggplant Parmesan

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 305 calories, 12g fat (5g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 912mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 9g fiber), 18g protein.

Because my recipe calls for baking the eggplant instead of frying it, unlike most eggplant Parmesan recipes, it’s much healthier! It takes a little extra time, but the Italian flavors and rustic elegance are well worth it. —Laci Hooten, McKinney, Texas

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Garlic Chicken with Herbs

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 214 calories, 12g fat (3g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 487mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 22g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

Pan-roasting garlic cloves turns them into rich, creamy deliciousness. This chicken is fantastic with crusty Italian bread or mashed potatoes on the side. —Kathy Fleming, Lisle, Illinois

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Frittata Florentine

Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 176 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated fat), 174mg cholesterol, 451mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 15g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 medium-fat meat, 1/2 fat.

My family is all about brunchy meals like this gorgeous Italian omelet. Lucky for us, it’s loaded with ingredients we tend to have at the ready. —Jenny Flake, Newport Beach, California

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Exps176932 Sd163617b01 29 1b 5

Chicken with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

Nutrition Facts
1 chicken breast half with 1 cup bean mixture: 294 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 681mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 4g fiber), 37g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

My skillet chicken with the colors and flavors of Italy is so easy. The fire-roasted tomatoes sound complicated, but all you have to do is open a can! —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California

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Slow Roasted Root Vegetables Exps Sdon16 187472 C06 08 4b 1

Slow-Roasted Root Vegetables

Nutrition Facts
2/3 cup: 158 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 263mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 4g fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fat, 1 starch.

When she was a little girl growing up in Italy, my Aunt Virginia learned to make a dish called “Noodles and Nuts.” I tried the topping on carrots and parsnips instead of noodles and haven’t looked back. —Terri Collins, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Apricot Dessert Bruschetta

Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 77 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 2mg cholesterol, 49mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch.

Years ago, my mother took a trip to Italy, and this recipe reminds her of the sun-kissed fruits from the orchards there. It’s a lovely apricot dessert that’s not overly sweet or heavy. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska

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Exps70737 Sd153319c10 14 2b

Skillet Chicken with Olives

Nutrition Facts
1 serving (calculated without capers): 237 calories, 15g fat (3g saturated fat), 76mg cholesterol, 571mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 21g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 fat.

While I was visiting my cousin Lilliana in Italy, she made this heavenly chicken for lunch. Now it’s a family favorite stateside, too. —Rosemarie Pisano, Revere, Massachusetts

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Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with Pancetta

Nutrition Facts
2/3 cup: 206 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 313mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fat, 1-1/2 starch.

Classic American mashed potatoes take a trip to Italy with the flavors of olive oil, garlic, and pancetta. —Bryan Kennedy, Kaneohe, Hawaii

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Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti Exps Hca17 41633 B10 20 8b

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Nutrition Facts
1 each: 107 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 48mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.

Chocolate, pistachios and cranberries make a dramatic, delicious trio. Introducing the cranberries to this recipe added tartness, texture and color, too. —Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware

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Florence Inspired Souffle Exps36227 Cx1995512b02 10 17bc Rms

Florence-Inspired Souffle

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 223 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 843mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 16g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

This souffle is not only absolutely delicious, but light and beautiful. Your guests will be impressed every time this brunch dish is served. So grab your fork and dig into this little taste of Florence! —Jenny Flake, Newport Beach, California

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Italian Chicken Soup

Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 279 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 54mg cholesterol, 829mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 4g fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable.

This satisfying soup gets its Italian flair from fennel, thyme, basil and orzo pasta. If you don’t start with a low-sodium or sodium-free stock, you might want to decrease the amount of salt called for in the recipe. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Spinach And Shrimp Fra Diavolo Exps Sdam19 232951 B12 07 5b 11

Spinach and Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 235 calories, 9g fat (1g saturated fat), 138mg cholesterol, 727mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 22g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1-1/2 fat.

This 20-minute dish is spicy, garlicky, saucy, and loaded with delicious shrimp. Plus, with the addition of spinach you’re also getting a serving of veggies. When you need a perfect low-fat weeknight meal that is quick to pull together, this is it. You can substitute arugula or kale for the spinach if you’d like. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

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Italian Beef Vegetable Soup Exps Tohfm20 201409 E07 10 8b 4

Italian Beef Vegetable Soup

Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 127 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 24mg cholesterol, 617mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 3g fiber), 11g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 lean meat.

This hearty vegetable beef soup features a ton of fresh vegetables, making it the perfect dish to use up all that summer produce. It’s also great during cooler weather! Make sure you serve this Italian soup with some breadsticks, rolls or flaky biscuits. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Italian Turkey Meatballs

Nutrition Facts
3 meatballs with 2/3 cup sauce: 239 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 85mg cholesterol, 588mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 4g fiber), 22g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch.

What’s not to love about moist and tender homemade Italian meatballs? Because they’re made with lean turkey, they’re lower in saturated fat, too! —Mary Berg, Lake Elmo, Minnesota

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Italian Sausage Veggie Skillet

Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 251 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 28mg cholesterol, 417mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 6g fiber), 16g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch.

We love Italian sausage sandwiches, but because the bread isn’t diet-friendly for me, I created this recipe to satisfy my craving. If you like some heat, use hot peppers in place of the sweet peppers. —Tina Howells, Salem, Ohio

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Arrabbiata Sauce With Zucchini Noodles Exps Hck18 196227 B04 014 7b 6

Arrabbiata Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

Nutrition Facts
1 cup sauce with 1 cup zucchini noodles: 287 calories, 13g fat (4g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 708mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 4g fiber), 26g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1/2 starch.

This popular Italian dish is very spicy and full of flavor. We decided to re-create one of our favorite jarred sauces and serve over zucchini pasta for a lighter, healthier meal that’s naturally gluten-free. The results were amazing! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Spicy Sweet Potato Kale Cannellini Soup

Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 250 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 615mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 7g fiber), 5g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

This cross between a soup and a stew fits the meatless Monday bill quite nicely. It warms you right up, and satisfies without leaving you overstuffed. —Marybeth Mank, Mesquite, Texas

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Pesto Tomato Cucumber Salad Exps Thjj17 186710 B02 07 6b

Pesto Tomato-Cucumber Salad

Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 82 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 318mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

My sister and I created this fresh salad at one of our “recipe nights” and it’s been a hit at every party since! Try red pepper flakes for a little kick if you’d like, or add Greek pepperoncini. —Jennifer Freier, Algonquin, Illinois

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Sicilian Potato Salad Exps Thjj18 186629 D01 30 2b 3

Sicilian Potato Salad

Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 96 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 143mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 2g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.

Fresh basil is the star of this mayo-free, Italian-inspired take on potato salad. —Sue Falk, Warren, Michigan

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Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash Exps Sdfm17 177890 C10 07 1b 2

Sausage-Stuffed Butternut Squash

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 325 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 587mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 12g fiber), 19g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 starch, 3 lean meat.

Load butternut squash shells with an Italian turkey sausage and squash mixture for a quick and easy meal. Even better, it’s surprisingly low in calories. —Katia Slinger, Columbus, Georgia

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Pizzaiola Chops

Nutrition Facts
1 pork chop and 1 cup vegetable mixture (calculated without rice): 351 calories, 17g fat (5g saturated fat), 82mg cholesterol, 647mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 35g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1-1/2 fat, 1 vegetable.

My favorite cousin shared this recipe, and I tweaked it for our family. Taste as you go, and try the Italian trick of sprinkling on some oregano to give it that extra something. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario

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Exps144116 Cw153045b08 19 14b

Risotto Balls (Arancini)

Nutrition Facts
1 appetizer (calculated without marinara sauce): 42 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch.

My Italian Grandma made these for me. I still request them when I visit her. And so do my children. These can be made ahead of time and frozen. They are also delicous served as a vegetarian main course with a salad.

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Mediterranean Turkey Potpies

Mediterranean Turkey Potpies

Nutrition Facts
1 potpie: 326 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 50mg cholesterol, 699mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 26g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

Your clan will love these wonderful, stick-to-the-ribs potpies with a Mediterranean twist. I always use the leftovers from our big holiday turkey to prepare this recipe. I think my family enjoys the potpies more than the original feast! —Marie Rizzio, Interlochen, Michigan

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Pear Turkey Sausage Rigatoni Exps122281 Sd132779d06 05 2bc Rms 2

Pear & Turkey Sausage Rigatoni

Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups (calculated without almonds): 273 calories, 9g fat (4g saturated fat), 32mg cholesterol, 333mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 13g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 medium-fat meat.

The sweet pear, salty sausage and creamy blue cheese are a wonderful combination in this dish. It tastes just like something you’d get at a great restaurant. —Debby Harden, Williamston, Michigan

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Exps121600 Th163619b09 24 8b 8

Great-Grandma's Italian Meatballs

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 271 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat), 125mg cholesterol, 569mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 27g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 fat, 1/2 starch.

My great-grandmother started this easy meatball recipe with our family. We use ground beef and turkey for these meatballs, and the flavor’s so good, you won’t miss the extra calories. —Audrey Colantino, Winchester, Massachusetts

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Tuscan Chicken And Beans Exps94658 Thhc2377564c07 03 3bc Rms 2

Tuscan Chicken and Beans

Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 216 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 63mg cholesterol, 517mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 4g fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch.

Rosemary and beans make a nice rustic Italian meal in this flavorful dish. —Marie Rizzio, Interlochen, Michigan

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Turkey Cutlets In Lemon Wine Sauce Exps91112 Sd142780d08 15 3bcltr Rms 2

Turkey Cutlets in Lemon Wine Sauce

Nutrition Facts
1 turkey cutlet with 2 tablespoons sauce: 145 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 44mg cholesterol, 110mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 18g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 fat.

After I ate something like this at a local Italian restaurant, I figured out how to make it at home for my family. Now I serve it a lot since it’s so quick to make—and they’re so happy I do. —Kathie Wilson, Warrenton, Virginia

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Exps85894 Sd153321b01 30 1b 2

Sausage Orecchiette Pasta

Nutrition Facts
1-2/3 cups: 363 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 38mg cholesterol, 571mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 5g fiber), 20g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable.

I adapted this pasta to be like my favorite Italian restaurant version, only lighter—and tastier. I often use spicy sausage and broccoli rabe. —Melanie Tritten, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Grapefruit-Gremolata Salmon

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 332 calories, 16g fat (3g saturated fat), 85mg cholesterol, 387mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 2g fiber), 30g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 starch.

If you’re looking for a simple fish dish, make this Italian-inspired recipe that combines salmon, broiled grapefruit and a fragrant gremolata. Halibut may be substituted for the salmon. —Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware

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Exps42068 Hs2776880a05 30 3b Web

Hearty Meatless Minestrone

Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 191 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 664mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 7g fiber), 6g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 vegetable, 1 starch, 1 fat.

A friend gave me this quick, healthy recipe, and it’s oh-so-tasty. It makes a big batch and is great for leftovers. To enhance the flavor, add a pound or two of sweet Italian sausage. —Mickey Turner, Grants Pass, Oregon

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Chocolate Amaretti Exps Thca19 41203 C10 16 2b 13

Chocolate Amaretti

Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 92 calories, 3g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 6mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fat.

With a hint of almond, these chewy treats are similar to those sold in Italian bakeries. My husband and children are always excited when I include these in my holiday baking lineup. —Kathy Long, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

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Hearty Turkey Meatball Soup Exps Ssbz18 41106 B04 10  1b 4

Hearty Turkey Meatball Soup

Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 258 calories, 10g fat (2g saturated fat), 60mg cholesterol, 783mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 21g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

Every Italian-American family I know seems to have its own version of meatball soup. This recipe is based on my family’s version. —Christie Ladd, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

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Tilapia With Jasmine Rice Exps Sddj17 39834 B08 03 1b 4

Tilapia with Jasmine Rice

Nutrition Facts
1 fillet with 3/4 cup rice: 412 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 90mg cholesterol, 615mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 36g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 3 starch, 1/2 fat.

This tender, full-flavored tilapia with fragrant jasmine rice is absolutely to die for. And it gets better—each serving has only 5 grams of fat! —Shirl Parsons, Cape Carteret, North Carolina

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Simple Italian Salad Exps Ft20 25957 F 0624 1

Simple Italian Salad

Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 120 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 943mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 4g fiber), 6g protein.

Homemade croutons star in this easy Italian salad, filled with grape tomatoes, olives and pepperoncinis. “I like to serve it with fresh Italian or focaccia bread,” Nancy Granaman suggests from Burlington, Iowa.

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Italian Shrimp 'n' Pasta

Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 418 calories, 12g fat (2g saturated fat), 165mg cholesterol, 611mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 4g fiber), 36g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 2-1/2 starch, 1 fat.

This dish will remind you a bit of classic shrimp Creole, but it has a surprise Italian twist. Slow cooking gives it hands-off ease—perfect for company. —Karen Edwards, Sanford, Maine

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Feta Tomato Basil Fish Exps Sdjj19 17556 C02 08 4b 3

Feta Tomato-Basil Fish

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 241 calories, 8g fat (4g saturated fat), 113mg cholesterol, 660mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 2g fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

I rely on my husband for the main ingredient in this fuss-free dish. He fills our freezer after his summer fishing trip. —Alicia Szeszol, Lindenhurst, Illinois

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Eggplant Fries

Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 135 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 68mg cholesterol, 577mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 9g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 medium-fat meat, 1 vegetable, 1/2 starch.

My kids love this snack—and I like that it’s healthy. Coated with Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, these veggie sticks are broiled, not fried, so there’s no guilt when you crunch into them. —Mary Murphy, Atwater, California

Nicole Doster
Nicole is a writer, editor and lover of Italian food. In her spare time, you’ll find her thumbing through vintage cookbooks or testing out recipes in her tiny kitchen.
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