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48 Healthy Italian Dinners That Are Guilt-Free

Your favorite Italian dishes don't have to be guilty pleasures anymore.

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Red Clam SauceTaste of Home

Red Clam Sauce

This recipe tastes like an Italian restaurant specialty and cooks while you take care of other things. What a marvelous way to jazz up pasta sauce! —JoAnn Brown, Latrobe, Pennsylvania

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Pesto Shrimp PastaTaste of Home

Pesto Shrimp Pasta

A dash of red pepper puts zip in this lively main dish from Gloria Jones Grenga of Newnan, Georgia.

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Honeydew & Prosciutto SaladTaste of Home

Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

For parties, I turn melon and prosciutto into an easy salad with a honey mustard dressing. To add zip, stir in fresh basil and mint. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington

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Turkey Sausage with PastaTaste of Home

Turkey Sausage with Pasta

If you're looking for recipes with turkey sausage, stop here. This has the perfect blend of meaty, veggie and cheesy goodness. You'll be craving what's good for you when this pasta dish is on the menu. —Mary Tallman, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin

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Watermelon GazpachoTaste of Home

Watermelon Gazpacho

This is a delightfully simple, elegant dish. Serve as a side or with pita and hummus for a meal. It’s so refreshing—guests will love it. —Nicole Deelah, Nashville, Tennessee

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Penne with Veggies and Black BeansTaste of Home

Penne with Veggies and Black Beans

Chock-full of zucchini, tomatoes, sweet pepper and carrots, this hearty pasta dish puts your garden harvest to good use. For variety, I sometimes add one-half cup of salsa or one-half cup of thickened teriyaki sauce. —Vickie Spoerle, Indianapolis, Indiana

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Spring Green Risotto

Spring Green Risotto

Once a week I create a new recipe for my blog, An Officer and a Vegan. I first made this risotto when I needed something cheerful and comforting. It would be fantastic with asparagus, zucchini or summer squash, but use whatever veggies are in season. —Deanna McDonald, Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Whole Wheat Veggie PizzaTaste of Home

Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza

A wonderful crust layered with herbed tomato sauce and toppings encourages my family of six to dig right in to this low-fat main course. —Denise Warner, Red Lodge, Montana

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Arugula Salad with Shaved ParmesanTaste of Home

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan

Try this simple arugula salad recipe for a fresh side the whole family will love. It combines fresh peppery greens with tasty golden raisins, crunchy almonds and shredded parmesan. —Nicole Rash, Boise, Idaho

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Tuna Steak on FettuccineTaste of Home

Tuna Steak on Fettuccine

For something new to do with tuna, I suggest this tangy dish. Although I prefer the marinade on tuna or mahi mahi, it's scrumptious on any fish, grilled, baked or broiled. —Caren Stearns, Austin, Texas

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Tuscan Portobello Stew

Tuscan Portobello Stew

This is a heart-healthy, one-skillet meal that is quick and easy to prepare, yet elegant enough for company. Vegetarian teachers and students alike appreciate this stew at school potlucks. —Jane Siemon, Viroqua, Wisconsin

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Italian Sausage Veggie SkilletTaste of Home

Italian Sausage Veggie Skillet

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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Grilled Pistachio-Lemon Pesto ShrimpTaste of Home

Grilled Pistachio-Lemon Pesto Shrimp

Besides tasting great with shrimp, this pesto can be used on pasta or spread on a portobello mushroom or garlic bread topped with melted mozzarella. —Amy Jo Dale, Long Beach, California

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Contest-Winning Easy MinestroneTaste of Home

Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

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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Rosemary Chicken with Spinach & BeansTaste of Home

Rosemary Chicken with Spinach & Beans

With two young boys constantly on-the-go, I’m always looking for ways to simplify meals. This recipe uses just one skillet, making it a cinch to prepare dinner for a hungry family in half an hour. —Sara Richardson, Littleton, Colorado

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Tasty Marinated TomatoesTaste of Home

Tasty Marinated Tomatoes

My niece introduced me to this colorful recipe some time ago. I make it when I have buffets or large gatherings because it can be prepared hours ahead. This is a wonderful way to use a bumper crop of tomatoes. —Myrtle Matthews, Marietta, Georgia

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Grilled Basil Chicken and TomatoesTaste of Home

Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes

Relax after work with a cold drink while this savory chicken marinates in an herby tomato blend for an hour, then toss it on the grill. It tastes just like summer. —Laura Lunardi, West Chester, Pennsylvania

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Rigatoni Chard TossTaste of Home

Rigatoni Chard Toss

I had to get my firefighter husband to eat more fruits and veggies to lower his cholesterol and triglycerides. Fresh chard and tomatoes add a lot of fiber and vitamins to our diets, but we love this recipe for the flavor. While he would never admit to eating "health food" around the firehouse, this dish is one of many that made his trips to the doctor much more pleasant! —Carolyn Kumpe, El Dorado, California

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Cacciatore Chicken BreastsTaste of Home

Cacciatore Chicken Breasts

JoAnn McCauley of Dubuque, Iowa shares her version of traditional Chicken Cacciatore with this easy recipe. The tasty sauce and chicken can be served over rice or noodles. If you want to lower the sodium, use garlic powder instead of garlic salt.

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Caprese Salad KabobsTaste of Home

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California

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Italian Beef and ShellsTaste of Home

Italian Beef and Shells

A veggie and pasta combo makes a hearty entree that comes together easily. Wine lends an extra touch of flavor to the sauce and makes this main dish a winner. —Mike Tchou, Pepper Pike, Ohio

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Italian Pork StewTaste of Home

Italian Pork Stew

Don't skip the anchovy paste! It gives a good, salty flavor, but doesn't taste fishy at all. Add a salad and crusty bread for an incredible meal. —Lynne German, Woodland Hills, California

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Pizza SpaghettiTaste of Home

Pizza Spaghetti

This recipe came to me when I saw someone dip a slice of pizza into a pasta dish. My wife and kids love it and so do my friends! —Robert Smith, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Three-Green SaladTaste of Home

Three-Green Salad

For a crisp, refreshing side dish, this tasty salad can't be beat. It's the perfect salad to go with lasagna. —Gina Squires, Salem, Oregon

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Bulgur Turkey ManicottiTaste of Home

Bulgur Turkey Manicotti

The addition of wholesome bulgur gives extra nutrition to this Italian entree. It's so zesty and flavorful, your family will never realize it's good for them. —Mary Gunderson, Conrad, Iowa

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Tuscan Chicken and BeansTaste of Home

Tuscan Chicken and Beans

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

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Makeover Easy Beef-Stuffed ShellsTaste of Home

Makeover Easy Beef-Stuffed Shells

Enjoy the convenience of this make-ahead dish or bake right away. Either way, it has half the saturated fat of the original recipe but is just as meaty. —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, Virginia

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Stuffed Vegetarian ShellsTaste of Home

Stuffed Vegetarian Shells

When my aunt first told me about these shells, they sounded like a lot of work—but the recipe whips up in no time. Sometimes I add a little cooked bacon to the ricotta filling. —Amelia Hopkin, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna

I plant zucchini every year, and we always seem to have more than we can use! This recipe is a particularly delicious way I use our abundant crop. —Charlotte McDaniel, Williamsville, Illinois

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Italian Sausage-Stuffed ZucchiniTaste of Home

Italian Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini

I've always had to be creative when getting my family to eat vegetables, so I decided to make stuffed zucchini using the pizza flavors that everyone loves. It worked! We like to include sausage for a main dish but it could be a meatless side dish, too. —Donna Marie Ryan, Topsfield, Massachusetts

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Speedy Chicken MarsalaTaste of Home

Speedy Chicken Marsala

This is one of my favorite dishes to order in restaurants, so I created a version that I could make in a flash on a weeknight at home. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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Turkey Meatballs and SauceTaste of Home

Turkey Meatballs and Sauce

My sweetie and I have fought the battle of the bulge forever. This is my less-fattening take on meatballs. They’re slow-cooker easy, and so flavorful! — Jane McMillan, Dania Beach, Florida

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Quick Turkey ScallopiniTaste of Home

Quick Turkey Scallopini

Here's one of my most-requested recipes, thanks to the special white wine and mustard sauce. It makes an ordinary weeknight dinner feel like a little party. —Susan Warren, North Manchester, Indiana

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Sweet Onion & Sausage SpaghettiTaste of Home

Sweet Onion & Sausage Spaghetti

Sweet onion seasons turkey, adding rich flavor to Mary Relyea’s wholesome pasta dish. At home in Canastota, New York, she tosses it together with light cream, basil and tomatoes for a quick, springy meal in minutes.

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Tuscan Pork Stew

Tuscan Pork Stew

Tender chunks of pork slowly cook in a nicely seasoned, wine-infused sauce. Add some crushed red pepper flakes to this pork stew for a little extra kick.—Penny Hawkins, Mebane, North Carolina

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Italian Hot DishTaste of Home

Italian Hot Dish

My husband had a poor perception of healthy food until he tried this beefy casserole. The combination of pasta, oregano, mushrooms and green peppers makes it a favorite in our house. —Theresa Smith, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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Elegant Pork MarsalaTaste of Home

Elegant Pork Marsala

Wine and mushrooms lend elegance to this oh-so-simple pork dish. Use pre-sliced mushrooms and minced garlic to save time. Cleanup is one-pan easy. —Kim Gillis, High Falls, New York

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Slow-Cooker RatatouilleTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Ratatouille

Not only does this classic recipe make a phenomenal side dish, you can also serve it with sliced French bread for a warm and easy appetizer. Try it in the summer with your garden-fresh vegetables. —Jolene Walters, North Miami, Florida

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Chicken Merlot with MushroomsTaste of Home

Chicken Merlot with Mushrooms

Slow cooked and savory, this dish is perfect for any night of the week, and is sure to become a staple in your home.–Shelli McWilliam of Salem, Oregon

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Saucy Vegetable TofuTaste of Home

Saucy Vegetable Tofu

This is my daughter Tonya's favorite meal. Sometimes we make it with rigatoni and call it "Riga-Tonya." It's a great dinner and a nice way to prepare yummy vegetables for the kids. —Sandra Eckert, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

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Shrimp PuttanescaTaste of Home

Shrimp Puttanesca

I throw together these bold ingredients for a feisty seafood pasta. —Lynda Balslev, Sausalito, California

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Shrimp PiccataTaste of Home

Shrimp Piccata

This easy recipe is part of a meal plan along with "Balsamic Brioled Asparagus". I typically serve this with crusty french bread and Balsamic Broiled Asparagus.

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Pesto HalibutTaste of Home

Pesto Halibut

The mildness of halibut contrasts perfectly with the robust flavor of pesto in this recipe. It takes only minutes to get the fish ready for the oven, leaving you plenty of time to get started on your side dishes. Nearly anything goes well with this entree. —April Showalter, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Salmon with Balsamic-Honey GlazeTaste of Home

Salmon with Balsamic-Honey Glaze

Look no further—you’ve just found the first, last and only way you’ll ever want to fix salmon again. The sweet and tangy flavors blend beautifully in this easy-to-remember recipe. —Mary Lou Timpson, Centennial Park, Arizona

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Italian Pork and Potato CasseroleTaste of Home

Italian Pork and Potato Casserole

This recipe has been enjoyed by three generations of my family. My mother concocted it years ago using a few ingredients she said were handy at the time. The aroma from these ingredients brings back fond memories of home.

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Chunky Chicken CacciatoreTaste of Home

Chunky Chicken Cacciatore

This recipe is so versatile! Look in your fridge for anything else you want to throw in, like red pepper, mushrooms, extra zucchini—you name it. And if you're a vegetarian, go ahead and leave out the chicken. —Stephanie Loaiza, Layton, Utah

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Chicken Strips MilanoTaste of Home

Chicken Strips Milano

A dear friend shared this recipe a few years ago. Since then, I’ve prepared this garlicky and delightful entree for both family dinners and get-togethers. —Lara Priest, Gansevoort, New York

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Italian Mushroom Meat LoafTaste of Home

Italian Mushroom Meat Loaf

Healthful oats and flaxseed amp up the nutrition in this tasty meat loaf. —Kylie Werning, Candler, North Carolina

Laurie Dixon
Having a passion for writing her whole life, Laurie joined the Taste of Home team to bring together her two favorite things—creative writing and food. She spends most of her time playing with her dog, drafting up short stories and, of course, trying out new recipes.

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