I LOVE Italian food sooo much. And as many of you know, I married an Italian, too, who makes divine dishes full of love, flavor, and soul. Many people have preconceptions that Italian food isn’t “healthy” because it has carbs from the pasta or bread and fat from the olive oil and cheese. Well, I’m here to debunk that myth! Carbs and Fats are healthy in moderation. In addition, many Italian recipes are full of vegetables which contain fiber, vitamins, and important nutrients. Don’t just take my word for it. Here are 12 Favorite Italian Recipes from Dietitians. They also shared why these dishes are healthy and a must-have on your menu.

Quick Minestrone Soup
by Christy Wilson Nutrition. “I love that this is so quick to make and includes a variety of healthy canned foods that are nutrient rich, contain fiber, and can satisfy any crowd! I love that it is FULL of vegetables, something that we can all benefit from eating more of.”
(Photo by Christy Wilson Nutrition)

Roasted Tomato Soup
by Foods with Judes. “I’ve made this soup three times now and can’t wait to make it again. It has an explosive flavor and tastes so fresh without the heaviness of cream, yet it has a smooth, substantial consistency, thanks to the white beans pureed into the soup.”
(Photo by Foods with Judes)

Mussels Fra Diavolo
by Nutrition Starring You. “Mussels Fra Diavolo is one of my favorite Italian dishes because it’s super easy and fast with only 3 main ingredients.”
(Photo by Nutrition Starring You)

Eggplant Parmesan Stacks
by Food, Pleasure and Health. “This is one of my fav way to enjoy vegetarian parm without all the added fat from the fried version.”
(Photo by Food, Pleasure and Health)

Spinach Mozzarella Nuggets
by Foods with Judes. “These spinach balls are fun for kids and adults, too. They are slightly crispy and have a nice flavor. I have also made them with a mixture of kale and spinach, and they were delicious as well! Can’t beat the 5-10 min prep time, either.”
(Photo by Foods with Judes)

Crock Pot Lasagna
by Create Kids Club. “I love Italian food and I love my crock pot. This recipe blends both together in an easy weeknight recipe my family asks for all the time!”
(Photo by Create Kids Club)

Veggie Lasagna Roll Freezer Meal
by Champagne Nutrition. “Vegetarian lasagna is my specialty and I made this one in individual-sized roll-ups. This is a simple, make-ahead recipe that freezes well to make for busy weeks. I use classic Italian herbs like oregano to enhance the flavor of this dish.”
(Photo by Champagne Nutrition)

Linguini with Swiss Chard
by Live Best. “Linguini with Swiss Chard is another favorite. Swiss chard is a common ingredient in Italian cuisine but many Americans are unfamiliar with it. Spinach or kale could be substituted, but this recipe is a great way to boost consumption of dark green leafy vegetables- a dietitian’s dream.”
(Photo by Live Best)

Pasta all’Amatriciana with Pancetta
by Erica Julson. “This is my all time favorite Italian pasta dish. I based it off a meal we had at a small family run restaurant in Rome. To live for!”
(Photo by Erica Julson)

Pasta Puttanesca
by Live Best. “I like pasta Puttanesca because the flavors are delicious and robust, the ingredients deliver dividends, and it is an easy heat and eat 30-minute (or less) meal.”
(Photo by Live Best)

Spaghetti with Basil Pesto Sauce
by The Domestic Dietitian. “This Spaghetti with Basil Pesto Sauce is the best thing I have ever eaten while in Italy. It’s so creamy and full of flavor without being fuzzy or complicated. Simple & Delicious!”
(Photo by The Domestic Dietitian)

Spicy Lentil Bolognese
by C it Nutritionally. “My Spicy Lentil Bolognese has got to be one of my favorites for Italian night because it’s total comfort food, and full of plant-based protein and fiber at the same time! Plus, the entire family loves it so it’s great to feed a crowd.”
(Photo by C it Nutritionally)

Here are some of my favorite Italian recipes:

Pasta with Turkey Meatballs and Homemade Marinara Sauce (the marinara sauce is my husband’s specialty)

Vegetable Lasagna with Zucchini

Italian Potato Salad with Arugula and Cherry Tomatoes

Enjoy the delicious eats!

Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN