Is it possible to eat healthy dishes at an Italian restaurant?

Eating at an Italian restaurant can be the wrong place for anyone trying to eat healthy food. Many of the items on the menu are high-calories food such as creamy pastas and pizza. In addition, it’s also common for Italian restaurants catering to American appetites to serve food in excessive. However, all of this is not a reason to avoid ever eating at an Italian restaurant again. Fortunately for those who want to keep their diet healthy, Italian cuisine is so much more than your typical pizza and creamy pasta. There are healthy dishes on most Italian takeout menus if you know where to look. As a matter of fact, Italian cuisine can very well help you keep your diet as healthy as you want it to be.

Ordering healthy dishes at an Italian restaurant actually isn’t that difficult because of the abundance of healthy ingredients like tomatoes, olive oil, herbs, vegetables and lean proteins like chicken and seafood. These are perfect for keeping a healthy diet, which makes an Italian restaurant an acceptable place to splurge on for some healthy eats.

healthy Italian dishes

How to eat healthy when you go to an Italian Restaurant?

Italian food can be a great cuisine choice when you’re trying to eat healthier overall. You just need to be aware of the serious offenders to know which items to stay away from, as well as the healthier options. There are ways to go out for Italian and eat a nutritious meal that doesn’t make you feel guilty. Above all are the healthy Italian dishes which are very commonly used in the overall Italian cuisine. Next, learn which dishes are most compatible with a healthy lifestyle.

Minestrone Soup

Starting with a soup is a good option to fill up before digging into a hearty meat or pasta dish. Consider Italian food such as minestrone. Minestrone soup is a popular staple in Italian restaurants and an absolute favorite because of its rich taste. It contains healthy vegetables and legumes like beans, making this soup a filling and nutritious choice. Also it is usually lower in calories, but packed with flavor.

Starter Salad

Salads with lighter dressings can also be a great choosing if you’re trying to eat healthily. Like soup, salads are a great way to fill up on a nice before the main entrée to help keep yourself from over-eating the higher calorie entrée. Italian salads are full of leafy greens, an excellent source of antioxidants and folic acid. Fresh vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain beneficial compounds.


If pasta dishes concern you, choose a sauce with the main ingredients of olive oil and tomato base or seafood. Try low fat or fat ricotta and other low fat cheeses. To further enhance your healthier alternative, try grated Pecorino Romano cheese rather than Parmesan cheese as a garnish. Its fuller flavor allows for the use of less cheese.

Fresh fish

Seafood dishes can be another great, healthy go-to options if you want to watch what you eat. Choose fish dishes that are grilled or roasted, cooked in wine sauces or olive oil and avoid breaded or fried entrees. Grilled fish like salmon, sea bass, or cod is an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. Paired with some roasted vegetables or a side salad, grilled or roasted fish makes for a healthy, balanced meal.

Chicken Cacciatore

White meat is commonly known to be healthier than the dark meat because it’s leaner. So if you don’t like fish, you can opt to choose chicken instead. Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. The rustic dish is most often made with braised chicken and usually includes ingredients like onion, tomato, bell peppers, red wine, and aromatic herbs. The chicken must be seared and braised but not deep-fried. 


Meatballs are another great source of protein and healthy fats. They are packed with protein, and tomato sauce is a great source of nutrients. Tomato sauce is a good source of Vitamin C and potassium, which can improve blood pressure.

At Italian Villa, we offer all the aforementioned healthy dishes and many more. Our A la carte menu has a wide range of delicious and healthy options. Enjoy and eat healthy at Italian Villa Restaurant!


We are one of the premier Italian Restaurants in Allen, TX, offering home-made
traditional Italian cuisine. Come visit us today at: 121-B N. Greenville Allen, TX
75002, Phone: 972-390-2189

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