healthy chicken parmesan
Chicken Parmesan is on just about every menu at any Italian restaurant in North America, but it's not without its share of high calories, fat, and carbohydrates. If you think about it though, what makes this dish taste good? Is it the chicken, the cheese, a great homemade sauce, or the deep fried goodness? You're probably going to answer that all of those play an integral role in a great chicken parm dish, and you'd be right. However, if you're making it at home, you don't have to have all of that fat, the calories, and the guilt afterwards. This healthy homemade chicken parmesan recipe will shave off at least half off the calories, most of the unhealthy fat, and still retain all of the flavor of the dish.

To start out, you'll need to wrap your head around this: this dish isn't going to be fried. What? Yes, it's going to be baked, but it's going to be incredibly good thanks to the fresh ingredients used. You also won't have to clean up a big, splatty pan full of crusted bits of chicken, batter, oil, and breadcrumbs either, so it's actually less work than the original version. Ready to give it a try?

Continue reading the ingredient list and the directions for making it here:
Homemade Baked Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Homemade Italian Lasagna Recipe

Ever had one of those days where you just feel like taking some out of the oven and putting it into the oven without any preparation? Making a double batch of homemade lasagna will do just that for you. It's just as easy to make one, two, or three lasagnas, and you'll have a few nights of effortless cooking on your hands. The best thing is that it's cheap, and won't take over half an hour from start to finish to prepare (plus some time in the oven). Here's how you can make your own homemade lasagna:


* One box of 16oz lasagna (they have whole wheat versions available in stores)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1 12 oz can diced tomatoes (I recommend Muir Glen)
* 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1 Tablespoon olive oil
* One large container of ricotta cheese (use part skim for a lower fat cheese, 32 oz.)
* One block of mozzarella, approximately 16 oz (the harder mozzarella, not the soft fresh variety), shredded


1. Boil the lasagna according to the package directions. Add salt to the boiling water to avoid the pieces from sticking. Note: Since your lasagna will be baked, it’s best to cook your pasta just until done, or al dente for best results (and to avoid mushy pasta!).
2. Drain the pasta after it’s done cooking, set aside. Mix the eggs and basil in a large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese to the egg mixture.
3. In a saucepan, cook the garlic and olive oil on low for approximately 3 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. Add the drained diced tomatoes to the oil and garlic. Simmer the diced tomatoes for 10 minutes, then crush them with a fork or large wooden spoon. Add the crushed tomatoes to the mixture.
4. Spread a small amount of the sauce mixture on the bottom of the pan. Layer the pieces of lasagna in a glass pan, alternating the direction of each piece. Place a dollop of sauce on top of the pieces, then spread it out. Add a dollop of ricotta mixture on top of this, spreading this out while trying to keep the sauce and cheese mixtures separate. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the lasagna, then layer with another layer of pasta. Repeat the ricotta, sauce, and cheese layering until the pan is full, topping the final layer with shredded mozzarella.
5. If you plan on freezing your lasagna, skip this step, and wrap aluminum foil over the top of the pan and freeze. You can defrost the lasagna ahead of time before cooking, or throw it directly into the oven and heat for an additional 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Place the lasagna in the oven for approximately 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Now, all you’ll need is a good salad and loaf of Italian bread, along with one of our Italian t-shirts and you’ve got a great Italian meal on your hands. Make a double batch and you’ll have plenty of this to freeze, and an easy meal on hand for those busy nights! Also, this will feed a large group of at least 6 hungry people per small dish of lasagna. If you'd rather go super easy, the Omaha Steaks dinner of beef lasagna is an excellent alternative.

Neopolitan Pizza Dough Recipe

Pizza dough is simple to make, and this recipe shouldn't take longer than 20 minutes in preparation time (not counting the time that the dough takes to rise). Make a double or triple batch and wrap up some extra doughs for more pizzas and calzones down the road.

This pizza recipe has a great flavor that's all about the dough, and isn't too greasy. If you prefer your crusts more moist, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the dough. You can also spice it up with your favorite spices, like basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, or thyme, to name a few.

To make calzones from this dough, simply flatten a piece of dough, fill the middle of the dough with ingredients, and fold the sides over the middle and fasten together lightly. Instant calzone!

Pasta Primavera: Done Quick and Easy

pasta primavera

One of the easiest Italian meals to make in a hurry is pasta primavera. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up an entire meal, along with plenty of leftovers in 30 minutes. The great thing is you can improvise and add random vegetables from your fridge, like bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, peas, and zucchini (or better yet, whatever is in your garden if you have one). Turn it into a meat dish by sauteing chicken or shrimp, and thicken the sauce with cheese or a small amount of heavy cream.

Click here to read the full ingredient list and directions for this easy recipe.

Here are some other Italian recipes you might like from this blog:

* Stuffed Bell Peppers
* Crispy Baked Risotto Balls
* 10 Easy Italian Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

Delicious Homemade Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe

bell peppers
Stuffed bell peppers come in many varieties, from risotto filled to breaded stuffing filled peppers. Alternatively, you can also make your stuffed peppers a little bit healthier by opting for mixing in other fresh vegetables with your risotto or stuffing. Read on for directions on how to make this delicious homemade Italian stuffed bell peppers recipe!


* 4 whole bell peppers, red or green
Add carrots, peas, water chestnuts, bamboo chutes, or fresh parsnips to add even more vegetables to this recipe!
* 4-6 celery stalks, cleaned and sliced into small pieces
* 1 can diced Italian style tomatoes, or two whole fresh tomatoes diced
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or 1/2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic (add the fresh version in with the veggie mixture below)
* 2 tbsp. olive oil
* 1/4 cup water
* 1/2 cup fresh sliced white mushrooms (optional)
* 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan with celery, water, and mushrooms on medium heat for five minutes. Drain the tomatoes, then add to the vegetable mixture. Cook on low for approximately five minutes, until the tomatoes start to soften.

2. While the vegetables are cooking, wash the bell peppers. Cut the tops of the bell peppers off around the stem. Rinse each pepper out to remove as many seeds as possible, and removing the pit of seeds. Rinse again, and drain to remove water.

3. Add the spices to the boiling water and vegetable mix. Add the stuffing mix to the water, stirring, then fluffing with a fork.

4. Add the stuffing mixture to the inside of the peppers. Add mozzarella cheese or additional olive oil to flavor the stuffing if desired. Fill to the top.

5. Place the stuffed peppers in a tall glass baking pan, and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

You Might Also Enjoy:

* Crispy Baked Risotto Balls
* Ten Delicious Italian Thanksgiving Recipes
* Easy Homemade Pizza Dough
* Homemade Italian Sausage and Peppers

Crispy Baked Risotto Balls

risotto balls

If you're in the mood for fried food without the fat, these crispy baked risotto balls are perfect! Easy and quick, you can add a number of other ingredients to the mix, like broccoli florets, diced ham, or diced mushrooms! These make a great snack for parties, and an excellent appetizer before dinner. Bon appetit!


* 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (fresh)
* 2 slices prosciutto cut small and diced
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 1 onion chopped
* 1 Tablespoon olive oil
* 1 cup Arborio rice
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
* 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
* 1/4 teaspoon paprika
* 1 Tablespoon butter
* 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs


1. Boil the chicken broth, and saute the onion in a saucepan with the olive oil. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add 1/2 cup cooked broth with the dry white wine. Stir until the rice absorbs the liquid. Gradually add the broth every few minutes until all of the broth is absorbed. After absorbed, stir in the parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and butter.

3. Mix the prosciutto and mozzarella cheese in a bowl. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F. Sandwich the risotto between a small amount of the mozzarella and prosciutto mixture, then roll into a ball. Roll the ball in breadcrumbs. Repeat to make 8-10 balls.

4. Bake for five minutes, then turn and bake another five minutes, until crispy golden brown. Serve immediately.

More recommended Italian recipes:
* Homemade Veggie Pasta Primavera
* Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce
* Easy Homemade Pizza Dough

10 Delicious Italian Dishes for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving doesn't always have to be just turkey, stuffing, rolls, and vegetables. Many Italian American families make many Italian dishes for Thanksgiving, from stuffed shells to chicken parmesan, meatballs to sausage and peppers (in addition to the turkey!). Looking to give your Thanksgiving dinner a distinctly Italian appeal this year? Try out one of these ten delicious Italian dishes for Thanksgiving!

1. Sausage Lasagna Recipe. Not just your run of the mill lasagna, this one contains a full pound of Italian sausage to spice it up.

2. Chicken Cacciatore. This is a classic Italian dish that's especially good in the colder weather. Need step by step foolproof directions? This video will walk you through it!

3. Zuppa Inglese Recipe. Who knows how its name came into being, but it's delicious for dessert, and certainly something that will wow your guests!

4. Italian Carrot Chicken. Sometimes known as "Venetian Chicken," the pasta in this recipe is coated in a rich carrot sauce. Truly unique!

5. Crockpot Meatballs. Any space you can make by cooking something outside of the oven will help on Thanksgiving Day! That's why this easy slow cooker meatball recipe is an easy go-to plan for Turkey Day.

6. Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup. Like the meatballs listed above, you'll be thankful (as you should be!) on Thanksgiving for having the extra room in your oven with this minestrone soup recipe.

7. Italian Stuffed Shells. You've probably had ricotta stuffed shells before, but have you tried them with spinach? They add a lot of flavor, as well as nutrition. Not to mention they won't fill you before the turkey since they're mostly vegetables.

8. Balsamic Fennel. Fennel comes into its peak season during the fall and winter months, so you should find it easy to come across fresh fennel bulbs in your supermarket. A great light starter to your meal!

9. Italian Sausage and Peppers. It's the mother of all Italian foods, authentic sausage and peppers! Delicious anytime of year, so why not on Thanksgiving?

10. Tiramisu. It's one of the most decadent, fluffy, rich, creamy, and luscious dessert recipes made by the's tiramisu! You're in luck, too, because the website linked is dedicated exclusively to tiramisu recipes!