31 Restaurant Favorites Made Healthy
From Chinese restaurant recipes like General Tso’s Chicken to Italian pasta dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo, our delicious homemade versions of restaurant favorites are healthier options that save you calories and money. Instead of going out to eat, make one of these healthy recipes at home.
General Tso's Chicken
In this healthy version of a General Tso's Chicken recipe, we cut the fat and sodium in half from the original version by not frying the chicken and by using half as much soy sauce in this Chinese-takeout favorite. Serve with steamed baby bok choy or sautéed spinach and steamed brown rice.
Creamy Lemon Chicken Parmesan
This riff on classic chicken Parmesan replaces the usual marinara with a luscious lemony cream sauce. We've lightened it up by using half-and-half instead of cream, with just-as-delicious results. Serve this lemony chicken dinner with whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.
Chicken & Shrimp Alfredo
This easy pasta with creamy homemade Alfredo sauce, chicken and shrimp is your classic fettuccine Alfredo done one better--and it takes less than 30 minutes to make! Add a simple green salad and you have a family-friendly weeknight dinner that you'd be happy to serve to company.
Cauliflower Chicken Fried "Rice"
Get an extra serving of vegetables and cut back on carbs by replacing rice with riced cauliflower in this healthy chicken fried rice recipe.
Spicy Pecan Popcorn Chicken
These spicy and crunchy pecan-crusted chicken nuggets are paired with a quick, creamy ranch dip. If you can't find coarse breadcrumbs, substitute Grape-Nuts cereal instead.
Tenderized chicken breasts are cooked with lemon slices and served in a mouthwatering sauce of garlic, wine and lemon juice in this chicken piccata dinner. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine
Slow-cooked onions add moisture and flavor to these lean beef burgers. A quick blend of mayonnaise, ketchup, relish and vinegar makes a perfect tangy, sweet and creamy “special sauce” for this burger. We love the dill relish here, but use sweet relish if you prefer it. Serve with sweet potato fries.
Oven-Fried Fish & Chips
Fish and chips are traditionally sold wrapped in paper to soak up all the grease--not a good sign. To cut the calories in half and reduce the fat, we coat the delicate fish in a crispy cornflake crust and then bake it along with sliced potatoes. Serve with: Coleslaw and malt vinegar or lemon wedges.
Grilled Chicken Tostadas with Sweet-&-Sour Vegetables
These grilled chicken tostadas are topped with rich mole sauce and sweet-and-sour summer vegetables and use store-bought tostada shells for convenience. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, leave out the grilled chicken.
Nonna's Spaghetti & Meatballs
The meatballs and sauce are cooked in the slow cooker for this traditional Italian spaghetti and meatballs recipe. You could also serve the meatballs over creamy polenta or on a sandwich with melted provolone. Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2012
Every day should start with a stack of strawberry pancakes. These old-fashioned pancakes are made with white whole-wheat flour so you get a bit of whole grain in every bite, but they're still lightly and fluffy, just like your family likes. Source: EatingWell.com, March 2019
Sweet & Sour Pork with a Sesame Crust
You'll recognize the classic Chinese flavor pairing of sesame, soy and white pepper on these sweet and sour pork chops. White pepper is more mild and earthy than black pepper, but either will work here. Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2020
Broccoli & Sausage Skillet Pizza
Using a cast-iron skillet for this healthy pizza recipe gives you deep-dish pizza results with extra-crispy sides, but you can make it free-form too. Stretch the dough into a 12-inch oval and place on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Top and bake at 450 degrees F until the cheese is melted and the crust is crisp, about 20 minutes. Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2017
Spanakopita Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
These grilled cheese sandwiches give you all the flavors of the Greek spinach pie, spanakopita, without dealing with fussy layers of phyllo--perfect for an easy weeknight dinner. The creamy flavor-packed filling works well in more than just a sandwich: try it in a calzone or on top of a roasted cauliflower steak too. Source: EatingWell Magazine, September 2019
BBQ Chicken Tenders
These crispy chicken “wings,” made with boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders, stay crispy with only a light coating of oil--no deep-frying needed. Serve as an appetizer or try them for dinner with crunchy vegetables and dip on the side.
Easy Fried Rice
Mixed frozen vegetables make this healthy fried rice recipe quick, easy and economical. If you don't have leftover cooked rice on hand, be sure to thoroughly cool your rice before adding it to the wok--if it's too warm, it creates too much steam and sticks to the wok. To quickly cool warm rice, spread out on a large baking sheet and refrigerate while you prep the rest of your ingredients, about 15 minutes.
Slow-Cooker French Onion Soup with Gruyère Toasts
Fans of French onion soup who love it for its caramelized onions, beefy broth and cheesy toast topping won't be disappointed with this recipe, which offers all those elements plus a hands-on time of only 20 minutes. Source: Everyday Slow Cooker
Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl
This chipotle-flavored burrito bowl recipe is even better than takeout and just as fast. Loading it with vegetables and using quinoa in place of rice adds nutrition for a healthy dinner. Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2016
Chipotle Chicken Satay with Grilled Vegetables
Plan ahead before you prep the grill for this grilled chicken recipe: marinating the chicken in a mix of peanut butter, lime, and chipotle peppers results in tender meat and bold flavors. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Summer 2018
Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Crema
Avocado cuts some of the sour cream in our quick crema loaded with cilantro, for a healthier taco sauce that takes these shrimp tacos to the next level. Shrimp cook up super-fast, making them the ultimate taco filling for a fast weeknight dinner that's also impressive and delicious enough for a weekend dinner party.
Honey-Paprika-Glazed Steak & Onions
We love the flavor of grilled onions with the steak in this healthy 5-ingredient recipe (not including oil, salt and pepper) but skewer up any veggies in your fridge--zucchini, cherry tomatoes and eggplant are all good choices. Just adjust the cooking time as necessary. Serve with a baked potato or brown rice pilaf flecked with herbs. Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2017
Chinese Ginger Beef Stir-Fry with Baby Bok Choy
All of the ingredients for this easy beef stir-fry recipe are cooked in one wok (or skillet), so not only is the meal-prep fast for this healthy dinner, cleanup is quick too. Look for Lee Kum Kee Premium oyster-flavored sauce in the Asian-foods aisle of your grocery store. It has the most concentrated oyster flavor. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Fall 2019
Easy Pea & Spinach Carbonara
Fresh pasta cooks up faster than dried, making it a must-have for fast weeknight dinners like this luscious yet healthy meal. Eggs are the base of the creamy sauce. They don't get fully cooked, so use pasteurized-in-the-shell eggs if you prefer. Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2019
Sesame-Garlic Beef & Broccoli with Whole-Wheat Noodles
A savory marinade with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil infuses flavor into sirloin steak pieces in this healthy beef and broccoli stir-fry recipe. Tip: Partially freeze the beef for easier slicing. Source: What to Eat with Diabetes 2019
Best Caesar Salad with Crispy Parmesan
For a nutrient-packed twist, this healthy Caesar salad features spinach and kale in addition to romaine. But it's the Parmesan crisps that make this salad holiday-worthy. Serve it for Thanksgiving or any other special meal. Source: EatingWell Magazine, November 2019
Asian Broccoli and Beef
Skip the high-sodium take-out meal and make this flavorful slow-cooker broccoli and beef dish.
General Tso's Cauliflower
Our lightened-up vegan version of this takeout classic is every bit as delicious and satisfying as the fried version. Plus, it pleases vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
Easy Shrimp Stir-Fry with Green Pepper, Pineapple & Bacon
This sweet, spicy and super-easy shrimp-and-vegetable stir-fry starts with a very small amount of bacon in the wok, which creates drippings that add tons of smoky flavor to the vegetables and shrimp that go in next. Keep the salt in check by using reduced-sodium tamari sauce. To complete this easy healthy dinner, add cooked brown rice.
Shrimp scampi is a favorite dish at many Italian restaurants but our version takes just 20 minutes to prepare, so it's perfect for a weeknight dinner at home. Large shrimp are cooked with garlic and then served over linguine pasta with a buttery-wine sauce--it's so good your family may think you ordered takeout!
Thai Chicken Wings with Peanut Sauce
Chicken wings are great for game night and a perfect appetizer for a party, but don't get stuck in the rut of always serving BBQ wings. Add variety to game nights with this easy slow-cooker recipe for Thai wings with peanut sauce--and BBQ wings may just become a thing of the past!
Homemade Chicken Ramen Noodle Bowls
Transform canned chicken noodle soup into quick ramen bowls by adding fresh ginger, crunchy vegetables, herbs and a jammy soft-boiled egg. Look for a low-sodium soup that has 450 mg sodium or less per serving.