22 Easy Italian-Inspired Dinners with 5 Steps or Less
Travel to Italy tonight with these Italian-inspired dinner recipes. These dinners are delicious and easy to make as each recipe has just five steps or less. Whether it’s Whole-Grain Spaghetti with Italian Turkey Sausage, Arugula & Balsamic Tomato Sauce or Chicken Saltimbocca, these dinners are healthy, full of flavor and will transport your taste buds with one bite.
Sicilian-Style Chicken Thighs
Bright-green Castelvetrano olives hail from Sicily and have a buttery flavor and meaty texture that pair perfectly with the Italian seasoning and salty capers in this one-skillet chicken dinner. Look for them on your supermarket olive bar or in jars with Italian ingredients.
One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta
This one-pot pasta with tangy tomato-basil sauce is a simple, fast and easy weeknight dinner. All of your ingredients go into one pot, and with a bit of stirring and about 25 minutes of cook time, you'll have a healthy dinner the whole family will enjoy.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini
In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccolini, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation. Serve with a big Caesar salad and some warm and crusty whole-grain bread.
Chicken Sausage Calzone
A typical calzone packs almost 800 calories and 25 grams of saturated fat. In this healthier calzone recipe, we use lean chicken sausage to keep fat in check and add nutrient-rich spinach to bulk up the filling without adding calories. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
Whole-Grain Spaghetti with Italian Turkey Sausage, Arugula & Balsamic Tomato Sauce
Total happiness in a bowl: pasta, sausage, tomatoes and herbs. The tomatoes get sweet and tender and turn into sauce with the stock and the pasta. Without ever adding any butter, the spaghetti sauce is rich and silky. Adding the herbs at the end gives the dish a fresh pop of color and flavor. This is one healthy pasta recipe we can definitely get behind!
Italian Bean Stew
Sweet turkey sausage and cannellini beans are featured in this delicious stew.
Wild Mushroom Pizza with Arugula & Pecorino
Make no mistake, this healthy pizza recipe is all about the mushrooms; lemon oil and arugula add just enough citrus and spiciness to accent without overwhelming. To that end, Sardinian or Tuscan Pecorino cheese (milder than Pecorino Romano) is called for, but other mellow grating cheeses, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, will work.
This healthy chicken saltimbocca recipe makes an impressive, yet fast, classy dinner. Serve this Italian-inspired chicken with roasted broccoli rabe and creamy polenta to round out this elegant meal.
White Bean Soup with Tomato & Shrimp
With capers and olives, this heart-healthy soup draws inspiration from Italian puttanesca sauce. Serve with crusty whole-grain bread to soak up the broth.
Italian-Style Stuffed Eggplant
Two favorite Italian dishes--lasagna and eggplant Parm--are rolled into one in this stuffed vegetable recipe.
Crisp Chicken Parmesan
This chicken parmesan is served with multigrain or whole-grain spaghetti. This hearty pasta adds a nutty flavor to this main dish.
Italian Shepherd's Pie
The mashed potatoes and cheese topper makes this beef, sausage, and veggie pie stick-to-the-ribs delicious. Serve it with fresh fruit for dessert, and your meal is complete.
Vegan Mushroom Bolognese
This Bolognese sauce recipe is adapted from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. We swap out the beef and pork for button mushrooms to keep this traditional comfort food vegan yet weighty with umami flavor. And while some recipes call for red wine, this recipe sticks with Hazan's white wine selection.
Easy Italian Wedding Soup
Forget the marble-size meatballs you find in many versions of this soup. In this easy recipe, they're full-size, full-flavored and plenty filling.
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!
Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta
This rustic stew cooks all day in the slow cooker so you can come home to a comforting, hot dinner. Not a fan of polenta? Try this healthy chicken dinner over pasta instead.
Vegan Gnocchi Soup
This Italian-inspired vegetable-packed soup features flavorful herbs, mushrooms, kale and tomatoes. Shelf-stable potato gnocchi are vegan, but if you want to make this soup gluten-free or lower in carbs, try cauliflower gnocchi instead.
Chicken and Mushroom Manicotti
Mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses make a scrumptious filling for these hearty shells. To fill pasta shells with the cheese mixture, use a spoon that will fit inside each shell without tearing it.
Pasta Puttanesca with Beef
This easy slow cooker ground beef and pasta recipe makes a great meal any night of the week.
For the best flavor in this classic one-pan chicken dinner recipe use real Marsala wine, not the cooking-wine kind. Serve with mashed potatoes.
This version of the Italian classic vegetable and bean soup is made in the slow cooker and mixes in flavorful sausage and squash. Use any variety of winter squash.
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.