27 Diabetes-Friendly Copycat Dinner Recipes
Recreate your favorite restaurant dishes at home with these copycat dinner recipes. These recipes are suitable for a diabetes-friendly diet as each is low in calories, saturated fat and sodium. While they aren't the same as the authentic dishes from your favorite restaurants, recipes like Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu and Sweet Potato-Black Bean Burgers are delicious takes on familiar favorites.
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.
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.
Slow-Cooker Vegetable Minestrone Soup
A winter classic, this crock pot version of minestrone is heavy on the vegetables and light on the pasta, keeping carbs in check while providing plenty of flavor.
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.
Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu
You won't miss the scrambled eggs and fish sauce in this vegan version of the Thai favorite because the flavorful sauce hits just the right balance of sweet, spicy and umami.
Sweet Potato-Black Bean Burgers
These vegan sweet potato-black bean burgers spiced with curry powder are easy to make. Blending the mixture with your hands gives you a soft, uniform texture then the outside gets crispy by cooking in a cast-iron pan. To make this recipe gluten-free too, use gluten-free oats and serve the patty in a lettuce wrap, omitting the bun.
Chickpea Curry (Chhole)
Made with convenient canned beans, this quick and healthy Indian recipe is an authentic chickpea curry that you can make in minutes. If you want an additional vegetable, stir in some roasted cauliflower florets. Serve with brown basmati rice or warm naan.
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.
These quick vegan tacos, filled with a spicy tofu filling, make a perfect weeknight dinner. To keep them vegan, top them with shredded cabbage, fresh pico de gallo and guacamole. For vegetarians, add crumbled queso fresco.
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.
California Turkey Burgers & Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Inspired by an option at the West Coast chain In-N-Out Burger, this turkey burger recipe keeps the carbs in check with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun. The side of sweet potato fries bakes while you prep the burgers, so this entire healthy dinner is ready in under 30 minutes.
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.
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.
Vegan Black Bean Burgers
These easy vegan black bean burgers have a healthy dose of fiber thanks to the combination of black beans and quinoa. Cumin and chipotle chile powder give these vegan burgers a Southwestern spin. Using your hands to combine the mixture creates a soft, uniform texture.
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.
Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chickpea salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.
Chicken Shawarma with Yogurt Sauce
The key to cooking juicy chicken without a spit in this healthy recipe is high heat and dark meat. The yogurt in the marinade gives the chicken both its tender texture and its alluring char. More yogurt in the sauce, along with crunchy cucumbers and herbs, keeps the flavors bright.
Beer-Battered Fish Tacos with Tomato & Avocado Salsa
Lovers of fried fish get the taste without all the calories, and the salsa adds a fresh, clean note. To complete the Baja theme, serve with black beans, some diced mango and a bit of light sour cream.
Chicken & Cucumber Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce
We love the crunch from sliced cucumber and jicama in these savory chicken lettuce wraps. Serve with the simple peanut sauce for an easy dinner recipe that will impress kids and adults alike.
Better-Than-Takeout Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries
This healthy take on burgers and fries swaps in chopped mushrooms for some of the meat in the burger patties, to cut back on calories and saturated fat.
Shrimp Piccata with Zucchini Noodles
The tangy lemon-caper sauce in this healthy Italian makeover recipe is a natural with shrimp. Serving it over zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) keeps the dish summery and low-cal, but it's also delicious with whole-wheat spaghetti.
Spicy Orange Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry
With fresh broccoli, ginger, red bell peppers and plenty of fresh citrus, this healthy beef stir-fry is sure to become a favorite. And it's ready in 30 minutes, making it the perfect healthy weeknight dinner. Serve with brown rice.
Avocado & Shrimp Chopped Salad
The smoky flavors of grilled shrimp and corn in this healthy chopped salad recipe are a tasty match for the creamy cilantro dressing.
Chicken Satay Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Chicken satay moves from classic Thai restaurant appetizer to delicious homemade dinner with this easy meal-prep recipe. A crunchy Asian-inspired slaw serves as the satisfying low-carb base, and the bold, creamy peanut sauce brings a hint of heat to every bite.
Kung Pao Chicken with Bell Peppers
Here's an easy chicken recipe you'll definitely want to add to your dinner repertoire. A quick marinade tenderizes the chicken and infuses flavor in this healthy version of a take-out favorite. Adding a little oil to finish the marinade coats the chicken and helps keep it from sticking to the pan.
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!
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.