Diet-Friendly Items You Can Order At An Italian Restaurant

Posted on: 25 July 2019

If you're trying to keep your calorie intake down and lose weight, the idea of visiting an Italian restaurant may be daunting. Cheesy pizza, heavy pasta dishes, and baskets of bread are definitely not diet-friendly. However, that does not mean you need to sit at home alone while your friends visit the local Italian restaurant. Here are a few delicious dishes you can order without crashing your diet.

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup is a very satisfying, classic Italian soup made with a vegetable broth, some noodles, and veggies. Since it does not contain any cream or even much meat, it is pretty low in calories. However, it's high in fiber, so it tends to be decently filling for a soup. Order a bowl of minestrone with a house salad, and you have a complete and healthy meal. You can even splurge for a slice of bread dipped in your soup since you're being so good!


Cioppino is a seafood stew made with mussels, clams, and shrimp. The base is tomato sauce and fish stock, which are pretty low in calories, and the seasoning comes from lots of white wine, bay leaves, pepper flakes, shallots, and fennel. Often, the stew is served with plenty of bread for you to dip into the sauce, but you can ask for rice on the side instead of you want something lighter. Or, you can ask the server to bring only one or two slices of bread out so you're not tempted to over-indulge.

Chicken Piccata

This dish does not include any pasta or bread at all, making it a good choice for anyone on a low-carb meal plan. Chicken -- usually a breast -- is lightly tossed in flour and pan-seared. A sauce is made with white wine, lemon juice, and capers. If the restaurant does serve pasta or potatoes as a side dish with this chicken dish, ask if you can have a salad or some steamed veggies instead.

Chicken Cacciatore

If you love tomato-based dishes and want something that tastes more like classic spaghetti or pizza, order the chicken cacciatore. It's chicken stewed in a tomato-based sauce with plenty of herbs like basil and oregano. Bell peppers and onions give the sauce plenty of body. You can ask for it served over rice if the restaurant typically serves it with pasta.

You don't have to break your diet to dine at an Italian restaurant. Choose one of the dishes above, and you'll enjoy great food without excessive calories.