These healthy recipes for pizza, quiche, soups, and more are loaded with flavor but light on calories so you can eat up and still fit into your jeans
Gluten-Free Low-Fat Caprese
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Mozzarella’s sweet notes temper balsamic vinegar’s tanginess in this salad-turned-sandwich.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon light olive oil
2 slices gluten-free bread
2 1/2 ounces low-fat mozzarella, cut into 4 slices
2 thick slices vine-ripe tomatoes
Pinch sea salt
Pinch white pepper
1. Place vinegar in small sauce pan and simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until thick and syrupy, stirring every so often so it doesn’t burn. Set aside.
2. Brush olive oil on one side of both slices of bread and place oil-side down on a plate. Layer cheese on one slice and top with the other. Place sandwich in a pan over medium-high heat and place a plate on top to act as a weight. Turn the heat down to medium after a minute and cook for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, checking every minute or so. When cheese is nicely melted, remove from pan, open, and layer tomatoes inside. Sprinkle sandwich with salt and pepper, drizzle with 1 teaspoon balsamic reduction, slice in half, and serve.
Nutrition score per serving: 381 calories, 17.5g fat, 47g carbs, 12g protein
Recipe provided by Spencer Rubin of Melt Shop
Zucchini Rolls with Herbed Goat Cheese
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The addition of tangy goat cheese turns mild-tasting zucchini into a palatable hors d'oeuvre. Warning: Your party guests will hound you for this recipe.
2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons raw pine nuts
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup garlic and herb flavored soft goat cheese
Fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1. Preheat broiler. Lay zucchini flat on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil, using your fingers to spread oil on all sides. Sprinkle with sea salt and broil for 10 minutes or until slightly charred. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
2. Turn broiler to low. Place pine nuts in a small pan and set in oven to toast for 5 minutes, until lightly brown. Remove and allow to cool.
3. Meanwhile combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and add half the toasted pine nuts once they’ve cooled.
4. When zucchini has cooled, place a strip on a clean plate. Add about a tablespoon of cheese mixture at the larger end and roll up as you would a California roll. Repeat with remaining zucchini strips. Sprinkle rolls with remaining toasted pine nuts to serve.
Nutrition score per serving: 54 calories, 2g fat, 7g carbs, 3g protein
Recipe provided by Healthful Pursuit
BLT Thin-Crust Pizza
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There’s no need to call for delivery: This pizza packs a wallop of flavor thanks to a sprinkle of sharp Parmesan cheese, chili flakes, and bacon.
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon chili flakes
1 bunch basil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
10-inch whole-wheat tortilla (be sure it’s trans fat-free)
2 to 3 roma tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup chopped cooked turkey bacon
3/4 cup shredded romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees if not using a grill. Puree avocado, garlic, chili flakes, basil, pine nuts, salt, and pepper in a food processor, adding a small amount of cold water if needed to gain desired texture and thickness.
2. Spread avocado pesto on tortilla, reserving extra for another use. Layer tomato and bacon on top. Grill or bake until tomatoes are golden brown in places and edges of tortilla are browned. Top with lettuce and cheese, and serve immediately.
Nutrition score per serving: 350-400 calories, 16-22g fat, 30-35g carbs, 19-21g protein
Recipe provided by chefs Jonathan Rollo and Kristi Ritchey of Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop
Healthy Mac ‘n’ Cheese Soup
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Macaroni and cheese is a comfort food favorite, but it’s often loaded in calories and fat. Thanks to zesty sharp cheddar, this recipe turns the traditional dish into a mouthwatering, figure-friendly soup.
2 tablespoons Smart Balance Light (or other low-calorie margarine spread)
1/3 cup chopped red onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
6 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
3 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
2/3 cup macaroni
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt margarine. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent but not browned. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add flour and whisk until combined and no flour lumps remain. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Add butternut squash and cover with a lid on an angle to allow steam to vent. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until squash is very soft. Remove from heat.
2. Once cooled slightly, use an immersion blend to puree soup until smooth and creamy. Return to heat, add noodles, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 12 minutes. Add cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add spices, adjusting to your preference. Serve topped with tomatoes.
Nutrition score per serving: 203 calories, 5g fat, 29g carbs, 11g protein
Recipe provided by Domestic Fits
Chicken Avocado Grilled Cheese
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One bite of this grown-up lunch and you’ll wonder why you never combined nutty Swiss and buttery avocado with chicken before.
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 slices multigrain bread
1/2 tablespoon honey mustard
1/2 grilled chicken breast, sliced thin
1/8 avocado, sliced
1/8 red bell pepper, sliced
1 1/2 ounces low-fat Swiss cheese
Brush olive oil on one side of both slices of bread and place oil-side down on a cutting board. Top each slide with half the cheese and brush honey mustard on top. Layer chicken, avocado, and bell pepper on top of one piece of bread, then top with other piece. Place sandwich in a pan over medium-high heat and place a plate on top to act as a weight. Turn the heat down to medium after a minute and cook for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, checking every minute or so, until melted to your liking.
Nutrition score per serving: 511 calories, 22g fat, 30g carbs, 46g protein
Recipe provided by Spencer Rubin of Melt Shop
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Italians may look down on pairing fish and cheese, but they’re missing out. Mild mozzarella won’t overpower delicate shrimp and scallops, allowing you to enjoy all the flavors in this hearty treat.
2 cups thinly sliced assorted vegetables (such as red and green bell peppers, onions, and carrots)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ounces bay scallops
2 ounces shrimp
1 whole-wheat thin (lavash) flatbread
3 tablespoons shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup pico de gallo or bottled no-salt-added salsa
1. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, saute vegetables until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add scallops and shrimp and sear on both sides, about 1 minute per side.
2. Place flatbread on a warm griddle or flattop and heat one side. Flip bread and cover with cheese. Spread vegetables and seafood on half the bread. When cheese begins to melt, fold bread in half to cover vegetables and seafood. Using the bottom of a fairly heavy pan, press down on quesadilla to flatten it a little. After about a minute, flip quesadilla and press with bottom of pan for a minute.
3. Serve quesadilla with cilantro, fat-free sour cream, and pico de gallo, as desired.
Nutrition score per serving: 160 calories, 4.5g fat, 15g carbs, 12g protein
Recipe provided by Pritikin Longevity Center
Green Beans with Tomatoes and Feta
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Feta cheese is so pungent you only need a little to jazz up nutrient-dense green beans in this colorful side dish.
2 boxes Cascadian Farm Organic French-Cut Green Beans with Toasted Almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (14.5 ounces) Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano)
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Cook beans as directed on boxes, reserving almonds. Drain.
2. Meanwhile heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes, oregano, and pepper flakes, if desired. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and most liquid has evaporated.
3. Spoon drained beans onto serving platter and top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and reserved almonds.
Nutrition score per serving: 90 calories, 5g fat, 8g carbs, 3g protein
Recipe provided by Muir Glen
Gluten-Free Quiche with Goat Cheese and Broccoli
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Most quiches call for Gruyere, but the creamy consistency of goat cheese holds up just as well in this recipe. Its earthy, salty flavor enhances the quiche’s eggy filling—you won’t even be able to tell that it’s a healthier remake.
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup whole meal gluten-free flour
1/3 cup cold coconut oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup chopped broccoli
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend oatmeal into a flour in a food processor. Add gluten-free flour, coconut oil, and poppy seeds and blend again. Slowly add ice water until mixtures starts forming a dough. Remove it from food processor and place in fridge for 30 minutes. Using your hands, spread dough in small quiche ramekins and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until filling is ready.
2. Mix eggs, cheese, and broccoli together and pour into crusts. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
Nutrition score per serving: 500 calories, 25g fat, 55g carbs, 24g protein
Recipe provided by Nature Insider
Roman Egg Drop Soup
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This soup’s high in protein and flavor, so it’s decidedly satisfying on a cold day. The secret to its richness is Parmesan cheese, which is whisked into the broth for extra texture.
6 cups low-fat chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 leaves basil
Coarse black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Fresh lemon juice
1. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring broth to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook gently to concentrate flavors, about 30 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, beat eggs and Parmesan together with a fork. Return broth to a simmer and slowly pour in egg-cheese mixture, whisking broth with a fork until eggs are set, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in basil, black pepper, and salt. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Nutrition score per serving: 370 calories, 18g fat, 18.5g carbs, 42g protein
Roasted Squash and Sweet Potato Flatbread
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Milky, creamy mozzarella complements the roasted veggies and pungent Indian spices in these appetizers.
1 medium (1-pound) delicata squash, peeled
1 small sweet potato, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 can Pillsbury Pizza Crust Thin Crust
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone or white cheddar cheese
8 ounces fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
Chopped cilantro (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve squash and remove and discard seeds. Cut each half in half lengthwise and chop into 1/2-inch slices. Place squash, sweet potato, and onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garam masala, cumin, and salt, stirring to evenly coat. Arrange vegetables on an ungreased 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan and bake for 15 minutes. Stir vegetables and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until tender.
2. Spray or grease two large dark or nonstick cookie sheets. Unroll pizza dough on a work surface and cut into four rectangles. Fold the corners of each rectangle under to form ovals about 9 inches long. Place two ovals on each cookie sheet and bake in center of oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, switching positions of cookie sheets after 5 minutes for even baking.
3. Cover crusts evenly with provolone, roasted vegetables, and mozzarella, spreading each in that order. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until crust is brown and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with pistachios and cilantro, if desired.
Nutrition score per serving: 120 calories, 6g fat, 9g carbs, 5g protein
Recipe provided by Betty Crocker