Lessen the Carb Load: 20 Must-Try Menu Items for Carb Lovers

Article posted in: Nutrisystem

You love pasta. You might love pizza even more. No need to choose your favorite: With Nutrisystem, you can enjoy all of these delicious carb-y foods. Our goal is to create healthier versions of all of the classic choices you love. We cook up perfectly portioned alternatives that are packed with protein, fiber and nutrition. These well-balanced meals will keep you on track with your weight loss goals while filling you up with the flavors you crave. If you’re a carb lover, keep reading to satisfy your cravings the healthy way!

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Stock up your healthy kitchen and lessen your carb load with these 20 must-try menu items:

1. Margherita Pizza >

Margherita Pizza

This classic pie offers a crispy crust, zesty marinara, creamy mozzarella, fire-roasted tomatoes and fresh basil leaves—all for far fewer calories and fat than the slice you can order at your local pizza place. Plus, it’s packed with 15 grams of protein to leave you feeling satisfied and your taste buds happy. Click here to make it yours. >

2. Ravioli with Meat Sauce >


Mamma mia are you going to love this meal. Each tender ravioli is stuffed with the perfect trio of cheese—ricotta, mozzarella and Romano—and smothered in a hearty meat sauce. At only 220 calories, you can savor every square of pasta without an ounce of guilt. Click here to make it yours. >

3. Chicken Parmesan >

Chicken Parmesan

Quintessential carb comfort food that won’t derail your diet? It exists in this dish. Breaded chicken topped with tomato sauce, melted mozzarella and tangy Asiago cheese is served over a bed of spaghetti—all for just 270 calories. It also contains six grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein to help fill your belly while keeping your waist trim. Click here to make it yours. >

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4. Italian Sausage and Turkey Pepperoni Pizza >


Nutrisystem members love this pie. And for good reason! There’s turkey sausage, pepperoni, zesty tomato sauce and melted cheese all piled high on a thick, hearty crust. Bake it in the oven for the crunch of a pizzeria-style pie without all of the calories and fat. This meat lover’s meal weighs in at 260 calories and is loaded with 15 grams of power-boosting protein. Click here to make it yours. >

5. Stuffed Shells >


No skimping on the cheese here! These beautiful shells are stuffed to the brim with a delicious mixture of creamy ricotta, soft Romano and chopped spinach, then smothered in a rich marinara sauce. It’s high in protein, loaded with flavor and light on the calories. Click here to make it yours. >

6. Cheddar Broccoli Rice >


The sauce is made with cheese, buttermilk and real butter. The crunchy broccoli provides vitamins and minerals. Combined with tender kernels of rice, this medley of flavors creates a delicious, low-calorie lunch that supplies 10 grams of protein and four grams of fiber. Get a boost of afternoon energy with this healthy midday meal. Click here to make it yours. >

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7. Garlic Cheese Flatbread >

garlic cheese flatbread

If you love a good flatbread, this one doesn’t disappoint! A buttery garlic sauce is drizzled over a thin, whole-wheat crust and topped with a sprinkle of cheese. It’s simply delicious all on its own. However, it can also serve as the perfect base for some sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms and other non-starchy veggies. This versatile flatbread contains 250 calories, 10 grams of protein and five grams of satisfying fiber. Click here to make it yours. >

8. Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo >

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Nothing about “alfredo” sounds weight loss friendly. Rich and delicious? Yes. Healthy? Not so much. That is, until this version came along. Enjoy beautiful strands of fettuccini and tender pieces of chicken coated in a creamy blend of parmesan and Romano for only 220 calories. Plus, the dish packs in a whopping 18 grams of protein without sacrificing any flavor. Click here to make it yours. >

9. Rotini & Meatballs >


This carb lover’s paradise has all the makings of a classic plate of pasta, such as rotini, flavorful crushed tomatoes, hearty meatballs and a pinch of parmesan. It’s loaded with protein and contains three grams of fiber, making it the perfect choice when you’re craving carbs (and not calories). Click here to make it yours. >

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10. Thick Crust Pizza >


If pizza tops your list of favorite foods, you won’t be able to resist this thick crust pie. Lucky for you, you don’t have to. Sink your teeth into a hearty slice, then feel free to have another. In fact, you can enjoy the whole pie all to yourself. Topped with melted mozzarella, zesty sauce and Italian herbs, this cheesy carb goodness offers 10 grams of protein at only 230 calories. Click here to make it yours. >

11. Four Cheese Manicotti >


The name doesn’t lie: There’s ricotta and parmesan and Romano and mozzarella stuffed inside these tender manicotti shells. Red bell peppers are an unexpected twist that adds a little sweetness and tang to the tomato sauce. Enjoy this delicious Italian-inspired dish for just 250 calories. Click here to make it yours. >

12. Loaded Potato >


This spud is mashed and loaded with cheddar, blue cheese and crunchy bacon bits to satisfy your protein needs, carb cravings and taste bud pleasures. All of that flavor is just 210 calories and less than five grams of fat. Click here to make it yours. >

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13. Ravioli Formaggio >


Inside each ravioli is a creamy blend of cheese. On top, a robust red sauce flavored with onion, garlic and Italian spices. And in your belly, a satisfying pasta dinner that’s high in protein (with 14 grams) and low in calories (270, to be exact). Click here to make it yours. >

14. Chicken and Bacon Ranch Pizza >

chicken bacon ranch pizza

Step aside standard cheese pizza! This inspired pie combines the smoky taste of real bacon, creamy ranch dressing, chunks of garlicky chicken, fire-roasted tomatoes and fresh leaves of spinach. The flavor is amazing. With three grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein, it’ll leave you feeling full and satisfied. Click here to make it yours. >

15. White Cheddar Mac and Cheese >

white cheddar mac and cheese

Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of cheesy carb goodness. The white cheddar sauce is thick and creamy, with each serving providing three grams of fiber and 10 grams of muscle-building protein. For extra nutrition and flavor, add your favorite non-starchy veggie like broccoli or spinach. Click here to make it yours. >

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16. Cheesesteak Pizza >


Never heard of a cheesesteak pizza? Your taste buds will be happy to make its acquaintance. Tender, seasoned beef steak, peppers, onions and a creamy cheese sauce sit atop a crispy crust and are topped with melted mozzarella. The protein content is high, the calories are low and the flavor is delicious. Click here to make it yours. >

17. Lasagna with Meat Sauce >


Who gets to eat lasagna while trying to lose weight? You do! This Italian classic has layers of flat noodles, a rich meat sauce and three kinds of cheese—like a good lasagna should. It also includes pinto beans and spinach for added nutrients, four grams of fiber and a big boost of protein. Indulge for only 250 calories per delicious serving. Click here to make it yours. >

18. Vegetable Lasagna >

veggie lasagna

It’s made with the same layers of noodles. It still has lots (and lots) of cheese. However, instead of meat, this version pumps up the nutrients with a medley of veggies. Corn, peas, carrots, onions, spinach and pinto beans create a hearty plant-based meal that clocks in at a total of 10 grams of protein. Click here to make it yours. >

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19. Three Cheese Chicken >


Add this dish to your weekday lunch rotation for three very good reasons: the pasta is curly, the cheese sauce is creamy and the chicken is super satisfying. This combination, along with bits of broccoli and tomato, creates a delicious dish for only 200 calories. Click here to make it yours. >

20. Penne Bolognese with Meat Sauce >

penne bolognese

Buon appetito! That’s Italian for ‘good appetite’ or ‘enjoy your meal.’ With al dente penne pasta smothered in a spicy meat sauce, you certainly will. This hearty plate of pasta provides 16 grams of protein, four grams of filling fiber and a flavor that is most enjoyable. Click here to make it yours. >

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