Healthy vs Indulgent recipes: which version would you pick?

We have low calorie, healthy versions of classic dishes - which will you choose - healthy or indulgent? Healthy lasagne, veggie meatballs, low cal burgers, take a look...




Vincisgrassi (a type of baked pasta which comes from the region of Le Marche in Italy) is a rich, indulgent lasagne-style dish. Filled with salty parma ham and earthy mushrooms in a rich cream sauce, a little of this dish goes a very long way. You couldn’t eat it every day, but it’s certainly at the top of our treat list.

Skinny lasagne

Turkey mince lowers the levels of saturated fat in the recipe, and adding vitamin-rich spinach bulks it out. We’ve made a roux from olive oil and used skimmed milk in this white sauce so you get all the comfort of eating a hearty lasagne without the guilt. Perfect for midweek.


Italian baked meatballs

Did we mention this recipe already? It’s one of the most popular on our website and that’s for a reason! Baked in a rich tomato sauce with plenty of melting mozzarella, we just need some crusty bread for mopping up what our forks can’t hold. This is comfort food at its best.

Lentil meatballs

There’s no meat in these meatballs, and that’s down to the brown lentils we’ve used instead. By binding them with oats, we’ve also made these vegan-friendly. Serve with a fresh tomato sauce, a lemon and basil pesto or a spicy pepperonata for a great midweek staple.

Seafood pasta

Angel hair pasta with lobster

We’ve turned simple pasta into a celebration dish with rich lobster meat and mascarpone, cut through with fresh lemon and basil. Angel hair pasta takes minutes to cook as it’s really thin, but feels right for this delicate but indulgent dish.

Spicy prawn linguine

Not only is this pasta healthier, it’s cheaper too. Adding ginger, garlic and chilli to the tomato sauce creates a wonderful flavour for plump, juicy prawns. It could also do with a dash of Tabasco, or fresh chilli.


The full works burger


We’re picky about burgers here at olive. The simpler the patty the better (no breadcrumbs please, our steak mince should speak for itself), and we tested lots of toppings to come up with our full works burger. Piled high with sweet and sour onions, crisp gherkins and our secret burger sauce that knocks ketchup and mayo out the water. Brioche buns bring this genius built-up burger together for the right sweet/salty/vinegary hit.

Lime and chilli chicken sandwich

It’s the Greek yogurt guac that makes this a beast of a sandwich. It’s grilled for a smoky char, and has no added fat by frying or breading. We’ve marinated chicken with lime, coriander, chilli, ginger and garlic; but oregano and lemon or Cajun spices would work just as well.


Broccoli fritters

These might take a little effort, but it’s totally worth it. Green stems of goodness in a tempura-like batter. It’s the ultimate good-veg-gone-bad scenario. The batter is spiced with chilli, turmeric and cumin for an aromatic fritter. Perfect with poached eggs and greek yoghurt for a hero brunch.

Cauli fritters with pepperonata

We’re seeing cauliflower popping up everywhere at the minute, in pizza bases, roasted whole with tandoori spices or blitzed until fine to make a low carb rice substitute. But fritters are a quick supper, and we’ve made them healthy too. Paired with veg-packed spicy pepperonata – the perfect accompaniment.

Ice cream

Vienetta parfait

Shards of wafer-thin dark chocolate and rich salted butterscotch sauce hidden in homemade double-cream ice cream. This is so much better than the shop-bought version and would finish off any dinner party menu with a bang. Our Viennetta parfait is the sort of dessert you just can’t get enough of.

Orange and basil sorbet

Only three ingredients, takes 30 minutes (plus freezing) and you’re done. It’s also fat free! This is great as a palate cleanser or healthy dessert. You could try sweetening the sorbet with xylitol or stevia for an even more innocent dessert.


Cote de beuf

If you want to go all out on a steak dinner for two, a cote de boeuf is the way to go. A rib of beef with caramelised shallots and a bay-infused gravy. Serve with chips or mashed potatoes and pair with a robust red.

Terikaki steak skewers

Steak doesn’t have to be unhealthy. By using lean sirloin steak – and trimming off visible fat – you can still enjoy a steak dinner without the hefty calorie count. Our steak skewers come in at 372 per serving, with an Asian inspired chopped green salad, spring onion, pak choi and cucumber tossed with soy sauce, sherry vinegar and ginger.

Slow-cooked beef in booze

Beef in ale with horseradish dumplings

Braising beef in brown ale and topping with thyme-horseradish dumplings is bound to be a winner. A rich gravy with button mushrooms and more thyme, we love how comforting this one-pot is. You just need an open fire, a cosy sofa and a big bowl of this to remind you of wintery days.

Skinny beouf bourginon

This recipe is for when you still fancy a rich, hearty stew, but without the fat. We’ve used extra lean diced braising steak, and served with mash rather than dumplings (watch how much butter goes into the potatoes though!). This is a really simple slow-cooked dish that would be perfect for a slow cooker. Bumping up the veg means you use less meat,  too.


Steak and red wine pic with suet crust

If you’re going to go all out when making a pie, a suet crust is just the ticket. A classic red wine, steak, mushroom and shallot filling is made special with the suet and mustard powder pastry.

Skinny chicken and leek pie

This is such a great idea for a pie topping, and doesn’t include the usual butter quantity! Roughly torn ciabatta gives a really crisp top, and its ready in minutes rather than hours. By using a mix of small and large crumbs, you’ll get a crispy top and a good coverage. 


Strawberry pancakes with amaretto syrup

Brunch or pud, we don’t mind, we’d eat these little beauties any time of day. They come topped with crunchy sugared almonds and a generous spoon of mascarpone. This recipe makes 24, but you’d better double it up… these will go FAST!

Buckwheat pancakes

Cinnamon adds to the flavour without adding any fat, and buckwheat (strangely – related to the rhubarb family) flour makes for a great texture. Use skimmed milk and spray oil to make these a healthy choice. Serve with fresh seasonal fruits and a dollop of natural yogurt.

Roast chicken

Roast chicken with garlic and thyme croutons

There are very few things more comforting than a roast chicken… but a roast chicken sat on crunchy sourdough croutons, roasted with garlic, lemon and thyme – we’re nearly in a food coma. Our award-winning salsa verde is the perfect accompaniment, too. 

Quick roast chicken with tomatoes and chickpeas

Skinless chicken breasts are a quick, healthy and easy fall-back for midweek meals. By roasting all the veg in one dish, earthy chickpeas pick up the tomato juices and tarragon (and there’s minimal washing up!). Bump up the veg if you’re feeling extra peckish, and add red pepper, courgette or even a tin of chopped tomatoes. 

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