• Italian Cuisine

  • Italian Cuisine

There are many kidney-friendly options when it comes to Italian cuisine. However, be mindful of high-sodium foods such as garlic bread, soups and breaded items.

Healthier Choices

Shrimp scampi, chicken marsala, veal or chicken piccata, pasta with meatballs, pasta primavera with white sauce, and grilled fish or beef 


Marinara, pomodoro, arrabbiata red clam sauces if not on a low-potassium diet 

Grilled, steamed, poached or baked protein (fish, seafood, chicken or veal) with pasta 

Salad with dressing on the side 

Plain Italian or sourdough bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping instead of garlic-buttered or cheese-topped breads 

Pasta with chicken or seafood and vegetables that are included in your meal plan 

Clam sauce, wine sauce, pesto and lemon or piccata sauce - Lower potassium choices compared to red and white sauce 

Linguini or capellini pasta, especially if you choose a red or white sauce, as these types of pasta do not hold as much sauce as other noodles 

Ravioli filled with meat or vegetables instead of cheese

Mussels, clams or other shellfish steamed or with pasta and Italian bread 

Herbs and garlic to provide lots of flavor without added sodium or fat 

Calamari appetizer with lemon instead of red sauce

Tiramisu, small serving of gelato or Italian ice for dessert (TIP: Count gelato or Italian ice as fluids if restricted)

Choose Sparingly

Antipasta that include high-sodium items such as olives, cured meats, cheese and pickled vegetables

Capreses salad

Focaccia, garlic rolls and garlic bread are a source of hidden sodium 

Cheese bread

Marinara, pomodoro, arrabbiata or red clam sauces - Order on the side and use only 1/4 to 1/2 cup if potassium is limited

Minestrone, Italian Wedding, pasta fagioli, gazpacho and other soups - May be high in sodium, phosphorus or potassium 

Pizza or calzone with ham, pepperoni, prosciutto, sausage or salami

Breaded, fried dishes such as mozzarella sticks and fried ravioli 

Parmigiana dishes with tomato sauce and cheese 

Dishes with sausage, alfredo or carbonara sauce, or excessive amounts of cheese 

Cheese stuffed pastas such as ravioli, manicotti, tortellini, cannelloni, agnolotti and shells 

Baked pastas with excessive cheese and tomato sauce such as lasagna, baked ziti 

Check Your Food's Nutrients

Look up nutrient data for thousands of foods. See the ingredient list for brand name items to find phosphate additives.

Save Your Favorite Recipes

Browse over 1,100 kidney-friendly recipes. Find something you like? Save your favorites all in one spot.