HEALTHY RECIPES THAT ARE AWESOME FRIED FOOD ALTERNATIVES

Healthy Recipes That Are Awesome Fried Food Alternatives

It’s possible to look and feel young even if you’re already in your 40s. Apart from regular exercise, you can improve your diet by focusing on healthy and nutritious ingredients. That means avoiding fried foods. These can accelerate the aging process as well as increase your risk of cancers, diabetes and other ailments. Thankfully, though, there are fried food alternatives.

These serve as healthier versions of your favourite fried dishes. Here are some healthy but delicious recipes that you can prepare whenever you’re craving for fried food.

DITCH THE OIL AND OPT FOR THESE FRIED FOOD ALTERNATIVES

1. BAKED FRIED CHICKEN

Everybody loves fried chicken. Not only is it a classic comfort food, it’s also an easy dish to cook when you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen. Unfortunately, fried chicken has a lot of calories and fat — even more so when bought from fast-food chains.

If you want to continue enjoying this dish, you should try one of our awesome fried food alternatives. This baked fried chicken recipe still has the dish’s classic crispy texture and golden colour but without all the calories and fat.

Ingredients:

  • 454g boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place breadcrumbs, cornflake crumbs, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika and ground cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Mix to combine the ingredients.
  3. Place buttermilk in a separate bowl.
  4. Rinse the chicken breasts and dip into the buttermilk. Marinade chicken for at least 30 minutes if possible.
  5. Dip the chicken breasts into the bowl with the breading mixture. Press down while coating both sides so that the breading sticks to the chicken.
  6. Cover the surface of a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet and cover with cooking spray.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.
  8. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Nutritional Information:

This baked fried chicken recipe makes four servings with 371 calories per serving. It also has 5g of total fat, 1g of saturated fat, 74mg of cholesterol, 781mg of sodium, 619mg of potassium, 48g of total carbs, 2g of dietary fibre, 6g of sugars and 31g of protein.

2. OVEN-BAKED ONION RINGS

Deep-fried onion rings are very, very delicious. It’s great as a snack, appetizer or a side dish. It also goes well with a variety of condiments. However, it’s hard to regularly indulge in onion rings because they come with too much calories.

If you want to keep enjoying onion rings, you should check out one of my fried food alternatives. This healthy oven-baked recipe makes onion rings that are as crispy and crunchy as the original version.

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, as needed
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
  2. Whisk egg whites, milk and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Place panko breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.
  3. Place onion rings, flour, salt and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Shake to evenly coat the onion rings.
  4. Dip the onion rings, a few pieces at a time, into the egg-milk mixture.
  5. Dip the onion rings into the bowl with breadcrumbs. Toss to evenly coat the onion rings.
  6. Place the onion rings on top of a baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Cover tops with cooking spray.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until onion rings are tender and crumbs are golden brown.

Nutritional Information:

This oven-baked onion rings recipe makes four servings with 298 calories per serving. It also has 3.1gm of total fat, 1gm of saturated fat, <1mg of cholesterol, 429mg of sodium, 139mg of potassium, 74gm of total carbs, 1.4gm of dietary fibre, 3gm of sugars and 12.8gm of protein.

3. BAKED FISH AND CHIPS

Fish and chips is one of the most popular fried foods in Australia. It consists of batter-covered fish accompanied by a generous serving of chips. Unfortunately, eating fish and chips means consuming a lot of calories and fat as well.

With that said, I’ve included a baked fish and chips recipe on my list of fried food alternatives so that you can keep indulging on this beloved dish. This oven-baked version uses healthier ingredients and has fewer calories, so you can keep eating fish and chips regularly.

Ingredients:

  • 600g Desiree potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 400g firm white fish fillets, cut into strips
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • tomato sauce, to serve
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cover a large baking tray with cooking spray.
  2. Place potato wedges on the tray and cover the tops with cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden.
  3. Whisk the egg in a medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs and flour in separate bowls.
  4. Dip each strip of fish in the flour, followed by the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Press down firmly to evenly coat the fish. Repeat until all the fish strips are completed.
  5. Place finished fish strips on a large baking tray. Cover tops with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  6. Serve fish and chips on a platter alongside some tomato sauce or your condiment of choice.

Nutritional Information:

This baked fish and chips recipe makes four servings with 248 calories per serving. It also contains 4gm of total fat, 1gm of saturated fat, 108mg of cholesterol, 148.46mg of sodium, 29gm of total carbs, 3gm of dietary fibre, 3gm of sugars and 23gm of protein.

4. LOW-CALORIE MOZZARELLA STICKS

Mozzarella sticks are delicious to snack on or as an appetizer. However, some people turned off by its high-calorie content and greasy texture. Cooking this fried food also tends to leave a big mess in the kitchen.

If you want to eat mozzarella sticks but don’t want any of these hassles, it’s time to try one of my fried food alternatives. This low-calorie mozzarella sticks recipe is just as delicious but less sinful than the original version.

Ingredients:

  • 12 sticks reduced-sodium mozzarella string cheese, halved
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 5 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 5 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp parmesan cheese
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Whisk egg in a small bowl. Place flour in a small dish.
  2. Place breadcrumbs, panko, parsley and Parmesan cheese in a separate bowl. Mix to combine the ingredients.
  3. Dip each cheese stick in the flour, followed by the egg mixture and then the crumb mixture. Repeat until all the cheese sticks are completed. Freeze until an hour before cooking.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and cover with cooking spray.
  5. Place cheese sticks on the baking sheet. Cover tops with cooking spray. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp. Turn and bake for another 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Nutritional Information:

This low-calorie mozzarella sticks recipe makes 12 servings. A serving size of 2 pieces has 87 calories. It also contains 5gm of total fat, 168.5mg of sodium, 3.5gm of carbohydrates, 0.2gm of dietary fibre, 0.2gm of sugars and 7.5gm of protein.

5. BAKED CHICKEN NUGGETS

Chicken nuggets aren’t just for the kiddos. It’s a fried food that’s popular with the older generation as well. Thus, these delectable chunks of chicken might be your go-to dish to munch on during picnics or while on the road.

However, chicken nuggets are packed with preservatives and lack the essential nutrients needed by the body. If you want a healthier finger food, try one of my fried food alternatives. This baked chicken nuggets recipe is delicious and very easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place almond flour, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  3. Brush chicken chunks with olive oil. Dip into the flour mixture and make sure that all the chunks coated generously. Transfer finished pieces to the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Then, broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until outsides are crispy.
  5. Transfer to a platter and serve with your condiment of choice.

Nutritional Information:

This baked chicken nuggets recipe makes two servings with 311 calories per serving. It also contains 24gm of total fat, 1.5gm of saturated fat, 290.8mg of sodium, 3.2mg of potassium, 3.1gm of total carbs, 1.6gm of dietary fibre, 0.5gm of sugars and 24gm of protein.

6. HEALTHY FRIED RICE

Fried rice is not exactly a deep-fried dish, but it’s still regarded as an unhealthy dish. That’s because each serving is packed with calories and fat.

If you feel that Chinese dishes are incomplete without some fried rice, consider one of our fried food alternatives. This healthy fried rice recipe can keep you full without posing a risk to your daily caloric intake limit.

Ingredients:

  • 6 spring onions, sliced into thin diagonal strips
  • 3 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 1 carrot, cut into small strips
  • 1 small red capsicum, deseeded and sliced
  • 1/2 Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp Indonesian sweet soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Heat a large wok or sauté pan over high heat. Add sesame oil, carrot, cabbage and capsicum. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add sweet soy sauce, soy sauce, cashews and 1/2 spring onions. Mix to combine the ingredients.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining spring onions and drizzle extra sweet soy sauce. Serve.

Nutritional Information:

This healthy fried rice recipe makes four servings with 370 calories per serving. It also contains 13gm of total fat, 2gm of saturated fat, 51gm of total carbs, 4gm of sugars, 1429.18mg of sodium and 9gm of protein.

7. CHEESY ZUCCHINI TOTS

Tater tots, which are made from regular potatoes, are fattening and unhealthy. If you’ve indulged in this deep-fried snack one too many times, it’s time to consider one of my fried food alternatives.

This cheesy zucchini tots recipe uses healthier ingredients. It won’t seem like it, though, as you’ll find yourself consuming these cheesy goodies one after the other. Despite that, you won’t have to worry too much about exceeding your daily caloric intake.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1/3 cup white onion, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup, 2 tbsp sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp basil, minced
  • 2 tbsp chives, minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place zucchini and a sprinkle of salt on a fine-mesh sieve that’s on top of a mixing bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Squeeze the zucchini to drain all the moisture.
  4. Transfer zucchini to the mixing bowl. Stir in the garlic, egg, onion, cheddar cheese, basil, chives, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Once ingredients are well-combined, add the breadcrumbs and mix.
  5. Scoop out a spoonful of zucchini mixture at a time to form small tots. Place finished pieces on the baking tray.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the tray and bake for another 10 minutes or until both sides are golden brown.
  7. Transfer to a platter and serve with your preferred sauce or condiment.

Nutritional Information:

This cheesy zucchini tots recipe makes 15 pieces. Each serving has 26 calories, 9 calories from fat, 1gm of total fat, 13mg of cholesterol, 117mg of sodium, 35mg of potassium, 2gm of total carbs and 1gm of protein.

8. HEALTHY JALAPENO POPPERS

I’ve included healthy jalapeno poppers in our list of fried food alternatives. This is perfect if you want something cheesy and spicy to munch on. At the same time, you avoid all the calories and fat that accompanies the traditional fried jalapeno poppers.

Ingredients:

  • 12 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise
  • 5 medium scallions, sliced green parts
  • 128g light cream cheese
  • 57g low-fat sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 cup egg whites, beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp chilli powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 177 degrees Celsius. Cover the surface of a baking tray with cooking spray.
  2. Place scallions, cream cheese and cheddar cheese in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine panko breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic powder, chilli powder, salt and pepper in a separate bowl.
  4. Fill the peppers with a small spoonful of cheese mixture.
  5. Dip the peppers in the egg whites. Then, dip them into the panko mixture. Make sure to evenly coat peppers without spilling the seasoning.
  6. Place the peppers onto the baking tray. Cover the tops with cooking spray.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until outsides are golden brown.
  8. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Nutritional Information:

This healthy jalapeno poppers recipe makes 12 pieces. Each serving of 2 poppers has 61.5 calories, 2.5gm of total fat, 5.5gm of carbs, 1gm of dietary fibre and 4gm of protein.

9. CINNAMON DOUGHNUT HOLES

Instead of a regular doughnut, satisfy your craving for a sweet treat with this cinnamon doughnut recipe. This healthier fried food alternative is great for breakfast or as a midday snack.

As one of our fried food alternatives, this cinnamon doughnut holes recipe has less calories, sugar and fat compared to a traditional doughnut.

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 (595g) box organic yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup natural sweetener
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 170g dairy-free vanilla yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place the cake mix, almond milk, vanilla yoghurt, egg whites and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Whisk to combine the ingredients.
  2. Pour the batter into a 12-hole cake pop pan, filling each hole 3/4 of the way. Seal the pan.
  3. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Place the doughnut holes with the sweetener, sugar and cinnamon in a large resealable plastic bag. Shake to evenly coat the doughnut holes.
  5. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Nutritional Information:

This cinnamon doughnut holes recipe makes 12 servings with 194.1 calories per three doughnut holes. It also contains 1.9gm of fat, 6.5gm of carbs, 0.2gm of fibre, 24.8gm of sugars, 304.2mg of sodium and 2gm of protein.

It’s hard to resist fried foods. They’re delicious and also easily accessible. However, regular consumption of these deep-fried dishes can increase your risk for heart disease, cancers, diabetes and obesity. That’s because fried foods are full of calories, salt and trans-fat.

If you want to improve your diet but have a hard time letting go of your favourite fried foods, don’t despair. Just switch to healthier fried food alternatives. These have more nutritious ingredients and use healthier cooking methods.

ANTHONY HILL, FOUNDER

Anthony Hill

When you put together the sum total of my 30 years of bodybuilding training, the contests, the vast array of diets I have experimented (tortured) myself with as well as the experiences I have been through with various training partners in the gyms I have trained in all over the world, it’s been a great ride and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to be able to do lots of personal training for private clients alongside my day job. For a few years during my 30’s, I moved to Asia and worked as the Fitness Manager and head personal trainer at one of Thailand’s leading gyms in Bangkok. Learn More

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