Lemon zest instead of lemon butter? Pan sauteed chicken instead of fried? Fresh, hand-cut fettuccine that uses less oil?
These are just a few of the decisions the culinary team at Maggiano’s Little Italy made when creating the brand’s “Lighter Take” menu, which features 11 new preparations of classic, Italian dishes with at least one-third fewer calories than the original recipes. Available now at restaurants nationwide, the menu delivers a flavorful twist on better-for-you foods like only Maggiano’s can do with the promise that if a guest does not enjoy it as much as the original recipe, then the chef will make it right.
When creating the new “Lighter Take” menu, the brand focused on giving guests an everyday option for indulging in classic, Italian dishes such as Chicken Parmesan and Fettuccine Alfredo. With scratch kitchens and culinary-trained chefs at the heart of every Maggiano’s, the original recipes were reimagined using many of the fresh ingredients already available in restaurants and taking a different approach to the preparation of each dish.
“When we started on this menu journey, we found guests were dissatisfied with some ‘better-for-you’ options, especially in indulgent lines of cuisine like Italian,” said Keith Brunell, senior director of culinary for Maggiano’s Little Italy.
“Guests were hungering for improved versions of classics such as lasagna and fettuccine and not always satisfied when restaurants offered smaller portions that left them hungry again a few hours later. Our new dishes are centered on new cooking methods and ingredients for the Italian classics that Maggiano’s has offered for 23 years. They are in portions that are guaranteed to satisfy, but offer significant calorie reductions from the original recipes. We believe this approach is unique to our brand and compelling to our guests.”
- Lighter Take Baked Ziti – 33 percent fewer calories
- Lighter Take Chicken Francese – 48 percent fewer calories
- Lighter Take Chicken Parmesan – 52 percent fewer calories
- Lighter Take Chicken Piccata – 51 percent fewer calories
- Lighter Take Chicken Marsala – 47 percent fewer calories
- Lighter Take Chicken Saltimbocca – 52 percent fewer calories
- Lighter Take Fettuccine Alfredo – 46 percent fewer calories
- Lighter Take Veal Marsala – 37 percent fewer calories
- Lighter Take Veal Parmesan – 37 percent fewer calories
- Lighter Take Veal Piccata – 41 percent fewer calories
- Lighter Take Shrimp Fra Diavolo – 50 percent fewer calories
Additionally, both the Lighter Take Baked Ziti and Lighter Take Fettuccine Alfredo are featured on Maggiano’s popular “On The House Classic Pasta” menu, which sends guests who order one of eight handmade pastas home with a second Classic Pasta of their choice, compliments of the chef.
“Through menu innovation like ‘On the House Classic Pastas’ and ‘Lighter Take,’ Maggiano’s is becoming more than everyone’s favorite restaurant for celebrating special occasions…it’s an everyday choice,” said Michael Breed, senior director of marketing for Maggiano’s Little Italy.