skip to Cookie NoticeSkip to contents

Your health and safety remain our top priority: Learn about our Safe Care Commitment | Use our Prescreen app before arrival for faster entry | Read the COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Header Skipped.

Recipe Makeover Tips

Do you have recipes that you love but are afraid to prepare because they contain too many calories or too much fat? Try a recipe makeover. These guidelines can help you turn those calorie-laden "befores" into lower calorie "afters".

Baked goods and desserts

  • Use diet margarine instead of regular margarine, shortening or butter. (Make sure your margarine is trans-fat free, avoiding products with any hydrogenated vegetable oil on the ingredient list.)
  • Instead of oil, try one-half applesauce/one-half nonfat milk, or one-half oil and one-half applesauce. If possible, replace oil completely with applesauce (this works best in cakes, brownies and zucchini bread).
  • Use a graham cracker crust instead of a traditional pie crust - traditional crusts are usually made from lard or shortening, with more than 50% of calories from fat.
  • Reduce nuts and coconut by 50% and chocolate chips by 25-50%.
  • Reduce sugar by 25% - it won't change the taste appreciably, especially if you use more of the sweet spices(vanilla, cinnamon, etc.)
  • Replace half of the white flour with whole-wheat flour to increase fiber and nutritional value.

Casseroles and main dishes

  • Use nonfat plain yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • Use two egg whites in place of every whole egg - this will eliminate cholesterol and save fat calories. For baked goods and quiches, beat egg whites until stiff to add volume.
  • Use evaporated skim milk instead of cream, and use nonfat or low-fat milk instead of whole milk.
  • Instead of cream cheese, substitute one of the following: light cream cheese; blenderized cottage cheese combined with 1 tablespoon lemon juice; one-half tofu and one-half ricotta cheese.
  • Saute in wine, chicken broth or vegetable oil spray instead of oil.
  • Use low-fat cheese instead of regular cheese.


You'll save 240 fat calories by replacing 2 tbs. butter with 2 tbs. broth or wine.


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH