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18 Diabetic Friendly Recipes (17 Of Them With Food Exchanges)

Updated on April 26, 2011

My grandparents were diabetics, and it was always sad when they had to scan the table and pick and choose what they could or could not eat. Many times they had to pass up some of the more luscious choices in order to keep their diets. Also, many diabetics have to avoid the dessert tables altogether because of the high sugar content in the foods.

If you are a diabetic or know someone who is, try these mouthwatering recipes, and even make a trip to the dessert table again!

TIP: If you are hosting a dinner, put a tag by the foods that are diabetic friendly to ease your diabetic guests in finding suitable food choices!

Diabetic Dilly Squash

3 cups of yellow squash, sliced, 1 tsp. of minced onion, 1 T. of chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 1/4 tsp. of dried dill weed, 1 T. of dry butter substitute.

Arrange squash and onion in a vegetable steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and mash squash mixture. Add parsley, salt, dill weed; toss lightly. Sprinkle with butter substitute and serve warm.

Yield: 4 - 1/2 cup servings.

Per serving: 27 calories, 6 g. of carbohydrate, 1 g. of protein, trace of fat, 0 cholesterol, 2 g. of fiber, 401 mg. of sodium.

Diabetic Food Exchange: 1 vegetable.

Diabetic Macaroni and Cheese

1 1/2 T. of flour, 1 1/2 C. of skim milk (divided), 1 1/2 T. of low-calorie margarine, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 3/4 C. of shredded low-fat American cheese, 2 C. of cooked macaroni, 1/4 C. of soft bread crumbs, Vegetable cooking spray.

Combine the flour and 1/4 cup of milk in a saucepan; stir until smooth. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups of milk and margarine; stir well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add salt. Add cheese and cook over low heat until the cheese melts. Remove from heat. Alternate layers of macaroni and cheese sauce in a 1-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray; top with bread crumbs. Bake at 375° until the mixture is bubbly and lightly browned.

Yield: 6 - 1/2 cup servings.

Per serving: 160 calories, 22 g. of carbohydrate, 4 g. fat, 8 g. protein, 9 mg. of cholesterol, 1 g. of fiber, 547 mg. of sodium.

Diabetic food exchange: 1 starch, 1 medium - fat meat.

Ham and Corn Casserole for Diabetics

3 T. of flour, 1 1/2 C. of skim milk (divided), 3 T. of low-calorie margarine, 2 C. of lean, cooked and cubed ham, 1/4 C. of chopped onion, 1/4 C. of chopped green pepper,1/2 tsp. of dry mustard, 1/4 tsp. of salt, 1/4 tsp. of Worcestshire sauce, 1/8 tsp. of pepper, 20 oz. of whole kernel corn (drained), 1 C. of soft bread crumbs, 4 oz of shredded low-fat cheese, Vegetable coking spray.

Combine flour and 1/2 cup of milk; stir until smooth. Combine flour mixture, remaining 1 cup of milk and margarine in a small saucepan; stir well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and bubbly. Stir in ham, onion, peppers, mustard, salt, Worcestshire sauce, pepper, and corn. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish coated with the cooking spray. Top with bread crumbs and cheese. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Yield: 8 servings.

Per serving: 256 calories, 29 g. of carbohydrate, 17 g. of protein, 9 g. of fat, 30 mg. of cholesterol, 2 g. of fiber, 1203 mg. of sodium.

Diabetic Food Exchange: 2 starch, 2 medium-fat meat.

Creole Pork Chops For Diabetics

4 lean boneless pork chops, 16 oz. of crushed tomatoes, 1/3 C. of chopped onion, 1/4 C. of chopped green pepper, 1/4 C. of chopped celery, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. of hot sauce, 1/4 tsp. of dried oregano, 1 bay leaf.

Cook chops in a nonstick skillet ovr medium heat until lightly browned. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Return chops to skillet. Add to tomatoes and remaining ingredients; cover and simmer 1 hour or until chops are tender. To serve: Remove and discard bay leaf. Spoon sauce evenly over pork chops.

Yield: 4 servings.

Per serving: 201 calories, 9 g. of carbohydrates, 20 g. of protein, 10 g. fat, 60 mg. cholesterol, 2 g. fiber, 555 mg. sodium.

Diabetic Food Exchange: 2 medium-fat meat, 2 vegetable

Diabetic Dijon Chicken

1/4 C. of Dijon mustard, 4 oz. of plain nonfat yogurt, 8 skinned and boned chicken breast halves, 1/2 C. soft bread crumbs, Vegetable cooking spray.

Combine mustard and yogurt, stirring until well-blended. Brush chicken breast halves evenly with yogurt mixture and dredge in bread crumbs. Arrange chicken in a 13x9" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Increase temperature to 450°. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: 8 servings

Per serving: 133 calories, 6 g. carbohydrates, 19 g. protein, 3 g. fat, 44 mg. cholesterol, 194 mg. sodium.

Diabetic food exchange: 1/2 starch, 2 lean meat.

Diabetic Pumpkin-Pecan Pound Cake

3/4 C. of softened margarine, 2 T. of Sweet 'n Low brown, 2 T. of Sweet 'n Low, 1 1/4 C. of egg substitute, 1 - 16 oz. can of pumpkin, 1/3 C. of unsweetened orange juice, 3 C. of flour, 2 tsp. of baking powder, 1/2 tsp. each of baking soda and salt, 2 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 C. of chopped pecans, vegetable cooking spray.

Beat margarine at medium speed until creamy, gradually add sweet 'n low, beating well. Add egg substitute, beat well. Combine pumpkin and orange juice, stirring well. Combine flour, powder, soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice; add margarine mixture, alternating with pumpkin mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. (Mix well after each addition). Sprinkle pecans over the bottom of a 10" tube pan coated with cooing spray. Spoon over pecans. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 35 minutes or until done through. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Finish cooling completely on a wire rack.

Yield: 24 servings.

Per serving: 213 calories, 36 g. carbohydrate, 3 g. protein, 7 g. fat, 0 g. cholesterol, 1 g. fiber, 143 mg. sodium.

Diabetic Food Exchange: 2 starch 1 fat

Diabetic Beef Stew

1 lb. of cubed lean beef, 2 T. of Worcestshire sauce, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp. of dried oregano, 1/8 tsp. of ground allspice, 1 beef bouillon cube, 2 C. of boiling water, 1 C. of canned tomatoes (do not drain), 4 medium baking potatoes that have been cubed, 3 medium carrots that have been sliced, 3 small onions that have been quartered, 1 -10 oz. pkg. of frozen English peas.

Marinate beef in Worcestshire sauce for 4 hours. Cook beef in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned on all sides. Add salt, oregano,and allspice. Dissolve bouillon cube in boiling water. Add to beef mixture. Add tomatoes and cook over low heat 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Add potato, carrot and onion; cook 30 minutes. Add peas; cook an additional 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Yield 6 - 1 cup servings.

Per serving: 240 calories, 31 g. carbohydrate, 22 g. protein, 3 g. gat, 45 mg. cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 887 mg. of sodium.

Diaetic food exchange: 2 starch, 2 lean meat, 1 vegetable.

Diabetic Meatless Chili

1 large chopped onion, 1 clove of garlic that has minced, 1 T. of low-calorie margarine that has been melted, 1 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. of dried basil, 1 tsp. of shili powder, 1/2 tsp. of dried oregano, 1/2 tsp. of dried thyme, 1/4 tsp. of black pepper, 16 oz. can of chopped tomatoes (do not drain), 8 oz. can of red kidney beans (do not drain).

Sauté onions and garlic in melted margarin in a large saucepan until tender. Add salt and nest 5 ingredients; stirring well. Stir in tomato and beans. Simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Yield: 6 2/3 cup servings.

Per serving: 85 calories, 15 g. carbohydrate, 4 g. protein, 1 g. fat, 0 cholesterol, 4 g. fiber, 598 mg. of sodium.

Diabetic food exchange: 1 starch

Diabetic Ceamed Potato Soup

4 medium round red potatoes that have been peeled and sliced, 1 small onion that has been sliced, 4 green onions that have been coarsely chopped, 2 10 1/2 0z cans of chicken broth, 1 clove of garlic that has been minced, 1 C. of skim milk, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 1/8 tsp. of ground white pepper, 1/8 tsp. of nutmeg.

Combine the first five ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan; cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Transfer potato mixture in batches to a blender; cover and process until smooth. Combine pureed mixture with milk and remaining ingredients.

Yield: 9 3/4 cup servings.

Per serving: 65 calories, 14 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. protein, trace of fat, trace of cholesterol, 1 g. fiber, 144 mg. of sodium.

Diabetic food exchange: 1 starch

Garden Chicken Soup For Diabetics

6 C. of water, 2 C. of tomato juice, 1 C. of peeled and diced potato, 1 C. of chopped onion, 1C. of whole kernel corn, 1 C. of drained lima beans, 3/4 C. of cooked and cubed chicken breast, 1/2 C. of sliced carrot, 1/2 C. of chopped celery, 2 T. of low-sodium chicken flavored bouillon granules, 1 tsp. of garlic powder, 1 1/2 tsp. of Worcestshire sauce.

Combine all ingredients in a large Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Yield: 10 - 1 cup servings.

Per serving: 101 calories, 16 g. carbohydrate, 6 g. protein, 1 g. fat, 8 mg. cholesterol, 2 g. fiber, 267 mg. sodium.

Diabetic food exchange: 1 starch, 1/2 lean meat

Diabetic Cheesecake

3 C. of vanilla wafer crumbs, 4 T. of melted margarine, 3 T. of artificial sweetener, 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin, 1 C. of skim milk, 2 - 8 oz. packages plus 1 - 3 oz package of low-fat softened cream cheese, 2 T. lemon juice, 1 T. grated lemon rind, 2 tsp. vanilla, 1/3 to 1/2 C. of sweetener.

Mix the crumbs and margarine with the 3 tablespoons of sweetener in amedium bowl; pat evenly on the bottom of a 15x10" jelly roll pan. Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small saucepan; let stand 2 to 3 minutes. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Beat cream cheese until fluffy in a large bowl; gradually beat in milk mixture. Beat in lemon juice and rind, vanilla and 1/3 to 1/2 cup of sweetener. Pour mixture over crust; refrigerate until set. May top with berries.

Yield: 16 servings

Per serving: 170 calories, 16 g. carbohydrates, 10 g. fat, 3 g. saturated fat, 22 mg. cholesterol, 202 mg. sodium.

Diabetic food exchange: 1 starch, 2 fat.

Diabetic Mexican Rice

3/4 C. of chopped onion, 1 T. low-calorie margarine that has been melted, 1 C of uncooked long grain rice, 1 C. of chopped bell pepper, 1 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp, of chili powder, 1 - 8 oz. can of chopped tomatoes, 2 C. water.

Sauté onion in margarine until tender. Stir in rice and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

Yield: 10 - 1/3 cup servings. Per serving: 94 calories, 19 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. protein, 1 g. fat, 0 cholesterol, 1 g. fiber, 485 mg. sodium.

Diabetic Food Exchange: 1 starch.

Diabetic Friendly Rich Chocolate Mousse

1 envelope of unflavored gelatin, 1/4 C. of water, 1 C. of milk, 1/2 C. of baking cocoa, 1/3 C. of artificial sweetener, 2 C. of light Cool Whip

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small saucepan; let stand 2 to 3 minutes. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved; cool. Stir 1/4 cup of milk into the cocoa to make paste; gradually stir in remaining milk. Stir in gelatin mixture and sweetener. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.

Yields: 6 servings

Per serving: 95 caloris, 13 g. of carbohydrate, 5 g. of fat, less than 1 g. saturated fat, less than 1 g. cholesterol, 74 mg. sodium.

Diabetic food exchange: 1/2 starch, 1 fat

Tomato-Pepper Chili Sauce For Diabetics

1 lb. of tomtoes, 2 C. chopped red onion, 1 large chopped green pepper, 3 cloves of garlic that has been minced, 1 tsp. of jalapeno pepper, 3 T. red wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 3 to 4 T. artificial sweetener.

Peel, seed and chop tomatoes. Heat all ingredients, except sweetener, to boiling in large saucepan; reduce heat to low an simmer, uncovered, until mixture is a thick sauce consistency, about 20 minutes. Cool; stir in sweetener. Serve sauce with grilled meat, tamales, or tacos. Also makes a great salsa.

Yields 2 cups. Serving size is 2 tablespoons.

Per serving: 15 calories, 4 g. carbohydrate, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 73 mg. sodium.

Diabetic food exchange: Free

Diabetic Pickled Garden Vegetables

2 C. of thinly sliced zuchinni, 1 1/2 C. of green beans that have been split crosswise, 1 1/2 C. of thin-sliced onion, 1 large red pepper that has been sliced thin, salt, 1 C. of cider vinegar, 1 T. pickling spice, 1/2 C. of artificial sweetener.

Sprinkle zuchinni, beans, onions, and pepper lightly with salt; let stand 15 minutes. Rinse well. Stir vegetables into boiling water to cover; cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Heat vinegar and pickling spice to boiling; boil 1 minute. Cool 15 minutes; stir in sweetener and pour over vegetables in sterilized pint jars or bowl. Refrigerate up to two weeks.

Makes 1 quart. Serving size: 1/4 cup

Per serving: 20 calories, 5 carbohydrates, 0 fat, 0cholesterol, 19 mg. sodium.

Diabetic Food Exchange: 1 vegetable

Diabetic Limeade

1 1/2 C. of fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 6 limes), 4 C. of cold water, 1 1/2 C. of artificial sweetener, ice cubes.

Mix lime juice, water and sweetener; refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice and garnish with lime slices and mint leaves if desired. Limeade may be frozen in cube trays, then processed in a blender to make a lime slush.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 45 calories, 12 g. of carbohydrate, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 5 mg. of sodium.

Diabetic Food Exchange: 1 fruit

Date Oat Bars

1 (8 oz) package of chopped pitted dates, 1 T. of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup of water, 3/4 c. of unsweetened grated coconut, 1/2 c. of light margarine, sugar substitute (that is equivalent to 1/3 cup of sugar), 2 1/2 C. of uncooked quick oats, 1/2 tsp. of vanilla, Vegetable cooking spray.

Yields: 24 bars

Per serving: 80 calories, 13 g. of carbohydrate, 3 g. fat, trace of fiber, 111 mg. of sodium, 1 g. of protein.

Millonaire Pie (Light Version)

12 (2 1/2 in) graham crackers that have been crushed, 1/4 C. of reduced calorie margarine, 4 tsp. of Sugar Twin, 2 (8-oz) pkgs of low-fat cream cheese, 1/2 C. of light whipped topping, 20 pkgs. of Equal (more or less to taste), 1 C. of crushed pineapple, 2 tsp. of vanilla, 1 tsp. of almond etract, 1 oz of chopped pecans, 2 tsp. of coconut.

Mix graham crackers, margarine and sugar twin; press into 9-inch pie pan. Bake 350 degrees until brown. Mix cream cheese, whipped topping, Equal, crushed pineapple, vanilla, almond extract, pecans and coconut. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      need directions for the date bars. they sound yummie but what do we do with the ingredients?

    • blessedmommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Carisa Gourley 

      10 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

      Thanks, dayzeebee! I appreciate the comments and the sharing.

    • dayzeebee profile image


      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Great recipes to share. Will email a link to my friends for their reference. Good work:)

    • blessedmommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Carisa Gourley 

      10 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

      Glad to be of help. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Your recipes are the first I have seen that includes the food exchanges. TY for this!! For a beginner this certainly helps!!!!

    • Quick Keith profile image

      Quick Keith 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin

      Got a receipe for pecan pie? That's my favorite but I think I try out your pumpkin-pecan cake!


    • gabriella05 profile image


      11 years ago from Oldham

      Good hub would you like to post it on my forum for people to see it?

      And you can post you hub address and you hub name on it

      Thank you

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      11 years ago from Sydney



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