Diabetes-friendly recipes

To help raise awareness for Diabetes Week (14-20 June), California Walnuts have shared five delicious diabetes-friendly recipes.

Diabetes-friendly recipes veg ragu

We hope you’ll be inspired by these four delicious diabetes-friendly recipes that will help you create a healthy, balanced diet and some stunning dishes to boot!

Walnuts are low in sugar[1] and one handful* offers 1.4g of fibre and 4.4g of protein[2] – making them a satisfying choice for those living with the condition. Walnuts are also the only tree nut to contain a significant amount of the plant-based omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), 2.7g/30g.

In addition, over 30 years of scientific research suggests that walnuts may offer benefits for diabetes. A large study, which followed women aged 35-77 years without diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at the start of the study for 10 years, found a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women who regularly consumed walnuts, compared with women who never/rarely consumed walnuts, for example.[3]

So why not enjoy the texture and taste of California Walnuts and the nutrition benefits they have to offer, in these yummy diabetes-friendly recipes; vibrant walnut mixed bean & watercress salad, the satisfying vegetable & walnut ragu, the colourful and tasty baked peppers with rice, chicken & walnuts and the comforting aubergine & walnut Parmigiano?

Diabetes-friendly recipes California walnuts mixed bean walnut watercress Salad
Mixed bean, walnut & watercress salad

Mixed bean, walnut & watercress salad

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15-20 minutes

Serves 4

  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 100g pack asparagus tips, halved
  • 100g California walnuts
  • 50g sun-dried tomatoes, sliced plus 3 tbsp oil
  • 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 100g bag watercress, thick stalks removed
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 200oC, gas mark 6.


Place the pepper, asparagus and walnuts on a baking tray and toss in 1 tbsp oil from the tomatoes, roast for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss together the beans, sun-dried tomatoes and watercress, toss in the pepper mixture. 

Whisk the remaining 2 tbsp tomato oil with the vinegar, season and toss into the salad.

Cooks tip

Try using 2 cans of mixed beans or butter beans, great with rocket too.

Nutrition information
Typical valuesper 100gper 249g serving%RI per serving
of which saturates1.4g3.4G17%
of which sugars1.9g4.7G5%
Diabetes-friendly recipes stuffed peppers
Baked peppers with rice, chicken & walnuts

Baked peppers with rice, chicken & walnuts

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 250g pouch sun dried tomato basmati rice
  • 50g California walnut Pieces, roughly chopped
  • 200g roast chicken, shredded
  • ½ x 25g pack parsley, chopped
  • 4 red peppers (1kg)

Preheat the oven to 200oC, gas mark 6.


Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, add the rice, walnuts and chicken and fry for 2-3 minutes until heated through, season to taste and stir in the parsley and 2-3 tbsp water.

Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Trim the bases if needed so they stand upright and place them in a small roasting tin with 3 tbsp water in the base.

Spoon the rice mixture into the pepper shells and bake for 30 minutes or until the peppers are just softened. Serve with a fresh leafy salad.

Cooks tip

You can use this filling to stuff large onions or aubergine shells. 

Nutrition information
Typical valuesper 100gper 376g serving%RI per serving
of which saturates0.8g2.8G14%
of which sugars3.0g11.4G13%
Diabetes-friendly recipes veg ragu
Vegetable & walnut ragu

Vegetable & walnut ragu

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp unsaturated oil such as rapeseed or olive oil
  • 400g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped (180g)
  • 1 red pepper, diced (180g)
  • 100ml red wine
  • 50g sun dried tomato paste
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 100g California walnut halves
  • 250ml reduced salt vegetable stock
  • 1 courgette, diced (170g)
  • 25g basil, shredded

To serve: Cooked spaghetti


Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the sweet potatoes, onion and pepper for 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half.  Stir in the remaining ingredients except courgette and basil and bring to the boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and add the courgette, simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced, season to taste and stir in the basil.  Serve with cooked spaghetti

Cooks tip

Great served with other shapes of pasta or rice.

Nutrition information (Ragu only)
Typical valuesper 100gper 437g serving%RI per serving
of which saturates0.8g3.3g16%
of which sugars3.9g16.9g19%
Diabetes-friendly recipes Aubergine Walnut Parmigiano
Aubergine & walnut parmigiano

Aubergine & walnut parmigiano

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Serves 4


  • 2 aubergines, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 100g broccoli florets, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 50g California walnuts, finely chopped plus 15 whole walnuts
  • 125g pack reduced fat mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 400g passata
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan, finely grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 200oC, gas mark 6.
  2. Brush the aubergine slices with a little oil and griddle or fry for 1-2 minutes each side.
  3. Add the remaining oil to a large frying pan and fry the pepper, broccoli, tomatoes and chopped walnuts for 4-5 minutes until softened, season well. 
  4. Select the 12 largest aubergine slices and place half a slice of mozzarella in the centre, divide the filling between the slices and roll up, placing them seal side down in a greased ovenproof serving dish. Finely chop any remaining aubergine slices and stir into the passata, pour this over the aubergine rolls and scatter over the remaining mozzarella, torn and the whole walnuts.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes until golden and tender.

Cooks tip

Great served with a salad and crusty bread.  Make this dish in advance and simply cook when needed.

Nutrition information
Typical valuesper 100gper 336g serving%RI per serving
of which saturates1.7g5.7g28%
of which sugars3.3g11.2g12%

*Approx. 30g

[1] Food Standards Agency (2002), McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, Seventh summary edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry

[1] Food Standards Agency (2002), McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, Seventh summary edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry [1] Pan A, Sun Q, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB. Walnut consumption is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women. J Nutr. 2013 Apr;143(4):512-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.172171. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

These recipes are reproduced courtesy of California Walnuts.

For more diabetes-friendly recipes and food ideas visit 50connect Food and Drink Channel.

Last modified: June 18, 2021

Written by 4:15 pm Food & Drink, Nutrition

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