Man Food: 5 Healthy Super Bowl Snacks

While there’s nothing wrong with the predictable hunger killers — peanuts, pretzels, a piece of fruit — these go-to mini-meals are distinctly uninspired. Our weekly Man Food series will help you fight the scourge of boring snacks.

It’s not a Super Bowl party without snacks. While many people opt to use the big game as an excuse to indulge in their favorite less-than-nutritious foods (think fatty dips, greasy chips, and various deep-fried goodies), Super Bowl snacking doesn’t have to be a diet disaster. You can keep your waistline in check and enjoy the game by trying something from this list of five healthier alternatives to traditional Super Bowl snacks.

1. Crispy Baked Wings, Two Ways

glazed chicken wings

Source: iStock

So, half your crowd wants spicy Buffalo wings and the other half wants a sweeter glaze. You can make both groups happy with this recipe from Epicurious. Tossing the wings in small amount of oil and then baking yields a snack with a deliciously crispy skin, minus all the fat that comes from deep-frying. Plus, the homemade sauces are a healthier alternative to processed, store-bought varieties.


For the Buffalo sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup hot pepper sauce (such as Frank’s)

For the ginger-soy glaze:

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2-by-1-inch piece of ginger, peeled, sliced

For the wings:

  • 5 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: To make the Buffalo sauce, mix the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in hot sauce; keep warm. (Sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Let cool completely; cover and chill. Rewarm before using.)

To make the ginger-soy glaze, bring all ingredients and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve honey. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to ¼ cup, 7 to 8 minutes. Strain into a medium bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes to thicken slightly. (Glaze can be made 5 days ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before using.)

To make the wings, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Set a wire rack inside each of 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Place all wing ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Divide wings between prepared racks and spread out in a single layer.

Bake wings until cooked through and skin is crispy, 45 to 50 minutes.

Line another rimmed baking sheet with foil; top with a wire rack. Add half of wings to ginger-soy glaze and toss to evenly coat. Place wings in a single layer on prepared rack and bake until glaze is glossy and lightly caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Toss remaining half of wings in Buffalo sauce. Serve immediately (no need to bake).

2. Southwestern Chicken Wraps

southwestern chicken wraps

Source: Golden Platter

Gluten-free diners can still get their fill of breaded chicken when they pick up a bag of Golden Platter’s gluten-free chicken strips, which are coated in a blend of rice and corn flour. Combine them with fiber-rich black beans and vitamin-A-packed spinach for a simple and wholesome snack wrap that’s perfect for parties. Recipe courtesy of Golden Platter.


  • 8 sliced Golden Platter gluten-free chicken tenders
  • ¾ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 rice tortillas
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced

Directions: In a bowl, whisk together sour cream, jalapeños, and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Heat chicken tenders until crispy, wait until they are cool enough to handle, then slice them into strips.

Heat the tortillas in a large skillet for 10 to 15 seconds per side. Spread the tortillas with sour-cream sauce, leaving a 2-inch border. In the center of the wraps, layer equal amounts of baby spinach, sliced chicken, black beans, tomato, onion, and avocado. For each wrap, fold two sides of the tortilla over the filling, then roll tightly, ending seam side down. Serve.

3. Healthy Seven-Layer Taco Dip

Seven layer bean dip

Source: iStock

Traditional seven-layer dip is heavy on fatty ingredients like sour cream, refried beans, and cheese. This version from The Lemon Bowl replaces the sour cream with tangy Greek yogurt and skips the prepackaged taco seasoning for a custom blend of spices. But the biggest change is the absence of cheese. Leaving out the cheddar or Monterey jack may sound like sacrilege, but there’s so much else going on in this dip we don’t think you’ll miss it.


  • 1 (15-ounce) can fat-free refried beans
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne, optional
  • 2 avocados
  • ½ cup minced cilantro, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Juice of one lime
  • ½ cup minced scallions
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives

Directions: Mix the beans and salsa together in a small bowl. Spread in a thin layer on the bottom of a platter or serving dish.

Combine the Greek yogurt, cumin, smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and cayenne in a bowl. Spread on top of the beans and salsa.

Mash the avocado with ¼ cup of cilantro, garlic powder, lime juice, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Spread over the Greek yogurt mixture.

Sprinkle minced scallions, diced tomatoes, black olives, and remaining ¼ cup cilantro over the top of the dip. Serve with tortilla chips.

4. New England Fried Shrimp

Fried shrimp

Source: iStock

Pan-frying these beer-battered shrimp rather than deep-frying them dramatically cuts down on the fat and calories in this snack, without sacrificing flavor. Serve with lemon wedges to keep this treat simple and healthy, or make a lighter version of tartar sauce with Greek yogurt for dipping. Recipe from Eating Well.


  • 1 cup pale ale or other light-colored beer
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, (13 to 15 per pound), peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions: Whisk beer, flour, mustard, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

For best results, cook the shrimp in two batches, waiting to batter the second batch until the first is cooked. For the first batch, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Hold shrimp by the tail and dip in the batter one at a time. Let any excess batter drip off, then add the shrimp to the hot oil, making sure they aren’t touching. Cook, turning once and adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden brown on the outside and curled, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a platter.

Wipe out the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and heat over medium-high. Batter and fry the remaining shrimp. Season all the shrimp with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper and serve immediately.

5. Lump Crab Salsa


Source: iStock

The typical crab dip is heavy on high-calorie ingredients like mayo, but you can get your seafood fix without all the fat by mixing up this light and healthy crab salsa. Chef Michael Symon shared this recipe with Food & Wine, and pointed out that not only is this version better for you, but it also allows the crab flavors to really shine.


  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 medium shallots, very finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds lump crabmeat, picked over
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • Thick-cut potato chips, for serving

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the cilantro, shallots, bell pepper, jalapeño, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, and olive oil. Fold in the crab and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Let the salsa come to room temperature, then fold in the almonds. Serve with potato chips.

Follow Megan on Twitter @MeganE_CS

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