There’s a good chance you’re going to partake in at least one tailgate party this football season. These get-togethers often include tons of delicious food, which are usually packed with fat, calories, and sodium. In other words, it’s bad news for anyone who’s trying to watch what they eat. Instead, prepare healthy tailgate fare so you don’t need to worry about your waistline. Here are 7 nutritious dishes that are worthy of any game day party.
1. 6-Layer Tempeh Taco Dip
Delicious dip is often a tailgating fan favorite that’s packed with fat and calories. Nutrition Stripped provides a healthy alternative with this 6-layer tempeh taco dip. Thanks to the healthy ingredients, including the beans, veggies, and taco tempeh, this dish is filled with fiber, healthy fats, and protein. It can be eaten warm, at room temperature, or chilled, making it a great dish to take with to tailgates.
- Refried beans
- Cheese of your choosing (or light cream cheese)
- Taco Tempeh (note: you can use grilled chicken or ground turkey instead)
- Lemon lime guacamole (make your own by combining mashed avocado, lime juice, sea salt, and black pepper.)
- Mango or regular salsa
- Fresh raw tomatoes, diced
- Shredded greens
Directions: In a large bowl, start by placing a thick layer of refried beans, followed by a layer of cheese. The third layer should consists of the taco tempeh or meat of your choosing, followed by the guacamole. Add a layer of salsa and diced tomatoes, and top it off with shredded greens. Serve with tortilla chips.
2. Caprese Skewers With Balsamic Drizzle
Iowa Girl Eats has created a fresh-tasting, healthy app that consists of balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese balls, and fresh basil leaves. The best part? This tasty treat only takes about 10 minutes to prepare, so you can quickly make them before the game begins.
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Mini mozzarella cheese balls
- Fresh basil leaves, cut in half if large
- Salt and pepper
Directions: Bring balsamic vinegar up to a boil in a saucepan, then lower heat to medium and simmer until it’s the consistency of very thin maple syrup, about 10 minutes. Pour into a bowl and let cool. Cut tomatoes in half. Thread a mini mozzarella cheese ball, basil leaf, and a tomato half onto a tooth pick. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then drizzle cooled balsamic reduction on top.
3. Buffalo Chicken Fries
This cheesy, crispy, and gooey snack is a great game-day treat that also happens to be packed with healthy carbs and protein. Dashing Dish’s recipe yields 4 servings, with each containing 179 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 18.5 grams of protein.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or diced
- ½ cup buffalo sauce
- ½ cup cheddar or mozzarella cheese, grated
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Optional: low-fat plain Greek yogurt, low-fat score cream, green onions, chives
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Cut potatoes into wedges, and place on baking pan. Brush potato wedges with the egg white. Sprinkle seasoning evenly over potatoes. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they begin to get lightly golden brown and crisp. When finished baking, remove from the oven. Meanwhile, mix the hot sauce and chicken together in a small bowl, and toss to coat. Evenly distribute the chicken and hot sauce mixture over the fries. Top with both cheeses, and return the fries the oven for five minutes, or until cheddar cheese melts. Add desired toppings.
4. Greek Yogurt Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are the perfect snack to enjoy on game day. Sunset’s recipe uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo, creating an appetizer that has 88 calories and 5.5 grams of fat in each serving. The deviled eggs only takes about an hour to make, making it an easy dish to prepare on game day.
- 12 hard-cooked large eggs, peeled
- About 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat Greek yogurt
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon country Dijon mustard
- About 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- About 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion
Directions: Cut eggs in half lengthwise and pop yolks into a food processor; reserve whites. Add yogurt and salt to food processor and whirl until smooth, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer yolk mixture to a medium bowl and stir in mustard, 1 tablespoon chives, and 2 tablespoons onion to blend. Set egg whites on a platter, hollow side up. Scoop yolk mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe mixture into hollows. Sprinkle with more chives and onion if you like.
5. Smothered Burgers
It won’t really feel like a party until you’ve got burgers cooking on the grill. Onions, mushroom, lettuce, and tomatoes add antioxidants and fantastic flavor to this oh so satisfying, smothered burger. For an easy-to-assemble tailgate treat, prepare the onions and mushrooms ahead of time, and warm them on the grill right before you’re ready to eat. Cooking Light’s recipe yields 4 servings.
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups vertically sliced onion
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 (8-ounce) package pre-sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound ground round
- 4 (1-ounce) slices Texas toast
- ½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
- Additional toppings: lettuce, tomato
Directions: Prepare grill. Heat a medium nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add onion; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Remove onion from pan, and keep warm. Heat pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and ¼ teaspoon salt; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.
Combine ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and beef. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a ½-inch-thick patty. Preheat broiler. Place patties on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Place bread on grill rack; grill 1 minute on each side or until toasted. Arrange bread on a baking sheet. Top each bread slice with 1 patty, ¼ cup onion, ¼ cup mushrooms, and 2 tablespoons cheese; broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts
6. Honey Porter-Glazed Chicken Skewers
The Beeroness has created a glazed chicken skewer that’s both sweet and spicy. For easy game day preparation, marinate the chicken overnight and grill the day of your party. There’s no need to feel guilty about helping yourself to this sensational skewer, either. Thanks to the chicken breast, honey, and seasonings, you’ll have a healthy and mouthwatering meal to enjoy.
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ cup porter or stout beer
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped shallots (about 1 medium shallot)
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into cubes
- Oil for the grill
- Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Directions: In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, honey, porter, red pepper flakes, mustard, soy sauce, and pepper. Add the chicken cubes, refrigerate for 1 hour and up to overnight. Remove the chicken from marinade, and thread the chicken through wooden skewers. In a pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil and shallots.
Sauté until shallots have softened, about 5 minutes. Add marinade and boil, stirring frequently, until reduced and thickened, about 8 minutes. Preheat grill to medium high. Brush the grill lightly with oil. Brush the chicken with the glaze, place on the grill. Brush with glaze and turn every 2-4 minutes until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro prior to serving.
7. Chocolate Strawberry Footballs
These dark chocolate-covered strawberries are bursting with sensational flavor and amazing antioxidants. Domestic Fits recipe has you go the extra mile and transform your strawberries into mini-footballs, making it perfect fare for tailgating. You can make this dessert up to 24 hours in advance.
- 1½ cups dark chocolate chips
- 12-14 large strawberries
- ¼ cup white chocolate chips
Directions: In a microwave safe coffee mug, add the dark chocolate chips. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted. Don’t overheat the chocolate. Grab the strawberry by the leaves, making sure strawberries are completely dry or the chocolate won’t stick. Dip in the chocolate and swirl around carefully until coated. Hold above the coffee mug for a few seconds to allow the excess to drip off. Place on a sheet of parchment paper to dry. Push forward slightly to avoid a pool of dried chocolate forming in the front of your berry.
Allow to dry for about 15 minutes. In a separate coffee mug, add the white chocolate. Microwave on high for 20 seconds and stir, repeat until melted. Pour the white chocolate into a piping bag. Pipe on a stripe at the top and one at the bottom of your strawberries. Then pipe a line down the middle of the berry. Then pipe 5 or 6 lines across the middle line. Your chocolate covered strawberries should now resemble footballs.