Tailgate Recipes for Healthyish Football Fans

Recipes By Elena Boaghi |

For football fans, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Since Sundays are officially booked up through the fall, we thought we’d make things easy and put together some healthy recipes for game day. Whether you’re at a tailgate or hanging at a friend’s house, these snacks, dips, and chili recipes are simple to put together, taste just like your fave game-day eats at the stadium, and are easy to transport to your desired viewing destination.

These stuffed peppers lighten things up by swapping out cream cheese for hummus and feta (an insanely good combo if you’ve never tried it) and use the standard cayenne and buffalo hot sauce to keep it spicy. Your guests will be impressed that you went for this version and not the chicky buffy dip that’s always at parties. Grab a variety of peppers from the grocery store so your platter is prettier, which automatically makes you more #adult.

When sour cream and onion dip is on the table, it doesn’t last long. Mainly because we are inhaling every last bite, but then we feel like crap and have no more room for another beer. But this recipe is a healthy take on the creamy dip—it’s made with Greek yogurt, milk, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, shallots, and chives. Serve it with carrots, peppers, cucumbers, and radishes, and scoop away.

We know what you’re thinking: How can this be healthyish?! It looks just like last night’s sweet and sour chicken takeout, but this recipe is actually mostly cauliflower, cooked in panko and eggs, and covered with a sauce made from soy sauce, honey, garlic, and Sriracha. The only downside? Your guests will never leave.

What’s football season without a pot of chili? We hope we never find out. This hearty bowl is a lightened-up version of the classic with lean protein and tons of veggies—it combines ground turkey, corn, black beans, tomatoes, onions, and lots of spices that you probably already have in your cabinet.

We’re pretty excited to make these for the next tailgate because not only do we get to see the look of happiness on other guests’ faces when they take a bite, but we also get to take the leftovers home. Zoodles and meatballs, anyone? They’re super simple to make too: Zucchini, turkey, garlic, eggs, and onion, plus a red sauce to soak them in, will get the job done.

You’re sitting on the sofa in sweats when your friend calls to tell you she decided to throw a last-minute Sunday football get-together. You can’t show up empty-handed, so this is the recipe you should make. The easy Tex-Mex dip is a crowd-pleaser and takes minutes to throw together—just combine corn, black beans, peppers, onions, cilantro, and tomatoes, and drizzle with olive oil and white wine vinegar. Feel free to cut or reduce the sugar—you won’t miss it.

We aren’t going to call deviled eggs a crowd-pleaser because ya either love ’em or hate ’em. But if you’re a fan, you need to know about this healthier recipe. It swaps mayo for Greek yogurt and uses coconut aminos and mustard for that tangy flavor. Who knows, maybe the deviled egg haters will come around.

So long, watermelon. It’s apple’s time to shine. This fall salad mixes your doctor’s favorite fruit with pears and grapes, plus a Greek yogurt dressing that you’ll want to eat with a spoon. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup make it even sweeter, while pecans add the necessary crunch.

Whole30-approved jalapeño poppers are a little time-intensive, but if you’re following the diet, they are SO worth it. Soak cashews overnight, then blend them in a food processor with enchilada sauce to make the filling. Stuff the mix in peppers, add a slice of avocado, wrap in bacon and bake. Your taste buds are about to go nuts.

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