For a lot of people, the best part about the Super Bowl is eating. I actually love football and even I still get more excited about what’s on the menu than what’s on the field. Unfortunately, though, it’s usually a feast full of grease and belly bloating carbs, and I end up feeling ill by halftime. Not this year.
Though I’m determined to enjoy healthy game day food this year, there’s no need to ditch the wings completely. Let’s not get crazy, after all! Instead, I found some healthier recipes that you can swap in for traditional football food so that you can get your fix without feeling (as) guilty going back for seconds. Or thirds. Or cracking that other beer.
Related: 9 more skinny Super Bowl recipes.
Let’s start with a recipe to wake up those token vegetable sticks: a bright, fresh Greek Goddess Dip from Melissa Clark at The New York Times (above). Plenty of herbs make this vibrant dip a nice replacement to the standard glob of sour cream and onion (or, gasp, onion soup mix). Serve this with carrots, cucumber, celery and red pepper, and swap out the chips for whole wheat pita. Or just keep the chips—after all, you don’t want the kids to revolt.
Whenever I make regular artichoke dip, my arteries tighten a little with each spoonful of mayonnaise. But I also can’t abide dips made with fat free ingredients (who’s with me?). This Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip at Happy Healthy Mama is the perfect lightened up version. Made with Greek yogurt and less—not fake—cheese, this dip is still creamy and full of delicious spinach-artichoke flavor. Add sliced scallions or jalapeño for extra kick.
Have to have wings? I get it. For a butter-free and less messy version, try these baked Honey Mustard Chicken Wings at Simply Recipes. Garlic, mustard, honey, and just a couple of other pantry ingredients impart an addicting flavor that’s great for pairing with your favorite brew or beer cocktails, if you’re fancy.
These Guacamole Deviled Eggs at Skinny Taste are an awesome, mayonnaise-free recipe for those of you steering away from empty carbs and extra fat. As Gina suggests, these are great for all sorts of diet considerations: gluten-free, low carb, paleo, even Weight Watchers (she lists the points). But I love them just because they look delicious.
Ready for football food perfection? The recipe for Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken at How Sweet Eats is a healthier version of traditional pulled pork that has all the same juicy, smoky flavor. It’s also an easier version thanks to the ease of the crockpot. Dinner for the whole family can be done while you sit back, relax, and watch those commercials–eh, I mean game.
Related: Skinny slow cooker dinner recipes.
If you like the idea of using your slow cooker, you can also whip up our recipe for Chicken Enchilada Potato Skins. Potatoes are a carb, I know, but they are also a vegetable. And yes, that counts on game day! This recipe keeps the chicken enchilada filling light with salsa verde and light sour cream and calls for roasting the potatoes with nothing more than olive oil, salt, and pepper. The only hard part to keeping these healthy is making sure that you go easy on the melted cheese and sour cream on top. Use a light hand—you can do it!
This recipe for Chickpea Bruschetta from Mario Batali’s Babbo restaurant in New York City that I found at Serious Eats is the go-to appetizer whenever my friend, Mel, and I host a party. This easy dish is low in fat, but still bursting with umami flavor thanks to black olive paste, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and herbs. Use the chickpea mixture to top thinly sliced pieces of toast or ditch the bread and spoon it with abandon onto your plate.
Thick crunch and sweet onions happily come together in Wendy Polisi’s gluten-free Quinoa Crusted Onion Rings. You guys, Wendy has written a cookbook on quinoa, so if anyone can pull off baked quinoa rings, it’s her. These crisped beauties are perfect dunked in her easy, homemade spicy dipping sauce. You can hold off on the cayenne if serving the kids—or not, if you want them all to yourself.