Healthy game day recipes can be hard to come by. I’m not much of a football fan, but I am a sucker for game day eats and it definitely seems like all my good intentions go out the window with the classics: Nachos, chips and dips, wings–you name it, I’ll eat it. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet like I am, instead of giving up on my favorite tailgating foods, this year I found lighter versions of all my favorites.
These healthy game day recipes are big on flavor and lower in fat and calories and worth checking out.
Plus, you can always make some easy substitutions with your own favorites. Like my Creamy Chicken Enchilada Potato Skins shown above? Just use non-fat greek yogurt instead of sour cream, skinless chicken breast for the filling, and decide how important cheese is to you.
We know — cheese is important! But you can also halve the amounts. Okay! Let’s go cook!
Healthy Game Day Recipes (or at least a little healthier)
This Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip from Gimme Some Oven brings all of the flavor of hot wings without all of the calories, thanks to non-fat Greek yogurt and a few other clever swaps. She makes it a healthy game day recipe that you’d never expect to be healthy. I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes if I eat the entire bowl by myself but hey, it’s the thought that counts.
I could also eat a whole bowl of this super easy 5-Minute Black Bean Dip from Cookin’ Canuck. The difference is that this one would still be fairly light! Each serving of this flavorful dip is a mere 80 calories with less than 1 gram of fat, so it’s definitely a health game day recipe worth considering if you’re hosting this year.
If turning wings into dip doesn’t quite satisfy, swap the fried kind for these healthier Sweet ‘n Spicy Grilled Drumsticks from Skinnytaste. This finger-licking-good chicken is a tasty way to turn a game day spread into dinner.
The Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes that we found on What’s Gaby Cooking—or, really, any of the mouthwatering stuffed sweet potato recipes that we have been cooking up—are a perfect alternative to cheesy, fried potato skins. They’ll satisfy just the same, too.
If you want to keep it healthy but go more traditional, try these Guacamole Potato Skins from 40 Aprons. Yes, they are vegan, but don’t be afraid: you can easily make these using butter and cow’s milk. You can also check out our favorite guacamole recipes if you want to serve these ready to fill on a guacamole bar.
We love nachos, especially when we’re watching the Super Bowl commercials, uh, I mean, game. Most of the killer nacho recipes that we found a few years ago are decadent, but the Slow Cooker Chicken Nachos from Bev Cooks are the exception. The chicken is super lean, which is key for a health game day recipe (compared with say ground beef). And if you go easy on the chips and cheese, these count as healthy—at least in my playbook!
Skip the heavy dips and serve this amazing looking Baked Goat Cheese with Fire Roasted Tomatoes from A Couple Cooks instead. The tomatoes lend big flavor without big calories, and just a little bit of melty cheese in the mix makes this dip as satisfying as any other.
Potato and tortilla chips are quintessential game day snacks but, man, do they go down too easily. If, like me, you find it hard to be around chips without eating them all, serve these Zucchini Chips from The Copper Collective instead as a healthier snack for game day. You can make them four different ways and eat four times your body weight and still be healthy. Well, relatively speaking.
I found these No-Fat Bistro Fries at Lazy Sunday Cooking and, well, game over. This recipe calls for corn flour. If you don’t have any, you can use corn meal that’s been ground into a powder in a food processor or, in a pinch, corn starch.