Are you ready for some football?! And how about all of the food that goes along with it? Americans consume countless calories at sporting events and unless you plan to run a marathon (26.2 miles), you won’t burn off those calories that you’re most likely consuming. This means you’ve got to have a plan for the big game and every tailgate in between. Luckily, we’ve got tasty, yet diet-friendly game day recipes that will be welcome at any football party. All you have to do is make them!
Check out 15 low-carb game day recipes:
To kick off our game day recipes—there’s nothing easier than a set-it-and-forget-it recipe. This chicken chili can be thrown together in the morning or afternoon and ready when it’s game time, six hours later. Lots of spices amp up the flavor without adding fat. Top with avocado, a little sour cream and fresh scallions.
Who needs cheese puffs? You won’t miss them when you try these Parmesan Crisps. Cheesy and crunchy, they’re satisfying and WAY healthier than the alternative—you know, the kind that leaves the neon orange powder on your hands. Plus, because these crisps are packaged in a single-serving portion, you won’t overindulge. This is why they are one of our all-time favorite healthy tailgate recipes.
The cheeseburger just got a little more grown up for your tailgate recipes menu! These gourmet burgers get their bold flavor from goat cheese, red pepper and scallions. Ground turkey keeps them light. Want to have a burger and some Parmesan Crisps? Proceed to Go and collect $200.
Your French fry days are FAR from over. These tasty fries crisp up nicely in the oven and require just three additional ingredients: Salt, olive oil and paprika. Use a little sour cream, siracha and garlic powder to mix up a yummy dipping sauce!
Salsa is a free food. Despite its bold flavor, salsa is comprised of vegetables (and lime juice, also a free food) and fulfills one veggie requirement when you eat it. Imagine that…you’re meeting a vegetable requirement and enjoying the process. Welcome to the South Beach Diet.
If a burger is your all-time favorite game day fix, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the flavor in these South-Beach-approved sandwiches. Be sure to buy lean beef—not ground chuck—to keep these on the lighter side. Thanks to Swiss cheese, onion, tomato and mustard, you’ll find yourself in flavor town!
If you’re hosting the big game, make-ahead recipes can save you a ton of time. Assemble these wraps the night before (and wrap tightly in plastic wrap) so you have time to clean, decorate, and do your thing the next day. Make a few extra for lunch on Monday—and Tuesday! Add the tomato, lettuce and sauce just before enjoying.
Why are finger foods such popular game-day snacks? Maybe it’s because you can grab one and run back to the game. Maybe it’s because they’re crowd friendly. No matter the reason, these crispy bites will score you a touchdown. Want to get creative? Use kalamata or green olives. Try basil instead of rosemary. Or, use multicolor tomatoes to add more color.
Part of what makes fried chicken so good is that crunchy coating. So what’s a dieter to do? Use ground almonds, spices and the oven to broil these chicken tenders to crispy, crunchy perfection. Take one bite of the cilantro dipping sauce and you’ll never crave ranch again.
Mayonnaise. Sour cream. Cheese. More cheese. The fat to veggie ratio in classic spinach and artichoke dip is about four parts fat to one part veggie. In this recipe, however, the veggies are the stars and ricotta and Asiago cheeses add just enough creamy depth. Healthy dippers include toasted whole wheat pita chips, bread, carrots, celery or jicama.
Phyllo dough bites look incredibly fancy but are often some of the easiest recipes to make. This appetizer calls for sun-dried tomatoes, ricotta, and goat cheese. But virtually any combination would be heavenly…think beef, mushrooms and cheddar or strawberries, ricotta and mint.
Whether the side to your sandwich or the condiment on top, coleslaw is a game day MVP. Remember to use olive-oil based mayo in this recipe and note that this makes 16 servings.
Turn your kitchen into the corner deli and make your own fresh-made “sandwiches” for a fraction of the price and far less guilt. Want an open-faced melt? Put the provolone and turkey on the muffin and broil for a few minutes. Then add the avocado blend, onion, spinach and red pepper.
Where’s the beef? Right here. And it’s got some spice. A marinade of chipotle chilis in adobo adds just enough heat to balance out the whole “sandwich.” Have guests assemble their own wraps, buffet style. Queso fresco, avocado and fresh pico are great additional toppings.
Pizza definitely belongs on the list of tailgate recipes. With some simple swaps, like a whole wheat or low-carb flatbread, it can be diet-approved. In this recipe, we top a flatbread with bacon and sausage and also add some vegetables to help you meet your daily requirement. If it’s too many veggies for you, just stick with the mushrooms. They always add meaty flavor.