Healthy Tailgating Recipes

Score big points for your waistline with these lightened versions of  classic tailgating recipes and hearty football fare.

  • Tailgating Gone Light
    Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Virginia Houston

    Tailgating Gone Light

    There's no need to sacrifice your favorite tailgating recipes just because you're trying to eat healthy. Enjoy the bold flavors of chicken wings, deviled eggs, potato salad, chili, and cupcakes without any guilt. These recipes have the same great flavor as their traditional counterparts but with a fraction of the fat and calories.

  • Guacamole with Chipotle Tortilla Chips
    Photo: Karry Hosford

    Guacamole with Chipotle Tortilla Chips

    Making your own chips gives you the same crunchy flavor without all of the fat of regular tortilla chips. These chipotle–flavored chips highlight the fresh ingredients in the guacamole. Serve guacamole for a creamy dip that is rich in heart-healthy fats.
  • Spicy Black Bean Hummus
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

    Spicy Black Bean Hummus

    Black beans are packed with nutrients such as protein, fiber, and iron, so you don't have to worry about empty calories when you dip into this spicy hummus. Serve with baked pita chips or carrot and celery sticks.
  • Shrimp and Bacon Deviled Eggs
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Shrimp and Bacon Deviled Eggs

    Potato flakes add bulk to the filling so you can use less yolk and decrease the overall fat, calories, and cholesterol. The shrimp, bacon, and parsley add extra color and flavor, resulting in an impressive finish.
  • Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits

    Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits

    For those early morning games, stuff these biscuits with ham and pair with a Bloody Mary to kick off the game-day festivities.
  • Barbecue Pork-and-Coleslaw Hoagies

    Barbecue Pork-and-Coleslaw Hoagies

    Transport the slaw, pork, and rolls separately and allow fellow fans to assemble their sandwiches at the tailgate. Making your own creamy slaw results in less fat and calories than a store–bought counterpart.
  • Cajun Oven-Fried Chicken
    Photo: Karry Hosford

    Cajun Oven-Fried Chicken

    Ditch the bucket of cold, greasy chicken and load up on these extra–crispy chicken breasts, drumsticks, and thighs. If you want a spicier kick, add a few drops of hot sauce to the buttermilk coating. If you prefer chicken fingers, you can use this same coating mixture on boneless chicken tenders.
  • Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

    Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

    With flavors from salty bacon, caramelized onions, oven-roasted potatoes, and tangy Dijon mustard, no one will ever guess that this recipe is light. Make the potato salad before the game, store it in an airtight container and then pack it in your cooler until it's time to eat. The recipe makes 8 cups, so double it if you're serving a big crowd.
  • White Bean and Turkey Chili
    Randy Mayor

    White Bean and Turkey Chili

    When the temperature starts to drop, a warm bowl of this hearty chili does just the trick to put you in the football mood. Transfer the chili to your tailgate in a slow–cooker and keep it warm in there throughout the day. Substituted chopped cooked chicken for the turkey, if desired.
  • Double-Chocolate Cupcakes
    Randy Mayor; Cindy Barr

    Double-Chocolate Cupcakes

    For a fourth quarter treat, give these rich, chocolatey cupcakes a try. Not only are they packed with antioxidants, they are lower in fat and calories than their store–bought counterparts.
  • White Chocolate, Strawberry, and Oatmeal Cookies
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

    White Chocolate, Strawberry, and Oatmeal Cookies

    Stud these cookies with white chocolate morsels and dried strawberries for a flavorful twist on the traditional oatmeal cookie. Pack the cookies tins to keep them fresh and prevent them from crumbling on the drive to the game.

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