The Superbowl is not known for the healthy eats, but the chili, hot dogs, burgers, drinks. and endless desserts. However, if you’re trying to eat a bit healthier, have a fitness goal, have diet restrictions, or whatever the reason, and you’re looking for some healthy additions to the Superbowl menu this year, this blog is for you! I’ve compiled a list of easy substitutes for traditional gameday eats, along with some fun, healthy Superbowl party recipes that would make a great addition to your game watch party.
The Simple Swaps on the Classics
Don’t get me wrong, I could eat endless amounts of cookie dough, cheez-it’s, cheeseburgers, and the likes… but unfortunately, my body does not handle that type of food very well. I’ve learned instead of cutting those items out of my diet completely, I’ve found healthier alternatives, so I still feel like I’m enjoying the typical gameday eats like everyone else.
Here are some simple swaps you can make on traditional gameday food:
1 – Use ground turkey instead of beef in your homemade Chili recipe.
2 – Instead of using sour cream as the base of your veggie dips, replace it with Greek yogurt. If you do a blind taste test of sour cream and Greek yogurt, you’ll be surprised at how difficult it is to tell the difference!
3 – Replace burger and hot dog buns with iceberg lettuce (I’ve found iceberg holds up the best for this).
4 – Instead of only grilling red meat, throw on some chicken breasts, chicken patties (you can find a great pack of these at Costco), turkey patties (Trader Joe’s has the BEST turkey burgers), or fish fillets to the grill for lighter options with similar protein levels.
5 – Make your condiments at home – if you go look at that BBQ sauce in your fridge you’ll be SHOCKED by the amount of sugar in a serving. Also, swapping out mayo for mustard is a huge calorie and sugar saver in your day-to-day.
6 – Make your French fries from scratch and utilize either the oven or air fryer – you’ll cut down on unhealthy fats substantially, and to me, they taste way better than store-bought.
7 – Instead of drinking sodas, add some sparkling waters or kombuchas to the beverage cooler.
8 – Add air-popped popcorn to the bowls of chips to munch on throughout the game. Four and a half cups of air-popped are only 139 calories! It’s a great high fiber snack and can be very low cal. You’ll have to invest in an air popper to do this one though, but you’ll be able to use this for years to come.
What other quick swaps do you utilize for your gameday tailgates or viewing parties? Let me know below so others can see too ????
Healthy Recipe Ideas for the Superbowl
HEALTHY Spinach Dip (Vegan, Dairy-Free) – you know how much we love Spinach Dip at Tailgater Concierge. Since we’re doing so much tailgating, you can’t imagine how excited we were to find a recipe that substituted in some healthier ingredients, but still resulted in that amazing Spinach Dip taste we love. We found this recipe from Downshiftology!
The below recipes make this recipe dairy-free, paleo, and Whole 30 friendly ß hello New Year’s resolutions!
Cashews – 1 cup of raw cashews soaked overnight
Mayonnaise – 1 ¼ cup
Water – ¼ cup
Spinach– 16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, and drained
Artichoke Hearts – 13.5 oz artichoke hearts, chopped and drained
Onions– ⅓ cup onions, finely chopped
Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
Salt and Pepper – ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
1 – Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2 – Blend the cashews, mayonnaise, and water in a food processor for 1-2 minutes, until creamy.
3 – Stir the cashew mixture and remaining ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
4 – Transfer the mixture to an oven-safe dish and bake for 20 minutes.
One common question for this appetizer – is frozen of fresh spinach better? My family, along with Lisa, both agree that Frozen spinach is the way to go. It’s faster and easier in terms of preparation:
- For frozen spinach – make sure to thaw completely, and then squeeze all the liquid out.
- For fresh spinach – steam it first, blanch in ice water, and then squeeze all the liquid out.
Easy Mediterranean Shrimp Kabobs – I promise you’ll make these all the time once you try them, so good and so simple! I found these at The Mediterranean Dish. These would make a great appetizer for your Superbowl viewing party.
Before you start, here are some good things to know:
1 – Start with Large Shrimp. Go for the 20/25 shrimp per pound. Although it’s a bit more work, buying the easy-to-peel shrimp and peeling them yourself is cheaper and the shrimp taste better!
2 – Marinate the Shrimp. Find a great Olive-Oil based marinade. Even a few minutes make a huge difference, but ideally, I’d recommend marinated for 30 minutes in the fridge before cooking.
3 – Use Skewers. Makes it much easier to evenly cook all shrimp and makes for quicker flipping. If you plan to use bamboo skewers be sure to soak them for 30 minutes before use to avoid them from burning.
4 – Do Not Overcook the Shrimp. Even the large shrimp cook quickly – they take at most 5-7 minutes! When the shrimp are on, you are not allowed to leave the grill!!
⅓ cup Extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 2 lemons
4 garlic cloves minced
¼ cup packed chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 lb. large shrimp peeled and deveined
1 – Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve 2 tbsp of the marinade in a separate bowl for later.
2 – Pat the shrimp dry and season with kosher salt. Place the shrimp in a large bowl and pour the marinade all over. Toss to combine.
3 – Cover and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes (do not go longer).
4 – Thread the shrimp on skewers, about 4 large shrimp per skewer.
5 – To grill on an outdoor gas grill. Preheat a gas grill to high. Then, reduce heat to low (temperature should be somewhere between 275 to 325ºF). Carefully grease the cooking grates. Once the grill reaches the recommended temperature, add the shrimp skewers and close the lid. Cook shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until no longer translucent.
6 – To grill on an indoor griddle or cast-iron grill. Heat a dry griddle over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp skewers and cook on one side for about 3 or 4 minutes. Turn shrimp over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
7 – Transfer the grilled shrimp skewers to a platter and spoon the remaining marinade you reserved earlier over the grilled shrimp skewers. Add a splash of lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Baked Chicken Thighs – this is a great replacement if you’re a big fan of fried chicken. You still get all the amazing flavors, crunchiness, but miss a lot of the oils and unhealthy fats.
8 chicken thighs, bone-in, and skin-on
2 tbsp avocado oil, (or olive oil)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 – Preheat your oven to 425F. Remove the chicken thighs from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature.
2 – In a small bowl, mix all the herbs and spices listed above.
3 – Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and 2/3 of the spice blend. Use your hands to coat all sides of the chicken and even under the skin. This step is key when it comes to getting that fried chick crunchy sensation.
4 – Place the chicken on a rack on top of a baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining spice mix on top of the chicken.
5 – Bake the chicken thighs for 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also turn on the top broiler for 2-3 minutes to make the top extra crispy. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
A few recommendations for this recipe. Use a heavy-duty commercial baking sheet that won’t warp or bend in the oven. This Wildone Baking Sheet & Rack Set is great since it comes with both items you’ll need and are the quality you’re looking for.
Healthier Puppy Chow – this is one of my ultimate favorite childhood snacks, so when I saw some recipes for healthier versions of it, I was so excited! My favorite one I’ve found so far is from The Lean Green Bean.
Overall, this recipe requires you to replace the chocolate selection, cut down the powdered sugar substantially, and add some nuts and seeds to the mix to up your healthy fats!
3 cups Rice Chex
½ cup chocolate Nuttzo (or something similar if you prefer another brand)
¼ cup nut butter (I still think peanut butter is the best for this recipe)
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 cup of nuts
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 – Combine the Chex, seeds, and nuts in a large bowl.
2 – Melt the Nuttzo and peanut butter in the microwave.
3 – Pour over the Chex mixture and stir to combine.
4 – Let sit for 15 minutes or so to cool.
5 – Transfer mixture to a large Ziploc bag. Add powdered sugar, close the bag and shake to coat.
6 – Store in the fridge.
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Do you have any healthy recipes you go to for tailgating, game watches, or big events like the Superbowl? We’d love to hear about them! Please comment below or email us at [email protected].