Super Bowl is right around the corner, and like many, we are equally excited about the game, the halftime show, and the food! So, I thought it would be fun to put together a round of my favorite Easy Healthy Game Day Recipes that I make over and over again.
Below are over 40 recipes to spice up your football entertainment. Scroll down the see all of the healthy game day snacks, appetizers, mains, desserts, and cocktails that I hand-picked just for you.
Healthy Game Day Snacks
Look, I know that fried chicken wings, cheesy pizza, and sliders are the way to a football fan’s heart. There is no doubt about that.
But let’s be honest, while they are delicious, those party favorites are quite unhealthy. So why not try something new and surprise your guests with these easy healthy football snacks?
I call these “healthier game day finger foods” as they are easy to consume, starting with my go-to Super Easy 4 Ingredient Guacamole Recipe (served with tortilla chips, of course.)
- Roasted Carrot Dip: Roasted carrots processed in the food processor with a handful of chickpeas and tahini and garnished with feta cheese and walnuts. Served by itself or with pre-cut vegetables and crackers. This hummus recipe is one of my most popular small bites on the blog.
- Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos: Corn tortilla chips layered with Monterey jack, homemade salsa, shredded chicken, and avocados and baked in the oven for nacho perfection. To me, this is the perfect appetizer to welcome friends on game day.
- Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks: I think finger food is the ultimate football food, and I cannot imagine a better one than mozzarella cheese sticks. The thing I love about this recipe is that it is made with only one ingredient (hello, store-bought frozen mozzarella sticks!) and takes way less time than cooking them in the oven. Thanks to the air fryer technology!
- Kale Chips in Air Fryer: With only three minutes of air frying time, this easy recipe tops the charts for healthy Super Bowl snacks. Don’t have an air fryer? Try my Baked Kale Chips recipe, which is just as delicious and easy to make.
- Spicy Candied Nuts: Your favorite nuts got a makeover with this spicy candied nuts recipe. They are naturally sweetened with cane sugar and flavored with cinnamon, cumin, red pepper flakes, and ginger. Though I have to warn you, because they are ADDICTIVE.
- Baked Goat Cheese Dip: This baked goat cheese dip might be the quickest dip recipe on the blog. Mixed with cream cheese and parmesan this easy to make dip is the bomb, especially for those who love goat cheese.
- Blue Cheese Dip without Sour Cream: Not a fan of sour cream? No problem. Now, you can make your favorite blue cheese dip without a drop of sour cream. Thanks to a combination of greek yogurt, mayo, olive oil and garlic, it is easy, healthy, and super quick to make.
- Lemon Artichoke Hummus from The Bojon Gourmet: It is no secret that some of the most delicious recipes on the internet live on Alana’s blog. This lemon artichoke hummus is no different. It is a great vegan dip packed with flavor, especially for those of us who love Mediterranean flavors. Not to mention, SO easy to make.
- Vegan Greek Nachos: This is one of my go-to appetizer recipes that I make when I have vegan friends coming over. Toasted pita bread topped off with a homemade Mediterranean salad and drizzled with herbed tahini dressing. This is one of those low-calorie game day recipes (compared to all the others) that I go back often.
- Air Fryer Green Bean Fries (with Keto Option): Breaded green bean fries make the most delicious (and addictive) snack. Try this easy green bean dish, or better yet, make a double batch! Before you know it, your friends will eat the whole thing and ask for more.
- Baked Jalapeno Poppers: A party classic, these jalapeno poppers are made healthier by baking them in the oven instead of frying them in oil. It is made with just a few ingredients, so you have no excuse not to try this recipe.
Healthy Game Day Appetizers
Whether it is chicken wings, street corn, or quesadilla, by making small changes to the technique or preparation of the recipe, you can easily turn them into a healthier version of the “real” thing.
Here are 6 of my favorite game day appetizers that are made in a healthier way.
- Oven-Baked Chicken Wings: Who says you have to fry wings to make crispy chicken wings? With a secret ingredient (that you already have in your pantry), you can make crispy chicken wings in the oven just as good as the fried ones. I learned this method from America’s Test Kitchen many years ago and have not fried wings since then. Once you check it out, you will agree that this is one of the healthy football recipes you need to add to your collection. Serve it with Blue Cheese Dip or Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip on the side.
- Mexican Street Corn: During the summer, I make this classic Mexican appetizer by cooking it on the grill. However, in these cold winter days, I usually cook the corn on the stove top. If you love Mexican Street Corn, you will love my foolproof method.
And if you are a lover of Mexican Street Corn and looking for some game day salad recipes, then be sure to check out my Mexican Street Corn Salad and Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad recipes. Or if you are short on time, also check out our Air Fryer Elotes recipe.
- Spinach Quesadilla: You cannot talk about healthy appetizers and not mention this quesadilla packed with spinach. One of my most popular Mexican recipes, it is ready in about 15 minutes and is great to serve with chili and all the other finger foods that I shared here.
- Five Bean Salad: I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine a Super Bowl party without a good old bean salad. If you feel the same way, this Five Bean Salad with garlicky mustard sauce is my go-to bean salad. This is a great salad to make especially when you are asked to bring a dish, as it travels well and can be made ahead.
- Deviled Egg Potato Salad (No mayo!): I call this salad the best of both worlds – deviled eggs salad mixed with potato salad. Traditionally made with mayonnaise, this salad is a party classic. However, in my healthier version here, I used my creamy avocado salad dressing instead of mayo. While you can certainly use mayo, creamy avocado sauce took this amazing egg salad to the next level.
- Tuna Stuffed Avocados by Downshiftology: I wanted to share one of my friend Lisa’s recipes, as her beautiful blog is full of great Whole30 recipes. If you have friends who are following a Whole30 diet, I think this healthy appetizer would be perfect for your football dinner menu.
- Meat and Cheese Platter: I know that cheese and charcuterie food is not much of a “healthy” food. However, a small and tasteful setup of hand-picked cured meats and gourmet cheeses would be an easy way to get your friends excited so I am sharing it here. If you agree, my guide to how to set up the best meat and cheese platter might come in handy as you prepare for Sunday football gatherings.
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip: Here is a lightened-up version of everyone’s favorite game-day food, Buffalo Chicken Dip! This healthier version is made with Greek yogurt and cottage cheese instead of a ton of cream cheese and sour cream.
Healthy Game Day Food / Dinners
While most of us are usually satisfied with snacks, I also wanted to include a few “dinner” worthy healthy game day food ideas to serve your friends during the football season.
From heartwarming chilis to tacos to crock pot recipes, the next 12 healthy football dinner ideas are guaranteed to impress. Make these main course recipes and accept all the compliments.
- Chicken Quesadilla Cake: It is no secret that Mexican food is a favorite in football recipes. For my big game day entertaining, I usually go for quesadillas or tacos. I think we can all agree, while quesadillas are easy to make they aren’t that good unless you serve them right away. Therefore, I came up with this version that keeps it fresh for much longer. It is made by layering tortillas with beans, cheese, jalapeños, and other fun ingredients in a cake pan and baking it to make sure that it is nice and warm. The best part is that the possibilities are endless. Don’t have chicken? Swap it with beef or shrimp. Are you vegetarian? Swap chicken with mushrooms or even tofu.
- Mexican Quinoa Recipe: If you want to make Mexican food but want something quicker, then go with this One Pan Mexican Quinoa. It is ready in less than 30 minutes and is a great recipe if you have friends who are following a gluten-free diet.
If you are short on time and make this recipe in the pressure cooker, try my Instant Pot Mexican quinoa recipe.
- Vegan Chili: A big pot of chili never disappoints. It is easy to make and a great dish to feed a crowd. Made with dried mushrooms, soy sauce, and walnuts (for umami flavors), this vegan chili is guaranteed to please even the most devout of meat-eaters! It is hearty, nutritious, and thick, exactly how chili should be.
- Three Bean Turkey Chili: Want more chili recipes? Here is one made with lean ground turkey. When I am serving this for a crowd, I usually cook this in the afternoon and let it simmer on the stovetop throughout the evening.
- Easy Chicken Chili: Are you short on time but still want to make a big pot of chili? I’ve got you covered. Instead of cooking chicken and beans from scratch, I use rotisserie chicken and canned beans to make a big pot of Chicken Chili in just under 30 minutes.
- Quinoa Chili: Besides being an easy weeknight dinner, this vegan quinoa chili is a crowd-pleaser for your next Super Bowl Party. Also, a gluten free chili recipe, it is made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your fridge/pantry.
- Baked Turkey Legs: If you ask my husband, the correct answer to the question of “What to make for football Sunday?” is turkey legs. As any caveman would agree, these oven-baked turkey drumsticks, paired with any of the appetizers listed here, are the ultimate football meal with the volume turned up. And if you have an air fryer, be sure to try our recipe for turkey legs cooked in the air fryer.
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Legs: If you can’t get your hands on turkey drumsticks, try chicken drumsticks. I cook mine in the air fryer because it makes them super crispy and delicious, but you can roast them in the oven as well.
Healthy Crock Pot Super Bowl Recipes
Even if you rarely use your crock pot, Super Bowl Sunday is the day to dust it off and make some of the best healthy game day recipes. Here are a few of my favorite slow cooker football party recipes:
- Crockpot Chicken Tomatillo Soup: Only 6 ingredients and 15 minutes hands-on time. If you are a lover of Mexican flavors (especially tomatillos), this chicken tomatillo soup is a fantastic recipe that you can make in no time.
- Slow Cooked Beef Brisket Tacos: A great way to feed a crowd on Super Bowl Sunday is to put together a make-your-own taco station. I did that a few years ago, and it was a success. In addition to some shredded chicken, I served this slow-cooked beef brisket with my corn tortillas, and people went nuts for it. Admittedly, it is not a quick-to-make recipe, but once you put it out on the table, people go crazy for it.
- Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Wings: Want to incorporate some Asian flavors to your game day menu? Then try these crock pot sticky chicken wings. Most of the recipe is made in a slow cooker, which then continues with a quick broil in the oven.
- Slow Cooker Butter Chicken: This Indian butter chicken recipe is a put-everything-and-forget-about-it kind of crock pot dish for busy people who love to eat good food. Soft and buttery chicken breasts cooked in a slow cooker for 6 hours for perfection. For easy serving, I usually include some naan or pita bread on the side.
- Crock Pot Chicken Stew: To me, a pot of simmering stew is the definition of healthy football food that also happens to be a crowd pleaser. While I know many serve the beef stew, I think this chicken stew is just as good.
Healthy Super Bowl Desserts
We all know you can’t have a Super Bowl party without dessert. I don’t know about you, but I think of dessert as the best part. While the sugar-filled brownies and cookies are most people’s favorite, I am here to tell you that with just a few easy ingredient swaps, you can make those party favorites healthier.
Here are 7 of my favorite healthy game-day desserts that you can make for your football party:
- Vegan Spelt Flour Almond Butter Brownies: Who says you can’t make chocolate-y brownies that are healthy? My healthier version here is made with spelt flour (much easier for our bodies to digest compared to all-purpose flour) and almond butter and sweetened with a little bit of maple syrup and coconut sugar.
- Mascarpone Filled Dates: Need something that is easy to serve? I call these mascarpone-filled dates “finger” desserts. Drizzled with honey and sprinkled with walnuts, they are guaranteed to satiate your sweet cravings after the very first bite.
- Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies: Need a gluten-free cookie recipe? Try this Almond Flour Cookies recipe that is packed with chocolate chips and sweetened with a little bit of maple syrup. It is vegan and paleo friendly as well so you have no excuse.
- Pecan Shortbread Cookies: If you are a lover of nutty cookies, then try these naturally sweetened pecan shortbread cookies. I usually make a big batch and freeze it to bake later (preferably right before serving).
- Mini Lemon Tarts: These mini lemon tarts are at the top of my easy super bowl desserts recipes list. Phyllo cups filled with ricotta-lemon filling and topped of with blueberries is ready in less than 15 minutes.
- Vegan Cocoa Truffles: If you have a food processor and just a few minutes, these superfood-packed cocoa truffles come together in just a few minutes and are perfect to snack as you watch the game.
- Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes: These cupcakes are my go-to dessert if I have friends who are following a gluten-free diet. Made with almond flour and sweetened with maple syrup, they are great to munch on as you watch the end of the game.
Super Bowl Cocktail Recipes
While most people are happy with wine and beer, I sometimes take it up a notch and make a welcome cocktail. Here are a few of my favorite ones that I make often:
- Kentucky Mule: Love Moscow Mule? If so, try this Kentucky Mule Recipe – Made with Kentucky bourbon, ginger beer ,and fresh squeezed lime juice, this easy to make 3-ingredient cocktail recipe is a great cocktail to get your football party started.
- Cranberry Orange Gin Smash by Vanilla and Bean: My friend Traci has some of the best cocktail recipes on her blog. This cranberry orange gin smash is perfect for those who love sweet and tart flavors.
- Ginger Cantaloupe Sangria by Kitchen Confidante: I love how Liren turned your usual sangria into something outstanding. Her version here is lightened up with a white sangria twist, and it is flavored with fresh ginger and cantaloupe.
- Strawberry Champagne Margaritas: If you want to serve margaritas, but want to jazz it up a little bit, then try this strawberry flavored margaritas with a splash of champagne.
- Pineapple Margaritas: Can’t get enough of margaritas? If so, you need to try my version of the Pineapple Margarita recipe made 2 different ways – frozen and on the rocks. This is one of the most popular super bowl favorites on the site.
- Mango and Blackberry Vodka Cooler: If you are a fan of fruity vodka-based drinks, then you should try this mango-infused vodka cooler. Topped off with fresh blackberries, it is a show-stopper.
- Raspberry and Pomegranate Rose Cocktail: I usually serve this rose cocktail for ladies in the party. It is incredibly delicious and visually impressive.
There you have it, friends, over 40 healthy Super Bowl Food ideas to help you as you get ready for the biggest sports event of the year. If you decide to make some of these recipes, be sure to tag me on social media so that I can see them. Cheers friends!
Healthy Game Day Recipe Idea – Sheet-Pan Chicken Nachos
For The Roasted Chicken:
- 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder optional
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For The Nachos
- 13 ounces 8 cups of your favorite tortilla chips,
- 12 ounces 2 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup cooked black beans I used drained and rinsed canned black beans
For the Toppings:
- 1 cup tomatoes sliced thinly, I used colorful cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup fresh bell peppers sliced thinly
- ½ cup pickled Jalapeños roughly chopped
- ¾ cup corn I used drained and rinsed canned corn
- 1 ripe avocado cut into small cubes
- Handful of fresh cilantro leaves as garnish
- 4 radishes sliced thinly (optional)
- ¾ cup fresh Mexican cheese such as queso fresco optional,
- crumbled1 fresh lime cut into wedges
For the chicken:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Pat dry chicken thighs using paper towels.
- Rub both sides of the thighs with olive oil.
- Sprinkle them with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Transfer onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes or until thighs reach 165 degrees when a thermometer is inserted in the middle of a thigh.
- Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Do not turn the oven off.
For the chips:
- Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread half of the chips onto the sheet.
- Sprinkle half of the Monterey Jack cheese and half of the beans over the chips.
- Place in the oven and bake until cheese melt, 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken.
- Take the first layer of chips, cheese, and black beans out of the oven and top them off with the rest of the chips, black beans, half of the shredded chicken, half of the tomatoes, half of the bell peppers and half of the jalapeno peppers. Place it back in the oven for another 7-8 minutes.
For the topping:
- Top it off with the rest of the chicken, tomatoes, and peppers.
- Garnish it with cubed avocado, cilantro, and if using, sliced radishes and crumbled
- queso fresco
- Serve immediately with wedges of lime on the side.
With that being said, fresh, seeded and minced jalapeños would also work well in this recipe.
– If you are short on time or want to make this in less than 20 minutes, you can skip roasting your own chicken and use rotisserie, or even, leftover chicken.
– The recipe below serves 4 to 6 people. If you are entertaining a larger group, you can certainly multiply the recipe. However, I caution you on overcrowding the sheet pan. It is best if you make several sheet pans instead of piling them all up in one baking sheet.
This Healthy Game Day Food recipes post was originally published in February 2019. It has been updated in Feb 2023 with additional recipes to inspire you.