5 Healthy Tailgating Recipes (they are a game changer)

healthy tailgating recipes

Whether you like to watch the game at the field or inside on your TV, snacks always seem to be a part of the pre-game build up. Fortunately, you don’t have to go off your nutrition plan to enjoy the fun with these delicious and healthy tailgating recipes.

5 Healthy Tailgating Recipes

Cajun Boiled Peanuts

Peanuts aren’t just for baseball, folks—in fact, boiled peanuts are a tradition at pretty much any event in the south, and you can find them at farmer’s markets or stands all along the road when they are in season. In my opinion, it’s the cornerstone to any healthy tailgating recipes list.

Knowing how to cook them is fairly simple when you have the right tools and a few key ingredients. You can cook them ahead of time and store them in an airtight container, so you have them ready to snack on not only while tailgating but during game time as well!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound raw peanuts, in shells
  • 1 (3-ounce) package dry crab boil
  • 1/2 cup chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Place peanuts, crab boil, jalapenos, garlic powder, salt, Cajun seasoning, and red pepper flakes into a slow cooker.
  2. Pour in water to cover the peanuts and stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on low until peanuts are soft (at least 24 hours).
  4. Stir occasionally, adding water as needed to keep peanuts covered.
  5. Drain; serve hot or cold.

Chef Notes: As mentioned, when I am taking them with me on the go, I drain them and put them in an airtight container or baggie and enjoy them at room temperature.

Chef Note: If consuming later, you can reheat by popping in the microwave for 40 seconds to 1 minute.

Nutrition Facts:
Yields 16 servings

  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 14.8 g
  • Carbs: 7.4 g
  • Fiber: 3.3 g
  • Sugar: 1.6 g
  • Protein: 7.8 g

Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Dips and chips are always a hit at parties, so why should that be any different at a tailgating party? Typically, spinach and artichoke dips are served warm and often contain lots of cream cheese and heavy cream, so they are calorie laden and full of fat. The following healthy tailgating recipe is lighter and can be served at room temperature, so it’s perfect for an outdoor event!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 (9-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, Greek-style yogurt, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, red pepper, minced garlic, and white beans in a food processor, and process until smooth. Spoon into a medium bowl.
  3. Stir in the artichokes and spinach.
  4. Spoon mixture into baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  5. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and brown.
  7. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips.

Nutrition Facts (for dip):
Yields 16 servings

  • Calories: 150
  • Fat: 2.8 g
  • Carbs: 21 g
  • Fiber: 5.5 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Protein: 11.6 g

Slow Cooker Apple Cider

Slow Cooker Apple Cider is surprisingly easy to make, and it’s so much better than anything store-bought! I like to add a little bit of something-something (such as bourbon or a nice brandy) to mine to keep me warm. You can either add this as the last step after you add your sweetener, or you can add to your individual glass right before serving. 😉

Ingredients:

  • 9 medium apples (I use an assortment of red, yellow, and green apples)
  • 1 orange
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp whole allspice
  • 12 – 16 cups water
  • 1/3 – 2/3 cup brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Wash apples and the orange, and then roughly cut into quarters.
  2. Place in the bowl of your slow cooker.
  3. Add cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.
  4. Cover with water, filling the slow cooker until it is nearly full.
  5. Cook on high heat for 3 – 4 hours or on low heat for 6 – 8 hours.
  6. About an hour before the cider is done cooking, use a potato masher (or tongs or the side of a spoon) to mash the apple and orange slices once they are soft.
  7. Finish cooking for one more hour.
  8. Strain out the juice into a clean pitcher or pot.
  9. Stir in your desired amount of sweetener until it is dissolved.
  10. Enjoy!

Chef Note: To get the maximum juice out of the apples, you can press them through a fine-mesh strainer or strain through a cheese cloth.

Chef Note: While I prefer to serve this hot, you can also transfer the cider to a heat-safe sealed container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. If you want to serve warm, just reheat it.

Chef Note: I actually use ½ brown sugar and ½ maple syrup when I make this recipe, but you can substitute the brown sugar for your choice of sweetener.

Nutrition Facts:
Yields 16 servings

  • Calories: 98
  • Fat: .3 g
  • Carbs: 26 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugar: 20 g

Buffalo Chicken Cheddar Bites

When I am at home, or even at a restaurant, there is nothing I like better than inhaling a big platter of buffalo chicken wings during the game. Doing so at the game can be rather messy, so I wanted to find a way to take the flavor of the wing and put it into bite-sized nuggets of goodness. The dipping sauce is not only going to save you a ton of calories, but it will be a fan favorite to boot! This is one of the healthy tailgating recipes I can not live without.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice (I recommend sushi rice)
  • 1/2 cup cooked, finely chopped broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp almond flour/meal
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a mini-muffin tin with baking spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together until incorporated.
  4. Scoop out about 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons and roll into a ball.
  5. Place in mini-muffin tin.
  6. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes until set and starting to brown on top.
  7. Serve with the dipping sauce and garnish with green onions.

For the dipping sauce:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth.

Nutrition Facts:
Yields 8 servings

  • Calories: 204
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Carbs: 13.6 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Protein: 15 g

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Whole-grain, gluten-free, savory and packed with protein and fiber? Yes please! These little pizza bites have all the taste of an old favorite without the guilt (and will be a fan favorite).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

*Pizza sauce for dipping (optional).

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place quinoa and two cups of water in a covered pot.
  3. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender.
  4. Mix ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
  5. Distribute mixture into a greased mini-muffin tin, and press down gently to compact.
  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. *Serve warm with sauce for dipping (optional).

Nutrition Facts:
Yields 6 servings

  • Calories: 156
  • Fat: 4.4 g
  • Carbs: 22 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 8 g

Now get out there and enjoy the game with these delicious and healthy tailgating recipes.

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