12 Healthy Tailgate Recipes for College Football Parties

This week marks the beginning of the college football season and after a summer of cookouts and picnics, most healthy eaters are tired of grilled vegetables and black bean burgers.

If you want to socialize without blowing your diet during football games this year,  stick to fresh, simple recipes to boost your team spirit, whether you’re in the stadium parking lot or watching on your neighbor’s flat screen TV.

As you plan your menu for the next big game, consider some of these healthy tailgating recipes – all just as delicious and crowd-pleasing as their fattening counterparts.


Vegetable Spinach Dip: Most spinach dips are gooey calorie bombs, but this is a lighter option that will make any football game more enjoyable.

Smoky Chipotle Guacamole from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen: Although not low-calorie, guacamole is packed with nutrients. Serve with raw vegetables or baked pita chips.

Spicy Black Bean Dip from Cookin’ Canuck: A spicy black bean dip that will fit into any football feast, this creamy dip is great with fresh, raw vegetables.


Baked Buffalo Wings: Nothing says football like a plate of spicy hot wings. Cut down on the amount of butter and bake these traditional wings instead of frying them.

Chicken Wings Made Two Ways from Chez Us: These simple chicken wings are marinated in an Asian-inspired or spicy tomato sauce and baked instead of battered in butter and deep fried. Pick one variety or make a combination platter for your next tailgate or football watch party – just remember to keep plenty of napkins on hand.

Zesty Baked Chicken Wings from We Are Not Martha: Spice up the average chicken wing with a simple marinade, whole-wheat breadcrumbs and a zesty yogurt dipping sauce.


Chicken Taco Salad: Prove to your friends that salads don’t have to be boring. Add a little spice to your tailgate table with a tasty, healthy take on Tex-Mex.

Roasted Squash, Pomegranate & Arugula Salad: Among the chips and dips, pizzas and wings, add an elegant dish to your tailgate with this fall-inspired salad from Curtis Stone.

Black Bean & Jicama Salad from Once A Chef Always a Chef: Hearty black beans and crunchy jicama lend an interesting texture to this hearty salad. Eat it along your favorite sandwich, use it as a chip dip or serve it atop halftime nachos.


Mini Quinoa Pizzas: Hearty and packed with protein, these miniature pizzas from the Whole Foods Diet Cookbook is satisfying enough that even the most discerning pizza palate will want seconds.

Garden Veggie Pizza Squares from What’s Cookin’ Chicago: If your party isn’t complete without a pizza, opt for low-fat cheese on this veggie-heavy pie.

Breakfast Pizza from The Kitchn: If you’re beginning your tailgate in the AM for an afternoon game, start your day with a a pizza topped with protein-packed eggs and healthy, fresh vegetables.

Also Read:

Throw a Healthy Tailgate Party

10 Healthy Tailgating Recipes and Food Swaps

Your Ultimate Guide to Avoiding the Freshman 15

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