It’s officially football season, and with the games come the dips, wings, pizzas, and other snacks—so delicious, but also hard on your health and well-being. But with a little creativity and our simple tips, you can offer delicious, healthy alternatives. Try these twists on some popular game-day classics.
Instead of making sandwiches or sliders packed with mayo and other special sauces, try opting for a lighter version of this finger-food staple. Sub in cream cheese for the mayo (get low-fat if you want to be extra cautious), and sack the processed meats in favor of fresh, crisp cucumbers.
- One loaf party-style bread
- One package regular cream cheese (low-fat if you prefer).
- One pack dry Italian seasoning
- One to two cucumbers, sliced
- Dill seasoning
- Mix the cream cheese and Italian seasoning together, spread onto bread, add sliced cucumbers, and sprinkle dill on top.
You’re done already! And you’ve got a much healthier sammie to share with friends and family.
Mini Pepper Nachos
Everyone loves nachos. The melty cheese, cool sour cream, crunchy chips, and variety of spicy toppings are so yummy—but also pretty unhealthy. Chips hold a decent amount of sodium and useless carbs, so instead of smothering your toppings on regular tortilla chips, go with mini peppers. Rich in vitamin C, they make a healthy base, add a sweet flavor, and provide a scoopable way to eat salsa. See? Who needs real chips anyway?
- Use one to two bags of mini peppers. Slice peppers in half and remove seeds.
- Sprinkle large baking pan with olive oil or a baking spray.
- Add any toppings you’d like (corn, green onion, black beans, shredded cheese).
- Broil until cheese is melted.
Pizza is one of those foods that most of us can eat anytime, anywhere, with anyone. And while it’s an easy option to bring to a party, it’s also a surefire way to add a lot of extra calories and fat. Try a lighter take on this cheesy classic with easy veggie tart.
- Take one puff pastry (rolled out into any shape you’d like—no one will judge you if it’s a football).
- Bake pastry at 400F for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges. Let cool.
- Mix cream cheese or plain Greek yogurt with any dried seasoning flavor you’d like (Italian, ranch, French onion). Spread on cooled pastry.
- Top with all your favorite veggies.
Also: Try our other smart ideas for making pizza a healthier meal.
Greek Layer Dip
Taco dip is a go-to for game-day parties. It’s easy to make, it tastes great, and it’s got everyone’s favorite toppings mixed together into one creamy, savory, and (unfortunately) heavy dish. This season, switch out the sour cream, shredded cheese, and refried beans for a healthier, fresher take on the layer dip.
- 1 large serving tray
- 2-3 cups hummus (any flavor you’d like)
- 2-3 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1-2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1-2 cups diced cucumbers
- ½ cup diced kalamata olives, pitted
- ½ cup chopped romaine
- ½ cup feta cheese
- Spread hummus on tray, follow with yogurt, add all other toppings, and serve with pita triangles instead of chips.
Buffalo Ranch Cups
It’s not football season if food isn’t rolling in buffalo sauce. But a platter full of fried wings or deep-fried tenders aren’t going to leave you feeling good when the game is over. Skip the fryer and go for these bite-sized buffalo snacks.
- Muffin pan
- Package of wonton wrappers
- Ranch dressing
- Frank’s hot sauce
- Chicken (1.5 pounds cooked, shredded or chopped)
- Chives or celery, chopped
- Mix cooked chicken, 1 cup Frank’s hot sauce, ⅓ cup ranch dressing, and 4oz soft cream cheese together.
- Spray muffin pan with cooking oil, place wontons in each cup, and add chicken mixture to each.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes at 400F. Place chives or celery on top once cooled.