When you picture Super Bowl Sunday, you likely conjure up images of saucy ribs, creamy dips, and deep fried poppers of every known food item. The culmination of NFL football season is not traditionally a celebration of lean proteins and nutrient rich vegetables — that is, it wasn't, until now. These healthy Super Bowl snacks are so delicious that you'll fool all of your friends into thinking they're grazing on cholesterol-packed junk food when they're really eating baked veggies, a little bit of cheese, and some poultry disguised as more decadent meats. You're trickier than MVP favorite and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
You won't find any hummus and baby carrots on this game day spread. (Not that hummus and baby carrots aren't the recipe for an amazing snack, but there's a time and a place, people, and football-Christmas ain't it.) I've got dips, finger foods, and even some vegan spins on old omnivorous favorites, and all of these recipes are easily scalable so that you can enjoy them whether you're cooking for a crowd or just for a couple of people. So, break out those football jerseys and put away the deep fryer, because Super Bowl 50 is gonna be the year of the deceptively healthy snacks!
1. Turkey Bacon Wrapped Potatoes
This recipe from The Kitchn calls for regular old pork bacon, but swap that out for turkey bacon, and you're looking at some lean poppers that no one will ever expect to be downright decent for you. Because what Super Bowl party would be complete without at least the essence of bacon?
2. Chicken Fajitas
Fajitas are always a great food to make for a party, because the timing is pretty easy to get right, and they're infinitely scalable. And depending on the number of snacks you're making, you can play with tortilla size to encourage people not to load up on this one particular dish. Find the recipe at The Kitchn.
3. Goat Cheese And Soyrizo Pizza
If your Super Bowl crowd is all about the delivery pizza, give the driver a break this year and whip up your own delicious and healthy(-ish) pizza. Substituting goat cheese for the more traditional cow cheese will give you a healthy boost, and soyrizo is a brilliant substitute for the real-deal spicy pork sausage because it is shockingly similar in both flavor and texture. Find out how to make this dream a reality at A Cozy Kitchen.
4. Hawaiian Protein Style Turkey Burgers
This healthy interpretation of a Hawaiian burger is twofold. First, the turkey patty is much leaner than ground beef, and second, the absence of a bun means you're not filling up with unnecessary carbs. Although, quite frankly, you could add a whole wheat bun if you wanted to. Find out the details at Against All Grain.
5. Black Bean Taquitos
These taquitos from Naturally Ella are baked instead of fried, and are filled with beans instead of beef, but they're no less delicious. This is the kind of recipe that people who love food dream about.
6. Burrata Caprese Salad
Burrata salads are perfect for parties because they're bright and colorful, and they toe the line between healthy, fresh salad and cheesy decadent snack food. FoodieCrush will show you the incredibly straightforward path to working this salad into your Super Bowl Sunday spread.
7. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Damn Delicious reinvents an older game day favorite with these bell peppers stuffed with quinoa, beans, peppers, and onions, which means it's totally vegetarian but still totally awesome. Plus, quinoa is extremely filling, so these are great for anyone who shows up starving.
8. Chicken Cheesesteak Sloppy Sliders
If you've ever been craving a Sloppy Joe but couldn't bring yourself to eat a pile of saucy ground beef, this is the answer to your prayers. This 20 minute recipe from Half Baked Harvest adds the sautéed onions and peppers of a cheesesteak and uses ground chicken instead of beef in these shrunken sandwiches, which sounds just fine to me.
9. Easy Zesty Guacamole
It just wouldn't be Super Bowl Sunday without a giant bowl filled with something to dip stuff in, but the dip doesn't have to be filled with melted cheese to be worthy of said Sunday. Guacamole never goes uneaten at a party, and in my experience, you really can't make too much. Football games last a ridiculously long time, so squeeze some extra lime juice on top to keep everything green through the trophy ceremony (if it lasts that long). Get the guacamole scoop (...see what I did there?) at A Spicy Perspective.
10. Baked Zucchini Fries
Zucchini fries are pretty much the best thing that ever happened to snack food, so when I found this recipe at Damn Delicious with the treasure map to how to make them crispy on the outside and hot on the inside without frying them, I was pretty excited. Evidently, it's impossible to tell that these fries are baked. I'm definitely adding these to my must-make list!
11. Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Whenever I'm cooking for more than two people, I inevitably break out the Crock-Pot, because I just don't have the stovetop space to make all of the things that need making and also have at least one burner dedicated to the giant vat of chili. This chili uses ground turkey instead of the more traditional beef or pork sausage. Find the recipe at The Comfort of Cooking.
12. Quinoa Black Been Tacos
Nutritionally speaking, this recipe from Cookie + Kate is basically a salad in a tortilla, but in practice, it seems more like a delicious taco filled with spicy and savory ground "meat." This delightful recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, so anyone with dietary restrictions can chow down on these all day long.
13. Chicken Nachos
Chicken and a dusting of Mexican blended cheese replace beef and a tsunami of queso... pretty self explanatory why that might be a bit easier on your body. Find the recipe at With Style And Grace.
14. Chipotle Roasted Chickpeas
If you've ever had these before, you know they're basically popcorn without any of the butter, or seeds stuck in your teeth. Add another 10 points for the fact that these are packed with protein. Seriously, if you've never made these before, a Super Bowl party is the perfect time to start. Let Half Baked Harvest show you how!
15. Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower
These, ladies and gents, are the crown jewel of healthy sports snacks. Basically, you're turning boring, bland cauliflower into chicken wings with your magic kitchen ninja skills. Believe me, these are unforgettably delicious. And there aren't even any chicken bones to avoid while you're eating them. Just make sure you save some for your guests. Find the incredibly simple and absolutely worthwhile recipe at Closet Cooking.
For more ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.
Images: Closet Cooking; The Kitchn (2); A Cozy Kitchen; Against All Grain; Naturally Ella; FoodieCrush; Damn Delicious (2); Half Baked Harvest (2); A Spicy Perspective; The Comfort of Cooking; Cookie + Kate; With Style And Grace