Super Bowl LI, a face-off between AFC Champions New England Patriots and NFC Champions Atlanta Falcons, will bring diehard fans from opposing teams together to watch the NFL Champions rise to the top. Game of the year aside, there's another main attraction on Super Bowl Sunday that brings fans out from the woodwork to gawk, cheer, and indulge: the food spread. Before the thoughts of cream-heavy artichoke dip and dense pizza send you into a food coma, though, take a deep breath.
It's 2017, and a matchup like New England versus Atlanta warrants bringing something new to the table — literally and figuratively. Sure, when people think of Super Bowl feasts their first thought goes to the greasy chicken wings and extra crispy french fries, and damn does it sound good. And it's not a bad thing to go all out! But what if the chicken wings and crispy potatoes were still possible, only healthier?
Save the panic attack and uncertainty for bigger problems of today, crack open a beverage, and look no further than these 21 healthy recipes for Super Bowl 2017 parties everywhere.
Sweet Potato Coins With Gorgonzola And Bacon
A creative spin on the crispy potato skin, sweet potatoes are healthier than regular potatoes vitamin-wise, and they're aesthetically more pleasing. Grab a bag of sweet potatoes in a variety of colors — orange, purple, yellow — and get creative with this recipe from Prevention RD. No one can say no to a potato top with bacon and cheese!
Spicy Jalapeño Hummus
A unique take on hummus, this recipe from Tori Avey, turns chickpeas into a guacamole wannabe, and your guests will love it. Pair with toasted pita chips for a healthier alternative to fried tortilla chips.
Pro Tip: The more spice, the better.
Quinoa And Black Bean Chili
While most chilis are a standard mix of meat, beans, and tomatoes, keep it simple, lean, and cheap with this vegetarian version. If you wish, you can add meat, but this recipe from Prevention RD is a hearty one for your specific-diet guests. Looks like chili, tastes like chili; it's chili!
Vegan Crispy Panko Fried Mushrooms With Creamy Cashew Dipping Sauce
Pop one, pop many of these panko-crusted mushroom caps from Tori Avey. They're like jalapeño poppers, only they're not — no heavy cheese used here! Pair these guys with a light creamy cashew dipping sauce that's full of flavor and resembles ranch, in a healthy way.
Lemony, Marinated Chicken Skewers
Sometimes people just want an easy, satiating snack to turn to instead of a second helping, or ahead of a full meal. That's where protein comes in. These chicken skewers from Tori Avey are light, filling, and they don't create a mess — an added bonus for you and your guests!
Crunchy Pickled Salad
Light, flavorful, crunchy pickled salad can be eaten alone as an appetizer of sorts, or paired with pulled pork or chicken skewers. Super easy to make and simple to serve, don't skip over this healthy addition to your Super Bowl spread.
Spiced-Up Turkey Burgers
Save the greasy full-beef, cheddar-topped burgers for another time. When it comes to entertaining, you want accessible, easy-to-eat foods that won't deter your guests from grabbing and going. Still, it's Super Bowl Sunday, and everyone's in the mood for a burger. Save some calories and the mess with these spicy turkey burger sliders paired with light lemon herb mayo.
Simple Healthy Coleslaw
Another fan favorite, coleslaw is a can't-miss at football parties all season. Don't take the risk of failing your guests by forgetting this crucial element to the well-balanced Super Bowl meal. This healthy slaw recipe puts a spin on the OG for a welcome surprise fans of both teams will love.
Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower
Not everyone loves vegetables, but vegetables you eat like buffalo wings? That's a touchdown. Closet Cooking's buffalo roasted cauliflower looks like a greasy wing spread without the wings. This one won't last.
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Just looking at this photo is enough to sell you. It's like a boneless chicken wing without the breading, smothered in sauce, drizzled with creaminess. Messy? No way! You're a class act who only used mini sporks to eat your buffalo chicken meatballs.
Do not sleep on healthy Mexican options at your Super Bowl party. Chockfull of flavor, colorful, and quick to eat, these healthy tostadas are not only gluten-free, they're also vegan (though, they don't have to be if you want to add meat or cheese). Curate these bad boys to your liking and watch them get eaten up.
Ben's Light Chicken Nachos
Nachos are always a crowd pleaser, but they're not the healthiest option for your new-wave, cutting-edge Super Bowl party. These light chicken nachos will do the trick to satisfy the craving, and no one will be upset if you bring out a second tray.
Baked Mozzarella Sticks
If you've been to a bar for any football games this season, you probably order mozzarella sticks at least once. This recipe from Prevention RD calls for baking, not frying, and uses egg roll wrappers instead of bread crumbs — which actually turns out to be quite good.
No-Bake Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites
After all that yeasty, bubbly beer and the massive savory spread you're about to chef up, your guests might not be wondering where the dessert is. But just in case they are, why not be prepared with a healthy alternative to traditional cupcakes and cookies? How Sweet Eats' no-bake double chocolate peanut butter snack bites combine chocolate, peanut butter, and oats for an easy confection that satisfies any sweet tooth.
Healthy Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins
Because one variety of potato skin is never enough, you now have two options! These chipotle chicken sweet potato skins boast added protein, which makes them even more filling and flavorful than your standard. With these on the menu, it's safe to say you can ditch one or two other dishes — your guests won't even touch them.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings
Buffalo, buffalo, and more buffalo... what's a football party without wings? This recipe from The Kitchn calls for baking your wings and using minimal ingredients. Sounds like a win-win across the board.
Whole Wheat Veggie Flatbread Pizza
Can you really call a party "a party" if there's no pizza there? Ordering out doesn't mesh well with the rest of your high-brow, elevated-palette menu. Here's a solution that nixes the dense crust from your nearest pie shop and favors fresh tomatoes and veggies instead of thick cheese. Double-dog dare you to do it.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Make no mistake: Everyone will wonder where the fries are if they're not front and center of your table spread. These sweet potato fries should take the place of your potato skins, since it is definitely possible to serve up too much starch. You could even give these guys the spotlight, serving only them during pre-game activities.
Skinny Queso Dip
If you choose to go the Mexican route, this skinny queso dip is an absolute must. Pair this stuff with the light nachos or healthy tostadas mentioned above, and guests will be asking you for the recipe for months to come.
Pro-tip: Don't give away your secrets; your parties will be off-the-chain in favor of this dip.
Paleo Chicken Fingers With Garlic Honey-Dijon Dipping Sauce
No one has ever said no to a chicken finger, and no one will say no to your paleo chicken fingers paired with zesty, savory dipping sauce. These things are addicting — like, so addicting, you'll stand over the stove picking at them before you even plate and serve. These guys are dressed to impress.
Skinny Taco Dip
Another addition to your Mexican fiesta of a Super Bowl party, skinny taco dip is like a multi-layered party in your mouth. It's everything you love about Mexican food on top of a chip, dancing together like the cheerleaders during a halftime show. Bottom line: It deserves at spot at your table.
Whichever direction you choose to go when it comes to theming your Super Bowl 2017 menu, there will be no interference when you go long for the touchdown — if you know what I mean. Any crowd would be pleased with a food spread like this.