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Healthy Tailgating Recipes and Menus

Featured Recipes

Chile Con Queso

Our healthier version of chile con queso will have ooey-gooey-cheese lovers celebrating. Now you can enjoy this Tex-Mex dip without all the fat and calories. We replaced some of the cheese with a low-fat white sauce and used sharp Cheddar plus a splash of beer to boost the flavor. Our version cuts the calories in half and reduces total fat and saturated fat by nearly 60 percent.

» Chile Con Queso

Shaker-Style Smoked Chicken Thighs

Based on a recipe of the Shakers, a Quaker splinter group that flourished in the Eastern U.S. in the mid-19th century, this marinade derives its flavor from a hefty jolt of cider vinegar and lots of chopped shallots. Apple-wood chips are our first choice for smoking, but maple and hickory impart great flavor as well.

» Shaker-Style Smoked Chicken Thighs

Southwestern Layered Bean Dip

Plenty of black beans, salsa and chopped fresh vegetables mean a healthy amount of dietary fiber in this Tex-Mex layered dip. We use reduced-fat sour cream along with full-fat (and full-flavored) cheese to make the dip lighter without compromising great taste. Be sure to have lots of baked tortilla chips on hand when you serve it.

» Southwestern Layered Bean Dip

Boneless Buffalo Wings

Even though boneless Buffalo wings are made with healthy white-meat chicken, they're usually deep-fried and drenched in hot sauce laced with butter. The solution: chicken tenders are dredged in seasoned whole-wheat flour and cornmeal, pan-fried in only a small amount of oil and then drizzled with a tangy hot pepper sauce. With a fraction of the fat, calories and sodium, these boneless wings are reason enough to throw a party.

» Boneless Buffalo Wings

Barbecued Pork & Coleslaw Sandwiches

Two Southern favorites are combined here: pork in sweet barbecue sauce and crunchy coleslaw.

» Barbecued Pork & Coleslaw Sandwiches

New England Fried Shrimp

Who doesn't love a crunchy fried shrimp? This version takes virtually fat-free shrimp out of the deep fryer and pan-fries them in a little bit of oil instead. With 9 grams of total fat and 213 calories per serving, you can feel good about enjoying them.

» New England Fried Shrimp

Salsa Rojo

Here's a homemade version of the tomato salsa served at taco stands and burrito joints everywhere. Try it with all your favorite Mexican foods—it even works as enchilada sauce.

» Salsa Rojo


Easy recipes for game-day—whether you’re in the stadium parking lot or on your couch in front of the TV!

One of the best parts of watching the big game is enjoying delicious food. But many traditional game-day favorites are loaded with calories—the average fan can take in an estimated 1,200 calories in one sitting. Score points with your fellow fans by putting a healthy twist on standards like Boneless Buffalo Wings and Southwestern Layered Bean Dip, or try something entirely new like Shish Kebab with Tahini Sauce. Whether you’re packing a cooler for a tailgating party or just having a few friends over to watch the game, tackle game-day overindulgence with this collection of healthy tailgating recipes.

Buy our book, EatingWell Comfort Foods Made Healthy.

Healthy Appetizers Recipes

Even though boneless Buffalo wings are made with healthy...
A perennial favorite with kids, this all-purpose dip can...
Who doesn't love a crunchy fried shrimp? This version...
Here's a homemade version of the tomato salsa served...
Plenty of black beans, salsa and chopped fresh vegetables...
These succulent meatballs can be served on little plates...
Orange zest, caraway and cumin add an unexpected Moroccan...
Our healthier version of chile con queso will have ooey-...

Healthy Main Dishes Recipes

Two Southern favorites are combined here: pork in sweet...
Break out the napkins! This pie is an over-the-top,...
Barbecued meats (churrasco) are served in churrascarias,...
Chopped cherries combine with cherry preserves and smoky,...
Blue cheese sauce gives these gutsy grilled mushroom...
Cumin, chipotle chile and oregano infuse this pork and...
Based on a recipe of the Shakers, a Quaker splinter group...
Roasted and grilled meats are ubiquitous throughout the...
Here we make a low-fat shrimp and vegetable chili (which is...
Colorful, spicy and fragrant, these delicious burgers are...
Canned chipotle peppers add a rich, smoky flavor to these...
Chicken drumsticks stay deliciously moist when grilled—even...
Heavy on exotic spices, this decadent sandwich is a great...
This fragrant "white" chili is an unusual,...

Healthy Sides & Salads Recipes

Perfect for picnics or a side for grilled chicken, this...
Our take on this potato salad has a light creamy dressing...
For those who prefer creamy coleslaws to vinegary types,...
Coated with olive oil and baked in a hot oven, these fries...
EatingWell reader Chuck Allen of Dana Point, California,...

Healthy Dessert Recipes

Pureed dried apricots form the base of these irresistible...
Using reduced-fat cream cheese substantially reduces the...
A healthier version of an old favorite, these peanut butter...
Cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg add lots of flavor to...

Healthy Beverages Recipes

Frozen limeade adds zing to this stellar blueberry...
Take a trip to the islands in this simple tropical cocktail.
This is a Mexican-inspired take on the Salty Dog (usually...
The English have been making shandys since the 1600s. If...
For a nonalcoholic version, omit the applejack and schnapps...

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