Healthy Tailgating Recipes

Find healthy, delicious tailgating recipes, including chili, wings and finger foods from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Vegetarian Italian Hoagies

Rating: 5 stars 20
Traditional Italian subs feature meat but this delightfully easy sandwich packs a punch with artichoke hearts, red onion and zesty pepperoncini instead. We love it for dinner as well as lunch. If you're packing the hoagies to take along, keep the ingredients separate and assemble right before eating to avoid soggy bread. Serve with tomato and cucumber salad.

Avocado Hummus

Rating: 5 stars 9
This vibrant green hummus recipe couldn't be easier--just toss a few ingredients in the food processor and whir away! Aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) and avocado make this healthy dip extra smooth and creamy. Serve with veggie chips, pita chips or crudités.
By Devon O'Brien

Tortellini Salad

Rating: 5 stars 3
A tomato-rich dressing boosts the flavor and lowers calories and fat in this tortellini salad (the dressing is also great on green salads or grilled fish). Roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes add a good dose of vitamins A, C and fiber.

Classic Hummus

Rating: 4.5 stars 5
It's easy to make hummus at home with just a few pantry items. Serve drizzled with your best-quality extra-virgin olive oil and chopped parsley. Mop it up with warm whole-wheat pita bread or cut-up vegetables.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Air-Fryer Buffalo Wings

Rating: 4 stars 4
A sports bar favorite comes home with these deliciously crispy chicken wings in the air fryer, which require just 10 minutes of active prep time. In fact, one of EatingWell's recipe testers declared this air-fryer Buffalo wing recipe "a reason to buy an air fryer." Add a spicy sauce, carrot sticks, celery sticks and ranch dressing for dipping and you have a healthy take on wings that's sure to score.

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Rating: 4.5 stars 31
Nobody will miss the meat in this colorful, zesty vegetarian taco salad. The rice and bean mixture can be made ahead and the salad quickly assembled at mealtime. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Fresh Apple Squares

Rating: 3.5 stars 5
One batch of dough does double duty as both the crust and streusel topping to make one of the easiest desserts around.

Chilaquiles Casserole

Rating: 4.5 stars 74
Our version of this enchilada-style chilaquiles casserole is packed with nutritious beans and vegetables. Canned prepared enchilada sauce has great flavor and keeps the prep time quick. It can vary in heat level so find one that suits your taste. If you want to eliminate the heat altogether, try a green enchilada sauce (which is often milder than red) or substitute two 8-ounce cans of plain tomato sauce.
By EatingWell Test Kitchen

Vegetarian Pressed Italian Sandwich

Typically, pressed sandwiches are a celebration of many meats. Here, we've opted for grilled eggplant slices, artichokes and arugula to make a satisfying vegetarian version. Giardiniera, a type of Italian relish typically made from bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower, olives, vinegar and spices, perks up the flavors of any sandwich. You can use convenient prepared giardiniera or homemade. Choose a hot or mild version, depending on your preference for heat.
By Katie Webster

Homemade Trail Mix

Rating: 3 stars 1
Try this with portable mix with any combination of dried fruits and nuts.
By Joyce Hendley

Salsa-Black Bean Burgers

Rating: 4.5 stars 22
Salsa and some pantry staples give this vegetarian bean burger recipe tons of flavor. We use crushed tortilla chips to bind the burgers together, making them a great vehicle for using up those crumbs that inevitably fall to the bottom of the bag.
By Carolyn Casner

Oven-Fried Chicken on a Stick

Rating: 4 stars 3
Here's a fun way to serve oven-fried chicken for a picnic: put it on a stick. It's fabulous served with this homemade Vidalia onion and honey-mustard sauce, but it's also great with barbecue sauce or Frank's hot sauce. This is an easy recipe to double if you're serving a crowd.
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Inspiration and Ideas

Sriracha-Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
This recipe for spicy Buffalo cauliflower bites is a great vegetarian alternative to Buffalo wings.
Barbecue Snack Mix
This crunchy snack mix has just the right blend of sweet and savory spices.
Chili Cornbread Casserole
Rating: 3 stars 13

Here's a fun way to serve chili and cornbread together. Don't let the ingredient list intimidate you--this casserole is easy to make and a real crowd pleaser.