Anyone on a diet or wellness plan knows that holiday events can throw a wrench in your healthy eating plans. You’ll be surrounded by fat-filled options that are too tempting not to eat! Luckily, we have some great ideas to help you eat well without feeling guilty. There are plenty of ways to satisfy your guest’s palates while still serving up healthy, nutrient-dense foods. All you need to do is learn how to throw the best Super Bowl party with these healthy options!
We have tons of lightened-up recipes on the site that you could use as appetizers, snacks, and main meals. For the purposes of this article, we want to talk about the types of food you can serve instead of the recipes themselves. Don’t worry, there will be another post that offers specific recipes for your party planning needs! We will make sure to offer plenty of options for each type of food, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments if you have any questions! We’d also love to hear from you if you have a go-to favorite that helps you throw the best Super Bowl party.
Nuts might be filled with fat, but it’s the good kind of fat that fuels your brain keeps you running on optimum levels of energy. They’re also full of protein and fiber, so a handful of nuts can keep you feeling satiated for hours! Serving a variety of nut-based dishes at your Super Bowl party is a great way to keep the healthy options available without making anyone feel like they’re missing out.
You have a few options when it comes to nut snacks and appetizers. You can go classic by putting out a bowl of Chai-Spiced Candied Nuts, or you can fancy things up by serving this sweet-and-savory Chocolate Hazelnut and Berry Puff Pastry Tart. Feel free to think outside the box and turn your nuts into nut butter. Then, you can create dishes like this incredible 3-Ingredient Almond Butter Yogurt Dip.
This vegetable was seriously underrated for years until people discovered it’s the perfect healthy substitute for many of your favorite carb-heavy and fattening foods. Cauliflower is seriously low in saturated fat and cholesterol while containing almost every vitamin and mineral your body needs. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also get protein, fiber, and antioxidants from cauliflower.
One of the greatest qualities of cauliflower is its ability to absorb other flavors. If you cook it in curry sauce, it’ll taste perfectly spiced. Toss it in buffalo sauce and it’ll be spicy and wonderful. It has a very mild flavor on its own, so you can really go in any direction with it! These 30-Minute Buffalo Cauliflower Bites make a perfect substitute for chicken wings, and no one will even notice that your Cauliflower Nachos are actually healthy! Serving up Caramelized Cauliflower as the “chips” for your favorite dip is another great way to make delicious food even healthier.
3. Vegetable Chips
Almost every party has chips and dip, but you can change it up from the norm to throw the best Super Bowl party with these healthy options. There are a variety of vegetable chips that satisfy your need for crunchy food, as well as scooping up your favorite dip!
Here are some of our favorite vegetable chip options for your party:
- Oven Baked Zucchini Chips
- Skinny Bell Pepper Chips
- Baked Parmesan Butternut Chips
- Sesame Garlic Nori Chips
- Beet Chips with Tzatziki Dipping Sauce
- 3-Ingredient Parmesan Kale Chips
You might be familiar with chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) because of their role in making hummus, a healthy and nutritious dip. But chickpeas can do so much more than that! They’re a great vegetarian substitute for meat, not only because they’re an excellent source of plant-based protein but also because they have a fantastic texture. They’re also high in vitamins and minerals, like vitamin B-6, iron, and magnesium.
Get ready to have fun with your new favorite party ingredient! Serve up a platter of crunchy, delicious Honey Roasted Chickpeas or turn them into Vegetarian “Meatballs.” You can even make Buffalo Ranch Chickpea Burgers (or, sliders if you want to serve up a smaller portion size) and Spicy Breakfast Tacos that your meat-eating guests will devour without hesitation.
5. Ground Turkey or Ground Chicken
Many Super Bowl party dishes are chock-full of ground beef, which is high in saturated fat and even higher in calories. If you want to serve up your favorite classics without having to bear the guilt of breaking your diet, look to ground turkey or chicken, instead. Since these meats are leaner, they contain significantly less fat without sacrificing flavor or texture.
Try serving up this Easy Turkey Burrito Skillet with a side of whole-grain tortillas, or make Turkey Sausage with Peppers and Onions to go on the bun of your choice. You could also make chili in the slow cooker (either with ground turkey or a white chicken chili version), or swap-in chicken for a meatball appetizer.
Dairy is often a big part of Super Bowl appetizers and entrees. It’s not that dairy is bad – in fact, it’s a great source of calcium and protein – but sometimes you don’t want the added fat. That’s when you can swap-in cashews in place of your traditional cheesy toppings. You can use pre-made cashew milk instead of using regular milk, or you can soak your cashews to turn them into something different altogether.
We love topping our chilis and tacos with this Dairy-Free Sour Cream, and you can make this Dairy-Free Parmesan Cheese to sprinkle on top of your favorite dishes without any soaking at all! And since everyone loves ranch, serve up this Plant-Based Ranch Dressing in lieu of the store-bought stuff. No one will notice the difference.
7. Faux Fries
French fries are a great side and an even better snacking food, but unfortunately they’ll wreck your diet plan after the first bite. The oven-fried versions are better (and we’ll talk more about those in a minute), but there are plenty of faux fries that you can serve up. It’s one of our favorite ways to throw the best Super Bowl party with these healthy options.
You can make faux fries out of almost anything. Sweet Potato Fries are always a party favorite, or you can think outside the box a little. Turn boring-old asparagus into Baked Asparagus Fries with Creamy Chipotle Dip. You can even make fries out of celeriac!
8. Oven-Fried Foods
Fried foods taste great, but they’re filled with unhealthy saturated fats and the greasy residue left on your fingers is enough to make you feel guilty all day long. Since they make such quick-and-easy appetizer and snack foods, they’re often on the Super Bowl party spread. This year, give everyone what they want while still maintaining your healthy lifestyle! All you need is an oven and a sheet pan to make these oven-fried foods.
Some of our favorite oven-fried recipes include:
- Extra Crispy Oven Fried Chicken
- Oven Baked Coconut Chicken Strips
- Oven-Fried Potato Wedges with Rosemary
- Oven Baked Vegetable Quesadillas
- Oven-Fried Pickles
- Oven-Baked “Fried” Green Tomatoes
Movie theater popcorn might not be super healthy (with all that added butter and salt), but regular, air-popped popcorn is actually a low-calorie snack! This healthy, whole-grain snack contains only 30 calories per cup And, since it’s high in fiber, it’ll keep you feeling fuller for longer than other snacks. So try serving up some popcorn at your next Super Bowl party. There are plenty of popcorn recipes, or you can have some fun with spiced toppings (including Cajun seasoning, garlic salt, and nutritional yeast to make it taste cheesy).
You can also fancy-up popcorn and serve it for dessert. Try Caramel Pumpkin Spice Popcorn, or my personal favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn. If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest way to make sure your popcorn turns out healthy, try making it in the Instant Pot. All you need is 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1/2 cup popcorn. Turn it on Saute, close the lid, and let it pop away!
Who doesn’t love avocado? Whether you’re dieting or not, avocado is definitely a great way to throw the best Super Bowl party with these healthy options. The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to using avocado in your appetizers, snacks, or entrees. Instead of using mayonnaise or a fat-filled sour cream for dips and spreads, swap in nutrient-dense superfood avocado instead. You’ll get filled-up on the healthy fats and love the flavor and texture, too.
Try adding avocado to your dips to create a savory Avocado Hummus, or use avocado instead of eggs to create this delicious Vegan Avocado Mayonnaise. Use them as a filling for the best deviled eggs you’ve ever had, puree or mash them for healthy dips or guacamole, and you can even use avocados to create Vegan Fudge Brownies.
If you know you want to use a lot of avocados for your Super Bowl party but they’re not ripe yet, we have a few hacks to help you get there. Learn all about how to ripen avocados quickly.
And there you have it! Some great ways to throw the best Super Bowl party with these healthy options. Your guests won’t feel gypped out of their favorite party appetizers, and you won’t feel guilty about all the food you eat. It’s a win-win situation!