Whether you’re a hardcore football fan or simply tune in for the commercials and halftime show, we all know the best part about the Super Bowl is the excuse to whip up some delicious food. But if you try to be mindful of what you eat, we’ve got a game day PSA for you: With just a few easy tweaks, you can include all of the classics in your starting lineup—including messy wings and creamy dips—without throwing off your goals.
It all starts with a healthy eating strategy, says Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D.N., owner of Active Eating Advice by Leslie and sports dietitian for the Kansas City Chiefs. “Choose foods that take longer to eat, such as dips or something that requires a utensil, like chili. If you can, set up the food in a room away from the TV so you have to get up and move every time you want more,” she says. “You can even try bringing out new dishes each quarter so you’re spreading out your eating instead of gorging all at once.”
Reimagining your menu can be helpful, too. See where you can sneak in extra nutrients, like buying bean-based chips (for filling fiber), mixing veggies into sliders, meatballs, or dips, choosing plant-based bites like cauliflower swapped for wings, or reaching for Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for dips. You can also consider serving individually wrapped packaged items for portion control and good hand hygiene, Bonci adds.
So, eating healthy on Super Bowl Sunday doesn't have to end in a loss. Get creative and make it a game to find new and nutritious recipes to love. Ahead, we rounded up the best healthy(ish) Super Bowl snacks to fuel your Sunday—we promise they’re more satisfying than junk food.
Meat and veggies are game day staples, and this version is so easy to throw together—just plop everything on a sheet pan, throw it in the oven, and let it roast away. Pro tip: Put out a side of sauerkraut for some fermented goodness and umami flavor and slider rolls for a DIY sausage roll bar. (We love the variety of flavors from Cleveland Kraut and Angelic Bakehouse’s slider buns, which are made from sprouted whole grains.)
Nobody will know that this creamy bowl of goodness, which you can make right in your Instant Pot in 30 minutes, is hiding butternut squash, a rich source of vitamins A and C.
This chili is filling enough to get you through the entire night, since it’s packed with fiber-rich beans and veggies like pumpkin and peppers. This recipe calls for ground beef, but we recommend substituting for ground turkey or chicken or plant-based crumbles. Whip up a batch of cornbread to serve on the side. We like: Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Cornbread, or Pamela’s Gluten-Free Cornbread.
These artisanal soft pretzels and pretzel bites will bring the stadium to your living room—with an extra pack of classic pretzel salt, because why not? Bonus: The kit includes the brand’s sweet-spiced Maui Onion Mustard Sauce for flavorful dipping.
Pasta salad is the perfect vehicle for carbs and veggies, plus it still tastes great the next day. Feel free to swap in your favorite veggies and experiment with different types of noodles. We like Ancient Harvest’s Veggie Penne.
Trust us when we say we’ve found your new favorite veggie dip. This herby, creamy mixture is a blend of avocado and Greek yogurt, making for a fiber- and protein-filled dunk that’s dripping with that classic ranch flavor. Enjoy with veggies or Simple Mills Veggie Pita Crackers.
You won’t miss the meat when this hearty veggie mixture combines with melty cheese and a crispy tortilla for a nutrient-packed bite. No time to make your own salsa? Dunk it in low-sodium options like this one from Whole Foods or try On the Border’s Guacamole Salsa.
Yes, plant-based eaters (and meat lovers alike) can enjoy the classic flavors of buffalo wings in one convenient bag. This tasty option is made from crispy vegan sausage tossed in that quintessential hot sauce. A whopping seven wings will run you less than 300 calories.
There’s something so satisfying about biting into a crunchy crostini, and these tangy-sweet toasts deliver with a bonus dose of protein from the cheese and sharp flavor from the pomegranate and lemon. For a quicker dipping vehicle, try Triscuit's Organic Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil Crackers.
Get your ice cream fix without the sugar crash. These adorable mango mochi are brimming with fruity flavor, have a pleasantly chewy texture, and only pack 90 calories (and 10 grams of sugar) per piece.
This restaurant-quality appetizer features chickpea flatbread, roasted peppers, and creamy aioli topping that takes things to the next level. For under 500 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber per serving, you won’t regret skipping your typical takeout.
Talk about superfood Super Bowl snacking! Broccoli is packed with important vitamins, minerals, and potent antioxidants, and eggs are a great source of brain-supporting choline. You’ll find both in these tater-less tots, as well as decadent Gruyère cheese
Chicken wings are the football food. These are baked but just as crispy as the fried version. You’ll want to dunk these spicy wings into a big helping of the avocado crema, which helps tame the heat.
Skip the stress of baking and try this good-for-you sweet treat by fitness expert Denise Austin. They contain protein and fiber and only 4 grams added sugar, plus you can enjoy them in delicious flavors like double chocolate and pumpkin spice.
Get your favorite cocktail meatballs in minutes with these veggie balls from Gardein. You’ll get amazing flavor in every bite, and 15 filling grams of protein in just three balls.
This app has all the goodness of loaded potato skins, but with a lighter spin thanks to chicken breast, flavorful onions and cilantro, and just a hint of gooey mozzarella. To save time, try using Sweet PotaTOASTS, frozen slices of roasted sweet potatoes.
Nuts are always a smart snacking choice, and whipping up a batch of trail mix is perfect for dessert or halftime nibbles. Feel free to experiment with whatever nuts or dried fruit you may have in the house, like pistachios and California prunes, says Bonci.
Dredged cauliflower florets bake up into crispy perfection, which, yes, even stands up to being slathered in spicy sauce. The meat lovers in your life will devour this vegan option.
You’ve probably heard of roasting chickpeas into a satisfyingly crunchy snack, but did you know split peas also crisp up into pop-able bites?
Sliders are the perfect game day food—easy and fun to eat, plus they serve as built-in portion control. The barbecue sauce and slaw make these tiny sandwiches big on flavor. Looking for plant-based substitutions? Try Upton’s Naturals Barb-b-cue Jackfruit or Sweet Earth’s Awesome Grounds.
Shrimp is easy to cook and a great source of lean protein—and these bad boys are marinated in garlic, cilantro, and marinade for a hefty punch of flavor in just under 30 minutes.
This gauc is next-level tasty with good-for-you ingredients like avocado (of course), cilantro, and spicy chili peppers, so dip to your heart’s desire.
Popcorn is actually an amazing source of fiber, making it a filling snack. The key is to avoid coating it in too much butter or salt, but this recipe relies on black pepper and salty Parmesan to deliver big flavor.