Tailgate Food: Keeping It Healthy

Putting together healthy tailgate food might seem impossible, but thanks to the endless options in the market nowadays, it can actually be pretty easy. Whether you prefer beef, chicken, deep fried foods, potato chips or cotton candy during a tailgate party, there is a way to make just about any traditional tailgate food healthier. By eliminating some of the fat and even replacing certain ingredients in your recipes, you can come up with delectable food that is healthy and will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs

This is an easy food that can be prepared at home and cooked at the tailgate party. It really only involves cutting a fresh pineapple or two and some chicken breast into bite sized pieces, and alternating the two foods on shish kabob sticks. If you want to kick it up a notch, consider marinating the sticks in a spicy Cajun sauce for at least an hour before putting them on the grill.

Easy Pasta Salad

Pasta salad doesn’t have to be abandoned just because you’re trying to throw a healthier tailgate party. Instead, let it become a major highlight of the tailgate food by making it fresh from scratch. To make a truly healthy and tasty pasta salad, simply cook whole wheat macaroni noodles until al dente and then toss the pasta with olives, chopped garlic, fresh basil and oregano, artichoke hearts and fresh corn kernels. Using a fat free Italian dressing, drizzle enough of the sauce over the pasta to coat all the noodles. Chill until it’s ready to be served and enjoy!

Skinless Buffalo Bites

No tailgate party is complete without a big serving of Buffalo wings, but they don’t have to be full of fat in order to enjoy them. You can dramatically cut down the fat found in Buffalo wings by using bite sized pieces of chicken breast that aren’t breaded and some hot sauce as your base. Once you’ve cut the chicken up, put it in a bowl and toss it with a mixture of Tabasco sauce, chopped jalapeño peppers, black pepper, salt and your favorite barbeque sauce. Mix the chicken up with a spoon until each piece is covered in sauce and let the chicken sit in the fridge for at least three hours before grilling.

Hamburger Alternatives

Tailgate food almost always includes hamburgers. If you’re into trying something a little healthier this time around, there are a couple of different options to choose from. You can simply replace the beef burgers with veggie burgers, or you can try something really different and make eggplant of portabella burgers instead. Use a spicy mustard sauce and bell peppers, cheese, grilled onions and fresh spinach as the toppings.

If you don’t want to replace the beef, you can still cut some calories by using lettuce instead of bread as the bun, or by making the patties smaller and the vegetable toppings more abundant. Avoiding the mayonnaise is another great way to slash fat and calories when you’re trying to keep your tailgate food healthy.


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