Delicious and HEALTHY Tailgating Recipes!

By Sarah – September 21, 2011

Football season is finally upon us, and while I’m excited about the games, there’s another perk of game days that makes my mouth water just thinking about it – the food. Whether it’s wings, burgers or kabobs, I’m a fan of all. However, tailgating food seems to have gotten a bad rep over the years. Here are a couple recipes that are full of flavor, and not calories:

1) Shaker-Style Smoked Chicken Thighs


1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped shallot, (about 2 medium)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat (Try Applegate’s organic and natural meats)
1 cup wood chips, such as apple or hickory, in a foil pouch

  • Preparation
  • 1. Whisk vinegar, oil and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in shallots and garlic. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to 3 hours.
  • 2. Meanwhile, soak wood chips in a bowl of water for 20 minutes.
  • 3. Fold a 12-by-20-inch piece of heavy-duty foil in half to create a 12-by-10-inch double-thick piece. Transfer wet wood chips to the center of the foil, allowing as much water as possible to drip back into the bowl. Create a packet by folding the short ends of the foil over the wood chips and folding the open ends to seal them.
  • 4. Place the packet of wood chips, pierced-side up, under the grill rack and on top of the burners. Close the lid. Turn the heat to high and allow the grill and packet to heat until the chips smell smoky and smoke begins to billow from under the lid, about 15 minutes (don’t worry if the packet temporarily catches on fire). Make 6 holes in the top of the foil packet using a skewer or the tip of a knife.
  • 5. Transfer the chicken to the grill, allowing excess marinade to drip back into the bowl (discard marinade). Grill the chicken, turning once, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Serve hot or chilled.

  • Nutrition Facts
  • Per Serving: 255 calories; 15 g fat ( 4 g sat , 7 g mono ); 98 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein;0 g fiber; 215 mg sodium; 266 mg potassium.

2) Southwestern Layered Bean Dip


  • 1 16-ounce can nonfat refried beans, preferably “spicy”
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño slices, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack, or Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup canned sliced black olives, (optional)


  • Preparation
  • 1. Combine refried beans, black beans, scallions, salsa, cumin, chili powder and jalapeños in a medium bowl. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart microwave-safe dish; sprinkle with cheese.
  • 2. Microwave on High until the cheese is melted and the beans are hot, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • 3. Spread sour cream evenly over the hot bean mixture, then scatter with lettuce, tomato, avocado and olives (if using).
  • Nutrition Facts
  • Per Serving: 146 calories; 7 g fat ( 3 g sat , 3 g mono ); 12 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein;5 g fiber; 288 mg sodium; 164 mg potassium.


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