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How to Make Healthy Game-Day Potluck Fare

author image Arthur Bovino
Expert restaurant, food media, and travel writer with strong opinions about pizza, bagels, and sushi who has mastered the art of pinning chefs against critics with his own rating system. Arthur is the managing editor for online indie food site Previously, he was the executive editor and a founding editor for The Daily Meal, one of the highest-trafficked food sites. A trained cook with experience reporting at The New York Times, Arthur has written for Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s, Rough Guides and Time Out and has appeared on New York One and the TODAY Show.

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How to Make Healthy Game-Day Potluck Fare
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

Football season isn’t the same without tailgates, friends and party food. And if you really want to wow your guests with delicious but healthy recipes, look no further. All nine of these recipes feature good-for-you ingredients. And an added bonus? Most take less than 20 minutes to prep. From lean lasagna to salmon rillettes, these crowd-pleasing plates are perfect for your next game-day gathering.

1. Mississippi Roast
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

1 Mississippi Roast

A recipe for a slow-cooker dish called Mississippi roast has been making the rounds on the internet for years for two simple reasons: It’s incredibly easy and ridiculously delicious. The one problem is that it also requires an entire stick of butter. But the good news is that you actually don’t need the butter to make a tasty Mississippi roast. Simply substitute the butter with beef broth and reduce whatever’s too thin at the end. The one caveat to how easy this dish is to make is that because it takes eight hours, you should either set it to cook overnight or wake up early to slow-cook it prior to game time.

Related: Mississippi Roast Recipe

2. Avocado and Yogurt Deviled Eggs
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

2 Avocado and Yogurt Deviled Eggs

There are several ways to make healthier versions of deviled eggs. First, consider removing a few of the yolks from the recipe altogether. Then try using low-fat plain yogurt instead of the usual mayonnaise. And to add back some of the creaminess that may have been lost from the omitted egg yolks, mix in mashed avocado with the yogurt and egg yolks. Avocado is loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber, which can promote weight loss and reduce blood sugar spikes.

Related: Avocado and Yogurt Deviled Eggs Recipe

3. Lean Lasagna
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

3 Lean Lasagna

Few dishes are as comforting and party-friendly as fresh-baked lasagna. Our version features whole-wheat lasagna nestled between layers of ground turkey, spinach, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, low-fat mozzarella and fat-free cottage cheese. And while it may look like our recipe requires quite a few of steps, this one is actually rather easy. Simply prep the ingredients for each layer, do the layering, bake and you’re done!

Related: Lean Lasagna Recipe

4. Oven-Baked Pulled Pork
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

4 Oven-Baked Pulled Pork

There’s nothing quite like barbecue on game day. And mess-free, oven-baked pulled pork is the way to go. Our recipe features juicy pulled pork cooked in a tangy-sweet mustard sauce and served alongside crunchy pickles. There’s not much to this recipe other than to make sure to get the meat completely coated with the rub. Then just leave it alone for about six hours. And instead of using the traditional pork shoulder, we’re subbing in pork sirloin to cut some of the fat and calories.

Related: Oven-Baked Pulled Pork Recipe

5. Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

5 Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Our creamy spinach-artichoke dip features labneh in place of sour cream, cream cheese and mayo. Made from strained yogurt, labneh is a rich, cream cheese-like spread that's full of calcium and protein while being low in carbs and fat. It also adds a richness that you don’t quite get with your typical supermarket Greek yogurt. And because cooking spinach can lower its nutrient content, half the spinach we add to this dip is raw. You and your friends will benefit from the high protein, fiber and vitamin content found in spinach.

Related: Spinach-Artichoke Dip Recipe

6. 5-Minute Salsa
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

6 5-Minute Salsa

Short on time? This salsa takes just five minutes to put together. Simply toss the ingredients in a blender, pulse and season. It bursts with tomatoes, which are rich in immunity-boosting vitamin C and beta carotene. The lime and hot pepper provide vitamins A, K and C. You can even count a quarter-cup of fresh salsa as one of your four daily servings of vegetables. But the danger of snacking on salsa lurks in the tortilla chips. Aim to eat a serving of about eight tortilla chips to stay within your daily calorie goals. Better yet, serve the salsa alongside carrots or celery sticks.

Related: 5-Minute Salsa Recipe

7. Broccoli Salad
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7 Broccoli Salad

With its slight spiciness, raw broccoli provides loads of fiber, vitamins, iron and potassium. You’ll toss the florets in a zesty dressing consisting of mustard, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil, which helps to soften the broccoli. Add in chopped turkey bacon, halved grapes and sliced shallots for a delectably sweet and savory salad that’ll rejuvenate you for game day.

Related: Broccoli Salad Recipe

8. Skinny Salmon Rillettes
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

8 Skinny Salmon Rillettes

Traditionally, rillettes are made with heavily salted pork that is slow-cooked in fat. But not this version! We’re subbing in steamed salmon instead. Rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can help reduce inflammation and protect against high blood pressure. Our recipe calls for a splash of Pernod, an anise-flavored liqueur. But sambuca and ouzo work just as well. And if you want to skip the alcohol completely, simply flavor your dish with a pinch of black pepper.

Related: Skinny Salmon Rillettes Recipe

9. Greek Orzo Salad
Photo Credit: Arthur Bovino

9 Greek Orzo Salad

Pasta salad is a game-day staple that deserves its place at the potluck table. Pasta is a good source of dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health. Just be sure to select a whole-grain version. With whole-grain pasta you get double the protein and calcium found in the white stuff. Our whole-wheat orzo pasta salad bursts with feta, onions, cucumbers and pepperoncini.

Related: Greek Orzo Salad Recipe

What Do YOU Think?
Photo Credit: Nitr/Adobe Stock

What Do YOU Think?

What's your favorite game-day food? Which of these recipes would you try? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Related: 8 Easy Potluck Recipes for the Last-Minute Chef in All of Us

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