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7 Quick & Healthy Game Day Appetizers Everyone Will Love (+3 Drink Recipes!)

Written by Shelby Torrese

Hosting a party on game day doesn’t mean your diet should suffer! Swap your typical game day appetizers with these healthier alternatives without sacrificing the flavor!

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We can picture it perfectly: friends and family gathered around the couch, the TV is blasting everyone’s favorite team or rival, kids are running around barefoot and laughing, and the kitchen is overflowing with food. Still, there’s nothing ‘good’ to eat in sight. We feel for you, because we’ve been there! Celebrations aren’t always the grounds for healthy appetizers, bites or bevs—especially game day celebrations.

That is about to change, though, because we have the BEST game day appetizers to share. Ones so good that no one will even realize that you healthified their favorite snacks. The best part? They are easy to make, versatile, and will have everyone screaming TOUCHDOWN! 🏈🙌

Group of friends watching football and eating game day appetizers

Tips For Hosting On Game Day

1. Make a list. Even if you’re “not a list person”, trust us, just make the list. List all of the game day appetizers that you plan to cook or make for the party, every entree or dessert item, everything! Even if it’s as simple as a brewed tea, add it to the list so you don’t forget about it.

Next to each item, notate exactly how long it will take to prepare and make it. This way, you can see how much time you need for each item, and which items can be made at the same time or overlap. For example, you can make the guac while the sweet potatoes are in the oven, chop salad items while meatballs cook, and so on. Make everything the day before and let anything that needs to be warm sit in the oven for about 20 minutes on 200-250ºF. (Except for grilled items, of course!)

2. Decorate ahead of time.Hang streamers, set out napkins, unravel table runners and decorate anything else that can happen a day ahead. This way, you get to wake up and get ready without the stress of yet another box to check. Anything that can be done in advance, should be. Hosting a party is a feat in and of itself. If you can take any task, no matter how minuscule, out of the preparation equation, we say do it! 

3. Give plate options. When it comes to portioning food out, give people options! Have large plates available for entrees and small plates available for apps. If you have anything that would require a bowl, throw those into the mix, too. For your own health sake, you’re less likely to overeat if you eat from a smaller plate. Having control over your portions will help you better assess when you’re full, rather than just eating something because something is in front of you.

Healthy and easy game day appetizers

7 Healthy Appetizers For Game Day

If that reads like an oxymoron to you, allow us to change your mind. These seven easy game day appetizers are SO good, you’ll find yourself making them year-round. You may even love them so much you never go back to making their ‘normal’, less healthy versions.

Our favorite part of these healthy appetizers is that they’re not in-your-face healthy. We don’t skimp on sauce or toppings, and we don’t leave out the fries! Healthy doesn’t equal deprivation. Read that again.

“Healthy doesn’t equal deprivation.”

Healthy is opting for wholesome, more nutritious options and not feeling bad about it. Flaunt these dishes at your party and let everyone know they can go home feeling good about their choices! We will warn you though, people may start requesting you to cater their game day parties too. 🤷‍♀️😂

Here are 7 quick and healthy game day appetizers every one of your party guests will love.

RELATED: 17 Healthy Food Swaps To Help You Slim Down Fast!

1. Buffalo cauliflower bites

Ditch the chicken and sub cauliflower clusters for everyone’s favorite quintessential game day buffalo-sauce bites, without the added calories. These are so fun to make because there’s ALWAYS one person who doesn’t even notice they’re cauliflower until they’ve eaten half the basket and muster up the courage to ask for the recipe.

healthy appetizers. buffalo cauliflower bites

2. Sweet potato nacho fries

Aside from sweet potatoes being a healthier option than white potatoes, their beautiful color makes them much more festive, in our opinion! This is game day food, so we won’t exclude the goods entirely. By simply making the swap for sweet potatoes, you instantly lower the carbohydrates and calorie count. For that reason, don’t feel so bad about the cheese, bacon and other toppings you and your guests love!

sweet potato nacho fries

3. Turkey meatballs

Everyone loves a good meatball. Especially perfectly rolled, tiny little game day meatballs. Since turkey is a leaner meat than beef and pork, this simple swap will do everything for you and your health goals, and nothing to take away from the flavor. Bake these bad boys instead of frying for even more health benefits and then dip or dunk into your favorite sauce!

best Turkey meatballs for healthy game day appetizer

4. Jalapeño-lime guacamole

If you’re someone who swears by mayo in your guac, opt for lower fat and lower calorie options like unsweetened Greek yogurt. You get the same creamy texture without the added sugar and fat. Spice up your usual guac with a squeeze of lime and some chopped jalapeño peppers. If you’re not into heat, you can get the same added crunch from sweet bell peppers!

easy game day appetizers guacamole

5. Grilled artichokes with garlic aioli

While artichokes are a springtime crop, you can usually find frozen artichokes year-round at your local grocer. We love to steam them and make a zesty garlic aioli for dipping. You can sub the mayonnaise for unsweetened Greek yogurt again or even swap it out completely with a garlic hummus! Both are delicious options.

healthy appetizers for football games. grilled artichokes

6. Grilled fruit skewers with a honey drizzle

Out of all of the easy game day appetizers, this one takes the cake! Or should we say, replaces the cake? These beautifully grilled fruit skewers can double as an appetizer and dessert! Our favorite fruits to grill are pineapple, nectarines, bananas, and watermelon cubes. There is no wrong way to sear and skew fruit, though! Add or take away whichever fruit you prefer, just be sure to clean your grill first or you may end up with a hint of hotdog flavor. 😂

grilled fruit kebab

7. Chopped salad

Hello to the easiest salad, ever. Grab a big bowl of greens and then add whatever chopped ingredients you want! We like cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers and bacon, hard-boiled eggs and red onions. This salad is always a hit because people can continue to add other healthy appetizers to it like guac, meatballs, and even the buffalo cauliflower bites. Traditionally doused in a red wine vinaigrette, you can leave the dressing on the side for guests to add themselves to avoid the salad getting soggy throughout the day.

Chopped salad for game day appetizers

Top 3 Crowd-Pleasing Beverages For Parties

If game day drinks always leave you bloated or fatigued, thank us now! We have 3 digestion-friendly, delicious, celebratory game-day drinks that your guests (and your stomach) will be raving about. Get excited for a tart lemonade mocktail, a delicious strawberry margarita, and a fruity peach tea. Not only will these satisfy everyone at your fiesta, but they’re each not-so-secretly made with SkinnyFit ZzzTox or Detox. Grab a glass of each as soon as you make them because they won’t last long!

Lavender Lemonade Recipe

We’re not one to say you need to calm down, but after the party, you’re going to want to calm down! Hosting takes a toll on physical and mental energy levels, so this calming lavender lemonade is the perfect stress-fixer. It will help to calm and soothe the nervous system (which may be jittering thanks to the guy that spilled his drink on the carpet, twice 😒). Plus, it will help you sleep better at night after all the jubilations, rather than stay up buzzing from the busy day.

Click here for this delicious lavender lemonade recipe!

Lavender Lemonade recipe

Fresh Strawberry Margarita Recipe

What’s game day without a tasty, frozen drink? Nothing, in our books. That’s why we created this healthy strawberry margarita recipe. Made with fresh strawberries, SkinnyFit Detox, tequila, and a salt rim for the fun of it, everyone will be fan-girling (and boying!) over this one. Garnish with some more fruit and you’ve got yourself a drink and an app, all in one! 

Click here to make this pitcher of fresh strawberry margaritas!

Fresh strawberry margarita recipe

Fruit-Infused Peach Tea

Move over, overly sweet tea. Game day Detox is taking over! Your guests will never believe all of the amazing benefits this fruit-infused peach tea packs in one punch. While most celebratory drinks leave you bloated and overcome with brain-fog, this delicious tea will have everyone energized and burning calories all while enjoying the game! We love the recipe as is, but you are free to experiment with what fruit you infuse and which aromatic herbs you add-in.

Click here to for the fruit-infused peach tea recipe!

Fruit-infused peach tea recipe

About The Author

Shelby Torrese

Nutrition, Movement & Meditation Coach

Shelby Torrese is a wellness enthusiast (and matcha fanatic!) from Miami, FL. She attributes her love of movement to her mom, a personal trainer, and her love of food to her dad, a farmer. She studied creative writing in college while getting her yoga certification, and went on to pursue fitness and nutrition in grad school. Her go-to advice is, “Balance,” and she is a firm believer that the ocean can cure just about everything.

  • Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher
  • NASM Certified Nutrition Coach
  • M.S. in Human Performance


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