BHealthy Blog

5 Healthy Crowd-Pleasers for the Big Game

White Chicken Chili

Information provided by Leah Flores, RD, LD, CDCES, Clinical Nutrition Manager, Baptist Health-Fort Smith

Football and food go hand in hand. But the wrong game day menu could fumble your diet. Don’t let a tailgate party throw you off your game, stay on track with these five healthy recipes that are sure to please the crowd. 

Pre-Game Tips: 

  • Eat a good breakfast with protein and unsaturated fats.
  • Don’t skip meals, this will only make you hungrier and likely to overeat later. 
  • Hydrate with water, at least 8 ounces per hour. 
  • Choose your beverages wisely. We recommend water with sugar free flavor enhancer or fresh fruit, stevia sweetened sweet tea and sparkling water.
  • Fill your plate with 1/2 veggies, 1/4 with carbs and 1/4 with protein. 

Buffalo Chicken Dip


  • 1 1/3 cups shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast (save time with a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup reduced-fat, shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel cheese)
  • 6 tablespoons Greek yogurt-based ranch dressing 
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce 
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • optional for garnish: thinly sliced green onions

Instructions: Mix the chicken, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, ranch, and hot sauce together in a medium-sized bowl. (You can do this directly in the serving dish.) Microwave (on full power) for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave again for about 1 1/2 minutes more, until the cheddar cheese is fully melted and the dip is hot (the exact timing can vary slightly based on the wattage of your microwave). Before serving, stir the hot dip again to make sure everything is smoothly incorporated, and then stir in the celery and onion. (We prefer to stir the celery and onion in at the end, so they’re still crunchy, but if you prefer, you can add them with all the other ingredients at the beginning, for a smoother consistency.)

Serve immediately with fresh vegetables such as carrot sticks or sweet mini peppers and low carb or keto crackers for dipping. 

Air Fryer Chicken Wings


  • Nonstick cooking spray for air fryer basket
  • 1 pound chicken wings split into flats and drumettes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for serving
  • Greek Yogurt Ranch dressing or Light Ranch for serving

Instructions: Preheat the air fryer to 380°F. When heated, spray the basket with cooking spray. Pat the chicken wings dry. Then transfer them to a large bowl. Toss the wings with olive oil, paprika and garlic powder; then season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken wings in the air fryer so they are not touching. Cook for 10 minutes, then increase the temperature to 400°F, and cook until crisp and golden, about 6-8 more minutes. Garnish the chicken wings with parsley, and serve with ranch dressing on the side, if desired.

White Chicken Chili


  • 1.5 lbs or 3 medium boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp oil I use avocado oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth low sodium*
  • 2 x 15 oz cans great Northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 packets of McCormick Original Chili Seasoning Mix
  • Small bunch of cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt fat 2%+ (a great protein-packed alternative to sour cream!)
  • 1 juice of lime
  • Siete or corn tortilla chips, avocado, more yogurt, limes, for serving

Directions: Preheat large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on medium-high heat and swirl oil to coat. Add garlic and onion, sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chili seasoning, stirring constantly. In a small bowl, add about 1 cup of beans and mash with a fork. It helps to thicken the chili. Add broth, mashed and whole beans, corn, green chiles and chicken breasts. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks or meat claws. Return chicken to the pot along with lime juice, cilantro and yogurt. Stir and serve warm with your favorite toppings like tortilla chips, cheese, more cilantro, Greek yogurt or lime wedges. 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 recipe Roasted Tomatoes
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup sliced Persian cucumbers
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¾ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Light Italian Dressing, plus 2 additional garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinches of red pepper flakes

Instructions: In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, roasted tomatoes, arugula, cucumbers, herbs, Feta, olives, onion, and pine nuts. Toss to combine, then drizzle with the dressing and toss again. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and a few pinches of red pepper flakes, and toss again.

Seven-Layer Dip


  • 1 15 oz can refried beans
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • 1 cup guacamole, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 cup Pico de Gallo or salsa, store-bought or homemade
  • ⅓ cup shredded Mexican cheese or crumbled Queso Fresco
  • 1 cup shredded Romaine lettuce
  • ½ jalapeño, deseeded and chopped
  • ¼ cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives, optional
  • Siete or corn tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions: Mix yogurt with 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning in a small bowl. Spread refried beans evenly into the bottle of a square (8×8) dish to create the first layer. Add seasoned yogurt on top and gently spread to create the second layer. Then add the guacamole and spread. Scoop salsa with a slotted spoon. This step is optional, but it helps to remove extra liquid from the salsa. Add Pico de Gallo on top of the guacamole and then add remaining ingredients in the order listed: shredded cheese, romaine lettuce, jalapeño pepper, cherry tomatoes, cilantro and black olives, if using. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or fresh veggies for dipping. Best served the day you make it, but will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days.

For other great recipes and health tips, visit our Eat Well section on our BHealthy blog.