At a Super Bowl party, appetizers are often the main course. There’s never a sit-down dinner at a Super Bowl party (at least not one we’ve ever heard of) because everyone is gathered around the TV, yelling at a bunch of men so big and so strong that you would never dare yell at them in real life.
Super Bowl appetizers need to be able to be picked up with the fingers or skewered on a toothpick so the revelers can hold a drink in one hand and eat with the other. We’ve rounded up some finger foods perfect for a Super Bowl party that are just a little bit healthier, with a vegetable or a few beans added here and there, making them just right for your Super Bowl party food table.
Honeyed Sausage Appetizers – An alternative to the traditional ‘Lil smokies made of tiny hot dogs and a ketchup sauce, this appetizer uses nitrate-free smoked beef sausage, which you can buy at Whole Foods, cooked in a sticky sauce of reduced red wine and honey. Red pepper flakes add a kick.
Mini Spinach Pockets – Spinach, onion, garlic, scallions, pine nuts and a mixture of two cheeses fill pockets made from puff pastry sheets. It makes enough to serve a good-sized crowd.
Roasted Squash, Red Pepper, and Jack Cheese Quesadillas with Chipotle Lime Sour Cream Dip – Pureed roasted butternut squash and onions create a meaty — but meatless — filling for these vegetarian quesadillas. The recipe makes 36 to 48 wedges.
Jalapeno Poppers – Most jalapeno poppers are filled with only cheese and then deep fried, but these poppers are filled with a mixture of nonfat refried beans, cheese and scallions, and then they’re baked, not fried. Not only are these healthier, but you don’t have to stand over them as they bake.
Chili-Roasted Black Eyed Peas – Spicy and crunchy, canned black-eyed peas (or chickpeas) make a great salty snack. Watch closely while baking so they dry out but don't char.
Seared Beef Tenderloin Mini Sandwiches – Lean beef tenderloin, watercress, fresh tarragon, and a horseradish sauce made with fat-free sour cream and Dijon are arranged on sliced baguette. Use whole-grain baguette to add an additional healthy kick.
Mushroom, Sun Dried Tomato and Mozzarella Dip – This warm dip gets cooked on a grill in a skillet, but for those watching the Super Bowl in colder climates, the oven will do just fine. Fresh rosemary and sherry make this dip tastier than some of the dips regularly served at parties.
Buffalo Wing Turkey Lettuce Wraps – These won’t replace the almost mandatory chicken wings at the Super Bowl party, but they may satisfy those who want the flavor of chicken wings but not the calories and fat. Lean ground turkey is covered in wing sauce and wrapped in lettuce with onions, carrots and celery.
Vegan Fried Pickles – Sweet and salty, these fried pickles will please any vegans at your party. A dipping sauce made of rice syrup, maple syrup and grainy Dijon accompanies the deep fried plant-based appetizer.
Sweet Potato Skins – Potato skins are right up there with Buffalo Wings for favorite Super Bowl appetizers. These skins use much healthier sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, low-fat cheese, and are topped with plain Greek yogurt.
What Super Bowl appetizers will be on the table to please your crowd this year? We’re especially interested in those made with healthy ingredients.