No-Cook Tailgate Recipes to Make for Game Day

Shandra Martinez

| 3 min read

A delicious part of football season is the tradition of a tailgate spread on game day. We’ve got you covered with these recipes for healthier no-cook tailgate treats by Shanthi Appelö, MS, RD, a registered dietitian, and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Her impressive roster of healthier and delicious favorites ranges from mini-quesadillas to versatile dips that will be the stars of the tailgate. The best part of tackling the tailgating table with these recipes is that you’ll score with these snacks during football season without working up a sweat.
“Jarcuterie” and Individual Serving Ideas at Your Next Tailgate
Shanthi’s recipe for​​ “jarcuterie” is an individual-serving take on the popular charcuterie board. It’s a portable fan favorite around the tailgate. Making it is as simple as loading a mason jar, plastic cup or short glass with a mix of healthy and indulgent ingredients. For an attractive product, consider using food items in different heights and a variety of colors. You can even show your team spirit with a ribbon of your team colors around the rim.
Whipped Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers
These bite-sized peppers are the perfect party appetizer. They’re vibrant in color, thanks to the mini bell peppers, and rich in protein from their goat cheese and Greek yogurt filling. Searing garlic and green onion in olive oil adds a depth of flavor to the dish.
Mini Black Bean Quesadillas
This Tex-Mex dish is packed with plant-based protein from black beans. The whole wheat tortillas add fiber, which is great for digestion and helps you feel full. You can take it up a notch by serving it with pico de gallo, shredded lettuce and a dollop of Greek yogurt. It's a delicious and nutritious option for a tailgating spread.
Sundried Tomato Italian Pasta Salad
This pasta salad recipe packs in nutrients from a variety of vegetables and adds a nice crunch from bell peppers and cucumbers. With a vinaigrette-based rather than mayonnaise-based dressing, this pasta salad fares better at warm outdoor events from a food-safety aspect.
Popcorn is a popular snack and a good fit for game day because it is so portable. One of the best ways to keep the salt and sugar content low is by making your own popcorn topper. To get the seasoning to stick, give the popcorn a quick spritz of olive oil spray, then sprinkle. Here are three delicious options to try: Faux Cheesy Vegan Blend, Chili Lime and Parmesan Garlic.

Versatile dips

Buffalo chicken dip is a beloved party and tailgating staple. A recipe full of cream cheese and other cheeses isn’t exactly heart-healthy. This recipe incorporates buffalo flavors into hummus with more healthy fats, like olive oil and tahini.
This sizzling garlic and spring herb yogurt dip is a great protein- and nutrient-packed snack or party appetizer. Delicious and easy to make, the dip comes together in less than 10 minutes and can be served with your favorite dippers, like fresh-cut veggies, crackers and toasted bread.
This dip is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and blends bold flavors with creamy textures. The combination of feta cheese's richness and Greek yogurt's tanginess creates a smooth and protein-packed treat.
A party is never truly complete without the classic and timeless charm of salsa. This flavorful dip is made with ripe tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice and a bit of heat from jalapeños, creating a perfect taste for game day.

For healthy recipes, use your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled devices, with MIBlue (pronounced “My Blue”) from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Photo credit: Getty Images/BCBSM

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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