5 Super Bowl Food Makeovers

The traditional game day foods are crowd pleasers, but they can also be some of the worst foods for you health-wise. The good news is that with these simple makeovers, you don't have to find new foods to serve on Super Bowl Sunday. By: Holley Grainger, M.S., RD


People love chili because it's a simple one-pot meal that feeds a hungry crowd. Preparing with fatty ground beef and topping with cheese, sour cream, and corn chips can really bump up the fat and calories. This version cuts 70% of the calories, 70% of the total fat, and 83% of the unhealthy saturated fat from traditional chili recipes without eliminating any of your favorite flavors. With just a few simple substitutions, this chili will become a new crowd favorite.

Makeover Tip:Replace high-fat ground beef with lean ground turkey breast and lean ground sirloin to lower the saturated fat, and add extra flavor with bacon and beer (which has less sodium than canned broth). Top with reduced-fat cheese and you're sure to score big nutrition points.

View Recipe: Springfield Chili

See More: Cooking Light's All-Time Best Recipes


Stacked atop a mound of fried tortilla chips, nachos piled with fatty ground beef, cheese sauce, refried beans and sour cream can weigh in at over 1200 calories and 74g fat. Reduce the calories by 700 and the fat grams by 50 with some simple substitutions that still pack in the classic flavors.

Makeover Tip: Before you take a time out on nachos, try this version with equally delicious flavor that won't leave you feeling overly full before the end of the first quarter. This version packs on fan-favorites like pork tenderloin, reduced-fat cheese, beans, and bacon but in a more healthful way. Finish with low-calorie, nutrient boosters like homemade salsa and fresh cilantro.

View Recipe: Pork and Pinto Bean Nachos


Steer clear of the mayonnaise and cheese-laden dips at the party and go for a healthier option. Creamy dips are often filled with hidden fat and calories, and the chips and crackers used to scoop them up can provide even more sodium, saturated fat, and calories.

Makeover Tip: Make your own creamy dips by pureeing white beans with onion, garlic, and Parmesan cheese and black beans with green chiles and cumin. The calories and fat are significantly slashed, plus you get a fiber boost with each serving. Use fresh veggies as dippers for a nutrient-rich way to scoop up your favorite dips.

View Recipe: Opposing-Sides Two-Bean Dip

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The average fast food chicken finger runs around 120 calories and 4 grams of fat each. Throw in a few more chicken fingers and a heaping side of creamy honey mustard sauce or Ranch dressing and you're averaging close to 600 calories.

Makeover Tip: Lighten up your chicken fingers by breading chicken breast tenders in crushed cornflakes and then baking until crispy. Make a homemade honey-mustard using honey and spicy mustard for a fresh, easy, low-calorie dipping sauce.

View Recipe: Oven "Fried" Chicken Fingers with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce


When fourth quarter rolls around, pull out a plate of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate brownies and watch them disappear. Traditional brownies have around 250 calories and 10 grams of fat. Shave off 95 calories and 4.5g fat by making this simple substitution.

Makeover Tip: This rich dessert uses less fat than traditional brownies by substituting water and cherry preserves in place of some of the oil. The combination of unsweetened cocoa and semisweet chips makes for a rich, dark flavor.

View Recipe: Dark Chocolate and Cherry Brownies

See More: 20 Lightened Chocolate Desserts

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