Hey y’all it is officially football season and I have rounded up my favorite tailgating recipes for this fall! All are a healthier take on traditional recipes and can be used with cleaner ingredients. We live here in the south so football is a big part of our fall months and I want to make sure we keep it healthy while still rooting for our favorite teams! These are all approved by the ultimate tailgater himself, my husband! So here you go, if you make any of these delicious recipes please tag me or comment right here on the blog. Share with your tailgating friends and family and enjoy!
*You can shop my go-to ingredients at the bottom of the complete post. 


Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Original Recipe from Real Food Dietitians

Ingredients: Adjustments*

  • 1 large head of cauliflower (or 2 – 10 oz. bag cauliflower florets)
  • ½ cup hot sauce(I use Franks Hot Sauce)
  • 2.5 Tbsp grass-fed butter*
  • 1 Tbsp. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos*
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional- I left this out)
  • Ranch for dipping (Such as homemade below!)
  • Parsley or green onions, chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make buffalo sauce by adding all ingredients to a sauce pan over medium heat. Once butter is melted, whisk to combine all.
  3. In a large bowl combine the cauliflower florets and ⅓ cup of the buffalo sauce. Toss to coat.
  4. Transfer cauliflower to the sheet pan and bake for 18-20 min tossing ½ through baking time.
  5. When done, remove from oven, transfer to serving dish and drizzle with remaining buffalo sauce. Top with green onions and/or parsley and serve with ranch for dipping.

*These buffalo bites have easily become my husbands’ favorite game day pick. He said they are a great substitute for wings. He requests them almost every weekend now!

Lightened Up Ranch Dip


  • 1 cup greek yogurt(or whole yogurt, or sour cream if desired)
  • 1 tbsp homemade ranch seasoning (simply combine 1 tbsp dried parsley, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp onion powder, 2 tsp dried dill weed, 1 tsp pink salt and pepper to taste. Store excess in mason jar or glass container.


  1. Mix together in a bowl and serve cold with favorite mini vegetable sticks.
*Perfect way to get multiple uses out of this tasty ranch dip. Your guests won’t know it’s lower in calories but I guarantee they will notice it is homemade!


Bacon Wrapped Peppers

Original Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food


  • 12 mini tri-color sweet peppers (you can use jalapenos if desired- I like to do the sweet peppers incase the kids want to eat them also)
  • 8 oz. block organic cream cheese
  • 1-2 packs of Applegate sliced bacon(it takes me almost 2 full packs)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice peppers down the middle, remove all the stems and seeds.
  3. Cut the raw bacon strips into thirds. I use my kitchen shears for this.
  4. Using a spoon, fill the pepper halves with cream cheese.
  5. Wrap each pepper half with a piece of bacon, trying to get the seam of the bacon on the bottom. (As you can see I did the best I could)
  6. Line a baking sheet with foil to avoid extra clean up, and place peppers on a cooling rack on the sheet pan.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bacon is cooked through, looking nice and crisp!

*My Brother-in-law has been making these delicious bacon wrapped peppers for years now. They are always a hit and get eaten first! They are a family favorite for my entire husbands’ family!


Pumpkin Chili

Original Recipe from Real Food Dietitians


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ pounds grass-fed ground beef or bison
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 14-oz. organic can pumpkin puree
  • ½ – 1 cup chicken broth or water (I use homemade broth from my whole chicken)
  • 2 ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

For Slow Cooker:

  1. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil and saute the onions and peppers, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until onions start to soften.
  2. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Add the ground beef. Use a spatula or large spoon to break it up as it cooks. Cook until meat is nearly cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Transfer meat mixture to the slow cooker.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
  6. Set heat to LOW and cook for 6-7 hours. Serve with desired toppings.

For Stove top (how I did it):

1. Complete steps 1-3 as above, then add all remaining ingredients to dutch oven and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes.

*This pumpkin chili was approved by my husband, who typically does not like pumpkin-y things. Not to mention both my kids devoured this, literally. Make a huge pot to take to a friends house or haul to the game! It will not disappoint everyone’s taste buds!


Black Bean Brownies

Original Recipe from Chocolate Covered Kate

  • 1 15.oz can organic black beans
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp organic coconut sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (I use Bobs Red Mill non-aluminum)
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (Highly Recommend-my favorite brand linked below)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor or blender until completely smooth.
  3. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and pour mixture into a greased 8×8 pan.(Mine was a little larger so my brownies are a tad thinner)
  4. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top, optional.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes until, cook longer if they seem under cooked.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Enjoy!


*My family absolutely loves BBB, every since I started making them we haven’t wanted to go back to regular ones. Another favorite black bean recipe for our family are the Holy Fudge Black Bean Brownies from Lauralea Balanced! 

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*Some of these items are in bulk, however we go through them so much it ends up being more cost effective for our family to purchase in bulk.