If you’re on the keto diet, don’t just survive your Super Bowl party, celebrate with these healthy substitutes for traditional favorites.
Sure, Super Bowl Sunday is all about football, TV commercials, and gathering with friends.
But let’s be honest, it’s also about food and alcohol, too.
And, if you’re on the keto diet or restricting carbs this Super Bowl, you might feel like you have to refrain from eating at the party.
However, that isn’t true.
“Being on the keto diet means you can still enjoy classic Super Bowl Sunday foods, you just need to make a few tweaks,” Christy Brissette, registered dietitian and founder of 80 Twenty Nutrition told Healthline.
“Whether you’re hosting or heading to a party, make a couple of these keto-friendly options to be sure you have plenty to eat and enjoy.”
Fit right in with the rest of the party-goers with these ideas and get ready to graze, indulge, and go back for seconds.
Subs are always a hit. You can easily kick the bread for a low-carb option, says Devin Alexander, celebrity chef and New York Times best-selling author.
“Instead of slicing your deli meats and toppings thin, get them cut into cubes then skewer them,” Alexander told Healthline. “Alternate salami, provolone, ham, cherry tomatoes, green bell pepper squares, olives, or cherry peppers if you like. Then drizzle them with oregano-infused olive oil or your favorite (no sugar) vinaigrette.”
You can also turn this no-bread sub into a chopped salad with this Antipasto Chopped Salad recipe from Alexander.
There’s nothing like warm chili on a chilly Super Bowl Sunday. However, Alexander says that while most chili doesn’t contain sugar, some contain a significant amount.
While cornbread is a no, go ahead and top your chili with cheddar or Bleu cheese.
Before you pick your recipe, Alexander points out that if you’re eating lots of other high-saturated fat foods, such as salami, opt for a chicken or turkey chili rather than one made with steak or ground beef.
“Before I give anyone a lot of keto advice from a culinary perspective, I would like to caution people about going hardcore on keto, especially if you’ve ever had or have reason to believe you have any issues with your heart,” Alexander said.
“Much of the recommended foods on the keto diet are high in saturated fat. While they might help you drop pounds, they also could help you drop over if you’re not careful,” she said.
For a heart-healthy chili option, check out her Hearty Chipotle Chili.
Restaurants and homes everywhere will be cranking out chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday, no doubt. Yet, those on the keto diet will have to pass unless they make a “naked” version with no flour.
Brissette suggests Cauliflower Buffalo Wings, such as the ones on Wholesome Yum.
“They’re super easy and fit with almost any special diet,” Brissette said.
The perfect appetizer — chicken fingers — is often a staple of game day. But how can you get around the whole batter thing?
Brissette suggests making her Paleo Chicken Fingers with almond flour as your breading.
“For only 3 net carbs per serving (about half of a chicken breast or three to four chicken strips), you can get all the crispy crunchy satisfaction of chicken fingers,” said Brissette.
“The almond flour gives a delicious nutty taste I like even better than regular flour. Plus, these superstar nuts contain protein, fiber, and healthy fats to help you feel [fuller] and satisfied — that’s key to helping keep cravings at bay.”
Being from Philadelphia, Alexander says she’s a big fan of cheesesteak lettuce wraps.
Using big enough slices of lettuce, “You can shave chicken or beef and then add all of the toppings to a traditional cheesesteak [sandwich],” she said.
For spicy options, check out this Chicken Taco Lettuce Wrap from the blog Gimme Delicious.
However, if you’re a fan of ketchup and pickles, she says use a low-sugar ketchup and dill pickles (not sweet ones).
It’s no Super Bowl party without a dip and Alexander’s Mediterranean Layer Dip is the perfect option.
Instead of a traditional hummus made from chickpeas, just include a Cauliflower Hummus like this one from FatForWeightLoss.
Since pita and tortilla chips are off-limits, pair the dip with a keto-friendly chip like these Keto Cheese Chips from Diet Doctor.
Instead of your typical flour-based pizza, Brissette said to use vegetables as your crust “like in my Low-Carb Margherita Pizza with Portobello Mushroom Crust or make your own keto-friendly crust with some cheese and almond flour.”
Her Best Keto Pizza recipe might be more your taste.
“When my husband is on the keto diet, we make this every week,” Brissette said.
At half time, you might be searching for something sweet.
Since traditional touchdown decorated cakes and football-shaped cookies are out of the question, consider Brissette’s Low-Carb Brownies made with almond flour. They may satisfy those sugar and carb cravings.
For other treats, Brissette recommends the following recipes:
For many, Super Bowl and alcohol go hand-in-hand.
Brissette says to keep carbs low by using only soda water as a mixer rather than sugary sodas, tonic water, and juices.
“Choose unflavored spirits (the flavored ones have sugar) or a low-carb beer if it fits within your daily carb goals. And alternate the alcoholic drinks with plenty of H2O,” she added.
Since tea (without sugar) is considered a good choice on the Keto diet, and spirits, such as vodka, gin, whiskey, and tequila are as well because they contain no carbs, you might want to consider Alexander’s recipe for this Passionila Cocktail.
If hard alcohol isn’t your thing, stick to dry red and white wine.