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Published on October 03, 2018

chicken skewers

Heart Healthy Tailgating Recipes That Are Sure to WIN!

Your blood pressure and heart rate are likely already running a little high watching your favorite football team battle for each yard against the rival team.

Add in the salty combination of tailgating favorites and your heart may really take a beating. For many patients with heart disease, we recommend 1,500 to 2,000 milligrams of sodium daily. Since just 14 of your favorite corn chips and 2 tablespoons of queso dip contains more than 500 milligrams of sodium, amd snacking on just a couple of cups of your favorite buttered microwave popcorn can easily add another 500 milligrams of sodium, it adds up fast.

Even if you have just a measly five cocktail weenies, you're adding another 500 milligrams of sodium, and that's without any barbecue sauce!

Give your heart a break this football season with a few of these heart-healthy-but-delicious snacks.

Chicken Fajita Skewers


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 bell peppers, in a variety of colors
  • 1 onion


  1. Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Mix in medium bowl with oil and seasonings (chili powder, garlic powder, dried onion, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, paprika, ground cumin and black pepper).
  2. Cut peppers and onions in to 1-inch squares; set aside.
  3. Alternately thread chunks of chicken, bell pepper and onion onto skewers
  4. Place skewers on pre-heated grill over medium-high heat. Cover grill; cook 4-5 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink.
  5. Note: If you're using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 10-20 minutes before the food is threaded on, otherwise they can burn.



  • 2 (15-ounce) cans low sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth
  2. Serve with veggies and low sodium pita chips.

Sweet Potato Nachos


  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • ⅓ cup low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ⅓ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ cup tomato, chopped
  • ⅓ cup avocado, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover the baking dish with foil (for easy clean up) then coat with nonstick cooking spray
  2. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into ¼ inch rounds. In a bowl toss the rounds with olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder and paprika. Spread evenly on prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, flip sweet potatoes and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until crisp.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle beans and cheese over the sweet potatoes. Return to oven until cheese melts, about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven, top with tomato and avocado, then serve.

    Recipes adapted from the American Heart Association.

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