Protein-Packed Game Day Recipes

So the big game is almost here and this year, instead of reaching for greasy, heavy foods and ruining your great progress…why not clean it up a little and eat some healthier, protein-filled recipes? We’ve put together a flavor-packed menu that is sure to impress your guests and keep you right on track for your goals.

Game Day Turkey Sliders
By Johnathan Zamora

Yield:  18 Sliders

• 2 lbs. Ground Turkey
• 2 tsp. Paprika
• 2 tsp. Garlic powder
• 1 envelope, Onion Soup Mix
• 1 bunch Parsley, chopped
• 2 Red Onions, peeled and thinly sliced
• 36 Pickle chips
24 Whole Grain Mini Buns
• 2 Hearts of Romaine
• 6  Fresh Plum Tomatoes

1. In a large glass bowl combine first five ingredients and mix until well combined.
2. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, form meat mixture into small patties. Set aside.
3. Preheat your electric griddle to medium-high heat.   Cook the sliders about 5 minutes per side.
4. Place burger on bun, add tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickle top with spicy brown mustard and ketchup.

Spicy Tri-Color Fries
By Johnathan Zamora

Yield: 4, 6 oz. Servings

• 1½ Tbs. Canola Oil
• ¼ tsp. Red Chili Powder
• ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
• 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash
• 1 Large Russet potato washed and cut into 1/2 –in. strips
• 1 Large Sweet potato, washed and cut into 1/2 –in. strips
• 1 Large Purple potato washed and cut into ½ -in. strips

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the oil and seasonings. Add potatoes. Toss to coat.
4. Arrange the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, being careful not to let the pieces touch. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the pieces and bake for 15-20 minutes more or until crispy on the outside and tender inside.

Boneless Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Blue Cheese Dip
By Johnathan Zamora

Yield: 2 Servings

• 2 – 5 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
• ½ cup  Frank’s Red Hot sauce
• 1 tsp  Garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp  Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
• 2 cups  Greek yogurt, fat-free
• 1 oz  Blue Cheese Crumbles
• 6  Celery stalks, trimmed and cut into thin strips
• 2  Red Bell Peppers, cut into strips
• 1  Large plastic bag

Place raw chicken strips into a plastic bag and add hot sauce, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Let marinade for at least 1 hour.
2. Pre-heat your Foreman or electric grill to medium-high heat. Heat chicken for 4 minutes each side or until chicken is fully cooked.
3. To make the dip: In a FOOD PROCESSOR combine greek yogurt and blue cheese crumbles and pulse until well combined. Cover and keep chilled until ready to use.
4. Serve chicken tenders with celery stalks, pepper strips and blue cheese dip


Mozzarella Grilled Chicken Pizza
By Amy Crowson

Yield: 4 Servings


• 1 pound  Pre-made whole wheat pizza dough
• 1 lb.  Chicken Tenders
• 1 tsp. Garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp. Himalayan Salt
• 1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano
• 1 cup jarred Tomato Sauce
• 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella
• 1 bunch Fresh Basil Leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut dough into 4 pieces; rounded into balls. Place on an oiled plate and cover with a warm damp clean cloth. Let rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
3. Heat an electric skillet to medium-high heat. Stretch out dough into flat discs, place directly on skillet cook for 3 minutes each side or until brown.
4. Combine the spices in a bowl, add the chicken, toss to coat. Add oil to skillet, when hot add chicken and cook on both sides about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Slice mozzarella into 1/4 inch pieces and rip fresh basil leaves into small pieces.
6. Spoon tomato sauce on pizza crust, then add mozzarella slices, chicken.
7. Place in 350-degree oven for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is beginning to melt.
8. Top with fresh basil. Enjoy!

No Bake Cheesecake Bites
By Amy Crowson

Yield: 6 Servings

• 1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
• 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
• 1 (8oz) Package plain cream cheese, room temperature
• 1/4 cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
• 1 1/2 Tbsp Raw Honey
• 1/2 Tbsp  Lemon Juice
• Chopped Fresh Fruit


1. Spray a muffin tin (use 6 muffin spaces) with baking spray and set aside.
2. Crust- combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and stir until well mixed.
3. Spoon mixture evenly into the bottom of the 6 muffin spaces. Press down using the back of a spoon or a small bottle to pack it in. Place the pan in the freezer to firm the crust.
4. Filling- Using a hand mixer, mix cream cheese, greek yogurt, raw honey, and lemon juice until smooth.
5. Add a large tablespoon of cream cheese filling to each muffin space on top of the graham cracker crusts. Smooth down the tops.
6. Top with fruit.
7. Cover the pan and return to the freezer for approximately 15-20 minutes until cheesecake filling is firm.
8. Use a spoon to loosen the edges and serve!

About the Author: Amy Crowson

Amy is a self-proclaimed food network addict. She loves cooking simple, clean food using only whole ingredients. She enjoys taking “not so healthy” recipes and making them healthy. Amy credits her passion for cooking to her Dad…he was a chef in a past life for sure. Oh.. and she says she eats way too many avocados. Amy is also a certified personal trainer and is sports nutrition certified.

About the Author: Johnathan Zamora

Johnathan is a Culinary Nutritionist and professional Chef. With over 15 years spent preparing gourmet cuisine across the United States, his passion for cooking and experience as a food professional allows him to create budget-friendly fitness gourmet meals that anyone can make. As a nutritionist, he helps others lead healthier lifestyles by integrating fitness habits into their daily routine.  Johnathan’s firsthand knowledge, having overcome obesity by losing 170 pounds, enables him to offer his clients flexible and effective weight loss solutions.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.