The NFL ends its 96th season on Sunday, with the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos each hoping to be the lucky team hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl 50. For fans of the 30 teams that failed to reach the big game this year, you may consider the season to be a disappointment. Luckily, there's one thing you can still cheer about—the preparation of a great dish that represents you, your fellow fans and your football city for Super Sunday. Here are 32 delectable and healthier versions of signature eats for fans of every NFL team.
The Arizona Cardinals have gone from a long-suffering franchise to one of the leagues premiere franchises in recent years, but one thing the fans don’t suffer from is the exquisite Mexican cuisine offered in the region. A recipe like this chicken enchilada casserole is gluten-free and bound to bring hoards of Cardinals fans together on game day.
The Falcons may have been an underachieving team the past few seasons, but the same can’t be said about the city’s well-known Southern food charm. Dishes like this lighter version of jambalaya are a staple of the city’s soul food culture.
There are three things Baltimore is well known for: the Ravens, the Orioles and crab cakes. This low-carb crab cake doesn’t include mayonnaise among its ingredients, making it a perfect dish for your friends who are looking for a healthier cuisine option.
It’s been 25 years since the Buffalo Bills began their incredible run to four consecutive Super Bowls. Buffalo is where the buffalo wing originated, and these baked (not fried!) brown-sugar wings will keep you and your fellow die-hards satisfied on game day.
Nothing may be better than watching your Panthers in the big game while digging into some sweet Carolina barbecue pork. After marinating with olive oil and rosemary, these pork chops can be put on the grill and enjoyed as a low-carb meal.
The Windy City is the place to go for deep-dish pizza. Bears may be licking their wounds following a rough couple seasons but this deep-dish pizza recipe (which avoids butter among its ingredients) might be the perfect mood-boosting remedy.
Chili. Cincinnati. The two go hand in hand. Residents of the Queen City know chili is what best defines their town. Before kickoff, make sure you have plenty of time to cook up this Cincinnati turkey chili recipe (which, of course, forgoes red meat) that friends can enjoy.
Sorry, Browns fans. You’ve had a rough football life. Your team has never been to a Super Bowl and eventually moved to Baltimore (who won a Super Bowl shortly after). You got your team back in 1999, but one thing that’s never left town is the city’s outstanding reputation for the Po’ Boy sandwich. It’s pretty hard to make a healthy version of a Po’ Boy sandwich, but this Kielbasa sandwich is a great alternative with fewer calories and less oil.
Dallas is home to America’s Team and… wait for it… fajitas. It’s been nearly two decades since the Cowboys ruled the NFL, but fajitas continue to be a mainstay in the Big D. Try out this fajita dish, which is loaded with bell peppers and onions for a nutritional boost.
The Mile High City has a lot to celebrate with another appearance in the Super Bowl. In what may be future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning’s final season, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better way to watch the Broncos than with these healthier beer-soaked French fries. These fries are cooked in the oven and not the fryer for a lower-calorie option.
The Lions were the first and only team to go 0-16 in a season, but they have never been to a Super Bowl and have won just one playoff game since 1957. So what does Detroit have going for them? Coney Island hot dogs! They’re a Motor City staple, so if you’re fan of chili dogs, you can’t go wrong with this Coney Island recipe, which you can use lean ground beef and an all-beef or turkey dog to create a healthier meal.
Green Bay Packers
Wisconsin is famous for cheese curds. Packers fans love their cheese so much they even wear it on their heads; hence, why they’re called Cheeseheads. This Cool Ranch Doritos-flavored curd recipe could become a fan favorite on game day. It may sound bad for you, but by making your own dry buttermilk-ranch seasoning, you add a flavorful punch using healthier ingredients.
Texans fans enjoy the privilege of seeing the best defensive player in the NFL, J.J. Watt, suit up every week for them. What’s the perfect meal companion for Texans fans? Try Tex-Mex. Space City’s chili con carne dish could also be right in the mix among the best Tex-Mex dishes. Using lean ground beef or turkey makes this a healthier delight.
Colts fans have been blessed with two great quarterbacks in recent decades: Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. Some would say the city is also blessed for being the pork tenderloin sandwich hotspot of America. If you’re thinking of a dish that equals the expectations for your football team, try this pork tenderloin and spicy slaw sliders recipe. This grilled take on the tenderloin is a far better than its fried counterpart.
The Jaguars have been anything but fierce in the past half decade, winning no more than five games in a season since 2010. The team may lack the bite needed to make the playoffs this season, but you can bet this barbecue alligator recipe, which utilizes heart-healthy ingredients (olive oil and white wine vinegar) as a marinade, will be enough bite to put you over the top at your gameday get-together.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City fans are considered some of the loudest fans around the league, only behind fans from a certain team in the Pacific Northwest. Kansas City could also be considered the barbecue capital of the United States. The city’s smoky barbecue burnt ends are a real standout. These brisket pieces are a little fatty, but if you eat them in moderation, it can be a great gameday dish.
Miami has the Dolphins and a long Cuban heritage. There’s a reason why the city is known as “Little Cuba.” You can’t take in a Dolphins-themed party without some Havana-inspired food, so try this protein-packed chicken and quinoa with fried bananas (a great savory-sweet Cuban combo).
The Vikings were the sleeper team of this NFL season. The team name fits the city well, as there is a strong Norwegian heritage in the Upper Midwest. Lutefisk (dried whitefish) and lefse (flatbread) are two foods commonly found in the region. This vitamin-packed sweet potato lefse recipe may be the perfect dish on game day.
New England Patriots
The Patriots have been the championship darlings of the NFL for the past decade. The only thing more popular than the Patriots in New England is probably clam chowder. No worries—this cup of “chowdah” is healthier than that of the traditional recipe.
New Orleans Saints
Ahh, N’awlins, the home of Mardi Gras, the Saints and Cajun/Creole food. The Saints were a laughingstock of a franchise in the ’80s and ’90s, but since 2009 the team has reached the playoffs four times and won a Super Bowl. This Cajun mahi mahi dish is a fair representative of the Big Easy's food culture.
New York Giants
This is New York’s more successful football team. The Giants have won two Super Bowls in the past seven years and have one of the most popular wide receivers in the league: Odell Beckham Jr. The only thing that may be as well known as Beckham Jr. is some New York-style pizza. This pizza is the perfect complement to an afternoon of football on the couch with the pals and is made with more heart-healthy ingredients than a regular pie.
New York Jets
The Jets… New York’s other football team. There have been 46 Super Bowls played since the Jets last played in the big game. We're talking New York, so here’s a unique cauliflower-inspired pizza recipe.
The Black Hole! Raiders fans may be the most hardcore sports fans in America. The team has been less than stellar for more than a decade, with zero winning seasons since 2003. However, Mexican food in Oaktown is top notch. These light, avocado-filled fish tacos may just be the meal that will have fellow fans of the silver and black yelling, “Just eat, baby!”
We’re talking Philadelphia, so it goes without saying that cheesesteak is the perfect accompaniment to an Eagles fan party. This vegetarian version of the famous sandwich might be a fresh take worth trying.
Congrats Steelers fans! Your team is considered among one of the most successful franchises in NFL history. Pittsburgh is the only team with six Super Bowl titles. The Steel City is also a pierogi hot spot. For a Steeler-esque feel to your party, take on this healthier pierogi dish before kickoff.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are still in San Diego (for now) and may have one of the best uniforms in the league (powder blue), but the city’s Mexican cuisine is the real standout. If burritos are your thing, this crispy black bean and rice version could be the perfect companion to a gameday party.
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco has been the home to greats like Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and delectable seafood. Being so close to the ocean, “The City” is a seafood haven, and this summer stew could be a delicious treat for your game day get-together.
Raiders fans may be the wildest, but Seahawks fans take the cake for being the loudest and most passionate in the league. You want proof? They sell out preseason games. You wouldn’t be wrong if you said coffee was Seattle’s signature nourishment, but fish is up there as well (and also more filling during a three-hour game). This omega-3-filled salmon recipe is a first-string option for your gameday viewing party.
St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams
The St. Louis Rams are now the Los Angeles Rams, which is a major bummer for fans in the Gateway City. But this is St. Louis's team till next season, so what better way to celebrate game day than with a local favorite at the kitchen table: toasted ravioli? This delicious dish originated in St. Louis, so there’s no better way to cheer for your Rams than with this healthier version.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are an up-and-coming franchise. Like Miami, Tampa Bay boasts a strong Cuban heritage, making the Cuban sandwich a common delicacy in the area. This particular ’wich may not be the healthiest choice in the world, but you could do a lot worse…
Tennessee is the original home of country music and a signature state for barbecue. The Titans have been everything but good in recent years, but back to that barbecue. This dry-rubbed chicken recipe gives you healthy protein and is worth taking out of a Music City cook’s playbook.
Long gone are the Washington D.C. football royalty days of the 80s and 90s. That's not a big surprise, but did you know Ethiopian food is very popular in our nation’s capital due to a significantly large population of Ethiopian residents? This turmeric-infused sweet potato and lentil dish could be the champion of dishes for your gameday viewing party.