Two-Cheese Veggie Nachos
Being vegetarian doesn't mean you have to miss out on tailgating snacks. With a bit of creativity (and a few Cooking Light recipes in your repertoire) it's quite easy to make a football party menu that serves veggie and meat eaters alike.
We love the double-cheese contrast in this nacho recipe: Shredded cheese melts into a bubbly blanket over the tortillas, while crumbly queso fresco covers the veggies with a salty kick. It's an impressive dish for coffee table dining—it's fun to keep it all on the baking pan and serve as a shared platter.
Here is a make-ahead chili that both meat lovers and vegetarians will love: It packs in all the classic flavors you want and is loaded with beans that give the dish a rich, almost meaty character. Serving this chili the next day lets flavors meld--if the beans soak up a lot of liquid overnight, you can add more vegetable broth or even water to thin out the stew.
This citrusy take on coleslaw is fresh and pleasantly spicy, an ideal side dish or burger or brat topping. Leave the seeds in more peppers for added fire, or seed all of them for a milder dish.
Black Bean Burgers with Sriracha Aioli
Sriracha aioli? Oh yes! The flavors in this burger just can't be beat.
Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños
The rich and creamy combination of bacon, cream cheese, and cheddar nicely contrasts the muted spice of the grilled jalapeños in these poppers. You’ll never guess these are lightened up! That’s why this recipe—a healthy, fresh alternative to the popular breaded and fried snack—is one of our favorite appetizers to make.
Guacamole with Chipotle Tortilla Chips
Chipotle chile powder gives the crunchy chips a smoky kick that pairs well with the buttery guacamole. Use ground cumin or regular chili powder in its place, if you prefer. Prepare the chips up to a day ahead, and store in a zip-top plastic bag.
Banh Mi Hot Dog
Pickled veggies, jalapeño, and cilantro top these Vietnamese-inspired dogs.
Pepita Pesto-Stuffed Mushrooms
These pesto-filled, two-bite cremini mushrooms are perfect as an appetizer or as a side to grilled chicken or steak. The spicy Mexican-inspired pesto combines parsley, cilantro, pepitas, crushed red pepper and Cojita cheese for an innovative take on the traditional Italian recipe.
Veggie Pizza with Cauliflower Crust
No "knead" for bread—this cheesy veggie crust has half the carbs and double the fiber of traditional pizza dough.
Chipotle Black Bean Dip with Corn Chips
A common craving among CookingLight.com users is chips; our homemade tortilla chips keep fat and sodium in check. This snack quells an oft-cited yearn for Mexican fare and has protein, complex carbs, and fiber.
You may think of chicken wings as bar food, but these saucy babies are great for, say, watching Monday Night Football. We ditched the standard deep-frying procedure in favor of a two-step steam-and-sauté method that maintains the plump, juicy goodness of the wings while curtailing the messy effects of oil in the kitchen and on the waistline. These crowd-pleasers are a breeze to prepare, and we offer three bold flavor variations to please a variety of tastebuds.
Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
This Caprese-inspired pasta toss is the ultimate summer main for a busy weeknight, outdoor picnic, or lunch on the go. Use yellow and red tomatoes for a stunning presentation and wonderful flavor variety.
Smoked Salmon, Barbecue University-Style
This whisky-scented smoked salmon combines the virtues of hot smoking and cedar planking. The dry brine in a sugar-salt mixture seasons the fish wonderfully.
It’s a quick snack to make before dinner. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor, give it a whirl, and presto−you’ve bought yourself an hour to make a meal. Healthy dippers include baby carrots, radishes, jicama, and sugar snap peas.
Chunky Vegetarian Chili
This vegetable chili recipe is a great way to get kids to eat fiber-rich foods. It can be taken on camping trips or packed in a thermos for school lunches.
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Tacos
We took the finger-licking beauty of a Buffalo wing experience and wrapped it in a tortilla—because that's how you win a weeknight.
Chicken, Bean, and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Leftover chicken, pasta, or any cooked green vegetable can go into this salad, making it a great fridge-clearer. Pungent blue cheese breathes new life into the rest of the ingredients. But even if you start from scratch, it's superfast and supereasy to make.
Avocado Chicken Salad
Fresh, tasty, and delicious is how this 5-star, Avocado Chicken Salad is commonly described. Mrshartzell raves, “So delicious and easy! I could seriously eat this every day!” You’re not alone. We could, too. This particular recipe uses vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise but doesn’t lose its creamy texture, thanks to avocado. Salsa and fresh cilantro give this chicken salad its south-of-the-border flavors. So, instead of layering over a bed of greens, serve with tortilla chips for scooping and an added crunch.
Summer Pea, Watermelon, and Farro Salad
This unusual yet delicious combination of flavors makes a good substitute for traditional pasta salad at your next cookout.
Grilled Chicken Skewers with Wasabi Mayo
A kicking dipping sauce adds amped up fun and flavor. Serve with Orzo with Snap Peas, Cilantro, and Peanuts for a complete meal with 46g of protein. If you use wood skewers on the outdoor grill, be sure to soak them in water before grilling to avoid burning. Make a few extra skewers to add chicken to lunches and salads the next day. The wasabi mayo adds bold flavor to simply seasoned grilled chicken and pairs well with the sweetness of honey and tang of rice vinegar. The mayo can be saved and served alongside roasted vegetables, skirt steak, or fresh grilled fish.
Roasted Asparagus with Walnuts, Parmesan, and Cherry Tomatoes
Asparagus is like a poster child for umami, high in the glutamates that create savory satisfaction. Ditto for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which also delights with its signature crunchy salt crystals.
Grilled Okra and Tomato Skewers
Assemble skewers the night before; brush them with the oil mixture before grilling. Flavor oil mixture with dried ground herbs to suit your taste. Look for okra pods of similar size to assure even grilling.
Light and Fresh Potato Salad
If you don't like mayonnaise, this is the potato salad for you. With a vinaigrette base, the recipe truly lives up to its light and fresh claims. To make matters even better, there's only 90 calories per serving. Eat up!
Grilled Watermelon Pizza
Strawberry-Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
Make the chips in advance, cool completely, and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Roasted Jalapeño Butter
Charring the pepper eases the heat, yielding a versatile, not-too-spicy butter.
Chicken and Black Bean-Stuffed Burritos
These skillet-grilled burritos come together in a flash thanks to store-bought rotisserie chicken. Keep this meal light by serving with a fresh green salad.
Potato and Vegetable Salad with Mustard Ranch
Red new potatoes from the OSU-OKC Farmers Market would work fabulously in this salad. Fresh herbs make the yogurt-based dressing sing.
Fresh Apple Salsa
Take a break from classic tomato salsas and opt for a fruitier, seasonal option. This sweet-tart condiment features crisp, slightly acidic Spartan apples, though Fuji, Jonagold, and Liberty apples would also work nicely. This fresh, fruity salsa is the perfect addition to any Fall menu or fun occasion, and it's super easy to make. Eat it straight out of the bowl, snack on it with chips, or serve with pork or roast chicken. Serve it immediately, or let it sit overnight to let the flavors incorporate.
Let's Cook Lighter Sloppy Joes
While many sloppy joe recipes are very sweet, this version has just a touch of brown sugar and is capped off with crunchy bread-and-butter pickles.