matter which team you're hoping to win on Sunday, one thing is for sure: you'll be munching on some of your favorite Super Bowl Sunday recipes and snacks. Except for this year, when the game is over, you won't be, thanks to Dom Ruggiero, Scottsdale, AZ-based chef Dom Ruggiero, founder and CEO of Cast Iron Concepts, a Scottsdale-based hospitality group that is the parent company bloated and sluggish feel company from three restaurants: Hush Public House, TVG Tap Room, and Fire at Will.
Ruggiero, a Marine Aviation Operations Specialist, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. He worked as a chef in New York City for several years before returning to his hometown in 2019 and opening his first restaurant.
Expecting their first child with his wife Holly, Ruggiero is a keen weightlifter and trains in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to burn off some of the calories he eats while inventing new culinary ideas in his kitchen.
Here, Ruggiero shares some of his top tips for successfully preparing game day goodies without missing a second of the game - or an ounce of flavor!
Super Bowl Sunday Recipe Swap
Keep the flavor but cut down on the calories by making simple yet flavorful swaps. “I think the best way to make Super Bowl meals healthier is to stick to traditional fare but use alternative ingredients wherever possible,” says Ruggiero. For example, substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise-based recipes, or leaner proteins for fatty meats like chicken or turkey for beef or pork.
Ruggiero suggests these healthy ingredient swap ideas:
- Substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise or sour cream
- Swap ketchup for salsa for a clean sauce
- Swap ranch dip for hummus
- Swap vegetable oil for olive oil
- Swap out soda for seltzer water with lemon
- Replace high-fat meat with lean protein
Prepare hard, play hard
Like everyone else, Ruggiero wants to watch the game and enjoy the party. "I don't want to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun," says the Super Bowl chef. As such, he always designs his menu so that it can either be easily prepared ahead of time and/or kept warm without compromising flavor or texture. "Crockpots and pellet smokers are great for this," he says.
Disposable aluminum containers to win!
When it comes to game day prep, Ruggiero likes to serve all of his Super Bowl Sunday recipes in disposable aluminum pans. “Towards the end of the party, I set out takeaway containers for my guests to take food home with them—it makes cleanup a breeze,” he says.
t only does this make cleanup easier, but your friends can enjoy their Game Day meals the next day and you won't have more food than you can handle.
Chef Dom Ruggiero's crowd-pleasing Sunday Super Bowl recipes
French onion dip recipe
This Homemade French Onion Dip Recipe is one of Ruggiero's wife's favorite dishes! "This recipe is an example of substituting Greek yogurt for mayo and extra virgin olive oil for butter," hje says. It's great served with fries or freshly cut veggies for an even healthier option.
- 2 large yellow onions
- 2 large shallots
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 ounces soft cream cheese
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- ½ cup chives
- salt and pepper to taste
- Finely dice the onions and shallots. Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the onions until nicely caramelized, usually about 30-45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- Place cream cheese and Greek yogurt in a large bowl and stir until smooth. Add the onion mixture and freshly chopped chives and stir until fully incorporated.
Recipe for BBQ Chicken Salad Cups
Another fan favorite are these BBQ Chicken Salad Cups. Chef Ruggiero serves these with grilled corn, shredded radish, cheddar cheese, and spring onions, "but you can personalize them however you like with your favorite toppings." He says. Remember, "This recipe uses the crock pot with your favorite BBQ sauce, but you can also use your smoker for added smoky flavor," recommends Chef Ruggiero.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (3-4#)
- 2 cups BBQ sauce
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Place the chicken breasts in the Dutch oven.
- Put the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until the chicken can be easily shredded with a fork.
- Keep low until you're ready to build your salad cups.
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 1 watermelon radish (thinly shaved)
- 1 bunch of spring onions
- 2 heads of grilled corn (cut off the cob)
- ½ C grated cheddar cheese
- To build the salad cups, place a piece of lettuce on top and scoop up a few ounces of pulled chicken and place in the center.
- Garnish with the remaining ingredients as desired.