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No matter what team you want to win on Sunday, one thing is for sure, you’ll be grubbin’ on some of your favorite Super Bowl Sunday recipes and snacks. Except for this year, when the game is over, you won’t be left feeling bloated and sluggish thanks to Scottsdale, AZ-based chef Dom Ruggiero, founder and CEO of Cast Iron Concepts, a Scottsdale-based Hospitality Group which is the parent company of three restaurants: Hush Public House, TVG Tap Room, and Fire at Will.
Ruggiero, a Marine Aviation Operations Specialist, studied at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. He’s worked as a chef in New York City for several years before returning to his hometown of Scottsdale, where he opened his first restaurant in 2019.
To help burn off some of the calories he consumes while crafting new culinary ideas in his kitchen, Ruggiero, who with his wife Holly are expecting their first child, is an avid weightlifter and trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Here, Ruggiero shares some of his top tips on how to successfully prep gameday goodies without missing a second of the game—or an ounce of flavor!
Super Bowl Sunday Recipe Swaps
Keep the flavor but cut down on the calories by making simple, yet flavorful swaps. “The best way I’ve found to make Super Bowl dishes healthier is to keep with the traditional fare but to sub alternative ingredients whereever possible,” Ruggiero says. For example, replace mayonnaise-based recipes with Greek yogurt or fattier meats with leaner proteins such as chicken or turkey for beef or pork.
Ruggiero suggests these healthy ingredients swap ideas:
- Swap mayonnaise or sour cream for Greek Yogurt
- Swap ketchup for salsa for a clean sauce
- Swap ranch dip for hummus
- Swap vegetable oil for olive oil
- Swap soda for seltzer water with lemon
- Swap fat-laden meats with lean proteins
Prep Hard, Play Hard
Like everyone else, Ruggiero wants to be watching the game and enjoying the party. “I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun,” the Super Bowl chef says. So, he always creates his menu so that it is either easily prepped ahead of time, and/or able to be hot-held without compromising the flavor or texture. “Crockpots and pellet smokers are great for this,” he says.
Disposable Aluminum Containers for the Win!
When it comes to game-day preparation, Ruggiero likes to serve all of his Super Bowl Sunday recipes dishes in disposable aluminum pans. “Toward the end of the party, I’ll put out to-go containers for my guests to take food home in—it makes clean up a breeze,” he says.
Not only does this make for an easy clean-up, but your friends get to enjoy their Game Day dishes the next day and you aren’t stuck with more food than you can handle.
Chef Dom Ruggiero’s Crowd-Pleasing Super Bowl Sunday 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 how you can sub out Greek yogurt for mayo and extra virgin olive oil for butter,” hje says. It’s great served with chips or fresh-cut vegetables 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
- 4oz Softened Cream Cheese
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- ½ cup Chives
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Small dice Onions and Shallots. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook onions until nicely caramelized, usually about 30-45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl add the cream cheese and Greek yogurt and whisk until smooth. Add the onion mixture and fresh-cut chives and whisk until fully incorporated.
BBQ Chicken Lettuce Cups Recipe
Another fan favorite is these BBQ Chicken lettuce cups. Chef Ruggiero serves these with grilled corn, shaved radish, cheddar cheese, and scallions, “But you can personalize them however you like with your favorite ingredients.” He says. Keep in mind, “This recipe utilizes the crock pot with your favorite BBQ sauce but you could also use your smoker for added smokey flavor.” Recommends Chef Ruggiero.
- 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (3-4#)
- 2 cups BBQ Sauce
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp 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 crock pot.
- In a bowl add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the chicken is easily shredded with a fork.
- Hold on low until you are ready to build your lettuce cups.
- 1 head of Butter lettuce
- 1 watermelon radish (shaved thin)
- 1 bunch scallions
- 2 ears Grilled Corn (cut off the cobb)
- ½ C Grated Cheddar Cheese
- To build the lettuce cups, place a piece of lettuce down and scoop a few ounces of pulled chicken and place in the center.
- Garnish with remaining ingredients to your liking.