Nutritious Tailgating Won’t Wreck Your Waistline

The Big Game is on TV in the basement cave and hungry fans will be at your door any minute. Or you’re packing up coolers and picnic baskets for the drive to your favorite college on Game Day. No matter how you plan to watch football, some things are certain on Fall weekends. You’ll wear your school colors and yell yourself hoarse celebrating every touchdown. You’ll eat. And eat. And eat. Make healthy snacks and ease some of the indulgence guilt. After all, you’ve waited all summer for the chance to tailgate.

Serve a gorgeous Stromboli ring instead of pizza. This winner looks impressive but it’s easy to make if you follow the instructions and take it step by step. You’ll only need 12 ounces of pizza dough for each ring although most store-bought dough comes in 1- or 1 1/2-pound portions.

Cheesy Chicken-and-Spinach Stromboli Ring

Active Time: 30 Minutes. Total Time: 50 Minutes

Yield: Serves 4


  • 12 ounces fresh prepared whole-wheat pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 6 ounces shredded skinless rotisserie chicken breast (about 1 1/2 cups)

How to Make It

Step 1

Let pizza dough stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°F.

Step 2

Heat a large skillet over medium-low. Add oil and garlic; cook, swirling occasionally, until garlic is golden, about 2 to 4 minutes. Drain oil from skillet into a small bowl to reserve, keeping garlic in skillet. Add spinach to skillet; increase heat to medium-high, and cook, tossing constantly, until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes to cool.

Step 3

Stir together ricotta and Parmesan in a medium bowl. Add spinach mixture and chicken; stir well to combine.

Step 4

Place dough on a large piece of parchment paper, and roll dough into a 20- x 6-inch rectangle. Spoon chicken mixture down center of dough to make an approximately 20- x 3-inch strip.

Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, create tabs in dough on both sides of filling: Starting at the edge of dough, cut 1 1/2-inch-long diagonal slits (1/2 inch to 3/4 inch apart) in toward filling. Fold tabs over filling, and pinch tabs together over center of filling to seal and hold dough in place as it bakes.

Carefully and slowly bring the ends of the stuffed dough together to form a circle. Then pinch ends of dough together to seal the ring and hide the seams.

Step 5

Transfer Stromboli ring on parchment to a baking sheet; fold or cut away excess parchment to fit baking sheet. Brush half of reserved garlic-infused oil over dough. Bake Stromboli at 450°F until dough is browned, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven; brush with remaining garlic oil. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Read More: For additional nutritious and delicious versions of your Game Day favorites, go to Healthy Tailgating Recipes.



Linda Parham

Linda Parham is a journalist and writer who enjoys creating entertaining blogs. She started out as a newspaper reporter before moving on to editing magazines and newsletters. Linda specializes in writing about beauty, health, fitness, business and politics.

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