Regardless of which team you are rooting for this Sunday, one thing is certain – you will indulge in some of your preferred Super Bowl Sunday recipes and snacks.
However, this year, following the crowning of the Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs or San Francisco 49ers, you won’t feel bloated and lethargic, all thanks to Scottsdale, AZ-based chef Dom Ruggiero, the founder and CEO of Cast Iron Concepts, a Hospitality Group based in Scottsdale which oversees three restaurants: Hush Public House, Bar Cena, and Fire at Will.
Ruggiero, a Marine Aviation Operations Specialist, attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. He worked as a chef in New York City for a number of years before returning to his hometown, Scottsdale, where he launched his first restaurant in 2019.
One of Ruggiero’s notable venues, Hush Public House, is set to make an appearance on an upcoming episode of celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.
To offset the calories consumed while innovating new culinary concepts in his kitchen, Ruggiero, an enthusiastic weightlifter, also practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Here, Ruggiero shares his key pointers on effectively preparing game day treats without missing out on any game action or delectable flavor!
Super Bowl Sunday Dish Substitutions
Maintain the flavor but reduce the calories by making straightforward yet flavorful replacements. “I’ve discovered the best approach to create healthier Super Bowl dishes is to stick with the traditional offerings but swap in alternative ingredients whenever possible,” Ruggiero suggests. For instance, substitute mayonnaise-based recipes with Greek yogurt or swap fattier meats with leaner proteins like chicken or turkey instead of beef or pork.
Ruggiero recommends the following ingredient swaps for healthier options:
- Replace mayonnaise or sour cream with Greek Yogurt
- Swap ketchup for salsa for a healthier sauce
- Switch out ranch dip for hummus
- Trade vegetable oil for olive oil
- Exchange soda for seltzer water with lemon
- Substitute fatty meats with lean proteins
Prioritize Preparation, Enjoyment, and Fun
Like everyone else, Ruggiero wants to watch the game and relish the party. “I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun,” remarks the Super Bowl chef. Therefore, he always designs his menu to be either prepped well in advance and/or capable of being kept warm without compromising the flavor or texture. “Crockpots and pellet smokers are ideal for this purpose,” he states.
Disposable Aluminum Containers for Easy Cleanup!
When it comes to game-day prep, Ruggiero prefers to serve all his Super Bowl Sunday dishes in disposable aluminum pans. “Towards the end of the party, I’ll provide takeout containers for my guests to bring leftovers home – it makes cleanup a breeze,” he explains. Not only does this streamline post-party cleaning, but it also allows your friends to enjoy the game day dishes the next day, preventing you from being stuck with an excess of food.
Chef Dom Ruggiero’s Winning Super Bowl Sunday Recipes
Homemade French Onion Dip
This homemade French Onion Dip is one of Ruggiero’s wife’s cherished dishes! “This recipe demonstrates how you can substitute Greek yogurt for mayo and extra virgin olive oil for butter,” he adds. It pairs wonderfully with chips or fresh-cut vegetables for an even healthier alternative.
- 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
- 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 blended.
BBQ Chicken Lettuce Cups
Another crowd-pleaser is these BBQ Chicken lettuce cups. Chef Ruggiero presents them with grilled corn, shaved radish, cheddar cheese, and scallions, “But you can personalize them according to your preferences with your favorite ingredients,” he remarks. “This recipe utilizes the crock pot with your preferred BBQ sauce, but you could also use your smoker for additional smoky flavor,” suggests 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.
- Keep warm until you are ready to assemble your lettuce cups.
- 1 head of Butter lettuce
- 1 watermelon radish (shaved thin)
- 1 bunch scallions
- 2 ears Grilled Corn (cut off the cob)
- ½ C Grated Cheddar Cheese
- To create the lettuce cups, place a piece of lettuce down and scoop a few ounces of pulled chicken, placing it in the center.
- Garnish with remaining ingredients to suit your taste.