Heart Healthy Recipes For Your Next Tailgate

Heart Healthy Recipes | Arkansas Heart Hospital

With football season and Labor Day upon us, it’s almost time to bring out your best recipes for tailgates and get-togethers! There are plenty of ways to put a heart-healthy twist on classic recipes, so we’ve compiled a few of our favorite heart healthy recipes to help make your next tailgate party or barbecue a hit.

Recipe #1: Seven-Layer Bean Dip

For a crowd-pleasing appetizer, most people enjoy a seven layer Mexican dip. This heart healthy version provides all the flavors you enjoy with little to no guilt. Whether you need a dip for tailgating or a family get together, this recipe from StrongHearts Registered Dietitian Samantha Stewart is sure to impress. And it pairs well with her baked tortilla crisps! 


 Bean Layer:

  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1 (dry) chipotle pepper (found in produce section next to peppers)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. cumin

Avocado Layer:

  • 3 avocados, pitted + mashed with fork
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

 Everything Else:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used full fat)
  • 2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 3 romana tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped hothouse cucumber
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish (optional)
  • tortilla chips, to serve


Bean Layer: In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until well blended and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Avocado Layer: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 To Assemble: 

  1. Spread the beans in an even layer on the bottom of a 8 x 11 (or similar) casserole dish. Spread the avocado in an even layer on top of the beans, followed by a layer of sour cream, then the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion.
  2. Season the top lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.


I would recommend preparing the dip the day of serving as moisture from the veggies can accumulate if the dip sits for too long. If you want the dip extra chilled, prepare + chop all the layers and chill individually before layering and serving.

Recipe #2: Baked Tortilla Crisps (Serves 4) 

Looking to make your own tortilla crisp to pair with your favorite dip? In less than 20 minutes you can make a healthier version and save a few dollars. For a sweet kick, sprinkle cinnamon and Splenda on at the end. 


  • 6 low sodium corn tortillas


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Stack the tortillas and cut into 6 wedges. 
  3. Lay tortilla pieces on a baking sheet so they do not overlap.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Chips should be crisp and lightly brown.

NOTE: Can be cooked plain or sprinkled with your favorite seasoning.

Recipe #3: Spicy Bean Dip

This spicy bean dip is perfect to add a little kick to your next tailgate party. Created by Chef Mark in our StrongHearts kitchen, it’s a refreshing side in the summer. For a lower-calorie option, use heart healthy tortilla crisps rather than store bought bean dip and chips. This dip is so flavorful, it’ll be the hit of the party!

Note: Makes 2 1/2 Cups


  • 16 ounces cooked pinto beans or no salt added canned pintos
  • 1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon no salt added chili powder or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place beans in a food processor. Process to a chunky purée.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and purée until smooth. Adjust seasonings and transfer to a bowl, chill until ready to serve.

For other great heart healthy recipes and meal ideas, check out the recipes page on our blog. You can also follow our culinary team on Instagram for more food ideas.