Healthy Tailgate Recipe: Italian Chicken on the Grill

healthy-Tailgate-recipe-585Are you ready for some football? We are!
Forget the burgers and brats this fall and tailgate like a pro! This healthy tailgate recipe won’t leave you with a Monday morning food hangover and a surplus of stored calories. (Did you know that to burn off just two handfuls of potato chips — about two ounces — you’d have to run the length of a football field 45 times! It’s easy to see where a day of casual tailgating can really derail your healthy habits, huh?)
Satisfy your foodie sensibilities with this healthy chicken recipe. You can prep the day before the big game and use store-bought marinara to make life easier on game day.
Can I eat now?
Pro tip: Work up an appetite and toss that pigskin around while you grill. When you throw a football, not only do all of the upper body muscles come into play — shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms, pecs and lats — but you also work your core, including those obliques!

Italian Chicken On The Grill
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Create tailgate party envy with this gourmet Italian chicken recipe.
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast
  • 4 slices provolone cheese, optional
  • 1 lb. spinach
  • ½ cup prepared Marinara sauce
  • 4 whole-grain sandwich buns
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
The Day Before the Big Game
  1. Stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, basil, salt and pepper.
  2. Place the chicken breasts between two pieces of wax paper and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until ¼ inch thick. Cut into four pieces.
  3. Place marinade and pounded chicken breasts into a re-sealable plastic bag and let marinate overnight.
Game Day
  1. Wash and stem spinach.
  2. Tear a large piece of aluminum foil from the roll and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Place the spinach in the center of the foil, sprinkle with salt and pepper; fold closed to create a packet.
At the Stadium
  1. Prepare coals.
  2. Drain chicken and discard marinade.
  3. Place chicken on one side of the grill rack. Close lid and grill for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping once during cooking time. Top with one slice of provolone (if desired) for the last minute of cooking time.
  4. Place the packet of spinach on the other side of the grill and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside when done.
  5. Remove chicken from the grill, place on a bun. Top with two tablespoons marinara sauce and wilted spinach.
To avoid steam burns, carefully unwrap spinach package.
Not a fan of spinach? Top with sliced avocado instead.
No marinara? Use pizza sauce instead.
Vegetarian? Same recipe, but use a portobello mushroom.

Heartier appetite? Make these Caprese salad poppers to go with it! —Karen

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