There’s one team that everyone roots for, whether your eyes are glued to the game or you’re more focused on those fantastic commercials, and that’s Team Food. Not sure where to start when it comes to planning the perfect big game party? No stress, just get some coaching tips from our game day party playbook, and you’ll be serving up touchdown-worthy recipes in no time.
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When in doubt, order out.
1. Make Some Dishes That Don’t Require Attention While Eating
For instance, it’s easier to keep your eyes on the pigskin when noshing on meatballs, popcorn, or even pigs in a blanket (though dipping in different sauces complicates things a little). Wings are fabulous finger food, but the presence of bones means they require more attention than many other scarf-worthy snacks, and guacamole demands a modicum of coordination to get it onto your chip. Just have at least a couple grab-and-gobble options for those who are actually there to watch the game first and eat second, in case they truly can’t tear their eyes away from the screen.
Football Stadium Chip And Dip Sports Serving Set, $25.99 on Amazon
For those who pay attention to what they're eating, this whimsical serving platter may be appreciated.
2. Have Enough Beer—and Beer Openers
It’s key to have enough beer. And to have a way to open it, in case you’re not just dealing with twist-offs and pop tops. Consider stocking up on multiple openers to stash around your viewing area (and kitchen, and yard…); try these ways of securing your bottle opener so it stays in place. But if you do lose track of it, pull out a nifty party trick and up your awesomeness by learning how to open the beer bottle with a pen. If you want to get a little fancier (but not as fancy as game day wine), consider batching up some beer cocktails for the big game.
Anbers Rubber Coated Stainless Steel Flat Bottle Openers, 6 for $10.55 on Amazon
Get a six-pack of beer bottle openers and lessen the chances of losing all of them at once.
3. Bring Out the Heaviest Players During Halftime
This means brats, burgers, and other such meaty mains. Even though your guests have been eating for a good portion of the game, they’re bound to still be hungry after a few beers. And during the half, they’ll have time to devote to properly chowing down. Trust us, more food is good for one and all.
Related Reading: The Best Meat Delivery Services for 2020
4. Remember to Include Some Healthy Options
Just because game day is stereotyped as a barbecuing, testosterone-fueled, tailgating-type shindig doesn’t mean that every recipe has to be so fat-filled that it’s sure to clog your arteries. Serve prepped veggies with a flavorful homemade dip, like this remoulade or blue cheese dressing, and lighten up your queso. Sneak in some plant-based junk food options, and check out these other healthy game day snacks. Your waistline will thank you, and so will your guests. (Don’t forget the keto folks, or vegans either.)
5. Call on Your Crock-Pot (Or Your Instant Pot)
If you don’t want to be distracted in the kitchen, make one (or several) slow cooker game day recipes that can hang out on the kitchen counter so guests can serve themselves. They’re handy for super bowls of soup as well, in case you like things that are easy, delicious, and punny.
NFL Team Slow Cookers (all teams), $29.99 on Amazon
If you're all about showing team spirit, pick up a Crock-Pot sporting your logo of choice.
Or take the opposite tack and pick a quick-cooking Instant Pot preparation like this veggie chili.
6. Don’t Be Afraid of Shortcuts
Just because you’re hosting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sit down and enjoy yourself, so consider taking some game day party shortcuts. There are lots of easy crescent roll recipes perfect for the occasion, and delicious ways to hack biscuit mix too. Try transforming store-bought pizza dough if you prefer that. Or just order in some gourmet frozen pizza and call it a day.
7. Don’t Forget Dessert
Keep it to finger food, like brownies, bars, and cookies, but don’t leave your guests craving something sweet (other than the taste of victory, of course). Think: Sticky Peanut Cookie Bars, Marble Cheesecake Bars, or the S’mores Bars recipe shown above—but if cakes and cupcakes are more your cup-of-tea, we’ve got those too. We also like beer dessert recipes for the occasion, for obvious reasons.
Related Video: How to Make Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Everyone Will Love
Original story by Chowhound Editors, updated by Amy Sowder and Jen Wheeler
Header image by Chowhound.