Big Game, Big Flavors: Your Game Day Food Guide
Next time you’re on the edge of your seat watching the biggest game of the year (or, let’s be honest, the commercials!), reach for one of these super classic tailgating party foods
Photograph by Olga Ivanova
Spicy Buffalo chicken wings, nachos dripping with cheese and sour cream, and gooey spinach dip with crunchy tortilla chips will be popping up on coffee tables across America when game day comes, and for good reason. They're delicious, easy to make, and familiar. Even if this year’s big game football party has an especially short guest list (read: your household only), celebrate the time-honored TV-viewing tradition with some of these highly snackable, mouthwatering, unfussy football party recipes. From quick and easy dips to hot wings and warm chili, you're sure to find a fan favorite in these appetizers and snacks! Score a culinary touchdown with our best game day finger foods.
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Forget standing over the stovetop when there's a big game to watch; whip up an awesome, no-cook or make-ahead baked dip instead! For the no-cook options on this dip recipe list, all you need to do is gather your ingredients, pop them into a food processor, chill, and enjoy. Many of the hot dips can be made ahead and kept warm in a low oven or slow cooker. Pair them with veggies, pita bread, chips, pretzels, or whatever other game day snacks you have lined up. It really doesn't get much easier than this. We all know, this is not the day to be getting up during the commercials to continue with food prep!
Chicken wing recipes
Wings are the classic messy finger food for game day. Pair them with your favorite Buffalo or ranch dipping sauce and you've got yourself a guaranteed winner. Try one of these fantastic wing recipes and be victorious on game day, whether or not your favorite team wins. And don't forget the napkins!
You don't have to wait until next summer's neighborhood chili cook-off to enjoy a bowl of the ultimate comfort food. Oh-so-fragrant, totally delicious chilis like these are just the recipe for keeping cozy all winter long. Serve in bowls with handles that make it easy to eat while standing and hovering in front of the TV, or spoon generously over a hot dog (but maybe sit down for that approach). Either way, you'll have a crowd-pleaser.
Potato chips, fries, and more potato recipes
Want to do something more special than opening a bag of chips? Treat your gang to homemade chips, or indulge them with some loaded potato skins. And don't forget about sweet potatoes; they make for a tasty alternative to your standard potato recipes.
Nachos are great for feeding a crowd without a lot of work; just assemble and bake. But nachos don't have to be boring! Instead of tortilla chips, use a base of potatoes for Irish nachos. Or, wait, is that really bacon being used instead of chips? Diet-friendly options abound as well; avocados make for a healthy-fat version, and cauliflower lets you get the taste of nachos without all the carbs.
Meaty bites: Sausages, meatballs, and sliders
Sure, if you're fortunate to live someplace where you can fire up the grill in February, then you can't go wrong with burgers and dogs. But perhaps you'd like to cozy up indoors (and spend your time watching the game, not the grill). If that's more your speed, then fire up the slow cooker for some meatballs or try some easy large batch oven-baked sliders for the taste you love made in the warmth of your kitchen.
Whether you're serving gooey queso dip or spicy Mexican-flavored jalapeño poppers with cream cheese, no one will go hungry with these cheesy party recipes. Want something on the lighter side? Try the zucchini quesadillas to scratch that itch for cheese without committing a diet foul.
More game day food inspo
Check out these related Yummly articles for more flavorful game day recipe ideas: