That Sunday in February seems like the distant future, but we all know it is anything but. Sure, it’s not even Christmas, but thinking about the Super Bowl is a must this time of year. Who is hosting? What will you cook, order, or bring? Why does it have to be on a Sunday night? Why is there school and work the following day? Who plans this stuff? People without kids, that’s who plans this stuff.
Oh, and who is playing? We won’t know that for a few weeks yet, but it doesn’t matter. Sure, it’s great if it’s your favorite team playing in the Super Bowl, but it’s not why we watch. We watch for halftime (and let’s talk about halftime 2022, shall we? Dr. Dre, Snoop, Eminem, Mary J…they’ll never top that, so why even continue?). Some watch for the commercials – but we haven’t watched a commercial since TiVo and DVR came out, so no. It’s halftime and the excuse to have a party and hate ourselves with a passion on Monday that drives us to watch this game.
Unless your team is in the game, that is. Now that the Super Bowl is like six minutes away – you know how fast time passes these days – we need to think about our favorite Super Bowl recipes. Do you have to cook or bake or make or create? Certainly not, but it’s an option. Do not feel bad about watching the game at sports bar or ordering wings or pizza to serve your guests. But, do know we have some killer menu items on hand for you. From appetizers to main dishes to side dishes to dessert, we’ve got you covered. Here’s hoping your favorite NFL team feels the same way.
Appetizers for Super Bowl Sunday
You cannot host – or attend – a Super Bowl party with appetizers. It is unamerican. It’s inhumane. It’s not delicious. Everyone needs to fill up on something before dinner, right? And these classic apps are delicious and not even remotely good for you.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
This is a dish best served with crackers, tortilla chips, or veggies. My personal favorites include celery and carrots, though you can add whatever you like. It’s your party. I also find keeping this dish in a crockpot all night (low) is the way to go.
Greasy? Check. Cream Cheesy? Check. Bacon wrapped? Check. This is absolutely a favorite appetizer anywhere. Be sure to bake these on a cookie rack set inside a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to collect the grease so they don’t sit in the grease and become soggy.
Soft Pretzel Bites
This is a great dish for any party in which kids are invited. They’re notoriously picky, but kids love pretzels. You get bonus points if you bring the right dipping cheeses and sauces, too.
Loaded Potato Skins
Let me just ask an honest question here. Is there ever a time in which loaded potato skins are not appropriate? I’m not asking for a friend. I’m asking for my inner glutton. Squeezable sour cream is the best to bring to a party to go along with this dish.
The best thing about this recipe is that it can become both an appetizer or a main dish depending on size, and whether you choose to include some type of meat.
Main Dishes for Super Bowl Sunday
There is absolutely no creativity in this section, and that’s because we simply do not believe the Super Bowl is a party meant for culinary masterpieces. It’s made for all the best things. Hot dogs are a good addition, too.
Buffalo Chicken Wings
The best way to make these, if we are being honest, is with a dry rub and the sauce on the side. It’s so much better that way. But no matter how you like it, just be sure you’re not forgetting the ranch and blue cheese – and more flat wings than not. Everyone loves a flat.
You don’t have to use turkey. You can use beef. Or you can do a mixture of both. Some people might prefer a turkey burger. The only thing I will say about this recipe is that you are nothing to anyone if you buy cheap hamburger buns or pre-made burgers from the freezer section. Handmake them and spring for the bakery buns.
French Dip Sliders
I am a sucker for a good French dip with an au jus, and this is no exception. What a treat on game day.
White Chicken Chili
Chili is a great Super Bowl Sunday dish because it might be cold. I mean, it’s rarely cold on Super Bowl Sunday here – we watched the halftime show and the football game before and after the main event on the pool deck with the fireplace going this year and we were a little warm. But that’s Florida for you. The point here is that chili is always a good idea. It’s a crock pot dish. It is simple and easy to make, and it’s not messy.
Hawaiian Roll Sliders
Who doesn’t love a Hawaiian roll? No one. That’s who. Add meat and cheese, bake it, and you’re the party planner of the year. What we appreciate about these is you can dress them up or down. Store-bought lunch meat works, but you can also dress it up with something significantly more upscale.
Side Dishes for Super Bowl Sunday
Every main dish needs a proper side dish. We thought ahead here, too, and we included a few healthy options. You’re already eating a mess of unhealthy items at the Super Bowl party, but it’s worthwhile. Football food is the best food, and these sides pair well with any dish on the menu.
Tex Mex Quinoa Salad
Tex Mex is a win. Throw in a little quinoa for health and everyone wins. You can serve this with just about anything from burgers to hot dogs to wings. It’s especially good with wings, but it also makes a great dish on its own for those who prefer not to indulge in main dish.
Greek Pasta Salad
There is something magical about Greek food. It’s filled with vegetables, which is so good for us, but it’s also flavorful. The Greeks know how to get it done. This is a pasta salad sure to please everyone in attendance.
Jalapeno Mac and Cheese
It’s a spicy twist on a favorite side dish, and everyone will love this one. The key here is to figure out just how spicy you like it. Perhaps make two dishes. One for the spicy food lovers and one a little milder for those with less spicy feelings.
Macaroni Cheese Bites
There is no such thing as an unfortunate mac and cheese dish, and I am quoting that directly from my own husband. Here’s a fun story for you – the first, last and only time we went to Las Vegas (which it turns out is absolutely not the city for us), my husband went on a mac & cheese tour. It’s unofficial, of course, but he found a way. Of all the lovely restaurants at which we had reservations during our four days in Vegas, he managed to find a mac & cheese dish to try and love. He decided on that trip that there is no such thing as bad mac and cheese, and that’s where these bites fit the menu.
Don’t let the title fool you. This is not a healthy side dish. It’s fat and full of bad things, but it’s good. Like, it’s good-good. This is a recipe that can be made numerous ways. It’s easy to modify, so don’t hesitate to include a little more of what you do like, a little less of what you don’t, or go all out with something new.
Desserts for Super Bowl Sunday
Ah, finally. We have reached the best part of the evening (any evening, really). Dessert. It’s why we eat dinner, is it not? Here are a couple of fun dessert recipes to try when you’re working on your Super Bowl dessert menu. Some can be themed to make them football related. Another fun idea is to have people make desserts for the party to see who can make the most delicious, the most creative, and the most football-fabulous dessert. It’s a cool way to have a little more fun.
Peanut Butter Dip
We love peanut butter. We also love dipping things into peanut butter. This is also a dish that can be made to look like a football, and it can go with just about anything. From cookies to fruit, you can dip just about anything into peanut butter and make it a winning combination. We’ll throw in some brownie points for adding chocolate to this mix. Mmmm….brownies sound delightful.
Chocolate Bacon Bark
Hear us out, okay? There are a few fun days every month when nothing matters except fueling our bodies with all the sweet and savory items, and this dish does both. You literally just dip bacon into melted chocolate, and everyone wins. It doesn’t look good. It doesn’t even sound that good. But I promise you that you will never find a more satisfying side.
Only those from The Ohio State University like the real buckeyes (not us), but we do like the edible ones. Also, why do you all call it “The Ohio State University,” like you have to make sure we all know it’s not some other one? Seriously, I am beyond curious. Regardless how you feel about fake buckeyes (and their weak conference schedule), the edible ones are just the right amount of all the good stuff all rolled into one, literally.
You want brownies. No, you want cookies. No, brownies. Wait. Why not make brownies, add cookie dough to the top of the brownie mix, and make both? It’s the greatest invention ever, and this is a supremely delightful Super Bowl Sunday dessert item. You are welcome.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars
Again with the salty and the sweet, but few things make such a perfect marriage. This is a dish you’ll win everyone over with. It’s also simple, and it does yield a large batch. Less time in the kitchen, more time watching halftime shows.
Super Bowl Sunday Tips
Super Bowl Sunday is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family, but it’s also a stressful situation for those who host. Here are a few tips to make the day a little more enjoyable.
- Ask your friends to bring a dish. Sign everyone up for something specific, though, so you don’t end up with 17 sides and no desserts.
- Create a more personal party with themed plates and napkins. Something I enjoy is simply finding your favorite team colors – or both teams – and purchasing disposable plates, napkins, and utensils in those colors for guests to use.
- Do include a few standard appetizer items. A fruit tray and a vegetable tray are both classic items. People do want variety, and these are great items to have on hand for any kids who might attend your Super Bowl party.
- Use disposable bakeware and cookware. Those disposable aluminum pans you buy in the grocery store? Yes, buy those. Use these for your side dishes and main dishes. Why? Because at the end of Super Bowl Sunday, it’s late. This is a game that doesn’t even start until the ungodly hour of like 7 pm. People leave your home late. Your kids have school the following morning. You may have work the following morning. You’ll want to clean your home following everyone’s departure, and these are easy. Throw them away when you’re done with them – no dishes to do. Or, you can save leftovers in them before throwing them away. The point is to keep your life simple on Super Bowl Sunday because Manic Monday comes quick.
Additional Resources You May Want to Consider