This might be an unpopular opinion, but I think the best part of the Super Bowl is the food (followed by the commercials). Clearly, I’m not a big fan of football (insert eye roll here). But that’s the great thing about the Super Bowl . . . even if you don’t love football, there’s still so much to enjoy about gathering around a TV screen, hanging out with friends, sipping a favorite beverage, and eating lots of fun finger foods and dips. And if you do love football, well, even better!
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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.
Here are some of my favorite things to make and serve at a Super Bowl party.
Ultimate Spicy Beef Nachos
Nachos might be the most crowd-pleasing choice around. For our recipe, we start by making a bold and spicy beef mixture. Then we layer some tortilla chips in a baking dish and dollop some refried beans on top, followed by the beef, lots of shredded cheese, and sliced jalapeños. And then we repeat to add a second layer, making sure there’s plenty to serve a crowd. Salsa, sour cream, cilantro, and diced avocado all make great toppings to set out for a DIY nacho bar.
Ultimate Spicy Beef NachosMost nachos end up soggy, bland, and greasy when they could be crisp, flavorful, and fresh. Using the right ingredients is important, but the real secret to perfect nachos lies in the assembly.
Lemon Pepper Wings
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Buffalo wings are great too (and I often serve them), but Buffalo chicken dip features the same flavor mixed into a creamy, gooey irresistible dip. To make it, we start with a rotisserie chicken to keep the prep work simple. Then we mix Frank’s RedHot sauce into cream cheese that we’ve softened in the microwave and stir in the chicken, Ranch dressing, blue cheese, and Worcestershire sauce. We bake the dip until it’s warmed through, top it with cheddar cheese, and then pop it back into the oven to melt the cheese. Serve it with chips, carrots, and celery for dipping, and it’s bound to disappear in no time!
Bacon-Cheddar Potato Skins
Potato skins are superpopular at Super Bowl parties. And it’s not hard to see why. You just can’t go wrong with crunchy potato skins, lots of cheddar and Monterey Jack, and crispy bacon. We crisp the bacon in a pan and then use the rendered fat to brush the potato skins before baking them until golden-brown and crisp. This extra layer of flavor is a home run. I mean a touchdown!
Bacon-Cheddar Potato SkinsWe wanted crunch you could hear across the room—no deep fryer required.
Ultimate Seven-Layer Dip
You could just make a huge bowl of guacamole and your guests will be supremely satisfied, or you can take it up a notch and make seven-layer dip, that stalwart of football-watching parties. Want to know a secret? Our seven-layer dip has only six layers: beans, sour cream, pepper Jack cheese, guacamole, tomatoes, and scallions (we didn’t love adding tinny canned black olives on top).
Ultimate Seven-Layer DipThe key to this dip is infusing each layer with enough fresh flavor and structure to prevent separate components from becoming muddled.
Everything Bagel Pigs in Blankets
Have you ever been to a Super Bowl party where pigs in blankets are not being served? I don’t think I have. This crowd-pleasing snack is so easy to make. The simplest versions are just two ingredients: crescent rolls and mini hot dogs. They’re so good that it almost feels like this is a recipe that shouldn’t be messed with, but we went ahead and did it anyway. We replaced the crescent rolls with puff pastry, which is just as convenient but offers a flakier blanket. And for more sophisticated flavor we sprinkled everything bagel seasoning and grated Parmesan on top before baking the little hot dog bundles.
Everything Bagel Pigs in BlanketsPuff pastry brings these from the kids' table to cocktail hour.
Air-Fryer Jalapeño Poppers
Looking for a little heat? Then you probably want to make some jalapeño poppers. Simply stuff the peppers with a cream cheese and cheddar cheese filling, wrap them in bacon, and pop them into the air fryer until the filling is nice and gooey and the bacon is crispy. Don’t have an air fryer? You can also make Baked Jalapeño Poppers.
Air-Fryer Jalapeño PoppersStuff, wrap, and pop into the air fryer—three simple steps to this crowd-pleasing party snack.
With a name like football sandwiches, these ham and cheese sliders are a must for a Super Bowl party menu. To make them, simply assemble little sandwiches (ours are filled with ham and Swiss, but I’ve used American if I know I’m serving people who don’t like Swiss) on dinner rolls and arrange them in a baking dish. Mix up a seasoned butter with onion, poppy seeds, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard, and brush it on the roll tops. Let the sandwiches sit for a few minutes to soak up the butter and then bake them until warm and melty. As a bonus, they can be assembled a day ahead and baked when you’re ready to serve them.
Ham and Swiss Football SandwichesBrushed with a butter sauce and baked, these hot sandwiches are a game-day favorite.
Indoor Barbecued Ribs
Barbecued ribs are a good choice because they’re substantial and filling but still count as finger food. We recently developed a recipe for indoor ribs with deep, smoky flavor. (We lean on liquid smoke to achieve this.) So even if you don’t have a grill or it’s too cold to grill where you are, you can still serve up some fantastic barbecued ribs. You do need to plan ahead for this one as the ribs need to be brined and then slow-roasted.
Indoor Barbecued RibsSmoky, succulent “barbecued” ribs from the convenience of your kitchen.
The best slider should have a soft bun; gooey, melty cheese; juicy but crispy meat, and a flavorful sauce. Watch the video below to learn how to make the ultimate slider. Mini handheld burgers for the win!
Pizza Monkey Bread
A lot of people serve pizza for the big game (don’t let me stop you), but I like to take it a step farther and make an even more snackable version: Pizza Monkey Bread. You can pull it apart, dip it in sauce, and eat it with your hands. To make the bread, you’ll just need pizza dough (store-bought is fine), string cheese, seasonings, and some time. While putting it together takes a little work, you can assemble the monkey bread the day before and bake it for the party so it’s nice and hot and the cheese pockets are melty.
Pizza Monkey BreadAs a fresh twist on sweet monkey bread, this pizza-flavored version is a knockout concept. Too bad most of the recipes we tried failed to execute it well.
And let’s not forget dessert! Since savory dips are always such a hit, I think it only makes sense to include a dessert dip too. Our cannoli dip, a mixture of ricotta, mascarpone, and confectioners’ sugar, comes together in no time and can be served with all sorts of dippers, from pizzelle to broken waffle cones to fruit.
Chocolate Chip–Orange Cannoli DipJust as delicious as traditional cannoli—but a lot more fun.
Cookies, brownies, blondies, and other handheld desserts are great to add to the mix too—anything sweet your guests can grab and eat while standing around talking about the game. I like these Cowboy Cookies because they are chock-full of mini chocolate chips, pecans, coconut, and oats. And they turn out incredibly soft and chewy. Learn how to make them in the video below.
And last but not least, whether your Super Bowl party is all adults or there are some kids there too, these big, chewy, buttery M&M Cookies should be on your menu. They’re easy, fun, and colorful. If you want, you can even coordinate them by using M&Ms that match the colors of your favorite football team!
M&M CookiesThis fun and playful cookie deserves to be the best it can be.
With this list of party foods handy, I’m tempted to say it doesn’t matter who wins the game because you’ll have the winning spread!