It seems like whenever we host a friends for the Big Game (or another popular televised sporting event), it’s a last minute decision. Inevitably the weeks leading up to the day are really busy, and it’s not until Friday or Saturday that we both say, “Hey. Maybe it’d be fun to invite a few people over.”
Then a scramble for yummy game day recipes ensues.
As the host, I love when appetizers and meals are simple to prepare for a crowd. I like them even more if they can be made ahead, so that I can actually hang out and enjoy the party with my guests.
Things like marinated olives or queso dip and chips are often go-tos because they involve little to no prep work, aside from running to the grocery store.
(Though, I’ll admit, as an introvert sometimes it’s nice to escape to the kitchen for a little quiet food prep time—and a glass of wine. Save that for pulling desserts together.)
Or, maybe you’re a little more organized about it than I am, and you’ve been planning a “Big Game” blowout party for months with intricate canapes, printed menus, elaborate tablescapes—the works. I happen to not have that much foresight. Or desire to plan anything. Even our kids’ birthday parties…
Either way, having yummy game day recipes lined up to keep everyone full and happy is key!
20 Game Day Recipes
1. Avocado Fries Two Ways
Who doesn’t love the idea of avocado, creamy and velvety, fried up into dippable sticks of deliciousness? Plus, Nik’s photography is dreamy, so make sure you allow enough time to check out the recipe AND to browse his site.
2. Fresh Homemade Salsa
There’s nothing that beats fresh homemade salsa. Sure, there are jarred varieties that are fine—yummy even—but when freshly diced tomatoes, garlic and cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime juice are tossed together, something magical happens.
3. Chili Cheese Burritos
Love the idea of making a burrito bar for your guests to mix and match all kinds of different fun flavors for Mindi’s chili cheese burritos!
4. Pot Stickers
Got a little extra time on your hands? These beef pot stickers are super fun, and super yummy. If you’re not into ground beef, they taste equally as good with ground pork, chicken, or even with a vegetarian filling. Make a bunch!
5. Sausage Pizza Rolls
Parmesan, mozzarella, and lots of flavorful herbs make these easy sausage pizza rolls drool-worthy.
6. Buffalo Chicken Taquitos
Not only are these buffalo chicken taquitos tasty, they also happen to be gluten and dairy free! Mmm…
7. Homemade Guacamole
I mean, could there be any better guacamole than Alton Brown’s homemade recipe? It’s The Guac.
8. Cocoa Rubbed Chicken Wings
These smoky sweet cocoa rubbed chicken wings are broiled instead of baked or fried, which means they get the same awesome char as an outdoor grill would produce. Yum! Pro tip: Thien-Kim recommends pairing these with a dark chocolate stout.
9. Garlic Pizza Bread Sticks
Homemade soft, cheesy, garlicy bread sticks? We’re in!
10. Classic Beef Stew
Making enough beef stew to feed a crowd is a breeze, and you can do it ahead of time! On game day, simply let your slow cooker do the work of reheating and simmering, while you hang with friends and family.
11. Baked Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
If you haven’t yet made this game day classic, now’s your chance!
12. Buffalo Ranch Roasted Cauliflower Nachos
These buffalo ranch roasted cauliflower nachos are a delicious way to load up on veggies, while still enjoying classic game day fare. Yum!
13. Sesame Hoisin Wings
These baked sesame hoisin wings are sticky sweet, with the right amount of savory bang. Plus, even though they’re baked, they fall right off the bone!
14. Vegetarian Chipotle Lettuce Wraps
Fresh and bright flavors make these chipotle lettuce wraps irresistible!
15. Cornbread Chili Casserole
I’m all for chili, especially when cheese and cornbread are involved. This cornbread chili casserole mixes the flavors all together into one beautiful meal!
Let’s Not Forget About Game Day Desserts!
16. Red Velvet Oreo Poke Cake
How can you go wrong with red velvet Oreo cookies and a red velvet cake to match? You can’t! Except your guests may never leave…until the cake’s gone, that is.
17. Homemade Fudgy Brownies
Easy to make with ingredients you probably have in your pantry already. These brownies are fudgy, chocolatey, sinfully good.
Snickerdoodles are one of my son’s favorites. Beware, they are addicting!
19. Samoas Truffles
If you’re a fan of the classic Girls Scout Cookie “Samoas,” then you’re going to drool over these Samoas truffles.
20. Soft & Chewy Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
Is there anything better than a classic chocolate chip cookie? Nope.
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