35 Finger Foods for Game Day

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group of friends having dinner party at home
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PARTY FAVORITES

Game day party hosts should always be prepared with a menu of easy-to-eat finger foods, whether it's football season or time for the World Series. These 35 satisfying dishes are simple and cheap to make, ranging in price from 50 cents a serving for popcorn or veggie sushi to $4 a serving for sliders and ribs worth cheering for. Mix and match to come up with an ideal party menu without going over budget.

Queso Dip
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QUESO DIP

This dangerously easy slow-cooker recipe for queso uses just four ingredients. A large batch makes for an instant party hit that's much cheaper than any takeout option.

Recipe: Cookie Rookie

Pigs in a Blanket
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PIGS IN A BLANKET

This classic party recipe is quick and easy to prepare with two ingredients: cocktail weiners and crescent rolls. To keep costs extra low, buy ingredients in bulk from wholesale club stores such as Costco when making large batches.

Recipe: Pillsbury

7-Layered Bean Dip
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BEAN DIP

Beans are cheap and filling, which makes this dip a good option for large, hungry crowds. A classic seven-layer bean dip recipe can be adapted to what's on hand and customized to taste. It doesn't even have to be seven layers — a dish of flavorful refried beans with some hot sauce on top does the trick.

Recipe: McCormick

Grilled Quesadillas
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QUESADILLAS

Quesadillas are a favorite game-watching snack and can be made with many different flavor combinations. This recipe for a classic cheese quesadilla is made in the oven to minimize hassle and cleanup. Serve with toppings and fillings of your choice.

Recipe: Brit + Co's Snapguide

Chicken Meatballs
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CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Chicken is less expensive than red meats typically used to make meatballs, and makes for a lighter snack. This recipe uses a slow cooker to make the dish easy. This is an easy make-ahead option that can be kept warm until guests arrive. 

Recipe: Chef Savvy

Guacamole
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GUACAMOLE

Guacamole is a favorite at parties, and one of the most nutritious options in a sea of fried and fatty foods. Using larger Dominican avocados, which are a brighter green and have smoother skin than Mexican Hass avocados, cuts costs. Or shop an ethnic market for good prices on Hass avocados a few days before the guac is needed, ensuring they have time to ripen. 

Recipe: Allrecipes

Macaroni and Cheese Bites
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MACARONI AND CHEESE BITES

People have long searched for a way to make mac and cheese a finger food. Rolling it into balls and deep-frying is one option, but those who prefer a cheaper, hassle-free option can follow a recipe for mac and cheese "cupcakes" — small, handheld portions baked in a muffin pan. 

Recipe: Chef in Training

Carrots and Celery with Dip
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CRUDITÉ AND DIP

Carrots and celery are inexpensive staples at grocery stores year-round. Combine with a flavorful, cheap, and quick onion and sour cream dip that beats pre-made mixes. This recipe also works well with other veggies, too. 

Recipe: Alton Brown

Party Mix Snack
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PARTY MIX

Bags of pre-made party mix come with a ton of sodium, plus an extra cost for convenience. Serve more mix for less money with this recipe — or go freestyle. 

Recipe: Chex

Chips and Salsa
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CHIPS AND SALSA

Buy chips and salsa in bulk to cut costs on this universally loved snack, or consider making fresh and cheap salsa in a food processor. 

Recipe: Hamilton Beach

Golden Caramel Popcorn in a Bowl
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POPCORN

Popcorn, salty and sometimes sweet, is the perfect crunchy food to eat by the handful while watching the big game. Pop super-inexpensive corn the morning of a party and dust with different flavors for a dash of variety. 

Recipe: Genius Kitchen

Spinach Artichoke Dip
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SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP

Using frozen spinach and artichokes makes this recipe simple and cost-effective. Substitute more spinach and skip the artichokes, or vice versa. The cream-cheese base makes a tangy flavored dish that always disappears fast. 

Recipe: Alton Brown

Kale Chips
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KALE CHIPS

Crunchy chips made from kale are all the rage, and just as satisfying as potato chips. Buying them from the store is costly and often means getting a bag full of preservatives. Follow this recipe to bake easy and inexpensive kale chips at home.

Recipe: Melissa d'Arabian

Cheese and Cracker Platter
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CHEESE AND CRACKER PLATTER

This classic party platter has stuck around for a reason: It satisfies with minimal effort and cost. A few types of cheese, such as a block of cheddar, a small wheel of queso fresco, and a wedge of brie, along with a box of crackers makes an easy snack centerpiece at any party.

Vegetable Sushi
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VEGGIE SUSHI

Raw fish can be expensive, intimidating, and potentially dangerous to work with at home, but veggie sushi is fun and easy to make, and costs just pennies per serving. These basic instructions are a good place to start. Make custom specialty rolls and dipping sauces to create a sushi platter as impressive as it is inexpensive.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Mini Quiche
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MINI QUICHE

A classic French dish, quiche is one of the least expensive snacks to make for a crowd, and baking it in mini-muffin tins yields perfectly bite-size, crustless versions. This recipe covers the basics, but feel free to customize with different fillings. 

Recipe: Add a Pinch

Flatbread Pizzas
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FLATBREAD PIZZAS

Rather than order pricey pizza delivery, make pizzas from flatbreads and a variety of toppings. This recipe for a classic Margherita version is a good place to start. Set out bowls of toppings and let people make their own customized pizza.

Recipe: Let the Baking Begin

Grilled Cheese
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GRILLED CHEESE

A plate of fresh grilled cheese sandwiches cut into quarters will disappear quickly at any party. This easy-to-eat finger food can be made simply with bread and a few slices of cheese, or spruced up with fillings from bacon to apple to onion jam.

Baked Chicken Wings
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WINGS

You can hardly have a sports party without wings, but ordering out adds up. This simple recipe for baked chicken wings makes crispy and tangy wings without fatty frying, and starting with bulk frozen wings is cheap enough to serve guests as many as they want.  

Recipe: Bon Appétit

Chicken Satay Skewers
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CHICKEN SATAY SKEWERS

Made from inexpensive chicken, these easy dipping skewers are a light option and full of flavor. Marinating the chicken overnight makes it tender and flavorful, so it's not a step to skip, but making the sauce and even grilling can be done ahead of time; just heat up the skewers before serving. 

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Sausage and Pepper Sliders
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SAUSAGE AND PEPPER SLIDERS

Hearty mini sandwiches are impressive but can be easy to pull off. This sausage and pepper slider recipe from cuts down on cost by using inexpensive Italian sausage as the meat with more filler from onions and peppers. Cooked in a large batch and assembled on small buns, the process is quick and easy.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Baby Back Ribs
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RIBS

Making ribs in the oven is an easy process that fills a kitchen with delicious and tempting aromas. This recipe for baby back ribs takes over four hours to make, but it can be prepared easily ahead of time and kept warm in a low-heat oven. Buy ribs in bulk from a wholesale club for quality meat at low prices and feast on ribs all weekend long. 

Recipe: Allrecipes

Stuffed Potato Skins
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STUFFED POTATO SKINS

One of the best things about this irresistible party food is its adaptability. This version features broccoli and avocado cream rather than the more typical bacon and sour cream. Don't feel limited by the given ingredients — add favorite seasonal vegetables or whatever is in the refrigerator. Anything from kale and onions to shredded chicken is guaranteed deliciousness when loaded into a potato skin and topped with cheese.

Recipe: Ellie Krieger

Jalapeño Cornbread
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JALAPEÑO CORNBREAD

Inexpensive to make, cornbread muffins get a kick from jalapeño, offering just a touch of heat to offset the naturally sweet corn. Even though they cost just a fraction of the price of ribs and chicken, these muffins can be just as essential to a game day celebration.

Recipe: Sally's Baking Addiction

Pulled Pork
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PULLED PORK

Just five ingredients and eight to 10 hands-off hours of slow cooking makes piping-hot and indulgent pulled pork. Serve on slider buns, and you've scored! 

Recipe: Southern Living

Stuffed Jalapenos
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STUFFED JALAPEÑOS

For friends who like it on the spicy side, these bite-sized hot peppers are sure to liven up the festivities. Black beans, corn, and cheese come together to keep the fall chill at bay with these little poppers.    

Recipe: Spicy Southern Kitchen

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
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EASY STUFFED MUSHROOMS

Warm finger foods rich with hearty flavors are a sure-fire way to kick off a party. Pillsbury's take on stuffed mushrooms had one reviewer commenting, "Why have I never thought of this before?!" 

Recipe: Pillsbury

Red pepper relish
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RED PEPPER RELISH

Leave it to Martha Stewart to share a recipe that offers an incredibly simple-yet-sophisticated take on basic red peppers. This versatile creation can be served with hearty bread or as a sandwich condiment on game day. A batch will last four days in the fridge.

Recipe: Martha Stewart

Chicken Eggrolls
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PORK AND CABBAGE EGG ROLLS

Egg roll wrappers and cabbage are cheap ingredients. Mixed with other vegetables, pork, and seasonings, they become a satisfying treat. Use ground pork to keep costs low.

Recipe: Genius Kitchen

Baked carrot fries
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HEALTHY BAKED CARROT FRIES

Craving french fries? Perhaps you'll settle for carrot "fries" instead. You might once you taste this clever and healthy baked treat that comes together in a total of 30 minutes.

Recipe: 2teaspoons

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates
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BACON-WRAPPED STUFFED DATES

Yes, bacon is a year-round favorite, but the flavors of this recipe take things up another level. While the creator suggests you mix and match, we're loving the suggested blue cheese, Brazil nut, and cashew option. 

Recipe: The Healthy Foodie

Cupcakes
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CUPCAKES

A simple cupcake adds the right amount of indulgence to a party centered on finger foods. This recipe can make regular cupcakes or minis that are easy to pop in your mouth in one bite. Decorate them for the event to be extra festive.

Recipe: Genius Kitchen

Football Sugar Cookies
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COOKIES

These basic sugar cookies make a cheap and easy dessert that can be turned into themed, shaped goodies for any occasion. For instance, use a football-shaped cookie cutter and decorate cookies with icing laces for a football party or a round cookie with white icing and lacing for baseball season.   

Recipe:
Allrecipes

Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas
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FROZEN CHOCOLATE-COVERED BANANAS

Ice cream for a crowd can be messy, but make-ahead, chocolate-covered banana bites are a tasty and cheap treat that will be enjoyed just as much.

Recipe: Epicurious

Oreo ice cream bowls
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EDIBLE ICE CREAM BOWLS

Get into the festive mood of the day by upgrading your ice cream sundaes with edible bowls. These easy bowls add that extra touch to lift everyone's spirits, even those rooting for the losing team.

Recipe: All Created

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