FOR THE WIN
Is it even game day if there are no wings? Traditional wings are fried to get crispy on the outside before being sauced, but this recipe yields crisp wings by baking, which means you save money on oil needed for deep frying, and time and hassle by putting a large batch in the oven. Use both racks for one massive batch to take with you.
Recipe: Inspired Taste
Serving tacos to a crowd is all about setting up the taco bar. Even off the bed of a pick up truck, it's easy to have tortillas, protein, and a few fixings to assemble and eat. Keeping all the toppings in one container makes it easier to manage containers and lids.
Recipe: Style Blueprint
Turn this game day essential into a tailgating hit by repurposing the flavors of nachos into a casserole. Rather than foregoing nachos altogether, enjoy the flavors in a one-pan dish that will only get better as it sits and the flavors meld.
PIGS IN A BLANKET
The ultimate party food, this classic is always the first appetizer to disappear. The key to making them quick and easy to churn out is by using whole sausages and cutting them, rather than wrapping individual small weenies. This also saves on dough, while ensuring the perfect ratio in each bite.
Recipe: Beantown Baker
Chili is comfort food at its best, and no one does chili quite like Texas. There's plenty of room for experimentation, but when serving a large group, it's always safe to go for the classic meat-based style of chili. One perk is that you can make it in advance, and it will only get better as it sits.
Recipe: Hormel Chili Cookoff
If you're not careful, making quesadillas can turn into a full time job while the game goes on and you are stuck flipping cheesy tortillas. Take a tip from the pros and cook a batch of them all at once in the oven. You'll get gooey centers and outsides that stay crisp for hours.
Recipes: Recipe Tin Eats
Mini burgers are delightful, which is why this recipe that allows you to make a dozen at once with a mostly hands-off process is a dream come true. By baking the meat in a pan, rather than grilling individual patties, you save time and keep the juiciness inside the meat. Once assembled, pack in foil to keep them warm.
Recipe: Host The Toast
The longer it sits, the better the flavor gets, which makes this an easy make-ahead dish. Since opening a bag of chips is super easy, be sure to make enough of this dip to last even if the game goes into overtime. Leftover dip can always be used later to add flavor to simple weeknight meals.
Recipe: The Pioneer Woman
Moderating snacking and calorie intake is not the goal of game-day noshing, but it can help to work in a few lighter options, at least to save room for dessert if nothing else. Flavored popcorn is easy to make in the hours before the game and set out in large portions for an easy quick fix.
Recipe: The Kitchenthusiast
BACON SNACK MIX
Essentially an excuse to munch on bacon, bacon snack mix makes a crunchy and satisfying delivery of big flavors in casual form. A few seasonings plus the regular cast of characters in snack mix, and of course, crisp baked bacon make this easy to whip up. Mixing the bacon in with other ingredients gets more bang for the buck so that everyone can enjoy bacon goodness.
Recipe: Home With Heartland
Bite-sized meatballs that don't need cutlery are convenient and widely beloved. Easy to transport and serve out of one dish, they are an easy way to include cooked protein to your tailgating lineup. You can make this dish even easier by starting with premade frozen meatballs, just be sure to thaw beforehand.
Recipe: Add A Pinch
SWEET AND SPICY NUTS
Nuts deliver a lot of the same satisfying fat and umami richness of meat, but with a more nutritious edge, for those who want to stick to healthy eating even on game days. By using a combination of sweet and salty flavors, all of the cravings are satisfied. Baked in the oven, it's easy to make multiple servings in one batch.
MAC AND CHEESE MINI MUFFINS
Mac and cheese is what everyone really wants to eat, and this version is both easy to prepare in large quantity, and even easier to eat without leaving a ton of dishes to clean up. The key is lining the mini muffin tins with breadcrumbs for optimal shape holding.
Recipe: Taste Of Home
BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP
Somehow even more flavorful than actual buffalo wings, this dip combines all of the flavors of traditional wings into a scoop and eat dip. This dip makes it possible to enjoy buffalo wings while never putting your beer down.
Recipe: Homemade Hooplah
The original big-party dish, baked ziti combines the best of all possible foods worlds with plenty of carbs, cheese, and sauce. Made in large trays, this hearty stick-to-your-ribs dish can satisfy a lot of hungry people with a humble and inexpensive pasta dish.
Recipe: Genius Kitchen
FRENCH BREAD PIZZA
Taking a few minutes to whip up a batch of oven-baked french bread pizza is quicker and cheaper than ordering delivery. Once baked, the pizzas keep well for a while, thanks to the french bread, which won't get soggy.
Recipe: Kitchen Gidget
PORK & PINEAPPLE SKEWERS
Skewers make it easy to eat without using up too many utensils or plates, and they also offer easy serving to a lot of people with just a little prep time. This recipe uses a grill to get bold flavors, though oven baking would also work.
SPICY BEER CHEESE
This popular craft beer bar menu item is simple to make, and can even help use up odds and ends of leftover cheese. The relish in this cheese is optional, and can serve as a jumping off point for other creative additions.
Recipe: Foxes Love Lemons
Homemade hummus is so much more delicious, and cheaper, than store-bought that once you make it, you'll never go back. You could stick to one large batch of classic, or divide into smaller batches and present a trio of flavored hummus.
Recipe: Real Simple
MEXICAN STREET CORN
Corn on the cob tastes just as good room temperature as it does warm, which means once a platter of these tasty bites comes out, you can leave them there as a self serve snack during the game. Using a miso butter instead of mayo can be a fun way to play up the umami flavors even more.
Recipe: Damn Delicious
Skipping the bread not only takes care of anyone who is watching their carbs, it also means that a deli platter won't get soggy by half time. It's also easy to turn simple ingredients into a beautiful display of grab-and-go bites.
Recipe: Chew Nibble Nosh
CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE
If you're going to offer a proper entree, a one-pot meal is in order, like corned beef and cabbage. Bulking up tender tasty meat with potatoes and cabbage is healthy and cost efficient. As the recipe states, choosing the meat is the most important step.
Recipe: Genius Kitchen
Cornbread is satisfying on so many levels, and can also be made in different flavors to become more of a sweet or savory snack. Baking them in individual muffin cups makes them easy to pass around while minimizing crumbs from cutting up one large loaf.
Recipe: Once Upon A Chef
TACO IN A BAG
If a taco bar is not right for your crowd, consider individual snack sized bags of corn chips. Adding toppings directly inside the bag of chips and serving with a fork for easy eating, this is the kind of comfort food you indulge in every once in a while.
Recipe: Just A Pinch
Now that rosé season is over, it's time to upgrade to a hearty cocktail like the bloody mary. Arrange a fixings bar with crudite, seafood, and various pickles to make it fancy, or just serve a pitcher of pre-made drink mix to cover the basics. Keep the booze separate so people can add their own or leave it virgin.
Considered the champagne of beer cocktails, micheladas are a Mexican tradition of instantly upgrading any beer. The mix of spicy, sour, and salty makes the beer more refreshing and satisfying. Keep the mix on hand so people can serve themselves as they like.
Recipe: Ever In Transit
PINK LEMONADE BEER PUNCH
Can't decide between lemonade and beer? Don't! Have both with this beer punch. While it sounds a bit crazy, the flavors combine really well for a tasty and light beverage that can be sipped all game long.
CHOCOLATE DIPPED PRETZELS
Team colors on cupcakes are adorable, but admittedly a lot of work for a large group, especially considering how fast they will be devoured. Dipping pretzels will require a bit of lead time, but can be done quickly, and produce a lot of sweet and salty dessert bites at once. You can even use your team colors as part of the display!
Recipe: House Of Nash Eats
With the help of a basic cookie dough recipe and a cookie cutter, these themed treats are easy to churn out in volume. Skip the intricate and labor intensive royal icing and keep decoration simple with team colored sprinkles to save time and keep the flavors focused on the most important part, the cookie itself.
Recipe: Real Simple