5 Easy Appetizers for a Winning Game Day Spread


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Game day is an excuse for everyone (from the home team to apathetic spectators) to eat really good food. We’re ditching dainty dinners and sugary treats for rich, hearty meals that feed a crowd—a crowd that jumps up and down, that is. Bring things to share like hot cheese dips. Prepare delicious appetizers and appetizers that can be eaten standing up.

The big game only happens once a year, and these are just some of the best and easiest recipes to satisfy viewers’ appetites to the final touch.

TODAY

This hot and fudgy dip is a one pot recipe made with sharp cheddar cheese, cream cheese, fresh vegetables and a little hot pepper. It really makes everything taste better. Whether it’s a bowl full of classic dips like crunchy corn chips (if you’re not buying, try this easy 20-minute recipe for homemade tortilla chips) to chili-worthy dogs a stadium, nachos or as a vehicle for your favorite healthy veggies like carrots or jicama, queso is a game day staple. There’s a reason TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager is obsessed with queso, and it’s not just because of her Texas roots.

Chipotle-Lime Steak Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions

TODAY all day

Canned chipotles in adobo sauce add smokiness and spice to these quick steak tacos. Using a savory skirt steak reduces cooking time to minutes. Note that while this marinade adds a lot of flavor quickly, it’s even better if you let it sit overnight. Improve taste and save time by preparing a day ahead. Plus, the quick pickled onions add a bright, tangy finishing touch that will wow everyone, no matter what team they’re cheering on.

Jalapeño Dip

Casey Barbier

Skip the effort of stuffing and frying and make this super simple, deconstructed version of the jalapeño poppers everyone loves. This dreamy dip is a cinch to make. In a bowl, all the ingredients for a stuffed jalapeño are mixed: smooth cream cheese, sour cream (or for a healthier option, Greek yogurt), hot seasonings, grated cheeses and, of course, the spicy chili pepper. Then, placed in a casserole and sprinkled with a crispy topping, you have a big jalapeño popper, ready to be dipped with your fries or vegetables of your choice.

Tailgate Nacho Packets

Casey Barbier

However, one of the only things that may deter some people from building a bundle of their favorite gaming app is that it’s a hands-on experience. Thanks to this brilliant nacho hack (don’t worry, it’s not the handy “nacho table” that went viral in 2020), everyone can enjoy their own individual pack of nachos in a safe and easy way.

These nachos contain the same great ingredients, all stuffed into individual foil pouches. So whether you’re entertaining on the big screen in the backyard, tailgating, or just want everyone to feel confident no one double dips, this is the best nacho recipe to make on game day. .

Slow cooker ribs

Casey Barbier

If you love Chinese-style ribs, you’ll love this easy version, which you can prepare in a slow cooker. Slow cooker recipes are essential whether you’re entertaining or just watching with the family. It’s a super simple main dish that pairs perfectly with other sides and starters.

In addition to being extremely delicious, this rib recipe only has five ingredients and only takes 15 minutes to prepare. Then, simply let the cooker work its magic as the house fills with warm, umami-filled aromas in the hours leading up to the big game.

Want more game day ideas? Try these winning recipes:

Mac and cheese on the stove

TODAY all day

Mama Chang's Pork and Chive Dumplings

Courtesy of Kristen Teig

Korean barbecue cauliflower on a plate with shiitake mushrooms, bok choy and cashews

Casey Barber / Good Food Stories LLC

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