If you’re hosting a Game Day party, a good party host is like a good coach and preparation is the name of the game. You’ll want to stock up on plenty of paper plates, cups, napkins and cutlery for everyone to dig into the spread.
On the flipside of the coin toss, if you’re attending a Game Day potluck, it’s your time to be a good teammate and bring some food everyone will enjoy. We polled our friends on Facebook to get an idea of what some of their favorites are to give you some ideas for what to bring to the big game — or prepare in advance if you’re hosting. Check out some of our picks for End Zone dance-worthy grub!
- Buffalo Wings – Even if the Bills aren’t in the big game, a Buffalo tradition is always a fan favorite with party guests. Whether you’re picking up several dozen wings from your favorite local joint or making them yourself, it’s always nice to have different levels of spicy for guests: mild, hot, or blazing.
- Slow-Cooked Ribs – Smoky and sweet, slow-cooked ribs are always a crowd pleaser. Get these bad boys started the night before by cleaning and placing your ribs in a slowcooker overnight and slathering them with your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce to simmer.
- Pulled Pork Sliders – Another great excuse to break out the BBQ sauce, these bite-sized sandwiches bridge the gap between finger food and a hearty main dish. Simply slow cook your pork overnight and serve it on tasty mini buns. Add some slaw on top for an added punch of flavor and texture.
Veg-friendly fare / special dietary considerations
- Vegetarian Chili – Everyone has their own favorite chili recipe! Vegetarian chili is a great option for vegetarian, vegan, and even gluten-free guests who may have special dietary restrictions. Kidney beans, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, onions, and spices play a key role in creating a tasty veggie chili. For guests who like the lactose, leave shredded cheese and sour cream off to the side for them to add.If you have vegan or lactose-intolerant guests among your ranks, be sure that your secret ingredients to your vegan chili don’t include honey or milk. (Some folks love a dollop of honey BBQ sauce or even a few squares of melted milk chocolate in their chili, so be mindful in case this might not be something that works well for your guests.)
- Homemade Pizza – You’d be surprised just how easy it is to make your own pizza at home. Simply purchase a pre-made crust, or, if you’d prefer a healthier option, try making your own whole wheat pizza dough the night before. Prepare your dough the night before and let it chill in the refrigerator.From there, simply roll out your dough on a pizza stone (or cookie sheet, if you want to do a rectangular pie) and add your favorite ingredients: sauce, cheese, chopped veggies, or pre-cooked meats. There are so many ways to make homemade pizza, you can even make different pies to suit your guests’ tastes!
- Baked Beans – Baked beans are a side dish that almost everyone enjoys. You can purchase your favorite brands of baked beans from the store, heat and serve — or, you can use them as a springboard for some seriously gourmet baked beans that will be a goalpost kick for guests. Just add chopped onions, peppers, bacon, and more to really sass them up! If you want to try your hand at making your own baked beans from scratch, we love this recipe.
- Pasta Salad – With so much hot food for guests to snack on, sometimes a cold pasta salad can be almost as satisfying as your team scoring a touchdown. Simply boil some of your favorite bite-sized varieties of pasta (think elbow macaroni or spiral-shaped rotelli) and add some of your favorite toppings to make a yummy side. Fat free Italian dressing makes a nice addition to a healthier pasta salad, as do chopped olives, halved cherry tomatoes and Feta cheese. You can also add some chopped salami and other Italian meats and cheeses, too. Here are a few pasta salad recipes that are some of our favorites.
We hope you’re ready with your game plan for your Game Day Party. Let us know what some of your favorite Game Day recipes are in the comments. Here’s hoping your team wins and that you have a great time celebrating!