We're rapidly approaching the Super Bowl, when friends and family will gather in front of the TV for an afternoon of football, beer, and, of course, snacks. Along with the commercials and halftime show, food is what keeps even the most sports-apathetic happy.
When throwing a game day party (Super Bowl or otherwise), it's important to keep things portable. Your guests will likely be sitting on the couch—this is the time to think finger foods, not elaborate platings, and we've got more than enough to keep everyone entertained from kickoff to finish.
Also, in our book, any excuse to eat with your hands is a good one.
Wings: Ultimate Ultra-Crispy Double Fried Confit Buffalo Wings
Few foods pair better with football than a big plate of chicken wings. And if you want to go all-out, you definitely want to go with these double-fried confit Buffalo wings. They're slow-cooked in oil before the final fry, for crazy-tender meat and a shatteringly crisp crust. Finish 'em off with a toss in Frank's RedHot and butter, and you're good to go.
Feel like changing things up? Our extra-crispy Thai sweet and spicy wings are flavored with rice vinegar, fish sauce, and garlic.
Dip: Gooey Cheeseburger Dip
Easy to serve and even easier to eat, dips are the couch potato's best friend (no offense, couch potatoes!). And sure, queso and salsa are perfectly good choices, but this gooey meat-packed dip is some next-level sh*t. We skip the Ro*Tel and Velveeta in favor of real Cheddar and (admittedly less real) American cheese, along with canned tomatoes and a fresh poblano pepper.
If you've got vegetarian friends to take care of, worry not! You can't go wrong with a good guac. Our basic recipe is easy to throw together, pairing perfectly ripe avocados with just a few supporting ingredients.
Meat: MOINK Balls
When it comes to bite-sized football snacks, you're best off saving the fancy canapés until your next cocktail party. Because let's be real—game day is about bringing on the meat. Enter the MOINK ball: grilled bacon-wrapped meatballs glazed with barbecue sauce. Need we say more?
Of course, depending on where you live, there's a good chance it'll be too cold to fire up the grill. Luckily, you can make these whiskey wieners, slow-cooked in a mix of bourbon, ketchup, and brown sugar, in the comfort of your kitchen.
Nachos: Tater Tot Nachos With Chorizo
Find us a sports bar that doesn't have a nacho option. No luck? How about totchos, the tater tot-cum-nacho that will blow your cheese-slathered chips out of the water? Melty cheese is joined by Spanish chorizo and diced vegetables for a whole new outlook on game day dining. This one might not be the easiest to eat without a fork, but who said finger foods are supposed to be neat?
Not convinced? Nacho conservatives should be more than pleased by this beef barbacoa take, which uses standard restaurant-style tortilla chips as a base, with homemade cheese sauce and pickled red onions for a, er, sophisticated touch.
Sandwich: The (More) Ultimate(est) Perfect Sliders
Small snacks are convenient to eat while focusing on the action, but for a more substantial option, it's time to pull out the big guns. Namely, the (More) Ultimate(est) Perfect Sliders. They aren't the easiest sandwiches to make, but the gloriously greasy union of bun, beef, cheese, and caramelized onions is well worth the effort.
If you want your sandwich to come together a little faster, this Italian party panini can be finished on the grill or in a panini press.
Chances are, you've already got a game day favorite, but if you're looking for inspiration, we've got a whole page dedicated to finding the perfect brew for football Sunday. We're so game day ready, we've even got the Bloody Mary and cocktail-inclined fully covered.
About the author: Rabi Abonour is an editorial intern at Serious Eats. A Midwest native, he's taken up the challenge of exploring New York one bite at a time. You can find him on his blog, Twitter, and Instagram.