If you're throwing a Super Bowl party this Sunday, there's absolutely nothing wrong with feeding your guests on an assortment of gooey, fatty appetizers, creamy dips, and crispy wings. But if you want to fill them up without spending the time and effort to put together a multitude of individual snacky foods, consider sandwiches and burgers—great for eating on the couch, and sizable enough to constitute most of a meal. Full-sized sandwiches, like burgers and cemitas, are totally appropriate, but this is also a good occasion to go party-style with a "shooter's" sandwich or a monster chicken parm sliced into wedges. Below are 16 of our favorite options for keeping your guests satisfied until the end of the game.
A smashed patty—two ounces of beef, pressed very thin into a hot, ungreased pan to maximize crispy edges—is a good start to a game-day burger. But to get even more deep brown crust, stack two of these thin burgers and melt a slice of cheese between them. Even with the double patty, the burger still contains a modest amount of meat, so your guests will have room to appreciate the rest of your menu.
Smashed Reuben Burgers
This hybrid sandwich applies a Reuben twist to our smashed burger with melted Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, rye bread, and sauerkraut. We sprinkle the beef patties with coriander seed while they crisp to evoke the flavor of traditional corned beef, and cook the kraut directly on the patties, just like onions on a slider.
Cemita Burger With Refried Beans, Chipotle Mayo, Avocado, and Oaxacan Cheese
This hefty sandwich is a burger crossed with a classic Mexican cemita, so it's loaded with toppings—queso Oaxaca, avocado, lettuce, and refried beans—all piled onto a sesame-studded cemita bun (brioche buns are a fine substitute). If you can't find papalo, the Mexican herb that is one of the defining components of a traditional cemita, try replacing it with cilantro, though it won't taste the same.
Mini Pineapple-Teriyaki-Glazed Salmon Burgers With Avocado
These mini salmon burgers, brushed with a tangy pineapple-teriyaki glaze, pack tons of flavor into small packages. Serve topped with sweet caramelized pineapple and lightly mashed avocado, and garnish the burgers with peppery watercress to cut through all the sugar. Though it's tempting to use store-bought teriyaki sauce for the glaze, a homemade version is much tastier and easy to make.
Italian Sausage and Fontina Shooter's-Style Sandwich With Sun-Dried Tomato-Caper Relish
When we tried making a traditional shooter's sandwich, we came away a tad disappointed: It tasted fine, but was really no better than the sum of its parts. So we decided to improve upon the concept. For this Italianate version, we triple-layer juicy sausage and Fontina cheese for a thorough intermingling of flavors; add fennel, red peppers, and onions sautéed in rendered sausage fat; and top it with a tangy and pungent mixture of shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and red wine vinegar.
Roast Duck Shooter's-Style Sandwich With Pickled Carrots, Daikon, Cucumber, and Hoisin Sauce
Pickled carrots and daikon, rich Peking duck, sweet hoisin sauce, and fresh cucumbers contribute to a shooter's-style sandwich that takes its inspiration from a Chinese scallion pancake. You can use store-bought Peking duck if it's more convenient, but we recommend making the quick and easy Vietnamese pickles yourself.
Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Shooter's-Style Sandwich
For a vegetarian shooter's-style sandwich option, try this version, which packs roasted portobello mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, and red peppers, plus caramelized onions and goat cheese, into a rustic loaf. Quick-caramelizing the onions gives them most of the deep, sweet flavor of the slow-cooked kind in much less time.
Pork Carnitas and Oaxaca Cheese Shooter's-Style Sandwich With Spicy Refried Beans and Pickled Red Onions
I adore a good Mexican torta, but they tend to be a little messy. Giving it the shooter's treatment turns out a pressed sandwich that overflows with all the wonderful flavors of a torta, without literally overflowing the bread. This recipe pairs homemade pork carnitas with hot refried beans, queso Oaxaca, pickled red onions, and jalapeños. Traditionally, shooter's sandwiches are eaten cold, but this one benefits immensely from reheating before serving—the cheese and the carnitas will melt together into a gooey union.
Muffuletta Shooter's-Style Sandwiches
One of our favorite sandwiches, the New Orleans–style, cold cut–based muffuletta does well in shooter's-style form. We keep the ingredients classic, using equal amounts of mortadella, soppressata, capicola, and provolone, plus the requisite olive salad. To get the best flavor distribution, aim to fit in at least three thin layers of cold cuts, plus olive salad at the top and bottom.
Classic New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich
A more traditional muffuletta sandwich can easily feed several people, and its flavor will actually improve as it sits unrefrigerated—two attributes that make it a great choice for a party. We choose a mix of coarse-ground cured sausages, emulsified sausages, and cured whole cuts for the meat, and make our olive salad with mixed olives, giardiniera, roasted red peppers, parsley, and capers.
Party-Sized Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches
The best chicken parm sandwiches start with the best chicken parm, using a buttermilk brine for extra tenderness and juiciness and a generous dose of Parmesan in the breading for the best flavor. To make it party-style, top a large, crusty ciabatta loaf with a full batch of chicken Parmesan, then slice it up into six servings.
Italian-American Meatball Sandwiches
As with the chicken Parmesan sandwich above, all this sandwich really needs to succeed is our juicy meatballs and slow-cooked red sauce—after that, it's just a matter of construction. Start with a soft, Italian-style loaf and layer the red sauce with halved large meatballs, plenty of grated Parmesan, and sliced mozzarella, which provides a more thorough coating of cheese than grated mozz.
5-Ingredient Fried Chicken Sandwiches
If you're prepping for a party, making our ultimate fried chicken sandwiches might be a little more work than you're willing to invest. This five-ingredient version gets you 80% of the results with just a fraction of the effort. The key is a brine in pickle juice, which seasons the chicken while also helping it retain moisture. Dredging it in a mixture of buttermilk and self-rising flour creates little nubs of batter for a crisp, craggy crust.
Pueblan-Style Cemita Sandwiches
For a true Pueblan-style cemita, start with its namesake, sesame seed–topped bun and fill it with avocado, queso Oaxaca, jalapeños, and papalo. While you might find meats like cold cuts or boiled pig's feet in a traditional cemita, here we use a fried beef, pork, or chicken cutlet. Hollowing out the top bun a bit compacts the sandwich, making it a little easier to eat, though it'll still feel just as overstuffed as it ought to be.
Roosevelt Avenue-Style Cemita Sandwiches
The cemitas you'll typically find sold on the street in New York have evolved considerably from their Pueblan roots. They usually use griddled bread instead of a fresh roll, and the toppings often include shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, refried beans, and a mayo dressing. Pressing firmly down on the roll while griddling compresses the sandwich into a more manageable height, and heating it slightly in the oven simulates the effect of wrapping it in foil and waxed paper, melting the cheese a bit with warmth from the meat.
Chorizo-Spiced Pulled Pork With Mexican Street Corn Slaw
There's nothing in the least traditional about this piece of Mexican–barbecue fusion, but it's damned tasty all the same. We make it with pulled pork that's flavored with typical Mexican chorizo seasonings: paprika, ancho chili powder, salt, cumin, Mexican oregano, black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and cloves. Top the pork with an elote-inspired slaw made of corn, mayo, and cotija cheese.