Super Bowl 54 is almost here, and the big game has become a national day of snacking. If you’re throwing a Super Bowl party, you want crave-worthy appetizers, dips and finger foods that will score big with a crowd. Here are 54 (of course!) of our all-time favorite snacks that are perfect for your pre-game and halftime party.
Smoked Bean Dip
This spicy bean dip was inspired by the canned variety sold by Frito-Lay (a guilty game-day pleasure, to be sure). But this homemade version of an iconic Tex-Mex bean dip is way more delicious (without the dubious ingredients).
Sloppy Joe Sliders
These chicken sloppy joes couldn’t be easier to make. There are just four ingredients that go into the skillet, and everything is ready in just 20 minutes. Serve the sloppy joe mixture on mini slider buns with pickle chips, and potato chips to scoop up whatever falls out of the buns – they’re called “sloppy” for a reason!
Recipe: Chicken Sloppy Joe Sliders.
Super-sized sandwiches are a perfect way to feed a hungry Super Bowl crowd. This trio of sammies feature 2-1/2 pounds of high-quality deli meat, a pound of provolone cheese, dressed up with two salads and Romaine.
Recipe: Monster Super Bowl Sammies.
The ultimate ranch dip
From hot wings to potato chips, ranch dressing factors into many Super Bowl game plans. This addictive dip ramps up the heat with jalapeños and green chilis, and can be drizzled over nachos, burritos, you name it.
Recipe: Creamy Jalapeño Ranch Dip.
These biscuits take only 20 minutes to make, though they can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. Just thaw at room temperature and reheat wrapped in foil for 10 minutes or until warmed through, if desired. They’re also completely delicious eaten at room temperature.
Recipe: Mona’s Incredible Cheese Biscuits.
Carolina Pulled Pork
This is an authentic-tasting Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue recipe, full of red pepper heat and vinegar vigor. Made to slow-cook on the countertop instead of over oak embers, it’s perfect for a hungry crowd of football fans. You can serve it on regular hamburger buns, or opt for those mini slider buns, which will turn this pork into two-bite barbecue bliss.
Recipe: Mac’s Eastern N.C. Barbecued Pork.
Pepper Jack Crackers
What’s better than cheese and crackers? Cheese in your crackers! These crowd-pleasing Pepper Jack Crackers have just the right amount of punch from the cheese, and are excellent with beer and a favorite dip.
Recipe: Pepper Jack Crackers.
These spicy cashews are a twist on a recipe from Food Network’s Ina Garten. It starts with lightly salted cashews, which are tossed with rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar and a bit of butter, then baked until they are warm and savory, and the sugar caramelizes. These are addictive, so consider doubling the recipe if you’re having a large crowd for the Super Bowl.
Recipe: Heavenly Contessa Cashews.
It’s hard to resist the appeal of tucking into a bowl of creamy dip. The beauty of this cauliflower-spinach combo is it can be made ahead, meaning one less thing to labor over when you’re throwing a party. Serve them with crackers or bread, or spoon them into endive spears or celery hearts. Eating your vegetables has never been this much fun.
Recipe: Cauliflower-Spinach Dip.
What would happen if you blended hearty Shepherd’s Pie with cheesy quesadillas? You’d get this fun mash-up recipe from Daina Falk’s “The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook,” which is perfect for a Super Bowl party.
Recipe: Shepherd’s Pie Quesadilla Bites.
Seven-layer dip is a staple of Super Bowl parties, and this one can be made with regular cheese and sour cream, or using vegan Mexican-style cheese shreds and non-dairy sour cream to make it vegan. Either way, have plenty of chips and veggie sticks for scooping up this delicious warm dip.
Recipe: Seven-Layer Black Bean Taco Dip.
Fresh spinach gives this addictive hummus its bright-green color. It’s a terrific addition to a Super Bowl party spread because it goes with everything from veggie sticks to Fritos.
Recipe: Spinach Hummus.
Puff Pastry Pizza Wraps
Think of this basic recipe for pizza wraps as a jumping off spot for your Super Bowl creativity. Because it’s made with puff pastry from the grocery freezer case, you’ll save a lot of time on the preparation. And they can be filled with just about anything. For pass-around appetizers, you can cut each of these pizza wraps into three pieces, creating 18 two-bite starters.
Recipe: Puff Pastry Pizza Wraps.
Watch: How to make Puff Pastry Pizza Wraps
Portland cookbook author Eva Kosmas Flores came up with these perfect party appetizers, which feature a flaky dough stuffed with chicken, chilies and onions, with the perfect seasonings to make each bite addictive.
Recipe: Chicken Empanadas.
Super Bowl dips don’t have to kill your waistline. Red Pepper and Walnut Dip (aka Streamlined Muhammara), Roasted Beat-White Bean Hummus, and Horseradish and Cannellini Bean Dip are healthier options to fatty dips for your Super Bowl party.
Pigs in a Blanket Crescent Ring
Here’s an updated and elevated version of a classic Super Bowl classic snack. The secret to this recipe is arranging the triangles of refrigerated crescent roll dough on a baking sheet in a large circle, so that they resemble the rays of the sun. Then you top the dough with a mixture of cream cheese and blue cheese, plus bite-sized pieces of your favorite sausage and Monterey Jack.
Recipe: Pigs in a Blanket Crescent Ring.
Watch: How to make Pigs in a Blanket Crescent Ring
On Super Bowl Sunday, there are nacho people and there are queso people. This mash-up queso recipe includes elements of dip recipes from Food Network’s Marcela Valladolid and Bobby Flay. Instead of white wine, we thought substituting a light Mexican beer would be more in step with football’s biggest day.
Recipe: Queso Fundito.
These Chickpea Salad Sliders are perfect party fare because they’re quick and inexpensive to make, and people go crazy for them. They can be a tad messy, but you can mash part of the chickpeas to make them hold together. If you don’t like cilantro, you can substitute Italian parsley.
Recipe: Chickpea Salad Sliders.
Tamales take time to make from scratch, so when you make a batch for something like the Super Bowl, it makes sense to make enough to feed a crowd. This recipe from Ivy Manning makes about 60 tamales, and can be prepped the day before the game. Figure on two or three per person, and serve with your favorite salsa.
Recipe: Masa Harina Tamales.
Pumpkin Seed Pâté
Pâté sounds pretty fancy-pants for a Super Bowl party, but you will love this amazing snack. It’s incredibly easy to make, and can be served with veggie sticks, on crackers, or slices of baguette.
Recipe: Pumpkin Seed Pâté.
Salmon Salad Rolls
Portland cookbook author Diane Morgan came up with these Asian salad rolls, which are fun to assemble, with salmon pieces joined by rice vermicelli, pea shoots and green onions. The hoisin-peanut dipping gives each bite a bit of sweet richness.
Homemade cheese ball
A few years ago, we dug deep into our recipe files (which go back almost 100 years) and created a new-fangled version of a party cheese ball, using a crusting of marcona almonds and smoked paprika – ingredients that wouldn’t have been available in the 1960s when the original recipe ran. This is an ideal Super Bowl buffet snack.
Recipe: Marcona-crusted Cheese Ball.
Here’s a new twist on creamy spinach dip: Sauté the kale until wilted, then mix with ricotta and bake until golden brown. Ricotta has all the deliciousness of the sour cream used in original versions, and is a better flavor partner for kale.
Recipe: Kale-Ricotta Dip.
Leek and Ham Empanadas
Empanadas can be painstaking affairs, but frozen puff pastry dough makes these smoked ham and leek-stuffed pastries a snap. Ina Garten (aka TV’s “Barefoot Contessa”) recommends making smaller appetizer sizes of these for parties. Plan on two or three per person if you’ve got a large Super Bowl spread.
Recipe: Leek and Ham Empanadas.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
The popularity of classic Buffalo Hot Wings has inspired a wave of Super Bowl snacks. And the king of all of these hot wing-inspired dishes is Buffalo Chicken Dip, a steaming-hot combination of rotisserie chicken, hot sauce, ranch dressing and cream cheese, which has become one of the most sought-after recipes for game day.
The recipe takes the concept of Buffalo hot wings and bakes it into a dip that’s best served right out of the oven when it’s bubbly and the topping of extra sharp cheddar is at its stringiest. The dip answers those Super Bowl party cravings for something rich, spicy, salty and filling. And the corn chips and celery sticks that get dunked into the molten dip give each bite plenty of crunch.
Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip.
Watch: How to make Buffalo Chicken Dip
Ham and Cheese Biscuit Bites
Want an alternative to corn bread to go with Super Bowl soups, stews and chili? Kitchen Scoop columnist Alicia Ross came up with these addictive biscuit bites, which are loaded with bits of savory ham and extra-sharp cheddar.
Recipe: Ham and Cheese Biscuit Bites.
Cheesy snack mix
People love that party mix made with Chex cereal. This is a ramped-up version that features woven wheat crackers and Parmesan cheese.
Recipe: Cheesy Toasted Snack Mix.
Chicken Veggie Spread
Kitchen Scoop columnist Alicia Ross came up with this dynamite addition to a Super Bowl buffet spread. It’s made with boneless chicken breasts, but if you want to save time, you can use the breast meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Recipe: Festive Chicken-Vegetable Spread.
Roasted cauliflower and cheesy dip
Talk about a perfect combination: Roasted cauliflower gets dunked in a cheesy herb dip. It can be served at room temperature, but it’s even better if you serve it while the cauliflower is still warm from the oven.
Creamy Crab Dip
This crab dip has all the elements that make football fans go nuts: cream cheese, Parmesan, Tabasco, butter, cayenne, and plenty of fresh crab meat. You can serve it with the suggested Orange Toasts, though it’s equally good spread on baguette slices.
Recipe: Creamy Crab Dip With Orange Toasts.
Portland chef Gregory Gourdet was interested in using Southeast Asian flavors when he developed his Malay Meatballs dish that appears on his menu at downtown’s Departure restaurant. The sauce has warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, which make them perfect for winter.
Recipe: Malay Meatballs With Tomato Emulsion.
These tricked-out mushrooms are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. First, the mushrooms are marinated in balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard, then roasted in the oven. As a finishing touch, they’re broiled with cheese melted on top.
Recipe: Marvelous Marinated Mushrooms.
Hot cheesy dip is a game-day classic. But instead of bricks of Velveeta, this all-vegan dip from Isa Chandra Moskowitz uses cashews for its rich and smooth base, and it’s all dressed up with onion, pepper, garlic and jalapeno. Just the right level of heat.
Recipe: Cashew Queso.
Mahi Mahi Sliders
These Polynesian-themed sliders come from the restaurant Trader Vic’s, and are a great alternative to fish tacos for a Super Bowl party.
Hot Artichoke Dip
Recipes for hot artichoke dip have been passed down for generations, yet the familiar starter is always a celebratory crowd-pleaser, particularly when it’s pulled warm from the oven. This recipe from Martha Stewart is a perfect addition to a Super Bowl halftime buffet.
Recipe: Hot Artichoke Dip.
Buffalo Steak Fries
This recipe incorporates some of the key flavors of Buffalo hot wings, a game-day favorite for its mix of hot sauce and palate-cooling creamy dressing. These fries would be perfect with sloppy Joes, burgers or other Super Bowl sandwiches. And because they’re baked, not fried, they are much lower in fat that regular fries.
Recipe: Buffalo Steak Fries.
Chef Mirna Attar of Portland’s Ya Hala Restaurant looks to her native Lebanon for inspiration for this recipe. She blends lamb, finely minced onions, and a spice blend called ras el hanout for her juicy, supersize meatballs that are a perfect addition to a Super Bowl spread.
Veggies with buttermilk dip
This delicious dip has both buttermilk and sour cream, and deserves to be put into your regular appetizer rotation year-round. It is delicious with any seasonal vegetables — and potato chips, of course.
Recipes: Winter Veggies With Buttermilk Dip.
Stuffed Sriracha ‘Shrooms
Stuffed mushrooms make the perfect Super Bowl party appetizer because they’re fun to eat and are a time-saver for busy hosts. They can be assembled the day before and refrigerated overnight. Let them come to room temperature, drizzle with olive oil, and bake them when you’re ready. To make them, you’ll also need this recipe for Cock Sauce Cashew Cheeze, which is delicious on its own, too.
Recipe: Stuffed Sriracha ‘Shrooms.
Crowd-pleasing hummus is a traditional dish of the Middle East, but edamame used in place of traditional garbanzos gives the spread a Pan-Asian twist. Serve the bright-green spread with your favorite flatbread or cracker, or vegetable sticks.
Recipe: Edamame Hummus.
Seitan Lettuce Wraps
Need a vegan appetizer option that’s sure to please everyone? Go for these delicious lettuce wraps created by Keizer’s Sarah Matheny, who based the dish on one of her favorite restaurant appetizers. They’re loaded with protein, and have a tasty dipping sauce.
Recipe: Seitan Lettuce Wraps.
BBQ Brisket Sliders
Were you among the legion of folks who got an Instant Pot cooker for Christmas? Put it to work with these amazingly easy brisket sliders from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. When the brisket is ready, serve it on slider buns with your favorite slaw.
Recipe: Emeril’s Fastest BBQ Brisket.
Green Goddess Dip
This dip from Portland cookbook author Diane Morgan is rich and delicious, but lower in calories than your typical Green Goddess dip. Time-saving tip: It can be made up to 2 days in advance, kept covered and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe: Svelte Green Goddess Dip.
You’ve got delicious dips planned for your Super Bowl spread. Now whip up some glorious homemade crackers to go with them. They’re easier to make than you think, thanks to Ivy Manning’s terrific Falafel Crisps and Pita Chips, which taste better than any store-bought variety.
These delicious crackers from Ivy Manning are served in long, thin sheets, so people can break off pieces with their fingers, making them perfect for a Super Bowl buffet. The recipe is essentially an eggless pasta dough, which must be rolled very thin. Prep them the day before the game and store in an air-tight container.
Recipe: Paper-Thin Semolina Crackers.
Roasted Spiced Chickpeas
Talk about addictive! These spicy chickpeas are essentially fried in the oven, turning them into crunchy appetizers that are a perfect pass-around snack for the Super Bowl. You can adapt the basic formula to suit your own taste preferences or whatever spices you have on hand, swapping out cayenne and cumin for ground dried chiles, pimenton or za’atar.
Recipe: Roasted Spiced Chickpeas.
Roasted Red Pepper Spread
This versatile vegan spread from Portlander Chelsea Lincoln is perfect on toast points or crackers for a party appetizer. Ideally, you can roast the red peppers yourself, but jarred pre-roasted peppers can save time with little variation in the finished spread.
Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper-Cashew Spread.
Tasty Pot Stickers
The filling for these pot stickers can be made a day ahead, completely cooled and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Once assembled, the dumplings can be covered and refrigerated up to one day before cooking, making this a time-saving treat for Super Bowl Sunday.
These savory Indian fritters use soft, gluten-free chickpea flour to form a light, flavorful batter. They can be made with a variety of vegetables, but the cauliflower-onion combination is a sure crowd-pleaser.
Caraway Cabbage Chips with Yogurt Dip
Looking for a lighter chip option for your party spread? Roasting cabbage leaves turns them into a crispy snack that pairs wonderfully with a crave-worthy herbed yogurt dip. Cabbage is boring no longer!
Spicy Red Lentil Dip
This spicy dip is similar to ubiquitous hummus, but instead of using dried garbanzo beans, which can require soaking and a long cooking time, this recipe uses red lentils. Red lentils don’t need to be soaked, and they cook in a speedy 10 minutes. Because they are so much smaller than garbanzo beans, they also yield a smoother dip — silky smooth, in fact.
Recipe: Spicy Red Lentil Dip.
Salted Caramel Popcorn
You’ll want to make big bowls of this addictive popcorn from columnist Alicia Ross. All you need are a few basic ingredients and a bag of light microwave popcorn. Baking the caramel popcorn in a slow oven for over an hour and stirring every 15 minutes gives it just the right amount of caramel goodness without it becoming too candied.
Recipe: Salted Caramel Popcorn.
— Grant Butler