Super Bowl Weekend: Some fun and easy party idea’s

By Katie Workman on NBC News

Superbowl LIV approaches! The Chiefs versus the 49ers. And this year, you’re the game day host — excellent! And whether you care which team wins, or whether you even really know what’s happening on the field, you’re going to need to think about a menu. In my experience, watching people exert themselves in a pressured situation on television makes people hungry.

I’m not going to pretend to be interested in the game — I had to ask my son who the opposing teams are — but I absolutely love hosting game day parties, and I live in a household of people who do care. Game day gatherings are low pressure and just plain fun. The food should be happy and uncomplicated and copious, there should be plenty of beverage choices, and everything should flow from kick off to the final buzzer in a smooth and relaxed manner. That’s what game day parties are all about, especially this big one.

Here’s a sort of a mix-and-match menu for a big gang — but if you need to double anything, go for it.

Super Bowl snacks: Dips, wings, nachos and other small bites

While the line between appetizers and main dishes blurs a bit during game day parties (dishes tend to just rotate in, and get replenished, and it’s far from a planned multi-course meal) I like to have some things to munch on throughout, if you’re not in the moment to commit to a full plate.

A Natch Bar

Fun and interactive, and vegetarian (unless you want to throw some sautéed chorizo or chili into the mix as an option). Make all of the toppings beforehand, and just rotate trays of cheese covered tortilla chips into the oven as needed.

Easy Chipotle Sliders

These cute little sliders are kind of sophisticated as sliders go, but still totally bar comfort food, which is the best kind of comfort food for a Super Bowl shindig.

Easiest Baked Chicken Quesadillas

Baking quesadillas means getting a lot of them out hot and ready to eat at once. These can be assembled ahead of time and baked just before serving.

Parmesan Feta Spinach Dip

A ridiculously crowd-pleasing and easy to make dip recipe that will have your friends jockeying to get next to the bowl. OId-school style, and perfect for a TaboolaSponsored Stories

Chili recipes for Super Bowl Sunday

After people graze for a while, they will likely want to pile up a plate or a bowl and settle in for the long haul (with a break for Beyoncé and Shakira of course). And for me, big game day parties pretty much always center on one thought: chili for a crowd. So flexible, so easy, so make ahead, and leftovers freeze brilliantly. If you choose the nacho bar route, offer a small bowl of chili as part of this buffet, so people can top their nachos with chili if they like.

This is the kind of chili that would make an excellent addition to some nachos.
This is the kind of chili that would make an excellent addition to some nachos.Photo credit: Cheyenne M Cohen

Some chili choices:

  • Beef, Black Bean and Jalapeno Chili: This is a very solid, classic ground beef and bean chili. No fancy footwork, no fancy ingredients, just the kind of chili everyone is very happy to see on the table on a winter night.
  • Instant Pot Vegetable Chili: The classic perfect vegetarian chili recipe, reinterpreted for the Instant Pot. You may want to make this and one other meaty chili, so everyone has options (and the omnivores can double down).
  • Buffalo Chicken and White Bean Chili: This recipe is quite ridiculously easy, and because the chicken cooks fast and because the hot sauce does a lot of the heavy lifting flavor-wise it takes very little time to cook, unlike many chilis which need to be simmered for quite a while.

Whatever you choose, I actually think (and I feel pretty sure many of you will agree) that the toppings make the chili. Sour cream, scallions, yellow or red onions, avocados, guacamole, jalapenos (jarred or fresh), salsas of all kinds, fresh diced tomatoes. And lots of shredded cheese which you can switch up from cheddar to Monterey Jack to Havarti to fontina to a Mexican blend. Or try crumbled cotija, dry and tangy and a little salty, not dissimilar to feta. Delicious. Or queso fresco cheese, milder and softer, still crumbly — many cheese opportunities to explore.