The Playbook for a Winning Super Bowl Party Menu

Are you ready for some football? Better yet, get ready for creative ideas on what to serve at a Super Bowl buffet...because some of us are just here for the food. Read on for our 12-item checklist of everything a Super Bowl party needs to keep your party guests cheering! Serve a feast of savory finger foods and touchdown-worthy desserts, plus get the play-by-play on crowd-pleasing ideas for Bloody Marys, tacos, ice cream and more.

Step 1: Make a cheese plate ahead of time

Your guests may want something to snack on before the game starts, so it’s good to have something on deck in case the hot dishes take longer than planned.

This is where the make-ahead football cheese ball comes in. Simply combine equal parts cream cheese and velveeta in a mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer until smooth. Refrigerate for several hours then mold into a football shape, coat with nuts and top with sliced pimento arranged in a stitching pattern. Serve with veggies and crackers – and remind guests not to hog the ball!

Step 2: Choose a game day cocktail

No matter what team you and your fans are rooting for, everyone will agree that you can't serve a cheese plate without a cocktail. We like the simplicity of a classic Bloody Mary. 

You can make this drink even more satisfying by adding a bacon-wrapped jalapeno swizzle stick. To make: slice large jalapenos in half, then fill with a mixture of cream cheese, cheddar cheese and chili powder. Add a mini sausage and wrap with a slice of bacon, smoke or grill until the bacon is cooked, then pop it on a skewer. Top it off with a cherry tomato and listen for the cheers!

Step 3: Serve easy, crowd-pleasing sandwiches

Even if it's the two-minute warning before the party starts, you'll still have time to make these super-easy football sammies. We used pumpernickel rolls, turkey, cheddar, lettuce and tomatoes for ours, but you can use any fixings you'd like. The key to making them "football" sandwiches is the carefully applied cream cheese stitching on the top. Your winning party streak continues!

If you don’t have time for these football-themed sandwiches, many grocery store delis offer pre-made mini sandwiches that can fill an empty hole on your buffet table.

Step 4: Incorporate football-themed serveware

Not all the food at your party has to fit the theme—after all, you can only mold so many foods into football shapes. Think of some of the dishes you’d most like to see on the menu, and fold them into your party theme by serving them on football-themed serveware, like a football party platter or a tray for chips and dip patterned like a football field.  

If you’re looking for a new favorite taco recipe, we recommend Sunny Anderson’s 3-Ingredient Shredded Chicken Tacos.

Step 5: Don’t skip the fan favorites – like chili and corn bread!

When it comes to delicious football party food, chili is a no-brainer. Whip up a batch of your favorite chili (here’s our current fave) and serve in bowls printed with football field-zone numbers. Top with cheese and bite-sized cornbread baked in a mini muffin pan.

Step 6: Keep everyone snacking through commercials with mini layered dip cups

Make it easy with perfect portions that can be enjoyed in front of the TV! Just layer guac, sour cream and salsa in plastic shot glasses with a sprinkling of cheese, tomatoes, olives and green onions. Top off this winning idea with a tortilla chip—and the crowd goes wild!

Step 7: Offer heartier options at halftime

A good game sure can work up a fan's appetite! To prep these irresistible chili bowls, all you need is your favorite chili recipe and eight to twelve large sourdough rounds hollowed out with a serrated knife. Spoon the chili into the bread bowls and top with shredded cheese and chives. Simply delicious—just be sure to get out of the way when your hungry crowd rushes the buffet table!

Step 8: Serve tailgating staples, like snack-worthy sliders

When the mid-game hunger hits, these mini burgers are perfect for halftime snacking. Just stack beef, cheese, red onions and grilled peppers between two mini buns with a bamboo pick to hold it all together. 

Idea 9: Ready your starting lineup

Once you’ve cooked up your favorite Game Day recipes, take it to the touchdown line by setting everything up buffet-style with football-themed trays and bowls, which will also make transporting food from the kitchen a snap.

For an extra-memorable touch, let everyone know where to get their grub on with a DIY sign. Assemble a winning "chalkboard" sign using a piece of black poster board and pieces from a chain link garland. Just use the green gridiron stripes from a football chain link garland to border the sign and add a fun football-themed saying with permanent chalkboard markers. It'll look straight off the football field on a turf-printed table cover! 

Step 10: Serve your favorite desserts in football treat cups

When your fans are getting heated up, this sweet treat will cool them down! Serve your favorite flavor of ice cream in gridiron-printed ice cream cups. For extra points, add an ice cream sandwich with football laces—just cut the sandwich in half and pipe on some laces with a pre-made frosting bag. 

Step 11: Add memorable touches to your table, like referee-striped strawberries

No one will blow the whistle on this yummy treat! Make candy-dipped strawberries with referee stripes—all you need are white Candy Melts and black sugar sprinkles. Just melt the candy, dip the strawberries and carefully make sprinkle stripes. Serve your treats chilled on a platter. Don't be surprised if these are all eaten by half-time!

Step 12: The easiest hack for making football treats

We love when food matches the party theme. The easiest way to do it? Use a pre-made icing bag with one of the thin tips to pipe the white “laces” of a football. For our buffet, we made a tray of brownies and cut out football shapes with a knife. But don’t stop there—this trick works on all sorts of pre-made and homemade treats. Ready to go pro? You can add football lace details to sandwich cookies, cocoa crispy rice treats, pudding cups, wafer cookies, cupcakes, ice cream bars, fudge, or anything else you’ve recently dipped in chocolate.

Wow, what a play! Your menu's gonna be one for the hall of fame. Need tips on how to throw the rest of your party? Game on.

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