12 Super Bowl Recipes That Will Score Big with Any Crowd
These appetizers, main dishes, sides and desserts are so tasty, they'll make the game seem like an afterthought.
Popcorn That Borrows from a Game-Day Favorite
We'll never argue with buttered, salted popcorn, but the simple snack is also a perfect starting point for tons of different flavor combinations. One we're loving is Buffalo wing sauce and ranch dressing; together, they make for a tangy, superaddictive treat.
Get the recipe: Buffalo-Ranch Popcorn
The Hot Sandwich No One Can Resist
San Francisco chef Traci Des Jardins' updated take on the Philly cheesesteak has you roast the beef with lavender and coffee, which adds a wonderfully fragrant note. You can do that ahead of time, and then assemble the sandwiches with all of the classic fixings—caramelized onions, peppers and melted provolone—just before your guests arrive.
Get the recipe: Cheesesteaks with Peppers and Onions
Pigs in a Blanket, with an Upgrade
For many people, it just isn't a Super Bowl party without pigs in a blanket—and this reworked version may become your new go-to. You tuck a spoonful of caramelized onions into each piece of puff-pastry dough, which adds a sweet counterpoint to the salty hot dogs.
Get the recipe: Pigs in a Blanket
A Combination of 2 Consistent Winners
Sliders and crab cakes are well-loved on their own; together, they're contenders for the most indulgent sandwich ever. Spicy, homemade mayonnaise adds an extra kick.
Get the recipe: Crab Cake Sliders with Spicy Mayo
The Obligatory Salad (That's Just Healthy Enough)
It's nice to serve a salad at a game-watching gathering, but let's face it: Most fans aren't looking for uber-healthy kale or spinach on game day. That's why this fresh dish is so perfect: It has crunchy, fried garbanzo beans, crumbled bacon and feta. Along with cucumbers, tomato and sliced romaine, it's a hearty salad that will complement whatever other rich food you're serving.
Get the recipe: Chopped Salad with Bacon and Fried Garbanzo Beans
Roasted poblano peppers; homemade salsa with toasted chilies de arbol and tomatillos; and, crumbled Cotija cheese are just a few of the unexpected touches that make this nacho platter so different—and delicious.
Get the recipe: Nachos with Poblanos, Fresh Salsa, and Guacamole
A Jolt of Chocolate for When You're Starting to Wane
These whirligig cookies start with a rich, peanut-buttery dough; you slather it with dark chocolate, roll it up into a log and slice into cookies. They're plenty tasty when served room temperature but dangerously addictive if you warm them in the oven or toaster oven before serving.
Get the recipe: Peanut Butter Chocolate Whirligigs
The Token Healthy Dish You'll Actually Love
A light, colorful slaw of red and green cabbage and bright orange carrots is a terrific complement to typical Super Bowl foods, which tend to be salty and involve a decent amount of oil. (It's also great on tacos, if they're on your menu.)
Get the recipe: Tricolor Coleslaw
If you're going to make jalapeño poppers only once a year, now's the time; and, this is the
recipe. You stuff the spicy peppers with cheese, then roll them in cornmeal and deep fry them for the ultimate party appetizer.
Get the recipe: Jalapeño Poppers
Photo: Katerina Petrovska
A Rich, Bold Alternative to the Usual Chili
Make a big batch of this leek and potato soup in your slow cooker, set it to "keep warm" and let guests help themselves whenever they'd like.
Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Leek and Potato Soup
A Snack That Works Pregame or Postgame
With its salty-sweet flavor, this concoction of coconut, caramel, nuts and popcorn can serve as an appetizer or a dessert. You can make it ahead of time; just store it in an airtight container.
Get the recipe: Caramel Corn with Peanuts, Pistachios, and Coconut
The Feed-a-Crowd Bar Cookie That Isn't a Brownie
Blondies are a surefire hit at any party, and while the ones pictured here look like dominoes, you can get as creative (or noncreative) as you want for a Super Bowl party. Melted white chocolate can spell the first letter of the team names, or just decorate the tops of the cookies with chocolate chips.
Get the recipe: Butterscotch Domino Blondies
Next: 14 no-fail potluck dishes everyone will love