Touchdown! Tasty Super Bowl Eats for Fans of All Ages
Having a super-size crew over to watch the Super Bowl? Whether your guests are all about the game, only tune in for the commercials and half-time show, or will most likely spend the whole time playing with Legos® in the basement, everyone will want to eat at some point. Your goal is festive, family-friendly fare that can easily be premade or prepped for the masses and that won’t break the bank (or your newly recovered, post-holiday sanity). If you need some inspiration, these six leads should give you a running start.
1. PB&J Buffet!
Children will love it—and all the adults will feel like kids again. Pair your favorite nutty spread with jelly, of course, but also with fun combos like: jam and bacon; jam and a thin piece of cheddar cheese; sliced bananas or strawberries and honey; raisins and chopped celery; and roasted chicken or baked tofu, a sprinkle of bean sprouts, and a drizzle of Sriracha.
Alternate plays: Keep it simple with cheddar or offer gourmet grillers with fancy cheeses (we like goat, blue, fontina, provolone, or Swiss) and tasty add-ons like avocado and tomato, Canadian bacon and pineapple, steak and potatoes, or figs and bacon. Serve with mugs of tomato soup, like this easy one from Martha Stewart.
2. Pizza Bagels
Ordering a pile of pizzas is certainly quick and easy, but it gets pricey fast. Instead, set out a variety of bagels (sliced in half) and let guests assemble their dream “pie” from an array of sauces, cheeses, and toppings like pepperoni, olives, pineapple, veggies, and dried or chopped fresh herbs. When the bagels are ready for the oven, arrange them on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees until the cheese has melted and browned a bit.
Alternate plays: Use whole pitas or English muffins in place of bagels.
If it ain’t broke…. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a classic belly-filling dish to feed a crowd on a chilly winter day. Whip up a couple large pots—maybe one with meat and a little spice and another that’s vegetarian and kid-friendly—and then invite guests to top their bowls with grated cheddar, sour cream, salsa, chopped avocado, green onions, and tomatoes. For ideas, check out these five yummy chili recipes from Two Peas & Their Pod or these four hearty takes from the Food Network. Instead of chips, we suggest serving it with homemade cornbread, like this skillet version from The Pioneer Woman, or a crusty whole wheat bread.
Alternate plays: A big ol’ pot of stew, lentil soup, or chowder are all great options, too.
4. Build a Burrito
Simply lay out a spread of tortillas (learn how to warm them up en masse at The Kitchn), prepared taco meat, beans, rice, cheese, olives, lettuce, chopped red pepper and cilantro, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, etc., and then let hungry fans roll their own. Very little work for you, and everybody can choose the exact flavors that they want (trust us, picky eaters will thank you).
Alternate plays: Serve as tacos or in bowls instead.
5. Baked Ziti
Big pans of deliciousness are a go-to for other large parties, so why not at the ultimate gridiron game, too? A hearty mix of noodles, sauce, cheese, and meat or veggies (if you feel like it), baked ziti is one of the easiest casseroles out there, and is almost universally adored. We’re crushing on this no-boil version from Serious Eats, Rachael Ray’s even heartier take with sausage and lean ground beef, and Giada De Laurentiis’s baked penne with roasted veggies.
Alternate plays: Lasagna, baked mac and cheese, enchiladas, and chicken-and-rice casserole will also make tummies cheer.
There’s no better reason to fire up the grill in February than feeding a large group of people quickly—just put on a jacket and hat and head out there! (Or avoid the cold and still fulfill your hankering for a burger with this New York Times tutorial on cooking them up in your cast iron skillet.) All the fixin’s can be prepped ahead of time and cleanup is minimal. Pair your burgers with Smitten Kitchen’s oven fries.
Alternate play: Baked by Rachel’s slow-cooker recipe for kid-approved, apple-cider pulled pork is delish. Mix it with a little barbecue sauce and serve with pickles or slaw.
And for the extra point… Snack Attack!
The heart of most Super Bowl fare is usually the snacks, so why not make a meal of them? Pick a few of your faves, gather an abundance of them, and then sit back and get your cheer on! Some of our picks include:
- Hummus or bean dip with sliced veggies and pita chips
- Cheese-and-meat platter with crackers, bread, and lots of fresh fruit
- Deviled eggs—take the simple, classic route or go gourmet (we like olives, wasabi, lox, and fresh fruit!) with your fillings
- This 7 layer bean dip or Skinnytaste’s lightened-up spinach and artichoke dip
- Cooking Lite’s healthier take on chicken wings or chicken nuggets
- Ree Drummond’s meatball sliders with a dollop of tomato sauce and sprinkle of mozzarella cheese