We love the Super Bowl. And while it can be fun seeing men tackle one another on television or watching whatever pop star the NFL was able to conjure up during halftime, we throw football-themed bashes for one thing and one thing alone: the junk food we won’t apologize for loving.
Ahead of this year’s big game, we polled The Daily Meal staff to see what Super Bowl party essentials are their absolute must-haves. The result is our definitive ranking of Super Bowl dishes. However, it should be noted that most Super Bowl party foods are good. So even our lowest ranked dish is a total winner, it just may not be the MVP.
You can find an amazing sandwich in every single state, but with very few exceptions, a giant 6-foot “party sub” is not one of them. The bread, somehow, is always stale. And few people can agree on what deli meat, cheese, vegetables and condiments are the best.
No matter what regional variation of chili you favor, there’s no denying this classic comfort food is a staple at Super Bowl parties across the country. While it is a wintertime favorite for sure, chili is not the easiest thing to eat while watching an intense game of football. It’s also quite filling, which isn’t great when there’s a whole table of game day snacks to dive into. The most redeeming thing about chili is that you can customize it with ease (and it’s hard to mess up). You can eat like a Texan and make your chili without beans or make a bean-filled vegetarian chili, beef chili or chicken chili.
Is there anything more quintessentially American than barbecue? For an all-American event like the Super Bowl, few sandwiches are more appropriate than pulled pork. This dish is easy to make at home and is easily adapted into a vegetarian version with jackfruit. However, like chili, pulled pork can be quite filling, so this is perhaps best saved for a summertime picnic.
Burgers are a house party staple, and it’s really easy to make burgers at home. But at a Super Bowl party, committing to eating an entire, full-sized cheeseburger is a tall task. Enter: The slider. Not only are these mini burgers super adorable, but they also cook up in a jiffy, making it an easy entree for hosts to prepare.
Shareable, scrumptious and easily added to any plate full of food, deviled eggs are a classic party food for a reason. The simplest form of deviled eggs are remarkably easy to make: You just need eggs, mustard, mayonnaise and a little seasoning or garnish to finish the job. But if you’re feeling zesty, there are plenty of ways to jazz up your deviled eggs.
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about the nacho? That iconic combination of tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa, melted cheese, beans, meat, olives and onion (or simply tortilla chips and cheese) is just about impossible to dislike. The perfect nacho recipe has everything you want on it and more. Plus, it’s easy to make in massive amounts, serve to others and shovel into your mouth, making it the perfect party food.
This kid-friendly dish, composed of a hot dog rolled in puff pastry dough, is perhaps the easiest dish on this list to make. You roll up the hot dog, pop it into the oven and dip it into your sauce of choice. The recipe is as simple as that. This dish lacks the wow factor of things higher on this list, but your guests will relish in the nostalgia of this classic childhood dinner you forgot about.
What’s not to love about the classic combination of cheddar cheese and bacon melted onto a crisp russet potato skin and topped with sour cream and chives? You can jazz it up with brie and prosciutto or chorizo, leave off the bacon, add extra chives, dip it in ranch or whatever else tickles your fancy.
You know guacamole. You love guacamole. It’s creamy, it’s refreshing, it’s full of flavor, and because the avocado has such a subtle flavor, you can make guac in many different ways. In fact, here are over 50 easy, delicious guacamole recipes that are perfect for game day.
How can you improve on guac? Layer it with refried beans, sour cream and shredded cheese and top it with tomatoes, black olives and scallions for a colorful fiesta in your mouth. Honestly, people don’t make seven-layer dip enough. And it’s so easy. You just open a few cans and you have an instant party-ready snack.
Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest day for America’s favorite pizza chains, and this dish is also easy to make at home with a few shortcuts such as using pre-made dough and shredded mozzarella cheese. Pizza is a hit any day of the year, whether its homemade, frozen or from one of America’s best pizzerias, and this food is perfect for feeding a ravenous crowd.
Chips and dip are an integral part of any Super Bowl celebration, but we are partial to the combination of a warm, homemade spinach artichoke dip and classic tortilla chips. Cheesy, garlicky and with enough greens that you feel OK about taking a massive scoop on your plate, this isn’t just one of the many dips you need for game day — it’s one of the best dips.
We did just talk about dips. But there’s one dip that absolutely no Super Bowl party would be complete without: Buffalo chicken dip. It’s creamy, it’s zesty, it’s filling and it’s just the right amount of meaty. It’s also one of the easiest dips to make; you just mix together shredded chicken, blue cheese, ranch dressing, hot sauce, cream cheese and bake. Even the most novice home cooks can pull off this recipe.
Of all the recipes you need for Super Bowl Sunday, wings shouldn’t be neglected. This portable, bite-sized morsel of deliciousness is crisp, juicy and filled with infinite possibilities. Want a traditional Buffalo wing? You can make it! Want something garlicky and cheesy? Bam! You got it! Want a wing that’s sweet and savory? Live your dreams! You can make chicken wings in so many different delicious ways. Of course, if you’re not feeling up to frying them yourself, you can always just seek out the best Buffalo wings in America.
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