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Game Day: Must-try recipes for your Big Game watch party

Getting ready to watch the big game? Don’t forget the snacks!

From chicken wings to dips, I’ve picked out a few that are a spin on classic recipes. They are quick and easy to make for your watch party, with a focus on snacks that are bite-sized and hand-held to make it easy to grab them between passes and touchdowns.

Settle in with your favorite beverage and a few things to much on. Continue reading for ideas and recipes!

Wings 101

Read my extended guide to making great wings

Buffalo wings: they’re a game day tradition. When it comes to wings, I find that most people are either on Team Spice or Team Nice (read: mild, usually with barbecue instead of buffalo sauce.) Me? I generally lean towards spicy but appreciate the best of both worlds: spice that comes with flavor, instead of raw, knock-out spice that can’t be tamed.

As far as the wings, there are about a million ways to make them: double-fried, air fried, baked, grilled… Fried wings are, of course, delicious, but as far as I’m concerned, doing it at home makes too big of a mess. If you grill your wings, indoors or outside, make sure that the chicken is “naked”, with no sauce, when you start cooking. This will ensure that you are cooking the chicken first, instead of ending up with raw chicken and burnt sauce.

Chicken drumettes & wings with BBQ sauce

Get the recipe: Cranberry BBQ sauce

If you’re looking for something mild that’s different, try a sweet and tangy take on the regular barbecue (BBQ) sauce made with a totally unexpected ingredient: cranberry sauce.

Yep, I said cranberry sauce. Nope, cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving.

Compared to the dark, mahogany, or maroon red colors of most BBQ sauces, the sauce is a dark pinkish hue from the berries. It is complex, with warming spices, a tart sweetness, and a smoky flavor from chipotle. You can spice up the sauce even more by adding extra chipotle powder or chipotle in adobo sauce.

Baked pimento cheese dip

Get the recipe: Baked pimento cheese dip

I have lived in the Northeastern, U.S. all of my life but think a small part of me is a Southerner at heart. Pimento cheese is one snack that is at the top of my list.

You can mix this up and serve it cold with crackers or fresh veggies, like carrots and celery sticks, which is also delicious. Heating the dip up takes it to a whole ‘nother dimension of deliciousnesswith a hot, bubbly, crusty cheese topping and melty, creamy cheese underneath.

Elotes, as “bites” or a salad

Get the recipe: Elotes (Mexican Street Corn)

In the winter months, you can still enjoy corn if you look at your frozen section. I like to buy the small ears of corn that have been cut in half from a larger cob, which are perfectly sized for serving on a snack platter as Elotes, or Mexican street corn, coated in a creamy sauce and sprinkled with cheese, cilantro, and seasoning. You can also make the same recipe as a corn salad or salsa, which I have done many times.

Either way you serve it, Elotes is amazing as a side dish to serve with enchiladas, chili, and other Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes. In its salsa or salad form, I love it as a topping for tacos or nachos.

Chocolate peanut butter cookies

Get the recipe: Chocolate peanut butter cookies

This is a quick recipe that you could make basically in a commercial breakeveryone knows that there are a ton of them.

Making these in the toaster oven is my preference because it is a small batch. Alternatively, you can also mix up the batter earlier in the day and scoop it into balls, refrigerate or freeze, and pop it in the oven later on when it’s time to have a sweet treat.

You can always eat a cookie alone, with or without milk, or try these ideas that don’t even need a recipe to follow, they’re so easy:

  • Ice cream sandwichestwo cookies, and a big scoop of your favorite flavor in between, like chocolate gelato with peanut butter swirl (now there’s an amazing idea…)
  • Cookie sundaesput one cookie in a bowl, scoop ice cream on top, then top with chocolate syrup or chocolate shavings, whipped cream, a cherry, and sprinkles or crumbled cookie on top.
  • Cookie milkshakesin a blender, add two cookies, 1 cup of ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, or your favorite flavor), and 1/2 cup of milk. Blend until smooth, then serve in a glass, topped with whipped cream and a crumbled cookie.

For more ideas, also check out menu inspiration for a Comfort Food Feast.