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What makes the perfect game day recipe?

The perfect game day recipe should be easy to make, tasty, and crowd-pleasing. A great way to achieve this is to choose a dish that can be cooked in a big batch, such as chili or nachos. This makes it easier to have enough for everyone, no matter how big their appetites are.

Additionally, the addition of fun toppings like jalapenos, shredded cheese, olives, or sour cream can really take the dish to the next level. Everyone at your party can customize the dish to their tastes, which helps with crowd-pleasing.

Finding a balance between flavors can be key to making sure everyone enjoys your game-day creation. Sweet and savory elements can complement each other in an unexpected way that will delight your guests!

And finally, guests love finger foods. That’s why meatballs, chicken tenders, and sliders are popular game day recipes. They’re casual and easy to eat, without the formality of flatware. As a bonus, you’ll have fewer dishes to clean after the party’s over, too.

Popular game day recipes

When it comes to game day recipes, there are a few that consistently top the list:

  • Anything with chicken and buffalo sauce — buffalo chicken dip or buffalo chicken bites, for example.
  • Crockpot meatballs.
  • Sliders — beef sliders, chicken sliders, pulled pork sliders.
  • Grilled chicken wings.
  • Nachos.
  • Chili.
  • Queso dip, or any cheesy, creamy, warm dip.
  • Chips and salsa.
  • Street tacos.
  • Garlic bread.
  • Brownies and cookie bars.

What about healthy recipes for game day?

Traditionally, game day recipes aren’t healthy. They’re more like comfort foods — rich, warm, and cheesy.

But here’s some good news. You can easily add some healthy choices to your menu. A simple choice is to provide raw veggies like carrots, celery, and bell pepper alongside your salsas and dips. You could also opt for lower fat cheeses in your dips. Also try grilled chicken sliders, cilantro lime chicken thighs, or boneless chicken wings instead of the traditional boned options. For dessert, serve some fresh fruit alongside your cookies and brownies.

About prepping and serving game-day food

Game day food should be easy to eat and serve. Start by preparing dishes in advance, so you don’t have to worry about cooking on game day. Sliders, wraps, and nachos are great options that can be prepared ahead of time and popped in the oven or microwave as needed. You can also make a large batch of wings or other finger foods and keep them warm in a slow cooker.

You can serve those finger foods with a variety of dips such as guacamole, salsa, or ranch dressing. For an extra special touch, set up a build-your-own taco bar or burrito station — your friends will love it.

Drinks to serve on game day

The most popular drink choices on game days are beer, soda, lemonade, or iced tea. If you want to provide cocktails, go with easy options like margaritas, vodka soda, or gin and tonic. You could make a batch of margaritas or even Long Island iced tea ahead of time and serve it to guests in a pitcher.

Another easy strategy is to ask guests to bring a bottle of their favorite drink of choice.

Blog Chef favorite game day recipes