You’ve hosted the neighborhood football party for a few years now, and your guests, no matter the result of the game, always leave satisfied. Your homemade queso dip and cold deli platter make everyone happy, but it’s a new year and the perfect chance to try some new recipes. This list offers unique ideas and variations of classic appetizers that are sure to wow your guests.
Best of all, most of them don’t take any more time than the original—and some are even faster! So, instead of spending game day in the kitchen cooking, you can enjoy more time cheering on your favorite team.
1. Bourbon-Glazed Chicken Drumettes
No football party is complete without chicken wings. Sweeter than traditional Buffalo wings, this recipe removes some of the spice but leaves all the kick. The Bourbon glaze, suitable for all ages, brings the flavors in this dish to life. While chicken wings are a staple to game-day parties, this recipe is sure to leave a lasting impact.
Recipe: Bon Appetit
Prep Time: 21-23 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes
2. Roasted Tomato Salsa
Sure, you could go to the chip aisle and buy a jar of salsa, but where’s the fun in that? A tasty dip is a must for any football party, and salsa is rightly fail-safe. This dip combines healthy ingredients with homemade taste. Plus, time saver bonus, it’s prepared a week in advance! One less thing to worry about on game day.
Recipe: Serious Eats
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
3. Crispy Sausage Bread
You can never have enough meat dishes. This recipe requires a bit more prep time, but its short list of ingredients and even shorter cook time more than make up for the extra prep work. Just know that you may need two batches, as the first batch will likely be gone before the tray hits the table.
Recipe: Hardly Housewives
Prep Time: Unspecified Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
4. Pizza Rolls
Why bother with the long wait-times and high prices of pizza delivery when you can make something more creative and affordable in your own kitchen? This pizza roll recipe will have party attendees asking for more.
Recipe: Picture the Recipe
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
5. Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños
In this easy-to-make dish, the jalapeño adds pep which is perfectly balanced by the cream cheese stuffing. This recipe will satisfy even the fussiest of taste buds. After all, who doesn’t love appetizers wrapped in bacon?
Recipe: Comfy in the Kitchen
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
6. Garlicky Crab Bites
If you’re looking to expand beyond appetizers involving red meat and cheese, this recipe’s for you. Seafood lovers will dive into this dish of fresh crab meat seasoned with garlic and a dash of hot sauce.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes
7. Stuffed Mushrooms
If you want to avoid a long day of marathon cooking, it helps to have plenty of make-ahead dishes. That’s where this recipe comes in. You can prepare it the day of the game, or up to a week in advance. The sausage, cream and parmesan cheese melt together for a savory taste with smooth finish.
Recipe: The Girl Who Ate Everything
Prep Time: unspecified Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
8. Cucumber Rolls
There are a growing number of vegetarians and healthy eaters who crave the crispness of fresh fruits and vegetables. This recipe will not only satiate the veggie lovers, it’s tasty enough for guests of all appetites to enjoy. And since cooking is unnecessary, it’s an appetizing choice for you as well.
Recipe: My San Francisco Kitchen
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: none
9. Turkey Bacon Quiche
Mini quiches are the epitome of sophisticated finger food. Add class to your football fare with a zesty kick of chopped turkey bacon, fresh mozzarella and black pepper. So fancy your guests will eat this delicious appetizer with their pinky finger extended.
Recipe: The Realistic Nutritionist
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
10. Enchilada Stuffed Shells
A little Mexican appetizer to spice up the party, these one-bite enchiladas have just the right amount of kick. Melted cheddar cheese gives it an irresistable creaminess. Bet you can’t eat just one!
Recipe: The NY Melrose Family
Prep Time: unspecified Cook Time: 20 minutes
11. Zucchini Oven Chips
This dish takes fresh, crisp veggies and coats them with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. When baked to a crunchy brown, there’s no telling how many of these chips your guests will put away.
Recipe: Half Hour Meals
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
12. Frito-Lay® Chili Pie
Nothing puts that warm feeling in your stomach quite as well as chili. This presentation of Frito-Lay® chips will take you right back to childhood. Plus, you don’t even have to use any dishes. It’s a win-win.
Recipe: The Pioneer Woman
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour
13. Spicy Shrimp Dip
Dip is probably the most popular appetizer at any party. Red bell pepper and hot sauce lend a spicy flavor to this cheesy seafood dip that will tempt some double-dipping.
Recipe: Po’ Man Meals
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes
14. Posh Piggies
This is a simple recipe with plenty of room for creativity. Use a cookie cutter to slice pastry topping into any shape you like—footballs for the big game, perhaps? These savory sausage and pastry bites are great for parties, as guests can eat them without a napkin or plate.
Recipe: Seeded At the Table
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes
15. Apple, Sauerkraut and Cheddar Quesadillas
Your first thought will be, “You want me to combine what with what?” Surprisingly, these contrasting ingredients come together in a creamy dish that will delight the tastebuds of those adventurous enough to try it. Their last thought is guaranteed to be, “Man, that’s good!”
Recipe: Eating Well
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes
16. The Circle Sandwich
Two reasons to love this recipe: it feeds a lot of people and it’s amazingly versatile. Meat lovers, vegetarian, a combination of the two, almost anything goes with this dish. Let your imagination run wild.
Recipe: The V Spot Blog
Prep Time: unspecified Cook Time: unspecified
17. Turkey and Avocado Onigri Footballs
The fun of this appetizer is in the presentation. These football-shaped rice rolls are easy to make, and the freshly squeezed lime juice will add a refreshing zing to these turkey-infused wraps.
Recipe: La Fuji Mama
Prep Time: unspecified Cook Time: none
18. Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Bites
Looking at the photo, you might think this would be a time-consuming recipe, but don’t judge this book by its cover. It has an incredibly short prep time, with deep flavor that comes from the slow cooking process. The pastry acts as a pillow for the toppings, and is as pleasing to the eye as the sweet melty goodness is to the taste buds.
Recipe: Table For Two Blog
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 65 minutes
19. Mac and Cheese Muffins
Everyone loves homemade mac and cheese, and everyone loves muffins, so why not combine the two? This recipe starts with a foundation that offers room to experiment with different cheeses and mix-ins. These bite-size creations will leave a lasting impact on your guests.
Recipe: Emily Bites
Prep Time: unspecified Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
20. Tiny Ham and Pineapple Pot Pies
Don’t be scared by the prep time. The tasty reward is well worth the work. Much like everyone’s favorite Hawaiian pizza, fresh pineapple and hot mouthwatering ham combine in this recipe for little bites that explode with flavor.
Recipe: Table Spoon
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
21. Chipotle and Lime Roasted Potatoes
Mention chipotle and most folks can’t get to the food fast enough. The same goes for this recipe. The lime gives it a bright flavor and balances the spice of the chipotle. It’s a can’t-miss dish for fans of the smoky red pepper.
Recipe: In Sock Monkey Slippers
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes
22. Bacon and Cheese Potato Nachos
This isn’t your typical ballgame nacho dish. It’s a packed-to-the-gills, melt-in-your-mouth pile of awesome. The possibilities are endless. This recipe calls for bacon, but you can put anything from pulled pork to cucumbers on it. Since the potatoes are much sturdier than normal chips, they can withstand just about any topping you can think of.
Recipe: Oh Bite It
Prep Time: unspecified Cook Time: <5 minutes
23. One-Bite Shrimp Cocktails
Seafood lovers won’t be able to get enough of this distinctive appetizer. A bite of shrimp is placed on top of a tortilla round, which is then placed on top of a shot of tomato juice. One thing’s for sure, no one else will serve an appetizer as eye-popping as this one.
Recipe: Apron Strings Blog
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: none
24. Polenta Cakes with Chipotle Aioli
Built atop a dollop of chipotle aioli, this decadent, vegetarian treat melts in your mouth. The TexMex polenta cakes are versatile enough to be used with a variety of toppings and can even be made in advance, so be sure to plan a few extras for noshing on while getting the rest of your appetizers ready.
Recipe: The Chef Wife Diaries
Prep Time: unspecified Cook Time: unspecified
25. Mississippi Mud Brownies
With so many savory dishes, it’s nice to have something sweet on the table. Plus, let’s face it, sometimes we just crave chocolate. Even if you’ve forgotten about dessert, chances are you have the supplies already in your pantry, which is a good thing because everyone will want s’more of these chocolaty treats.
Recipe: Tasty Kitchen
Prep Time: <30 minutes Cook Time: 22-25 minutes
With so many mouth-watering appetizers, the hardest part will be choosing which ones to set out on your table for the Big Game.