Kick off your game day party with 115+ of our favorite appetizers, mains, sides, cocktails, and desserts that are perfect for the big game!
This one is for the sports fans (and those of us who use game day as an excuse for fun food spreads 🙋🏻♀️).
Whether you're into football, basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer, golf, bowling, or synchronized swimming, this post is your new go-to resource for all things related to game day food.
Sports gatherings can vary widely, so I've broken things down into helpful categories below, and you can click on any link to jump straight to that section.
Back when my husband worked in a big office, we'd have his department over to watch football with an epic spread of appetizers and desserts with the addition of a 6 foot wedge (that's a giant sandwich) from a local deli.
I hope this post helps you plan the most delicious party ever, regardless of whether it involves your favorite sports team.
- 🥟 Bite-sized snacks
- 🥣 Appetizer dips and spreads
- 🍔 Game day mains
- 🥗 Super sides
- 🍹 Kick-off cocktails
- 🍪 Party-pleasing desserts
🥟 Bite-sized snacks
These are some of our very favorite bite-sized game day snacks. These appetizers are portable and poppable, and many can be made in advance, leaving you relaxed come game time.
No Mayo Deviled Eggs
This easy-to-make, classic deviled egg recipe is a bite-sized party appetizer favorite! Made with pantry staples - no mayo needed!
Smoked Salmon Roll-ups
This 5 ingredient party food recipe is simple and delicious. It can be made in advance, making party prep a breeze!
Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings
This air fryer chicken wing recipe turns a few ingredients into perfectly crispy, juicy wings coated in a garlicky parmesan butter. Perfect for the big game!
Easy Homemade Mini Pizza Bagels
This homemade pizza bagel recipe is quick & easy to make! These freezable, endlessly customizable snacks can be cooked in the oven or air fryer.
This 3 ingredient pickle treat appetizer recipe is one of my family's very favorite game day treats. They're salty, tangy, creamy, and absolutely addictive!
Garlicky Goat Cheese + Herb Stuffed Peppadews
Sweet and a little spicy, these addictive stuffed peppers are the perfect accompaniment to any appetizer spread!
Settino’s Italian Stuffed Mushrooms
This is my Italian father-in-law's recipe for the BEST stuffed mushrooms. They can be made in advance and reheated at game time.
Homemade Seasoned Pita Chips: Easy, Baked, 5-Ingredient Recipe
Freshly baked crispy pita chips are easy to make at home from pita bread in under 10 minutes! Just 5 ingredients plus salt and pepper. Perfect for dipping in hummus, muhammara, and more!
Falafel-Spiced Cucumber Bites
These cucumber bites are a healthy party appetizer recipe with major Middle Eastern flair! They're quick & easy to assemble and make a great addition to any game day spread!
Killer Shrimp Cocktail
A flavorful shrimp boil and homemade cocktail sauce bring this Beetlejuice-inspired appetizer to life!
Lindrusso’s Spinach Balls
Serve these bite-sized spinach and Parmesan morsels with your favorite mustard for a tangy appetizer offering!
Pasta Salad Skewers with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
Food on a stick is always more fun! Greek yogurt adds creaminess to the dressing in this fun spin on a party favorite.
Settino’s Italian Bruschetta
My family's favorite bruschetta recipe, just the way my Italian father-in-law taught me to make it. This quick & easy appetizer recipe is always a hit!
Cheesy Bacon + Apple Croissants
Bacon jam adds smokiness to this sweet-and-salty 5 ingredient appetizer recipe. An easy apple-studded hors d'oeuvre that will be a hit at any party!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
We love to keep these super simple bite-sized appetizers warm in a slow cooker throughout our parties.
Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Sweet, salty, and almost always the first appetizer to disappear at any game day gathering!
French-Inspired Deviled Eggs
These mayo-free beauties get a big boost of flavor from fresh tarragon, cornichons, and Dijon.
Ethiopian Spiced Almonds
Roasting nuts with berbere makes for an exotic snack. Feel free to use this same method, swapping it out with other spices for flavor variations.
Veggie Cream Cheese Roll-ups
Eat the rainbow with these colorful, veggie-packed bites! Easy to assemble and completely customizable to your preferences.
Honeyed Chorizo & Fig Crostini
This smoky-sweet Spanish appetizer recipe is guaranteed to be a hit at your next tapas party! A simple, elegant hors d'oeuvre that can be prepared in under 15 minutes.
Hoisin Cocktail Meatballs
Incredibly tender and flavorful party bites with a delicious dipping sauce.
Tuna Tostada with Avocado Dressing + Chipotle Sour Cream
These bite-sized beauties have a Mexican flair that will wow your dinner party guests. You'll love how easy this tuna tostada appetizer is to put together!
Prosciutto & Brie Crostini with Dried Apricots
France meets Italy in this simple prosciutto & brie crostini recipe that packs a flavorful, sweet-and-salty punch. With only a handful of ingredients, they're perfect party bites for entertaining that are easy enough to make last minute. Plus tips for building your own stellar crostini!
Deep Fried Roasted Garlic Mac & Cheese Dumplings
Roasted garlic-infused mac & cheese is stuffed into dumpling wrappers, deep-fried till golden, and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the ultimate comfort food snack.
Patatas Bravas with Chipotle Aioli
A Spanish tapas favorite that's easy to make at home using only a few ingredients! These crispy fried potatoes make a great addition to any meal.
Cheesy Potato Skins with Smoky-BBQ Shredded Beets
Bite-sized potatoes are stuffed with cheddar cheese and baked till crispy, then topped with a vibrant array of toppings in this healthier spin on a party classic.
General Tsao’s Chicken Egg Rolls
Two Chinese takeout classics come together in this epic mashup! General Tsao's Chicken Egg Rolls only take a few ingredients & are simple to make at home.
Marcona Almond + Dried Cherry Popcorn with Crispy Rosemary
An upscale twist on classic movie theater popcorn. Make it right in the comfort of your own home with only 6 ingredients!
Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Shrimp + Peanut Sauce
Wrapping up these Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Shrimp & Peanut Sauce is easier than you think!
Prosciutto Wrapped Melon
A classic sweet-and-salty combination. Be sure to use ripe melon and quality prosciutto for the best results.
Tempura Green Beans with Sriracha Aioli + Soy Ginger Dipping Sauces
Seltzer is added to flour and salt to create a beautifully light and fluffy tempura batter. Delicious on green beans and other veggies.
Dressy Deviled Eggs
Sweet, tangy, and addictive - I've put a modern twist on my Grandma's classic deviled eggs. Guaranteed to be a hit at any party!
Crudité Cups with Homemade Ranch Dressing
A quick blend of herbs & spices mixed with yogurt makes these colorful, portable snacks the perfect healthy treat!
🥣 Appetizer dips and spreads
Nothing beats a good dip when it comes to your game day lineup. I usually assemble a few options in advance in casserole dishes and stash them in the fridge until kickoff.
Some of our favorite items to serve alongside dips and spreads are:
- Pita bread or pita chips (my homemade baked pita chips are divine!)
- Tortilla chips or scoops
- Fresh veggies/produce like celery, cucumbers, carrots, jicama, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and grape tomatoes
- Pretzels, pretzel sticks, or pretzel crisps
- Potato chips
- Crackers (both plain varieties and ones with additional flavors/ingredients work well)
- Sliced baguette, either plain or toasted in the oven (toasted is also fantastic rubbed with garlic while it's still hot)
- Grissini or breadsticks
- Bagels or bagel chips
- Bread bowls
- Veggie chips or sticks
- Doritos or Fritos
- Naan bread or naan crisps
Layered Taco Dip with Refried Beans
This quick & easy make-ahead layered taco dip recipe is always a crowd-pleaser. Perfect for your next potluck, picnic, or game day gathering!
Buffalo Chickpea Dip
Why choose between spicy Buffalo wings and smooth hummus when you can have the best of both worlds? Perfect for game day or any appetizer spread!
Easy Classic Hummus Using Canned Chickpeas
Smooth, delicious homemade hummus using canned chickpeas comes together in minutes with just a few ingredients. An easy appetizer or snack!
Dino’s Guacamole – Restaurant-Style Guac in Just 5 Minutes!
Restaurant-style guacamole is super simple to make at home! 2 ripe avocados + a few ingredients and you have the perfect Mexican appetizer!
A rich, garlicky dip made from roasted red peppers, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses. Great served with pita bread and feta cheese.
Mango, Jicama + Black Bean Salsa
Juicy, ripe mango and fresh lime brighten the flavors of this sweet-and-salty black bean salsa. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo, potlucks and summer BBQs!
Gorgonzola Fruit Torta
Gorgonzola & cream cheese are layered with fresh herbs, dried fruit, & toasted nuts upgrading any festive cheese board or appetizer spread.
Top Chef All-Star Marcel Vigneron’s Chimi-Verde Dip
Tomatillos, fresh herbs, & avocado are blended together in this silky-smooth, spicy dip recipe courtesy of Top Chef All-Star Marcel Vigneron.
Butternut, Goat Cheese & Walnut Spread
Roasted garlic and butternut squash are blended with creamy goat cheese for a seriously decadent appetizer spread.
Caramelized Onion and Spinach Dip with Sage
This dip boasts extra flavor in the form of some seriously mouth-watering caramelized onions, garlic, organic sage, and nutmeg.
Pineapple and Black Bean Salsa
Sweet pineapple is tossed with spicy jalapeño peppers, black beans, red onion, cilantro, and lime for a quick and refreshing salsa!
Baked Brie with Jam & Pecans
Puffed pastry and your favorite jam or preserves and some nuts come together in this ooey-gooey appetizer.
Garlicky cucumber-yogurt dip makes for a great appetizer. This is part of a burger post, but the dip is fantastic on its own as well!
Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly Appetizer
A two-ingredient Midwest staple! Sweet, spicy pepper jelly and cream cheese make the perfect dip for crackers.
🍔 Game day mains
Some people like to celebrate the big game by grilling up burgers, sausages, or brats for a crowd. Many enjoy having a buffet table of dishes for people to fill their plates.
Others like to have a big pot of soup or stew hanging out in a slow cooker for their guests to help themselves throughout the game.
Whatever your style, here are some options for game day entréeas to feed hungry fans.
Spicy Turkey Three-Bean Chili
The best bowl of spicy turkey chili is easy to make at home! Includes tips for making it milder, freezing, and topping ideas. Perfect comfort food!
Our Favorite Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
Old-fashioned comfort food at its best! Sloppy Joes are an easy weeknight meal that’s always a hit. Try switching the ground beef for turkey, bison, or vegan ground meat alternative.
Garlicky Mushroom Ricotta Pizza with Wild Arugula + Aged Balsamic
Sautéed mushrooms are topped with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and baked into a store-bought pizza crust for an easy, elegant weeknight meal!
Sausage and Peppers
This simple, classic Italian comfort food recipe makes a perfect weeknight meal and is easily scaled up to feed a crowd. Serve it with some nice bread for delicious sandwiches!
BBQ Chicken Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella
Grab your favorite BBQ sauce & a pre-made pizza crust, flatbread, or naan. This easy, sweet-and-smoky chicken pizza recipe will be ready in 15-20 minutes!
Burrata Pizza with Prosciutto and Pickled Grapes
Three cheeses, prosciutto, and pickled grapes make this sweet & salty burrata pizza recipe served with freshly broken burrata a luscious app or main course!
Chef Jehangir Mehta’s Mushroom Blended “Graffiti” Burger
A blend of mushrooms, angus beef, and exotic spices amp up the flavor in this grilled burger.
Terri’s Favorite Vegetarian Black Bean Burger
Cumin, fresh cilantro, and green onion pack major flavor inside these veggie burger patties.
Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches
Make the beef for these mouthwateringly tender sandwiches and let it stay warm in your Instant Pot until game time. Then served on top of toasted garlic bread with melted provolone cheese and plenty of au jus for dunking. They'd be great on slider rolls, too!
Turkey Salad Tea Sandwiches with Dried Cherries
Dried sour cherries add a pop of sweet-tart flavor to the turkey filling in this simple yet elegant tea sandwich recipe. Would also be great on sliders or in mini pita pockets. Perfect party food!
Falafel with Yogurt-Herb Sauce
Serve these chickpea and herb patties solo or with pita bread. Delicious with a quick, tangy yogurt-herb sauce!
Bar-B-Q Turkey Burgers with Grilled Pineapple Guacamole
Grilled pineapple-studded guacamole is piled on top of these turkey burgers that have been brushed with a sweet-and-spicy bar-b-q sauce.
Instant Pot Beef Goulash
This easy, cozy beef goulash recipe has been in my family for at least 6 generations now. It's delicious when served over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.
Chicken Salad with Dill
Easy to make in advance and delicious served as sandwiches, sliders, or stuffed in pita bead. Extra delicious with crispy potato chips piled on top!
Persian Malbec Lamb Burgers with Mast-o-Khiar and Pomegranate Tomato Jam
Red wine deepens the flavors in both the burgers and jam in this Middle Eastern spin on Adam Richman's Malbec Burger recipe. Great as full-sized burgers or sliders for game day!
Slow-Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Tasty sandwiches with minimal prep. Serve straight out of the slow cooker with slider rolls or buns alongside.
Chicken Salad Sliders
Because all sandwiches are more fun when they're slider-sized, right? These are great on mini rolls, stuffed in pita bread, or on regular rolls.
Grandpa Henderson’s Beef Stew
My grandpa made the BEST beef stew! This hearty recipe tastes even better the day after it's made and would be great held in a slow cooker during the big game.
Bar-B-Q Pulled Pork Fries with Cole Slaw
Take French fries to the next level by piling them with tender, slow-cooked pulled pork and tangy cole slaw for an epic plate of comfort food. Grab a fork and dig in!
🥗 Super sides
Whether it's creamy mashed potatoes to go with beef goulash, pasta salad or baked beans to go alongside burgers and brats, or a cheese-packed loaf of bread, these side dishes will round out any game day meal.
Antipasto Pasta Salad
Bring the fun of an antipasto spread to picnic season with this colorful spin on an Italian favorite + a giveaway from prAna!
Sweet Corn Muffins
These muffins go great alongside stews or chili, and are also great on their own!
Roasted Garlic Gruyère Pull-Apart Bread
Crusty bread is slathered with Parmesan and herb-roasted garlic butter then stuffed with Gruyère cheese.
This is the way my mom makes cole slaw, and it rocks! Simple, delicious, sweet, and creamy.
Rainbow Slaw with Smoked Paprika Mayo
Smoked paprika adds depth to this colorful, fresh, and tangy slaw. This is really easy to put together, can be made in advance, and stores well in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat.
Best Barbecue Coleslaw
This slaw uses buttermilk, lemon juice, and vinegar for extra tang, and it gets better and better the longer it hangs out in the fridge.
Asian Broccoli Slaw
A zesty, sweet-and-spicy dressing is the perfect coating for this colorful cilantro-studded slaw.
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Super creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes are easy to make in a fraction of the time thanks to the Instant Pot. Perfect with beef goulash or meatballs!
Cucumber & Cannellini Bean Salad with Dill
Mix together 6 ingredients in just minutes with this easy no-cook bean salad recipe. Perfect for days when you don't want to heat up the kitchen!
Easy Instant Pot Herbed Potato Salad
Quick-cooking baby potatoes and fresh herbs come together in this easy Instant Pot potato salad recipe (stovetop directions included).
Balsamic Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad
Tossing sweet, garlicky balsamic-and-basil roasted tomatoes with pasta and fresh mozzarella is a fun spin on a classic Caprese salad that's perfect for potluck season!
Calabrese Potato Salad with Green Beans + Tomatoes (Italian, No-Mayo)
This simple mayo-free Italian potato salad recipe includes fresh & dried oregano, olive oil, & red wine vinegar. A Calabrian family favorite!
🍹 Kick-off cocktails
We often serve bottles of liquor with soda, juice, mixers, and garnishes next to a bucket of ice at game day gatherings.
If you're looking to branch out beyond beer and wine, here are some of our very favorite cocktail options!
Guava Cooler Tequila Cocktail Recipe – Tropical and Refreshing!
This guava tequila cocktail is made with guava nectar, triple sec, and a mix of fruit juices for a refreshing, tropical take on happy hour!
Watermelon Sugar High Tequila Cocktail
Move over, margaritas! This refreshing watermelon cocktail made with fresh mint, lime, & tequila is the perfect way to cool off when the game gets heated.
Cucumber Moscow Mule
Homemade cucumber-infused vodka is a deliciously cool addition to this spicy ginger cocktail, served in a copper mug.
Cucumber Gin Elderflower Smash
Choose a cocktail or mocktail version of this cool, refreshing gin cocktail.
Spiced Mulled Wine
Make this easy spiced mulled wine recipe on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or Instant Pot for the ultimate cozy spiked beverage.
Launch Party: Rooster Shots
This is a spicy little shot that will really wake you up and get you ready for kickoff!
🍪 Party-pleasing desserts
Many of these sweets could be easily customized with colored candies or food coloring to match the colors of the uniforms of the teams playing. Have fun with it!
Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)
What's better than a quick & easy snack that involves cereal, chocolate, peanut butter, and lots of fun mix-ins? Use candies in team colors to customize it to the big game.
A silky smooth, slightly sweet way to end any dim sum party! These luxuriously smooth treats take only 5 ingredients and 10 minutes on the stovetop, then just stash them in the fridge until party time!
Superbowl Party: Margarita Cake
A boozy cake with a boozy glaze that's always a hit at our game day gatherings.
Sweet, salty, and super simple to assemble. Use corresponding candy colors to show your team spirit!
Deep Fried Nutella S’mores Dumplings
We took all the fun of s'mores but upped the ante by stuffing them inside dumpling wrappers, swapping the chocolate for Nutella, deep frying them, and dunking them in marshmallow fluff.
Cranberry Orange Snickerdoodles
Fresh orange and dried cranberries add seasonal flair to this classic cookie!
Dark Chocolate Pinwheel with Creamsicle Yogurt Dip
Pie crusts are stuffed with rich, dark chocolate and baked until golden brown before being dunked in an orange-infused yogurt dip!
Peanut Butter Haystacks
Easy make-ahead treats with only a few ingredients. Crunchy, sweet, and delicious!
Dessert Nachos with Fresh Baked Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
A colorful fresh fruit salsa, honeyed Greek yogurt + chocolate hazelnut butter are piled atop this plate of sweet-and-salty nachos!
Rich Cocoa Brownie Bites
Bust out your favorite cocoa powder and satisfy your brownie cravings with this super rich, bite-sized chocolate-packed dessert.
Copycat Starbucks Espresso Brownies
Enjoy some sweets with a kick of caffeine with these rich, chocolatey treats.
Grandma’s Classic Cut Out Sugar Cookies
My grandma's classic roll-out cookie recipe makes deliciously soft cookies that hold their shape well for decorating. Use a glass to make round cookies and decorate them with your team's colors!
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies
These supremely chocolatey cookies are a great way to use a partial container of buttermilk – guaranteed to satisfy even the strongest chocolate cravings.
These donuts have lime zest running through them, and they’re glazed with a tequila and orange liqueur-laced icing.
Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies
One of our all-time favorite cookies! Soft, delicious, and easy to bake.
This simple dessert recipe makes lots of pillowy soft, tender cookies that are sure to be a family favorite! Use your favorite team's color for the sprinkles to tie it all together.
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
These soft, chewy peanut butter cookies are a dessert recipe that my family has been baking for years. Easy to make & guaranteed to be a hit!
Take traditional lemon bars to the next level with the addition of fresh lime and orange, plus a salty-sweet garnish. Shot of tequila optional, but encouraged!
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies
Hot cocoa and cookie lovers unite! Peppermint hot chocolate cookies are a festive treat.
Elvis-Style Frozen Bananas
Elvis-Style Frozen Bananas take the classic Elvis sandwich (peanut butter, banana + bacon) to a new level! This easy 3 ingredient frozen dessert ROCKS!