5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (2024)

The matchup for Super Bowl LVIII is set, but when our favorite teams are out of contention, we become more interested in what's on the table than who's on the field. However, we're still fans of the game. So let's embrace a football state of mind as we plan our game day party with these tips and recipes.

Form a game plan. Preparation is key, and also part of the fun. Appetizers are often the main attraction, and a no-pressure way to experiment with ingredients or recipes. It's not too early to look for ideas. Start with these recipes from local chefs and recent cookbooks: versatile Buffalo chicken meatballs, whiskey-glazed wings, baked goat cheese, Korean-spiced cauliflower and a top-notch guacamole. Don't forget dessert.

Rely on your bench. Party planning is a team sport. Choose a dish or two to make and ask others to fill in the gaps. Just huddle up beforehand to make sure there aren't six different kinds of wings and no dips or vegetables. Variety is the spice of life, and key to a successful spread.

Play defense. Entertaining doesn't always go as planned. There are no-shows, or the friend who was supposed to bring meatballs brought chips instead. No problem, because you're prepared. If you have time and ambition, make and freeze empanadas to pop in the oven as needed. If not, there's no shame in shopping the freezer aisle.

Take advantage of timeouts. The Super Bowl isn't just a game, it's a daylong event. Pace yourself, and the food, accordingly. Double-team foods that can transition from brunch to late-day noshes (think avocados or deviled eggs). And break up the day with games, trivia or create-your-own themed bingo. The Super Bowl in is Las Vegas, so here's your excuse to play poker and blackjack.

Research draft picks. Take this opportunity to sample beer from local breweries, or serve batch co*cktails or one specialty co*cktail to avoid spending the night playing mixologist (unless that's your calling). Don't forget to have spirit-free options; there's a variety of locally made shrubs, seltzers, sodas and teas — give them a try.

And don't forget the cardinal rule of entertaining: Have fun. Whether you're rooting for Kansas City or San Francisco, or are in it just for the commercials and entertainment, your pregame preparation has already made you this year's MVP.

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (1)

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (2)

Ed Anderson, No Distributor

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs From "The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinner's Ready," by Ree Drummond (William Morrow, 2023)

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Makes about 32 meatballs.

Serve these spicy meatballs as is or in wraps, with a salad as an entree, as a pizza topping (cut cooked meatballs in half), or as a Buffalo chicken meatball sub. From "The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinner's Ready," by Ree Drummond (William Morrow, 2023).

For the meatballs:

• 1 lb. ground chicken

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 2 tbsp. finely diced celery

• 1 green onion, sliced

• 1/3 c. plain breadcrumbs

• 1 large egg

• 3/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. Louisiana-style hot sauce (such as Frank's RedHot), divided

• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

• 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

• 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter

For serving:

• Celery sticks and leaves

• Carrot sticks

• Crumbled blue cheese

• Peppery Ranch Dressing (see recipe) or your favorite ranch or blue cheese dressing


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, garlic, celery, green onion and breadcrumbs. Crack in the egg, add 1 tablespoon of the hot sauce, along with the salt and pepper, and stir until everything is combined.

Using a tablespoon or small scoop, drop portions of the mixture on the prepared sheet pan. Bake meatballs until they're cooked through and browned around the edges, about 15 minutes.

To prepare the sauce, combine the butter and remaining 3/4 cup hot sauce in a deep skillet over medium heat. Heat the mixture until it's just starting to bubble, then turn off the heat. Scrape the baked meatballs into the sauce and toss until they're totally coated.

Transfer the meatballs to a platter and pour any extra pan sauce on top. Serve with celery, carrots, blue cheese crumbles, and ranch dressing and garnish with celery leaves.

Peppery Ranch Dressing

Makes 2 cups.

From "The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinner's Ready," by Ree Drummond (William Morrow, 2023).

• 1 c. mayonnaise

• 1/2 c. sour cream

• 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

• 1/4 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced

• 2 tbsp. minced fresh dill

• 1 tbsp. minced fresh chives

• 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

• Dash of hot sauce

• Pinch of kosher salt

• 1 tbsp. tricolor peppercorns, crushed

• 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

• 1/4 to 1/2 c. buttermilk, as needed for desired consistency


In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sour cream. Add garlic, sprinkle in the parsley, dill and chives and then add the Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt, crushed peppercorns and ground black pepper. Add 1/4 cup of buttermilk, and stir until everything is combined. Add more buttermilk until you reach the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings (the garlic flavor will deepen as it sits in the fridge).

Transfer the dressing to a lidded jar and keep in the fridge for up to 10 days.

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (3)

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (4)

Provided, No Distributor

Rye Whiskey-Glazed Wings from chef Corey Picha of Tattersall Distilling in River Falls, Wis.

Rye Whiskey-Glazed Wings

Serves 4.

This boozy take on classic wings is from chef Corey Picha of Tattersall Distilling in River Falls, Wis.

For the whiskey glaze:

• 4 tbsp. Tattersall Rye Whiskey

• 1 1/2 c. (3/4 lb.) brown sugar

• 1 c. soy sauce

• 1 c. ketchup

• 2 tbsp. Sriracha

• 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

• 1 tbsp. granulated garlic

• 2 tsp. onion powder

• 2 tsp. paprika

• 1 tsp. cayenne pepper

• 2 tbsp. honey

• 2 tbsp. lime juice

• 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

For the wings:

• 2 lb. bone-in chicken wings

• 2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• Blue cheese dressing, for serving


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.

To prepare the glaze: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat whiskey until it's reduced by roughly 20%. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, Sriracha, vinegar, garlic, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, honey and lime juice. Heat, stirring frequently, until fully incorporated. Remove from heat and slowly add in butter until fully incorporated.

To prepare the wings: Season wings with salt and pepper. Bake until the chicken skin is golden brown and crispy, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes. Fully coat wings with whiskey glaze and serve with blue cheese dressing.

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (5)

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (6)

Joe Keller, No Distributor

It's not a party without cheese. Try Baked Goat Cheese from "The Complete Small Plates Cookbook," by America's Test Kitchen.

Baked Goat Cheese

Serves 8 to 10.

There is one thing you can count on at parties: small plates featuring melted cheese. Put out a dish of cheesy buffalo dip, a bowl of queso fundido, or a wheel of baked Brie, and guests will cluster around it. This warm goat cheese broiled in a baking dish with a mildly spicy tomato sauce combines tangy cheese with a smoky, sweet sauce. Goat cheese logs come in different sizes. Any size from 8 to 10 ounces will work in this recipe. If you can find only small logs of goat cheese (around 4 ounces), you can press two smaller logs together. From "The Complete Small Plates Cookbook," by America's Test Kitchen (2023).

• 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

• 1 onion, chopped fine

• 3/4 tsp. table salt

• 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin

• 2 tsp. smoked paprika

• 1 tsp. ground cumin

• 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

• 1/4 tsp. pepper

• 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes

• 1 (8- to 10-oz.) log goat cheese, softened

• 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

• 1 tsp. grated lemon zest


Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, cumin, pepper flakes and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Place goat cheese between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten goat cheese into 1-inch-thick disk, 3 to 4 inches in diameter, cupping your hands around outside of disk as needed to make compact shape.

Transfer tomato sauce to shallow 2-quart broiler-safe dish. Place goat cheese in center. Broil until goat cheese is well browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle cilantro and lemon zest over sauce and drizzle with extra oil. Serve.

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (7)

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (8)

Charlotte Nott-Macaire, No Distributor

Crispy Fried Cauliflower in Korean Chili Sauce. From "A Very Vegan Christmas," by Sam Dixon (Hamlyn, 2023).

Crispy Fried Cauliflower in Korean Chili Sauce

Serves 6 to 8.

Crunchy, sticky, spicy, saucy — what more could you want in a party food? Be sure to have lots of napkins on hand, as this is a deliciously messy treat. From "A Very Vegan Christmas," by Sam Dixon (Hamlyn, 2023).

For the cauliflower:

• 1/2 c. tapioca flour or rice flour for the batter, plus about 1 c. for coating

• 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

• 1/2 tsp. baking powder

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• Large pinch of pepper

• 2 small cauliflowers, broken into small-sized florets and leaves

• 3 tbsp. ice-cold water

• 4 tsp. white vinegar

• 4 c. vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the sauce:

• 3/4 c. soft light brown sugar

• 4 1/2 tbsp. gochujang

• 4 1/2 tbsp. ketchup

• 4 1/2 tbsp. Sriracha

• 7 tbsp. rice vinegar

• 2 tbsp. sesame oil

• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

For garnish:

• 2 tbsp. toasted mixed black and white sesame seeds

• 2 spring onions, finely sliced


In a large bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup tapioca or rice flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower florets and leaves and mix until well combined. Pour over the measured ice-cold water and vinegar and mix together to make a batter that coats the cauliflower florets well. If the batter is too thick, add a little more water.

Put the remaining tapioca or rice flour for coating in a separate bowl. Shake the excess batter off each floret, then lightly coat in the flour and place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to air-dry for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large, deep heavy-based saucepan, making sure there's at least 2 inches between the surface of the oil and the top of the pan, to 350 degrees. Add a small amount of the batter to the oil, and if it sizzles, then the oil is ready.

While the oil is heating, put all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan and stir together over a medium heat until the mixture starts bubbling and thickens. Remove from the heat.

Fry the cauliflower florets and leaves in batches for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove and drain on the cleaned wire rack set over the tray.

Once all the cauliflower pieces are fried, add to a large bowl with the sauce and toss until they are fully coated. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and spring onions and serve immediately.

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (9)

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (10)

Caitlin Ab, No Distributor

Guacamole from chef Ed McDevitt of Masa and Agave in Minneapolis' Hotel Ivy starts with a guacamole "paste."


Serves 2 to 4.

From chef Ed McDevitt of Masa & Agave in Minneapolis' Hotel Ivy. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips (McDevitt recommends tostadas from Nixta) or serve on toast for a pregame brunch.

For the guacamole paste:

• 1 c. chopped onion

• 1/2 c. chopped cilantro

• 2 small jalapeños, seeds and stems removed

• 3/4 tsp. salt

For the guacamole:

• 2 large avocados, diced

• 1/4 c. guacamole paste

• 4 tbsp. chopped cilantro

• 1/4 c. diced onion

• 1/3 c. diced Roma tomato

• 1 1/2 tsp. salt


To prepare the guacamole paste: Place onion, cilantro, jalapeños and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until green paste forms. Set aside.

To prepare the guacamole: In a large bowl, combine chopped avocado and guacamole paste. Fold together until the paste is evenly distributed on the avocado. Add cilantro, onion, tomato and salt, and fold together (the guacamole should still have nice chunks of avocado). Adjust seasonings to taste before serving.

5 appetizer recipes for your winning Super Bowl party (2024)
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