Table full of football-themed food for a football party.

Crowd-Pleasing Recipes to Make Your Big Game Party Win

Football fans know that decadent, crowd-pleasing recipes are just as important as the game itself. Add some fun and excitement to your football party with these amazingly delicious, over-the-top appetizers and snacks. Your guests will have a reason to cheer regardless of the final score.

Braised Short Rib Nachos

This combination of chips, melted cheese, salsa, and beans is a tried-and-true football tradition, but here’s a way to take the classic dish up a notch: Add an ingredient with big, meaty flavor like simple browned chorizo or, if you have a little more time, short ribs braised in beer. Guests will be blown away by the specialty factor, but only you will know how easy this recipe—inspired by Domesticate Me—truly is…you win!

Add chorizo of beef short ribs to your nachos for big flavor.

Add chorizo or beer-braised short ribs to classic nachos for big meaty flavor.

Photo Source: Flickr/jeffreyw


For the short ribs:

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 2.5-inch pieces

1/2 yellow onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

12 ounces light beer

2 tablespoons hot sauce

1 cup tomato puree or sauce

For the nachos:

1 bag of tortilla chips

1/2 cup pickled jalapenos

1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Guacamole, to taste

Pico de Gallo, to taste


For the short ribs:

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the short ribs and cook until brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes.

2. Remove the short ribs from the pan and drain on a paper towel, then set aside.

3. In the same pan you used to brown the ribs, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent over medium heat, about about 3 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder, and paprika, and cook for about 1 minute more.

4. Stir in beer, hot sauce, and tomato puree, and bring to a boil.

5. Add the ribs back to the pot, and lower the heat so that it’s just simmering. Cover and cook until ribs are fork-tender, about 2 hours.

6. Remove ribs from the pan and shred with a fork.

For the nachos:

1. Arrange chips in a baking tray or large cast-iron skillet.

2. Layer the beer-braised short ribs on top, followed by the jalapenos.

3. Sprinkle the cheese on top and place nachos under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

4. Top with dollops of guacamole and pico de gallo (and whatever other toppings you enjoy).

Hot Cheesy Bacon Dip

No doubt you’ve seen thousands of crowd-pleasing recipes for dips, but there’s one ingredient that can make your dip stand out from the rest: bacon. After all, this is the big game—the perfect time to eat bacon, and lots of it. Stir the crispy bits into warm, gooey, cheesy dip, and your appetizer will be gone way before halftime. This version, from, is particularly delicious due to the buttery crackers, but there are plenty of ways to tweak the recipe to make it your own.


4 slices bacon

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded

2 green onions, finely chopped

4 buttery round crackers, crushed


1. Brown bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Remove bacon from the skillet, then drain, crumble, and set aside.

3. In a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl, mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise until softened. Stir in the Swiss cheese, green onions, and bacon.

4. Microwave the cheese mixture for 2 minutes. Remove and stir well. Then microwave for 2 to 4 minutes more until hot.

5. Sprinkle crushed crackers on top of the dip.

6. Serve warm with additional crackers.

Football-Dipped Strawberries

A few killer appetizers are really all you need for a good party, but dessert can be a really nice sweet touch, too! These football-dipped strawberries are particularly festive—not to mention really simple to make. Use this recipe from Tasty Kitchen as a guide.

Football-dipped strawberry

Melted dark and white chocolate is an easy way to make this strawberry look like a football!

Photo Source: Flickr/Shari’s Berries


1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

12 whole large strawberries with stems, washed and dried


1. Melt dark chocolate chips according to directions on package.

2. Dip each strawberry into melted chocolate and swirl around until fully coated. Place on parchment paper and allow to dry for about 15 minutes.

3. Melt white chocolate chips according to directions on package.

4. Pour the white chocolate into a piping bag and pipe white lines to make each strawberry look like a football—use the photo above as a guide.

5. Serve chilled.

When it comes to football parties, you can’t guarantee a winning team, but you can guarantee a winning menu. Serve up these fantastic snacks for a party your guests will remember for years to come.

Featured Photo Source: Flickr/switz1873

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *