Even if you don’t care whatsoever about who wins the Super Bowl, this sporting event is still a great opportunity to gather with friends and enjoy a lot of delicious food. Aside from Thanksgiving and Christmas, this is the one day I give myself to eat everything from chicken wings to nachos without feeling guilty.
Whether you’re focused on the game or you’re watching the Puppy Bowl instead, I’ve created this simple playbook to help you plan your Super Bowl party:
Put together the guest list
Before you send out your party invitations, make sure that everyone you’re inviting to your Super Bowl party will fit comfortably in your living room, or wherever the viewing will be. Figure out how much seating you’ll have first. You can always put out additional chairs, such as ottomans, folding chairs and poufs. Just make sure that the TV can be easily seen from each seat. Knowing exactly how many people will be there can help you figure out how much food to make as well.
Set up a sandwich bar
Instead of worrying about making something that everyone will like for your game-day party, why not have your guests make their own food? Supply them with all the ingredients they’ll need so they can make something they’ll actually eat.
If you want to take the sandwiches to the next level, cut the bread, meat and cheese into the shape of a football. I recommend setting all of your ingredients out on a chalkboard table so you can label all of the bread, meat and cheese simply by drawing directly on the table. You can make your own chalkboard surface by covering a table in chalkboard paint. Draw little x’s and o’s onto the table to make it look like a playbook.
Offer unique appetizers
Appetizers might be just as important as the game itself (at least in my book). Guests will want to have several snacking options as they cheer on their favorite team. Nachos and chicken wings are a no brainer, but here are some other appetizer ideas that are just as good, and off the beaten path:
Jalapeno popper spread: Instead of the regular chips and dip appetizer, try this one. Beat two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup canned chopped green chilies, 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese and 1/4 cup canned diced jalapenos in a bowl until combined. Spread the mixture into a pie plate, sprinkle with 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. You can serve with regular tortilla chips and jalapeno peppers.
Sweet sausage rolls: Your guests will eat these tiny bites quickly, and they’re super easy to make. Separate crescent roll dough into triangles, then cut each of them lengthwise, creating three different triangles. Put a sausage on the wide end of the dough, and roll the dough around the sausage. In a separate baking dish, mix together 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 3 tablespoons honey. Put the sausage rolls in the mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Pomegranate guacamole: Just when I thought guacamole couldn’t get any better, I tried this tasty pomegranate guacamole recipe. The pomegranates add a hint of sweetness to the guac that your guests will love. Mash together five peeled and seeded avocados, 1 tablespoon olive oil, a splash of tequila, 1/4 of a small red onion, the juice from three limes, and salt and pepper to taste. Next, fold the seeds from one pomegranate and a handful of cilantro leaves into the guac mixture. Serve with tortilla chips.