I’ll take just about any excuse to make Game Day eats — even if it means watching an actual football game. So no matter how unconventional Super Bowl 2021 may be? You can bet I’ll be celebrating it to the fullest gustatory extent.
Super Bowl Food Just Right For 2021:
10 Snack-Size Recipes For Game Day At Home
Since we’re still avoiding gatherings across the board (we are still avoiding gatherings, right, friends?…), I’m rounding up 10 Super Bowl recipes that range from carnivores’ classics to vegan and/or gluten-free — and all of them either 1) can be easily scaled down or 2) eaten more like a meal, so you can still enjoy those Game Day vibes without aimlessly picking at a football-shaped cheese ball for the better half of a week.
Side note: my personal Game Day guilty pleasure will always be a can of chili heated with a brick of cream cheese and a tiny tin of green chilies, scooped up with giant Fritos. Diced tomatoes, green onions and cilantro over the top if you need an excuse for veggies. Avocado if you’re trying to pass it off as a meal. It’s indulgent as all hell, but once a year? Worth it.
p.s. Find everything I wanted to eat last year here.
1. Baked Jalapeño Monte Cristo Sliders
via The Pig & Quill
It’s not the first time I’ve touted these sliders here, and it won’t be the last. They are, hands-down, the most requested party food I make. Gooey, cheesy, salty, sweet and spicy. But they’re rich, so a little goes a long way. Happily, just about any “party slider” recipe on the internet is super-easy to scale down by half since they’re pretty imprecise. Yes, you’ll need “half an egg” for these — so just scramble the whole egg, use half of it as directed and save the other half to throw into your scramble in the morning. Also, half a sheet of Hawaiian rolls makes six sliders — perfect for a single household, especially if you’re going to make a couple of other snacks, too — and you can freeze the remaining six rolls for another batch or breakfast sammies or bread pudding or….toasting with butter and jam. Let’s face it: I’d chubby bunny plain Hawaiian rolls all day long, so they won’t go to waste. Also love the idea of these classic baked cheeseburger sliders that would be easy to halve, too.
2. Three Bean Vegan Chili with Cornbread
via Naturally Ella
Chili always feels like a Game Day staple, and Erin is a goddess of vegetarian cooking, so I trust this recipe 100%. It’s chock fulla warming, wintry flavors, and yet everything is super accessible (ok, the pecan meal is less common, but you could likely process your own or substitute it for something equally nutty and fortifying — maybe toasted almond meal or some good ol’ toasted bread crumbs if you’re not avoiding gluten). The recipe yields four large servings, perfect for a super meal — or if you wanted to junk it up a bit, you could use it to top chips or hot/veggie dogs.
3. Banh Mi Dogs
via Molly Yeh
Speaking of hot dogs…these. I am a huuuuuge sucker for hot dogs (I’m actively participating in a 21-Day cleanse while writing this post, so you’re welcome for joining me on this very craving-driven ride) and I’ll eat just about anything dressed up with banh mi toppings. So…a perfect food? Perhaps. And obviously, you know how hot dogs work. Make as many or as few as you like.
4. Vegan Big Mac Fries
via Sweet Simple Vegan
OK, these sound freaking amazing, and I don’t even love genuine Big Macs. BUT! I do love burgers topped with special sauce, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and pickles when done right, and this is an opportunity to do just that. I’d use a bag of freezer fries to make them come together even more quickly, and to feed just a few people, I’d probably divvy them up into individual servings so any leftover fries don’t get soggy. If you don’t dig the plant-based meat that attempts to mock real meat (think Beyond or Impossible — I happen to love the latter), you could cook off and crumble up any veggie burger of your choice. Costco sells a spicy black bean version that we usually have in the freezer. Yum.
5. Sweet Potato & Chorizo Tacos (Gluten-Free)
via My Diary of Us
My friend Leigh Ann makes the most incredible recipes — everything feels inspired by the best takeout you’ve ever had, and it’s all really accessible and family friendly. (If you’re a fan of Cajun cooking, she’s got a new cookbook coming out that sounds uhhhmazing.) These tacos snared me the second I saw them on IG. It’s that layer of queso fresco adhered to the the tort that gets me. Perfectly indulgent for Game Day, but the sweet potatoes make you feel like you’re doing right by your bod. Swap in soyrizo to make ’em veggie. Ugggh, I’m salivating.
6. The Best Damn Vegan Nachos (Gluten-Free)
via Minimalist Baker
I am SO very intrigued by the queso employed in this recipe because it’s made from freaking eggplant. EGGPLANT! Beyond that, these are just classic nachos. Whirl up the queso, set out the chips and fixins’ and graze away throughout the game. It should be noted that my fave chips for this type of nacho (i.e. the kind where they’re topped with saucy cheese versus baked with melted cheese) is Juanitas. I place a grocery order with Safeway every two weeks almost exclusively to restock; they’re that good.
7. Hummus, Feta & Broccoli Fritters (Gluten-Free)
via The Pig & Quill
Hi, me again. I developed this recipe specifically for this year’s Game Day situation, where you want something that feels snacky and fun, but you also want the ease of a single recipe that eats more like a meal. These are surprisingly creamy and light — more akin to a crab cake than a thick, puffy fritter — and if you find yourself with leftovers, they’d be only too good on an English muffin topped off with a poached egg. If you want them to feel more classically app-y, feel free to make a bunch of tiny fritters. Gluten-free!
8. Black Bean Cheese Taquitos (Gluten-Free)
via two peas & their pod
These are packed with so much good stuff, friends — beans, peppers, corn, cilantro, loads of spices. I’m almost convinced they’d be legit even without the cheese, especially smothered in guac. The recipe makes 20 (small) taquitos, but you could also roll them larger, bake ’em off just the same and serve them more like chimichangas. (No one will be surprised to hear that’s the route that lazy me would take.) Or you could even roll just half the amount for Game Day and reserve the remaining filling to serve over chips or in a burrito bowl at a future meal.
9. Sweet ‘n’ Savory Roasted Nuts and Pretzels (Vegan)
via Half Baked Harvest
Who could forget snack nuts!!! I’m going to say something kind of unpopular here and admit that…sometimes I think Half Baked Harvest recipes can be kinda…overhyped. And overcomplicated. Don’t get me wrong: they get me drooooooling every time (her photos are beyond gorgeous), but I’ve had some trouble with their execution. This one, however, is so simple, I’m assuming there’d be very little room for error. And it’s similar enough to recipes I’ve tried before that I can see it working. And, again, maybe it’s this cleanse talking, but a sweet and savory combo of nuts and pretzels sounds about as close to snack perfection as possible. You could easily make this gluten-free, too, by choosing wheat-free tamari and gluten-free pretzels. (True story: I think I actually like the crunchy texture of gluten-free pretzels better than the standard version.) And the recipe supposedly stores well for up to two weeks, too, so you could graze on this well beyond the weekend (if there’s any left).
10. Texas Chocolate Quarter Sheet Cake
via Dessert for Two
Couldn’t leave ya hanging without a little chocolate situation! Have you ever made Texas Sheet Cake? I’ve been slightly obsessed since trying a version topped with booze and smoked pecans at our favorite local barbecue joint, and gahhhhh is it good! It’s the ultimate lazy man’s cake in that the frosting is poured on before the cake is cooled, and the whole thing cools together. It’s delicious fresh outta the pan — just pure, unfussed with chocolate cake with a not-too-sweet glaze — but I really love it when it’s chilled in the fridge for a bit. My pal Christina scaled down a version to just a quarter sheet cake — perfect for the requisite sweet item at your mini Super Bowl feast.
Here’s to the official season of daytime snacking!
Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!
Oh hey, Pinners…