Let’s get this out of the way: I don’t really know who’s playing at the Super Bowl this year. I have a vague notion Taylor Swift will be there, and I’m aware Usher is slated to entertain us at halftime, but otherwise I’m drawing blanks.
No, for me, Super Bowl Sunday is not the grand finale of a season of sport. Instead, it’s a deeply American holiday during which we gather ’round the snack table to worship at the altar of creamy dips and grilled protein. The “bowl” then refers to vessels of guac, bean dip, and corn relish and containers of Fritos, chips, pretzels, and more.
The following recipes will get you well on your way to a filling spread of the most premier game-day bites. Check them out below to fuel your cheers, jeers, and halftime dance party. Go team, and all that.
You know the drill: refried beans join cumin, onion powder, chili powder, and garlic powder, plus jalapeño slices, to create the most super of scoopers. Must serve with Fritos.
Guac is a no-brainer for any celebration in Texas. Enjoy it as a dip, or pair it with other dishes on this menu, such as the steak fajitas and the queso.
Smoked Skirt Steak Fajitas
You simply must serve meat to your red-blooded football fans on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s tradition. Fajitas make sense, as they’re scalable (are you serving five guests or twenty?) and will naturally go along with many kinds of dips and sauces. Here, barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn offers three ways to make the dish.
Chile Con Queso
The queen of dips, chile con queso, occupies a prized place in any snack spread. This version ditches the Velveeta for a different processed cheese product and layers in the crown jewels: chopped onion, jalapeño, and tomato. Don’t forget the tortilla chips!
Also known as the walking taco, Frito pie offers a customizable main for guests who come hungry. Plus, it’s another opportunity to eat chili, which we’re always up for in chilly February. If you have that beloved dish ready ahead of time (check out our version here), this recipe comes together quickly with a bit of assembly.
Black-eyed peas are known to bring a little luck to whoever eats them. The addition of red and green onion, tomato, jalapeño, and garlic can only make them more fortuitous—and tasty. What I’m saying is: make, and eat, this recipe if you want your team to win.
Butterflied Bimini Chicken Drumsticks
Wings and football go together like Travis and Taylor. But meat can also come at a premium around Super Bowl Sunday. Here, barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn suggests a cheaper cut made tastier with the addition of Bimini sauce, a coating made of equal parts honey, hot sauce, and butter.
Texas Sheet Cake
You’re gonna need a sweet treat at the end of the night (and/or at halftime) to cut through all that salt. Simple yet rich, the Texas sheet cake is a perennial party favorite for a reason.
It’s not a real Texas party until the tequila comes out. Sure, beer is the traditional choice for football, but this is the Big Game. Shouldn’t you serve something a little more special?
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