Want your big-game party to be a winner? You’ve found the right coach. Add these party plays to your lineup and your bash will score big.
Key to a great party mood? A relaxed host. Limit game-time stress with a menu of foods you’ve prepared in advance.
A slow-cooker can be a lifesaver: Use it to prepare and serve appetizers, entrees, and even dessert (check out our menu below for ideas). You can put your Dutch oven and casserole dishes to work by prepping make-ahead favorites like mac-and-cheese, soups, and quiches that you can re-heat as your guests arrive. Even dishes that require game-time cooking can be prepped in advance: Chop your veggies or other garnishes and store them in the fridge, so you can toss them together in seconds.
And remember—though enough food to feed a busload of linebackers is a big part of these celebrations; don’t limit yours to decadent options. Mixing rich foods and desserts with healthier choices (like a fresh-fruit fondue, or oven-baked chips and fresh salsa) will make fans still working on their New Year’s resolutions happy.
Setting the Scene
You’ve got the party’s theme—football—so use it to help set the mood. Adding a few team-themed items—maybe team logo items for kids’ table or a stadium chair seating area—adds a fun touch, without turning the event too “little-kid-birthday.” You can check out your local store for some more unique items to set the style for your Super Bowl party, too.
Going with the Flow
Another thing to keep in mind: Not all your guests are huge football fans. Sure, some partygoers will be glued to the flat screen, watching every play. But many come for the socializing (or the commercials and the halftime show), so moving your party beyond the TV will give people a better chance to mingle and chat – without driving the devoted fans crazy.
A huge upside of this is that these conversation spaces can serve as food stations for your guests—and this is a great chance to get creative. In front of the TV, offer finger foods like chips and dip, shrimp cocktail, and crudités (nothing too complicated; guests will be distracted and may spill). Then theme other dining stations: You could set up a cocktail tasting area in one corner, wine and cheese spot in another; or a dessert bar in one room and a main-courses buffet in the kitchen—it’s a great chance to try several party ideas.
And if kids are on your guest list, consider designating a place for them to go and sack out as the evening wears on—theme it for the game or just make it comfortable and relatively quiet.
Post-Game Wrap Up
Don’t let the leftovers to go waste: As the game clock winds down, set up some carry away containers so guests have a souvenir to enjoy while they’re Monday-morning quarterbacking.
What’s your favorite Super Bowl party tradition? Tell us in the comments below.
Game Day Recipes
Try any or all of these great recipes for your game-day party, and let us know how you like them!
You can also find these recipes — as well as some other great game day goodies — on our Game Day Picks Pinterest board. Don’t forget to repin your favorites!