Game-Day Food: Be the MVP of Your Sports Parties  

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Game-Day Recipes to Make Your Party a Hit

Host the perfect party with these tips for game-day foods your guests will love! Whether you’re having friends over for regular season games, championships or playoffs, it’s a good bet your sports fans will have the munchies. With a little planning, you can create delicious game day grub for your sports parties without going over your budget. Open a bank account online to plan for the different sports-viewing parties you’ll throw by depositing a small amount each month leading up to the Big Game. Check out these five popular game-day recipes to create something more unique than the admittedly delicious standard fare of pizza and wings.

1. Meaty Main Dishes

Looking for a health-conscious main dish that’s still delicious? Try making chili with ground turkey instead of beef. With this simple game-day recipe for Lean, Mean, White Meat, White Bean Chili, you can sauté the turkey and onions, then toss everything in the crock pot and let it simmer while preparing the other appetizers, side dishes and desserts. Simmer for about an hour or until heated through and bubbling. Serve with the chopped green onion, tortilla chips and cheddar cheese. 

  • 1lb 95% lean ground turkey
  • 2 cans great northern beans
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon red hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark molasses
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes – no salt added
  • Two 11-ounce jars medium salsa
  • One 11-ounce jar mild salsa
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • Dash cloves
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped green onion for garnish

Looking to stick with more traditional game-day food? You can still mix it up by making your own specialty pizza and wings. Pork, beef or chicken sliders are other fan favorites. 

2. Delightful Dips

The Food Network has a list of 50 Game-Day Dips your friends and family will love to dive into. These crowd-pleasing dips are simple game-day recipes to keep your guests snacking until the main course is ready. Our favorite is the pizza dip:

  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • basil
  • olive oil
  • diced mozzarella
  • sliced pepperoni

Simmer the tomato sauce in a small, ovenproof skillet and add the ricotta in dollops until it is warmed through. Top it with the diced mozzarella and pepperoni and bake at 350 degrees until bubbling. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with basil, then serve with soft bread or crostini.  

3. Simple Salads and Sides

Have guests who are trying to eat a lighter fare? There’s no need to neglect game-day grilling with this recipe from Emeril Lagasse for Grilled Chicken Salad. Here are the ingredients you’ll need, just follow the link for instructions!

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4-ounce portions
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground Szechuan pepper or crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint leaves
  • 8 large butter lettuce leaves
  • 6 ounces diced mango
  • 6 ounces diced papaya
  • 6 ounces diced pineapple
  • 20 toasted, lightly salted Marcona almonds
  • 1 recipe Lemon-Ginger Vinaigrette

If you’re planning vegetarian sports parties, leave out the chicken and increase the almonds for more protein. Or if you’re looking for an even simpler salad, you can mix up the vinaigrette and drizzle it over mixed greens, sliced strawberries and almonds.

And of course, what party is complete without side dishes? From deviled eggs to loaded baked potatoes, make sure you include something small, yet hearty, on the side to score with your game-day food. Guy Fieri of the Food Network has a recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp in a Chipotle Barbeque Sauce that pairs perfectly with main dishes of chicken or beef.

4. Divine Desserts

Game-day desserts give you the opportunity to get creative with the day’s menu. From dessert nachos to football and basketball shaped cakes, confectionery game-day recipes are the perfect way to sweeten a defeat or celebrate a win – if your guests have room, that is! Find the ingredients you’ll need for the Nacho Normal Cheesecake recipe from the Food Network below:

For the cheesecake:

  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • Yellow and red food coloring
  • Cooking spray, for the pan
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the chips:

  • 1 roll refrigerated pie dough
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the salsa and garnishes:

  • 8 red candy fish
  • 1 cup low-sugar strawberry jam
  • 3 strands green licorice twists
  • 6 black licorice dots
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • Yellow and red food coloring
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate-covered raisins

Save money on game-day food

When planning your game-day budget, you may be able to find ways to save with coupons or by shopping at the local farmer’s market. Or, turn your sports-viewing parties into money-saving potlucks to sample your friends’ favorites and reduce your time in the kitchen. Sports parties may not be something you naturally think to save for, but creating a short-term budget to plan ahead can help avoid overspending. If you didn’t budget for the party, you can also easily transfer funds from a rainy day savings account to your checking account before running to the store – or even while you’re in the checkout line with mobile apps. Just be sure you have funds for your necessary expenses and you have a plan to replenish your checking account quickly.

Sponsored content was created and provided by Citizens Financial Group.