11 Mini Super Bowl Snacks That Will Make the Crowd Go Wild
Rule number one of Super Bowl Sunday: make a lot more food than you think you’ll need. Whether you’re hosting die-hard football fans, a crowd that’s all about the ads, or even a group of friends who tune in primarily for the halftime show, you’ll want to have snacks they can graze on throughout the game. Stay away from casserole-style dishes, such as lasagna or enchiladas, which are far too heavy for this type of gathering. (We suggest sticking to those comfort foods for a sit-down dinner party or even an office potluck). When everyone’s gathered around the TV, it makes more sense to have a variety of smaller options instead. And what better way to try a little taste of everything than to make all the dishes bite-sized to begin with? Just don’t be fooled by their small size: These adorable appetizers are packed with bold flavor, are filled with fresh ingredients, and have a variety of colors and textures. If you’re short on time, prep some the day before, or have guests chip in and bring one or two. From mini burgers and sloppy Joes to cheesy single-serve nachos, these bite-sized apps make the perfect game day spread.
Mini Twice-Baked Loaded Potatoes
Twice-baked potatoes are an underrated dinner: they’re creamy, cheesy, and seriously comforting. To transform them into a party-ready snack, we piled the filling into tiny new potatoes (instead of the traditional Idaho or russet). We added sharp cheddar cheese, chopped chives, and a sprinkling of bacon to give them the flavor of loaded potato skins. After the first round of baking, your potatoes should be tender—a toothpick or knife should easily slide in. In round two, the filling should puff up, and the cheese should melt and begin to very lightly brown.
Get the Recipe: Mini Twice-Baked Loaded Potatoes
Single-Serve Nacho Cups
Nachos are great and all—until somebody hogs the platter. To avoid any conflict over the crunchy, cheesy dish, we created these personal nacho cups that you can enjoy all to yourself. To make a cup that’s entirely edible, you’ll line the sides and bottom of each muffin cup with broken tortilla chips. Then, sprinkle the bottom with cheese, which holds the chips together. After that comes the good stuff—a savory ground beef mixture and more cheese—piled up in layers and baked until warmed throughout. Top with your favorite nacho fixings, such as pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, sour cream, and cilantro.
Get the Recipe: Single-Serve Nacho Cups
Pigskins in a Blanket
Upgrade traditional tailgate fare with this healthier twist on a blanket-wrapped pork hot dog. Not only does frozen puff pastry make for quick and easy prep, it also bakes into flaky, buttery layers that surround the chicken sausages. If you’re a fan of a softer, more dough-like pig in a blanket, use crescent roll dough in place of puff pastry. We suggest doubling the recipe if you’re hosting a large crowd for the game. Their tiny size (and delicious taste) means they’ll be one of the first appetizers to get gobbled up. Don’t forget to serve with whole-grain mustard for dipping.
Get the Recipe: Pigskins in a Blanket
Barbecue Meatball Sliders
Spaghetti’s trusty sidekick takes center stage in this delicious and crowd-pleasing dish. You’ll want to start by making a batch of our easy 20-minute meatballs, which, with just eight pantry ingredients, are true to their name. Then, sandwich each meatball into a soft and fluffy dinner roll alongside homemade cabbage slaw (both tangy and creamy) and a slathering of barbecue sauce. Leftover meatballs can be used in a variety of dishes: try them as a pizza topper with a drizzle of pesto, toss them into pasta with spinach, or bake them with marinara sauce and sliced fontina cheese.
Get the Recipe: Barbecue Meatball Sliders
Mini Ranch Burgers
Got 20 minutes? Then you can whip up this all-American app, which will be a hit with kids and adults alike. These tiny burgers truly couldn’t be easier: after cooking your patties, you’ll assemble them on a roll with a dollop of ranch dressing, torn lettuce, and fresh tomatoes. Alternatively, let your guests build burgers themselves. Set out addition toppings—pickles, cheese, red onion, etc.—and everyone can customize their own mini burger. If you do have extra time, make the ranch yourself: all it takes is buttermilk, mayo, lemon juice, garlic, and a variety of fresh herbs (think parsley, dill, and chives).
Get the Recipe: Mini Ranch Burgers
Speedy Turkey Sloppy Joes
A juicy, drippy pleasure, the sloppy joe is at heart a simple combination of ground meat, tomato sauce, and bread. Still, the numerous ingredients in canned versions (and even some of the recipes you’d cook at home) make the dish seem more complicated than it has to be. In this back-to-basics adaptation, lean turkey stands in for cholesterol-laden beef and zesty seasoning comes courtesy of salsa—a time saving, less sugary alternative to the chopped vegetables and simmered ketchup called for in traditional recipes. The tastiest improvement? Warm biscuits instead of doughy buns, making this Joe well above average.
Get the Recipe: Speedy Turkey Sloppy Joes
Polenta Bites With Bacon, Dates, and Blue Cheese
Cooked in a large pot of boiling water until tender, polenta becomes a creamy base suitable for anything from sautéed veggies to sausage ragu. But simmered in a smaller amount of chicken broth until creamy and thickened, it can fill a mini-muffin tin and become a sturdy appetizer. To provide a place for the blue cheese and dates to sit, make an indentation in the center of each polenta bite with a back of a spoon. Then, broil them right before your guests arrive to ensure the cheese is melted and each bite is warmed throughout.
Get the Recipe: Polenta Bites With Bacon, Dates, and Blue Cheese
Mini Sausage and Parmesan Rice Balls
If you’re hoping to get ahead on Game Day prep, look no further than this tasty rice ball recipe. These savory treats are a twist on arancini, but are half the size and baked instead of fried. The day before the game, you’ll want to boil the rice and cook the sausage, then add shredded cheese and eggs and refrigerate the mixture overnight. The day of, form the mixture into balls, and bake until warm and the cheese is fully melted. If your guests arrive early, put them to work: have them help you coat each rice ball in the toasted breadcrumb mixture.
Get the Recipe: Mini Sausage and Parmesan Rice Balls
Pimento Mac and Cheese Bites
A casserole dish full of baked macaroni and cheese is more suitable for a dinner party than a Super Bowl crowd. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t serve the comforting dish—it simply means you’ve got to re-think the size. Enter: the trusty mini-muffin tin. Thanks to spicy brown mustard, hot sauce, cayenne peppers and jarred pimentos, this isn’t your basic pasta recipe, either. These little guys explode with flavor and heat, but retain their creaminess thanks to whole milk and cream cheese. You may never go back to traditional mac-and-cheese again.
Get the Recipe: Pimento Mac and Cheese Bites
Mini Crab Cakes With Lemon Chive Mayonnaise
Trust us on this one: homemade crab cakes are infinitely better than anything you’ll find in the freezer section of the supermarket. And these flavorful crab cakes are ready in just 30 minutes. Toasted bread crumbs add crunch to every bite, but a full pound of jumbo lump crab meat ensures they’re full of fresh crab flavor. And don’t worry about having to cook them in batches on the stovetop. These bake in the oven until puffed and golden brown.
Get the Recipe: Mini Crab Cakes With Lemon Chive Mayonnaise
Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Fancy hors d’oeuvres do not (repeat, do not) require a lot of fancy footwork. Instead, treat your guests to the makeable make-ahead bites that are delicious and downright easy. This sammie adds a surprising twist to the familiar favorite. Gooey grilled cheese is refreshed with a dollop of fruit chutney. The sandwiches can be cooked up to 2 hours in advance and kept at room temperature. Reheat on a baking sheet at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes; keep warm at 250°F. Cut just before serving.
Get the Recipe: Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches