Just because you’re not the one on the field doesn’t mean you don’t have to bring your A-game on Super Bowl Sunday. Comfort food, grab-and-go snacks, and basically anything that ends with the word “dip” is guaranteed to win over the crowd, whether your guests are doing some serious munching or light grazing. Sure, you’ve got your staples, like spicy buffalo wings and supremely cheesy nachos, but how about serving those classics with a side of creativity? Whip up any of these snacks this year, and you’ll undoubtedly make MVP of your friend group.
Tater Tot Nachos
Or as A Couple Cooks also like to call this potato-heavy (and completely vegan!) recipe: Totchos. Their healthy spin involves homemade tots—baked until crispy—and cashew cream in place of queso dip.
Crispy Oven-Fried Pickles
The shining star of this finger food isn’t the crunchy, battered vegetable. It’s the green goddess ranch sauce, which How Sweet Eats made using coconut milk-based yogurt. She warns that it’s so yummy that you’ll want to devour it like soup.
Beer Cheese Fondue
What could go better with your booze than a melted, cheesy dipping sauce made from the same stuff? As far as what to dip in it, Melanie Makes suggests apples, soft pretzels, kielbasa sausage, or dried apricots.
Baked Chicken Meatballs
Sticky, sweet, and spicy, this zesty dish has all the makings of a winning Super Bowl snack. To ensure each of the meatballs would retains its juicy tenderness, Kankana Saxena of Playful Cooking opts for a thigh meat over breast. And while you could fry them, baking them requires less oil and, therefore, less guilt.
French Dip Sliders
The thought of everyone walking around with little cups of au jus, poised to spill all over your home, would eliminate French dip sandwiches from most game day menus. But this recipe from Chelsea’s messy apron cleverly bakes the flavor of the sauce into the sandwich. Your couch will survive this party.
Bite-Sized Loaded Baked Potatoes
People usually want to sample a little of everything, so full-sized loaded potato skins may be a bit much. This recipe by Pip and Ebby, which results in bacon-topped bite-sized bits, gives people a ton of flavor without getting too full.
This blogger features a brilliant hack for quickly cleaning your mushrooms before stuffing them: Fill your salad spinner with water and mushrooms, give them a whirl, drain the water, then spin them again. To draw out any remaining water, let the mushrooms dry on some paper towels while you prepare the delicious crab filling.
Though you can make the cornmeal-based batter ahead of time for these dogs, this is a dish to cook right before you serve them so they’ll be crispy on the outside and warm on the inside.
Pull-Apart Pepperoni Pizza Bread
On Super Bowl Sunday, pizza delivery can take forever. Save yourself the pain of waiting until the fourth quarter to receive your pie and get your pepperoni fill with this cheesy bread.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
This is the dish you want to plan a day or two ahead because the key to a great pulled pork is brining the meat for at least 12 hours (if not more). Then, get the pork in the oven well before kickoff so it can cook low and slow until it’s so tender you can pull it apart with a fork. Serve it with your favorite sauce and coleslaw.
Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings
Fact: Wings are the king of Super Bowl Sunday, so if you’re throwing a party, you’d better stock up. However, not everyone has a deep fryer at the ready, so this recipe takes the classic dish out of the hot oil and puts it into the oven.
Football Whoopie Pies
No need for special oval molds or cutters for these football-shaped desserts. Scoop the batter onto parchment or Silpat, then use a butter knife or toothpick to turn the circle oblong. Frost the top, and you’ve got a football confection for way less than store-bought. Remember, laces out.
Loaded Chicken Enchilada Nachos
Packed with shredded chicken, black beans, corn, and pico de gallo, these nachos are practically a whole meal in and of themselves. If you’re short on time, buy a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket and shred that instead of making your own from scratch.
Slow Cooker Ranch Chex Mix
An easy crowd-pleaser is made even easier with this variation on the classic Chex mix that all comes together in your slow cooker. This is great for munching before kickoff.
Mushroom, Garlic, and Parmesan Flatbread
You can buy pre-made pizza dough at Trader Joe’s for just $1 that will be nearly as good as what you can make at home, with the benefit of taking way less time. What you shouldn’t skimp on is using a good pizza stone to cook these flatbreads. The stone will get much hotter than a sheet pan, giving you restaurant-style crust at home.
Chicken and Waffle Sliders
These savory waffles aren’t your normal brunch fare. They’re packed with pickled jalapenos, red pepper, rosemary, and onions, providing a flavorful accompaniment to the crispy fried chicken.
This story was originally published on February 1, 2017. It has been updated.