Football’s back: 21 great make-ahead game day recipes


Can you hear it? It’s the sound of a new NFL season.

The Denver Broncos host the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night as pro football returns, and you know what that means: The race is on to find new nibbles and snacks to appease the football fans in your household.

We pored over the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen archives for recipes that will help you do just that. But we also upped the ante by selecting recipes that can be largely made in advance. That way you can get all the messy prep work out of the way a day or two ahead of time, and just polish off your dishes as guests are heading for your front door.

PHOTOS: 21 great make-ahead recipes for game day


We’ve got plenty of party favorites like chips and homemade salsa and guacamole. (You can prep most of the guacamole ingredients ahead of time, but wait until the very last minute to slice open your avocados or else they’ll brown on you.) And, of course, we’ve got hickory-smoked baby back ribs and wings, including he-man sized super wings and Thai peanut wings. There’s a chili recipe, too, that would go great with our can’t-miss garlic bread.

We also included some unexpected party favorites, such as homemade pretzels -- hard and soft -- which would be so nice served alongside a selection of cheeses and mustards. We’ve also got sweet-and-salty beer nuts, deviled eggs, fig and blue cheese pizzas and more.

As you click through the photo gallery, you’ll find recipe links contained in the pop-up captions.

PHOTOS: 21 great make-ahead recipes for game day

Of course, we included dessert. We selected several of our favorite bar cookies and brownies because we love the easy, one-pan approach. After all, you don’t have much time to spare.

One warning, though: If your house is anything like our house, you want to hide those tropical paradise bars, midnight chocolate brownie bites, and ooey-goey graham cracker bars as soon as they cool.


Or else there might not be any left for your guests!


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