Ready for the Super Bowl? Score big with these 20 recipes

Super wings, grilled shrimp cocktail, double-chocolate brownies, stuffed peppers, beer nuts and more. The Super Bowl is this Sunday — do you have a game plan ready to feed your hungry fans? Beyond the big screen TV and a cooler stocked with ice cold drinks, this is one party that’s all about the spread.

Whether you’re new to throwing a Super Bowl party (congratulations to the Falcons) or you throw one almost every year (time to break out the New England decorations again), we’ve got you covered when it comes to the food. From easy dishes you can make ahead to simple dishes you can throw on the grill last-minute, here are 20 great ideas from our Recipe Database to score big at your party this Sunday.

1. Brown sugar and bourbon baby back ribs »


(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Ketchup, bourbon, garlic, brown sugar, seasoning, vinegar and a touch of cayenne are all you need to make a simple overnight marinade for these tender baby backs. On game day, roast the ribs and serve with your favorite barbecue sauce and a big stack of napkins.

2. Meatballs »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Kind of like miniature meatloaves, meatballs are perfect in that comfort food sort of way. Combine ground beef and pork with diced onion, breadcrumbs, plenty of spices and grated cheese, then bake until golden and delicious. Serve them on their own or use them to fill sandwiches, with marinara sauce and extra cheese.

3. Guacamole »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Isn’t guacamole always the first dish to disappear at the party? Never mind. It’s easy to whip up a big batch of this staple so you’ve got plenty on hand for your festivities. Combine mashed fresh avocado with diced onion, cilantro, tomato, lime juice and a touch of salt, dialing in just the right amount of heat with chopped serrano pepper. That’s it.

4. Beer nuts »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Sure, you can buy beer nuts, but they’re easy to make from scratch, and you can flavor them as you like — such as actually using beer to make them. For a basic batch, simmer mixed nuts in a simple mix of brown sugar, beer and molasses, then toss with more sugar and a touch of cayenne, toasting the nuts until crisp and fragrant.

5. Chile con queso »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Melted cheese makes everything better, whether you’re dipping chips or vegetables. Simply melt processed cheese and flavor with roasted jalapeños, onion, garlic, tomato and a touch of spice, giving the sauce just the right amount of ooze with the addition of pale lager. Go ahead and make a double batch.

6. Stuffed mushrooms »

(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Stuff large mushrooms with a medley of sauteed onion and shallots, breadcrumbs, fresh parsley and grated Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses. You can assemble these ahead of time, then bake when the gang gets hungry.

7. Super wings »

(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

No football party is complete without the wings. Go all out for your Super Bowl gathering with “super” wings, substituting turkey wings for the standard chicken wings. This recipe comes complete with three marinades -- spicy, teriyaki and a sweet honey glaze.

8. Spanakopita »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Delicate, crunchy layers of phyllo dough are baked around the right balance of cheese, spinach and spice. You can assemble these and freeze them ahead of time, then simply bake so they’re ready when the guests arrive.

9. Ranch and blue cheese dipping sauce »

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Up your ranch dipping sauce with crumbled blue cheese for this easy dip, which balances the fresh herbs, garlic and spices with just enough rich cheese to score big with the gang.

10. Baked chips with roasted garlic hummus »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Tired of fried foods? Brush pita bread with a light coat of olive oil and sprinkle over a little spice before baking these chips to a crisp golden-brown. Whip up a quick batch of hummus in the food processor (adding a head of roasted garlic will make it that much better) and you’re set.

11. Soft pretzels »

(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Sometimes nothing beats a fresh pretzel. Freshly puffed and temptingly aromatic, a pretzel boasts a deep brown sheen and -- if you’re lucky -- is delivered still warm, its large specks of salt catching the light just so as it’s slid out of the oven. Using just a handful of ingredients, you can impress your friends with a batch of your own.

12. Jalapeño corn bread »

(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

When you’re looking for make-ahead party dishes, corn bread is an easy go-to option. With a crisp crust and rich, tender crumb, this corn bread recipe is lightly sweet with a gentle tang from buttermilk and sour cream. Chopped red bell pepper and jalapeños add just the right amount of heat. Serve the corn bread warm or at room temperature with plenty of butter.

13. No-bake peanut butter bars »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Sometimes the best dishes are the ones that require the least amount of effort. Bind together crumbled crisped rice cereal with powdered sugar and peanut butter and press into a greased pan, refrigerating until set. Drizzle over a rich chocolate topping and salted peanuts and chill until ready to serve. The hardest part is cutting them into bars.

14. Quick pickles »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Balance the rich and heavy dishes on the table with something fresh and light, be it a vegetable platter or a batch of colorful pickles. Quickly pickle purple cauliflower — or any color of the vegetable you’ve got — in a quick vinegar brine flavored with garlic, fresh dill, pepper flakes and pickling spice. Marinate the peppers overnight, then drain and serve.

15. Double chocolate fudgy walnut brownies »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Go all out with this brownie recipe, folding walnuts and chocolate chips in a rich chocolate batter that sets up crisp on the outside and perfectly ooey-gooey in the center.

16. Philly cheesesteak lettuce wraps »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Want rich Philly cheesesteak but looking for a diet-friendly option? These easy wraps have all the flavor for a fraction of the calories. And they take almost no time to prepare.

17. Stuffed peppers »

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Stuff piquillo peppers with a spiced meat blend, then batter and deep-fry to a rich golden brown. Serve the stuffed peppers warm alongside a simple sweet-spicy piquillo pepper sauce.

18. Beer-battered mac ’n’ cheese bites »

(Glenn Koenig/ Los Angeles Times)

Take your favorite mac ’n’ cheese recipe, bake it and chill until firm. Then cut the dish into bite-sized pieces and dip them into a quick beer batter. Fry the bites until crisp and golden on the outside and rich and gooey in the center. It’s one dish that’s equally at home at a football party or the county fair.

19. Grilled shrimp cocktail »

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Get outdoors with this simple take on the classic shrimp cocktail, grilling jumbo marinated shrimp until firm, the grill adding just the right hint of smoke. Serve alongside cocktail sauce and grilled lemon halves.

20. Dungeness crab cakes with dipping sauce »

(Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times)

Fans of crab cakes can amp up the more traditional version of the dish with this recipe, made with red curry paste, fish sauce, sambal oelek and ginger. These cakes are bound with eggs, and have a crisp panko crust. Serve them with a bright and spicy lime dipping sauce.


20 winning Super Bowl party recipes

Betcha can’t resist: 75 classic comfort food recipes

Browse our Recipe Database for thousands of our best recipes