When the Rams face off against the Patriots in a few days, millions of people will be crowded around the TV... that is, when they're not crowded around the dining-room table. It's hard to resist going to a party featuring the most popular Super Bowl party food, even if you're not much of a football fan.
This is no time for side salads and smoothies. Arctic temperatures and men colliding over a leather ball call for hot, satisfying comfort food. The kind that requires extra-strength paper plates and a handy supply of wet wipes to take care of greasy fingers. The kind that chases away the chill and fills your heart as well as your stomach.
Google recently released a list of most-searched Super Bowl party foods according to state, as Today reported. While some states had rather unconventional choices (granola bars, Mississippi? Really?), most were the snacks and entrees we typically associate with the NFC championship: dips, pretzels, chili, soup. (California residents looked up "baked chicken breast," but odds are those humble meat slices ended up under sauces and gooey cheese anyway.)
If you're looking for the tried-and-true party favorites for your own Super Bowl spread, here are some recipes to get you going. Most allow for your own variations (guacamole with or without tomatoes; sandwiches with or without pickles), which goes right along with the casual theme of the day. Happy eating!
1. Hot Wings
Who was the first person in Buffalo to dare serving peppery chicken wings — the smallest part of the bird — as a Super Bowl treat? Whoever it was, they started a tradition as beloved as the game itself. You'll get raves if you present your guests with a platter of spiced-just-right wings, like these from AllRecipes. Marinated in the fridge and baked rather than fried, they're a snap to make.
Chips and dip go together like the Super Bowl and the halftime show. A good guac is a skill everyone should have in their wheelhouse, and this tasty guacamole recipe from Bon Appetit is a winner. They recommend letting it sit for a few minutes to let the flavors blend before tasting; then you can add more salt or lime juice if necessary.
3. Quick Chili
There are more chili recipes out there than teams in the AFL and NFL combined, so it's really a matter of personal preference which one you choose for the big game. If speed is your priority, this turkey chili recipe from Food Network takes just 40 minutes from prep to bowl.
4. Perfect Onion Dip
Dips are one of those game-day staples that have everyone saying, "Oh, I shouldn't," even as they go back for seconds and thirds. You could go the dried-soup-mix route, or spend just a few more minutes on this caramelized onion dip from Country Living to step up your game. Sautéing the onions slowly over low heat brings out their mouthwatering sweetness.
5. Jalapeno Poppers
Sliders combine the taste of a loaded burger with the ease of an appetizer — just what you want in a party food. Delish's pull-apart cheeseburger sliders are best with potato buns, but you can use whatever pleases your guests.
7. Potato Skins
Potatoes are so accommodating. Bake them, and their skins turn into a slightly crispy bowl that can be filled with just about anything. For a classic taste, Food Network's potato skin recipe combines the mashed-potato interior with two kinds of cheese.
There really is no bad time to have pizza, and Super Bowl Sunday ranks as one of the best times. To make the occasion extra special, try making your own instead of ordering in (your local pizzeria will be swamped anyway). Divas Can Cook offers this homemade pizza recipe that can be topped with everyone's favorite ingredients.
The versatility of nachos makes them a popular party food; you can either open the salsa and chips and call it a day, or use the tortilla chips as a base for a heartier casserole, such as these chile chicken nachos from Bon Appetit.
10. Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Why are these sandwiches such a hot item at game time? Maybe it just makes us feel nostalgic for the summer barbecues that are still months away. Fortunately, you don't have to wait that long for the tangy goodness; these slow-cooker pulled pork sandwiches from Country Living do the job nicely.
11. Super Bowl Cake
A couple of states in the Google report must have a real sweet tooth; they looked for cake recipes rather than savory goodies. So expect to see treats like AllRecipes' pumpkin spice Super Bowl cake along with the chips and dips.