If you’re going to watch a football game, you’re going to need snacks. Sometimes, you need to restock during the game, and then you have to choose between possibly missing a play or burning your snacks — an impossible choice. Even though good plays are replayed over and over again, it’s not the same as watching it live. However, burning the house down makes it hard to watch the second half. Instead of making impossible choices, watch this weekend’s lineup knowing that with these snacks — ready in the pre-game, a commercial break, or during halftime — you’ll never miss a play.
1. Pizza Pockets
Make these Pizza Pockets from The Food Network in the pregame chatter so they come out of the oven piping hot when the first quarter starts to ramp up. Use store-bought pizza dough and marinara sauce to keep this super quick and simple, or go all out and make your own before the game begins.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces Italian turkey sausage
- 1 cup tightly-packed arugula
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan, plus ¼ cup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (13.5-ounce) package of store-bought pizza crust
- All-purpose flour, for rolling out pizza dough
- 1 egg, beaten, for the egg wash
- 1½ cups marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
Directions: Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium-size, heavy skillet. Add the sausage and cook until crumbled and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the arugula and cook until wilted. Turn off the heat and let cool about 10 minutes. Add the cream cheese, ⅓ cup Parmesan, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to a thin 20-by-12-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise. The cut each half into 8 equal rectangles.
Spoon topping onto 1 side of each of the rectangles. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the rectangle with egg wash. Close the rectangle of pizza dough over the topping. Use a fork to seal and crimp the edges. Place the pizza pockets onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the top of each pizza pocket with egg wash. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the marinara sauce over low heat in a medium saucepan. Serve the hot pizza pockets with the marinara sauce alongside for dipping.
Short and sweet enough to make during any commercial break — even a timeout or break for an injury — is a big bowl of guacamole. Don’t bother picking up a tub of the stuff at the store; it’s so much better when it’s freshly made. The hefty squeeze of lime in this recipe from BBC GoodFood both brightens the guacamole and keeps the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown.
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 3 avocados, very ripe but not bruised
- Juice 1 large lime
- Handful cilantro, leaves and stalks chopped, plus a few leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 chili, red or green, deseeded and finely chopped
- Tortilla chips, to serve
Directions: Use a large knife to pulverize the tomato to a pulp on a board, then tip into a bowl. Halve and de-pit the avocados and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into the bowl with the tomato.
Tip all the other ingredients into the bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Use a whisk or potato masher to roughly mash everything together. Scatter with the cilantro, if using, then serve with tortilla chips.
3. Spicy Maple Cashew Popcorn
For an addictive bowl of popcorn mix you won’t be able to stop shoveling into your mouth, make this one from Cooking Light via My Recipes during halftime. That’s when the game will really be good anyway, and you’ll want a bowl of popcorn for the nail-biting last half!
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ¼ cup unpopped popcorn kernels, makes about 6 cups when popped
- ¼ cup dry-roasted cashews
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
Directions: Heat canola oil in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. While saucepan heats, line a jelly-roll pan — a rimmed baking sheet — with parchment paper; set prepared pan aside. Add popcorn to oil in saucepan; cover and cook 2 minutes or until kernels begin to pop, shaking pan frequently. Continue cooking 2 minutes, shaking pan constantly. When popping slows down, remove pan from heat. Let stand 1 minute or until all popping stops. Stir in cashews.
Combine sugar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool 1 minute.
Pour hot syrup mixture over popcorn mixture; toss well to coat. Immediately spread popcorn mixture out onto prepared jelly-roll pan. Cool 3 minutes.
4. Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
Make this classic game-day dip from A Kitchen Addiction in the pregame for a low and slow, hands-off snack prep. If you’re in a bind and need something at halftime, melt down all the cheese, dressing, and hot sauce in a sauce pot on the stove and toss with the shredded chicken. Rotisserie chicken is a lifesaver here.
- 2½ cups cooked, shredded chicken
- ½ cups hot sauce
- 8 ounces low fat cream cheese
- ½ cup ranch dressing, homemade or store bought
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup feta or blue cheese crumbles
Directions: Stir together all ingredients until well-combined in crock pot. Cook on low for 1½ hours or until cheese is melted and dip starts to bubble on edges. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. Serve with chips, crackers, and veggies.
5. Antipasto Platter
Need to restock an empty spot on the snack table in a commercial break? Look no further than a big antipasto plate. Rachel Ray describes a pretty complete one on this page of the Food Network website, which comes together in a snap when you pick up all the ingredients ahead of time. Grab a couple small bowls and set everything out on a serving tray or big cutting board with some crackers and get right back to the game!
- 1 pound fresh smoked or plain fresh mozzarella
- ½ pound deli sliced sweet sopressata
- ½ pound deli sliced hot sopressata
- ½ pound deli sliced Genoa salami
- 1 pound sharp provolone
- 2 cups good quality large olives, available in bulk bins near deli
- 2 cups giardiniera hot pickled vegetable salad, drained
- 2 cups marinated artichoke hearts
- One 16-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into pieces
Directions: Arrange meats and cheeses on cutting board. Pile olives, giardiniera, artichokes and red peppers into small bowls and set along edge of board or serving tray. Place knives near cheeses and seafood forks in olives and veggies to serve. Place an extra ramekin out to collect pits from olives.
6. Bacon Wrapped Scallops
This dish from The Pioneer Woman might look like it’ll take a long time, but it comes together during halftime with a little planning ahead in the pre-game. Before the game starts, wrap your scallops in bacon. During a commercial break before halftime (like when you’re throwing together a batch of guacamole), preheat the oven. During halftime, pop them in and cook until the bacon is sizzling, about 15 minutes. Return victorious for the second half.
- 2 pounds large scallops
- ½ pound bacon, cut into thirds or halves
- 1 stick butter
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Dash of cayenne
Directions: Wrap bacon pieces around the outside of the scallops, then attach with a wooden skewer.
Cook in a 425-degree-Fahrenheit oven on a drip pan for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bacon is sizzling and brown. Melt butter and stir in chili powder and cayenne. Drizzle over scallops before serving.