7 Snacks That Shutout Football Fans’ Game Day Cravings

Game day isn’t complete unless you have touchdown-worthy snacks to munch while you cheer for your favorite football team. From Hot Pretzel Bites to Buffalo Chex Party Mix, these sweet, salty, crunchy, and chewy snacks will have football fans cheering for more. Your game-day cravings will be no match for these seven recipes.

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1. Buffalo Chex Party Mix

Buffalo wing flavors pair perfectly with cereal, crackers, and pretzel twists, creating a snacks that’s spicy, salty, and satisfyingly crunchy. Frank’s Red Hot’s Buffalo Chex Party Mix is just what you need to kick off your game day party. The recipe yields 12 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups rice Chex
  • 4 cups wheat Chex
  • 2 cups Parmesan-flavored crackers
  • 2 cups pretzel twists
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2½ tablespoons buffalo wing hot sauce
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds

Directions: Mix cereals, crackers, and pretzels in large microwavable bowl; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on high about 40 seconds or until melted. Stir in hot sauce and seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered on high 4 to 5 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

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2. Loaded Baked Potato Bites

Cheesy, creamy, and salty, Diethood’s bite-size loaded potatoes will be the life of your game-day party. The recipe only requires 15 minutes of prep time, ensuring you can feed plenty of hungry football fans without spending all day in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound small red potatoes, washed
  • Water
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 6 strips of bacon, cooked to a crisp, crumbled
  • 4 green onions, sliced, green and white parts only
  • Shredded monterey jack cheese
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover the potatoes. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, or until fork tender. Put the potato skins, cut side up, on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the skins in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fork tender. In the meantime, drain the boiled potatoes, and combine potatoes, butter, and sour cream in a mixing bowl and mash until smooth. Add bacon and green onions, and mix until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Remove skins from oven and fill with mashed potato mixture. Top with cheeses. Bake for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

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3. Crunchy Caramel Corn

Satisfy your game-day sweet tooth by preparing Crunchy Caramel Corn. Martha Stewart’s version has a little extra crunch to it, ensuring you’ve got a snack that’s perfectly textured and satisfyingly sweet. The recipe yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking sheet
  • 10 cups plain unsalted popped (from ½ cup kernels or a 3.3-ounce bag microwave popcorn) popcorn
  • 1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • Coarse salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a large rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Place popcorn in a large bowl; if using cashews, add to bowl and toss to combine. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring constantly. Working quickly, drizzle popcorn with sugar syrup, and toss. Spread popcorn evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden and shiny, about 40 minutes. Transfer hot popcorn to parchment-paper-lined baking sheet; let cool.

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4. Hot Pretzel Bites

Betty Crocker delivers golden-brown, game-day Pretzel Bites, which are filled with warm, buttery, and salty flavors. The recipe yields 8 servings. If you’re looking for a delicious dip to serve with your pretzels, we recommend making Southern Living’s Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and warm water. Let sit until the yeast dissolves. Stir the sugar into the yeast mixture until dissolved. Add the flour and salt. Stir to combine. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead with floured hands until smooth. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg. Set aside. Divide the dough into 5 portions.

Working with one at a time, roll the dough balls out into ropes that are about 1 inch in diameter. Use a sharp knife to cut 1-inch lengths of dough. Drop each of the dough pieces into the egg mixture and immediately transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Place them about ½ inch apart. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Slide the tray into the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Repeat the process until all the dough has been cooked. Melt the butter and brush all the pretzel bites with butter, then sprinkle with more salt.

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5. Wisconsin Cheese Curds with Dill Pickle Tartar Sauce

Gooey cheese, fried beer-batter breading, and a tangy tartar sauce create an all-star snack that will appease any appetite. Cooking Channel’s recipe yields 8 servings.

Ingredients:

Beer Batter:

  • 2¼ cups beer, preferably ale
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 pounds cheese curds
  • 4 cups panko breadcrumbs, finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Dill Pickle Tartar Sauce:

  • ½ cup minced shallots
  • 3½ dill pickles, diced
  • 1 quart mayonnaise
  • ½ cup capers, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh chives, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ⅛ cup fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: For the beer batter, whisk together the beer, flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a deep bowl. Pour the flour into a shallow dish and dust the cheese curds. Dip the curds into the beer batter, and then cover each in the breadcrumbs. Arrange the curds on a baking sheet and freeze, 20 to 30 minutes.

Bring the peanut oil to frying temperature in a heavy-bottomed pot and deep-fry the curds, making sure not to overcrowd the pot, about 1 minute per batch.Drain the excess oil and serve the curds with the dill pickle sauce. To make the sauce, coarsely grind the shallots and dill pickles in a food processor, and then thoroughly combine with the mayonnaise, capers, chives, dill, parsley, tarragon, and lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper.

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6. Homemade Combos

Prepare your own pepperoni pizza-flavored combos by following The Food in My Beard’s instructions. You’ll be amazed at this recipe’s simplicity — prepare the dough and cut it into strips, and then fill your bite-size snacks with a palatable pepperoni filling.

Ingredients:

  • Pretzel Recipe
  • 20 pepperoni
  • 1 cup grated Romano
  • ½ cup canned diced tomato, well-drained
  • Pinch of oregano

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your pretzel dough. Food process the pepperoni, grated Romano cheese, canned diced tomatoes, and oregano to a paste, adding a small amount of olive oil as needed. Roll out pretzel dough, cutting it into thin, combo-sized strips. Wrap the small strips of dough around well-oiled wooden dowels.

Use a little splash of water at the seam to help seal the dough together. Then put the seam side down on the baking sheet. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until hard and lightly starting to brown. Take the combos off of the dowels and pipe them with the pizza filling mixture. Serve and enjoy.

Source: iStock

7. Bite-Size Nachos

Rather than making a plate of messy nachos, Pop Sugar carefully places toppings on each tortilla chip, creating individual, Bite-Size Nachos that are packed with barbecue pork, cheese, and jalapeños. You’ll want to plan ahead if you’re going to prepare this oh-so-spicy recipe — your pork needs to sit in the slow cooker for seven hours before you can assemble this snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3½ pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed of all fat
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium barbecue dry rub, plus some for seasoning your nachos
  • Barbecue sauce of your choice
  • Whole-grain or regular tortilla chips
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat shredded cheese
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • Jalapeño slices, optional
  • Nonfat Greek yogurt, optional

Directions: Place the sliced onions at the bottom of your crockpot followed by the boneless pork loin. Add the red wine vinegar and low-sodium barbecue dry rub to your slow cooker. Cover and cook the pork on high for 2 hours, then on low for an additional 5 hours. Add your desired amount of barbecue sauce to the pulled pork. On a baking sheet, start assembling your nacho bites.

Start with the whole-grain tortilla chips, then pulled pork, shredded cheese, and green onions, if desired. Sprinkle a bit of low-sodium barbecue dry rub on your assembled nacho bites. Broil the nacho bites until the shredded cheese has melted. Serve your nacho bites with any desired toppings.

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