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We think getting together with friends and family is more than half the fun of watching the big game. Our ideas for hearty, traditional snacks with a tasty twist or two will make this year’s party a snap—so you can spend less time prepping and more time jeering at the refs.

Keep it casual with ready-to-serve snacks

The big game may be a big deal, but your party should be relaxed and low-key. Serve lots of easy-to-eat snacks on hefty paper plates with a large stack of dinner-size napkins. Keep it simple for you, too, by using packaged appetizers and ready-made platters.

  • For quick, better-for-you crowd pleasers, check out the variety of prepared platters in our produce department. Guests will love munching on a rainbow of crunchy vegetables matched with a few fresh-tasting dips. But don’t stop there: Round things out with a deli meat tray and a basket heaped with artisan breads, including hearty whole-grain varieties. Place some jars of condiments within easy reach on the coffee table, and you pretty much have a meal.
  • No party is complete without pizza. Make things more interesting by offering pre-made thin-crust pies with surprising toppings, such as prosciutto and salami, butter chicken or spinach, along with the traditional pepperoni or all-cheese pizza.
  • Chips are an absolute must for football fans. Place a few bowls in convenient spots and keep ’em full—no one likes to scoop up the crumbs. Add a couple of tubs of prepared dips in flavours like roasted garlic or chipotle aioli. And don’t forget chips’ best friend: popcorn. We love the savoury, slightly sophisticated taste of aged white cheddar kettle corn.
  • One of our favourite finger foods? Shrimp appetizers. Warm them up in the oven, present them on a large plate and watch them disappear.

Serve up fan favourites

Cheering on your team generates quite the appetite, doesn’t it? Whip up these effortless munchies that everyone can share.

  • Demand for Tex-Mex flavour seems to kick in along with the football-game spirit. Get their mouths watering with a platter of nachos topped with spicy turkey mini-meatballs for extra heat. (We love these better-for-you nachos because they feature turkey instead of beef, switch up full-fat cheese for part-skim cheese and use black beans in place of refried beans.) Or, roughly mash fresh avocados for a quick and easy guacamole, and try our guac secret: Lightly grill avocado slices for added smoky flavour. Serve with tortilla chips and a heaping bowl of spicy salsa.
  • Got some vegetarians in your crowd? Ratatouille Tarts are a tasty, eat-with-one-hand option, as is Rustic Bruschetta or Devilled Eggs with Chives. Add some unexpected flavour on the side with Aged Cheddar Cheese and Apple Dip – perfect with crunchy celery sticks or spread on crostini. And Classic Spinach Dip, with hunks of bakery-fresh bread, is popular with vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
  • It’s always a good idea to have one entrée-size dish on hand for hungry football fanatics. For that, the answer is obvious: chili. Bring on the comfort food with hearty Slow Cooker Beef Short Bib Chili – and don’t forget the garlic bread for sopping up every last drop. Or use your slow cooker to make sweet-and-sour meatballs, and serve with steamed rice to soak up the gooey-good sauce.

Set up a self-serve beverage station

Beer may be synonymous with football, but make sure to serve a good selection of non-alcoholic drinks, too.

  • Pick up a metal washtub from the dollar store, fill it with ice and load it up with a selection of beer and coolers so guests can serve themselves.
  • Stock up on plenty of juice, pop and mineral water. We find Italian-style sodas to be a refreshing change from the usual colas.
  • Mix things up with a citrus-flavoured punch. We like the tangy taste of a Prairie Sunset with clementine and pink grapefruit juices. Prep two big bowls and spike just one with alcohol.

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