Recipes and Fun for Your Big Game Party

fans cheering at football game on televisionThe Big Game is the biggest sporting event of the year and will be broadcast in over 130 countries and watched by over 100 million viewers on Sunday, February 10th. This sporting event has gained enormous popularity over the years. While I am a big football fan, I believe that the Big Game is an event that everyone can get into, football fan or not. Similar to a holiday celebration, the Big Game provides a reason for people to gather, eat, drink and be merry. Here are some Big Game party ideas that are easy to execute and enjoyed by all!

Chips, Dips, Dips, and Dips

chips, dip and White ClawThe best food for the Big Game is finger food and a really delicious dip that will keep everyone chipping and dipping!

Seven Layer Dip

The ultimate dip for your chip, a seven layer dip is the mother of all dips. With various picky eaters in the group, any of these layers can be eliminated and you can still provide a bomb-A dip. Feel free to buy the refried beans and guacamole, however, homemade recipes are below:

1) Seasoned Ground Beef, 2) Refried Beans, 3) Guacamole, 4) Black Olives, 5) Salsa, 6) Sour Cream, 7) Grated Cheddar Cheese

Seasoned Ground Beef

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 lb. ground beef

1 packet of taco seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat up the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the ground beef in the skillet and cook the beef until brown (about 10 minutes). Break up the ground beef with a spatula as it browns in the skillet. Once browned, drain the grease from the ground beef and put the beef back in the skillet with the packet of taco seasoning and one cup of water. Turn the heat on high until boiling and then lower the heat to low. Let the meat simmer until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Black Refried Beans

This Big Game party recipe is near and dear to me and came from my Costa Rican Father. Black beans are a Costa Rican staple and he perfected this recipe for Refried Black Beans. I never measure anything so these are just estimates.

1, 15 oz. can of black beans

1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper

1/4 cup finely diced orange bell pepper (optional)

1/4 cup finely diced yellow bell pepper (optional)

1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion

1/4 cup finely diced celery

1 full tablespoon of minced garlic

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons (approximate)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar (secret ingredient!)

Heat approximately 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is heated (about 2 to 3 minutes), add the peppers, onion, and celery to the pan with salt and pepper. Cook the veggies for about 5 to 8 minutes until they start to become soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 min. Add the entire can of beans with the liquid to the skillet. Fill the empty can about half way and add the half a can of water to the skillet. Mix the beans, veggies, and garlic in the skillet and turn the flame up to high until the mixture boils. After boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the beans simmer, uncovered, until you reach your desired thickness. While the beans simmer, smash the beans with a potato masher, spoon, fork, or spatula every few minutes. The smashed beans will thicken the refried beans. The smash and simmer operation will take about 20 minutes or longer. Once the beans have reached a thick consistency, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cilantro, and sugar to finish off the refried beans. Add salt and pepper to taste.


2 ripe avocados

1 lime

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the avocados and remove the pits. Smash the avocado in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime (or more) in the bowl along with the chopped cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the seven layer dip, use a 2-inch deep container and add the layers as follows: Seasoned ground beef, refried beans, guacamole, salsa, black olives, sour cream, cheddar cheese. Enjoyed best with tortilla chips or even spoon some on small corn or flour tortillas and eat it like a taco!

Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl

Carbs are delicious! This recipe for your Big Game party is taken from the Knorr vegetable recipe mix packet. I can attest to the deliciousness of this dip since I have made it myself many times over for this very special occasion. The sourdough bread bowl just puts it over the top!

1 packet of Knorr vegetable recipe mix

1, 10 ounce box of frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled, and squeezed dry

1, 16 ounce container of sour cream

1 cup of mayonnaise

1, 8 ounce can of water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)

3 green onions, chopped (optional)

1 large sourdough round bread

For the spinach dip, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Chill for about 2 hours. Hollow out the center of the sourdough round bread. Take the removed section of sourdough round bread and cut into bite size pieces that would be good to use for dipping into the spinach dip.  Spoon the chilled spinach dip into the hollowed out sourdough bread bowl. Enjoyed best with the pulled out sourdough bread, tortilla chips, pita chips, and veggies.

Street Corn Dip – Crock Pot

Heated up indulgent gooey cheesiness! This dip will not last long and will be the crowd favorite.

2 cans of corn, drained

16 ounces of cream cheese

8 ounces of pepper jack cheese

1/4 cup of sour cream

Tajin Seasoning (generous amount)

1 cup Finely chopped cilantro

Cotija Cheese

Combine all the ingredients except the cotija cheese in a crock pot. Cook on the low setting for 2 to 2.5 hours. Top with cotija cheese and more tajin seasoning. Enjoyed best with tortilla chips.

Grocery Store and Restaurant Fave Shortcuts

chips and quesoAnother great thing about Big Game party food is the variety of easy frozen finger foods available at the grocery store. Clear away the grand entrees like turkey and ham with multiple side dishes. Shortcuts are encouraged here and these tasty bites will also be a big hit with the teens, tweens, and younger kids.

Pigs in a blanket with ketchup, mustard, and ranch dressing

Pizza Bagels

Pizza Rolls

Chips and onion dip and bean dip

Hummus and Veggies

Shrimp Ring

Meat and Cheese Charcuterie board

And yet another short cut is to order your favorite foods from your favorite restaurants.

Hillbilly queso from Torchy’s

Chicken tenders and wings from Wingstop with PLENTY of ranch dressing.

Pizza from FatBoy’s Pizza. This is a new pizza joint on the west side of town in Katy and Richmond that is totally worth it!

Finally, to finish with dessert, I recommend picking up easy bite-size tasty goodies like cookies, brownie bites, lemon bars, and blondies. Also, don’t feel like you have to have a fully stocked bar to meet the needs of all of your guests. Beer and alcoholic seltzers should be sufficient with a bring-your-own-booze policy in effect.

Football Squares

Football Squares

Outside of walking and talking, eating and drinking, most people will be watching the game. To keep things interesting, setting up football squares is a great idea to keep everyone at the party invested in the Big Game. Before the game even begins, everyone selects squares on a 10 X 10 grid by writing their name in the square. Once the squares are filled up, random numbers between 0 and 9 are placed at the headers of the columns and rows and whoever has the square that coincides with the score of the game wins. A winner can be selected after the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarters and the end of the game (see example). Gift cards or football team merch make great party prizes.

In any event, whether you gather around to watch the Big Game, the commercials, or the half-time show, use it as an excuse to get together with family and friends. Have any additional Big Game party ideas? Please share them in the comments below.

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Monica Bell
Monica was born and raised in New Jersey. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Penn State University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Cal State Fullerton. She spent several years working, living, and playing in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Virginia, Philadelphia, and back to New Jersey again before settling down in Katy in 2009. She has been married for over 24 years to her soulmate Atiba and together they have three children and a dog that help her stay young, strong, and active. She has been on both sides of the fence as a full-time working Mama and stay-at-home Mama and everything else in between. When she isn’t carting her kids around all over Katy, she works part-time as an engineering consultant. She is a staunch supporter of chocolate and coffee any time of day and binge-watching trashy reality TV shows. Some of her favorite things include cooking up new recipes, writing, Penn State Football, and anything satirical. Monica believes that motherhood continues to lead her through a challenging journey of personal growth, gratitude, and constant chaos.


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