Looking for the perfect game day recipes? We've got all the ideas you need to win on and off the field! Keep on reading for our favorite snacks, main dishes, and desserts that are sure to bowl you over.

a variety of game day snacks including chicken nuggets, from Shelf Cooking

Can we all agree that the best part of watching the big game is eating all the good food? Don't get us wrong; we have fun pulling for our favorite team! But any excuse to pig out on chicken wings and loads of queso? Well, sign us up, you guys!

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Don't drop the ball! No matter which team you're rooting for, you'll feel like a winner if you serve up any of the recipes we're about to share. Ready to score some major points with the fam? Let's go!


plate of chips and queso, from Shelf Cooking

If you decide only to make appetizers (and dessert, duh!), then we wouldn't blame you. All bets are off when the big game is on, and honestly, any of these appetizers could double as the main event! We think these snacks are bowl-worthy:

  • Crockpot Cheese Dip – You guys HAVE to try this crockpot cheese dip!
  • Buffalo Cauliflower – Serve up all the flavor without any guilt. These buffalo cauliflower bites are almost as good as wings!
  • Pimiento Cheese – Make the ultimate charcuterie board with some homemade pimiento cheese spread. We have the perfect recipe!
  • Garlic Cheese Bread – Cheesy garlic bread isn't just for pasta night! Bring it out for the big game. Honestly, who isn't a fan of garlic bread?
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip – Wings + sports just go together, right? Well, here's a fun twist! Whip up a batch of buffalo chicken dip. If you have shredded chicken on hand, you're already halfway there. Just toss it in the crockpot with a block of cream cheese, a cup of your favorite hot sauce, and some shredded cheddar. Cook on low for around 2 hours, then serve and enjoy!
  • Ham Biscuits – Make a quick batch of our 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuits and fill them with ham and a little drizzle of honey mustard. Delish!
  • Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip – Have a whole stockpile of cranberry sauce leftover from the holidays? We've got the perfect recipe for you! Whip up a batch of this crowd-pleasing cranberry cream cheese dip.

Want even more ideas? We wrote a whole blog post about party appetizers! Spoiler alert: they're also super easy to throw together! Okay, on the main dishes!


plate of chicken tacos with salad, from Shelf Cooking

Planning to treat your guests to a sit-down meal during halftime? Want to set up a buffet-style spread? Whatever the case, we have a game plan. Try one of these:

  • Nachos – We're just gonna get a little controversial here and say it. Nachos count as a meal. Hands down. End of story. Pick your favorite proteins and veggies and customize them to your heart's content! We like adding some shredded chicken to ours.
  • French Bread Pizza – Everyone loves pizza, so why not try this French bread pizza?! And be sure to make some of this homemade pizza sauce so you can brag a little. Your guests will be impressed!
  • Air Fryer Chicken Wings – You can't host a game day party without serving up some wings. Try making them in the air fryer if you have one! Check out all our air fryer ideas for more inspiration.
  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches- The secret ingredient in these finger-licking-good sandwiches? Dr. Pepper! Grab our slow cooker pulled pork recipe and give it a try.
  • Salsa Chicken Tacos – No party is complete without tacos! This salsa chicken is SO easy and the perfect taco topping.
  • Chili – We love making a big batch of crockpot chili–especially for a crowd! You can stretch it so far. Serve with sandwiches, chips, or cornbread. And bonus: the leftovers are freezer-friendly.
  • Steak Quesadillas – You could totally go with a Mexican theme and serve nachos, tacos, and quesadillas for gameday. We doubt you'd get any complaints! Grab our favorite steak quesadilla recipe.

We'll take one of each, please! Now, time for the big finale. Who's up for some dessert?!


sliced, fresh baked ooey gooey bars, from Shelf Cooking

Is it even a party if there's not dessert?! We vote “no.” Make your game day celebration complete with one of these sweet treats:

  • Oooey Gooey Bars – Get ready to drool as soon as the click to grab this recipe for ooey gooey bars. These are our FAVE!
  • Caramel Apple Nachos – We're obsessed with this take on a carnival food classic! Your guest will love these caramel apple nachos, and so will their Instagram feeds.
  • S'Mores – You don't need a campfire to make this delicious treat! Grab our microwave s'mores recipe.
  • Ice Cream – Setup your own ice cream sundae bar with all your favorite toppings. Take it over the top with this homemade ice cream recipe.
  • Birthday Cake Cookies – Who says confetti is only for birthdays?! Serve these up after your team wins. We have the easiest recipe for birthday cake mix cookies!
  • Peppermint Bark – You might consider peppermint bark to be a holiday treat, but as far as we're concerned, there are no rules when it comes to dessert. Plus, can you ever go wrong with mint and chocolate?!

Now the hardest decision you'll have to make is which dessert to try first! And for the record, if you decide to try them all, we totally support that decision.


chips with guacamole and salsa, from Shelf Cooking

Okay, one last thing! If you're in a time crunch and looking for some quick wins, we've got your back. Throw together one of these easy snacks to serve:

  • Hot Dogs/Pigs in a Blanket – Enough said, right? We use crescent rolls for the “blankets.” Pop some french fries in the oven to serve on the side.
  • Deviled Eggs – Make them fancier with bacon bits on top!
  • Chips & Guacamole/Salsa – Never a bad idea!
  • Chicken Nuggets – Open a bag, turn on the oven, and call it a day. No one will ever be mad about chicken nuggets!
  • Fruit Salad – Our fruit salad recipe is the easiest!
  • Popcorn – This is one of the cheapest ways to keep a crowd happy.
  • Soup – You can literally throw all your leftovers in a pot and let the magic happen! Learn how to make your own soup.
  • Pretzels – Round up some dipping sauces for extra fun.
  • Trail Mix – Here's another way to use what you've got! Your guests will never suspect you pulled it all together only using leftovers.
  • Snack Samplers – Round up some muffin tins and fill each cup with whatever you've got. The crowd will love it!

Now you're ready to host the best dang game day party of all time! Win or lose, your food will be on point. And in our opinion, that's an automatic win.

Tell us, what's your favorite party food? Drop a comment below or stop by our Shelf Cooking Facebook group!

get gameday snack and dessert ideas from Shelf Cooking

Want to try more of our favorite recipes?

Have a ball!