Now that football season has finally returned, you’ve probably gotten multiple invitations to watch games, or maybe you’ve hosted your own game day party. Aside from the actual football, tailgate and viewing parties are typically centered on good drinks and good food, and there are certain foods that have long-standing reputations for going hand-in-hand with watching football.
The following are three of the most popular “football foods” out there; they’re easy to make, can be prepared in advance, and most of them can be eaten with your hands. If you’re looking for an easy, hearty recipe that’s perfect for football season, try out these foods the next time you have friends over to watch the big game!
- Chips and Dip
Chips and dip are perfect for watching football for a couple of reasons. First of all, the variety of chips and dip options is essentially limitless, meaning you can set out a couple different types to appeal to different tastes. From spinach dip to salsa, everyone is sure to find a recipe that they’ll enjoy. Another reason chips and dip are great for game days is that they are so easy to eat; you shouldn’t need to try to balance your plate while you cheer on your team, so finger foods like these are always necessary.
Try this easy recipe for Mexican Salsa:
- 1 14.5 oz can Hunt’s® Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced (1 clove = about 1/2 tsp)
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Tortilla chips, for dipping
Combine undrained tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, garlic, sugar, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours so flavors can blend. Serve with chips.
While it’s not a finger food, chili is a dish that has always been closely associated with football and fall. It’s hearty, spicy, filling and can be made in large batches, making it the perfect meal to have on hand when you’re serving a crowd. There are hundreds of different chili recipes out there, from chicken chili to slow-cooker recipes, so experiment with different flavors and cooking techniques to find your favorite.
Try this easy recipe for Hunt’s® Fire-Roasted Beef Chili:
- 1 pound ground chuck beef (80% lean)
- 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 16 oz can beans in medium chili seasoned sauce
- 1 14.5 oz can Hunt’s® Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, undrained
- 1 6 oz can Hunt’s® Tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Cook beef, onion and pepper in a large saucepan over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes or until beef is crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally; drain. Stir in all remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 15 minutes, stirring several times.
- Chicken wings
Chicken wings are another famously popular football appetizer. They combine the convenience of finger foods with the meatiness and spice of a hearty meal, so they are sure to appeal to a large crowd. Serve them with sides of celery and a creamy blue cheese or ranch dip to cool down your mouth as you eat them.
Try this easy recipe for Sweet ‘n Tangy BBQ Wings
- 1 21.6 oz bottle Hunt’s® Original Barbecue Sauce
- 1/4 cup Gulden’s® Spicy Brown Mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
- 2 pounds chicken wing drumettes
- PAM® Butter No-Stick Cooking Spray
Whisk together barbecue sauce, mustard, honey and red pepper in a medium bowl until well blended. Remove 3/4 cup of the barbecue sauce mixture; cover and refrigerate for later use. Place chicken in a large resealable freezer-weight plastic bag. Add the remaining barbecue sauce mixture; seal bag. Turn bag over until chicken is coated evenly with the barbecue sauce mixture. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to marinate.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil; spray with cooking spray. Drain chicken and discard marinade. Place chicken in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Do not crowd chicken pieces to encourage browning. Bake for 30 minutes; turn pieces over. Bake 30 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink in the centers (180°F) and skin is crisp. Brush with the reserved 3/4 cup barbecue sauce mixture before serving.
Meredith K. writes on behalf of Hunt’s®. For other easy, hearty fall recipes, visit www.Hunts.com.