I’ll be the first to admit it: I have never watched the Super Bowl. (Well, there was that one time in college when I tried to impress a [alas straight] friend, but that doesn’t really count.) I have countless halftime shows under my belt, if that counts for anything.

But what I lack in gridiron knowledge, I make up for in game-food mastery. Let’s face it, if eating were a sport, I’d be a multiple Heisman Trophy-winning, hall-of-fame Olympiad.

Game-time food needs to be portable, fit in your hand while jumping and screaming at the TV, and utterly delicious. These 12 winners check off all the boxes.

I’m no gambler, but if I had to bet on an MVP on February 12, it would be one of these recipes.

David Leite's handwritten signature of 'David.'
A slab of glazed pressure cooker ribs with a knife cutting between two ribs
Silvio Knezevic
1 of 11

Pressure Cooker Ribs

These pressure cooker ribs, which are easy and ideal for the Instant Pot, are finished in the oven with a brown sugar and Dijon glaze. It's a super-fast method for knee-wobbling, lip-smacking, fall-off-the-bone tenderness.

I pressure-cooked the ribs according to the recipe, and they were outstanding, juicy, flavorful, and done in under an hour. Best recipe ever. Thanks for the fine points of standing the ribs on end and letting the pressure release naturally—it really makes a difference.

marilyn s.
A football cheese ball on a serving board with two glasses of beer and a knife beside it.
Jason Wyche
2 of 11

Football Cheese Ball

This football cheese ball with bacon is, well, exactly what the title proclaims. A cheese ball in the shape of a football. Made with both Cheddar and cream cheese as well as jalapeño and, yes, bacon. Perfect for Super Bowl.

I made this cheese ball last year for my friend’s annual Super Bowl party, and it’s the only thing I’ve been asked to bring this year!! Everyone loved it!! Thank you!!

Nashville hot chicken sliders, piled up on a plate with sesame seeds and hot sauce.
Ben Fink
3 of 11

Nashville Hot Chicken Sliders

Long ago in Nashville, the only place to get hot chicken was Prince’s Hot Chicken on Ewing Drive. These days, hot chicken is all the rage in Nashville, and you can find it in a lot of restaurants. I love it all, but Prince’s is still the gold standard for me. These sliders are my nod to Ms. André Prince Jeffries, who still serves up the best hot chicken I’ve ever tasted!

You’ve heard of Nashville hot fried chicken, right? These sliders combine those spicy craveable flavors with creamy blue cheese and serve it up in a convenient handheld bite. Genius.

A blue skillet with paper towel and a pile of breaded, deep-fried cauliflower. A bowl of dip in the background.
Malou Burger
4 of 11

Popcorn Cauliflower Bites

Dipping anything in breadcrumbs and frying until golden is always going to be a winner, and for anyone telling you they don’t like cauliflower, they may well change their minds if they try this.

We’re not suggesting that these crispy cauliflower bites replace your favorite popcorn chicken. They’re definitely not the same thing, just like Buffalo cauliflower is not the same as Buffalo wings. But…give these tasty snacks a try. They’ll likely surprise you in the best way possible.

A bowl of Texas-style chili with pork and brisket with a fork, spoon, and bowls of lime, cilantro, and pickled jalapenos on the side.
Isaac Alongi
5 of 11

Texas-Style Chili with Pork and Brisket

For those who want a quick version of this: just eat the cooked bacon and shoot the tequila . . . I won’t tell a soul and just might join you.

You won’t find a stray bean anywhere in this bowl of Texas-style chili. What you will find is plenty of tender shredded pork, smoky brisket, bacon, onion, chiles, and a spicy tomato and beer sauce.

A basket of chicken wings with wax paper, covered with a sticky red sauce, sesame seeds, and green onion slices.
Kylie Mazon-Chambers
6 of 11

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

This recipe is inspired by Korean fried chicken, where boneless chicken thighs are fried and tossed either in a sticky, savory sauce or with lots of crispy garlic.

These finger-lickin’ sweet and spicy wings are irresistible. A Korean-inspired glaze coats crispy fried wings. To save yourself a little mess, they can even be made in the air fryer.

A large rectangle casserole pan, filled with tater tot nachos topped with sour cream, tomatoes, sour cream, and jalapeños. A wooden serving spoon lays beside the dish.
Ren Fuller
7 of 11

Tater Tot Nachos ~ Totchos

Tater Tot nachos takes one of the most loved, and easiest, dinners and gives it a crispy, crunchy, potato-filled boost. Topped with chili–vegetarian or filled with beef, it's up to you–and loads of tomatoes, sour cream, and jalapeños, Totchos might be everyone's perfect meal.

Don’t get us wrong. We love classic nachos piled high with all the fixings. We can even be convinced to nosh on a plate of healthy-ish Mediterranean-inspired nachos.

But, given the choice, tater tots are our favorite vehicle for dipping and scooping our nacho toppings.

A cut sheet pan taco bake in a rimmed sheet pan topped with pico de gallo and sour cream.
Lauren Volo
8 of 11

Sheet Pan Taco Bake

This sheet pan taco bake has seasoned ground beef, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses enveloped in tortillas and baked until crunchy and golden. Great party food for feeding a crowd.

OMG! Soo good, and the instructions were simple. I did use the smaller flour/tostada-size tortillas. But I used a smaller cookie sheet which worked fine. Thanks for sharing a wonderful recipe.

A bowl filled with seven-layer dip with a spoon resting inside and a plate with tortilla chips, dip, and a lime wedge on the side.
Oxmoor House
9 of 11

Seven Layer Dip

Seven layer dip is a Mexican-inspired party staple made with beans, cilantro, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, and jalapeño. It’s crazy easy to make as well as quite healthy. And it requires no cooking whatsoever. And this is the best darn rendition of it we’ve ever had.

I will admit, the first time I made this seven-layer dip, my husband and I devoured practically the entire dish for dinner in one sitting! This is very addicting and very good! The black beans and fresh elements like jalapenos, cilantro, green onions, and lime make this feel more luxurious and gourmet than a standard seven-layer dip. 

I also doubled the recipe and made this for a party, which was enjoyed by those who tried it. I reserved some of the ingredients, sans the dairy products, and layered them in a small dish for one of my guests who is vegan. She appreciated the gesture and enjoyed it.

Key lime pie bars, cut into squares and garnished with whipped cream, lime zest, slices of lime, and chopped almonds.
Christy Denney
10 of 11

Key Lime Pie Bars

We’re an hour and a half from the Florida Keys and take advantage of the tropical atmosphere as often as we can. At certain gas stations along the long road down to the keys they sell slices of key lime pie and I can’t resist the tangy, creamy treat. Do you need to make some key lime pie bars to make you think you’re in a tropical paradise? I thought you might.

Your favorite tangy key lime pie in a convenient handheld bite. Need we say more?

A stack of chicharron chocolate chip cookies on a blue plate on a wire rack with a couple more cookies on the rack.
Penny De Los Santos
11 of 11

Chicharrón Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chicharrón chocolate chip cookies are soft, chewy, homemade chocolate chip cookies made with—believe it or not—pork rinds. And they’re magnificent beyond words.

Super Bowl Snack FAQs

How do I keep my food hot?

Slow cooker to the rescue! Your slow cooker is a wonderful tool for keeping all manner of food hot. Soups, stews, queso, and chili will all benefit from hanging out in the slow cooker while your guests graze, but don’t be afraid to use it to keep chicken wings or ribs warm, too.

What’s the most popular Super Bowl snack?

The most popular choice for snacking during the big game is chips and dip. If you want to get creative, try making your own BBQ potato chips and hot artichoke dip.

Looking for more Super Bowl snack ideas, particularly ones you can prepare in advance? Check out this selection of slow cooker recipes.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. Since the Kansas City Chiefs & Philly Eagles will be playing in the Super Bowl, I imagine the food will include BBQ & Philly steaks. And there are cakes featuring Patrick Mahomes’ unique haircut. Of course, this KC native will be yelling GO CHIEFS!!