The time has finally arrived for everyone to gather around the TV, watch funny commercials, eat great food, and watch the biggest game of the year. A big game party is fun whether your team is on the field or you’re just cheering against your rivals. With our big game checklist, you’ll know that you have everything you need to make your get together a success. Plus, we’ve included some delicious game day food recipes for your grill/smoker, air fryer, and more.
Our Favorite Game Day Recipes
Honey Garlic Chicken Wings – 5 Servings
- 5lbs chicken wings
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 chopped white onion
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tspn mustard powder
- 1 1/2 tspn minced garlic
For stovetop or pellet grill
- Heat up a saucepan over medium heat. Then, stir the honey, brown sugar, onion, mustard powder, and minced garlic together until hot (about 5 min).
- On a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet, spread out your chicken wings in an even layer. Pour the sauce over the wings, coating each thoroughly.
- Cover your wings with plastic wrap or some other covering. Then, Marinate your wings in the refrigerator for an hour to overnight.
- Once your wings have marinated, preheat your oven or pellet grill to 350º F
- Bake/smoke your chicken wings until a meat thermometer inserted near the bone reads 165º F. This will take roughly 90 minutes.
Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
You can use an air fryer or deep fryer. It’s up to you!
- 1 package of mozzarella sticks or 100g of mozzarella
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- marinara sauce (optional)
- If you’re using mozzarella sticks, start by cutting them in half. For a block of mozzarella, simply cut it into the stick size that you want.
- On a baking/cookie sheet, lay your cheese sticks out flat. Salt and pepper each mozzarella stick to suit your taste.
- Get our three small bowls. Add your flour in one, beat the egg in the second, and breadcrumbs in the third. Dip each stick in the bowls in that order; flour, egg, breadcrumbs. Then, you can choose to add them to your fryer at that point, or some folks like to freeze them for about an hour so everything sets and stays together.
- Place them in the fry basket, and fry for 12 minutes on 390º F for an air fryer. If you are using a deep fryer, watch your sticks closely. Once you start to see a bit of melted cheese popping out, take them out. You do NOT want to let cheese sticks stay in a fryer for too long. What a mess!
BBQ Cocktail Sausages
To be honest, I don’t remember the last game party I went to where cocktail sausages didn’t make an appearance. These are the best because you can put the ingredients in your crockpot and walk away. Very nice when you’re preparing for guests.
- 2 packages (14oz) cooked little smokies or little Vienna sausages
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup BBQ sauce of your choice (for a bit of a kick, use Famous Daves Sweet and Zesty)
- 1/2 cup chili sauce
- 1/2 cup of sweet jam or jelly. I personally love Amish Wedding’s Peach Jam
- Vegetable oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet)
- Slow cooker liners for easy cleanup (optional)
Heat the oil in a skillet on high heat. Saute the sausages in batches for 1-2 minutes (until browned). Transfer each batch of browned sausages to a paper towel to drain the excess grease.
Once each batch has been browned and drained, place a liner in your slow cooker for easy clean up later (you’ll be glad you did). Then, transfer all sausages to your slow cooker.
Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the sausages. Then, mix the sausages around until fully coated.
Cover your slow cooker and set it to low. Let your sausages cook for about 3-4 hours. You can also set the cooker to high instead for 2-3 hours.
Once they are finished cooking, you can leave the cooker on warm throughout your part so your sausages won’t get cold. Keep a set of toothpicks nearby so your guests can help themselves.
Other Food Suggestions
Now that we’ve covered some recipes that take a bit of work, let’s move on to the simple stuff:
- Chips and Salsa – El Milagro Mexican Kitchen Style chips are perfect for queso or salsa!
- Cheese Puffs
- Popcorn Mixes – Here are some Popcorn Mix Ideas. Use some candy melts and dress up your popcorn mix with your team colors!
- Larry the Cable Guy “Tater” Chips – Cheeseburger, Dill Pickle, Bacon Ranch, and Chili Cheese Fries. They REALLY taste like the description. It’s crazy!
- Large Soda Selection & Water
- Baked Beans
- Chili – (Make some hot dogs on the grill for some chili cheese dogs!)Try Bear Creek Darn Good Chili to make it easy and delicious
- Sweets & Candy – Rural King has a whole wall filled with different candies, gummies, and taffy!
- Meat Snacks – These are a MUST for a man cave celebration. Something your guests can just grab while walking back and forth from their seat on the couch.
Checklist: 9 Items You Didn’t Know You Needed & Can’t Forget
1. Batteries: If you are watching the big game with someone who loves to change the channel constantly (like my dad), make sure you have a set of extra batteries before you miss the best part of a commercial…or worse, the best play! I’m speaking from experience here!
2. Paper Towels: For all those spilled drinks and random messes
3. Pet Kennel or Playpen: If you have pets, make sure they are taken care of before your party. If you have a new dog or cat, a party can be overwhelming. Kennels and playpens are perfect safe spaces for them.
4. Party Cups: Write funny names or draw designs on the cups for a bit of extra fun.
5. Driveway Markers: Make sure your guests can find the place and easily get in and out of your driveway. Avoid the need to tow someone out of the ditch during your party!
6. Napkins: If you’re going to have food, make sure to have some napkins!
7. Trash Bags: Make cleanup easier on yourself. Leave a trash bag out for folks to throw away trash without filling up the can in your kitchen.
8. This Large Orange Game Cooler!: I didn’t want to be product specific, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a game cooler to fill with punch?! Don’t make too much of a mess when you dump it on the coach at the end of the big game!
9. Toilet Paper: This may not be the most important item, but you definitely don’t want to run out during the party. Make sure you pick up a pack before your guests arrive.
Why do you Watch the Big Game?
Everyone watches the game for different reasons. Some watch for the commercials, some for the halftime show, and some are the diehard fans.
So, why do you watch the big game? And, what team do you root for? Let me know in the comment section below.