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17 Party-Friendly Appetizers Perfect for Game Day

For us, Game Day is as much about the food as it is about the game itself (and the commercials, too, if we’re talking The Big Game). And while it’s great to stock a tailgate with tried-and-trues, we always welcome a switch up or new addition to the table. Whether you’re hosting a watch party or tasked with bringing something to snack on, these Game Day appetizers are surefire crowd-pleasers.

Chipotle Skillet Nachos

For this Game Day version, we added jalapeños, diced onions, fresh cilantro, a vegan-friendly cheese sauce, and chorizo. But why stop there? Add carnitas or sofritos. Chopped lettuce. Or, take these in a sweet and spicy direction with diced mango. The options are endless—and good luck stopping after a few bites. Get the Chipotle Skillet Nachos recipe.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo wings are a classic game day snack, but if you’re trying to eat less meat or appeal to vegetarians at your gathering, consider serving this vegan-friendly version instead. With plenty to offer in both texture and taste, these baked cauliflower bites slathered in buffalo sauce are a delicious alternative for game day parties. If you can’t handle the spice—or want some more variety on the plate—simply swap in BBQ sauce instead. Just don’t forget the carrot and celery sticks and blue cheese! Get the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites recipe.

Pretzel-Wrapped Pigs in a Blanket

As it turns out, too much of a good thing isn’t all that bad when it comes to this upgrade of a beloved bite. Get the Pretzel-Wrapped Pigs in a Blanket recipe.

Layered Caramelized Onion Dip

On Game Day, we want our dip stacked, not the odds against our team. This isn’t your typical layered dip, either—it has a hidden protein boost thanks to tangy skyr. Get the Layered Caramelized Onion Dip recipe.

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Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

There’s more than one way to get your Game Day fried chicken fix, and these bite-sized, spiced pieces are one of our favorites. Between the classic Taiwanese night market flavor and perfect crisp level, this popcorn chicken’s a winner. Get the Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken recipe.

Cheeseburger Pinwheels

If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing app to serve at your next holiday gathering, these (can be vegetarian-friendly!) bites are a must. Get the Cheeseburger Pinwheels recipe.

Sweet-and-Savory Peanut Popcorn

PSA: This nostalgic, crunchy snack isn’t just for Baseball Season. Get the Sweet-and-Savory Peanut Popcorn recipe.

Curry-Fried Oyster Mushrooms

This dish might be inspired by fried chicken and made with Smallhold oyster mushrooms, but it’s 100% vegetarian (and guaranteed to give any chicken fingers a run for their money). Get the Curry-Fried Oysters recipe.

Cheesy Potato Croquettes

When cheese and potatoes are involved, what could possibly go wrong, other than underestimating how many you’ll need to make?  Get the Cheesy Potato Croquettes recipe.

Smoky Baba Ganoush

Switch up the usual hummus + veg platter—or better yet, add to it—with this smoky, tahini-spiked eggplant dip. Get the Smoky Baba Ganoush recipe.

Potato Peel Chips

Sure, you can make homemade potato chips using the entire potato. But if you’re using red, Russet, yellow, or sweet potatoes for another dish, save those peels! You can fry them in minutes for a tasty, crispy snack. Get the Potato Peel Chips recipe.

Blistered Shishito Peppers

We like shishito peppers pan fried—just a few minutes in a cast-iron skillet with a high-smoke-point oil, salt, and pepper—but they’re even more special with a tangy lemon pepper aioli. Get the Blistered Shishito Peppers recipe.

Caramelized Shallot and Chive Yogurt Dip

Think of this as onion dip’s younger sibling. This riff on a classic has all the hallmark savory flavor and aroma but takes things a step further by swapping onions for caramelized shallots and adding lemon juice into the mix. (Tip: If you’re not a huge fan of tang, simply swap the yogurt for sour cream.) Get the Caramelized Shallot and Chive Yogurt Dip recipe.

Hearty Veggie Chili

Regardless of what bean or grain you grabbed, and regardless of what veggies you have in your fridge, as long as you cook everything down with smokey, spicy herbs and spices, you’ll have a filling vegetarian-friendly chili in less than an hour. Don’t forget the cheese and sour cream. Get the Hearty Veggie Chili recipe.

Yogurt Beet Dip

When we’re looking for a low-stress app everyone will enjoy digging into, we make this beet yogurt dip. The vibrant color alone will get plenty of oohs and aahs. To prep a crudités platter, check out your weekly box and go from there. You’re on the lookout for crunchy carrots, peppery radishes, tender lettuces, or even a couple of apples. Get the Yogurt Beet Dip recipe.

Blueberry Mango Salsa

Haven’t strayed beyond the plain-old tomato, pepper, and onion salsa yet? We’ve got a challenge for you. Whip up this fruity version the next time you’re asked to bring a side to an event. We guarantee rave reviews, and maybe a repeat invite to their next party. Get the Blueberry Mango Salsa recipe.

Bobby Flay’s Radicchio Lettuce Cups

Our chef-in-residence Bobby Flay makes magic out of radicchio with this spin on stuffed lettuce cups. The somewhat bitter leaves complement spiced chicken thighs perfectly, plus they’re sturdy enough to hold all of the fixings: Pickled peppers and a date and cashew relish, plus a much needed squeeze of lime. Get Bobby Flay’s Radicchio Lettuce Cups recipe.

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