25 Great Game Day Appetizers

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Football is foodball in my book. Game day appetizers are so yummy, I could eat them all the time, even if I didn’t even like the game! Try these apps for your next game day.

healthy spinach dip with veggies and crackers

I confess. I’m not really a football fan.

But my husband is. Me, I’m just here for the food.

Football, or foodball, as I occasionally call it, gives itself to eating good food. I don’t know what it is.

Baseball is simple: a Dodger dog and a chocolate malt. Hockey: poutine. Basketball? I don’t even know.

But, football? Football calls for all the food! Am I right?

I’ve done you a favor and rounded up some super yummy, easy-to-prep, budget-friendly game day appetizers.

What should I make for game day?

Game day lends itself to fun food. Think about those special treats that you just can’t wait to dig into. Doritos and BBQ potato chips are at the top of my list!

Consider where you’ll be eating. Chances are your TV is not best seen from your dining room table. If it is, well, serve whatever you like!

But, chances are your television — and prime game-viewing seats — are a little more comfortable for sitting. They don’t, however, lend themselves to three course meals with forks and knives.

Focus on finger foods for game day. You and your guests can sit comfortably around the TV and not worry about balancing precarious plates in your laps while you try to cut up your food.

Finger foods for the win, my friend!

zucchini fritters on tasting plates

What are some examples of finger foods?

Finger foods are any items that can be eaten with the fingers. Buffalo chicken wings come to mind immediately for game day, don’t they?

There are plenty of goodies besides wings. Think of chips, dips, bite-size snacks, and easy to eat items, like chicken strips or Zucchini Fritters for your game day appetizers.

How should I serve finger foods at a party?

Consider these serving tips when you set up your game day spread:

No fancy dip and chip bowl?

No problem. Spoon the dip into a martini glass. Place the glass in the bowl before adding the chips. The dip will be elevated above the chips allowing easy access to both without having to buy a dedicated chip and dip bowl. 

Stagger your staging.

Don’t bring out the hot stuff until the bulk of your crowd has arrived. Let the early birds and punctual folk much on chips and dips at first.

Then bring out the warm appetizers as a second shift. Or, if you’d rather, serve the hot stuff to the folks who show up on time. 😉

Keep your cooties to yourself.

With cold and flu season upon us, don’t set up a big bowl of tiny munchies for every Tom, Dick, and Harry to stick his grubby hands in.

Instead, pre-portion these snack foods into smaller vessels, like tasting cups (aka shot glasses), ramekins, or even silicone muffin cups.

What should I serve with hot wings?

I know, you’ve still got hot wings on your mind. Me, too. 

Serve hot wings with a variety of sauces (scroll down to see some of my favorites) as well as plenty of crunchy items like a veggie and relish tray as well as other bite-sized, game day appetizers.

25 Great Game Day Appetizers

You'll be the hit of the party when you serve up a feast of finger foods to your guests. These easy-to-serve game day appetizers will please fans of all ages.

Chicken strips are a restaurant standard, but they taste so much better prepared at home. Add these Fried Chicken Strips to your party platter with a variety of sauces for dipping. […]

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Since it contains no sugar, this easy BBQ sauce is good for those watching their sugar intake and works for the Whole 30 diet. It’s great for dipping any of your game day appetizers.

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Have a hankering for that delicious yogurt sauce that comes with gyros? You can make your own easily at home with this simple Greek Tzatziki Recipe. It's a delicious dip for meats, veggies, and pita bread.[…]

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Ready for a fun and flavorful dinner? Cook up a batch of fried Chicken Patties. Better than any chicken nuggets, they make a delicious appetizer or party snack. […]

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Enjoy a flavorful appetizer with this easy stuffed mushrooms recipe. Bacon, greens, and cheese make the humble mushroom amazing! It will be hard to stop yourself from eating them all![…]

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Enjoy the classic jalapeno poppers appetizers without getting flamed by the heat. In this easy jalapeno poppers recipe, rice and dairy tame the flames, while bacon keeps it flavorful. They are the ultimate game day food.[…]

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Enjoy all the bright flavors of summer in this easy-to-prep Pesto Bruschetta. Even in the off-season grape tomatoes can make an ideal appetizer. […]

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Santa Barbara Caviar is a delicious bean dip that acts like a salsa. It’s perfect with chips as a fun party starter. […]

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Feed a crowd and your hunger for loaded nachos all in one fell swoop. This One-Pan Chicken Nachos recipe will have you set for success. […]

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Tomatoes and toast are perfect companions. Not only are they generally affordable, but they're also a hit at any party when you make this Tomato Salad and serve it with baby toasts. […]

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When they bake up golden crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. Try these Parmesan Potato Coins for an ultimate appetizer or side dish. […]

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Samosa Cups are crunchy little bundles of seasoned ground meat, onions, and African spices. They are a delicious shortcut to traditional samosa. […]

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This Spicy Chicken Dip is out of this world. Creamy, cheesy, spicy, and full of tender chicken pieces, this dip will please kids and adults alike.

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Homemade dips take just minutes to make and use up all that herbal goodness just waiting in your spice cupboard. This Sour Cream and Dill Dip is perfect for veggies, chips, or crackers. […]

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Bake brie cheese under a bed of cranberry sauce and basil and you have the simplest, but fanciest appetizer, ready to serve to the masses.[…]

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I love jalapeno poppers, but I don't love the tediousness or the expense of bacon. Have the best of both worlds with this easy Jalapeño Popper Nachos dish! […]

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Asiago cheese, artichokes, and diced green chiles combine in a hot and bubbly dip that is sure to bring comfort on a cold game day. […]

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Herbed Mayonnaise is a delightful addition to sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and to use as a dip for artichokes, sweet potato fries, and even chicken strips. It’s simple to make, and absolutely delicious. […]

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These Sweet Potato Fries are super simple make, and they taste great! Bake up a batch in about 30 minutes with no fuss or hassle. No waiting in lines, either. […]

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A relish tray is a great dish to add to the appetizer or dinner table. My mom’s recipe is super simple with veggies, olives, and pickles. […]

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Make the classic appetizer a little better for you with this Healthy Spinach Dip. Yogurt instead of mayonnaise and herbs and spices instead of a packaged soup mix make it delicious — and good for you, too. […]

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This recipe will help you make Sour Cream Onion Dip easy and without any packaged soup mix. It’s perfect for snacking! […]

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Potstickers are an easy appetizer or main dish. Dress them up with this homemade dipping sauce that comes together in minutes.

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Trail Mix is pretty pricey at the grocery store, but homemade is super simple to prep. Plus you can control the quality and proportions of the fruit, seeds, and chocolate you include. Prepare the easiest and tastiest of snacks with this simple Trail Mix Recipe with Fruit, Seeds, and Chocolate. It’s delicious on its own, atop […]

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Hot dips are the perfect appetizer to serve on cold nights. Typically, rich and cheesy, they break the ice at any get-together. […]

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What are YOUR favorite game day appetizers?

P.S. Don’t forget to follow these tips for tailgate food on a budget.

25 Great Game Day Appetizers

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. Elizabeth says

    Thanks for the yummy appetizer recipes!

    I’m a little confused about the cable. Basic channels (ABC, FOX, NBC, etc) are free over the air. We don’t have cable but do have an HD antenna, so we will get the Super Bowl anyway. Is it not like that for you?

    • We don’t get any channels without a cable hookup. Not sure if the hd TV came with an antennae, but I’ll double check.

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