Giant tailgates and huge house parties aren't a safe option for football fans this weekend amid the pandemic, but you can still pack big flavor into small snacks for Super Bowl Sunday.
Whether you're planning a socially distant outdoor watch party, cutting your crowd size down to a couple of close friends or just cooking game day recipes for yourself, there's no shortage of delicious individual-sized snacks that everyone will love so we have recipes and tips to pull it all together.
Sure, you may not want or need an entire pot of chili this year -- although it's one of the best things to freeze and reheat (here's a recipe JIC) -- but these downsized options will live up to all the big game hype.
Super scaled-down portions of game day favorites
"A lot of the traditional Super Bowl foods size down perfectly for small gatherings," David Tamarkin, digital director of Epicurious, told "Good Morning America." "Nachos can be made in as small a batch as you want. You can make deviled eggs with as few as two eggs -- or just one, really. And samosas are perfect, because you can simply freeze any that you don't eat."
To turn a sharable dish into an individual item, Tamarkin suggests using popcorn bags. "Make a big batch and divide it between small brown paper lunch bags," he said.
Check out his favorite buffalo chicken recipe here that replicates "boneless wings," which he recommends for anyone planning to eat solo this Super Bowl. "Wings work because it's perfectly acceptable to eat a plate of wings and call it dinner," he said. "I also love this avocado dip because it feels decadent, but it's also pretty healthy -- so eating a whole batch of it won't make you sick.
Rather than serving appetizers on a large platter, plate up a few jalapeño poppers on a small disposable plate or serve chicken wings in an individual glass with all the fixings. You can even tackle the meat and cheeseboard trend in single-serving form with the help of a mason jar!
There's a wide range of recipes to choose from for Sunday, so take a look at the dishes below and make the one that best suits your Super Bowl plans!
Cookbook author, recipe developer and chef MacKenzie Smith shared a genius game day snack hack
"You might try a jarcuterie -- charcuterie in a jar -- so that each family member has their very own charcuterie," she suggested of the COVID-19-conscious food trend.
Simply assemble your favorite party snacks, meats, cheeses and accompaniments like veggies or spreads and stack into small jars to create individual charcuterie servings.
The Best Jalapeño Poppers
The Modern Proper bloggers Holly Erickson and Natalie Mortimer told "GMA" that for them the big game is "more about the food" so while they personally "won't be cheering from a living room overflowing with friends, we still plan to eat well."
For this dish, they recommend wearing plastic gloves to remove the seeds safely and a good paring knife to make slicing the peppers in half lengthwise a breeze.
Makes: 4 servings Cook Time: 30 min
10 fresh jalapenos
8 oz parmesan cheese, shredded
8 oz cream cheese, room temp
4 pieces of thick cut bacon, cooked and finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup panko
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the parmesan cheese, cream cheese, crumbled bacon, chives, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Using kitchen gloves or a plastic grocery sack to protect your hands, halve each jalapeño lengthwise. Remove seeds and membranes using a paring knife. Spoon cheese mixture evenly into each jalapeño half.
Melt butter and pour over panko. Toss to coat. Sprinkle evenly over each popper. Place the peppers, cut side up, on a baking sheet and bake on the bottom rack until the cheese has melted, jalapeños have softened and panko is golden brown. About 30minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Beef Sliders with Sun-Dried Tomato Mayo and Spicy Pickles
Cook Time: 15 min
10 mini brioche buns
1 lb ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 oz blue cheese, crumbled1 tablespoon Worcestershire1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sweet and spicy pickles (or store-bought)
Sun-Dried Tomato Mayo
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
3 garlic cloves
2-3 freshly ground pepper
To make the sun-dried tomato mayo add all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. This can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
In a medium bowl, combing the ground beef, garlic, blue cheese, Worcestershire, mustard, salt and pepper.
Using your hands form 10 patties 2-inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Using your thumb make a small indentation in the middle of each patty.
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium/high heat until just beginning to smoke. Arrange patties in the skillet so they are not crowded. (You may have to cook them in two batches.) Once the patties are brown on one side (about 3 minutes) flip them and cook on the other side for 2 more minutes. Once the patties are cooked, transfer them to a paper towel lined platter and cook the second batch.
Toast the buns on a baking sheet cut side up on broil for just a few minutes until golden brown. Serve sliders on the buns with spicy pickles, arugula and sun-dried tomato mayo. Use a toothpick to hold together.
Don't feel like making your own spicy pickles? These ready-to-eat options from SuckerPunch pack the right heat and tang you need for a slider or to eat on their own during game day.
"Pickles don’t need to only be a garnish on your Super Bowl spread or as a fixing on a burger or sandwich," David van Alphen, founder of SuckerPunch Gourmet reminded. "My favorite way to serve pickles on game day is to fry them up in a batter so they’re nice and crunchy. If you’re being extra cautious about sharing food this Sunday, personal-sized pickle snack packs are a great way to go, too. They’re savory and salty like potato chips, but without the carbs."
Buffalo Chicken Empanadas
Since these perfectly crimped, hand-held pockets are individual-sized snacks, its the perfect game day food for a smaller soiree.
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Frank's RedHot
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese blend1 package (14 ounces) empanada discos, (10 pieces)
Oil for frying
Combine the cream cheese, Frank's RedHot Sauce and dressing in medium bowl until blended. Stir in chicken and cheese.
Place about 1/4 cup chicken mixture in center of each disco. Fold over to form a half moon. Moisten edges with water and using fork, press edges tightly to seal. Pierce empanadas several times with knife.
Heat 1-inch of oil in deep skillet. Add empanadas in batches and fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining empanadas.
Serve with additional Frank's RedHot Sauce and/or blue cheese dressing for dipping.
Recipe reprinted courtesy of Frank's RedHot Sauce
BBQ Chicken Baked Pull-Apart Sliders
1 12-count dinner rolls, not pulled apart
1 16-ounce container shredded chicken in BBQ sauce
8 slices pepper jack cheese
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Slice sheet of dinner rolls in half horizontally. Place bottom half of rolls in prepared baking dish.
Spoon shredded chicken in BBQ sauce on top of roll bottoms, spreading to cover.
Top meat with cheese slices. Cover with bun tops.
In small bowl, combine melted butter and parsley. Brush tops of buns with butter mixture.
Bake 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted, sliders are warmed through and bun tops are toasted.
Recipe reprinted courtesy of Hormel Foods.
Air Fryer Cilantro Lime Chicken Wings
Makes: 6-8 servings
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped1/2 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 pounds fresh uncooked chicken wings, drumettes and wings separated
To make marinade, combine cilantro, lime juice, oil, chili powder, cumin, ginger, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk well to combine.
Coat wings in marinade using one or two large resealable plastic bags. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
Divide wings between the air fry basket and Ninja® Roast Sheet Pan, making sure wings are not crowding each other.
Install the wire rack on Level 2. Select AIR FRY, select 2 LEVEL, set temperature to 390 degrees, and set time to 40 minutes. Select START/STOP to begin preheating.
When the unit has preheated, place pan on wire rack on Level 2. Slide the basket in o the rails of Level 4. Close oven door to begin cooking.
Check wings at 40 minutes. If increased crisping is desired, add an additional 10 minutes. When cooking is complete, allow wings to cool slightly before serving.
Recipe reprinted courtesy of Ninja.
Pepperoni Pizza Rollups
Chef Smith also shared a bite-sized spin on pizza and told the "Heart to Table" podcast that the simple recipe from Hormel Foods is perfect for smaller game day plans.
1 (13.8-ounce) refrigerated pizza dough
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup pizza sauce
Dried basil, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
30 Hormel Pepperoni
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Additional pizza sauce, for dipping
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out refrigerated pizza dough onto lightly floured surface. Roll into 9x12-inch rectangle. Brush top lightly with olive oil.
Using fork, poke multiple indents into the surface of dough to prevent bubbling. Spread pizza sauce on top of dough. Sprinkle lightly with basil and garlic powder, to taste. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over sauce. Top cheese with pepperoni slices. Carefully roll dough into long, tight log, starting at the long side. Place log on prepared baking sheet, seam-side down. Refrigerate 25 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator and cut log into 12 (1-inch) slices. Pour cornmeal into small bowl. Dip the bottom of each roll into cornmeal and place on baking sheet, cornmeal-side down. Sprinkle tops of rolls with Parmesan cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until sides are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.
Recipe reprinted courtesy of Hormel Foods.
So You Want to Watch and Eat Outside?
Finally, for folks planning an outdoor spread, Tamarkin said "skip warm foods altogether. Go for things that need to be kept cold, like guacamole, oysters, and lots of beer."
Editor's note: This story was originally published on Feb. 4, 2021.