Hosting a Super Bowl party doesn’t have to make your hair fall out. It can be fun if you come at it with a plan. All party essentials fall into four categories: drinks, appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Hitting the supermarket with these four categories laid out is the key to successful party planning. Here is VinePair’s official shopping list for the ultimate game day party:
Another major key: get some low alcohol session beers, by which we mean, anything hovering around 5 percent alcohol by volume. Think Founder’s All Day IPA, Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale, Sierra Nevada Nooner.
Some people will drink more, some will drink less, but buy enough beer for everyone to have four. You’ll likely have extra, but it’s better than getting caught empty handed.
Batch cocktails: Don’t get caught playing bartender while the game is going on. Pick one cocktail and pre-batch it. Then, put it in a large punch bowl with some ice in another bowl next to it, and let things flow naturally from there. Good pre-batch cocktails include Negronis, Margaritas, and Sidecars.
Wine: Beer has traditionally held sway over all super bowl party beverages, but wine is gaining steam. Keep a couple of cost-efficient bottles of both red and white on hand. For the real deals, check out VinePair’s supermarket wine recommendations for good bottles under $15.
Soft pretzel bites and spicy cheese dip: For this recipe, you’re going to need pretzels (get the kind that go in the oven, not the microwave), one bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, jalapeños, whole milk, and garlic powder. Serve it as an appetizer alongside all those beers you just got.
Veggie Platter: Celery, grape tomatoes, carrots, ranch dip — the usual deal. Don’t over think it.
Spinach artichoke dip: Spinach artichoke dip won’t survive to the end of the party; that’s how good it is. Check out Alton Brown’s recipe for some of the best. You’ll need frozen spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, sour cream, parmesan, red pepper flakes, salt, and garlic powder. Complete it by spreading it on thin toast, or have pita chips to dip.
Cheese, charcuterie, and spicy sausage appetizer plate: Easy spicy sausage you can grill up and cut into bites. Cover all types of cheese people love by getting a small piece each of camembert cheese, goat cheese, smoked gouda, gruyere, and parmesan. For the charcuterie, pick up prosciutto, salami, soppressata, and capicola.
The Main Event
Crockpot pork shoulder tacos: Get a hunk of pork shoulder you can slow cook throughout the day with jalapeños, spices, beer (for the crockpot) and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Then have some corn tortillas, cilantro, crumbly fresco cheese, and pica de gallo on the side. It’s easy enough to make, and people can serve themselves when their team is losing.
Hearty kabobs: Easy to make, fast, and a good excuse to escape from the halftime show. Make sure to go with variety when it comes to lining up your skewers: shrimp, bell pepper, mushroom, chicken, beef, zucchini, tomato, and onion all drizzled with a balsamic vinegar and lemon olive oil.
Frito Pie: When all else fails, you can always turn to Frito Pie. It’s simple enough: small Frito bags, chili, shredded or melted cheese, chives, and jalapeño. Heat up all the ingredients, cut the top off a bag of Fritos, and serve. Just whatever you do, don’t call them walking tacos.
Italian wine cookies: If you have leftover wine (and we know that’s a big if; we see you, VinePair readers), Italian wine cookies are what you need to make. All you need is wine, oil, sugar, salt, flour, and frosting.
Boozy thin mints: Franca Menta thin mints are a bit more involved than easy bake oven brownies, but they are so worth it. You’ll need Franca Menta (obviously), cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, sugar, bugger, eggs, peppermint extract, and semisweet chocolate chips.