Raise your hand if you’re excited for this year’s Super Bowl. Now raise your hand if you are neither a Patriots nor Eagles fan, and are only showing up to your friend’s party for the food, because that’s basically where I’m at right now. So many things went wrong this season for my Dallas Cowboys, and even though I’ll admit I’m mighty bitter about it, easy Super Bowl appetizers I can throw together and indulge in as I eat my feelings through the last four quarters of this pathetic excuse for a football season are what’s going to hold me over until August — that, and Justin Timberlake’s halftime performance.
Seriously though — and I’m not entirely trying to throw shade here BTW — no one actually cares about this year's Super Bowl unless they’re die-hard New England or Philly fans. If you hate the Eagles, you’re rooting for the Pats (aka me), and if you hate the Pats, you’re rooting for the Eagles. If you couldn't care less, you’re rooting for mozzarella sticks, buffalo-coated anything, and an ice cold beer to chase down the painful reality that your team is, yet again, absent from the biggest game of the season. Again, I’m clearly (albeit, shamelessly) bitter.
If you're hosting this year's soirée at your humble abode, or adding to a potluck, here are a few crowd-pleasing appetizers that are easy to make and delicious to eat.
1. Black Bean Lettuce Wraps
Typically, I’d mop up my Cowboys-loss tears with a hefty carbo-load, but in the name of healthy living, let’s think outside the White Castle to-go slider box, shall we?
Foodie blogger Collectively Christine came up with this super simple recipe you can roll together before heading out to your pity — I’m sorry, Super Bowl party, with ingredients you can buy at the store the morning of. Just pick up a container of pico de gallo, a can or two of black beans, some delicious guac, and roll it all on up in a lettuce wrap for snacking.
2. Jalapeño Poppers With A Twist
Some party people like it hot, so bring on the jalapeño spice with these delicious poppers, courtesy of Debbie Net.
Now, what sets these finger foods apart from your standard, chain restaurant-style appetizer is that they’re topped with juicy, savory bacon crumbles for extra flavor. If you can’t take the heat, that’s fine! More for the rest of us.
3. Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
I'm obsessed with anything buffalo-flavored, but ever since I went plant-based, I had to find veg-friendly alternatives to the chicken wings I’d indulge in once every few weeks. The recipe above works great, and Mother Thyme blogger Jenn’s recipe for cauliflower buffalo dip is currently in my fridge! It definitely exceeded my expectations in terms of flavor and texture. Enjoy it cold, or serve it warm, fresh out of the pot.
4. Crispy Oven-Baked Fries
If you can walk away from this article knowing one random fact about me — besides my obsession with the Dallas Cowboys — it’s that I could live off of potatoes, specifically French fries.
Ever since I came across From My Bowl blogger Caitlin Shoemaker — who has made a stunningly valid argument that spuds don’t have to be a side dish, they can actually be a meal in and of themselves — I’ve made a batch at least once per week. In the video above, Shoemaker offers three how-to recipes for crispy oven-baked fries that only require potatoes and seasonings. That’s right, friends — no oil necessary.
5. Jackfruit Nachos
What I personally love about Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen is that the foodie blogger’s recipes are usually customizable. I chose to include this particular appetizer because if you substitute with store-bought cheese (vegan or otherwise), it’s a really simple finger food to throw together.
If you’re unfamiliar with jackfruit, it’s essentially a meat substitute vegans can’t get enough of because it’s so yummy, takes on the flavor of any seasoning/marinade, and offers a ton of health benefits: It's rich in vitamin A, boosts energy levels, promotes hair growth, and the list goes on.
Upton’s Naturals sells pre-marinated jackfruit that you can store in the fridge or freezer, and heat over a stove top when you’re ready to eat, so there’s another step you can easily bypass. Add the rest of your veggies, and you’re good to go.
6. Trail Mix
It certainly doesn’t feel like fall by the time February rolls around, but football is still considered a fall sport, which means we should absolutely incorporate autumnal flavors into our Super Bowl party spread, don’t you think?
Before serving the heavier apps like wings and cheesy dips, combine your favorite nuts, dried fruits, seeds, even some chocolate pieces to a bowl and watch your guests mindlessly graze through conversations predicting Tom Brady’s sixth Vince Lombardi trophy (*yawn*).
I am about to make your life so easy. Are you ready? Instead of making your own hummus from scratch — which would be admirable, BTW — I’ve discovered the culinary genius that is Hope Foods and their line of flavored hummus.
Mind you, these flavors aren’t the usual red pepper and garlic containers you’d typically see at the grocery store. Some of their bold flavors include spicy avocado and jalapeño cilantro, but they also have a few more mild, yet still flavorful alternatives like kale pesto and black garlic. I promise you, these are a foolproof crowd-pleaser, so own your lazy side and treat yo’self.
8. Bean Dip
CashWise Foods calls this recipe the "cowboy caviar," because it’s made with minimal, whole food ingredients and just tastes so damn good. All you'll need is a can each of black beans, pinto beans, and corn, along with some pico de gallo, Italian dressing, and a big bowl to mix it all together so each flavor comes through in every bite. It doesn't get much easier than that.
9. Seven-Layer Taco Dip
I know you must be thinking I'm out of my mind for throwing a seven-layer recipe on to this "easy" lineup of Super Bowl appetizers, but trust me, this is really simple to make.
Serena of the blog Serena Bakes Simply from Scratch said this decadent snack is super easy to throw together, and that's probably because most of what you're buying comes pre-made. You're going to make some spicy ground beef, heat up some refried beans, slather on some sour cream, guac, salsa, and Mexican cheese blend for a taste your guests' buds will keep going back for.