The Game Day Tradition
On game day, food isn’t just part of the party, it is the party. If you haven’t switched up your game day food since the Cowboys were in the Superbowl, it’s time for a change! 2018 is the year you elevate your game, and your tailgate guests will be grateful. Trust us…no one wants another JELLO mold shaped like a football.
Here are a few ideas for creating a game day spread for the ages.
Dips are the undisputed kings of game day. They’re easy to prepare, they feed a crowd, and they tend to last the length of the game without getting soggy. We’re particularly fond of hot dips kept warm in mini slow cookers, like a Zesty Sausage and Cheese dip made with premium Papa Cantella’s Hot Italian Sausage. Other simple options include black bean dip (with sausage added, of course!), French onion dip, or even a homemade salsa. Just bring plenty and be sure to have extra chips and veggies for dipping on-hand!
Make the Meat Separate
If you’re not sure whether all your guests eat meat, it’s smart to choose a few meat-centric dishes that will please even the hungriest carnivores and to have a plethora of vegetarian sides as well. We always keep a pot of Hot & Spicy Sausage Hors D’Oeuvres on the stove when the game’s on in the background, and it stays warm in one of those mini slow cookers when we take our tailgate on the road. If you’ve got a grill, fire up some brats alongside vegetarian favorites like portobello mushrooms to keep everyone happy (and well-fed.)
Seriously, who doesn’t love a good sandwich? Sandwiches can be made ahead of time, travel well, and can be portioned to feed a huge crowd. They’re basically the perfect game day food. We’re partial to a couple of huge New Orleans-Style Muffalettas but we’ve been known to throw together a large Italian Hoagie and a Sausage Sandwich or two! Muffaletas work particularly well for game days because they get better as they sit; the flavors meld and create a totally unique, totally memorable flavor combination.
Our favorite part of the football season is when the weather chills and the leaves start getting crunchy. Soup is an ideal treat for days like these and, bonus, a big pot of soup can feed a dozen people easily. Game days usually have us making Papa’s original recipe Sicilian Sausage Soup or even chili with sausage, but we usually just cook around whichever sausage we have in the fridge. Soup is endlessly flexible and forgiving, and you can make it the day before! Be sure to bring some disposable cups and spoons so everyone can eat their soup easily while they mill about.
Remember, crowd-pleasing food doesn’t have to be complicated. Game day is all about hanging out with friends and, of course, watching the game! Don’t choose to cook anything that has you slaving over a grill or constantly stirring a pan. The easier and heartier the better, if you ask us!