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I can’t really explain it, but whenever I sit down to watch football, I get a sudden craving for foods teeming with meat. Is that a studly, handsome quarterback with bulging arm muscles dashing this way and that? Pass the hot wings. Did those players just fall on top of each other and tussle around on the field? Or was it something more? Cocktail wiener, stat!!!
Why I’m suddenly filled with a lust for flesh any time I see shoulder pads is a mystery to me, but let’s just say that I don’t go into game day without something meaty on the table. Knowing that and if you’re anything like me, here are 25 game day recipes that will satisfy everyone’s inner carnivore from kickoff to halftime and on through to the after-show.
Related Reading: The Best Game Day Grub to Order Online
Self-serve and customizable, these dogs are the perfect noshes for a casual get-together. Is there a Bison team? If not, sub whatever animal mascot represents the team you oppose. Get our Bison Chili Cheese Dogs recipe.
Related Reading: How to Cook Hot Dogs in a Crock-Pot
If it’s February, chances are that the weather outside is too cold for throwing some bangers on the grill. You can still get your sausage fix, however, by braising some brats in beer and infusing them with the aromas of hops and malt. Get our Beer-Braised Bratwursts with Onion recipe.
There are those among us who are more into game day eats than the actual game. These corn dogs bites are the perfect Sunday cooking project to keep you busy in the kitchen instead of feigning interest in front of the TV. Get our Mini Beer-and-Sausage Corn Dogs recipe.
The problem with nachos is that it’s impossible to get an even distribution of toppings while also having them all stay put on your chip as it travels from the plate to your mouth. This recipe solves that problem by adhering everything with a layer of cheese, because a dip that cheeses together stays together. Get our Spicy Chicken and Chile Taco Dip recipe.
Do you feel like there just aren’t enough buffalo-flavored things in your life (or dip versions of your favorite football foods)? Well, we’ve got a recipe for you: this spicy, cheesy, chicken-laced dip makes it possible to get your fix by the shovel-full, so grab some chips and start scooping. Get our Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe.
Sure, you could order a pizza and call it a day, but my guess is that if you’re reading this list, you’re not having just any old, run-of-the-mill game day party. Flip the script by turning that pizza into a dip, one that gushes with melted cheese and pepperoni in every oozing bite. Get our Pepperoni Pizza Dip recipe.
It wouldn’t be a real meat lovers game day party unless you find a way to sneak meat into everything. Including the guac. Oh, and while you’re at it, why not the crudité plate and dessert too? Get our Bacon and Tomato Guacamole recipe.
A game day feast without buffalo wings would be like a summer day without sunshine, a song without a melody, or, well, you get the point. Make sure to stock up on celery and blue cheese too while you’re at the market. Get our Easy Buffalo Wings recipe.
Not a fan of buffalo? Okay, we’ll forgive you, maybe. But you’ve still got to put some wings on the menu to make things complete: these sweet ‘n sour ones with a dash of soy sauce will step up to the plate. Get our Maple-Mustard Wings recipe.
Related Reading: 12 Touchdown-Worthy Wing Recipes
Face it: With so many appetizers to chow down on, you’re not going to be having a real dinner tonight. You know, with like vegetables and stuff. But you can at least make a nod to supper with these pot pie bites that shrink the classic entree down to handheld size. Get our Chicken Pot Pie Bites recipe.
These fiery, bite-size bombs of glory are the perfect use for your smokiest bacon. But save a few poppers in the kitchen because they’re sure to disappear like air in a Patriot pigskin. Get our Bacon and Cheddar Jalapeño Poppers recipe.
Related Reading: 13 Jalapeño Popper Recipes to Spice Things Up
12. Beef Pierogies
Pierogies may seem like a left field choice for a game day appetizer, but think about it: They’re fried, they’re beefy, and they go great with sour cream. Sounds like a classic nosh to me. Get our Beef Pierogies recipe.
Prosciutto isn’t just for fancy antipasti plates. It can get down and dirty too with comfort food classics like mac ‘n cheese. Get our Prosciutto-Wrapped Macaroni and Cheese Cups recipe.
There’s not a foul ball in the bunch with these meaty bites. If you don’t have any ground elk meat in your icebox (although really, why wouldn’t you?), you can feel free to swap in lean beef. Get our Elk Meatballs with Bourbon Barbecue Sauce recipe.
Make a big hunk of pulled pork and it will be the gift that keeps on giving. You can use it to stuff these saucy little sliders, or put it on top of the nachos that are further down this list. Get our Beer-Braised Pulled Pork Sliders recipe.
It’s a known fact that foods are more fun when you shrink them down to miniature size. These roast beef sliders are full proof, packing tons of beefy and sweet onion flavor into each bite. Get our Roast Beef and Caramelized Onion Sliders recipe.
I suppose you could make nachos with only salsa and cheese, but would it be this meltingly sultry and satisfying? I think not. Get our Pulled Pork Nachos recipe.
Because it’s never enough to just sear a steak. You’ve also got to surround it with cheese, fold it into a flour tortilla, and eat it with the spiciest sauce that you can handle. Get our Grilled Steak Quesadillas recipe.
You can dig into this beefy chili straight with a spoon or slather it over hot dogs and nachos. Either way, you’ll want to have some melty cheese and sour cream on hand to top it off. Get our Easy Slow Cooker Chili recipe.
You could try to get all elaborate and fill these with provolone or, heaven forbid, Swiss cheese, but really it’s all about the Wiz. Get our Philly Cheesesteak Potato Skins recipe.
Anything a sandwich can do, a potato can do too (and sometimes better). Set these out for your gluten-free friends. Get our Reuben Potato Skins recipe.
Related Reading: How to Make Potato Skins Perfectly Crispy
22. Patty Melts
Thinly sliced beef with oozing cheese on buttered toast is incredibly delicious, but this is a recipe for a small gathering. Make these sandwiches in small batches for only your favorite people, because no one wants a lukewarm melt that’s been hanging out. Get our Patty Melts recipe.
Yeah, that’s right: chicken-fried chicken. You’ll want plenty of piquant pickled cubanelle peppers to balance out all of the meat’s greasy, crispy deliciousness. Get our Chicken-Fried Chicken.
Bun, meat, meat, meat, cheese, meat, meat, meat. This is the layman’s definition of a touchdown. Get our Juicy Lucy Burgers recipe.
Related Video: Step Up Your Wing Game
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