17 Super Bowl Recipes for the Tiniest Tailgate

So you won’t be downing a plate of too-hot jalapeño poppers in a crowded bar during the Super Bowl. But you can delight in a spicy, cheesy treat from the comfort (and safety!) of your home.

This year, make a couple of snacks for you and your family or your Chiefs-loving roommate, and call it the world’s tiniest tailgate. To help you channel those game-day vibes, here are some NYT Cooking recipes that are as easy to scale down as they are delicious.

1. Jalapeño Poppers

Alexa Weibel stuffs these with a bright and tangy cream cheese, wraps them in bacon and pops them in the oven. What’s not to love? While the recipe makes 24 poppers, this might be the easiest dish to scale down to one or two servings. (Or just eat all 24!)

Recipe: Jalapeño Poppers

2. Bricklayer-Style Nachos

Nachos are a blank canvas, and you are the artist. For inspiration, look to Pati Jinich’s version with bricklayer-style beef, a beloved taco filling in Mexico, or Andrea Nguyen’s mapo tofu-topped recipe or Priya and Ritu Krishna’s Indian-ish nachos.

Recipes: Bricklayer-Style Nachos | Mapo Tofu Nachos | Indian-ish Nachos With Cheddar, Black Beans and Chutney

3. Buffalo Chicken Dip

This recipe is ideal for those cooks who like the idea of Buffalo wings, but would prefer something just a touch less fussy. A 20-minute, one-pan wonder, this creamy and spicy dip might be the day’s real Super Bowl M.V.P. And while the dip can certainly feed a group, readers found other serving-size alternatives. “Is it bad if two people eat the whole thing in an hour?” wrote one NYT Cooking user. “Asking for a friend.”

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip

[View our recipe collection of All Things Buffalo.]

4. Air-Fryer French Fries

Air fryer hive, this one goes out to you. While these may not pack the same crunch as the deep-fried kind, these air-fried fries from Melissa Clark certainly outshine the oven-baked variety. Consider pairing them with some air-fryer spicy chicken wings?

Recipes: Air-Fryer French Fries | Air-Fryer Spicy Chicken Wings

5. Baked Buffalo Wings

The key to crispy wings from an oven? Ali Slagle advises a quick toss in a mixture of baking powder and salt — with the option of dry-brining, should your schedule allow it. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, look no further than her recipe for Buffalo cauliflower.

Recipes: Baked Buffalo Wings | Buffalo Cauliflower

[View our collection of Chicken Wing Recipes.]

6. Vegan ‘Queso’

Skip the bright-orange cheesy dip and try something new: This vegan dip leans on cashews for creaminess and turmeric for vibrancy. Adapted by Tejal Rao from the cookbook “Amá: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen,” this “queso” is topped with a tomatillo salsa and garnished with cilantro and red onion. Of course, you always have the option to go classic queso with Alexa Weibel’s Tex-Mex interpretation.

Recipes: Vegan ‘Queso’ | Queso

7. Coconut Shrimp

Is it an appetizer for four? Is it an entree for two? The beauty of coconut shrimp is that it’s whatever you want it to be. Just don’t skip Margaux Laskey’s spicy-sweet dip made with marmalade, Dijon mustard and Sriracha.

Recipe: Coconut Shrimp

8. Vegetarian Skillet Chili

Melissa Clark has her 30-minute chili recipe committed to memory, it’s that easy. Make it once, and you’ll memorize it, too. If you’re the type to keep canned beans, tomatoes, onion and garlic on hand, you won’t even have to dash out to the store and risk missing kickoff.

Recipe: Vegetarian Skillet Chili

[View our collection of 20 Great Chili Recipes, and our How to Make Chili guide.]

9. Pressure Cooker Hot Honey Ribs

These sticky, spicy, fall-off-the-bone ribs from Sarah DiGregorio come together in a little over an hour thanks to the trusty pressure cooker. You’ll want to stick these under the broiler after you glaze them to ensure a perfectly caramelized exterior. We’ll take ours with an ice-cold beer.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Hot Honey Ribs

10. Chile Verde Guacamole

You won’t find lime juice in this guacamole from the northern Mexican state of Sonora. But you won’t miss it either, thanks to the flavorful combination of roasted Anaheim and raw serrano chiles in this recipe by Pati Jinich.

Recipe: Chile Verde Guacamole

11. Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken With Fried Basil

Stuffed jalapeños aren’t the only poppable snack on this list. These aromatic bites of fried chicken are popular at Taiwanese night markets and often served in a paper bag with wooden skewers. Sue Li’s recipe is crunchy and flavor-packed — two must-have qualities of a game-day dish.

Recipe: Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken With Fried Basil

12. Spinach Artichoke Dip

If you’re determined to recreate that sports-bar feeling at home, you’d be remiss to skip spinach-and-artichoke dip. Alison Roman’s version features four different kinds of dairy, but the inclusion of fresh spinach means you can totally count it as your vegetable for the evening.

Recipe: Spinach Artichoke Dip

13. Jerk Chicken Meatballs With Barbecue-Pineapple Glaze

Millie Peartree’s sweet and savory meatballs are great over rice, but you could serve them on a platter with toothpicks, or even tuck them into a soft roll for a jerk chicken meatball grinder.

Recipe: Jerk Chicken Meatballs With Barbecue-Pineapple Glaze

[View our collection of Meatball Recipes.]

14. Pressure Cooker Chipotle-Honey Chicken Tacos

Sarah DiGregorio’s recipe for smoky chicken and black bean tacos, makes expert use of canned chipotles in adobo and a bit of honey in record time. Adorn them however you’d like, but be sure to include pickled red onion and avocado.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Chipotle-Honey Chicken Tacos

15. Mozzarella in Carrozza

“Is this a mozzarella stick in sandwich form?” The answer is yes. A quintessential bar snack, the mozzarella stick is cheesy, gooey excess — and so is this Italian sandwich counterpart by Ali Slagle. Skip fresh mozzarella for the low-moisture stuff, and use panko bread crumbs if you can for extra crunch.

Recipe: Mozzarella in Carrozza

16. Cheesy Pan Pizza

You could just make pizza, of course. Break out the cast-iron skillet for this recipe from the King Arthur Baking Company test kitchen, adapted by Tejal Rao. Contact with the sides of the skillet will get the edges of the pie brown and crackling. Make sure to start the dough earlier in the weekend so that it has ample time to ferment (12 hours at minimum).

Recipe: Cheesy Pan Pizza

17. Olive Oil Brownies With Sea Salt

Super Bowl Sunday isn’t just for deep-fried, spicy or cheesy dishes. Brownies are a good idea, too, particularly these fudgy and salty ones from Melissa Clark. The presence of slightly savory olive oil only emphasizes the bittersweet chocolate.

Recipe: Olive Oil Brownies With Sea Salt

For more mouthwatering dishes, browse NYT Cooking’s collection of Super Bowl Recipes.

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