What's better than must-have dishes can be made and refrigerated? Here are our picks for get-ahead greatness.

By Laura Rege
January 12, 2021
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Credit: Nicole Franzen

No matter which team is playing on any Super Bowl Sunday, one thing is always a given: There will be food, and lots of it. Whether you're cooking for your family, hosting your quarantine pod, or contributing a dish to the spread at your socially-distant tailgate, the last thing you want to do is spend the morning before the game stressed out in the kitchen. To pull off a stellar Super Bowl party, it is important to set a game day (or should we say week) strategy. In this party playbook, there are lots of make-ahead dishes and just a few finishing touches that warm up and freshen the party dips, apps, and more.

Pigs in Blankets

A must have for many on Super Bowl and any game day, pigs in blankets are super snacks that can be prepared up to one month in advance. (Yes, you read that right!) Our genius recipe not only skips rolling the individual mini sausages on the day of the event, but it actually skips that pesky step entirely. Instead, we make individual pigs out of whole frankfurters or sausages by wrapping them in buttery puff pastry; then, they're cut them into attractive two bite pieces. A brush of sweet and savory honey mustard and sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame, adds a special touch, but that doesn't mean you can't still serve them with more mustard and ketchup for dipping.

Make-Ahead Strategy: Cut the individual dogs and freeze them spread evenly, but not touching on a sheet tray until firm. Then transfer the unbaked pigs in a blanket to airtight freezer bags or containers for up to one month. Rearrange them on a sheet tray and bake per recipe instructions just before serving.

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Credit: Marcus Nilsson

Toffee-Nut Snack Mix

Fill small bowls with this Our savory-sweet and super crunchy Toffee-Nut Snack Mix and set them around the party for snacking. This totally addictive mix is the perfect complement to Super Bowl drinks, whether you're enjoying a beer, a cocktail, or a mocktail. Best of all, the mix is so easy to make.

Make-Ahead Strategy: Bake and cool the mix up to one week in advance of the event. Store at room temperature in an airtight bag or container.

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Seven-Layer Dip

Seven-Layer Dip, our take on the beloved three-in-one dip that layers bean dip, pico de gallo, and guacamole along with delicious ingredients like cheese, sour cream, and olives, definitely earned a central place on the coffee table during the game. If made in advance, seven-layer dip is a dish that you can pull from the fridge and set out with a bag of chips to get the party started. Don't worry about the guacamole turning brown: As long as it is sealed in between the layers of pico de gallo and sour cream, it should retain its iconic bright green color.

Make-Ahead Strategy: Rather than individual glass jars as this recipe suggests, layer the dip in a big bowl and assemble the night before. Just place on the table with chips and it's ready for kickoff.

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Meatball Parmesan Sliders

Chips, dips, and the like are perfect to nibble on all game long, but bites like our warm Meatball Parmigiana Sliders will be especially appealing around the dinner hour. Marinara and mozzarella drenched meatballs are absolutely addictive sandwiched between buttery brioche sliders. Get a second tray ready to go as the first one is served—these will go fast.

Make-Ahead Strategy: Simmer the meatballs up to three days in advance and store refrigerated in an airtight container. Reheat over medium-low heat on the stove top and assemble the sandwiches right before serving.

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Credit: Photography by Justin Walker; Food Styling by Greg Lofts; Prop Styling by Suzie Myers

Easy Chili Verde

The halftime show is packed with star studded performances, but it's also a time to mingle and fill up on something other than snacks. Serve our Easy Chili Verde, a spin on a classic football tailgating recipe. It puts store-bought salsa to work, allowing you to skip one step in this longer simmering recipe. If you own a pressure cooker, you can speed things up: We also adapted this recipe to work for the pressure cooker. To serve: Place the pot of chili out along with a stack of mugs, spoons, and all the toppings. Everyone can ladle and fix a cup of chili to their liking.

Make-Ahead Strategy: Prepare the chili up to five days in advance. Dishes like this actually taste better with time as the flavors continue to meld. Store refrigerated in an airtight container. Reheat over medium-low heat on the stove top. Prepare the toppings the day before and store refrigerated covered in bowls.

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Football Cupcakes

Finish off the Super Bowl spread with our adorable Football Cupcakes; you'll find that these sweet treats are as fun for children as they are for adults. Andes mint-crafted footballs and green sprinkle astro turf adorn these festive mint-chocolate cupcakes and while they look fancy, they are quite easy to make.

Make-Ahead Strategy: Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to three days.

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