‘Tis the season for some serious sporting events, and with those events come game day parties. This year, be the one to host a party for the tourney with a spread so good your friends will be just as obsessed with the food as they are the score.
The menu below brings sports bar favorites, like wings and sliders, home—but since they’re made from scratch, you can snack on ’em sans the guilt. That’s a win, no matter the score.
Kick off the party with a a few varieties of chicken wings that are lightened-up thanks to an air fryer, but that don’t skimp on flavor. Offer a traditional take that’s tossed in spicy buffalo sauce as well as Caribbean jerk version. (If you don’t own an air fryer, this tandoori-inspired rendition would be delicious.)
For the main event, it doesn’t get any better than burgers and fries. Our sliders are prepared with grass-fed beef, which is leaner than traditional corn-fed beef, and they’re perfectly bite-sized for a party. For a vegetarian option, serve these burgers made with chickpeas and roasted red peppers, topped with a smoky mayonnaise. Using the same air fryer, you can make crispy French fries with just a tablespoon of oil—fewer calories and far less mess. On the side, serve this twist on the classic coleslaw: a sweet-and-tangy coleslaw made with fennel, carrots and cabbage.
For dessert, keep it simple with crowd-pleasing chocolate cupcakes. These come with a smooth buttercream dark chocolate frosting that feeds the chocoholic in all of us.
- 2 days ahead: Make the dark chocolate cupcakes.
- 1 day ahead: Make the coleslaw, cover, and refrigerate.
- Day of: Form the burger patties and prep the potatoes for the French fries. Make the buttercream frosting and frost the cupcakes.
- Just before serving: Cook the French fries and wings; grill the burgers.
Keep it casual by setting out the spread on a coffee table, so guests can help themselves throughout the game. Serve the dips in small bowls and arrange the crudites on a long platter. Pile the sliders to make the food look abundant, and place toppings like lettuce leaves and sliced onions at each end.
We love this serving idea for French fries: line a tumbler glass with parchment paper, and stand the fries up inside the glass. Not only do the fries look great, they’re also easy to pass around.
Be sure to keep beers cold and easily accessible. If you like, nestle the beers in an ice bucket or tub and bring it by the television for easy serving. For something a little different, serve guests pint glasses filled with black and tan, the British pub staple that pairs a layer of stout with pale ale.