Advice | How to host a winning Super Bowl party (2024)

Even the most ardent football fans are wise to the true highlight of Super Bowl Sunday. This year’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers might actually go down to the wire, a few of the dozens of multimillion-dollar commercials might actually make you chuckle, and the halftime show might not be a total disappointment. But deep down, we all know that the best thing about the Super Bowl is the food.

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It’s the one day each year I find myself surrounded by an outlandish spread of chips, dips, chicken wings, chili and several of my closest friends. For the past 15 years, I’ve hosted a Super Bowl party (including a socially distant, pregame, outdoor food swap in 2021), and I always enjoy starting the day by waking up early to prepare a big pot of chili.

Whether you’re hosting or attending a gathering this year, here are a few things to consider:

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Make it a potluck. Assign specific dishes or food groups (see below), and invite non-cooks to bring chips, drinks, ice or a favorite condiment. We’ve handpicked our best recipes for wings, dips, nachos and chili to inspire you and your guests. But sometimes the most memorable dishes are the unexpected ones, like the time my friend showed up with moose meatballs made from a moose her dad hunted in North Dakota with a bow and arrow. You never know what might turn up!

Lean into make-ahead options. As with most parties, much of the fun of hosting comes from being able to interact with your guests. During the Super Bowl, you’re also going to want to be free to enjoy the game. Choosing recipes that can be made entirely, or at least mostly, ahead of time, will “allow you to focus on all of the essentials — eating, drinking, and spending time with friends — all while watching a good game,” Eddie Jackson, former NFL cornerback, chef and Food Network host, says in his book, “Game-Day Eats.” “The key is to make food that allows you to spend your time with your guests, not slaving over the stove.”

Get the recipe: The Office Chili

Be sure to have enough plates, bowls and utensils for everyone attending. Run the dishwasher earlier in the day. Remember that mugs can double as bowls for chili and sturdy tortilla chips make excellent spoons, if/when you run out. This is also the time to use up all that takeout plasticware that you stashed away the past four years.

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Super Bowl LVIII

Advice | How to host a winning Super Bowl party (1)Advice | How to host a winning Super Bowl party (2)

It’s official: The Chiefs beat the 49ers in overtime, capping a big night that included appearances from stars such as Reba McEntire, Usher and Taylor Swift, plus a Beyoncé announcement. Get the highlights from the Super Bowl and the details in our newsletter.

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Encourage guests to bring to-go containers (or give away your takeout tubs). Leftovers are a wonderful thing, but less so when the host has nowhere to put them all. I don’t know about you, but my Tupperware cabinet is basically a bear trap. Spreading the bounty will expedite cleanup, too.

Choose recipes that are easy to scale up or down depending on the size of your gathering. Think dips, sandwiches, wings and chili. Keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures may be affected when you adjust the yield on a recipe, so adjust accordingly.

Get the recipe: Sheet-Pan Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches

Store-bought is fine. You should absolutely supplement homemade recipes with store-bought shortcuts. Consult our taste tests of the best store-bought salsas and hummus brands and grab a premade and/or frozen treat or two that can easily be warmed up in the oven. The Super Bowl typically lasts for 3½ to 4 hours, so having sufficient sustenance is key.

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Consider your serving surfaces. Piling all the food and drinks onto a coffee table in front of the TV is a recipe for spills and pet pandemonium. Clear off a kitchen counter and/or create space around the dinner table for a buffet line where people can set out their dishes and refuel during the game.

Variety is key on the beverage front. Lagers, crisp pilsners, radlers and seltzers will cut through the heavy foods. It might be a good day for session IPAs rather than boozy doubles and or imperial stouts. Tap into some of the great new nonalcoholic beers on the market. Or make a batch co*cktail. For the home mixologists, give our drink generator a shake and serve up classic or creative drinks, with or without booze. Depending on your latitude, you may be able to skip buying ice and keep beverages cool on a back patio or balcony.

Add to the entertainment. Offer up Super Bowl squares, silly prop bets or another game to give everyone a rooting interest. For the recreational gamblers, there have never been more ways to wager on the game. (How long will Reba McEntire’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” last?) Stay tuned for a special Super Bowl (Taylor’s Version) bingo card from The Post later this week, and check out Super Bowl squares strategy tips from The Post’s Neil Greenberg.

For more inspiration, check out collections of our best recipes for:

  • Wings
  • Dips
  • Nachos
  • Chili
Advice | How to host a winning Super Bowl party (2024)
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