The Best Appetizers for the Big Game

There’s nothing better than gathering together with family and friends to enjoy a big game – on T.V. or in person. Whether everyone is getting together to cheer for their favorite team or just enjoy some social time, you’re going to need some great food.

These gatherings aren’t ideal for a sit-down meal; instead, people want things they can carry around on paper plates while they talk and watch the action. So, we’re talking about appetizers. If you’re short on ideas but long on enthusiasm, we can help. Here are some of the best appetizers for the big game to make your next event a winning success.

Simple Baked Chicken Wings

It’s hard to imagine game day without chicken wings. This baked chicken wing recipe is simple and delivers tons of flavor.


  • 10 chicken wings
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat the foil with butter to prevent sticking.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Then, coat your chicken wings thoroughly with this mixture.
  4. Bake your wings for 30 minutes, turn and bake an additional 15 minutes until crispy.

Five-Cheese Spinach & Artichoke Dip

If you’re going to serve appetizers, you need dip for chips and veggies. Here’s how to make this winner:


  • 1 jar (6.5 ounces) marinated quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) roasted sweet red peppers
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ⅓ cup shredded provolone cheese
  • ⅓ cup fresh minced basil
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise


  1. Drain artichokes and save 2 tbsp of the liquid; coarsely chop artichokes. Drain peppers and save 1 tbsp of the liquid; chop peppers.
  2. Coat a 3-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; combine artichoke hearts, peppers, spinach, cheeses, garlic, onion, and mayonnaise. Stir in reserved liquid from pepper and artichokes. Cover and cook on high for two hours.
  3. Stir dip thoroughly and continue cooking until cheese is melted, up to 60 additional minutes. Serve with crackers, chips, or veggies.

Antipasto Kabobs

These snacks on a stick are a fun, delicious, and popular appetizer. They’re even fun to make!


  • 1 9-ounce package of cheese tortellini
  • 40 thin slices pepperoni
  • 40 pimento-stuffed olives
  • 40 large pitted ripe olives
  • 20 thin slices hard salami, halved
  • ¾ cup Italian salad dressing


First, cook your tortellini according to the package instructions; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the olives, tortellini, and salad dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.

Next, drain the mixture and discard the marinade. Using a long toothpick or skewer, make 40 separate kabobs using: a stuffed olive, a folded slice of pepperoni, a tortellini, a folded piece of salami, and an olive.

Barbecue and Beer Meatballs

When it’s game day, your guests want meatballs. It’s a favorite treat, and this recipe aims to please using a combination of barbecue sauce and beer.


  • 2 pounds frozen meatballs
  • 12 oz beer (your choice)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • ¼ Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Pepper


  1. Combine all of your ingredients into a large saucepan over medium heat and toss to coat. Bring your dish to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Ensure you have cooked until the meatballs are thoroughly cooked, and the sauced has thickened.

Note: These can also be prepared in a crockpot.

Fried Pickles

These easy-to-eat treats are a favorite for all ages. Just prepare them in advance and then serve them up with your favorite dipping sauce, like homemade ranch.


  • 12 large pickle spears, drained and patted dry
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Slice pickle spears lengthwise into quarters or spears, depending on their thickness, to create thin spears.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and garlic powder. In two other bowls, places the eggs and then the panko. First, coat the pickles in the flour mixture, then toss them in the eggs, then coat them with panko.
  3. Heat about 1 ½ inches of vegetable oil in a skillet until it reaches about 350 degrees F. Using tongs, place the pickle spears in the hot oil and cook until golden brown, then flip.
  4. Place the cooked spears on paper towels to cool. Serve with ranch dressing.

Visit Nick’s of Calvert for High-Quality Appetizers and Ingredients

Whatever you decide to prepare for Game Day, you’ll want to start with high-quality ingredients. At Nick’s of Calvert, we offer customers a full-service meat counter, which is our store’s centerpiece. We also offer pre-made items at our deli and some of the freshest and most affordable grocery items in the area. Visit us today to pick up all of your appetizer supplies or everything you need for your next special event.

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