This Sunday night, millions of Americans will congregate at home and in bars for the most important showdown of the year: buffalo dip vs. queso. 

Whether you’re entertaining for two or for 20, for an army of meat eaters or a posse of vegetarians, here are the staples you can’t mess with, classics with a twist, and some fun additions for your Super Bowl spread.

The mains 

A photo of buffalo wings

RitaE via Pixabay

If you’re rooting for San Francisco, go local and make some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl or a mission burrito. If you’re rooting for the other side, we’ve got three words: Kansas City barbecue

Wings: Bake ’em or fry ’em, buffalo wings are as much a Super Bowl tradition as wardrobe malfunctions. If you want to get a little fancy…try out fish sauce wings

  • Our tips: Fish sauce gets salty, so top these with fresh chopped cilantro, mint, and spring onions. 
  • If you don’t want to buy Thai rice flour or chili paste just for this recipe, skip the rice flour and just use cornstarch and swap the Thai chili paste for Korean Gochujang (it’s easier to find up at most grocery stores).

Loaded nachos: We like nachos because you can tweak them to fit the dietary needs of whoever you have coming. 

  • Vegetarians? Don’t even sweat it. Head to Trader Joe’s and pick up some soy chorizo or beef-less ground beef. 
  • Lactose intolerance? Start soaking your cashews, because we’re betting your guests won’t even guess that the sour cream or Mexican cheese are nut-based. 

Plant-based: If you want to head into Monday free of a carb- and meat-induced coma, try this crunchy Thai-inspired quinoa salad (double the cilantro) or barbecue jackfruit sliders (these are easy to “fake” if you just pick up your favorite bbq sauce and a coleslaw mix ahead of time). 

The dips 

A photo of hummus

Ella Olsson from Stockholm, Sweden, Hummus Dip (30863436677)CC BY 2.0

Buffalo chicken dip: You don’t mess with Frank’s Red Hot…except to maybe leave blue cheese on the side. 

Guacamole: Jazz up your classic guac with some fresh pomegranate seeds and pieces of red grapefruit. 

Pepperoni pizza dip is a short-term reward, long-term regret, and you definitely won’t have any leftovers. 

Seven layer dip: Here’s a fresher take that you can count as a vegetable serving.

Hummus: It’s so easy to make homemade you won’t believe you used to pay $4 a container for it. But homemade or store-bought, you can dress it up in a flash with: 

  • Everything spice 
  • Roasted chickpeas, parsley, red onions, feta, and pomegranate 
  • Tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, feta, olives, and lemon juice 
  • Roasted veggies (cauliflower, beets, carrots) with pine nuts, za’atar, and olive oil 

Other snacks

A photo of a charcuterie board

via the Brew’s @KinseyGrant 

Dessert

A photo of chocolate chip cookies

Piqsels

Cookies: Once you make these salted tahini chocolate chip cookies you’ll never make another recipe again. Except maybe these brown butter chocolate chip cookies

Pies: Try out this blueberry pie with a cornmeal crust (Tip: Toss a handful of chopped basil into the filling for a richer, unexpected flavor). This French silk pie recipe should also be a staple in your dessert rotation. 

Something healthy: These Medjool date balls with cashews, cacao powder, and shredded coconut are impossibly decadent considering they’re basically a superfood. 

Morning Brew’s Super Bowl Recipe Guide

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