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Hosting Hacks: 11 Super Bowl Party Shortcuts So You Can Enjoy Yourself on Sunday

Spend less time cooking and more time enjoying with these tricks for whipping up an all-star spread.

David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips. Before, during and after earning his BA from Northeastern, he toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or tinkering with a toaster. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
Expertise Kitchen tools | Appliances | Food science | Subscriptions | Meal kits
David Watsky
4 min read
empanadas and dips on table

Mix store-bought items with homemade eats for an easy and delicious spread.

Anjelika Gretskaia/Getty Images

Football is all about finding angles and advantages wherever you can -- just ask former Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Hosting a big-game party requires the same level of ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking, especially if you plan on hosting a Super Bowl gathering and aim to enjoy yourself while doing it. 

If you're having the gang over for the game, you'll need a plan. And we suggest finding the path of least resistance when it comes to making your Hall of Fame spread. We're talking shortcuts, people. We've spent years cooking and scouring the kitchen landscape to find the best tips, tricks, gear and gadgets for making easy wings, crispy fries, speedy pulled pork and simple slow-cooked chili with very little effort required.

Here, we've rounded up the best game-day hosting hacks and shortcuts, which'll let you enjoy the game, the commercials, the halftime show, and your guests, all while keeping your flock of football fans well fed.

1. Rotisserie chicken

chicken tacos

A rotisserie chicken presents endless options for easy game-day eats.


Let someone else cook the chicken -- and we don't mean a friend. The easiest tactic if you're doing things yourself is to simply pick up a rotisserie chicken and shred the meat to use however you please. With all that tender meat, you can make easy chicken nachos and tacos or throw it all in the slow cooker with hot sauce and blue cheese for the easiest buffalo chicken dip ever. 

2. Frozen pizza (the good stuff)

deep dish pizza goldbelly

If you're going to spring for frozen pizza, make it a good one. 


Getting a good-quality frozen cheese pizza from your nearest Target, Trader Joe's or Costco and topping it with fresh vegetables or meats is a no-brainer. Try pancetta and peppers or marinated mushrooms and blue cheese to jazz it up.

Then again, if you spring for a truly gourmet frozen pizza from the likes of Lou Malnati's or Roberta's, you can have it delivered straight to your door. You won't need to do anything but heat it and watch it disappear. 

Read moreHere's How Much You'd Save Shopping at Costco for a Year

3. Microwave popcorn


Popcorn with Tajin seasoning and fresh lime is about the easiest game-day snack you can make.


Popcorn is an underrated game-day snack, since you can jazz it up easily and it takes seconds to make. Pick up a no-salt, no-butter microwave popcorn like this one, then make a seasoning mixture like parmesan and black pepper; Tajin and lime juice; or cinnamon-sugar if you've got a sweet tooth. 

Bonus: This fulfills the rule in the game-day party playbook that says you should serve something people can eat without needing to look at it, in case they can't tear their eyes away from the TV.

4. Hummus

spinach basil hummus

Mix pesto, buffalo sauce or chipotle peppers into your favorite store-bought hummus.


For an incredibly easy yet impressive appetizer or snack, buy a good-quality plain hummus and doctor it up with mix-ins, like chipotle peppers. Alternatively, stir in jarred pesto for some Mediterranean flair or some buffalo sauce for a Super Bowl spin on the crowd-pleasing dip. 

5. Marinated steak strips

steak fajitas

Marinated steak strips offer a lot of bang for very little effort on your part.


Premarinated steak strips picked up from the meat counter can be seared and wrapped in corn tortillas for steak tacos or steak fajitas or used to top a steak salad. If you aren't convinced of the quality of your local options, you can always order steak online and toss it in a good store-bought rub or BBQ sauce the night before.

6. Precut veggies and dip

slow cooker french onion dip

French onion dip is a game-day fan favorite.


Hack your dip tray by simply swapping out the foil-lidded goop that comes along with a store-bought veggie platter for a flavorful homemade option like cheesy queso dip, slow-cooker French onion or blue cheese dressing. Just choose carefully when you buy precut vegetables -- depending on how long they've been on the shelf, they can get dried out. If you've precut carrots and celery, store them submerged in cold water in the fridge so they don't lose their snap. 

7. Frozen limeade concentrate

frozen margaritas

Who says frozen margaritas aren't a Super Bowl staple?


Because you need to have something to drink besides beer. (And maybe you don't want to mess around with game-day wine pairings.) Instead make a round of slushy margaritas by using frozen limeade concentrate instead of freshly squeezed limes. 

Here are the best blenders for making margaritas in 2024.

8. Ice cream for dessert

ninja creami ice cream maker

Be it store-bought or homemade, ice cream is an easy win for your game-day desserts.


Sure, you could serve it straight from the tub, but just a little more work nets way more impressive results. If aren't making ice cream at home, these are the best places to order it online.

9. Booze and grocery deliveries

grocery bag in front of door

Have your booze and groceries delivered and save yourself hours ahead of the game.


Delivery is the ultimate cheat code for hosts and hostesses. With a few clicks, you'll have everything moving toward your kitchen, save yourself hours of shopping, and also dodge having to lug heavy beer, wine and groceries from the market or package store. 

Here are our top picks for the best grocery delivery services of 2024 and the best places to get alcohol delivered now that Drizly is shutting down. 

10. Air fryer action

A Bella Pro Series 9-quart Digital Air Fryer

We're all about air fryers for big-game hosting. 


Fried foods make the perfect game-day companion, of course, but frying foods is a famously messy endeavor. Trust me, you're not gonna want to deal with that mess the next day, especially if your team lost. For crispy wings, Tater Tots (one of my personal favorites) and frozen appetizers, an air fryer replicates oil-frying and couldn't be easier to operate. You can get a good air fryer with enough capacity to cook for a group for less than $50

Read moreStill Not Sure What an Air Fryer Is? Here's Everything You Need to Know

11. Or Instant Pot plays


An Instant Pot can be your best friend on Super Bowl Sunday. 

Instant Pot

You knew this was going to be in here, and for good reason: An Instant Pot (or whatever pressure cooker you might have) is a perfect tool for making big batches of party food in a fraction of the usual time, from carnitas and queso to chili and cheesecake. With an air fryer attachment, it can even crisp up wings and fries on game day, so put it to good use!