Tried and True Game Day Grub

‘Tis the season for football!  With football comes parties and tailgating.

And you can’t have a party without good food!

No one wants to show up with a Pinterest fail.  So I’ve got your back with 5 tried and true crowd pleasing recipes.

These are “go-to” recipes at my house because they are EASY and DELICIOUS!


#1. Peanut Butter Oreo Brownies

How many delicious things can be in one name!?! And YES, I’m starting with dessert first!  If you know me, I’m sure you know how much I LOVE dessert!  (See my posts about cupcakes here and here.)  A friend brought these treats to a party several years ago and I HAD to have the recipe!

You will need:

24 cupcake liners

Cupcake pans

Package of Oreo Cookies (I used Double Stuffed)

Brownie Mix




Peanut butter


  • Pre-heat oven to 350.
  • Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans.  I used these cute football ones!



  • Spread a spoonful of peanut butter onto each Oreo and place in cupcake liner.  (Obviously omit this step for peanut allergies! They will still be delish!)


  • Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.
  • Scoop a heaping Tablespoon full of brownie mix and place it on top of peanut butter covered Oreo.
  • Bake for approx. 20 minutes.


Yes they are ridiculous!

I have to apologize, the following recipes do not have pictures.  Forgive me, it is still early in the season and I haven’t gotten around to making them all yet!  So please just trust me, they are all excellent!

#2. Jalapeño Poppers 

Again several years ago, one of my husband’s cousins brought jalapeño poppers to a family party.  We’ve been making them ever since.  By “we” I mean my husband. He is the poppers cook!

You will need:

20-25 Jalapeños

1 lb. Italian sausage

1 8oz. package cream cheese-softened

1 package shredded monterey jack cheese (hubby says it melts better than cheddar!)


  • Wash jalapeños.
  • Cut stems off and slice jalapeños length wise to make boats.  Clean out seeds.
  • Brown the Italian sausage in a frying pan and crumble it.  Drain grease when cooked.
  • In a bowl, use your hands to mix together sausage, cream cheese and the whole bag of shredded cheese.
  • Fill jalapeño boats with a spoonful of the cheese and sausage mixture.
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for approx. 20-25 minutes!

These are always a hit! Enjoy!

#3. Brown Sugar Smokies

Friends/former neighbors always serve Brown Sugar Smokies.  They are a staple at football parties!  And they go FAST!

You will need:

2 – 16 oz. packages of Little Smokies

2 lbs. bacon

2 cups brown sugar

*I am telling you 2 of everything because I double the recipe!  Trust Me!  (If you have a small group, you might get by with just one package of smokies and bacon!)


  • Slice raw bacon into 3 sections.  (When bacon is laying horizontal, make vertical cuts.)
  • Wrap one piece of raw bacon around each Little Smokie.
  • Put bacon covered Smokies seam down in a baking pan.
  • Cover sausages with brown sugar.
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for approx. 30 minutes.
  • Stick ’em with toothpicks and serve!

#4. Party Potatoes

Party Potatoes are EASY and everyone LOVES them!  You can bake them or throw ’em in a crock pot!  Either way they are sooooooo Yummy!  This recipe is from my mother-in-law.

You will need:

2 lbs. Frozen hash browns

8 oz. Shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup onions, chopped

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 lb. sour cream

1 stick of butter, melted


  • Thaw hash browns.  (I usually put them in the fridge the day before I plan to make this dish.)
  • In a large bowl or directly in the crock pot combine all ingredients and mix together.
  • Put potato mixture into 9 x 13 pan or into the crock pot.
  • Bake in 375 degree oven for 1 hour.  Or in crock pot on low for 5-6 hours.  (Just stir them once in awhile in the crock pot.)

And a new little trick I just learned from my neighbor (who doesn’t like onions),  is to replace the onions with chives.  I have to say next time I make Party Potatoes, I’m going to give that a try!

#5. Confetti Bean Salad

This recipe was a Pinterest find from!  I just love a salad with balsamic vinegar.  Make it the night before and all of the ingredients combine and have a wonderful flavor.  Serve it with tortilla chips or just eat a big scoop with a fork!  YUMS!

You will need:

1-2 cans garbanzo beans

1 can kidney beans

1-2 cans black beans

1 can corn, drained

1 red onion, diced

2 bell peppers, diced

3 minced garlic cloves (or I use the garlic in a jar!)

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. sugar

salt and pepper to taste


  • Dump all of the ingredients into a big bowl.
  • Mix together.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • That’s it!

So mommas, Pin these recipes.  Then next time you get invited to a party, don’t stress over what to bring, just pick one of these and you are good to go!

Happy Football Season everyone!  Go Hawks!


What are your favorite party foods?  And please share any great recipes with us!

Shari is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Cedar Rapids with her husband Mark, 2 boys and a pug named Yoda. Her toddler and preschool age boys keep her very busy. She loves warm Iowa days for playing outside with her family. In her "spare time" Shari enjoys quiet activities like crafting, browsing Pinterest, learning photography, creating family photo books and watching favorite shows with her husband. She also loves Iowa City Moms Blog and her MOPS group for the connections with other mommies!



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