Winning Super Bowl party recipes for dips, wings, chili and more

More than two dozen recipes for game day

Clockwise from top left: Classic Barbecue Chicken, Sheet Pan Cheesesteak, Buffalo Chickpea Nachos and Seven-Layer Dip. (Tom McCorkle/Food styling by Lisa Cherkasky and Marie Ostrosky for The Washington Post)

Even the most ardent football fans are wise to the true highlight of Super Bowl Sunday. The game 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.

It’s the one day each year I find myself surrounded by an outlandish spread of chips, dips, chicken wings, chili and a few of my closest friends. For the past 14 years, I’ve co-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.

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Whether you’re hosting or attending a gathering this year, here are a few things to consider, followed by our best party recipes, covering all the essential food groups:

  • 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.
  • 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 finally make use of all that takeout plasticware that you stashed away the past two years.
  • 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. Spreading the bounty will expedite cleanup, too.
  • Choose recipes that are easy to scale down for smaller gatherings. Think dips, sandwiches and wings. Most of The Washington Post’s recipes feature a scaling button to help you do just that. Keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures may be affected, so adjust accordingly.
  • 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, alcoholic seltzers and radlers will cut through the heavy foods. It might be a good day for session IPAs rather than boozy doubles and triples. Tap into some of the great new nonalcoholic beers on the market. For the home mixologists, give our drink generator a shake and serve up classic or creative cocktails, with or without booze.
  • Offer up Super Bowl squares, silly prop bets or another game to give everyone a rooting interest. This is just as fun for a remote gathering with faraway friends. Check out Super Bowl squares strategy tips from The Post’s Neil Greenberg.


You’re going to want a good, sturdy chip for scooping. Check out our taste test of 14 popular tortilla chip brands before you head to the store. We’ve also ranked our favorite store-bought jarred salsa and hummus brands for your convenience.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Three adjectives that describe a good dip: warm, creamy and melty. A tablespoon of Cajun-style hot sauce adds a little zip to Aaron Hutcherson’s take on this classic, which calls for pita chips or carrot sticks for scooping. Get the recipe. For a better-for-you take, try this Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip.


For this take on the popular Tex-Mex dip, Aaron started with the foundation for many classic cheese dips — a block of Velveeta — and then took inspiration from Lisa Fain, who literally wrote the book on queso. Fresh chiles replace the familiar can of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes, and cilantro and sour cream add freshness and body. Our staff could not stop eating this. Get the recipe.

Seven-Layer Dip

It’s a timeless recipe that’s simple and downright delicious. The no-cook dip can be assembled in just 15 minutes — which might be longer than it takes your guests to devour it. Get the recipe.

Warm Chipotle Black Bean Dip

A reader of our Eat Voraciously newsletter (sign up already!) made this recipe, adding a little ground beef to the onions, and called it “an epic dinner!” However you serve it, this dip is a winner. Get the recipe.

Triple Onion Dip

Calling all onion fans! This better-for-you version from Ellie Krieger brings the onion flavor in three forms: sauteed onion and scallion whites for a little sweetness, onion powder for concentrated savoriness, and scallion greens for a sprinkle of freshness and color. Get the recipe.

Warm Crab and Spinach Dip

Crab dip and football. That’s what Maryland does. But this bubbling, luxurious dip spiked with paprika, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and parmesan cheese belongs on party spreads coast to coast. Get the recipe.

Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip

We could’ve made an entire food group with the Buffalo-style recipes in our archives, but this one will be a shining beacon on your snack spread. As Becky Krystal writes, “it’s spicy, creamy and salty, which means it hits just about every flavor pleasure center.” Bonus: It has only six ingredients. Get the recipe.

Dill and Mint Yogurt Dip

Cool things down with this personal favorite of mine that would be a nice stand-in alongside wings, too. Fresh dill, chives and mint along with lemon juice and capers make this Greek yogurt-based dip bright and briny. Get the recipe.


First, take a look at Aaron’s guide to chicken wings, with tips for frying, air-frying or baking your wings to perfection. Then, after you’ve properly procured your poultry, proceed to the saucy recipes below.

Classic Barbecue Chicken

Well, not just wings. With the Chiefs on the field, we’re not missing an opportunity to showcase a chicken recipe that’s doused in tangy Kansas City-style barbecue sauce. Get the recipe. Or, use this sauce on a rack of baby-back ribs with Rainy-Day Ribs.

Lemon Pepper Wings

This rendition of the Atlanta regional favorite is baked, then bathed in a tart, buttery, peppery sauce. To up the crunch factor, toss the wings in baking powder and let them rest in the refrigerator overnight before baking. Get the recipe.

Air Fryer Korean-Style Chicken Wings

Crispy wings without frying in oil? The air fryer is the ticket, and these wings make quite the sales pitch. They boast a spicy, sticky sauce made with gochujang, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce and freshly grated ginger. Get the recipe.

Buffalo Wings

The Bills didn’t quite make it to Super Bowl Sunday, but Buffalo’s signature sauce combo should be on your spread. A double dip in the fryer ensures crunchy, craggy skin on these wings, which are tossed in Frank’s RedHot and butter. Get the recipe.

Chicken Wings With Shishito Peppers

These wings are simply seasoned with toasted sesame seeds and fresh ginger, but cookbook author and recipe developer Ali Slagle offers up more flavor combinations (such as cracked black pepper and grated parmesan). The big hands-on timesaver: The wings are baked, not fried, and their extra crisp skin comes courtesy of a baking powder-and-salt coating before they go into the oven. Get the recipe.


Setting aside your personal definition of “sandwich,” this category features a few heavy hitters and more regional favorites.

Sheet Pan Cheesesteak

Recipes editor Ann Maloney is a sheet pan fan to the core, and this recipe is yet another example of how the kitchen workhorse can save you time and feed a crowd. Thinly sliced rib-eye, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms are roasted in a single pan, topped with your choice of cheese (provolone is mine) and piled into warm rolls. Is this the classic Philly version? Nope. Does it hit the spot? Yes, indeed. Get the recipe. (Or, kick it up a notch with this Cheesesteak Sandwich recipe.)

Sicilian Slab

An absolute unit of a pizza, this pillowy pie is a crowd-pleaser. Make the dough the night before, then pop it in the oven before your guests arrive for cheesy, saucy satisfaction. Get the recipe.

Cauliflower Sandwiches With Smoked Gouda and Peppadews

Roasted cauliflower does the heavy lifting in these stuffed sandwiches that offer plenty of richness with smoked Gouda and mayo. Peppadew peppers and crushed red pepper flakes add a little heat and plenty of bite. Get the recipe.

Sheet Pan Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches

The sheet pan strikes again. Chicago’s meaty sandwiches are the inspiration behind this recipe from Bears fan Daniela Galarza. Start with your choice of spicy or sweet sausages and roast them atop peppers and onions and stuff it all into your favorite bun. Get the recipe.

Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Chickpeas and avocado form the filling for these flavorful, no-cook sandwiches, which also feature red onion, pickles, parsley and curry powder. Pack the filling onto slider-size mini rolls, put it into pitas or simply serve it as a side. Get the recipe.


In my home, it’s not Super Bowl Sunday without a big pot of chili lazily simmering on the stovetop. Encourage friends to bring over their own recipes for a casual chili cook-off. Set up a topping bar, and your guests will take care of the rest.

The Office Chili

You know the scene. Dunder Mifflin accountant and chili aficionado Kevin Malone proudly schleps a giant pot of homemade chili into “The Office,” only to spill its contents all over the carpet. Real-life Kevin, actor Brian Baumgartner, published the “Seriously Good Chili Cookbook” last year, and this is one of his favorite recipes from it. The trick really is to undercook the onions, Baumgartner says. Get the recipe. (Also check out Baumgartner’s Chili Pasta Casserole.)

Vegan Chili Verde

Roasted tomatillos and poblano peppers form the tangy base for this colorful, veggie-packed bowl, which features two types of beans, corn, kale and bulgur to bulk things up. Get the recipe.

Cincinnati Chili

The Bengals came up a field goal shy of a second straight Super Bowl appearance, but Cincinnati’s regionally beloved and nationally divisive take on chili can still make your menu. Try it 2-way (atop spaghetti), 3-way (sprinkled with cheddar cheese), 4-way (topped with diced onions) and 5-way (with red kidney beans). Get the recipe.

Tex-Mex Chili

For those who like the heat in their chili: Jalapeño pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne, paprika, ancho or chipotle chile powder, and the sauce from canned chipotles in adobo are all on the guest list for this recipe from Pati Jinich. Get the recipe.

Red Lentil Chili

This meatless recipe takes less than an hour to make and results in a chili with a satisfying chew and deep flavor. It’s easily adapted to the slow cooker, too. Get the recipe.


A good pile of nachos relies on layered flavors and smart construction. Start with sturdy chips and a melty cheese, and then layer on the toppings evenly. For more inspiration, check out this step-by-step guide.

El Rey Nachos

The roasted poblano cheese sauce is the star here. It’s creamy and has just enough kick. Level up with homemade flour tortilla chips or go the store-bought route. Get the recipe.

Buffalo Chickpea Nachos

Grab a bag of big restaurant-style tortilla chips for this vegan foray into Buffalo-style snack territory. Chickpeas, crisp red bell pepper and a suitably melty vegan cheese — food editor Joe Yonan recommends Daiya, Violife or Vevan — are a winning combo. Get the recipe.

Greek-ish Potato Nachos

Thinly sliced potatoes stand in for the fried chips in this Ellie Krieger original. Load them up with feta cheese, hot peppers, fresh herbs and a garlicky yogurt-lemon drizzle. Get the recipe.

Breakfast Nachos

The Super Bowl is watched around the world, which means watch parties take place at all hours. These breakfast nachos, another recipe from Sheet Pan Ann, are a good call any time of day. Get the recipe.