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How to Throw a Football Party That’s All Frozen Foods

Imagine goal posts made of mozzarella sticks and buffalo-flavored everything.

8 min read
24/10/2023
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Even though buffalo chicken dip, nachos, chili, and other popular football party foods aren’t that difficult to make, there’s an even easier way to host and feed a crowd of friends and hungry sports fans. Just call in the MVP of easy, shortcut meals: the frozen aisle! An all-frozen-foods football feast is a guaranteed touchdown. 

The best part? Your local grocery store has endless options that are ready to bake or air-fry and chow down between goals, and you can ’em delivered to your door in a flash. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite innovations in the frozen aisle, including jalapeño cheddar corn dog nuggets, Potato Smiles, eggplant fries (for health), and more. Don’t forget dessert — it’ll help balance out all of the saltiness — especially from fans of the losing team.

The Love Child of Two Legendary Apps

Appetitos Buffalo Mac & Cheese Bites might as well be shaped like footballs because they combine two sought-after home tailgating appetizers! 

Wings That You Should Re-Fry

For the best bar-style wings at home, deep-fry your wings, or at least air-fry them. Whatever heat level you fancy, you should make sure your wings are extra crispy. Try Tyson Buffalo Hot Wings — or just mix melted butter and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce — and give ’em a toss for nice ’n’ saucy wings. Serve it up with ranch and blue cheese dips, carrots, and celery.

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Extra Cheese Pull Stuffed-Crust Pizza

There are many options for frozen pizzas from ALDI, but Mama Cozzi’s Stuffed Crust Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza would be my first draft pick.

Jalapeño Popper Meets Corn Doga

Once you pop, the fun don’t stop with Foster Farms Poppin’ Pepper Jack Mini Corn Dogs. It’s like a jalapeño popper had a meet-cute with a corn dog at a college football game and now they have a spicy little corn dog baby while they’re watching the game at home. Someone call the romcom movie makers…

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A Crispy Potato Snack That Smiles Back

Goldfish aren’t the only snack that smiles back — McCain Potato Smiles are made from mashed potatoes inside with a crispy exterior that you can bake or air-fry. Serve with ketchup, ranch, queso, or any of your favorite sauces and dips. They are the Scrub Daddy of dippers.

Go Rogue with Eggplant Fries

Of all the things that can be fried and be dipped in marinara sauce, eggplant is a pretty stellar choice. If you add melted mozzarella and Parmesan on top, the Season’s Choice Veggie Eggplant Fries from ALDI are basically eggplant Parm-style cheese fries.

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Tiny Taco Party Time

When you put out a tray of José Olé Beef & Cheese Mini Tacos, serve with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, queso, and salsa for a full bar.

You Say Potato, I Say Loaded Potato Skins

So much easier than making them from scratch, and all you need to do is heat and serve Farm Rich Loaded Potato Skins with sour cream (or ranch!) and optional hot sauce. Buffalo sauce would also be a great choice here.

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Teeny Tiny Poppable Wontons

You can pan-fry, air-fry, boil, or steam these mini dumplings and they’ll be a hit. Bibigo Pork & Vegetable Korean-Style Mini Wontons come in a one-and-a-half-pound bag so you can feed a crowd of hungry football fans in a flash. Serve with soy sauce mixed with a little gochujang, toasted sesame oil, and thinly sliced scallions to zhuzh it up.

XXL Pretzel Sticks

These are enormous pretzel sticks! The Deutsche Küche Bavarian Soft Pretzel Sticks from ALDI are at least five times the size of the cup of mustard on the box. These will impress everyone at your party — especially if you get some queso alongside it.

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Shrimply the Best Buffalo Shrimp

Crispy shrimp for shrimp cocktail is a game changer. Gorton’s Beer Batter Shrimp can be baked or air-fried and served with cocktail sauce (not included) or tossed with Buffalo sauce and dipped in ranch or blue cheese dressing to make delicious buffalo shrimp.

Buffalo Chicken Strips With Double Dips

Buffalo chicken strips (like Kirkwood Buffalo Crispy Chicken Strips from ALDI) are a classic for a reason. Serve with ranch and blue cheese dips and see which team wins in the Dipper Bowl.

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BBQ Spiked Meatballs

Spike the punch? No, just spike the meatballs with Cooked Perfect Bourbon BBQ Recipe Meatballs: Party Edition. You can heat these in a slow cooker for a few hours to warm through (they’re already cooked) then keep it on warm throughout the party. Serve with more barbecue sauce and little skewers. If you aren’t into barbecue, they also make plain meatballs that you can serve with marinara or alfredo sauce.

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Another Way to Buffalo: Egg Rolls!

If you aren’t Buffalo-ed out yet, then Coyote Grill Pagoda Buffalo-Style Chicken Egg Rolls are for you. Again, dare to double dip… when it comes to serving with both ranch and blue cheese dressing. You can also put one of these on top of a pizza for a surprise crunch factor.

Dessert Anytime with Mini Cheesecakes

A few-bite delight is a great handheld dessert for a football party. First Street Assorted Mini Cheesecake Sampler has four different styles to choose from: New York-style plain, “very berry,” strawberry, and crème brûlée — each with a graham cracker crust. All you have to do is defrost and serve.

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Monkey Around at Halftime

Monkey bread is a delightful dessert, and Bridgford Cinnamon Pull-Apart Monkey Bread claims that it’s “great microwaved!” so you can have it ready to go during half time. It doesn’t come with a dip or drizzle, so I recommend grabbing a tub of frosting (like Pillsbury Funfetti) and warming it up for dunking purposes.

Just a Ton of Cookie Dough

Don’t eat this raw, the box says, but you will be tempted by a six-pound box (!) of Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough. It’s ready to bake from frozen and makes 72 cookies. Talk about a touchdown!

PHOTO CREDIT:

  • Photographer: Paul Quitoriano

  • Stylist: Charlotte Havelange

  • Food: Mary Rupp

  • Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros