Nothing quite says fall like bundling up on a chilly Sunday and heading to the stadium to watch a football game.
Fun? Sure. Economical? Not exactly.
Tickets can easily run you hundreds of dollars. That’s before you pay for parking or shell out money for insanely overpriced (and not very tasty) hot dogs and beer.
What’s a super fan to do? Throw a football party at home instead.
For a fraction of the cost of stadium seats, you can watch the game in the comfort of your own living room, munching on snacks that are fun, inspired and wallet-friendly.
Tie an apron over that jersey and whip up a few of these delicious, easy and inexpensive recipes. They’re sure to score big with your guests.
Stadium pretzels are almost always bland, stale and disappointing (not to mention costly!). These homemade pretzels are made with cheap pantry staples and asiago cheese.
Bonus points? You can bake them up to three days in advance.
These quesadillas are made from deli Swiss cheese and black beans, and then topped with a quick Cuban sandwich-inspired relish made from ingredients already in your fridge: mayo, mustard and dill pickles.
Three inexpensive store-bought ingredients (tater tots, hickory smoked bacon and barbecue sauce) are combined in these flavorful one-bite treats. They’re perfect for popping without tearing your eyes from the screen.
Marinate inexpensive white button mushrooms overnight in olive oil, lemon juice and a shower of dried spices. The results are so amazing, no one will guess how quick and cheap they were to prepare!
This six-ingredient recipe takes all the spicy flavors of jalapeño poppers and slathers them over gooey cheese bread.
These seasonally inspired nachos replace ground beef with cheaper and healthier roasted butternut squash. Don’t worry — they’re still blanketed with plenty of melted cheese.
Football watching is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t want to chow down on a burger right away, or you won’t have room to sample anything else.
These two-bite vegan black bean sliders topped with avocado-lime cream are the perfect solution.
A handful of kale, crumbled feta, scoop of Greek yogurt, and some olive oil and lemon juice are all you need for this super simple dip. It will give any spinach-artichoke version a run for its money.
These sweet bell peppers are stuffed with a vegetarian Tex-Mex mix of cheese, chili and black beans. They’re topped with a savory crust made from cornbread mix, one of the cheapest supermarket staples out there.
These gluten-free, vegetarian, kid-friendly nachos are topped with Muenster cheese, fresh blackberries and chopped basil. Bake until the berries are soft and the cheese is melted and gooey.
11. Buffalo Popcorn
This ultra-quick, gluten-free vegan recipe takes all the flavors of Buffalo wings and applies them to popcorn. So much easier and cheaper than making real wings from scratch!
Ditch the processed cheese product and make this healthier version: vegetarian refried beans, fresh pepper jack and mozzarella cheese.
Late in the second half, it’s time to bust out the desserts. These over-the-top, six-ingredient bars are made with chopped Snickers and chocolate-filled Krave cereal.
Cake pops can be a little too cute and Pinterest-perfect. These game-stoppers are sure to appeal to everyone, though, because bacon.
If you’ve got five minutes and a bag of potato chips, you can make this spicy, chocolatey, totally addictive recipe.
It’s all about balance. This no-bake dessert pairs healthy apple slices with a decadent dip made from cream cheese and chopped Heath bars.
These beer cocktails are made by mixing equal parts fresh strawberry limeade with cheap, light-style lager, like PBR.
Beer is the football watcher’s drink of choice, but it’s nice to have options. This refreshing cocktail stretches one bottle of white wine into seven drinks.
Your Turn: Would you make any of these recipes for your next football party?
Lucy Baker blogs about vegetables (and occasionally desserts) at Turnip the Oven.