Host a Super Bowl Party on a Budget

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Even if you don’t care for a game featuring teams named after sheep or cats, chances are you’re using the game as an excuse to eat crispy, fried, cheesy party food. or all of the above.

Hosting a Super Bowl party will be more of a financial investment than in the past. (Don’t give up. Read on.)

“Food prices in general are significantly higher than they were before the pandemic,” said Joseph Balagtas, associate professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University. He noted that the Consumer Price Index, which measures the average price change of consumer goods, shows an 11% increase for food and beverages from December 2019 to December 2021.

“Much of the rise in food prices is due to rising meat prices,” Balagtas added. “Things like chicken wings (and) ground beef for your Super Bowl chili are more expensive this year than they were a year ago.”

Even beer prices are slightly higher, thanks to increased packaging costs and the same labor issues affecting much of the economy. (Is nothing sacred?)

It’s time to call an audible – be like the quarterback and change the game at the last minute before handing the ball to you. Put veggie-based snacks at the forefront of your Super Bowl buffet instead of platters of wings and burgers. Chances are no one will complain or notice that much.

Plus, going vegetarian isn’t just a win for climate change, but also for the wallet. “Even though avocado prices are up from last year, so have chips,” according to Balagtas, a pound of guacamole will go further to feed more people than a pound of wings. (Although if you want to split a pound of guacamole between two people, now is the time to go.)
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Here are some budget options for your game viewing menu. From creamy dips and fries to classic nachos and team-specific dishes, we’ve got you covered. And if you really want to include meat, using it to flavor your food rather than being the center is an affordable option.

Nachos for everyone

Nachos are a mainstay of any Super Bowl party.
With a cheese nacho platter as a blank canvas for all sorts of toppings, it’s easy to give up meat without anyone noticing. Make a large plate of chicken nachos for the family or make individual plates and let everyone top their own as part of a homemade nacho bar.

In addition to the usual suspects like salsa, sour cream, and guacamole, get out your skillet and heat up some less expected nacho topping options, such as:

• charred corn and green onions

• fajita-style peppers and onions

• Chipotle-style sofritas
• home made cheese sauce instead of Velveeta

And, of course, beans. If you’re looking for a can of pinto or black beans, now is the time to step up your seasoning game.

Make a quick version of homemade refried beans by sautéing the onion and garlic in oil until translucent, then adding the drained and rinsed beans. Mash coarsely, then add stock or water to loosen the mixture. Keep the mash to your desired consistency and add spices like smoked paprika, chili powder, or taco seasoning if desired. (Now you’ll never go back to the canned version again.)

Buffalo beyond the wings

Roast your cauliflower to make Buffalo Cauliflower Bites.

Even if wings aren’t in the budget, you can indulge in that classic hot and tangy buffalo flavor as part of your meal lineup. Buffalo sauce is an egalitarian sauce that’s welcome in many holiday-friendly dishes, so mix it up, drizzle it, and smother it all if you like.

Creamy Buffalo White Bean Dip could be the complete meal for a small gathering, thanks to the extra protein in the beans that will fill you up.
For air fryer fanatics, Buffalo Cauliflower Bites get crispy around the edges with the stovetop air fryer’s high-powered convection motor. Don’t have an air fryer? Don’t panic, you can roasted cauliflower also in the oven.
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If you prefer your buffalo sauce with extra carbs, grab a chilled ball of dough or premade flatbreads and bake Buffalo Cauliflower Flatbreads. Serve with ranch and blue cheese dressing on the side, so there’s no fighting over which is best here.
Buffalo Stuffed Potato Skins can be filled with leftover roast chicken or double cooking in a vegetarian version.
You can even do a buffalo homemade seasoning mix to flavor plain potato chips. To make sure the seasoning sticks, heat the fries on a rimmed baking sheet in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until the oil in the fries begins to glisten. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with seasoning until coated to your liking.

Stretch the meat budget

Mini sushi tacos could be on the party menu.

If the defense bombards you with the idea of ​​an all-vegetarian Super Bowl menu, a compromise is possible. Instead of a slow cooker full of mini meatballs or a platter of wings, choose dishes that have meat as an accent.

Spaghetti isn’t usually a Super Bowl food, but when the Cincinnati Bengals play for the title, there’s bound to be Cincinnati chili involved.

Make the dish a little more holiday-friendly and a little less disaster-prone by eating knees in bake it in muffin tins. Toss the cooked spaghetti with just enough Chili a la Cincinatti and kidney beans to bind the noodles, then fill the boxes. Bake, then garnish with grated cheddar and chopped onions.
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Over at the Los Angeles Rams, celebrate the sprawling city’s culinary diversity with one of the city’s most beloved dishes: the taco. Because each taco only needs a few spoonfuls of filling, you won’t need pounds of meat to make a meal.

Just as Southern California is home to a wide range of cuisines, you can make a taco spread with a few unusual toppings, whether they contain meat or not. Try these LA-inspired options:

• Korean BBQ style ground beef bulgogi tacos (which can also be done vegan)
• Mexican street tacos, cooked with carne asada or grilled chicken
• Nori shell sushi tacos

Casey Barbier is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the Good site. Food. Stories.


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