Host the ultimate football party with DIY decor and awesome game day recipes!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #ReadyForKickoff #CollectiveBias
One of my favorite things about football season (and especially the big game) is throwing a football party! I love gathering friends and family together to enjoy the excitement, and it’s a great reason to get creative with food and decor. I spent some time over the weekend creating recipes and decor ideas for the exciting weekend coming up soon. (And you KNOW how excited the Tabler clan is about OUR team heading to the big game!)
This year, I’m putting a lighter spin on the appetizers and desserts I’ll serve at my football party. (I don’t want to blow my new year’s resolutions in one fell swoop!) I’m sharing my easy-to-prepare recipes and inexpensive decor ideas (complete with free printables) to help you throw your own big game party.
For this football party, I chose the main color scheme of turf green, black, white, and football leather brown. To add a pop of bright color, I grabbed some bright yellow napkins (the penalty flags!) I bought indoor-outdoor turf at my local home/hardware store for the base of my tablescape. The bunting framed the table, and my game play diagram (made with a chalk marker on black card stock) added to the theme.
I think printables are the easiest way to personalize any party and make your guests feel like you went the extra mile simply to make them feel special! The printables I created for our football party include The Big Game bunting, cupcake toppers, penalty flag label (for napkin container), water bottle labels, and party favor tags. (Scroll to bottom to download your printables).
For the water bottles, I simply peeled off the labels, cut my printables, wrapped one around each bottle, and taped the two ends together.
A tablescape always looks best when it includes items with varied heights. This is super easy to accomplish! For instance, the black and white popcorn bags are on a tray sitting on a lampshade that is covered by a white cloth. I also used covered, upside down casserole dishes to accomplish the same thing elsewhere on the table. The “penalty flags” are lifted by a bowl, and I created a DIY, two-tiered party tray by using a mason jar, a crystal plate, and a pedestal platter.
Last, to create the look I wanted, I filled a clear cylinder vase with strips of black and white tissue, then topped it with an inexpensive football I grabbed at a sporting goods store.
Now for my favorite part… THE FOOD!
My goal was to create a football party menu that would be delicious, yet waistline friendly. To accomplish this, I included mostly small bites that are fresh, delicious, and feel more indulgent than they are. In addition, the menu included a few super easy-to-create elements (like store-bought cupcakes that I created toppers for and the bags with organic kettle corn popcorn).
Let’s start with my favorite recipe on the menu… the RITZ topped Mini Cheese Balls!
This appetizer included three different versions, each so yummy! First, I created a basic recipe from which the three would be made.
The basic recipe included cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, green onions, and salt. I thoroughly mixed those ingredients together, and then separated the mixture into sections for my three flavors.
First, I made what I consider Traditional Cheese Balls, one of my all-time favorites. To the basic recipe I added worcestershire sauce and chopped parsley, created bite-sized balls, and then rolled each ball into chopped walnuts before placing it atop a RITZ Cracker.
Next up were Jalapeño Popper Cheese Balls. To do this I added pickled jalapeños to the basic mixture and then rolled each ball into a combination of chopped bacon and japanese-style breadcrumbs. They were just-right spicy!
Last I made Fiesta Cheese Balls. These were really flavorful! I added chili powder, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and cumin to the basic mixture, and then rolled the cheese balls into chopped cilantro and parsley.
I love that these are bite-sized. The flavors combined with yummy RITZ Crackers are simply amazing. Best of all, these are REALLY easy to make. You can prepare them a day or so before the big game and then roll in the toppings the day of. Your football party guests will LOVE these!
Now, on to the rest of the menu! Next up? Mini Chicken and Waffles. Y’ALL! Have you tried chicken and waffles? I know… it sounds odd. But just trust me. They are delish.
To make these sweet and spicy treats, simply top mini waffles with chicken tenders. Drizzle with a mixture of 1/2 a cup of syrup and a tablespoon of spicy jelly, and voila… Mini Chicken and Waffles, just like that! I love these indulgent little bites of goodness because, they are just that… little bites. So no guilt, friends!
Every game day spread needs some veggies, right? I chose to serve Veggie Shooters with Cucumber Ranch Dip.
For these, I used some cute mini mason jars. I chose to fill them with mini carrots and olives on skewers, as well as red bell pepper and celery spears.
And to add another low-cal treat to munch on, I served kettle corn in adorable black and white bags I found at a craft store.
I created two desserts for this fun little shindig. My favorite is the Dirty Coke Zero Floats! My-oh-my, are these good!
Simply pour Coke Zero into a mason jar. Squeeze in the juice from a wedge of lime, then add a scoop or two of coconut gelato. YUM!!!! Garnish with a lime wheel and add a black and white straw for that extra cute factor!
I wanted to offer a second dessert, but did not want to create one from scratch. The solution? Cookie crumb mini cupcakes from the bakery of my local grocery store. The cupcake topper on them completes the festive look.
I like for guests to always leave a gathering at our home with a small party favor that fits the theme. For my big game party, I made little treat bags with trail mix (I found pre-mixed at the store, but you can also make your own!) I added a football tag to give it that special DIY, personalized touch.
In the past, I’ve done the same thing with a mixture of caramel and cheddar flavored popcorn or some candy. It’s the thought that counts!
I had so much fun creating this football party tutorial. I hope it inspired you! To get even more #ReadyForKickoff inspiration, be sure to head here!
Walmart has everything you’ll need for your big game party!
Football Party Printables
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup green onion, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup parsley, divided
- 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 12 pickled jalapeño slices, chopped
- 3 slices of bacon, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Japanese-style bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- dash of cumin
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- Combine first five ingredients and then divide mixture into thirds
- For Traditional Mini Cheese Balls, add worcestershire sauce and 1/2 the parsely to one third of the mixture
- Roll into one-inch balls
- Roll cheese balls into chopped walnuts
- For Jalapeno Popper Mini Cheese balls, add chopped jalapeno slices into another third of mixture
- Roll into one-inch balls
- Combine bread crumbs and chopped bacon
- Roll cheese balls into bread crumb/bacon mixture
- For Fiesta Mini Cheese Balls, add chili powder, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and cumin into final third of mixture
- Combine remaining parsley with cilantro
- Roll cheese balls into parsley/cilantro mixture
- Place each mini cheese ball on top of a RITZ Cracker and serve
- Cheese ball mixtures can be made one to two days ahead of time and refrigerated. Roll into balls and then roll in the topping mixtures the day of party