Skip to main content

30 minute meals: 5 tasty game day snacks that are super simple to make

Impress your guests with these snacks that taste like they took all day

Football season is upon us. It’s beginning to show its yearly flirtations and teases in the leaves starting to change, the back-to-school displays, and the slow creeping in of pumpkin spice everything. And while the welcoming back of sweaters and jerseys and flannel and footballs brings a warm smile to most of our faces, it can also come with the possible stress of added entertaining.

If the thought of feeding your hungry friends and family while they’re over for the big game stresses you out, worry not. We’ve compiled a list of some of the easiest, most delicious, crowd-pleasing snacks that can be thrown together in about a half hour. So you’ll have more time to paint your face and practice your chest bumps. Or just kick back with a cold one. Either way.

Bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers

Facebook/Dinner at the Zoo

(From Dinner at the Zoo)

It’s really just ridiculous how stupidly good these are. There’s a reason jalapeno poppers have remained a long-standing game day tradition, fast food staple, and barbecue must-have. But this recipe takes them over the top. With the addition of bacon, these little zingers become something almost magical. Make a huge batch, because they’ll disappear long before halftime.

Ingredients:

  • 12 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 slices bacon (do not use thick cut)
  • Cooking spray

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil, then use cooking spray to coat it.
  3. Cut the jalapenos in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and ribs with a spoon.
  4. Mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  5. Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture.
  6. Cut the slices of bacon in half crosswise and use them to wrap each pepper half. Secure the bacon with a toothpick.
  7. Arrange the peppers on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes (until bacon is crispy and browned).
  8. Serve immediately.

Sticky maple pigs in blankets

Something Sweet Something Savoury

(From Something Sweet Something Savoury)

Is there anyone who doesn’t love a good cocktail weenie? I mean really. We’ve been taking these cuties and skewering them on toothpicks, wrapping them in dough, and dipping them in damned near everything since forever, and it seems we’re just getting started. In this bacon-wrapped, syrup-coated, Heaven-sent version, sausage weenies continue to wow, to comfort, and to fulfill our every social gathering and game day need.

Ingredients:

  • 20 best quality mini chipolata sausages
  • 1 16 oz. package of bacon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable or sunflower oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Wrap the sausages in the bacon.
  2. Line a baking tray lined with a piece of tin foil and arrange the bacon-wrapped sausages.
  3. Mix the maple syrup and oil and pour over the sausages. Turn the sausages in the syrup until they’re all completely coated (you can use your hands or a large metal spoon to do so.)
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and the bacon is crispy.

Steak and black bean nachos

Facebook/Straight to the Hips, Baby

(From Straight to the Hips, Baby)

Okay, we cheated a bit with this one on the timing. When you take into account the steak marinating time, this recipe does exceed our 30-minute limit. However, the cooking and assembling of this dish will put you in at less than 30 minutes, and let’s be real, even if it didn’t, these are well worth the wait!

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of Fajita Spice Marinade (recipe below)
  • 12 oz piece of Flat Iron Steak
  • 1 large poblano pepper roasted on the grill
  • 1 cup sour cream, plus extra for topping
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic peeled
  • 2 bunches of fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 (15 oz) can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 cup of beef or vegetable broth
  • 3 large fresh ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 a large red onion, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper seeded & minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large bag of your favorite corn tortilla chips
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • Sliced fresh jalapenos, for garnish

Method:

  1. Marinate your steak in Fajita Spice Marinade for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator, preferably overnight. Remove from the marinade and cook thoroughly on the grill or in an oiled hot cast iron pan.
  2. Quickly char your poblano pepper on the hot grill. To do this, place over the flames and rotate every 30 seconds. You’ll know they’re done when the pepper skin starts to blister and color. Allow to cool.
  3. Using a paper towel, gently rub off the skin as best as you can.
  4. Cut the sides of the pepper away from the seeds with a sharp knife.
  5. Add the seeded charred pepper, 1 cup sour cream, 1 garlic clove, a handful of cilantro, half of the lime juice, salt and 1/2 tsp onion powder to a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into a squeeze bottle or bowl, cover and chill until needed.
  6. Rinse the canned beans under cold water.
  7. Place in a small saucepan, then add two cloves of peeled fresh garlic, 1 cup (or enough broth to just cover the beans) beef stock, 1/4 tsp onion powder, and salt and pepper. Place over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer to boil off the broth. Mix occasionally; the beans will become creamy and the garlic will soften. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. To make the salsa, add the chopped tomatoes, red onion, diced jalapeno, chopped cilantro, remaining lime juice, olive oil, and seasonings to a medium-sized bowl. Stir.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  10. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out the bagged tortilla chips (discard the broken pieces).
  11. Sprinkle the shredded cheese across the chips in a uniform manner, then add the seasoned black beans.
  12. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes (the cheese should start to melt). Place on a cooling rack and add the sliced steak and fresh salsa.
  13. Place back into the hot oven for another 5-7 minutes.
  14. Remove the nachos from the oven and place the tray back on a cooling rack.
  15. Add slices of fresh avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and sliced jalapenos to taste.
  16. Drizzle on your poblano crema.

Fajita Spice Marinade

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 12 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, washed and dried

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the spices and liquids. Whisk briskly to combine. Add the fresh cilantro and stir gently.

Beer battered fish tacos

Dinner Then Dessert

(From Dinner Then Dessert)

Game day, a barbecue, Tuesday, there’s never a bad time for these delicious tacos. Serve them to a crowd of ravenous football fans, or a group of hangry kids, and the result will be the same. Pure bliss.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 12 ounces dark beer
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 cups ice, in a large bowl
  • 1 pound Cod Fish , cut into 1½ inch strips
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 16 small corn tortillas
  • 1 cup green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, separated
  • La Victoria Salsa
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • Canola oil, for frying

Method:

  1. Prepare crema by mixing mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 tablespoon lime zest, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Refrigerate.
  2. Add ½ tablespoon Kosher salt, 1 cup flour, cornstarch, beer, and egg to a large bowl to make the batter. Sit the bowl over the bowl of ice to stay cold.
  3. In another bowl, add the chili powder, coarsely ground black pepper, and remaining kosher salt and flour.
  4. Pour canola oil into a dutch oven or cast iron skillet to a depth of 3 inches. Heat to 375 degrees.
  5. Coat the pieces of cod in the flour mixture, then into the batter (let excess drip off). Once done, place in your skillet or dutch oven and fry for 304 minutes in batches. Once browned, place them on a baking sheet on a cooling rack.
  6. Wrap your corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 15-20 seconds.
  7. Mix the cabbage and the juice of one lime in a small bowl and toss; then assemble with crema and salsa.

Refreshing beer margaritas

Taste of Home

(From Taste of Home)

Beer margaritas. Have you ever heard a more wonderful combination of words? So simple, so obvious, and yet, so intriguingly curious. Yes, these really are just as deliciously refreshing as you think they are. And the joy they bring can be yours in about two minutes. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 2 bottles (12 ounces each) beer
  • 1 can (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup sweet and sour mix
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime slices and kosher salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Use lime slices to moisten the rims of six margarita or cocktail glasses (you can skip this step if you’re not a fan of lime, of course). Sprinkle salt on a plate; hold each glass upside down and dip rims into salt.
  2. In a pitcher, combine the beer, concentrate, tequila, and sweet and sour mix. Serve in prepared glasses over ice. Garnish with lime slices.

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
How to make chai tea: Tasty recipes for a homemade delight
Creamy, spicy, and sweet, you'll be craving these homemade chai teas recipes after one sip
Small clay cup of Indian chai on a wooden table.

As a beverage, chai has become ubiquitous in America, available everywhere from Starbucks to ice cream. However, most of it is an Americanized version of Indian chai. The traditional Indian chai recipe isn't just a tea bag in hot water — it's a brewing process that combines a mixture of spices, sugar, and milk, forming a beverage that's an integral part of Indian cuisine.
What tea do you use for chai tea?
First, most of the chai consumed in India is known as masala chai (masala means spice blend in Hindi, and chai means tea). A staple in many Indian households and street carts, masala chai can be enjoyed at all hours of the day. Interestingly, while chai is an important part of Indian cuisine, it's a relatively modern addition. Historically, Indians consumed an herbal beverage called kadha, which is based on a 3,000-year-old Hindu Ayurvedic tradition. Tea, a plant native to China, was introduced to India by the British (a nation famously obsessed with tea) in the 19th century. But for Indians, it wasn't until the early 20th century that chai was combined with spices, morphing it into today's popular beverage.

Since Indian masala chai contains an array of spices, strong black tea is the ideal option. For the best teas, choose Assam or Darjeeling, two very popular and common black teas in India. As an option, you can also make the tea stronger or lighter depending on personal tastes. While tea bags will suffice, loose-leaf teas are generally made from higher-quality leaves, producing a better flavor. To save time, you can also make your tea beforehand. Just leave out the milk and place it in the refrigerator when you're ready to store it. To drink, simply heat some tea with the desired sugar and milk and serve.

Read more
This is the simple secret to making incredible meatloaf and meatballs
Upgrade your meatloaf and meatballs with this tip
Meatballs

Suppose you make a lot of dishes with ground beef. In that case, you know that this conveniently shrinkwrapped ingredient can come with one very annoying risk - crumbly, can't-reach-for-the-water-fast-enough, completely unappetizing dryness. Of course, many of us - thanks to knowledgable mothers and grandmothers - grew up armed, knowing this risk, prepared to tackle it head-on in our most beloved ground beef dishes. And while you, too, may know the secret to keeping your meatloaf, meatballs, or even burgers from drying out, you may not know that this technique has a name. It's called a panade.

A panade (puh-NOD) is simply a pasted mixture of bread and liquid that's added to ground beef recipes like meatloaf or meatballs to make them moist and tender. Most often made of humble white bread and milk, this paste is the absolute best way to guarantee your ground beef dishes stay tender and moist instead of turning to flavorless meat bricks in your marinara sauce.
How does a panade work?
The combination of starch and liquid in a panade keeps the proteins in the ground beef from tightening and shrinking during the cooking process. As the meat cooks, the panade turns into a sort of moisture-making lubricant that settles between protein fibers, keeping them from getting tough.

Read more
You can make a quick hollandaise in your microwave in under 2 minutes – here’s how
It's time to stop cursing at broken sauces
Eggs Benedict on plate

During my very first break from culinary school, I went home to visit my parents. As one does, I'd decided to show off with all of my fancy new culinary know-how and spent the weekend preparing a royal spread of pastries, breads, desserts, and every meal I could dream up...or had at least had jotted down in one of my notebooks. But on the third or fourth morning, exhausted from croissants and brioche, I decided to make for my my parents eggs benedict, complete with the most silky and buttery of all the sauces - hollandaise. Hollandaise sauce is truly something straight from the gods. Traditionally made from egg yolk and butter, emulsified slowly over low heat and accentuated with a lemony kiss, this velvety sauce is what brunchtime dreams are made of. Traditionally served over a number of dishes, it just doesn't get any more delicious than a classic hollandaise.

Unfortunately, however, this delicious sauce can also be one of the most finicky to make. That morning with my parents, hopeful and full of joy and optimism after spending a few nights in my childhood bedroom, I set to work making a perfect eggs benedict with hollandaise for my sweet parents. I did everything right. The eggs were tempered, the bain marie was perfect, the eggs were poached to perfection. And then, out of nowhere and with no warning, along with my sweet young heart, my hollandaise broke. In a fury of embarrassment, I poured the entire batch down the drain and started again. And again. If memory serves, it was the fourth batch that finally worked, though I'd done absolutely nothing different than in the first three batches. Needless to say, it was a frustrating (and expensive) morning.

Read more