We are huge football fans in our house, and we are so looking forward to the big game coming up in a couple weeks. Whether we host or head over to a friend’s house, we enjoy the lazy Sunday of snacking on food and watching football. It is a day of perpetual snacking—we all need one of those days from time to time.
If you are participating in the football festivities and looking for appetizers, I have some great ideas for you! Whether you want to roll your sleeves up and whip something up in the kitchen, or if you would rather keep it simple and open a couple packages and call it a day, we have it all for the big game!
Grape Jam & BBQ Sauce Slow Cooker Meatballs
I think the majority of us enjoy throwing ingredients into a slow cooker, turning it on, and walking away! It just makes life so much easier if the slow cooker does the cooking. I’ve had many a meatball from a slow cooker. It seems like slow cooker meatballs would be a perfect idea, I mean, how many meatball recipes say to cook in sauce for hours?? Well, it is sad to say, but in my experience, slow cooker meatballs end up being dry and tough.
Any time I’m perplexed in the kitchen I head over to Serious Eats to figure out what is going wrong. Sure enough, I’m not the only one that has experienced this issue when cooking meatballs in a slow cooker. Being a test kitchen, they figured out how to make incredible sauce, tender meatballs, and managed to avoid adding a bunch of extra steps in the process because when it comes to slow cooker recipes, we are looking for minimal fuss!
Without going into the food science of it all, I’ll just give you the Cliff’s Notes version of how this all works. You can either par-broil the meatballs or keep them raw and add them in the last half hour of cooking to the sauce that has been in the slow cooker for 6-10 hours. And, before adding the sauce to the slow cooker, you want to brown some of the reserved meatball meat with some onions and add it to the sauce. What you get, my friend, is perfectly tender meatballs in a thick and flavorful sauce! Yasss, that is exactly what we are looking for!
So for this recipe, I used my friend (and coworker) Teenie’s Homemade Italian Meatballs (with a slight alteration), added them to a grape jam and BBQ sauce recipe from Julie (another friend and coworker), and used the technique suggested by Serious Eats to come up with a moist and tender slow cooker meatball in a sweet and spicy sauce. These are perfect game day food! See the full recipe on our blog by clicking the link below.
Homemade Caramel Corn with Pecans
We have some corn lovin’ fools in my house. If fact, we say you ain’t a Ewer if you don’t love popcorn and sweet corn. There’s nothing my kids (and husband) love more to snack on than popcorn—well, maybe chocolate covered almonds, but then it’s popcorn! We usually have a big bowl of popcorn sitting out on the weekends for everyone to snack on.
My kids really love kettle corn and caramel corn, so I thought let’s make a healthier version ourselves! It was a hit and extremely easy to make. We make it for parties and the kids love to take it to school for a snack.
Homemade Caramel Corn with Pecans Recipe
½ cup popcorn kernels, popped
Once you’ve popped the popcorn, pour it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and season it with salt. Melt the butter over medium heat in a soup pot, stirring and swirling the entire time. Once the milk solids have formed and turned chestnut brown (about 5 minutes) add the maple syrup and stir. Add the pecans and cook, stirring until the caramel forms and thickens, 5 more minutes. Season with salt and remove from heat. Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and toss to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature for about 30 minutes and then enjoy! Makes about 8 cups.
Other Favorite Appetizer Recipes
Easy & Convenient Appetizers
- Hope Hummus + DIY Veggie Tray
- Stacy’s Pita Chips
- Chips + Salsa or Guac
- Farm to Kitchen Foods Nuts: Peanuts, Cashews, Tamari Roasted Almonds, Chocolate Covered Almonds
- Immaculate Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cheese + Crackers
Beth Blessing (Organic Beth) has a Masters in Nutrition and is the co-founder of Green Bean Delivery. She is a mother of three that loves supporting family farms and searching for unique, artisanal products. Her goal is to help others eat better and live a more natural, holistic life through healthy recipes and practical tips. Follow her on Facebook: @OrganicBeth