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7 Game-Day Appetizers You Can Make in 10 Minutes or Less

a table loaded with game day appetizers, surrounded by people digging in
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Ten minutes until kick-off. The crew’s at the door. Wait, did you forget the snacks? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Snacks for game-day don’t have to be a photo-worthy affair. Sure, those mini sliders with your team’s flag hanging off the toothpick are cute, but they also take forever to make. And, when you’re short on time, you just want to feed the hungry crowd.

We get it. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of seven snacks you can throw together in under ten minutes. Yep, you read that right, under ten minutes to snack time for you and the whole gridiron gang.


A bowl of fresh quacamole and chips.

This one’s a classic choice for a good reason: It’s easy. Really, though, this one’s dependent on whether or not you can source several ripe avocados. If you can, then it’s a no brainer

Simply scoop out the avocado’s insides and mash them up with a little salt, lime juice, and cilantro. Additional ingredients are up to you; you could add onion, tomato, cumin, and even sour cream. Throw it on the table with a bag of chips. Done.

Pico de Gallo

A bowl of fresh pico de gallo salsa and chips.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

Pico de gallo—aka salsa fresca—is one of our favorite game-day snacks. It’s easy to make, and once you’ve had it freshly prepared, there’s no going back to the jar. Simply seed and dice a few tomatoes.

Throw them in a fine-mesh strainer basket and season with a few pinches of salt. Put the basket in the sink and let the tomato juices drain while you dice up a white onion, a jalapeño, and a fistful of cilantro. Then, mix everything together and serve with tortilla chips.

Charcuterie Platter

charcuterie platter with fruit, meats, cheeses, and crackers

All right, if the last two were too tough for you, well, three’s a charm. Every game-day glutton we’ve ever met loves a good charcuterie board, even if they can’t pronounce charcuterie. In case we’ve lost you, too, charcuterie (shar-koo-tuh-ree) is a fancy way of referring to a meat and cheese platter.

This can be a wildly creative endeavor, or it can be super simple. Our favorite way to make it happen quickly is to use simple cold cuts, such as salami or prosciutto (although really any lunch meat will do). Lay the sliced meats alongside crackers and sliced cheese. Use bunches of grapes or olives to fill in any empty space. Fancier options might include a spreadable cheese—perhaps goat cheese. Or, for a less gamey bite, maybe cream cheese topped with a jar of salsa and served with salty pretzels is a better move.

Ranch Dip

Fresh homemade ranch dip.

We’re not talking about the packet of seasoning you might have in the back of a spice cabinet somewhere. We’re talking homemade, impress-your-friends, ranch dip. Promise, it still takes less than 10 minutes, and you won’t dirty more than two spoons and a bowl. All you need is Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and the following dried spices:

  • Parsley
  • Dill weed
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Got it? Sweet. Then mix a  ½ teaspoon (maybe a little less on the garlic and black pepper) of each with one cup of full-fat Greek yogurt and two tablespoons of either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Use olive oil (or a few drops of water) to get the right consistency. Don’t forget, as any good cook will remind you, to taste as you go and adjust the ingredients accordingly. Serve this one with potato chips and fresh-cut veggies, like carrots and celery.

Cowboy Caviar

A bowl of "cowboy caviar" with chips.
Ruslan Mitin/Shutterstock.com

Can opener ready? Here we go. Pop open a can each of black-eyed peas, black beans, and sweet corn. Drain each of them, rinse each of them, and throw them in a bowl. Additionally, you might choose to include fresh chopped tomato, bell pepper, avocado, red onion, and/or a chili pepper or two (we like jalapeños). Mix it all up and then move on to the dressing.

To make the dressing, mix two tablespoons each of red wine vinegar and fresh lime juice. To it, add a ½ teaspoon each of cumin, garlic powder, sugar, and kosher salt. Whisk it all together, and finish by slowly drizzling in a  ¾ cup of olive oil. As you add in the oil, be sure you don’t stop whisking. This will help create an emulsion, which is what you want in any dressing. Pour the finished dressing over the bowl of “caviar” and serve!

Shrimp Ceviche

a glass bowl filled with ceviche
Cameron Whitman/Shutterstock

Be wary with this one: Friends don’t always trust raw seafood served by friends. However, if you’ve got a slightly more adventurous crew, or you, personally, have the cooking street cred to back up an interesting dish, this is a fun one to create and serve.

Now, here’s the catch. It takes only ten minutes to throw together, but it does need to sit at least thirty minutes in the fridge before serving. Arguably, that’s perfect. No one really gets the beer munchies until after the first quarter anyway, right?

Okay, so here’s what you do. Chop up one pound of high-quality, raw, peeled, deveined, and tail-off shrimp, small enough to fit on a tortilla chip. Then either continue with a knife or switch to a food processor to dice up a red onion, jalapeño, a handful or two of cilantro, and a good-sized tomato. Cucumbers can be an excellent addition here as well, but they aren’t vital. Mix all those veggies in with the diced shrimp and top with one cup of fresh lime juice. Set it in the fridge while you watch the first quarter, and then enjoy with salty tortilla chips. Yum!

Fruit Skewers

Fruit skewers, piled high on a plate.

OK, this might not sound like your typical game-day food, but trust us—we have a few tips to make this simple appetizer exciting. The first is to use fruit in the color of your favorite team.

Of course, that’s still just fancy fruit on a skewer. To really jazz it up, try using Tajin. Any tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, watermelon) tastes approximately ten times better with this salty, chili-lime seasoning sprinkled on top. Serve it alongside the pico de gallo or the guacamole from above, and you’re well on your way to a genuine game-day fiesta!

See, tasty snacks can come together faster than Cam Newton with a 320 lb. defensive lineman tight on his heels. And that’s good, because, quite frankly, most sports fans we know couldn’t care less about the watermelon you carved into a helmet or the soft cheese you spent hours sculpting into a perfect pigskin. They want it to taste good, and they want their team to win. That’s it. So go throw a few together, pop open a cold one, and enjoy the game!

Lauren Sakiyama Lauren Sakiyama
Lauren Sakiyama is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. She has managed restaurants, country clubs, and large-scale event operations, but her passion has always been about the food. Read Full Bio »
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