Annual Sportsball Party Planning

Every year about this time, people gather together to eat unhealthy finger foods and scream at their televisions, a tradition I happily facilitate. My team is out of the event-that-shall-not-be-named this year, but that never stops me from throwing a party. Whether you’ll be on the edge of your seat or edging out others at the bar, this is your essential guide to throwing a fun, hassle-free soiree start to finish.


Thunder Thighs

Hot Birthday Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Beef Empanadas


Chili con Queso


Tortilla Chips

Crudités (Crudité is just a fancy French word for raw vegetable. The word is pronounced crew-dee-tay.)

Top Shelf Jungle Juice


The great thing about this menu is that almost everything can be made ahead of time, some parts up to 24 hours. Dishes like the dips are also great potluck items if you have helpful friends.

2 days ahead:

Grocery shop

Tell your friends what you want them to make

1 day ahead:

Prep Dips

Prep Thunder Thighs

Morning of:

Prep Empanadas

Start Chili Con Queso

Make salsa

Put drinks on ice

Make Jungle Juice

Prepare buffet/serving area and bar

1 hour before start time:

Saucy Note: I try to be dressed and ready for guests at this point, since you probably won’t have time otherwise, and you’ll be prepared for early guests. 

Preheat oven(s)

Preheat smoker/grill

Prep crudité platter and refrigerate

30 minutes before party:

Make guacamole

Put chips in bowl

Put salsa and guacamole in serving bowls. Cover and refrigerate.

Start cooking Thunder Thighs

Saucy Note: I like to time my main item to come out around halftime if it is a sports party, so plan accordingly 

5 minutes before start of party, or when first guest arrives

 Heat bean and artichoke dips. If you have two ovens, you can also start the empanadas, otherwise bake the empanadas after the dips are hot.

Uncover salsa and guacamole and arrange with chips in preferred location.

Serve crudité platter.

As guests arrive:

Saucy Note: I usually put the start time for sports parties 1 hour before the event starts, and plan for the majority of the hot food to be ready 20-30 minutes before game time. This gives people time to filter in without overwhelming you, and food will be hot for kickoff.

Greet guests and offer drinks. Shake is usually in charge of that at our parties while I put the final touches on the food, so don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. Serve hot finger foods as they are ready. Except the Thunder Thighs, everything should be ready or finishing up at least 20 minutes before game time so you have time to relax and grab yourself some refreshment.

Don’t forget the Thunder Thighs when they’re done, and party on!!

Author: sauceandshake

A culinary and libatious adventure of a cook and a bartender who strive to make things as complimentary as they are to each other.

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