How to Make the Ultimate Party-Food Buffet
Two of our favorite things return in September: football and primetime TV. Make that three: television-watching parties! Hosting a TV-centric party doesn’t require too much work in terms of décor, but you do need a selection of delicious snacks and drinks.
Whether you’ll be stress-eating during the big game or just doing some light grazing as you gather together to watch This Is Us, here are some tips and recipes for building the ultimate party-food buffet.
Set the Table
Set up a table near or in your living room. This way, when you and your guests get hungry, you can keep your eyes on the TV while loading (and reloading) your plates. Make sure to have napkins, plates, and any necessary serving utensils on the table as well.
Lay Out the Spread
To satisfy everyone, have an assortment of game-time snacks, as well as some lighter options for anyone who prefers not to indulge. With salty, savory, and sweet foods, you can do no wrong! Here are some winning — and easy to make — recipes.
Pineapple Barbecue Meatballs
Because you’ll be busy with party prep before your guests arrive, it’s nice to have at least one food item you can make beforehand. That’s why we like the set-it-and-forget-it factor of a slow cooker. These pineapple barbecue meatballs couldn’t be easier — or tastier — to prepare.
What you need:
- 1 (28 oz.) package frozen meatballs
- 3 c. barbecue sauce
- 3 c. cubed pineapple (fresh or canned), plus extra for garnish
Add all of the ingredients (except the pineapple garnish) to the slow cooker; stir together. Heat on low for 3 hours. Once your guests arrive, move the slow cooker to the party table and set out a large spoon, so guests can scoop out their own. Or you can serve the meatballs garnished with pineapple on a platter, which is what we did.
Pigs in a Blanket with Sauerkraut and Swiss
Pigs in a blanket are party-food classics. But we like jazzing them up with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. If you don’t like sauerkraut, skip it! You can also use your favorite cheese in place of Swiss.
What you need:
- 4 hot dogs, cut in half
- 1 package crescent rolls
- 4 Swiss cheese slices, cut diagonally into triangles
- ½ c. sauerkraut
Note: This recipe makes 8, so adjust accordingly.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Separate dough into triangles. Add a slice of Swiss cheese to each dough triangle, followed by a hot dog and a pinch of sauerkraut. Wrap the ends of the dough around each hot dog and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Apple Cinnamon Popcorn
For a lighter option for guests, try some spiced stovetop popcorn — an alternative to the traditional popcorn bag.
What you need:
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- ¼ c. high-quality popcorn kernels
- Saucepan with lid
- 1 tbsp. of cinnamon
- 1 tsp. apple pie spice
- Pinch of salt
Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Add an even layer of kernels to the bottom of the pan. Place the lid on the saucepan and gently shake the pan to coat the kernels in oil.
Once you hear the kernels begin to pop, turn the heat to low. Once the popping has slowed to a few seconds between pops, turn off the heat. Wait until the popping ends before removing the lid.
Pour popcorn into a bowl, add 1 tbsp. of cinnamon, 1 tsp. apple pie spice, and a pinch of salt. Mix together to coat the kernels in the seasoning before setting out the bowl.
Looking for more ideas? Then check out the recipe for these jalapeño poppers.