When there’s a big game on TV, everyone loves going to the bar for game day snacks until it’s time to pay the bill. Then we start to question our decisions. Switch it up and spend game day at home instead. You can cook up your own game day appetizers—and the bartender won’t cut you off. The best game day appetizers from the grocery store honestly might even beat the appetizers you’d find at the bar. They’re endless, cooked to order, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Basically, with these cheap, easy game day appetizers you win even if your team loses.
- Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers
If there’s one thing that Trader Joe’s does right, it’s little frozen snacky things that happen to make very excellent game day appetizers. They have all sorts of unique options you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere and some of them seem a lot like the fried snacks you’ll find on a sports bar’s appetizer menu. These Buffalo Style Chicken Poppers are no exception. According to Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart, they’re genuinely spicy and scratch that Buffalo wing itch without the mess. Serve them with some blue cheese dressing and you’ve got yourself one of the best easy game day appetizers at the grocery store.
Read the full ranking of the best Trader Joe’s frozen apps
- El Monterey Extra Crunchy Southwest Chicken Taquitos
If Southwestern egg rolls are your go-to game day appetizer when you go to a chain restaurant to watch football (or whichever sport floats your boat), you have to try these El Monterey frozen taquitos. They’re stuffed with chicken, cheese, peppers, and beans, and—most importantly—they have a crispy, crackly coating that make them taste like the just came out of a restaurant fryer even though you just cooked them in the oven. One of Sporked‘s taste testers called these “the most delicious thing” they’d ever eaten, and if that isn’t a great endorsement I don’t know what is.
Read the full ranking of the best frozen taquitos
- Superpretzel Soft Pretzel Pepperjack Filled Bites
Every bar seems to have a big ol’ soft pretzel on their menu and rightfully so—pretzels are frickin’ great. As it so happens, they’re even better when you fill them with pepper jack and serve them in little bite sized pieces. These Superpretzel bites have a creamy feeling with a nice little kick from the pepper jack. These make a perfect game day appetizer—especially if you go hard and serve them with a side of ranch dressing or, better yet, even more spicy nacho cheese for dunking.
Read the full ranking of the best frozen soft pretzels
- Popper Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños with Raspberry Habanero Dip
TGI Fridays really knows their way around some good game day appetizers. Yes, you could go to the restaurant and watch the game next to some loud dude wearing the opposing team’s jersey—or you can just pick up what they’re putting down in the grocery store’s frozen aisle. If you opt for the latter, they have a ton of options but their Popper Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños with Raspberry Habanero Dip are otherworldly. The filling is creamy, the peppers are perfectly spicy, and the batter is the ideal thickness. All that paired with their raspberry-habanero dip? These will be a huge hit on game day.
Read the full ranking of the best TGI Fridays
- Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Buffalo Chick’n Wings
Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Buffalo Chick’n Wings are the ultimate vegan hack. Vegan snacks don’t have to channel a meat-based counterpart, but we certainly appreciate it when they pull it off. And these do, to the extreme. If you like boneless wings but you’re catering to a mixed crowd of vegetarians and meat eaters, these will pretty much please everyone. They come with a sauce that’s perfectly tangy and a little spicy, and there’s enough of it to thoroughly coat every nugget. There’s no skimping on this one, seriously. The best game day appetizers are crowd pleasers, and these will satisfy everyone at the party, no matter their dietary restrictions.
Read the full ranking of the best vegan buffalo wings