7 student-friendly recipes for game day

Monday, September 26, 2022 7 student-friendly recipes for game day

Chips with guacamole and salsa

Happy Homecoming week, Huskers! In anticipation of Saturday’s homecoming game, we’re sharing tailgating recipes to help you tackle hunger on game day. The best part? These are all recipes that could be made in either a residence hall room or typical college apartment. No fancy kitchen appliances needed.

The easiest appetizers also happen to be convenient for those living in a residence hall. Here are three recipes to try:

  • Snack Mix – perhaps the most versatile of snack options, a snack mix requires virtually no preparation and is highly customizable. Stop by Herbie’s Market or run to a grocery store and pick up your favorite snack components. A good rule of thumb is to mix sweet and savory and to include a variety of textures. For example, try popcorn, M&Ms, goldfish, and pretzels together.
  • Veggie Tray – a classic for any get together from tailgates to potlucks to picnics! Veggies trays are a fun way to incorporate some nutrition into your tailgate spread. They’re perfect for students living on-campus because they don’t require any heating; chop them up and you’re good to go. If you don’t have a good set of kitchen knives, you can always purchase pre-cut vegetable trays from the store. If you prefer an elevated look you can transfer the veggies to a nice board or dish. Make sure you remember ranch for dipping – no Midwest tailgate is complete without it.
  • Layer Dip – while the 7-layer dip is an iconic tailgate food, it requires a lot of ingredients and preparation. Try a modified version by combining jarred salsa and queso together. Much easier, fewer ingredients, and still delicious. It’s best warm, but still tasty at room temperature.
  • Homemade Guacamole – there is nothing quite like fresh guacamole and avocado is a great source of healthy fats. Typically, Guacamole is made up of avocado, onion, tomato, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, and salt. Making guacamole may seem intimidating, but most grocery stores sell pre-chopped Pico de Gallo and onion, making the preparation process much easier. Walmart's pre-made Pico de Gallo contains Roma tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and salt; from there, all you need to finish your guacamole is avocado!

For those in apartments or homes with an ability to cook, take your appetizers to the next level with these tasty treats:

  • Buffalo Chicken Dip – a great way to add some protein into your diet on gameday.

    Core ingredients: 2 cups of shredded chicken, 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, ½ cup of ranch dressing, and ½ cup buffalo sauce.

    If you have a crockpot, cook and shred the chicken before you need it for the dip. If needed, make it the day before and store the chicken in the fridge until gameday. If you don’t have a crockpot, you can either buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it or use canned chicken.

    Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Then transfer into a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Reminder: Snacking on protein-rich foods, like chicken, before drinking alcohol can help slow the emptying of your stomach and delay alcohol absorption.
  • Walking Tacos – an easy way to feed a group and to cut down on cleanup. They’re also highly customizable; feel free to add your favorite toppings or skip the ones you don’t love.

    Core ingredients: 1 lb ground beef or turkey and individual bags of Fritos (at least one per person).

    Recommended toppings: Diced tomatoes, green chiles, shredded lettuce, sour cream, onions, shredded cheese

    Cook the ground beef and add your favorite taco seasoning. Drain grease and transfer to a serving dish. Prepare all the toppings so that they are in separate dishes.

    Most people build their own walking taco; open the Frito bag, add ground beef and desired toppings. Enjoy!
  • Veggie Pizza – if you’re hoping to incorporate a few more veggies into your game day mix, a veggie pizza is the best of both worlds; delicious pizza with some added nutrition.

    Core ingredients: Pillsbury pizza crust, cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced vegetables

    Suggested vegetables: broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber

    Bake the pizza dough first. Before adding toppings, let it cool (about 30 minutes).

    Mix together softened cream cheese + sour cream. Spread it across the pizza crust to use as the pizza “sauce.”

    Add your vegetables as toppings.

    You can eat the pizza right away or store it in the fridge for a few hours before game day.

No matter what you choose to snack on, remember to keep non-alcoholic beverages available. If you choose to consume alcohol, always be sure to have a designated driver or to use a ride service like Uber or Lyft to get home safely.

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