Chef John's MVP Recipes for the Big Game

a football-shaped dip topped with crumbled bacon and sour cream "stitching" on a green platter
Chef John's Loaded Baked Potato Dip. Photo: Chef John

These top-rated recipes are a veritable highlight reel of Chef John's all-time favorite game-day foods. From classic dips, wings, and nachos, to chili, beef sliders, and pulled pork—they're all here. No matter what team you live and die for, the celebration's always better with the best of Chef John!

01 of 18

Super Deluxe Steak Nachos

Super Deluxe Steak Nachos
Super Deluxe Steak Nachos | Photo by.

Chef John's primo steak nachos take your Super Bowl snack game to the next level. You'll top a layer of pinto beans with perfectly seasoned flat or skirt steak topped with Cheddar and Monterey Jack. Finish with avocado, tomatoes, peppers, sour cream, and cilantro for the win.

02 of 18

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

2377270_Loaded Baked Potato Dip_Photo by The Gruntled Gourmand
Loaded Baked Potato Dip | Photo by the Gruntled Gourmet.

Chef John's very bacony, fully loaded baked potato dip features all the classic baked potato fixings: sour cream, Cheddar, and green onions. For extra points, form the dip into a football shape -- Chef John shows you how in the video.

03 of 18

Mini Philly Cheesesteaks

Mini Philly Cheesesteaks
Photo by Chef John.

These little cheese steak toasts are made with all the classic cheese steak ingredients, only in open-face form. The fixings are chopped up and spooned onto slices of baguette, then baked until beautiful. Tip: Slice your bread on the diagonal to make football-shaped ovals instead of rounds. The delight is in the details, right?

04 of 18

Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip

Baked Buffalo Chicken Dip

Everything you love about chicken wings with none of the greasy mess -- and no bones! The key is to start with rotisserie chicken, not canned chicken.

05 of 18

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Puffs

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Puffs
Bacon Jalapeno Popper Puffs | Photo by Chef John.

These jalapeno poppers are lighter than most but bring all the hot poppin' flavor. "All the same flavors are there," says Chef John. "Especially when served with the easy cream cheese dip, and the prep is much easier."

06 of 18

Chef John's Pulled Pork BBQ

3533730_ chef john's pulled pork bbq photo by chef john
Photo by Chef John.

Low and slow is the way to go for super-tender pulled pork. You'll cook the pork for about 12 hours. But your patience will be amply rewarded with perfectly fall-apart pork. This recipe could not be easier.

07 of 18

Beef, Bean, and Beer Chili

Beef, Bean, and Beer Chili
Photo by Chef John.

This beef and bean chili has wonderful depth of flavor. A bottle of beer, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a touch of cocoa powder are the keys to victory. Enjoy topped with crème fraiche (or sour cream if you're not feeling fancy), cilantro, and maybe a dash of cayenne.

08 of 18

Chef John's Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Chef John's hot spinach artichoke dip
Photo by janna.

This quick-and-easy dip features canned artichoke hearts, chopped frozen spinach, cream cheese, and three types of grated cheese. And since there's no mayo or sour cream, it's actually lower in fat than restaurant versions. Delicious on just about anything -- crackers, chips, sliced baguette, whatever you like.

09 of 18

Baked Crab and Artichoke Dip

Baked Crab and Artichoke Dip
Photo by Stacy.

This creamy crab and artichoke dip is baked in a bread bowl. You'll build on a delicious base of cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo, adding Cheddar, herbs, and seasonings. Serve it hot with crackers -- or in a bread bowl...and then eat the dishes.

10 of 18

Crispy Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings

Crispy Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings
Photo by Buckwheat Queen.

"The honey-sriracha glaze is quite delicious and incredibly simple," says Chef John. "But the real star of the show is the strange but effective technique of coating the wings with a spice rub before baking. Through the magic of chemical reactions, the surface of the chicken becomes bone-dry, and eventually crisps up to something very similar to what would come out of a deep fryer."

11 of 18

Hot Baked Reuben Dip

Hot Baked Reuben Dip
Hot Baked Reuben Dip | Photo by Chef John.

It's the classic deli sandwich converted into delicious dip form. "I used pastrami instead of corned beef, which is a little spicier," says Chef John.

12 of 18

Chef John's Beef Sliders

Chef John's Beef Sliders

These tiny burgers are perfect party food. Chef John's cool trick is to form the ground beef in muffin cups before frying them up. Serve them on small dinner rolls with sliced tomatoes.

13 of 18

Chef John's Classic Guacamole

3983181_ Chef John's Classic Guacamole Photo by Chef John
Photo by Chef John.

Guac this way! "There are few things as easy, healthy, and delicious as this ubiquitous dip," says Chef John. "However, unless you're grinding your aromatic vegetation in a molcajete, or against a cutting board, you're really not tasting a classic guacamole. The flavors not only become more intense, but actually change in character. This is just what those bland, fatty, but delectable avocados need. That and a thoughtful seasoning of lime juice, and maybe some more salt."

14 of 18

Chorizo Fundido

Chorizo Fundido
Chorizo Fundido | Photo by Chef John.

Chef John puts the fun in fundido. This meaty, three-cheesy dip is perfect for the big game. "Bake this creamy chorizo fundido for an easy and impressive party snack," he says. "Garnish with chopped tomato and green onion and serve with tortilla chips."

15 of 18

Meatball-Stuffed Garlic Bread Sliders

Meatball stuffed garlic bread sliders
Photo by Chef John.

"We're getting close to the Super Bowl, and it's not about who wins the trophy, but rather who wins the snack table," says Chef John. "If you show up with these super fun sliders, that will be you. Maybe it's the symmetry, or center of gravity, that makes these just feel right in your hand. If you're short on time, using pre-made meatballs will do."

16 of 18

Pepperoni Pizza Cheese Drip Chips

Pepperoni-topped melted cheese crisps stacked in a round black bowl
Pepperoni Pizza Cheese Drip Chips. Chef John

We may not all agree on what toppings to pile onto a pizza, but at least we can all agree that the best part of a pizza is the bits of crispy, crusty, caramelized cheese that sticks to the pan. In a stroke of pure genius, Chef John has taken those cheesy drips and turned them into chips! "Add whatever pizza toppings you're into," says Chef John. "And serve them as they are or top with a bit of baby arugula and fold in half to eat like tacos"

17 of 18

Mini Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls

Mini Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls
Photo by Chef John. Chef John

Chef John uses chicken breast meat to create a crunchy Buffalo wing alternative. "Less messy than bone-in Buffalo wings and more eventful than the 'boneless' kind, these Buffalo chicken egg rolls are a party snack breakthrough," says Chef John. "Serve alongside more hot sauce and celery."

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