15 Easy Make-Ahead Snacks for Your Next Game Night

Simple Stromboli
Photo: Lela

Family game nights became a big deal during pandemic shutdowns, with folks hanging out in their living rooms with their loved ones and diving into classic board games like Monopoly, card games like poker, and puzzle games like Jenga — and the game night trend doesn't show any signs of slowing down. If you enjoy a little friendly competition, this lineup of easy-to-make and easy-to-handle snack foods will come in very handy when it comes to fueling the fun. We've hand-picked 15 easy make-ahead snacks for you, from classic Chex mix and caramel corn to mini ham sandwiches and hot dips. Scroll through to get all of the recipes plus make-ahead tips to store them until you're ready to get your game on.

01 of 16

Soccer Chex® Mix

Thanks to a seasoning mix consisting of melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and seasoned salt, this snack mix bursts with flavor. And because the butter mixture gets baked into the combination of cereal, cheese crackers, bagel chips, nuts, and pretzels, there won't be any powdery residue left on your fingers when you dig in (which means that you won't stain your game pieces).

Make-ahead tip: Once baked, the mix can be kept in a sealed, airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

02 of 16

Apple Chips

"These yummy cinnamon apple chips will disappear almost as quickly as you make them! They're perfect for healthy snacks," recipe contributor walkerkr says of these tasty and nutritious dehydrated treats. If your family likes to dip their apple chips, try serving them with creamy peanut butter or caramel sauce.

Make-ahead tip: After baking, they can be kept in a sealed, airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

03 of 16

Puffed Caramel Corn

Sweet, salty, and featherlight, these puffs pack big caramel corn flavor without any of the stickiness of the original, making for a no-mess eating experience.

Make-ahead tip: Stored in a sealed and airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

04 of 16

Pigs in a Blanket

"It's not a party without these little bite size treats! Who knew [that so] few ingredients could produce something so good? I use Pillsbury crescent rolls and cut them with a pizza cutter to make things easy," says Jillian.

Make-ahead tip: These classic mini hot dogs can be rolled in biscuit dough and refrigerated for up to three days before baking, which cuts down on time and effort on game night.

05 of 16

Buffalo Chicken Dip

a bowl of Buffalo Chicken Dip on a platter with crudite and chips
Mackenzie Schieck

If you're worried that a dip will prove too messy a snack during game play, then opt for a substantial dip that's not prone to runniness, like this Buffalo chicken dip. For extra anti-mess insurance, serve with scoop-shaped tortilla chips.

Make-ahead tip: Once assembled, this dip can stay in the fridge for up to three days before baking and serving.

06 of 16

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip II

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip II
Photo by LazyFoodieGirl.

"This is the best artichoke and spinach dip in the world!" raves APRIL4181. "Once we discovered how great the recipe was, I made it two more times that week!"

Make-ahead tip: The assembled dip can be refrigerated for up to four days before you bake and serve.

07 of 16

Southern Pimento Cheese

southern pimento cheese
Holiday Baker

A staple of Southern kitchens, pimento cheese dip has a sturdy and creamy consistency (so it's easy to keep on your chip or carrot stick), and it delivers an engaging blend of cheesiness, tanginess, and just a hint of spice.

Make-ahead tip: Once the ingredients are combined, the dip can be stored in the fridge for up to one week and should be served slightly chilled or at room temperature.

08 of 16

Baked Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches

four slider-sized ham sandwiches on a square white plate
Kim's Cooking Now

"These small, delicious sandwiches are perfect for any party. They are so good that even the pickiest of eaters will eat these" says reviewer LisaT in her very apt elevator pitch for these crowd-pleasing and perfectly hand-held mini ham-and-cheese sandwiches.

Make-ahead tip: The sandwiches can be put together and frozen for up to one month. When you're ready to serve, thaw the sandwiches, pour the mustard mixture over the tops, and bake.

09 of 16

Jalapeno Popper Cups

"​​BIG HIT!" is reviewer TiffanyWV's response to these zesty palm-sized snacks. "I put the mix in a sandwich baggie and snipped the corner to pipe the mix in to make it easier and so that I wouldn't break the shells," she advises.

Make-ahead tip: The filled phyllo cups can be frozen for up to one month. To serve, defrost and bake right before your game night begins.

10 of 16

Chicken Quesadillas

Chicken Quesadillas
Gigi

Quesadillas are, by nature, a tidy treat encased in a crisp tortilla fold. That makes them a no-brainer for a party environment, especially when messy hands are an issue to avoid. The quesadillas in this recipe contain "zesty chicken and cooked peppers, [which are] are a succulent delight when mixed with the melted cheeses. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa," says reviewer Heather. She also insists that "they reheat quite well."

Make-ahead tip: Slice assembled quesadillas into wedges and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet. Wrap and store in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw the frozen quesadillas overnight in the fridge and warm through in the oven.

11 of 16

Easy Chicken Flautas

Another handheld Mexican-inspired bite, chicken flautas offer lively flavors and an invigorating crunch. Plus, they're easy to match with your dipping sauce of choice, from salsa to jalapeno ranch to guacamole.

Make-ahead tip: The baked flautas can be frozen for up to two months and just need to be thawed and heated in the oven before serving.

12 of 16

Simple Stromboli

Stromboli provides all of the ingredients and flavor elements that we love so much in pizza, but without the risk of grease drips and errant cheese slides. Recipe creator Judy Cowan tells readers that "my picky eaters love this for an easy weeknight meal, and it's great served with a soup."

Make-ahead tip: After baking, the stromboli can be stored in the freezer for up to three months and reheated in the oven.

13 of 16

Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

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A neater alternative to saucy Buffalo wings, lemon pepper wings are filled with zesty tang and spice, all counterbalanced by the natural savoriness of the chicken meat.

Make-ahead tip: The cooked wings stay fresh in the freezer for up to three months and easily heat through in the oven.

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Spinach Rolls with Puff Pastry

Puff pastry freezes remarkably well, which makes these spinach rolls an easy choice for a make-ahead game night spread. Recipe contributor cassandra says, "I used frozen spinach because it was a better buy than fresh at the time, but the equivalent amount of fresh spinach, chopped and wilted, would do the job."

Make-ahead tip: The rolls can be frozen for up to three months.

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Candied Bacon

Fans of sweet-and-salty snacks will adore these crunchy bacon rashers lacquered with brown sugar and maple syrup.

Make-ahead tip: The candied bacon will keep in the freezer for up to four months; you can either defrost and serve at room temperature, or you can heat the strips through in the oven.

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