The Big Game is this weekend, and if you’ve volunteered to host – don’t panic. Celebrity chef and PepsiCo spokeswoman Anne Burrell is here with tips and even some recipes to ensure game day victory.

Plan ahead

Anne: When people get themselves into hosting, say Thanksgiving, or even a Super Bowl party, people get overambitious. Then they get stressed out and time management goes out the window a little bit.

Before getting to that point, you should make a plan. Think, what can I do the day ahead? Two days ahead? The day of? Once you have that, you won’t have to stress and everything will come out great and will be ready when people start to arrive. Then you get to just focus on having fun and hanging out.


Get creative

Anne: It’s important when you’re hosting the Super Bowl, or hosting any big gathering, to have a variety of things available to eat. And it’s up to you and your comfort level on how creative you get. You can get as fancy or as laid back as you need.

On the PepsiCo Game Day Grub Match digital series, the whole idea is to show creativity. This year, the match happened to be retired NFL players, and they each brought some really unique ideas and good cooking skills – and some big personalities.

But one thing that was so kind of delightful were how creative they got with their dishes, with these basic products most people have in their pantry. [New York Jets center] Nick Mangold used Cool Ranch Doritos as a crust for his chicken wings. [NFL running back] Rashad Jennings marinated his chicken wings in Naked Mango Juice.

And it tasted really good!

Nothing beats the classics

Anne: If you’re not super comfortable making a big meal, you can be just as simple as putting out a bowl of Doritos. Putting out just chips and Sabra Hummus.

It’s about knowing your audience, and again, thinking about 'how much time do I have to make this stuff.'

A big pot of meatballs is a crowd pleaser. Chili is another and doesn’t take much. You can even spice it up a little bit with Tostito salsa.

But there are a lot of things that can be eaten as they are because they’re delicious – Doritos, Cheetos, hummus, things that people enjoy eating and aren’t time consuming.


Turn it into a pot luck

Anne: One way to invite that energy of the game into your kitchen is to make it into a pot luck. It’s a nice way to get everyone involved, and maybe invite a little friendly and healthy competition by having people pick the best dish.

That’s what a Super Bowl and healthy competition is all about. It’s about making food and having a great time with it.

Plus, a pot luck means less clean-up for the host!

For more game day ideas, check out Anne Burrell's snack-friendly recipes.