Super Bowl recipes: Your comprehensive guide, with four menus.

The “You’re Doing It Wrong” Guide to Super-Bowl Snacking

The “You’re Doing It Wrong” Guide to Super-Bowl Snacking

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 2 2013 2:36 PM

You’re Doing It Wrong: Super-Bowl Snacking

What will you be eating as you stare at this on Sunday?

Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images

The period from early January to early April is a horrible slog of dark, cold, mirthless drudgery. After the month-long period of delight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, we face two to three full months of winter, unbroken by a single national feast worth mentioning. (With all due respect to MLK Day and Presidents Day, they’re not occasions most people use to break out the bubbly and caviar.)

L.V. Anderson L.V. Anderson

L.V. Anderson is a former Slate associate editor.

Which is what makes the Super Bowl more than the culmination of the NFL season—it is a de facto national feast day, the one respite Americans have from the lonely, boring period known in business circles as Q1. Is it perfect? No. Ideally there’d be some midwinter festivity that did not presuppose an interest in football. But we sports ignoramuses have to take what we can get, and accept that the Super Bowl is our only chance to gather with friends and family, carouse, mingle, eat, and feel human until springtime arrives.


Pretzels, Fritos, and canned bean dip, then, do not suffice as Super Bowl-watching food. Charged with the task of temporarily curing our collective Seasonal Affective Disorder, the Super Bowl must offer dishes that are rich, hot, and abundant. Plus, as a national institution, the Super Bowl is a chance to shine a spotlight on quintessentially American dishes that we overlook on Thanksgiving—dishes like chili, macaroni and cheese, and brownies.

To that end, “You’re Doing It Wrong” offers you four possible Super Bowl menus, each tailored to a different sensibility, all guaranteed to fill your home with celebratory warmth and your heart with happiness on game day. (NB: Happiness in your heart is not guaranteed unless you serve your homemade goodies with generous quantities of beer.) Feel free to mix and match from each menu: Everyone’s main focus will be on the field, which takes the pressure off the meal to be perfectly choreographed. Even a haphazard collection of homemade goodies will make people happy—possibly for the first time since December.

Classical Super-Bowl Menu
Black Bean and Stout Chili, or Chili Redux
Guacamole (with tortilla chips)
Chocolate Chip Brownies