Football Finger Foods

Pairs Well With… Football + Friends + Fall 


  • Cheeseburger Bites
  • Baked Fried Pickles
  • Hot Dish on a Stick


This weekend was a football trifecta for me: the Gophers, the Cyclones, and the Minnesota Vikings. I attended my first Gophers game on a nice, sunny Saturday afternoon.  For as many times as I’d been to TCF Bank Stadium to watch the Vikings, I’d never watched a college game here.  It was amazing, not to mention the score was 58-28, something that doesn’t often happen in college football!

Saturday was a double header.  Later in the day, my Iowa State Cyclones played the Iowa Hawkeyes.  I really could have put those few hours to a better cause with the 42-3 score. Better luck next year.

More than anything, I was excited for Sunday to watch the Vikings play again.  I put on my tall, purple Chuck Taylor’s and Peterson jersey, got cozy in my living room Love Sac and braced myself for Week 1’s game.  (If you’re not familiar with what a Love Sac is, it’s pretty much an adult bean bag that about 4 feet across and 2 1/2 deep.  It’s the bomb.)

I love the feeling of fall just as much as I love when it feels like football again!  I also love hosting the occasional game watch party.  So, with that in mind, I really wanted to get crafty in the kitchen and went to work on some fun football finger foods for my next party!  While some of these may not be new concepts, they sure were delightfully tasty!



This recipe is EASY!  It’s all about the assembly.  Make your meatballs. Assemble. Eat.

Meatball Ingredients:


Makes 24 meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Original Blend
1/2 tsp garlic powder
A few dashes of pepper (to taste)



Use your favorite burger toppings!


Sliced cheese (3 slices)
Cherry Tomatoes (12 tomatoes)
Bacon of choice (3-5 slices)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spray cooking sheet with a non-stick cooking spray
  3. Mix meatball ingredients and ground beef in a bowl
  4. Shape ground beef mix into 1-inch meatballs (you should wind up with appx. 24)
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked as desired (less time for more pink)
  6. Top with burger goodies!

Tip: Make your meatballs in advance of the party, freezing if needed.  All you’ll need to do is dethaw, warm and top ’em!

One of these days I’ll figure out how to make meat look sexier…


Final product: these were GREAT!



In the last month, I’ve had more hot pickle appetizers than I’ve had in the last ten years. Really.  Whenever they are on a menu (or at the State Fair) they always get ordered.  The good news is they are never a letdown.  I never met a dill pickle I didn’t like.  I made these a couple Christmas Eve’s ago as an appetizer and they were a big hit.

Pickle Ingredients:


Umm…my store didn’t carry pickle chips that weren’t in a bag. (WHAT?!?!) If you used a standard jar of pickle chips, you’re looking at appx. 36 good size pieces.


1 24 oz. jar pickle chips (or 3 of these Oh Snap pickle chips that were pretty amazing)

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Pour pickles into a strainer discarding all pickle juice. Blot pickles with a cooking cloth or paper towel.
  3. Here, you will need two bowls and one plate.  Crack eggs into bowl and beat well.  Mix breadcrumbs, minced onion, garlic powder and salt in a bowl.  Pour mixture onto a plate.
  4. Dip each of your pickles into egg and coating well.  Batter the pickle in the breadcrumb mixture and place on coated baking sheet.
  5. Once all pickles are coated, bake in oven for 15 minutes, flipping at about 10 minutes.

Tip: Add additional seasonings into your breadcrumb mixture for extra flavor: Shredded parmesan cheese, fresh garlic, tabasco sauce, chipotle powder.  Serve with chilled dipping sauce.  Pairs Well With… RANCH!




Wikipedia defines Hotdish (apparently all one word) as the following: a variety of casserole which typically contains a starch, a meat or other protein, and a canned or frozen vegetable, mixed with canned soup. The dish originates from and is popular in the Upper Midwest region of the United States, particularly in the states of Minnesota and North Dakota.

So, yes, this is a very Minnesotan thing.  Yes, I aborted mission on anything vegetable related here.  Yes, I put it on a stick.  Sue me.

The state fair ended recently and about three years ago, I found this gem the first year it was introduced.  Naturally.

I attempted to recreate it with a healthier, non-fried spin.

Hot Dish on a Stick Ingredients:


1 bag Tater Tots
1 bag pre-cooked frozen turkey meatballs
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flaxseed meal
1 1/2 cups skim milk + 3 tbsp
1/2 c flour
1/2 cup sugar (more if sweeter batter is desired)
2 tbsp baking powder
2 eggs
Wooden skewers cut in half (popsicle sticks will work too)
Note:  1) Each skewer is made up of 2 meatballs & 2 Tater Tots; Recipe makes appx 12 skewers
2) Flaxseed has great health benefits and is a superfood but is slightly bitter tasting.  If you don’t like the taste of it, use all cornmeal.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook packages of turkey meatballs and tater tots to packaging instructions.  Let cool to be able to handle. Skewer meatballs and tots alternating each so that there are two pieces of each per stick.
  3. Mix cornmeal, flaxseed meal, flour, sugar, and baking powder
  4. Mix in eggs and stir in 1 1/2 cups milk (hold on the remaining tablespoons) little by little.  Blend together thoroughly.  The milk may take a few minutes to absorb.
  5. Quickly dip skewers in batter and place on foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 5-6 minutes. (Since the batter won’t hold on both sides at one time, you’ll need to dip them again after the one side has set.)
  6. Add remaining tablespoons of milk to the batter to loosen it up if it has thickened.  Pull skewers from oven, let cool enough to handle and dip the opposite side (or entire thing if desired) and place back on baking sheet.
  7. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until slightly browned.
  8. Serve warm and with country gravy for a savory treat!




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