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Easy Game Night Recipes – What Can I Cook for Game Night?
Happy people eating finger foods

Written by Kait

May 4, 2020

When hosting a game night, it’s not surprising that the most important thing to have prepared is board games. But what is commonly overlooked when planning the event are the smaller details; such as decorations, seating, music and possibly the second most important… food! You may be looking to satisfy the ‘food’ part of this equation by learning some easy game night recipes. 

We have our own batch of game night recipes that always come in handy when we are thinking about what to cook for game night. 

You can easily serve game night snacks to your guests. But why not spruce it up a little and serve some easy game night treats that everyone will be sure to love.

If you are asking yourself, “what can I cook for game night?” We got you covered! Here are our tried and true recipes for keeping your players fed, happy, and satisfied! 

Deciding On What Food to Make for Game Night

When planning your game night food menu, there are a few important factors to consider… 

  1. How many people will be attending your game night event?
  2. What time of day will you be playing? 
  3. How long will your game night last?
  4. What types of games will you be playing?

Ask yourself these four questions when figuring out your game night menu.

Factor #1:

Knowing the amount of people that will be participating in your evening is perhaps the most important factor. You don’t want to run out of food and cause a food fiasco! 

Hungry Players = Angry Players
 (and a negative gaming environment) 

On the other hand, having too much food will lead to food waste and therefore a waste of money as well! That wasted money could be put to good use, such as buying a few more games! 

Factor #2:

The time of day of your game night is a key factor for obvious reasons. If you’re hosting a board game brunch (which we highly recommend), you don’t want to be serving pigs in a blanket. 

Just as you wouldn’t want to be chowing down on a quiche during a Friday evening game night. You want to build your menu around the time of day to best suit the needs of your players. 

Factor #3:

Will your game night be 2-3 hours or our recommended not too long not too short time span of 3-5 hours? Having a general idea of the amount of time your guests will be present is important on its own, but it also ties into factor #1 with making sure you have enough food to last the evening.

In our experiences, guests tend to gorge themselves right at the start of the night. Food consumption decreases as game play begins, serious players won’t let the munchies get in the way of strategy. 

Dirty Fingers  = Messy Gameplay

After a few games are played there comes a crucial and consistent part of game night. The concentration and intensity of gameplay have proven to be hard work and thus the second wave of hunger hits! 

Pay attention during the next game night you attend. There ALWAYS comes a point in the night when people start getting hungry again, it never fails for us! Knowing the timeframe of your event will help you to gage not only the amount of food you will eat, but to plan out which food gets served at what time. See the graph below…

Game Night Recipes
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We recommend serving any hot food that needs to be warmed or prepared first. This ensures that you as the host gets to be an active participant and enjoy the rest of the evening with your guests. By having the “main event” food items ready to go when your guests arrive, you are allowing yourself to have more time spent mingling, rather than stuck in the kitchen. 

Once the main event food items have been consumed and your guests are well fueled to play, condense any leftovers to one platter and clear the rest. The leftovers will serve as the hold over fuel for anyone who needs a little snack in between courses. 

Play a few games in your now cleared and cleaned space and then when the next wave a hunger strikes. In comes the pre packaged “snacky” foods! Chips, dips, fruit and maybe some dessert. At this point, you want to serve the rest of your food items. Including a mix of sweet and salty ensures that anyone ready for dessert is served, as well as those who are still on the snack train. 

Factor #4:

This last factor isn’t mandatory, but it is encouraged. Having an idea of which games will be played during your game night will help to develop a general theme for the evening. By utilizing themes for your game nights, you not only showcase some creativity that will wow your guests, but you will also provide more variety in the food that will be served at each get together.

Take a look at our epic game night ideas article if you are interested in learning more about themed game nights. 

If you meet frequently with friends and family to play, you don’t want the food you’re offering to become ‘blah’ and boring. Offering a variety of cooked foods and changing up the snacks offered at each event is beneficial to ensuring you keep monotony at bay. 

We hope that after asking yourself the above questions, you have a better idea of how to plan out the rest of your evening. Taking the time to plan and prepare ahead of time will allow you as the host to have just as much fun as your guests do. 

More often than not, the host of the event spends more time working than playing. But it doesn’t need to be that way! Using the above action plan allows you the best way to serve your guests, making them happy while also lessening the burden of hosting. 

Finger Foods and Sweet Treats – Our Goto Game Night Recipes 

Sometimes hosting a game night is a little overwhelming. Setting up your game space, laying out the board games, decorating for themes, and preparing food to serve to your guests… it’s a lot! We know it is not always easy, especially for beginners. That’s why we designed the above questions. 

In this next section, we will outline some “game night menu” ideas for your game night. Each menu will contain 2 or 3 PREPARED FOODS. These are the food items that will require heating up, baking or some sort of advanced preparation. 

As stated above, prepared foods should be served warm and freshly made at the start of your evening, before games are played. Choose a menu below that corresponds with the theme of your evening, or mix and match recipes to create your own! 

Menu #1 – Tex Mex 

Taco Dip

Baked Chicken Tacos

 Spicy Blender Salsa & Chips

Spanish flavors with an American twist. This menu is guaranteed to please guests while giving you less to do right before they arrive. 
Mix up the bottom layer of the taco dip, blend up the homemade salsa and cook the chicken the morning of to make preparation easy! 

MOMS TACO DIP:

Ingredients:

1 package cream cheese softened 
½ container sour cream 
1 packet taco seasoning 
1 cup shredded lettuce 
¾ cup shredded cheese (we like sharp cheddar) 
¼ cup salsa (jarred or homemade) 

Directions:

  1. Add softened cream cheese, half the container of sour cream and the taco seasoning packet to a large mixing bowl. *to save on dishes, use a bowl with a lid 
  2. Using a hand mixer, mix until well combined and there are no lumps. Put a lid on the bowl, or transfer to a storage container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. * We recommend making it in the morning and refrigerating for a couple of hours. 
  3. When you’re ready to serve, use a spatula to spread an even layer of the dip on the bottom of a serving platter. You can make this as thick or thin as you want. 
  4. Using a small spoon layer on the salsa. You won’t be making a layer, only plopping it down making sure to disperse it evenly around the platter. 
  5. Next add your shredded lettuce again making sure to evenly disperse. 
  6. Sprinkle on your shredded cheese of choice. Add as much cheese as you’d like. You can’t go wrong on this layer. 
  7. And that’s it! You can put this together an hour before serving and store it covered in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. 
  8. Serve with your favorite tortillas chips 

BAKED CHICKEN TACOS 

Ingredients:

4 cups shredded chicken breast
1 Taco seasoning packet 
¼ cup salsa 
¾ cup queso 
12 flour tortillas (substitute corn for gluten free) 

**We use our instant pot to easily cook the chicken breasts. If you don’t have an instant pot or electric pressure cooker, you can use your slow cooker or boil the chicken breast. You want the chicken to be cooked and shredded before making the tacos. 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F 
  2. Line one large or two small baking sheets with parchment paper  
  3. Lay the tortillas on the baking sheet 
  4. In a large bowl, mix together shredded chicken, salsa and taco seasoning. You want the chicken to be coated with the seasoning but not wet, this will ruin the crunchiness of the finished product. If it seems too dry, add a little more salsa. 
  5. Spoon the chicken mixture onto half of the tortilla leaving the other side empty. 
  6. Spread a dollop of wieso onto the other side of the tortilla 
  7. Fold over the tortilla and press down so that it stays in place. The queso acts as a “glue” keeping both halves together. 
  8. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes
  9. Remove from oven when the top is browned but not burnt
  10. Serve warm out of the oven with your favorite taco sauces such as guacamole, salsa and sour cream. 

 

SPICY BLENDER SALSA

Ingredients:

1 – 28 oz can whole tomatoes drained
1 – 10 oz can tomatoes with green chilies undrained
½ white onion (about ½ cup)
1 jalapeño seeded and roughly chopped*
2 Tablespoons or Juice of 1 lime 
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
½ cup chopped cilantro 

Directions:

  1. Add your ingredients to the blender, placing the onion and jalapeño on the bottom.
  2. Press the “Pulse” button on your blender until the desired consistency is reached. (make sure you pulse and don’t run the blender or elwe the salsa will be too liquidy)
  3. You can serve your salsa immediately but we recommend placing it in the fridge for about an hour to allow those flavors to mend together and enhance the flavor. 
  4. Serve cold with tortillas chips. 

Notes:

*For a really spicy salsa, you can leave a few of the jalapeño seeds in. 
> This recipe makes about 4 cups of salsa.
> Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week

 

The recipes on this menu pair well with: 
Vegetables & Ranch Dip, 
Assorted chips (we recommend Doritos) and Lemonade!

 

Menu #2 – Easy Peasy Cocktail Party

Classic Pigs in a Blanket

3 Ingredient Spinach and Artichoke Bites 

Simple Cocktail Meatballs

All the joys of a fancy cocktail party, 
without the made from scratch hassle! 
This menu utilizes pre-made and packaged pantry staples to create a fine dining feel that doesn’t break the bank.

 

CLASSIC PIGS IN A BLANKET 

Ingredients:

1 package cocktail hotdogs 
1 tube crescent dough 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Pop open the crescent dough tube. Cut each triangle into 2 pieces. 
  3. Wrap 1 piece of dough around each hotdog. 
  4. Place on a baking sheet making sure to leave room in between so that they don’t bake together. 
  5. Bake until golden brown on top, about 12-15 minutes. 
  6. Serve on platter with ketchup and mustard for dipping 

Notes:

> These cook at the same temperature as the 3 ingredient spinach and artichoke bites recipe making them a good pair to put together and bake at the same time! Just keep in mind that adding more baking sheets to the oven might make the 
> A yummy variation for these would be to brush with melted butter and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds or poppy seeds before baking. 

 

3 INGREDIENT SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE BITES 

Ingredients:

1 tube crescent dough 
1 jar pre-made spinach and artichoke dip 
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F 
  2. Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray
  3. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the crescent dough. Make sure you pinch the seams together 
  4. Cut the dough into 24 squares placing each square into the mini muffin tin 
  5. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the premade spinach and artichoke dip into each muffin slot 
  6. Top with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese on each muffin slot 
  7. Bake until golden brown and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes 

Notes:

>These cook at the same temperature as the pigs in a blanket recipe making them a good pair to put together and bake at the same time! 

 

SIMPLE COCKTAIL MEATBALLS 

Ingredients:

For the meatballs*: 
1 lb ground beef 
½ tsp onion powder 
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
½ tsp black pepper 

For the sauce: 
¾ cup grape jelly 
1 ½ cups ketchup 
Optional: 
½ tsp chili powder 

Parsley to garnish 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients and form into 1 inch meatballs. 
  3. Bake for 18-20 minutes 
  4. While the meatballs are baking, combine the sauce ingredients in a medium fry pan over medium-low heat. Stir until the jelly melts. 
  5. Allow the sauce to come to a boil for 1 minute, toss in the meatballs. 
  6. Stir to combine and simmer on Low for 10-15 minutes. 
  7. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with parsley before serving. 
  8. If you are not serving right away, transfer to a storage container and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

Notes:

*Additionally you could use 1 lb frozen meatballs, follow the instructions on the package to cook. 
> This recipe tastes just as great when reheated. Make ahead and warm in the microwave until heated through before serving. 

The recipes on this menu pair well with: 
Meat & Cheese Spreads,
Pretzels and Hard Cider or Beer!

Menu #3 – All Day Breakfast  

Everything Bagel Loaded Breakfast Biscuits

Pecan Apple Bites

Whether you’re having a Game Day Brunch or changing up your usual game night bites, this breakfast/brunch menu never disappoints.
Sweet and savory flavors are combined to offer more time consuming,
but simple to make foods that are bound to please every player. 

 

EVERYTHING BAGEL LOADED BREAKFAST BISCUITS 

Ingredients:

1 tube biscuit dough
4 eggs whisked
3 slices pre cooked bacon
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon melted butter
Everything bagel seasoning  

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375, prepare the baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat. 
  3. Cook the pre cooked bacon until crispy*. 
  4. Remove bacon from the skillet and add in the whisked eggs and turn off the heat. 
  5. Gentle scramble until they are almost cooked, you don’t want them fully cooked or else they will dry out when they are baked. 
  6. Prepare your work space by finely chopping the bacon and having the shredded cheese and eggs where they are easily reached.  
  7. Pop open the biscuit tube. Using your hands, carefully flatten and stretch the biscuit unti it’s a little larger than the original size. Add a spoonful of egg as well as a sprinkle of chopped bacon and shredded cheese.
  8. Work the dough around the filling and pinch the edges together. 
  9. Place the loaded biscuit seam side down on baking sheet and continue until you run out of biscuits*. 
  10. Brush each biscuit with melted butter and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning.  
  11. Bake until biscuits are golden, about 20-25 minutes*.  

Notes: 

*Even though we are using pre cooked bacon, you still want to cook it until it is crispy. Adding it into the biscuits without cooking until crispy will result in bacon that is cold and tastes uncooked. Using pre cooked bacon reduces the amount of time it takes to make the bacon crispy. If raw bacon is all you have, just cook how you normally would until crispy. *You may have extra eggs, bacon and cheese. To reduce food waste, simply combine them and eat as is! It is basically a deconstructed breakfast scramble.  *Since all oven temperatures vary, keep an eye on the biscuits while they are baking. Take them out when they are just golden. You don’t want them to burn. 

 

PECAN APPLE BITES 

Ingredients:

1 tube crescent rolls
2 medium apples diced
¼ cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon butter
½ tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F 
  2. Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray
  3. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the crescent dough. Make sure you pinch the seams together 
  4. Cut the dough into 24 squares placing each square into the mini muffin tin. 
  5. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add butter.
  6. One the butter is melted, add in the diced apples and chopped pecans.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes, add in the cinnamon and sugar. 
  8. Cook until the apples are just soft. 
  9. Scoop the apple pecan filling into the prepared crescent squares. 
  10. Bake just until just golden brown, about 15 minutes 
  11. Let cool slightly before removing the bites from the muffin tin, serve warm. 

Notes:

> Make sure your apples are diced small and uniform so that they cook evenly and quickly.
> The pecans are a tasty addition, but feel free to leave them out for nut allergies or preference.
> We like to use Honey Crisp apples as they are our favorite, but any sweet apple will do.

The recipes on this menu pair well with:
Fresh Fruit Salad,
Yogurt with berries and Mimosas!

 

… and there you have it!

We hope that these custom themed game night menus help to inspire you to cook for your next game night! As you can see, there are endless possibilities when you utilize pantry staples and already made food items. 

When you have an inventory of simple recipes, it is easier to cook and less stressful to prepare home made foods for your game nights. Adding warm comforting foods into your game night spread will encourage people to come back for more time and time again.

If you have any questions or have made any of these recipes, leave a comment down below with your thoughts. We would love to hear from you!

 

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