It’s Football FOOD Time in Tennessee


It’s football FOOD time in Tennessee! September is finally here and it brings football back to Knoxville, and our first WIN! #GoVols

While I love to go to the games, we don’t get to go to them all. Instead, we like to throw big football game viewing parties, complete with a huge spread of food. To help you throw a Vol-worthy party (or whatever team you love), I have compiled all my favorite recipes. Some of these are my original recipes, some are favorites I found on Pinterest, and some are family and friends favs! They are all drool-worthy, but some are healthier than others. I believe in having fun on the weekends, so I don’t worry too much about fat, calories, or sugar when I am planning my parties. There’s plenty of time for that during the workweek, am I right?

My go-to football favorite is a big huge crock pot full of chili! I always serve it with a huge offering of accompaniments, too. Think corn chips, avocado, tomatoes, green onions, cheddar cheese, salsa, black olives, jalapenos, cilantro, and sour cream.

 5 Bean Chili


  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage, browned and drained
  • 3 cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can of your favorite beer
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced green pepper
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 TBSP prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP prepared coffee (optional-just use the left-over from the morning)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional-or add more if you like heat)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: After you brown the sausage, place it in the crock pot. Add all of the beans, stock, beer, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. In a skillet, heat EVOO over medium and add the onions, peppers, and garlic. Heat until softened, about 3-4 minutes, and add to crock pot. Add all of the spices, mustard, and Worcestershire. Any time I make any tomato sauce, I always add prepared coffee. It just gives it a balance and richness. Don’t worry if you don’t like coffee; it does not give it a coffee flavor. But if you don’t make coffee, you can skip it — the chili will still be yummy! Add pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and give it all a good stir. Let simmer on low. It will be ready to eat as soon as it’s all hot, but I like to let it simmer for at least four hours so all the flavors mesh well. Serve with your toppings and you have an amazing chili bar!

My brother-in-law introduced me to sausage dip and we call it crack at our house. I usually double the recipe and we NEVER have any left over! It’s a crowd-pleaser and super easy!

Sausage Dip


  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage (or hot if you like heat)
  • 2 boxes cream cheese/Greek yogurt blend
  • 2 cans fire roasted Rotel tomatoes

Directions: Brown and drain the sausage, cut cream cheese into cubes for faster melting and add to pan. Add tomatoes and stir over low heat until all melted and well combined. Serve with taco chips, corn chips, or crackers.

7 Layer Taco Dip (vegetarian)


  • Refried Beans-16 oz
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 8 oz cream cheese/Greek yogurt blend, softened
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 16 oz salsa
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 avocado, smashed with salt and lemon juice
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions
  • Shredded lettuce
  • sliced black olives
  • sliced jalapenos
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Mix refried beans with taco seasoning and spread on bottom of large platter. Combine cream cheese and sour cream and spread over beans. Layer salsa, cheese, lettuce, jalapenos, black olives, and finish with dollops of avocado smash and green onions. Serve with big, scoop-able chips! (Sometimes I go the extra mile and make this look like a football field by putting the avocado and lettuce on top and using sour cream in a zip-lock back to pipe on the lines and hash marks.)

Here are some other tasty dishes:

Once you try this Maple Bacon Popcorn, you may never eat plain popcorn again. Seriously, it’s that good!

Here is a great Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Here is a savory take on Monkey Bread.

If you love Reuben sandwiches, then you will love this appetizer version of the classic Reuben Dip.

I love to offer a dessert that incorporates fruit — somehow I feel less guilty about it! Here is an easy and delicious Fruit Pizza. Sometimes I set it up like a buffet bar, and I do individual sugar cookies and then let my guests pick their own toppings.

These Calypso Shrimp Skewers are always a fan favorite! I use wild-caught, peeled and deveined shrimp. You can buy it frozen and thaw it before you start.

This hummus recipe is easy and classic. I like to serve it with carrots, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and bell peppers. I actually love when I have this left over because then I take it in my lunch during the following workweek!

If you are having kids at your party, they will love these Mummy dogs. I always make them with a big pot of chili for Halloween, but I’ve started including them at all of my football parties, and they are always a big hit. I prefer Hebrew National hot dogs, but you can use whatever kind you prefer.

These Football Strawberries are easy and really add a special touch to your spread! Sure to impress your guests, and who doesn’t like chocolate covered strawberries?

Finally, I bring you Football Deviled Eggs. You can use any recipe you like for the eggs, and just decorate them like footballs, of course.

What are your go-to football food recipes?


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