Chili is a given for game day, but consider other soup for your bowls too. It is still winter, after all, and anything warm and hearty works wonders.
The big game. Whether you like it or not, you’ll probably be watching. If not for the football, then for the commercials. Or maybe the halftime show (if only to marvel at how amazing J-Lo still looks). Or maybe you’ll show up for the food. You’re bound to be surrounded by bountiful spreads of wings and dips and pizza for miles. But you don’t need a stadium made of sandwiches or a watermelon sculpted like a helmet to enjoy the big game.
What if there are other food options and what if they are right there in the name of the game? I’m talking, of course, about soup. Superb soup, served in bowls! Yes the wordplay is corny, but these recipes definitely are not, unless you actually want to add corn to them—then go ahead, why not?!
If you have a vested interest in the game, you may want to go with team-themed options. But we’ve got plenty of delicious choices for those who don’t care who wins.
San Francisco fan or not, this seafood-packed soup is a clear winner. The broth is full of garlic and tomato flavor, and you can play around with the specific fish and shellfish depending on what’s available at the store. But if you’re going for a truly baller big game menu, you definitely need to work lobster in there. Get our Cioppino recipe.
Related Reading: The Best Places to Buy Seafood Online in 2020
Here’s one for Kansas City stalwarts—and everyone else with working taste buds. It’s a hearty bowl of chili that’s even better for being made with smoked BBQ brisket. If you have the time, patience, and equipment, you can smoke your own, or acquire some KC burnt ends and add them to your pot. Get the Smoked Brisket Chili recipe.
Jack Stack BBQ Burnt Ends Combo, $79 on Goldbelly
Get a taste of Kansas City, wherever you are.
Even though the Patriots aren’t playing this year (for once), you can never go wrong with a nice New England clam chowder. Our recipe takes you through the process of making the creamy, seafood-laden soup entirely from scratch. And don’t forget this pro-tip: When prepping the vegetables for the soup, save all the peelings and scraps (except the potato skins) to steam with the clams. Get our New England Clam Chowder recipe.
We picked this last year for Rams fans—Los Angeles, after all, is known for many great ramen joints, but more importantly, the name of the team is right there in the name of the dish! This year, we’re keeping it in the running because it’s just plain delicious, and this succulent pork version is easy to make in the slow cooker, an obvious bonus for any host. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds, and garnish with hard-boiled eggs and Sriracha. Eat this and you can’t lose, even if the team you’re rooting for does. Get the Slow Cooker Pork Ramen recipe.
NFL Team Slow Cookers (all teams), $29.99+ on Amazon
In case you feel the need to show your allegiances via your appliances.
If you’re still celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles’ win in 2018, or you just like lots of meat and cheese, we recommend going with a cheesesteak soup. Yes, such a wondrous thing exists! This recipe is a beefier take on French onion soup. Throw in peppers, onions, and mushrooms and top with tons of provolone, because Cheez Whiz in soup is just weird. Bread bowl optional, but obviously the superior choice. If you’re especially handy, you can bake oblong rolls to get the football shape effect. Get the Cheesesteak Soup recipe.
Didn’t even know there was a team named after a bird and not sure who’s playing this year either? In that case, use the one beverage that’s bound to be overflowing on game day as the key ingredient in your soup—beer. Grab a bottle or two and add some extra flavor to the mix. This German beer cheese soup can be made in 30 minutes. Use ale for a full-bodied taste or pilsner or wheat beer if you want something a little subtler. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a gooey bowl of beer and cheese. Get the German Beer Cheese Soup recipe.
If you’re intrigued by the cream and the cheese but you need something that’s alcohol free, try spinning the crowd-pleasing loaded baked potato into a soup. You cook the crispy bacon garnish first because the potatoes and onion are cooked in the rendered bacon fat for extra flavor. Get our Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe.
Conversely, if you’re after something lighter—yet still hearty enough for fellow football fans—this brothy Mexican-inspired soup is packed with veggies and really rather healthy, even with the turkey meatballs bound together by rice bobbing in the mix. Shape them into footballs if you want. Definitely doctor your bowl with as much lime juice and hot sauce as you like, and buy extra tortilla chips for topping this when the guacamole is all gone. Get our Mexican Turkey Meatball Soup recipe.
This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated with new images, links, and text.
Header image courtesy of Foodio/Shutterstock.