Monday, January 26, 2015

F is for: Football Feast {Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Mini Pizzas, & Chili Tortilla Cups}

I write this from a hotel room in Bristol, CT as the East Coast braces for Snowmageddon 2015. The show must go on at ESPN, and the Super Bowl will most certainly go on Sunday despite any lingering questions about underinflated footballs.

Speaking of which, "Deflategate" was actually the inspiration for part of this meat-lovers Superbowl menu I came up with today. So while everyone was stocking up on bread and milk, I was buying things like pizza dough and blue cheese.


Buffalo Chicken Meatballs:

Never have I ever talked about {foot}balls so much, especially when on national TV. "Deflategate" has dominated this Super Bowl talk, so I thought it was only fitting to come up with a {meat}ball recipe for this week's big game.

These meatballs are a play on Buffalo wings, made with carrot, celery, blue cheese, and of course Frank's wing sauce* (duh). They are soooo good. Like, my mouth is salivating right now just thinking about them. They are probably my favorite of the trio, so if you make only one thing from this menu, please make these.

*Note... I use Frank's *wing* sauce instead of the plain hot sauce. If you are using the hot sauce, you will want to mix it with a little (or a lot) of butter. I also recommend using ground chicken thighs if your store carries it (I got mine at Whole Foods). Your meatballs won't dry out as easily and the flavor will be a million times better. I made these in a dutch oven on the stove, but they could also be made (and served) in a slow cooker to keep them warm on your food table.

Chili Tortilla Cups:

Chili is a staple on game day, but these adorable little bowls make it so much more fun to eat. (And the smaller portion leaves room for all of the other delicious things to eat on Super Bowl Sunday).

To make these, you just gently press tortillas into a muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 10-15 minutes. (Similar to the method for my Mini 7 Layer Dips, except you use a whole tortilla).

You can use your favorite chili recipe, or for the sake of making things even easier... I give you permission to buy some, as long as it's from a super bomb place. (If people are interested, I can include my basic chili recipe, just leave a comment).

For serving, I recommend putting cheese in the bottom of the cups before adding chili. This will help the shells from getting soggy. If you don't anticipate people eating all at the same time, I would make a little "chili bar" with the chili warmed in a slow cooker with all of the toppings laid out for people with the shells prepped with the cheese in the bottom. (Though I encourage you to also top them with more cheese. Because, cheese). Also, spoon the chili in with a slotted spoon to eliminate most of the liquid. This will also avoid soggy shells.

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas:

Last, but certainly not least: PIZZA! Arguably one of my most popular Super Bowl recipes is also one of my most popular recipes on the site, period. Who knew my Mini Deep Dish Pizzas would be such a hit? I would argue this new version is an even better option for Super Bowl or parties because they are even smaller. Yes, I went mini muffin pan, and I am so happy with the results. The recipe produces twice the amount of the little pies (24 to be exact), making them great for a crowd and easier to eat.

Just make sure you either buy a specifically thin crust pizza dough, or roll your dough out very, very thin so that everything cooks properly and doesn't leave your little 'za's doughy in the middle. To cut them to the correct size, I used an empty 4.5 ounce can of green chiles (leftover from the chili), but a small cookie cutter would work too. (Shoot for something about 2" in diameter).

And that's it! Aside from the chili, which I made a couple days ago, I produced this spread in just over 2 hours. It's perfect for your meat-loving football watchers and ridiculously easy to make.

Enjoy the game!

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: appetizer buffalo wing sauce chicken carrot blue cheese Super Bowl American

Ingredients (18 meatballs)
  • 1 pound ground chicken (preferably thighs)
  • 1/2 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 medium stalk celery, trimmed and finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 bottle Franks Buffalo Wing Sauce, divided use
  • salt, to taste
  1. Combine ground chicken, vegetables, cheese, bread crumbs, egg and 1/3 cup of wing sauce in a large bowl. Season with salt. Using your hands, lightly mix everything together, taking care not to overmix.
  2. Using a light touch, form into 16-18 balls, about 1" or so in diameter.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of Safflower oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Sear meatballs in a single layer, for about 2 minutes. Using tongs, gently turn, and continue browning until all sides are lightly seared.
  4. Dump in the remainder of wing sauce, reduce to low and simmer for one hour, or until cooked all the way through.*

*Alternately, you can transfer meatballs to a slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours.
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Chili Tortilla Cups

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: appetizer entree tortilla chili Super Bowl

Ingredients (12 chili cups)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • safflower oil
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 3 cups chili
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream or plain yogurt
  • sliced green onions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Working 2 at a time, heat tortillas in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, until warm and pliable.
  3. Brush with a little oil, and gently press into cavities of a muffin pan, taking care not to tear the tortillas. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  4. When ready to serve, heat chili and sprinkle a tablespoon or so of cheese in the bottom of each tortilla cup. Top with chili and toppings and serve!
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(Even More) Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer pizza mozzarella mushroom sausage

Ingredients (24 mini pizzas)
  • 12 ounces of pizza dough
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes, broken up with a knife
  • Italian seasoning
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 spicy Italian sausage link
  • 2 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray cavities of a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Remove pizza dough from packaging and allow it to come to room temperature on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll out into a VERY thin layer. Using either a small round cookie cutter (about 2") or an empty 4.5 ounce can, cut into rounds.
  3. Using your fingers, stretch the dough without tearing and press into muffin cups.
  4. Next, assemble pizzas. Spoon about 2 teaspoons crushed tomatoes into each cup. Sprinkle with a little Italian seasoning, and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Top with whatever toppings you prefer (here: mushrooms & sausage).
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melty and bubbly.
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  1. Good recipes! But, the hardest to find ingredient are the bamboo skewers which can easily be ordered on

  2. I am seriously loving those mini pizzas.. I have to try out the recipe!

  3. Pretty good post. I have just stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed reading your blog posts very much. I am looking for new posts to get more precious info. Big thanks for the useful info. BanThang TV


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