Are you ready for the Final Four? Let’s get ready to ruuuumble!
Okay, I must admit: I’m not all that into basketball. But I am into any excuse for game-day food. I’m also not into toiling away in the kitchen while everyone else snacks happily in front of the TV. But I am into sitting in front of the TV with my friends and chowing down alongside them. Not into: prepping for hours and hours right before a party. Into: make-ahead, easy-peasy appetizers.
This is why I love dips. Dips are the quintessential make-ahead party food, and people not only love them, they sort of expect them. Plus, they’re oh-so perfect for making ahead of time.
Here are a few dip ideas and pointers that’ll help keep you happily hanging with your friends instead of sad and banished in the kitchen.
Make it hours – or in some cases, even days – ahead of time, then just pull it out of the fridge and serve with chips and veggies. Done!
So many refrigerated dips taste so much better when they’ve hung out in the fridge for a few hours. So not only can you make them ahead of time, they taste much better too. Win, win!
Try Kopanisti (Greek feta pepperoncini spread) or garlicky Greek yogurt ranch dip (recipe below).
Assemble everything ahead of time, refrigerate, and then just pop it in the oven once everyone shows up. The only time you’ll spend in the kitchen is moving it in and out of the oven. Try this recipe for cheesy Mexican corn dip, which can actually be served hot or cold.
Slow cooker dips
Ah, the wondrous slow cooker, the make-ahead workhorse of the kitchen. How I love it so. Whip up your dip in the morning, or if you have a Crock Pot with a removable insert, assemble the ingredients the night before and refrigerate overnight. Try keeping a big batch of easy caramel apple dip in the Crock Pot on the “warm” setting for a dessert dip that’ll have them clamoring for more.
Garlicky Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 2 large garlic cloves (smashed and finely minced (about 2 heaping teaspoons))
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1/4 cup minced Italian (flat-leaf parsley)
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Dash Tabasco sauce (optional)
- In a medium bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, scallions, chives, parsley, and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste (I usually start with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a small sprinkle of pepper then go from there). Stir in Tabasco sauce if using.
- Refrigerate in an air-tight container for at least an hour before serving. Serve with potato chips, carrot sticks, celery sticks, lightly-steamed broccoli, sliced cucumber, or whatever else suits your fancy.
- Keeps refrigerated for up to one week.
This post is part of BlogHer’s March Madness Game Day Eats editorial series, made possible by Kettle Brand Chips.