Level up your party snack buffet with a gorgeous grazing table full of everyone's favorite bites!
Game Day Snack Grazing Table
PPP Contributer Laura made this incredible Game Day Grazing table and I asked her to share her tips with us – I love how beautiful it turned out! You can see another one of her incredible party spreads in our post on How to Throw a Pancakes & Pajamas Party. So fun!
Diehard football fans may disagree, but I’ve always thought the food is by far the best part of any good Super Bowl or sports party. There’s just something about the array of your favorite comfort foods complemented by friends and family – it’s the perfect mix!
Grazing Tables (which have become more and more popular for their functionality and visual appeal) are a great way to serve all of your traditional game day eats without a sea of serving dishes to clean after the party ends. Grazing tables feature different foods arranged tightly together across a tabletop, counter, or large serving tray. Partygoers can mingle around the table to munch or fill their plates and head to the TV for some entertaining commercials. I mean, the football game.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to building the perfect grazing table for your Big Game celebration!
(Left to right: black olives, soft pretzels + cheese dip, street corn queso + tortilla chips, green grapes, pita dippers, chocolate chip cookies, pita chips + spinach artichoke dip, carrots, celery, mini bell peppers, chicken wings + ranch, and mini pickles)
When planning your grazing table, you’ll want to first narrow down two key aspects – what and where.
What will you serve? Make a list of your favorite 7-10 game day foods. Go easy on yourself for dishes that require a lot of prep. If you know two of your favorites will keep you in the kitchen all morning, maybe plan for the rest of your dishes to be low-prep, easy foods. Keep in mind foods that have a partner dish (chips + dip, wings + veggies) so you can plan for both. You can also pick a theme for your table (brunch, fiesta, sweet + salty) to make menu planning even easier.
Where will your grazing table be set up? The table and amount of food you need will depend on the size of your party. If you’re having a large party and want to do it big across your kitchen island or dining table, plan to double up some of your recipes. If you’re having a small get together or laying low for the game, maybe a grazing board is more appropriately sized than a whole table and could feature 3-5 foods instead.
*Planning tip – Once you’ve narrowed down your menu and location, have a rough plan in mind for what serving dishes you’ll need. Messier foods and dips will need to be plated, so double check before you shop that you have what you’ll need.
Planning your table
- Decide what you’ll be serving
- Map out where your table will be
You’ve narrowed down your menu and now it’s time to shop! Keep it stress-free and go to the store with a game plan (pun intended). When I’m feeling really organized, I’ll write down everything I need to pick up, and then write another shopping list by sections of the store (produce, dairy, meat). It saves so much time when you’re shopping and you’re less likely to miss something on your list!
In addition to the main dishes you’re serving, grazing tables often have “filler” foods to complete the look. These are smaller, sidekick foods that you can place around the table to fill space and round out the menu for maximum munching.
Some great filler foods to pick up:
- Cheese cubes
- Mixed nuts
We all know the day of a party can get hectic, so try to prep anything you can the night before. Washing and chopping your produce ahead of time can be a real game changer (see what I did there?).
As time allows, prepare your table ahead of time. Give yourself a clean, open workspace. Play around with the set up and place any large serving dishes you’ll use. If you have any decorations to incorporate, visualize their placement. I used a football in the center of mine which tied in the theme in such a cute way!
*Grazing table super tip – lay a sheet of butcher paper or parchment paper down first for easy clean up and to avoid food oils sitting on your table*
Creating your Grazing Table
It’s party day – yay! Time to finish your grazing table and wait not-so-patiently for guests to arrive and begin the ooohs and ahhhs.
Placing your foods
- Use your staple foods and main dishes as anchors (plate of wings, bowl of queso)
- Fill in around the anchors with loose foods (pretzels, chips, veggies)
- Place partner foods together (chips around their dip, wings + sauces nearby)
- Add your filler foods either scattered or in small dishes
- If you run out of space, you can use cake stands to lift items and open up some room.
- Assess for gaps – you want the whole table covered. Don’t be afraid to overlap a little!
- Place small tongs, spoons, and toothpicks around the table for ease of use.
- Don’t overthink it! Grazing tables do not have to be perfect, just tasty!
There you have it – the perfect grazing table for your game day party!
*Warning – these can get addicting. You create one, spectacular table and the next thing you know you’re throwing a party for every holiday just to get that grazing table fix!*
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