Game-Day Appetizers from the Pantry

When it comes to watching the big game, the more the merrier. Feed last-minute guests and drop-ins with these easy snacks made from stuff you probably already have on hand. 

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Ingredient: Corn Muffin Mix

Snack: Cheesy Biscuits. Think of this picnic go-to as a blank canvas. Stir in flavorful mix-ins like grated pepper Jack, chunks of cheddar, pickled jalapenos or chopped chipotles in adobo, then make your mark with flavorful sunshiny squares. They're a perfect match for chili. Or serve them solo slathered with butter and a drizzle of honey.

 

From Food Network Kitchen

Ingredient: Jarred Salsa

Snack: Kicked-Up Salsa. Brighten up a bowl of the bland store-bought stuff with a handful of chopped fresh tomatoes; grape, cherry or plum tomatoes will all do the trick. Throw in a cup of drained black beans or thawed frozen corn if you're feeling adventurous.

Ingredient: Leftover Cheese

Snack: Creamy Cheese Spread. Try this chef's trick when you have a drawerful of cheese ends: Toss them in a food processor, add a splash or two of white wine and a garlic clove if you like, and pulse until blended. Jacques Pepin calls it fromage forte and toasts it on bread; it's also delicious on baked potatoes and crackers.

Ingredient: Jarred Olives

Snack: Spicy Olive Spread. Whiz pitted olives, a clove of garlic, crushed red pepper, and some capers or anchovies, if you've got them, in a food processor with a generous pour of olive oil. This savory spread is perfect for crackers, paninis and subs.

Ingredient: Store-Bought Pie Dough or Puff Pastry

Snack: Meaty Roll-Ups. Cut store-bought pie dough or puff pastry into large triangles. Spread the dough with mustard, layer with cold cuts (like ham, turkey or roast beef) and cheese, if there's any on hand, roll up into a crescent roll shape, then bake.

 

Ingredient: Frozen Tortellini

Snack: Fried Pasta Dippers. Skip the ho-hum macaroni salad and fry up a batch of stuffed tortellini (cheese, meat or chicken all work). Serve them with a bowl of warm marinara for a pop-em-in-your-mouth twist on classic St. Louis fried ravioli.

Ingredient: Frozen Pizza

Snack: Hot Pizzettes. When in doubt, go bite size. Thaw a frozen pizza just enough to cut it, then punch out rounds with a circle cookie cutter (or wow them with a star shape). Add easy toppings like sliced olives, roasted red pepper strips or cooked bacon, then bake; serve with bowls of ranch dressing for dipping. Boss dropping by? Go deluxe and sprinkle the pizzettes with Parmesan, crumbled goat cheese or fresh herbs just before serving.

Ingredient: Salami

Snack: Salami Chips. Here's one for the carb counters. Toast thinly sliced salami (or pepperoni!) on a baking sheet until it starts to crisp. Serve with whole-grain mustard or Dijon for dipping.

Ingredient: Frozen Waffles

Snack: Chocolate Hazelnut Toasties. Spread two frozen waffles with chocolate hazelnut spread (or jam or peanut butter), sandwich them together and toast in a panini press. Slice into wedges and serve warm and oozy.

Ingredient: Marshmallows

Snack: Peanut Butter S'mores. Upgrade a cookie — think vanilla wafer, gingersnap, oatmeal — with a dollop of peanut butter or cookie spread. Add a slice of banana if you have one, then top with a marshmallow and slide it under a broiler until toasty and brown. Cap it off with a second cookie for a kitchen-sink take on the campfire icon.

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Make these pre-dinner bites from Food Network Magazine in 15 minutes or less.