Dress Up a Store-Bought Super Bowl Party

A little sprucing up is all it takes to transform these 7 classic dishes from store-bought varieties to ready for game time.

Photo By: Wendy Davis

Photo By: raphael chay

Photo By: Todd Patterson


Set out a toppings bar with all the fixings for a DIY chili bowl that scores big time. The standards should be present — chopped white onion, sliced scallions, shredded cheese, hot sauce, sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, tortilla chips — but if going the extra mile, add pickled jalapenos, crumbled bacon, tortillas and anything else that takes a chili bowl over the top. Serve the chili in a slow cooker to keep it warm, or use a covered pot, preferably one that is cast iron for its heat-retaining properties.

By Teri Tsang Barrett

Chicken Wings

Hold them in a 200 degree F oven in a single layer to keep them warm and crisp. If serving Buffalo wings, ask for extra sauce on the side or whip up a makeshift batch at home: Buffalo wing sauce is melted butter seasoned with plenty of hot sauce. Toss the hot wings in the extra sauce just before serving and don't forget the refreshing chunky blue cheese dressing for dipping, along with carrot and celery sticks.


Ask for the tortilla chips on the side, if possible, to prevent a soggy mess. Otherwise, pick up a new bag of tortilla chips and arrange a layer on a heatproof platter. Top with the nacho cheese, then heat through in a 300 degree F oven until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and sliced scallions.

Onion Dip

Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and top with a generous amount of snipped chives or caramelized onions.


Nothing says homemade in the salsa world better than freshly chopped tomatoes and cilantro; stir some in and season the dressed-up salsa to taste using salt and lime juice.

Pigs in a Blanket

Hold them in a 200 degree F oven to keep them warm. If the "blanket" could benefit from a shiny surface, brush the bread with melted butter to give the crust a shiny sheen. Give the bite-size treats the royal treatment with your favorite dipping sauces ranging from ketchup and mustard to flavored mayonnaises.

Layered Dips

No matter how many layers your store-bought dip has, topping it with a few more fresh layers gives it a homemade spin. Carefully invert the dip into a glass bowl, if needed, to show off the many layers; top with fresh additional layers that complement pre-existing ingredients. Try shredded lettuce, seasoned ground beef, chopped tomatoes and onion, and finish it off with a thick, pristine layer of sour cream or Greek yogurt. Garnish the top with a swirl of hot sauce or fresh chopped herbs or sliced scallions.