When I host a party, my hardest decision is what kind of food I should have. Should I just throw some chips in a bowl? Go to the trouble of cooking an elaborate meal? Particularly when hosting sporting events, it seems like having the perfect snack to set the scene can make or break the entire event.
Luckily, culture has the solution to this age-old food question. Go simple, but make it just sophisticated enough that everyone will dub you the party master. How? Cheese dips. They’re easy to make but everyone love them. Get some chips or veggies to act as the perfect hand-to-mouth vehicle so you can stay glued to the game or stand and eat while talking to friends. Anyway you slice it, cheese is the winner.
This culture recipe from Austin Chef Sonya Coté is a simple twist on the classic artichoke and spinach dip. But the real selling point? The presentation is awesome. Who doesn’t want to eat cheese out of a hollowed artichoke? The look of this one will reel them in, and the melted Brie will keep them there.
Aligot is a cheese dip from Southern France, and saying it properly will make you sound fancy (hint: don’t pronounced the “t”). The dip, though? Nothing too complicated. Just make sure you use a good tomme to make it really shine.
No cheese dip list would be complete without Chile con Queso, and this one from KQED’s Kim Laidlaw fits the bill perfectly. It includes onion, green chiles, cilantro, and jalapeño (leave the seeds in for a spicier dish). She suggests a Super Bowl party, but honestly, do you need an excuse to make Chile con Queso?
This chunky dip includes big ol’ pieces of tomato and goat cheese. You might want to use bread to soak this one up as you dip. Great for anyone who loves tomato and doesn’t want them hidden in a dip but front and center.
Fontina is a great choice for cheese dips because it melts so smoothly. This baked Fontina recipe from Smells Like Home simply mixes in some garlic and herbs with the cheese and then it’s ready to go! Easy and delicious: the perfect combination.
More artichoke dip, but this time mixed with chèvre. The tangy taste of the cheese puts the flavor over the top. Best made several hours in advance so all the flavors have the chance to mingle before you and your friends devour it.
The title of this dip alone is enough to make your mouth water. Combining chicken, hot sauce, and tons of cheese, this offering from The Beeroness practically can’t go wrong. Author Jackie advises that you should use an IPA to counteract the strength of the buffalo sauce. Top it all off with plenty of blue cheese crumbles and you’re in for a dip that packs a flavor punch.
This culture recipe is the one that won’t stop ticking. It seems to be perfect for every occasion, and serves as a great alternative for anyone who wants something less spicy than the dip above or who loves chicken wings. Plus, it has the added benefit of being on the healthful side! The wings are baked and the dip uses Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. But we promise the taste is still all there.
This list should make your party planning easier and your party snacks that much better. Now all you have to do is decide which one to make…