The Dish | Super Bowl Appetizers

These are as indulgent as the anticipated halftime entertainment, minus any surprise cameos by Taylor Swift. Sports fans will have a field day.

As the Super Bowl looms on the horizon, fans are abuzz with anticipation for the showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The excitement hits close to home as our household stands divided: my eldest son’s heart beats for the 49ers, while my youngest has been a die-hard Chiefs supporter for many years. No matter the outcome, emotions will undoubtedly run high in our living room.

While the ultimate winner remains a mystery, one thing is certain – our Super Bowl party will score big, thanks to a lineup of mouthwatering appetizers: Buffalo chicken wing dip, fried dill pickle dip, and jalapeno popper sausage balls.

These appetizers echo the on-field rivalry and are as indulgent as the anticipated halftime entertainment, minus any surprise cameos by Taylor Swift. For Chiefs enthusiasts, the Buffalo chicken wing dip packs the same heat as their explosive offense. 49ers fans will appreciate the fried dill pickle dip, which mirrors the team’s innovative tactics. And no matter who you root for, the jalapeno popper sausage balls are a universally acclaimed touchdown in taste.

Yes, these appetizers are sinfully scrumptious and laden with calories — not unlike the Super Bowl’s ethos of extravagance. Relish them in moderation amidst the day’s revelry, and don’t forget to stay active – perhaps a touchdown dance or two will keep things balanced!

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

  • About 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (you can smoke or roast a whole chicken for approximately one hour at 425 F or, if you are short on prep-time, buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store.)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing


  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese
  • Tortilla or kettle chips for dipping

Note: you can substitute using an oven if you do not have a smoker.

  • Set your smoker (or oven) to 350 F. Use any wood or pellet type you prefer
  • Combine shredded cooked chicken, cream cheese, wing sauce, and ranch dressing in a large mixing bowl
  • For the oven, transfer to a baking dish. For the smoker, transfer mixture to a disposable tin steam pan or any pan you don’t mind using in the smoker. Use a shallow pan to maximize smoke coverage
  • Smoke/cook for 30 minutes; then transfer to serving bowl/dish
  • Top with the cilantro, green onions, and blue cheese
  • Serve with tortilla or kettle chips

Fried Dill Pickle Dip

  • 1 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup dill pickles, diced fine
  • 1 package ranch seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped (half for dip, half for garnish)
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped (half for dip, half for garnish)
  • Lemon pepper seasoning
  • Thick potato chips or pretzels to serve


  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted 
  • Toast the panko: Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add panko and toss so it is completely coated in butter. Cook until toasted. Set aside
  • Make the dip: Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and mix to combine
  • Assemble. Top with toasted panko, chopped dill, and chopped chives

Jalapeño Popper Sausage Balls

  • 1 pound hot breakfast sausage, uncooked
  • 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz pickled jalapeno peppers, diced, with the juice included
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablepoons BBQ rub; use Oakland Dust pork sausage blend
  • Ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping, optional

Note: It’s fine to substitute using an oven if you do not have a smoker.

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. If using a smoker, prepare your smoker at 400 F; any wood choice is fine
  • Make the sausage balls:
    • Mix all ingredients by hand until well combined. Form 1-inch balls
    • Season with Oakland Dust Pork rub and set aside for 10-15 minutes so the rub adheres
  • Place the balls on tray lined with butcher or parchment paper
  • Cook them at 400 F (oven or smoker) until they are 165 F — should take 18-20 minutes
  • If using, serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping

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