Ultimate big match night guide
Having friends over to watch the big match? Fuel your guests with our selection of crowd-pleasing sliders, sharing platters and jug cocktails, made for tucking into in front of the game
Hosting friends for a viewing of the big match? Take the stress out of entertaining with our favourite sharing platters, dips and snack ideas, tailor-made for you and your friends to munch on as you watch the game.
For more entertaining ideas, check out our World Cup recipes, then finish off your menu with our quick and easy party canapés and fruity cocktail recipes that you can mix up in a flash. Hosting a film night? Check out our guide to hosting a gourmet film night.
Match night snacks and sliders (plus fondue galore!)
Serving an assortment of snacks and dips will keep friends sated ahead of kick-off: potato wedges are easy to assemble and will hit the spot as a filling sharing snack – take them to the next level by serving with dips such as aïoli, salsa or this punchy home-made blue cheese dip. A bowl of deep-fried halloumi fries will disappear in minutes, so keep guests munching with these BBQ chilli chicken wings as the game starts.
A tray full of sliders work great as match night nibbles: our mini veggie burgers come filled with grilled goat's cheese and homemade chilli jam, and the jackfruit pulls apart just like slow-roasted pork in these smoky vegan BBQ sliders, served with mustard slaw.
For a crowd-pleaser classic, present this oozing cheese fondue to the cheese fiends of the group and watch as they dive into a gently bubbling pot of molten cheesy goodness. For more fondue fun, our smoky mac 'n' cheese fondue serves up to six, or take a look at this indulgent baked fondue set with three types of melted cheese, hot potatoes and little gherkins on sticks.
Dishes fit for sharing
Loaded with beef, beans, cheese and chilli, our classic nachos will keep friends going during the game, or opt for this jazzy Indian-style twist loaded with crispy curried chickpeas and minty yogurt sauce. If you're putting on a buffet-style feast, wrap sausage rolls around baked camembert in our epic tear and share sausage roll.
A filling centrepiece recipe, this meatball lasagne, featuring sage, squash and a sprinkling of nutmeg, serves up to eight, or recreate our easy yet impressive mac 'n' cheese, levelled up with with sweet, rich lobster for a luxurious treat. Cooking for a crowd? Put your biggest baking dish to good use with this mix and match mac 'n' cheese bar: simply put the mac ‘n’ cheese out with a serving spoon then put the toppings in little bowls and let guests top with tomatoes, bacon, mushrooms or pickled jalapeños.
Pizza: sweet or savoury?
For the ultimate burger-pizza mash-up, take some time before the game to make our epic cheeseburger pizza, or go Chicago style with our deep-dish pizza recipe. Veggies can indulge in these fragrant halloumi pizzas, or switch things up with our easy tear-and-share pizza rolls – they only use four ingredients and take just over 30 minutes to make.
To finish, watch as your sweet-toothed friends devour this fun chocolate chip cookie pizza; you can find giant cookie boxes online or go the whole hog and package up in decorated pizza boxes.
Beer cocktails and fruity pitchers
Instead of wigging pints, beer also makes a neat cocktail ingredient: this lagerita takes the tequila from a classic margarita and adds beer, while this imaginative twist on a classic beer shandy uses rum, yellow chartreuse and blonde ale. To make a thirst-quenching tipple, add some ice to a collins glass and pour over 50ml of Aperol, then top up with a citrussy IPA, stir briefly and garnish with a slice of orange. For more twists, top a glass of chilled IPA with a little Campari for a drink that is hoppy, bittersweet and refreshing, or try topping lager with elderflower cordial, IPA with grapefruit soda and pale ale with ginger ale.
Another way to quench one's thirst during the game is by fixing up a boozy batch of jug cocktails. Plus, they're fuss-free and minimal prep: our negroni sbagliato jug mixes a bottle of prosecco with Campari and sweet vermouth, topped with chilled soda water and an orange peel garnish. For a jug of grown-up slushy, freeze two bottles of rosé wine, then whizz until smooth and mix with a raspberry purée. Need an eco-friendly way to keep your drinks cool? Our best reusable ice cubes guide features affordable options and shows how to use them.
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