By Heather Jones
February 1, 2017

What’s 1.5 feet high, contains all five food groups, made only once a year and is entirely edible? The Super Bowl Snack Stadium.

When I started making Snack Stadiums six years ago, there weren’t a lot out there. Now they’re made in all shapes and sizes, many with cardboard containers and pre-made kits with foil pans. But aside of the bottom tray and a few toothpicks for support, this one is all food — making it more challenging to build, and satisfying to enjoy. And it all doesn’t have to be classic tailgate junk food; consider using organic or homemade ingredients. With a little preparation, you can impress even your most foodie friends.

Here’s how to do it:

2 days before Super Bowl Sunday:
• Sketch it out (the drawing below might help).
• Make your shopping list.
• Go shopping for ingredients, and keep in mind your guests’ allergies or food restrictions
• Find a location in your house to build it where it will be eaten. A green or colorful tablecloth will showcase it well. Set up a camera to do a time lapse.

1 day before:
• Make whatever homemade ingredients you like (such as pulled chicken for the sandwiches, brownies, etc.)
• Follow steps 1-3 below.

Sunday morning:
• Get up early, it takes about an hour to build but have everything prepped and nearby.
• Ask your guests to come ideally about a half hour before kickoff so its fresh when they get there and you can relax.
• Follow steps 4-7 below

• Aluminum pan about 10”x16” and no deeper than about 2”.
• Plastic squeeze bottle.
• Tablecloth.

• Toothpicks.
• Shot glass.

• About 2 dozen Rice Krispies Treats, brownies, blondies, rice cakes or donuts.
• 2-3 kinds of chips, pretzels or puffed snacks.
• 4 large colorful peppers of any color.
• 4 kinds of dip (like hummus, nacho cheese, ranch, spinach, onion or salsa).
• Sour cream in a plastic squeeze bottle for the sidelines.
• Guacamole.
• 2 kinds (colors) of cheese in blocks.
• 2 kinds of pitted olives.
• Sliders, taquitos, mini-brats, small sandwiches or pulled chicken with buns.
• Slim Jims, miniature chocolate bars, licorice rolls, Gatorade.
• Any other colorful snacks you want to fill up the grandstand like broccoli, carrot or celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, peanuts or spicy peas.
• An almond for the football.
• Small flagged toothpicks for a festive finishing touch.

1. Slice the two different colors of cheese into about 2”x 1/2” blocks for the players, and top with olive helmets. (Teams are 11 players each.) Refrigerate them standing up.

2. Cut Rice Krispies Treats, brownies, and donuts for use as your building blocks.

3. Assemble the goal posts by cutting 4 equal lengths of slim jim for each goalpost. Then can break a toothpick in half (but don’t separate it) and bend it through to ends to secure. Make into a “U” shape then attach bottom post to a small block of cheese to anchor.

4. Make the green pepper dip bowls by slicing the tops off four peppers. Hollow and fill with different dips.

5. Place the peppers at the corners of the aluminum pan. Leaving about 1-2” space away from the pan, place Rice Krispie treats, brownies and donuts around your field to create a sweet bottom layer. Build the next savory layer with brats, tacos, sliders, etc. The space in between can then be filled with whatever you like….chips, taquitos, peanuts, keeping in mind the heavier stuff should on the bottom for strength. Place the flags on top.

6. Add the guacamole to the field and smooth with a spatula. Using your sour cream squeeze bottle, make yard lines and hash marks on the field.

7. Configure the cheese olive players on the field. Place the Slim Jim goal posts, at either end zone. Put a Gatorade shot on your favorite teams’ sideline.

8. Place mini candy bars on top of licorice bites to make cars for the parking lot. Place the almond for the football at the 50 yard line, and you’re done!

(Optional: you can carve a blimp out of summer sausage, add a burnt piece of toast for a jumbotron, use regional snacks from each team’s home city in the end zones, or customize the stadium with a foil covered piece of cardboard for a retractable roof, for example.

Illustration by Heather Jones for TIME


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