When I think about Fall, the first thing that pops in my head is not pumpkin. It’s football. And nothing is more fun than gathering your friends and having a casual football watch party! We had so much fun at our first college football watch party that we’re planning to host another. Today, I’m sharing some of my easy tips on how to host a football watch party for friends.
A football watch party is similar to a tailgate party, but you host it at your home. Where there is heat and comfy seats! To make sure you have an awesome football watch party, you need a few basic supplies: decorations, drinks, snack food, a hearty main course, and a delicious dessert.
The first thing you should do when planning your football watch party is determine your guest list. One you’ve finalized the number of guests, you can begin to plan how much food and drink you’ll need. For my parties, I plan on 1 1/4 beverages per hour per person. If you have six guests at your football watch party, you’ll need 30 beverages as football games last about 4 hours. I like to serve a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It’s fun to dress up the beverages with themed koozies your guests can take home with them.
For all of our parties, I like to keep the decorations simple and easy. Typically, I don’t purchase items that can only be used for one occassion. You can see that the colors lining my table are a Fall colorway. They’re perfect for this football watch party, but I know that I’ll be able to reuse them for our Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving celebrations.
Let’s talk food. It’s important to note that some people only come to the party for the food and we want them to have fun, too! Snacks are popular during football games. I picked up chips and pretzels while shopping for ingedients to make Fire-Roasted Sausage Macaroni and Cheese.
Kayem makes a delicious line of sausages perfect for grilling or adding to your favorite Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Be sure to look for Kayem Artisan Fire-roasted Pepper Jack Sausage, as well as their other delicious Artisan Sausage varieties.
Wanting to complement the monterey jack cheese used in the Fire-roasted Pepper Jack Sausage, I chose to use a blend of cheddar and monterey jack cheeses in this Macaroni and Cheese. Making homemade Macaroni and Cheese is much easier than you think. You’ll wonder why you haven’t been making it this way for years!
When I made this Sausage Macaroni and Cheese, I realized that I may not have added enough Fire-roasted Pepper Jack Sausage to the dish. I guess I’m used to cooking for my bookclub, not a football crowd! Worried the guys would want more protein, I cooked up a few additional links and sliced them into coins. The coins were easily added to the individual servings. It turned out to be a great idea!
Once everyone has settled in and finished their Sausage Macaroni and Cheese, I made sure they had a sweet treat to enjoy. Brownies are a no-brainer for me. I use a basic recipe every time I make a batch, only changing up the add-ins. Delicious and easy.
- 1 pound Elbow Macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 TBSP flour
- 1/2 pound cheddar-jack cheese, shredded
- 1 cup of milk
- 4 Kayem Fire-Roasted Pepper Jack Sausage links, casing removed
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- Salt and Pepper as needed
- While Elbow Macaroni is cooking, preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare a baking dish with non-stick spray.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onion, saute for 3-4 minutes, until translucent.
- Whisk in flour and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in milk.
- Cook 5-6 minutes until thickens, whisking continuously.
- Add shredded cheese slowly and stir well to combine.
- To cook the sausage links, remove the casing and cook in a small skillet 4-5 minutes.
- Drain elbow macaroni and return to sauce pan. Add cheese mixture and cooked sausage.
- Spoon Fire-roasted macaroni and cheese into a baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and bake 30 minutes until golden brown.
- If desired, additional sausage links can be served on the side. While the macaroni and cheese is baking, slice sausage links into coins and cook in the same skillet used for cooking the sausage earlier.
Be sure to enter the Kayem Touchdown Contest. Correctly guess each week who the first Patriots player to score the first touchdown of the game is and you’ll be entered to win an autographed Patriots football and Kayem Franks for one year! You can enter here and read the official rules here.
Do you serve Kayem sausage at your football watch parties?