Your Super Bowl guests probably won’t complain if you feed them an assortment of couch-friendly finger foods, creamy dips, and flavorful chicken wings. But the game is on at dinnertime, so you might want to consider serving something more substantial. Sandwiches and burgers are the way to go—they’re crowd-pleasing, filling, and still pretty conducive to being eaten in front of the TV. We’ve rounded up 27 of our favorite game-day sandwiches for you to choose from, with both full-sized sandwiches, like smashed burgers and Cubans, and party-sized behemoths, like a chicken parm that will serve a half-dozen people.
Any sports bar is going to have burgers on the menu, so why not recreate the experience at home? But this burger, with its two crispy, well-browned patties sandwiching gooey American cheese, is better than anything you’ll find at most bars. It’s also not too filling, so your guests will still have room for snacks.
Our smashed burger technique can be served with more than just American cheese. Here we use it to make a Reuben-inspired hybrid burger. That means beef sprinkled with coriander seeds for a little corned-beef flavor, sauerkraut cooked onto the patties like onions on a slider, and, of course, the classic rye bread, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing.
On the other end of the spectrum from our ultra-smashed burger is this hefty half-pound patty. We serve it like a classic Mexican cemita, with queso Oaxaca, avocado, lettuce, and refried beans piled onto a cemita bun. To nail the flavor of a real cemita try to find papalo—cilantro is a fine substitute, but it won’t be the same.
Burgers don’t have to be made of beef—for something different, try these mini teriyaki burgers made with salmon. We top the burgers with sweet caramelized pineapple and lightly mashed avocado, plus peppery watercress for balance. Avoid store-bought teriyaki sauce—making it at home is easy and the results are much better.
All too often, salmon burgers are dry, pale, and underwhelming but not these. Tender and juicy with a crunchy exterior, our favorite salmon burgers are medium-rare, served on toasted brioche buns with a generous spread of creamy rémoulade. Topped with a small mountain of fennel and radicchio slaw, these burgers are at once rich, comforting, and fresh.
In theory, shooter’s sandwiches are perfect for parties because you make them ahead of time and they serve lots of people. Unfortunately, traditional steak shooter’s sandwiches are an exercise in mediocrity. Skip that and try this improved version made with sausage, Fontina cheese, and vegetables sautéed in the rendered sausage fat.
Moving even further from the traditional shooter’s sandwich, this version takes its cues from a Chinese scallion pancake. We fill the bread with Peking duck, sweet hoisin sauce, fresh cucumbers, and pickled carrots and daikon. It’s fine to use store-bought Peking duck, but do take a few minutes to make the pickles yourself.
If you’ve got any vegetarians coming over for the game, consider making this meatless shooter’s sandwich. It’s not short on flavor, thanks to roasted portobello mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, caramelized onions, and goat cheese. Feel free to quick-caramelize the onions—with this much going on, there’s not much point in taking the time to slow-cook them.
Pork Carnitas and Oaxaca Cheese Shooter’s-Style Sandwich With Spicy Refried Beans and Pickled Red Onions
A loaded torta is pretty messy to eat on the couch—turning it into a shooter’s sandwich gives you the same flavors in a neater package. This sandwich is packed with homemade carnitas, refried beans, queso Oaxaca, pickled red onions, and jalapeños. Unlike most shooter’s sandwiches, we recommend reheating this one before serving to melt the cheese.
The muffuletta is meant to sit before serving, so it’s a natural choice to make shooter’s style. We go traditional with the ingredients: mortadella, soppressata, capicola, provolone, and olive salad. Arranging the cold cuts in at least three thin layers and spreading olive salad on the top and bottom leads to the best flavor distribution.
Shrimp rolls are great for a crowd: They’re relatively cheap, the filling can be made in advance, and assembling the sandwiches is as easy as can be. The key to a superlative shrimp filling is superlatively cooked shrimp, which we achieve by adding the shrimp to cold water in a pot and bringing the water slowly up to 170°F, and being careful not to let the water temperature go any higher. Of course, if you’re feeling superfancy, you could also opt to make lobster rolls. If you go that route, either Connecticut-style or Maine-style, you’re going to want to cook the lobster sous vide.
Of course, you could just skip the pressing and serve classic muffulettas. Even a traditional version can feed multiple people, and as I said, these sandwiches are actually designed to be made ahead of time. The most important part of a muffuletta is the olive salad—we make our own with mixed olives, giardiniera, roasted red peppers, parsley, and capers.
This recipe takes some forethought, but if you’re willing to roast a pork shoulder on Saturday, you can make incredible Cuban sandwiches for the game. Once the pork is cooked, all you need to do is sandwich it between slices of Cuban bread with Swiss cheese, honey ham, dill pickles, and yellow mustard and cook it all in a panini press. For extra flavor, go Tampa-style by adding Genoa salami.
We’d normally make Reuben sandwiches in a skillet, but if you’re serving a crowd, that takes way too much time. Fortunately, we have a solution—if you toast the bread in the oven, top it with preheated beef and sauerkraut, and put it back into oven to melt the cheese, you can make awesome Reubens much faster. Your guests will all be eating in the time it would have taken to make one sandwich on the stove.
The best chicken parm deserves a sandwich to match, so we go all out and put an entire batch onto a large, crusty ciabatta loaf with homemade red sauce and plenty of Parmesan to make a sandwich big enough to serve half a football team (or just a bunch of hungry fans).
Don’t put away the red sauce—you’ll need it to make these meatball sandwiches. Besides the sauce, the most important ingredient is a batch of our juicy meatballs. We make the sandwiches with soft Italian-style bread, grated Parmesan, and mozzarella. Go with sliced mozz instead of grated to get a more thorough coating of cheese.
Fried chicken sandwiches might sound like too much effort for a Super Bowl party, and our ultimate fried chicken sandwiches do take some work. That’s where this five-ingredient version steps in—it’s much easier and at least 80 percent as delicious. Brining the chicken in pickle juice helps it retain moisture and adds flavor, while a dredge in buttermilk and self-rising flour gives the chicken a supercraggy crust.
An authentic Pueblan-style cemita starts with its namesake sesame-studded bun and the Mexican herb papalo. From there, add avocado, queso Oaxaca, jalapeño, and meat—cold cuts or boiled pig’s feet are traditional, but we opt for a fried cutlet instead. If the sandwich feels unmanageably huge, try hollowing out the top bun slightly.
When the cemita made its way to New York City it took on a life of its own. Unlike the Pueblan originals, these cemitas generally use griddled bread, taco-truck meats like al pastor and carne asada, and tons of toppings: avocado, lettuce, onion, tomato, refried beans, and mayo. This is still a cemita, though, so don’t forget the papalo!
This Mexican-barbecue fusion sandwich is pretty messy, but it’s worth risking the cleanliness of your couch. It’s made with pulled pork flavored like Mexican chorizo with paprika, ancho chili powder, salt, cumin, Mexican oregano, black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and cloves. For contrast, we top the pork with a bright, creamy, elote-inspired slaw made with corn, mayo, and cotija.
Want another riff on the pulled pork sandwich? Make these pulled lamb sandwiches. The lamb is rubbed with a spice mixture made up of brown sugar, garam masala, paprika, turmeric, ground ginger, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper, and, once cooked, the meltingly tender lamb shreds get tossed with an aggressively seasoned barbecue sauce. The meat is great on its own, but the crunchy cabbage slaw is the secret star of the show.
This melt transforms the flavors of classic spinach and artichoke dip into a crisp, cheesy sandwich perfect for a big game-day party. You won’t miss the chips and dips one bit once you bite into this crusty, golden brown sandwich.
You’ll thank us for stretching the definition of “sandwich” to include these beef bulgogi burritos. The flavorful wraps—stuffed full of soy sauce-marinated beef, kimchi, rice, and gochujang sour cream—are the perfect marriage of Korean and Mexican flavors and cooking techniques.
Grilled fish is just as flavorful as its fried counterpart and so much easier to prepare for a big crowd. Fillets of grouper, mahi-mahi, or another white-fleshed fish are coated in a paprika-based spice rub and then grilled until charred and tender. The fish is sandwiched with pieces of soft bread, and topped with lettuce, tomato, and classic condiments like mayo, tartar sauce, or mayo.
Grilled beef, sliced tomatoes, and blanched green beans make for a surprisingly tasty and well-balanced sandwich. The charred beef and snappy beans offer contrasting textures, and a garlicky mayonnaise tops it all off.
Peruvian-style chicken—spice and vinegar rubbed, then grilled until slightly charred—is pretty perfect on its own. But paired with a creamy jalepeño sauce and squeezed between buns with mashed avocado, it’s impossible to beat.
This meat- and cheese-free cheesesteak doesn’t sacrifice a single bit of flavor. Thick sheets of yuba are smothered in an umami-loaded mushroom broth before they’re tossed with caramelized onions and roasted mushrooms. The combination is packed into a crusty roll and doused with smooth, creamy vegan “cheese.” Even the most carnivorous of your friends will be coming back to reload their plates at halftime.
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