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10 easy Super Bowl snacks to beat the cream cheese shortage

The Great Cream Cheese Shortage of 2021 has spread into 2022 and with the Super Bowl approaching, this is serious business. And that’s because the best Super Bowl snacks often include cream cheese.

We won’t dwell on what could have been on your game day party table, but rather focus on what super easy — and cheap — dips you can prepare to make them forget all about that creamy Buffalo chicken dip. As a matter of fact, we’ve got a Buffalo chicken dip recipe that can be made without it.

The Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL championship game on Feb. 13 in the new SoFi Stadium, which just happens to be the Rams home field. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. local time and that means it’s a night game for the East Coast, starting at 6:30 p.m. So when to put out your deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket and chicken wings? Anytime you want really, the Super Bowl party gang will eat non-stop.

Pro Tip

We’ve got you covered with 10 ways to watch the Super Bowl live even though you’ve cut the cable cord.

10 Easy Super Bowl Dips

These 10 easy-to-make dips will be enough to get the party started — and keep it going. We’ve also got your wallet in mind and are using the most economical ingredients we can find.

1. Fast and Simple Guacamole

This is a quick version of guacamole that you can make to your liking. Smash four or five ripe avocados in a medium bowl, add the juice of half a lime, a quarter cup of prepared salsa, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin and some coarse salt. Taste it. Add hot sauce if you want it hotter. Serve with tortilla chips.

2. Cowboy Caviar

Too bad the Dallas Cowboys aren’t in the big game since this easy-to-make and inexpensive chunky dip is a Texas original. Cowboy Caviar is a good way to use up pantry staples because it calls for one can each of corn, black-eyed peas and black beans. Italian dressing provides much of the punch and this version from All Recipes gives the step-by-step details. You’ll need a sturdy scooper like tortilla chips, but don’t be surprised if your game day guests eat it with a spoon.

3. White Bean Dip

Another Super Bowl snack that makes use of pantry staples is White Bean Dip. Drain two cans of cannellini or northern beans and rinse them to get rid of excess salt. Process in a food processor or blender with 3 cloves of peeled garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon and a 1/2 cup of flat-leaf parsley. This dip should be smooth. (If you happen to have a jar of tahini in the fridge, you can add a tablespoon or two for a more hummus-like dip.) Serve with pita chips.

4. Buffalo Chicken Dip

Put out the celery and carrots sticks for this healthy version of Buffalo Chicken Dip from Cooking for Keeps. The creaminess comes from Greek yogurt and the Buffalo wings flavor is all there, thanks to Frank’s RedHot sauce (or whatever hot sauce you prefer.) This is another opportunity to check the pantry and use what you have on hand, though you will likely need to buy blue cheese. You can swap the Greek yogurt for sour cream or the light mayo for full-fat.

5. Whipped Ricotta Dip

Inside the Rustic Kitchen has a recipe for trendy Whipped Ricotta Dip that will seem like something served in a cool restaurant. Ricotta cheese is whipped with lemon, thyme and grated Parmesan cheese (use up that wedge in the fridge) and then topped with roasted cherry tomatoes. Serve with store-bought crostini. The recipe calls for fresh thyme but unless you have another use for it, it might languish in the fridge and you’ve wasted $2 or more. You can substitute dried thyme but reduce the amount by a third. The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon fresh so use 1 teaspoon dried.

6. Herb Dip

Here’s a pantry recipe that can be made according to whatever dried herbs you have on hand. The basic formula is 1 cup sour cream mixed with 1 cup mayonnaise combined with 2 tablespoons of a dried herb or herb blend. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least an hour, and easily all day, so that the herbs can rehydrate. If you are a fan of the Lipton Onion Soup Dip, make your own version with the sour cream-mayo mixture and 2 tablespoons of minced dried onion. Jazz it up with a splash of Worcestershire sauce and season with kosher salt. Have some dried drill in the spice cabinet? Make a dill dip the same way with a squeeze of lemon. Serve both with traditional potato chips.

7. Loaded Baked Potato Dip

This Loaded Baked Potato Dip gets rave reviews on the Taste of Home site. It’s a clever twist on the baked potato piled high with sour cream, cheese and bacon. So where’s the potato come in? The creamy mixture is scooped up with baked waffle fries. The recipe also uses healthful low-fat ingredients but you can use fully-loaded versions.

8. Crockpot Beer Cheese Dip

This cheese dip from the Spruce Eats is made in the slow cooker and will comfort the Green Bay Packers cheeseheads still smarting from not making it to Super Bowl Sunday. It calls for a block of “processed cheese loaf,” which is a generic way to say Velveeta, that fast-melting cheese perfectly convenient for dips and often on sale in advance of the big game. If you have a small slow cooker you can use it for serving and keep the dip warm. You’ll need a sturdy scooper, like thick pretzel rods, and maybe even apple wedges.

9. Moroccan Spice Carrot Dip

Put that jar of harissa — the Moroccan spice blend of ground chilies, paprika, cumin and more — to use in Moroccan Spice Carrot Dip from Coffee and Quinoa. Carrots are cheap and this dip calls for a couple of pounds of them roasted. This dip is a departure from the usual game day fare but why not think out of the box? Seeded flatbread crackers make great scoopers.

10. Easy Creamy Bean Dip

Here’s another recipe that makes use of pantry staples including a can of refried beans and prepared salsa. Easy Creamy Bean Dip from Mitten Girl is a lazy take on seven-layer dip which is popular at parties but takes a bit more work. Make sure you save some grated cheese for garnish and consider adding chopped scallions for eye-appeal. Serve with tortilla chips and slices of crispy jicama for scooping.

How to Make Your Super Bowl Menu Easy and Tasty

Follow these tips to make game day low-stress.

  • Use what you have. When you are looking to make economical party food, survey what you already have in your pantry and fridge. A jar of salsa? Use that for our fast and simple guacamole. (Remember, avocados are often plentiful and on sale just before the big game.) A couple of cans of white beans? Perfect for a garlic-heavy white bean dip. How about those cherry tomatoes that you just bought at the farmers market? Roast them to top your whipped ricotta to make a trendy and cheap appetizer.
  • Cream cheese if you’ve got it. So, we’ve established that we won’t be hunting for cream cheese in every store within a 10-mile radius. If you’re lucky enough to find a block or two, consider making Ranch Cheese Beer Dip with Hidden Valley ranch dressing seasoning or Jalapeno Popper Dip. These are both great take-along Super Bowl snacks.
  • Go low and slow. If you haven’t used the slow cooker for a while, Super Bowl Sunday is the day to dust it off for Crockpot Beer Cheese Dip that can be scooped up with crackers or veggies. Can’t go wrong with that.

Janet Keeler is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder and a former newspaper food editor.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers nationwide to make smart decisions with their money through actionable and inspirational advice, and resources about how to make, save and manage money.

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