3 Make-Ahead Recipes for your ESPN College Football Playoff National Championship Party

Well it’s going to be a battle of the Tigers vs. Tigers as #1 LSU goes against #3 Clemson at the College Football Playoff National Championship game! The teams will be battling it out at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on January 13 at 8PM EST, but we’ll all be able to watch live on ESPN and via the ESPN App.

Whether you’ll be hosting friends and family at your home on Monday night, or want to prep a fun dish to contribute to a friend’s party, you’re probably in need of a few easy college football game day recipes that can be made in advance.

I’ve pulled together three easy recipes you can make over the weekend, and have ready to enjoy well before kickoff at 8PM EST. (That’s right—no need to rush home from the office or take the day off to prep. I mean…unless you want to!)

First up, two easy ways to serve up some LSU and Clemson team spirit!

1. LSU Tiger Bundt Cake with Southern Buttermilk Icing

Even though it’s #1 LSU’s first time in the College Football Playoff National Championship, the Tigers will enjoy a major home-state advantage playing just 80 miles away from their Baton Rouge campus. There’s nothing like a passionate hometown crowd, and those fiery Louisiana fans at the Superdome may give them just the edge they need.

The LSU fans at your gameday party will be cheering just as loudly once you slice into this surprising LSU Tiger Striped Bundt Cake. From the outside it just looks like a simple southern pound cake, but pull out a slice and reveal the purple and gold tiger strips marbling throughout the cake. A tangy southern buttermilk icing (died purple, of course!) will taste almost as sweet as a championship win.

Click here for the recipe for this LSU Tiger Bundt Cake with Southern Buttermilk Icing.

2. Clemson DIY Pimento Cheese Dip Board

The Clemson Tigers have dominated the field each time winning their last 29 consecutive games, but can they go for 30 to become the first team to win back-to-back College Football Playoff National Championship titles?

The Clemson fans at your house will be able to keep their eyes on the game and their team spirit up thanks to this super cute Clemson-themed DIY Pimento Cheese Dip Board.

It wouldn’t be a proper college football game day in the South without a batch of classic pimento cheese, and this version gets a special Clemson twist with the addition of blue cheese in honor of Clemson University Blue Cheese—the legendary cheese that was invented and is still produced on the CU campus today.

Use a knife to slice off the little round bumps on the bottom of a couple orange bell peppers and arrange them on the pimento cheese to make the perfect Tiger Paw garnish. Add crackers, carrots, apple slices and a pile of my easy homemade purple sweet potato chips for the perfect orange and purple snack to enjoy while watching the game live on ESPN.

Click here to get the recipe and learn how to make this Clemson DIY Pimento Cheese Dip Board

And finally…a taste of N’awlins!

3. New Orleans Style Muffaletta Sandwich Bites

With the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship game taking place in New Orleans this year, adding some of that NOLA flavor to your gameday menu is a must.

New Orleans is an incredible food city and you can’t go wrong with any of their local staples like gumbo, jambalaya or powdered sugar-dusted beignets, but my pick for the best make-ahead football recipe is a classic New Orleans Style Muffaletta.

These loaded sandwiches are filled with cheese, Italian deli meats like salami and mortadella, then topped off with a tangy olive spread. The entire sandwich gets wrapped up and weighted down overnight in the fridge to let all the ingredients meld together into the absolute most flavorful sandwich you’ve ever eaten!

Unlike other sandwiches that usually need to be made and eaten right away, muffalettas are better after a day or two in the fridge—which means you can make it on Saturday or Sunday then have it ready to enjoy with your friends during the Monday night game on Jan 13. It’s ideal whether you’ll be watching the game on ESPN at your own home, or packing it up to bring to a potluck.

We might not all be able to make it to the Superdome, but with ESPN on the big screen and one of these in their hands, your guests will feel like they’re right there rooting along with the rest of the crowd.

Click here for the recipe for New Orleans Style Muffaletta Sandwich Bites

I hope these recipes inspire you to make some fun snacks to enjoy with your family and friends when you tune in on January 13 to the College Football Playoff National Championship at 8PM EST on ESPN or via the ESPN App.

For more easy gameday party recipes and entertaining ideas, check out my Ultimate ESPN College Football Playoff Party board on Pinterest. And visit ESPN.com for all the College Football Playoff National Championship previews and highlights.

This post is sponsored by ESPN in collaboration with Pinterest. Thank you for supporting the partners who make it possible for me to keep bringing you more great recipes and party ideas!

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