How to Plan a Football Chili Cook Out this Fall

Hosting a birthday bash with a football theme is just the thing for fall! And serving up a chili party spread makes it even more appealing! So whether you and your guests will be gathered around the TV cheering on your team or out on a field playing some friendly football yourselves, see the inspiration we’ve gathered—from flavorful recipes for chili and side dishes, to drinks and desserts perfect for fall and football season, to decor and favor ideas to DIY or buy.

Food Ideas for a Fall-time Chili Cook Out

Hearty, flavorful and cook out-handy—have we got a tempting spread of recipes for you from chili to corn on the cob!

Football Chili Birthday Party

Score a sure touchdown with this Slow Cooker Family Favorite Chili (1) that you can make ahead then ladle into single-serve bowls. Include heaping bowls of everyone’s favorite: Doritos (*Amazon affiliate)! For well-loved side dishes, you can’t go wrong with homemade Buttermilk Cornbread (2), Southwestern Salad with Cilantro and Lime (3), Grilled Corn on the Cob (4), and Bacon Jalapeño Poppers (5). Yum!

Recipe sources: 1 – Betty Crocker / 2 – Mark Steuer, via Tasting Table / 3 – For the Love of Cooking / 4 – My Recipes / 5 – Well Plated

Drinks to Serve: Fall Flavors + Football Faves

Match that hearty menu with refreshing beverages. Think grownup cocktails to family-friendly drinks like these from apple cider (*Amazon affiliate) to root beer.

Football Chili Drinks to Serve From Rootbeer Floats to Cranberry Jello.

Celebrate fall fruits with a selection including Apple Cider & Cranberry Cocktails (1), Apple Cider Sangria (2), and Cranberry Jell-O Shots (3). While you mustn’t forget root beer for football season, maybe in dessert-drink form like Chocolate Hot Fudge Root Beer Floats (4). If it’s cold outside, you can also consider a hot cocoa bar for the little ones.

Recipe sources: 1 – Easy Idea.org / 2 – Lexi’s Clean Kitchen / 3 – Delish / 4 – Cravings of a Lunatic

Dessert Ideas: Football-themed + Easy Serve Treats

Prepare goodies that are sure to hit that sweet spot with party guests!

Football cakes to S'mores ice cream sandwiches.

Surprise the celebrant with a Football Cake (1) whether home baked or store-bought, and have guests help themselves to ever-favorite Chocolate Fudge Brownies (2). For cold treats, serve Chocolate Dipped S’mores (3), Frozen Footballs (4) that are ice cream bars on sticks, and a scrumptiously layered Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert (5).

Credits: 1 – Pinterest (uploaded by user) / 2 – My Recipes / 3 – Love and Olive Oil / 4 – Rust & Sunshine / 5 – Taste of Home

Football Party Decorating + Favor Ideas

Plan fun touches to keep the entire event in theme, from decorations to party favors.

Football Chili Decorations and Favors

Whether outdoors or indoors, a great way to focus the look on football AND food is via a themed Snack Table (1)! See the DIY-able ideas for a “coach’s chalkboard” backdrop, pennant bunting and cupcake toppers, toy footballs and trophies, even brown paper treat bags with “football stitching.”

Still food-related, think printable labels (2) for dip cups and drinking glasses, and fun football skewers (3) to top mini sandwiches and other treats.

And for party favors, how fun would actual mini footballs (4) be, with personalized “I had a ball” tags? Or little snack bags filled with goodies like foil-wrapped football-shaped chocolates (*Amazon affiliate), chips, nuts or pretzels (5) and sealed with playful bag toppers.

Credits: 1 – Pink Peppermint Design / 2 – Evermine / 3 – Party City / 4 – Amanda Parker and Family / 5 – Celebrations at Home

Totally doable, right? So will it be a Football-themed Chili Cook Out for a lucky birthday celebrant this fall?


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