When family and friends gather together to watch the game, loading up the table with a variety of easy-to-grab, flavorful appetizers is a winning plan. After all, casual food and good times are what game day is all about.

In the world of appetizers, dip is king. From savory to sweet, this simple tailgating party addition can take on flavors that span the globe, or that are as American and as beloved as the gridiron game itself.

* Keep it light - A tailgating scene can seem overwhelming for those who don’t want to splurge all their day’s calories, so be sure to have lots of fresh, crunchy vegetables on hand. Start with your standard dippers - like sliced carrots, broccoli and cucumbers - or score big with unique vegetable dipper options - like snap peas, asparagus spears and radishes. This recipe for Cucumber Cups creates simple and crunchy bite-sized noshes with a delicious dip of Sabra Hummus in the center. For more great game day recipes, visit www.sabra.com.

* Serve Delightful Dippers - Potato and tortilla chips go hand-in-hand with tailgating festivities, but beyond these standards is a whole world of other dipping options. For a Mediterranean touch, go with flatbread, pita bread or pita chips. Instead of plain old butter rounds, opt for more texture with multi-grain crackers that include raw flax, chia or sesame seeds. Or, serve up a warm batch of buffalo wings with this smoky and spicy recipe for Hummus Buffalo Wing Dip.

* Offer Variety - A large spread of dippers calls for a wide assortment of scrumptious dips. As an alternative to sour cream or cheese-based dips - which are loaded with fat, preservatives and sodium - serve up an assortment of delicious Sabra Hummus. Hummus offers up the protein, iron and fiber that other dips lack.

Incorporate a few of these dip tips into your game day strategy and watch as fans huddle up to fill their plates.


Hummus Buffalo Wing Dip

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 cup Sabra hummus

Whisk first seven ingredients together (vinegar through paprika). Add Sabra hummus and combine thoroughly.


Cucumber Cups


Yield: 16 servings

2 English cucumbers

1 container Sabra hummus

1 teaspoon paprika

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

Peel cucumbers and slice lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch pieces.

Using melon baller, carve out seeds to create a vessel, making sure to leave bottom intact.

Using piping bag or small spoon, fill each with hummus, about 1 teaspoon each.

Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped parsley.


Dill Pickle and Dried Beef Dip

1 cup of chopped dill pickles

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1-8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 cup sour cream

1/2 lb. dried beef, chopped

Mix together the cream cheese, sour cream and seasonings.

Then fold/stir in the pickles and dried beef. Best if chilled at least 6 hours or overnight.

Serve with crackers, Fritos or party breads.

Optional: Add chopped nuts or form into a ball and roll in chopped nuts.