14 March Madness Recipes For Perfect Game Day Eating

March Madness is the kind of thing that's hard to look away from. The fast-paced nature of postseason college basketball and the win-or-go-home structure of the NCAA Tournament make for a high pressure experience, even for the fans. So, when you're searching for March Madness recipes, you're going to want to find foods that are easy for your guests to eat without looking away from the screen.

I'm talking finger foods, sports fans — finger foods so self-explanatory that your fellow basketball obsessives will know just how to keep eating them while the game stays close without asking any questions, because if someone asks you a question not related to point guard play or the full court press, you're probably going to make them watch the game in a separate room. But we wouldn't want to serve our favorite bracket heads just any old snacks, so these recipes are delicious, in addition to easily edible.

From big batch cocktails and soul-soothing chocolate to an omnivorous array of bite-sized noshes, you won't ever have to take your eyes off of the spacing of your young team's 2-3 zone, because the basketball gods know, your team needs all the mojo it can get from the fans watching on TV. As that Budweiser commercial once said, "it's only weird if it doesn't work."

Let's get cooking.

1. Tamale Bites

Awesome, bite-sized, and easy to eat — that's the triple threat of basketball foods, brought to us by A Spicy Perspective.

2. Barbacoa Loaded Sweet Potato Fries

Make each of your guests their own little basket of barbacoa sweet potato fries so that you can pre-assemble the perfect amount of toppings in each bowl. Check out the recipe and more delicious photos from chef Billy Parisi.

3. Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

These meatballs from Damn Delicious are great because they're bite-sized, and bonus points for their mild resemblance to actual basketballs.

4. Mini Ramen Burger Sliders

Ramen burgers were never so easy to eat as these sliders from Billy Parisi. Make sure your basketball squad leaves plenty full with these miniature at-home versions of the restaurant favorite.

5. Jalapeño Hushpuppies

Hushpuppies are college basketball food because North Carolina is the center of the college basketball universe. I'll see you outside at a distance of 10 paces, Kentucky and Louisville fans. These hushpuppies from A Spicy Perspective add an extra kick with jalapeño peppers.

6. Popcorn Shrimp

If there's basketball on, fried foods are more or less necessary. And is there anything better than fried shellfish? I think not. Check out these Cajun popcorn shrimp from Cooking For Keeps.

7. Honey Barbecue Chicken Strips

Mom On Timeout is frying up some delicious honey barbecue chicken strips for drowning your bracket-related stress in delicious sauce. Get on board.

8. Crispy Loaded Hasselback Potato Bites

Well aren't these just the cutest? They're like baked potatoes! Check out the recipe at The Comfort of Cooking.

9. Sriracha Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo cauliflower is perhaps the greatest basketball snack ever invented, and Half Baked Harvest has got a killer recipe. It's basically like boneless chicken wings, except way better for you.

10. Homemade Mini Corn Dogs

Reading this post from Damn Delicious made me really hungry for some reason — maybe because these look super yum!

11. Baked Brie Bites

Bite-sized cheese topped with cranberry sauce and pistachios! Just what the team doctor ordered to calm your frazzled nerves. Find out how to execute this play at A Spicy Perspective.

12. Twice-Fried Artichokes

Fried artichokes that are subsequently fried again? It's kind of like the tournament itself — the more times you jump into the heat, the better your season gets. The Kitchn has you covered on this one.

13. Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn

Like a good point guard connecting with his center for a poster-worthy alley-oop dunk, this dessert is the best of both worlds. It's salty and sweet, crunchy and smooth, and ultimately, better together. Head on over to Mom On Timeout for further instructions.

14. Bracket Busting Punch

And for when you really need to take the edge off of the Madness, this punch should do the trick. You'll need:

  • 2 quarts Frangelico
  • 3 quarts pomegranate juice
  • 2 quarts SKYY Infusions Coastal Cranberry
  • 1 quart lime juice
  • 1/2 quart orange juice
  • 1/4 quart honey solution

Mix all ingredients together in a large serving bowl or pitcher. Garnish glasses with clove-stuffed orange slices or rosemary sprigs. It makes approximately two gallons.

For more ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.

Bustle on YouTube

Images: A Spicy Perspective (4); Damn Delicious (2); Billy Parisi (2); Cooking For Keeps; Mom On Timeout (2); The Comfort of Cooking; Half Baked Harvest; The Kitchn; Courtesy of SKYY