The Academy Awards are Hollywood's biggest night — and perhaps its longest night if you don't count a screening of Gone with the Wind. To get through your 2017 Oscar viewing party, you'll need sustenance and plenty of it. That's why I've created my third annual Oscar party menu. Partly inspired by the foods consumed in the nine movies nominated for Best Picture and partly inspired by movie title puns that will only please fans of dad jokes, these 11 recipes will help keep your guests well-fed during the 2017 Academy Awards.
The Oscars red carpet coverage starts as early as 1:30 p.m. ET on E!, but it doesn't really get going until 5 p.m. with the actual Jimmy Kimmel-hosted awards show not officially starting until 8:30 p.m. Even if you don't have people over for all of the red carpet glory, you'll need enough food for your guests and this list provides you with options for appetizers, entrées, and desserts. And although the Oscars aren't as boozy as the Golden Globes, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be imbibing from the couch. So, I've included a couple of cocktails on the list as well — because how else are you going to keep entertained during all those technical awards??
If you plan on rolling out the red carpet on Feb. 26 for your friends, let these Oscar-themed foods based on the 2017 nominees help you celebrate the winners and losers of Hollywood's biggest night right.
Spoilers for general plot points follow.
1'Hell Or High Water' — High Watermelon Cocktail
You could make T-bone steaks and potatoes to please the sassy waitress in Hell or High Water, but why not kick the night off with a cocktail? Not only does this watermelon, vodka, and St. Germain drink from Love & Lemons look refreshing enough for the Hell or High Water characters, who need helping cooling off in the hot West Texas sun, but it will also take the edge off when the film most likely loses in its categories. (If you're more of a beer drinker, I unfortunately must report that it will be difficult to get 21st Amendment Brewery's Hell or High Watermelon this time of year since it's a summer brew.)
2'La La Land' — Chicken On A Stick
Ryan Gosling's Sebastian wants to name his jazz club Chicken on a Stick, in honor of Charlier Parker, but Emma Stone's Mia suggests he should go with the name Seb's. While the name might not be super enticing for a jazz club, these teriyaki chicken skewers from Baked by Rachel definitely do sound enticing and are a great way to start a night that will be filled with La La Land.
3'Arrival' — Calamari
The aliens in Arrival are heptapods — seven-legged beings. Squid are cephalopods that have eight arms and two tentacles, but they are about as close are you're gonna get if you want to recreate the shape of the beings in this Amy Adams film. Although this calamari appetizer from A Cozy Kitchen does look a bit intimidating to make, it's not as hard as you'd think and your efforts will certainly be rewarded just like Adams' character's efforts to communicate with the aliens were rewarded. To kick this dish up a notch, serve it with some malt vinegar to channel the ink the heptapods communicate with.
4'Fences' — Chicken & Collared Greens
Although Denzel Washington's Troy doesn't seem overly impressed with Viola Davis' Rose's dinner of chicken and collared greens at the beginning of Fences, these collared green wraps from The Healthy Foodie will make for an interactive, tasty, and healthy snack for your Oscar party.
5'Hacksaw Ridge' — Hackslaw
For a pun-filled side, make this Asian slaw with peas, carrots, and cabbage from Steamy Kitchen for the Andrew Garfield-starring film directed by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Since Desmond Doss saved many men in WWII during the Battle of Okinawa, this slaw further connects to the film as it's dressed with the Japanese sauce, ponzu. Then, bring the pun full circle by serving ridge cut potato chips.
6'Hidden Figures' — Hidden Fingers
You might be sick of chicken dishes on this list, but I couldn't resist the pun of hidden fingers. Plus, I don't think anyone will mind the excess of chicken once they eat these mouthwatering cheddar cornbread chicken fingers with jalapeño honey butter from Half Baked Harvest. If you want to switch it up, you can always make fish fingers (aka fish sticks) or even vegetarian-based fingers with tofu or zucchini. No matter what ingredient you use as your base, make sure to disperse them around your party space, so your guests can unexpectedly discover these hidden fingers.
7'Moonlight' — Chef's Special
If you'd like to serve an entrée rather than just appetizers, then Moonlight provided a perfect main dish for your party. The nominated director of Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, confirmed to Bon Appétit that Kevin's chef's special that he makes for Chiron at the end of the film is arroz con pollo. (Yes, sorry, chicken again.) Although the cooking scene is short, it most certainly is memorable, just like the dish. You can make your own arroz con pollo — with plenty of cilantro — thanks to this recipe from Tori's Kitchen.
8'Fences' — Rosé & Gin Cocktail
Since both Davis and Denzel are nominated for their performances in Fences, this rosé, gin, and pink peppercorn cocktail courtesy of The Kitchn pays homage to both of their characters. It uses rosé for Rose's name and gin for Troy's alcoholic beverage of choice. The recipe is perfect for a party since it's made to be served in a pitcher, which means you'll have plenty to go around to celebrate when Davis most likely wins Best Supporting Actress. (Plus, Rose is truly the character who deserves a drink.)
9'Lion' — Jalebi
This Indian treat is time consuming, but it's essential to the biopic Lion and could really bring your Oscar party to the next level. Jalebi is what triggers Dev Patel's Saroo Brierley to remember his childhood in India and as that actually happened to the real-life Brierley as well, this dish is extremely significant — not to mention a sweet treat — so it would be worth giving this jalebi recipe from Veg Recipes of India a shot.
10'Manchester By The Sea' — Sea Salt Cookies
While you could do a New England seafood recipe for Manchester by the Sea, I think something sweet is in order to make up for the depressing nature of the film. This recipe for sea salt butterscotch pretzel cookies from Cookies & Cups is the perfect blend of sweet and salty that might help Casey Affleck's potential win go down a bit easier.
11'La La Land' — "City of Stars" Bread
The Oscars will probably finish with La La Land winning the big prize, so end with a dessert that's inspired by the musical's nominated original song, "City of Stars." This cinnamon star bread from Pastry Affair and King Arthur Flour doesn't sound super easy to make, but it's great for sharing and will help you end your party on a sweet note.
No matter what you make for your Oscar party, you're bound to be considered a winner by your partygoers after the 2017 Academy Awards, which is more than I can say for some of the nominees. Happy eating and Oscars watching!