March Madness Recipes for Your Basketball-Themed Party

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Sliders with Slaw and french fries next to a beer with sweet potato fries sprinkled around.

The Madness of March isn’t just confined to what happens on the basketball court. If you want to score big with your basketball-fan friends, have them over to watch some games, and turn your gathering into a March Madness party by serving basketball themed dishes and desserts, or you could even make it potluck and challenge guests to bring basketball-themed foods. Let’s start with these fun themed recipes that will definitely have your party guests cheering.

  1. Basketball Buns for Sliders – Sliders might just be the perfect party food. There are so many great slider recipes out there, but the truth is that any sandwich made on small sandwich rolls can be called a slider. So for your basketball-themed party you could choose something like our Rotisserie Chicken Barista Sliders ( or our Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Saigon Slaw ( made on slider-sized buns. You pick the sandwich fixin’s that you like best and serve them on these easy-to-make slider rolls:


  • 12 small frozen dinner rolls
  • orange food coloring spray
  • liquid black food coloring

Directions: Line a baking sheet with non-stick tin foil or spray with non-stick spray. Set rolls 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Spray one piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray and set over frozen rolls. Allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove plastic wrap and spray rolls with orange food coloring. Use a fine tip paint brush (new or food use only) to paint basketball lines on each roll using black food coloring.

Bake rolls for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.

Cut open dinner rolls and place both halves cut side up on the baking sheet. Construct your sliders.

These buns are a super fun way to incorporate the basketball theme to the foods you serve.

  1. "Blue Devil Cheese Dog" – Let’s say the Duke Blue Devils are your favorite team in the tourney – with a little word switch in the name of this dish, these “Deviled Blue Cheese Dogs” become an easy homage to your number 1 team. (
  2. Big Dance “Underdogs” – The term underdog is used a lot in this national tournament - especially when one of those so-called underdogs defeats a higher ranked team. For your party, serve any or all of these special hotdog preparations, and just add “under” to the name in keeping with our party theme:
  1. "Cinderella Team" Pumpkin Popovers ( – Lower ranked teams that unexpectedly go deep in the tournament are known as Cinderella teams. You could use this fun term with any pumpkin recipe to be in keeping with the party theme.

Other ideas for this fun theme are only a creative thought away; use any recipe with "basket" or "ball" in the name; if you have a favorite player use his or her name with Hotdog; make specific recipes that are or can be made to be team colors; fashion a cheese ball decorated to look like half a basketball; or just take any recipe and change the name to something that works like "Big Dance" party punch or rename your homemade candy turtles as "Maryland Terrapins;” "Flagrant Fowl/Foul" chicken wings; 3-point Jello Shots; finally, don’t forget to put eye-catching signs or tags with each dish so guests see the creative names. Get the idea? 😉🏀 

Happy March Madness from all of us at Bellisari’s!

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