Super Easy Bowl Dinners for the Big Game

Super Easy: Change the game plan for guests by serving dinner-in-a-bowl
Photographs by Cybelle Codish

Eliminate the pressure of feeding Super Bowl guests by planning a meal with an appropriate focus: bowls.

Bowl dinners are easy on the host and hostess — and the guests. Just add a few snacks (in bowls, of course) and a finger-food dessert (such as cookies and grapes). A self-serve bar (or a punch bowl) also keeps the atmosphere relaxed. Be sure to include non-alcoholic options (especially after halftime) for several reasons, including the fact that the next day is a Monday.

“Mustang Chef” Greg Upshur, private chef for Bill Ford, says he’s partial to the large soup bowls commonly available at Chinese markets. Restaurant-supply shops are also an option for buying enough bowls to feed the visiting team.
As for what to serve, chili is always good.

Hosts and hostesses seeking a more creative game plan may want to consider Upshur’s following three suggestions for dinner-in-a-bowl.

Purple bowl, $16.95, at area Sur La Table stores; Green bowl by Osteria, $14.95, at area Crate & Barrel stores; Orange Fiesta bowl, $15, at area Macy’s stores; Yellow bowl from Oddfellows Antiques, Berkley; 248-399-6098. Green bowl by Juliska, $29, at The League Shop, Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-882-6880. Three colorful small bowls, $8, at Anthropologie, Somerset Collection North, Troy; 248-458-1976, and Birmingham; 248-593-5653.

Pizza Pasta

(Serves 1)

“This is one of my family favorites when nothing else comes to mind,” Upshur says.

In a large soup bowl, put in a handful of any pasta tossed with garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil. Cover with tomato sauce and top with grated mozzarella and pepperoni or other toppings of your choice. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.


Toss together, per bowl:

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup cooked pasta

1 teaspoon olive oil

A few basil leaves, chopped

Place in an oven-safe individual serving bowl.

Top with your favorite tomato sauce (enough to cover all pasta, about 1 cup).

Top sauce with about 1 cup grated cheese. Add favorite toppings.

> Green bowl by Osteria, $14.95, at area Crate & Barrel stores; Green Fiesta bowl, $34, at area Macy’s stores;  Floral-print bowl, $16, at Anthropologie, Somerset Collection North, Troy, 248-458-1976, and Birmingham; 248-593-5653. Green bowl by Juliska, $29, at The League Shop, Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-882-6880. Turquoise bowl from Oddfellows Antiques, Berkley; 248-399-6098.


Curried Onion Chicken

(Serves 1)

“I love this one, especially with hot curry,” Upshur says. “Earth would not be the planet I would want to live on if it did not have onions.”

Take any chicken (pre-roasted from the store or sautéed breast) and place it into a large sauté pan with 1 whole onion, sliced, with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Turn up the heat and cook everything through. Cover (drench) the mixture with curry and lightly salt.

Set it into an oven-safe bowl; top it with Manchego cheese and broil.


For each bowl:

One chicken breast, cut into thin strips, or shredded roast chicken

One Vidalia onion, sliced thin

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons hot curry

1/2 cup Manchego cheese (sheep-milk cheese from Spain)

Dim Sum (and some more)

(Serves 1)

Take some buckwheat noodles, toss them with sesame oil, chopped scallions, minced ginger, and garlic, and place into a bowl that’s coated on the bottom with smoky Serrano hot sauce. Stir-fry some sliced cabbage, carrots, pea shoots, shiitake mushrooms, and tofu (or shredded barbecue pork ribs), and put the steaming-hot mixture in bowl on top of the noodles. Pour in 2 cups of well-seasoned, boiling-hot chicken broth. Top with chopped, smoked almonds and fried tortilla sticks.


For each bowl:

One package udon noodles, cooked according to package directions

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

Small pieces of ginger, minced

2 cups chicken broth

Vegetables and mushrooms of your choice

Hot sauce

Choice of protein


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