20 No-Mess Snacks For Board Game Night
We can only watch so many movies and shows before your eye starts to twitch and you’re totally over staring at a screen. If you still want a night in but want a more hands-on, social experience with friends, board game night is the perfect activity.
Break out one of the old classics from your childhood for a breezy game night, or try a new and challenging game that takes a bit more effort and strategy. It’s going to be a good time no matter what, and you better have some good snacks lined up for when people get hungry!
The best board game snacks are not only tasty, but they also won’t make a mess of the board game – or your living room, for that matter. Nothing can ruin the flow of the game like a barrage of crumbs or a rogue splash of salsa.
In this list, we’ll give you the best picks for a clean and fun board game night, so you can focus on absolutely demolishing your friends in whatever game they play.
We’ll also mention key info about which snacks are gluten-free, which ones are vegan or vegetarian, and some other facts you’ll want to know when setting out snacks for the crew. Let’s EAT.
Not-So Healthy Favorites
Our list kicks off with some snacks everyone loves, but are not the healthiest picks on the planet. We’re only human, after all.
1. Mini Candies
A bowl of colorful mini candy is a game night essential. It’s impossible to resist a few chocolates or gummies as you move their pieces around the board, and the mini size just makes it so cute.
We recommend hard candies or those with a hard outer layer to minimize mess and smudging.
2. Crunchy Chips
Maybe you don’t want to bring a bag of crumbly, greasy potato chips to game night, but not all chips are equal when it comes to the mess they create.
Find tougher tortilla chips perfect for sauces and dips, or a more natural type of bag of chips that won’t break apart and leave a trail of grease. Or don’t—it’s all about the flavor you’re craving, and a few sticky fingers aren’t the end of the world. Maybe steer clear of the fluorescent orange kind, though.
3. Pretzel Bites
Who doesn’t love a classic, crunchy pretzel to complement a fun night with friends?
When it comes to pretzels, the more bite-sized the better, since this reduces the number of crumbs left behind.
4. Little Cookies
Bite-sized cookies definitely deserve a place at the table. Avoid larger cookies that require multiple chomps because that’s crumb central.
5. Bread Rolls
Fresh-baked rolls out of the oven? Can’t say no to that. These are delicious and filling snacks, plus they don’t leave behind much of a mess when they’re fresh. Maybe they’re not the first thing you think of when you envision a battle royale style game night, but hey, even Peeta in The Hunger Games baked bread.
6. Assorted Pastries
Mini muffins, cupcakes, and cake bites are a favorite for game nights across the globe. Make them yourself, or just pick up a pre-made batch from the store.
7. Anything Fried
Apps are heaven, and that’s facts. We’re getting into some slightly messy territory here, but you can serve up some fried bites like tater tots, fries, chicken nuggets, or anything in that category. Buy a bag from the frozen section in the store, blast them in the oven, and you’ve got a cheap, easy snack that few can resist.
You’ll want to fill some ramekins with ketchup, mustard, or other condiments as well, to complement the indulgent fried flavors. Make sure everyone dips cautiously and doesn’t make a mess!
Clean Protein Snacks
If you already have a stomachache from that first part of the list, we hope to point things in a healthier direction with this next part.
8. Cheese Plate
Charcuterie is it right now, and it can bring all the aesthetic vibes that you need. You don’t need to be a connoisseur to assemble a cute-as-heck cheese plate with some crackers and maybe some nice jams.
Your pals can put together tasty bites and happily munch away without a major mess. Cheese is sometimes pricey, but you can find more affordable picks that hit the mark like cheddar cheese, or you can go all out with the bougie imported cheese. You can even stick a wheel of brie on a pan and bake it in the double boiler for a creamy, dippable baked brie. Just steer clear of the stinky stuff.
9. Sliced Meats
It’s a sausage fest! No, but really, stop by the deli before game night to load up on cold cuts, salami, pepperoni, and other meaty favorites. These are relatively healthy snacks that can add some protein to your evening.
Most game nights go heavy on the carbs when it comes to snacks, so this is a nice way to mix things up. Have a wide selection so that everyone can find something they like.
Unload a bag of jerky into a bowl if you just want to grab something off the shelf from the store. Jerky is chewy, tasty, and won’t require much clean-up.
Plus, it comes in tons of different flavors, and there are even vegetarian options made from tofu or fruit. Jerky is typically reserved for road trips, hikes, and ball games, but why not make it a part of your next board game night?
11. Soup or Chili
It’s gameday! Oh, you meant football? Well, we meant board games. It may sound a bit odd to serve up soup or chili to your game night gang, but it’s actually the perfect snack when you think about it.
These foods can be made in huge batches ahead of time, served up in individual mugs or cups, and make for easy clean-up with basically no mess in the process. Plus, it’s basically a meal you can eat with a spoon.
If you’re willing to put in a bit of preparation ahead of time, you can have a mess-free game night and everyone will be satisfied with their snacks.
For the Vegetarians
There’s bound to be at least one board game participant who is following a plant-based diet (we see you, girl). Time to break up the sausage party!
Here are our top picks for plant-based foods to include at game night, and hopefully, they won’t have you picking crumbs out of the carpet for weeks to come.
12. Mixed Nuts
Mr. Peanut isn’t really dead, guys. Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts – mix them all together and sprinkle with a bit of salt, and you’ve got a nutrition-packed snack that is perfect for munching in between moves on the board.
We suggest you steer clear of mixed nuts with too much salt or seasoning, however, because these powders can stick on your fingers and make their way to the game board – not good!
Also be cautious if someone in the group has a nut allergy and everyone is touching different snacks and pieces throughout the night.
This classic movie night snack is just as tasty when playing board games with your friends. You can pop a big batch in the microwave with classic butter flavor, mix things up with different flavors like caramel popcorn and kettle corn, or stir in chocolate, peanut butter, and marshmallows.
Popcorn has the potential to leave some scraps when everyone is digging into the bowl, however, especially if you really go heavy on the seasoning. Choose your popcorn carefully and make sure those napkins are at the ready.
14. Crudité Plate
Fill the fridge with veggies, get out that cutting board and knife, and start carving and chopping away until you have a colorful set of crunchy veggies for your game night crew. Just make sure that you have some dip on hand, because we might need to spice things up a bit.
Some veggies are messier than others – broccoli and cauliflower, for example, might leave more scraps on the game table or on the couch than carrots, tomato, or celery sticks. You can even spice it up with basil pinwheels. However, these snacks are a great overall pick for game night and offer a nice palate cleanser for all.
15. Fresh Fruit
Apples, pears, grapes – these are easy to prep and fairly clean as long as your guests know their coffee table etiquette. When serving juicier fruits like pineapple and oranges, be ready to deploy those paper napkins so things don’t get too sticky.
16. Trail Mix
No need to be out in the wilderness to enjoy a hearty handful of trail mix. This crowd-pleaser comes in so many varieties and gives everyone the fuel they need to make wise moves on the board.
Grab a bag of the pre-packaged stuff from the store or get inventive with your own trail mix creation. Make it salty, make it sweet – you can even make it spicy. Embrace interesting ingredients and create something totally new.
17. Healthy Homemade Bars
It might not sound like energy bars would make for great game night snacks, but when you make them from scratch, this dish becomes much more appealing! Pick up a recipe from the web and give them a try.
19. Pork Rinds, Hold the Pork
You read that right. Our PigOut Pigless Pork Rinds deliver huge flavor and crunch with absolutely no animal ingredients.
These snacks are healthy, hearty, and won’t leave a mess for you to clean up when everyone heads home.
20. Powerful Puffs
Traditional cheese puffs are notoriously messy, but our Outstanding Puffs are much more manageable. They come in fabulous flavors and contain a shocking amount of nutrition! This will be your new game night favorite.
Get ready to host the best game night of all time, and don’t fret about cleanup with these tasty, mess-free snack recommendations.