Slam-Dunk March Madness Recipes

The old days of orange icing cupcakes and all-things circular for your March Madness party are over. But with this newly imposed rule, you’re probably looking around for the assist. No worries, rookie. These recipes will take you from culinary benchwarmer to MVP before the shot clock hits zero.

Dixie Beef Burgers with Chowchow Spread

from Southern Living, March 2009

1 (13.5-oz.) package frozen onion rings
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 (8-oz.) package country ham biscuit slices
4 sourdough hamburger buns, split
4 green leaf lettuce leaves
Chowchow Spread 

Prepare onion rings according to package directions; keep warm on a wire rack in a jelly-roll pan at 200° up to 20 minutes.

Stir together tomatoes, honey, cider vinegar, 1/4 cup onion, and 1/4 tsp. salt.

Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Gently combine beef, pepper, and remaining 1/4 cup onion and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl until blended, using hands. Shape mixture into 4 (4-inch-wide, 3/4-inch-thick) patties.

Grill, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until beef is no longer pink in center. Grill ham slices 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly crisp. Grill buns, cut sides down, 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Layer each of 4 bun halves with lettuce, burger, Chowchow or Banana Pepper Spread, grilled ham slices, and an onion ring. Spoon tomato mixture into centers of each onion ring. Top with remaining bun halves. Serve with remaining onion rings.

Sweet Heat Hot Dogs 

from Southern LivingFebruary 2011

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 green onion, minced
2 tablespoons Asian sriracha hot chili sauce
8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns, toasted
1 cup chopped sweet-hot pickles
2 cups shredded red cabbage

Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat.

Combine first 3 ingredients and 1 Tbsp. chili sauce in a small bowl. Brush hot dogs with remaining 1 Tbsp. chili sauce.

Grill hot dogs, covered with grill lid, 4 to 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Place hot dogs in buns, and top with mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle with chopped pickles and shredded cabbage.

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwich

by Chef Ryan Scott

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
8 ounces canned tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
6 potato buns, toasted
1 red onion, thinly sliced
6 slices of grilled pineapple
6 slices Pepper Jack cheese
Green chiles

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add chopped onion; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and honey. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add shredded chicken to sauce and stir frequently until chicken is heated through. Spoon onto the bottom half of a bun and top with slice of Pepper Jack cheese, pineapple slice, red onion and green chiles.

Blue Cheese “Hot Wing” Dip

from Southern Living, January 2011

1 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened and cut into pieces
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 (4-oz.) package crumbled blue cheese?
1 to 2 Tbsp. milk (optional)
Garnishes: crumbled blue cheese, chopped green onions, freshly cracked pepper
Serve with: fried chicken breast tenders, celery sticks, radishes, hot wing sauce

Pulse first 10 ingredients in a food processor 4 times or just until blended. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl, and gently stir in blue cheese. If desired, stir in 1 to 2 Tbsp. milk, 1 tsp. at a time, for desired consistency. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours before serving. Garnish, if desired. Serve with chicken tenders, celery sticks, radishes, and hot wing sauce. Store leftovers in refrigerator up to 7 days.

Crispy Chocolate Marshmallow Treats

from, (Everyday Food, October 2008)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 bag (10 1/2 ounces) mini marshmallows
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa (spooned and leveled)
6 cups crisp rice cereal
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom and two sides with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides. Butter paper; set pan aside.

In a large saucepan, combine butter, marshmallows, and cocoa. Cook over medium, stirring frequently, until melted, about 6 minutes; stir in rice cereal. Press rice mixture into prepared pan; drizzle with melted chocolate. Let cool to room temperature; cut into 16 bars.

For the Adults

Beer & Chocolate Malt Ball Ice Cream with Spiked Whipped Cream

by Chef Ryan Scott 

1 can stout beer (such as Guinness)
Vanilla ice cream studded with crushed chocolate malt balls
Giant chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks
Spiked whipped cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons light rum

Pour stout halfway into a large wine goblet. Add a scoop of ice cream. Top with spiked whipped cream, garnish with pretzel stick. Serve with a spoon.

For the spiked whipped cream, beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar and rum, beating until soft peaks form.

For more March Madness Recipes visit: