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Sandra Lee's fun, festive Super Bowl recipes, from pulled pork to whoopee pies

For some, the Super Bowl is more about the food than the game itself. To help navigate the seemingly endless culinary Super Bowl options, Sandra Lee stopped by TODAY on Saturday to share a few of her favorite game-day recipes, from a Polynesian pulled pork sandwich to meatballs in chipotle sauce and even football whoopee pies!

Polynesian Pulled Pork Sandwiches (makes 8 servings)

Mariecar Frias / Today

Ingredients:

  • 4 red bell peppers, cut into ½ -inch-wide strips
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bottle (10 ounces) Polynesian glazing and dipping sauce, such as San-J®
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple
  • ½ cup Heinz® chili sauce
  • 8 King's® Hawaiian sweet sandwich buns

1. Place peppers in the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker.

2. Season pork with salt and pepper. Place in slow cooker, on top of peppers, fat side up.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together San-J® sweet & tangy sauce, pineapple and chili sauce. Pour over pork roast.

4. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours.

5. Remove pork and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain cooking liquid into a bowl and return solids to cooker. De-fat strained juices and stir into cooker. When cool enough to handle, pull or chop pork.

6. Place some red peppers on bottom of sandwich buns. Pile high with pulled pork and top with some of the tomato-pineapple juices from cooker.

Grilled Margarita Pizza (makes 8 servings)

Mariecar Frias / Today

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 package (16 ounces) refrigerated pizza dough
  • 12 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, torn

1. In a medium skillet, heat 1 table-spoon oil over medium heat. When hot, add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook until slightly thickened and the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set tomato sauce aside.

2. Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Preheat the broiler.

3. Spread out the pizza dough into a 12 x 6-inch rectangle. Brush with 1 tablespoon of oil. Transfer dough to the grill pan oil-side down and grill until set and starting to brown on the bottom side, about 2 minutes. Flip over, spread with tomato sauce and cover with mozzarella. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil on top. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 1 minute.

4. Scatter basil leaves over pizza, cut and serve.

Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce (makes 48 1-inch meatballs)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • ⅓ cup frozen chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free Mexican seasoning
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 jars (16 ounces each) salsa verde
  • 2 packets (1.25 ounces each) smokey chipotle taco seasoning mix
  • ¼ cup Don Julio® Añejo Tequila

1. Position rack 6 inches from heat and preheat broiler. Line a heavy-duty baking sheet with foil.

2. In a large bowl, combine pork, beef, cilantro, onions, seasoning, egg, and bread crumbs. Mix thoroughly and shape into 1-inch balls. Place meatballs on baking sheet, evenly spaced, and broil for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, stir together salsa verde, taco seasoning and tequila. Pour one-fourth of the sauce into the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker. Add several meatballs at a time to the bowl, coat them with sauce, then transfer to slow cooker. Repeat until all meatballs are well-coated. Pour remaining sauce over meatballs.

4. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours. Serve meatballs with sauce on the side. Garnish with cilantro.

Mocha Latte Layer Cake (makes 12 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (18.25 ounces) classic white cake mix
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons plus
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 5 large eggs, divided
  • ½ cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 containers (16 ounces each) creamy chocolate frosting
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons coffee liqueur
  • Chocolate sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.

2. Divide white cake mix evenly between two medium bowls. To one bowl, add heavy cream, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1 egg. To the second bowl, add brewed coffee, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 egg and cinnamon. With an electric mixer at medium speed, beat batters until smooth.

3. Pour each batter into a cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool vanilla and coffee cake layers completely.

4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, with an electric mixer, combine chocolate cake mix, remaining 3 eggs, and remaining ¼ cup oil. Stir to moisten, then beat at medium speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour half of the batter into remaining cake pan.

5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool chocolate cake layer completely.

6. In a medium bowl, stir together chocolate frosting with espresso powder and coffee liqueur.

7. Level tops of all cake layers with a serrated knife. Carefully cut the chocolate and coffee cake layers in half horizontally. Set a chocolate layer on a serving platter. Spread with ⅓ cup frosting. Cover with a coffee cake layer and spread ⅓ cup frosting over that. Top with the white layer, and spread ⅓ cup of frosting over top. Repeat with remaining chocolate layer and coffee layer. Frost top and sides of cake.

8. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip with remaining frosting, and pipe swirls around top and bottom edges of cake. Scatter chocolate sprinkles on top of cake.

Old-Fashioned Malt Shoppe Super Sunday Cupcake Frosting

Ingredients: 

  • 4 sticks (1 pound) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tub (16 ounces) marshmallow creme, such as Marshmallow Fluff
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Hot fudge topping, unheated
  • Football picks

To assemble: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in marshmallow creme and vanilla.

Football Whoopee Pies (makes 12 cookies)

Mariecar Frias / Today

Using extra batter from the Mocha Latte Layer Cake recipe (above recipe), stir in ¼ cup nonfat-dry milk and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter in the shape of an oval onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing each oval 2 inches apart.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes at 375°F. Cool, then sandwich "Super Sunday Cupcake" frosting (page 80) with ovals; place more frosting in zip-top bag, clip corner, and pipe laces on each football. 

The Super Bowl Punter (serves 6)

Mariecar Frias / Today

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz. CAPTAIN MORGAN® Coconut White Rum
  • 9 oz. Orange juice
  • 6 oz. Cranberry juice
  • 3 oz. Ruby red grapefruit juice

To assemble: Combine all ingredients. Serve in a punch bowl.