25 Easy Team Meal Ideas

Easy sports team meal ideasCongratulations — your child made the team! Whether your daughter made the varsity soccer team or your son is playing his first season of tee-ball, all sports contain the same main ingredients: practice, competition, team spirit and bonding over team meals. These 25 easy team meal ideas will feed your hungry crew. 

Slow Cooker Favorites 

The slow cooker is a great tool for putting together a team meal. You can prepare large quantities for a hungry team, and the slow cooking means the meal will stay warm through weather delays and double overtimes.   

  1. Chili: Fall is a great time for a traditional chili and cornbread meal. With several slow cookers and secret recipes you will have the makings for a team chili cook-off!
  2. Meatballs: Use them to top your pasta or in make-your-own meatball subs. Don’t forget to top with melted parmesan cheese.
  3. Pulled Pork: BBQ pulled pork can be prepared in your slow cooker and served with sides such as coleslaw and baked beans.
  4. Beef Stew: Made with beef and veggies and served over rice, this meal is easy and delicious.
  5. Buffalo Chicken: Slow cook shredded chicken with your favorite buffalo sauce, top with ranch or blue cheese and serve on sandwich rolls. A real crowd pleaser!   
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Wraps and Salads 

Wraps are a smart alternative to sandwiches because they travel easily without the bread getting squished. You can fill them with just about anything!  

  1. Cold Cuts: A variety of ham, turkey and cheese wraps can be prepared ahead of time for an easy team lunch at the field. Toppings like bacon or ranch dressing can give them some flair.
  2. Fruit Salad: A light lunch or side that travels well in a cooler. To make fruit even more fun, let players make their own fruit kabobs!
  3. Mexican Theme Bar: For an easy team dinner, have parents bring Mexican fillers and players can make their own burritos.
  4. Traditional Salad Bar: All the traditional greens, plus parents can contribute potato salad or pasta salad to round out the meal. Chicken or tuna salad works great as well.
  5. Chicken Cesar: Whether you wrap it up or eat it as a salad, Chicken Cesar is a team favorite! All the ingredients can be stored separately in a cooler and combined quickly for an easy team lunch. 

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Grilled Go-To's 

Bringing the team meal outdoors and cooking on the grill can turn any team meal into a party! Tell parents to bring their own meat or sides to contribute.

  1. Kabobs: If you have older kids on the team, they can help prepare the meats and vegetables for a kabob meal.
  2. Burgers & Dogs: Don’t overlook traditional hotdogs and hamburgers.  It’s a classic team meal! For your team vegetarians, have a few veggie burgers on hand.
  3. Grilled Chicken: Try out a fun new marinade and serve with grilled or raw vegetables.
  4. Pizza: Personal-sized grilled pizza will be a big hit because players can choose their own toppings.
  5. Sliders: Go little! Grilled beef or chicken sliders are popular as a meal or a side.  

Carb-Loading Options

Many athletes like to have a meal that includes carbohydrates the night before the big game. Try these classics.

  1. Spaghetti: Who doesn’t like a spaghetti dinner? Top with meatballs from your slow cooker. Offer both meat and marinara sauce.
  2. Potato Bar: This is an easy one — players can top their own baked potato with cheese, bacon, broccoli or sour cream.
  3. Lasagna: Add garlic bread and a simple salad for a delicious team meal.
  4. Baked Ziti: What could be easier than pasta, sauce, beef and cheese? Make it ahead of time so it will be ready for game day.
  5. Fettuccine Alfredo: Add chicken, shrimp or broccoli and red peppers for a twist on this traditional favorite.  

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Breakfast — Anytime!

For early mornings, late nights or anytime in between, breakfast foods are a popular choice for a team meal. 

  1. Pancake Breakfast: So easy that players on an older team can make their own! Top with fruit, nuts or whipped cream to add some fun.
  2. Smoothies: Players might not be hungry before the early morning game, so make a batch of smoothies “to go” and they can sip on the way.
  3. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: Another grab-and-go team breakfast idea. Use plastic cups, yogurt, granola and your choice of fruit.
  4. Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches: Making your own breakfast sandwiches is a tasty, cost-saving alternative to the fast food breakfast.
  5. Breakfast Casserole: Everything you want for breakfast in one casserole dish that’s prepared the night before for an easy morning! 
A team meal is more than just nourishment. Bonding over team meals will help turn a group of athletes into a family of teammates!         

Stacey Whitney is the mother of two teenagers and owner of WordsFound, a content company.