junk food in bowls

Fellow junk food lovers rejoice! We have a day to revel in all the sugar, empty calories, and bad-for-you goodness we could imagine: It’s National Junk Food Day! In case you were unaware of this majestic holiday, National Junk Food Day occurs every July 21 to the delight of every salty and sweet fan out there.

While typically the folks here at Basket like to provide you with healthy options to celebrate your favorite holidays, we figured it would be a bit rude of us to disrespect a day strictly dedicated to unhealthy food like that. So, how about this instead? Here are the best ways to combine your favorite junk foods to create the most epic junk-food-baby worthy of your comfiest sweatpants and the best Netflix marathon.

1. Junk Food Day Popcorn

The true trick to the best junk food sesh is to have an equal balance of salty and sweet. That’s why party popcorn like a Junk Food Day blend is so good. Mix and match to your heart’s desire, and be generous with the quantities you use of each ingredient. You have quite a few options:

  1. Instant Butter Popcorn, M&M’s, Mini Reese’s Cups: The salty butter of the popcorn, added crunch of chocolate candies, and the creaminess of peanut butter are truly divine. Of course, you could use Reese’s Pieces instead, but we especially like how the hot popcorn melts the chocolate exterior of the Cups.
  2. Sweet Kettle Corn, Pretzel Nuggets, Chocolate Covered Almonds: This is one for those of you who love a good crunch! Kettle corn adds an extra sweetness while the chocolate combined with salty pretzels and almonds really complete this snack.
  3. Instant Butter Popcorn, Nacho Flavor Doritos, Crunchy Cheetos: Strictly salty fans rejoice! Your arteries, not so much. But the combo of spicy cheese and buttery popcorn is just too good to worry about on Junk Food Day.
  4. Kettle Corn, Oreos, White Chocolate Chips: Cookies and cream popcorn anyone? Be sure to either use mini Oreos or to crush a few regular Oreos for an easier snacking experience.
  5. White Popcorn, Mini Marshmallows, Chocolate Chips, Golden Grahams Cereal: I introduce to you – s’mores popcorn. Try adding the chocolate chips straight to the bag of popcorn after it’s been popped and then tossing – this should melt the chips a bit to add to the s’mores effect.

2. Ice Cream Cookie Bowls

The best part about this Junk Food Day masterpiece? No bowls to clean! Why? Because you’re going to eat ’em! We’re talking about cookie bowls, the perfect treat to pile high with ice cream, whipped cream, and toppings. For this treat, all you’ll need is a muffin tin and refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough – preferably a dough that comes in pre-made squares, like Nestlé Toll House or Pillsbury.

To begin, grease the bottom of the muffin tin. Yes, the bottom. For this recipe, you’ll want to flip the muffin tin over and press your dough firmly to the domes of the bottom of the tin, as opposed to filling them as you typically would. Use two squares per dome and press to form a cap around the dome. In this way, the cookies will bake to the shape of the tin, forming the bowl shape when you pop them off.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or as per the directions on the package. Cool completely before removing, and then fill to your heart’s content. We recommend making your own Rocky Road cups, filling with chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and chopped nuts, and topping with a heap of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

3. Loaded Grilled Cheese

If sweet isn’t your thing, try a loaded grilled cheese to celebrate instead! Begin prep the same way you would for a regular grilled cheese: you’ll need a pan, some butter, two slices of bread, and a whole lot of cheese. Mix it up with a blend of creamy cheddar, pepper jack, or even get fancy with some gruyère!

Next, load that bad boy up. We recommend you mix and match the following for the ultimate grilled cheese:

  • Bacon
  • Chicken tenders
  • French fries
  • Pickles
  • Pepperoni
  • Crumbled potato chips
  • Nacho flavored Doritos
  • Pepperoncini
  • Crumbled hot Cheetos
  • Crumbled puffy Cheez Doodles

4. Glazed Doughnut Breakfast Sandwich

Is it breakfast? Is it lunch? Is it everything we never knew we needed? Yup! This one combines a bit of salty and sweet for the ultimate start to National Junk Food Day – though, if you asked us, this sandwich is appropriate for any time of day.

Simply fry an egg sunny-side-up style, and griddle some bacon. Top with a slice of American or cheddar cheese when the egg is almost to your desired temperature for an added savory twist. Next, slice a glazed doughnut right down the middle. Your local grocery store most likely has these in their bakery case, or you can buy a pack from Krispy Kreme or Entenmann’s. Place your egg and crispy bacon atop one half of the doughnut, and top with the other.

Viola! A glazed doughnut breakfast sandwich. Commence drooling… now!

5. Pizza + Anything

Okay, forgive us for the vagueness of this one. However, here at Basket HQ we are serious pizza lovers. And when you have such a rapidly expanding team such as we do, you get to see just how many ways there are to eat pizza.

  • Dipped in ranch or blue cheese
  • Topped with bacon, pepperoni, sausage, pineapple, onions, mushrooms, or more
  • Combined with hot wings
  • Rolled with a calzone for EXTRA cheese
  • Drizzled in BBQ sauce

The list could go on and on… But, what really sparked this idea was that our favorite treats, like chips and chocolates, could easily be crumbled on top too! We’ve seen with our very own eyes crumbled Fritos being placed upon a steaming pepperoni slice. And honestly, how could we not share that?

Even if you eat your pizza plain, and dive into an ice cream cup or popcorn blend later, we feel like the doughy-cheesiness of pizza really completes National Junk Food Day.

Grab your napkins and a big jug of water, we’re in for a wild ride! But before you start shopping for the goodies you’ll need for these treats, be sure to check the Basket app to find the best prices on the groceries you’ll need! Saving AND junk food – oh, happy day!