Tiny Tailgating Treats
Honey-Ginger Chicken Bites
These bite-sized appetizers are steeped in a mixture of garlic, soy sauce, ginger, citrus, and honey. The marinade is then reduced and used to glaze the chicken.
Tailgate Tip: You could pile the chicken bites on a platter, but we suggest skewering them with toothpicks for a fun, less messy presentation. No sticky fingers here!
These fabulous no-cook sandwiches deserve a spot at your next tailgating event. Easy to prepare and full of that classic New Orleans flair, they are sure to become a family favorite for years to come.
Tailgate Tip: Prepare sandwiches the day before the game. Place in zip-top plastic freezer bags, and refrigerate overnight. For a fun presentation, wrap the sandwiches in wax paper, then wrap again with old newspapers and tie with twine.
Crispy Cauliflower Bites with Herbed Yogurt Dip
Even your most carnivorous meat-eating guests won’t be able to resist these crispy, spiced cauliflower bites. Offering the perfect balance of hearty crunch and bright, tangy sauciness, our cauli-bites are a grade-A vegetarian appetizer for entertaining, tailgating, and beyond. You can find berbere at supermarkets like Whole Foods or online; and if this Ethiopian spice blend is new to you, be prepared, you’re gonna wanna add it to everything.
Pigskins in a Blanket
Don't let the name fool you; this three-ingredient wonder actually contains no pork! Fully cooked chicken sausage replaces the pig in this crowd-pleasing version of pigs in a blanket.
Tailgate Tip: Since this recipe requires very little prep time, use those extra minutes to whip up homemade condiments for dipping, such as this speedy barbecue sauce.
Miniature Corn Muffins
Cheesy corn muffins are a quick, inexpensive way to jazz up barbecue, soups, and one-pot suppers. This recipe makes a huge batch, enough to feed even the hungriest crowd.
Tailgate Tip: These muffins taste best when fresh, so bake just before leaving for the tailgate.
Mini Corn Dogs with Cranberry Mustard
Kids and adults of all ages will fall in love with these tasty, mini corn dogs. Perfect for popping into your mouth as your favorite team scores the winning touchdown, these breaded beauties get a sweet-tart kick from homemade cranberry mustard.
Tailgate Tip: Food on a stick is always a fun idea! Find more inspiration on our Pinterest board.
Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso
You can keep the queso blanco warm in a fondue pot or 1-qt. slow cooker. These are hearty, and would be a winner for a tailgate too.
Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels
These turkey and swiss roll ups are perfect for packing kids' lunches.
Glazed Cocktail Meatballs
These mini meatballs are perfect for holiday parties and tailgating. We made them healthier by forgoing sodium-heavy ingredients like the usual ketchup and chili sauce and including whole-grain bulgur in place of breadcrumbs. You can also serve a larger portion of these meatballs for weeknight dinner. To up the kid-friendly factor, omit the ground red pepper in the glaze and serve with mashed potatoes (à la Swedish meatballs).
Mini Potato Skins
This party-perfect appetizer will be gone before the last guest even arrives. This five-ingredient recipe makes a bite-sized appetizer that every guest will rave about, and it has a high yield for your biggest crowds. You can’t beat an easy and portable snack like Mini Potato Skins. Our Test Kitchen professionals said these Mini Potato Skins pair well with beer, so cheers!
Mini Fruit-and-Yogurt Parfaits
Health-conscious tailgaters, rejoice! These single-serving parfaits combine granola, yogurt, pomegranate seeds, fresh pineapple, and blueberries, and are perfect for a light dessert.
Tailgate Tip: Serve the parfaits chilled in adorable mini mason jars, which have screw-on lids for easy transport and storage. Or, let your friends build their own parfaits for a fun, do-it-yourself dessert.
Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sliders
These tiny sliders pack a big punch. Chicken meatballs drenched in Buffalo-style hot sauce get cooled off with a dollop of tangy blue cheese sauce and a crunchy celery topping.
Tailgate Tip: For a festive presentation, cut out tiny flags with your team colors or logo and attach them to the sliders using toothpicks. Touchdown!
Mini Twice-Baked Potatoes
These babies have all the flavor of a full-sized potato in a cute, pint-sized package. Our version is stuffed with Gruyere cheese, sour cream, and chives, but feel free to customize it any way you please.
Tailgate Tip: Set up your own mini baked potato bar and let your friends choose their own toppings.
Mini Cherry Pies
What could possibly be more American than cherry pie? You'll be the tailgate hero when you unwrap a tray of these petite pies. Just don't forget the whipped cream!
Tailgate Tip: Impress your friends by making homemade whipped cream on the spot. Just whisk very cold heavy cream with a little bit of sugar and vanilla extract until thickened. Watch our how-to video here.
Country Ham Mini Biscuits
All you need is a few ingredients and less than 30 minutes to whip up these adorable mini biscuits, drizzled with homemade black pepper honey.
Tailgate Tip: Where there's Southern food, there will never be a shortage of sweet tea or good times. Serve a Southern-inspired feast at your tailgate, complete with these biscuits, potato salad, baked beans, succotash, and banana pudding.
Caramelized Onion-and-Blue Cheese Mini Burgers
They may be small, but these mini burgers are packed with flavor. Caramelized onions, blue cheese, arugula, and sirloin fill your mouth with sweetness and pungency.
Tailgate Tip: If the football fans in your family aren't exactly "miniature", make big-boy versions of these burgers for the adults and sliders for the kids.
If it's miniature, you don't have to feel bad about eating two, right? Right. These baked beauties are oh-so sweet and just perfect for your game day festivities.
Tailgate Tip: When the weather gets cooler, pack blankets and a family-sized thermos of hot cocoa. Dip the donuts in the rich, chocolaty goodness as you cheer on your team to victory.
Jerk Chicken and Mini Stuffed Bell Peppers
Fire up the grill! Colorful mini bell peppers shine in this dish, as the creamy filling helps to tame the heat of the spicy grilled chicken thighs.
Tailgate Tip: Buy or make a refreshing iced drink to help everyone cool down. A tall glass of strawberry lemonade pairs especially well with this dish.
Mini Brownie Bites
These two-bite treats couldn't be easier to make and are perfectly portable for stress-free packing.
Tailgate Tip: Get creative when decorating your brownie bites! Toasted coconut, walnuts, candy pieces, and fresh berries all make great toppings. Or, arrange the brownies in the shape of a football and use white frosting to draw on the laces.
Bite-Size Honey Popcorn Balls
These miniature popcorn balls, held together with caramelized honey, are just the right size for game day snacking. The perfect blend of salty and sweet means you'll be craving this treat long after football season ends.
Tailgate Tip: These bitty popcorn balls are an ideal size for little hands. Package each serving of popcorn in colorful paper bags tied with ribbon, then label the bags with each child's name.
Mini Philly Cheeseburgers
Slider buns might just become a pantry staple this season. Fill them with meat, cheese, veggies, or just about anything else, and you've got a winning dish that's ready in minutes. Here, a Philly classic meets the slider bun, resulting in a leaner (and less messy) version of the original.
Tailgate Tip: Any slider recipe can be altered to make regular-sized burgers. Just combine two mini patties to make one big patty, and then grill like you would a normal burger (until the internal temperature reaches 160°).
Slow-Cooker Beef Sliders with Pickled Peppers
Let your slow cooker do the work, so you can enjoy game day stress-free. In this recipe, flavorful chuck roast and pickled mini bell peppers might just be a match made in heaven.
Tailgate Tip: Rev up your slow cooker the night before, and on game day, tote it to the game, plug it in, and let your crowd build their own sandwiches.
Double Peanut Butter Candy Bites
Make a little magic with peanut butter cookie dough, mini peanut butter cup candies, and granola. These bite-sized sweets are sure to disappear quickly with hungry football fans around.
Tailgate Tip: Check the bottom of the recipe notes for additional topping ideas. Swap granola for peanuts, colorful chocolate candies, or mini marshmallows. All are equally delicious!
Mini Meatball Minestrone
As the weather gets cooler, nothing is better to ward off sickness than a warm, hearty bowl of soup. This nourishing minestrone is loaded with mini turkey meatballs, chickpeas, and plenty of veggies to keep you healthy.
Tailgate Tip: Invest in a family-sized thermos to keep the soup hot on the way to the game. Then pour into portable bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and get cozy.
Key Lime Curd Cones
Adorable mini ice-cream cones form the base for these kid-friendly treats. Fresh Key lime curd fills the cones, which are topped with a gorgeous meringue. They are almost too cute to eat!
Tailgate Tip: Prep ahead. Make the curd up to two days in advance, and chill. Whip the meringue an hour before your event; assemble just before serving.
Mini Surf-and-Turf Burgers
Why not switch things up by adding seafood to your football menu? Mini beef burgers and crab cakes form an unlikely friendship in this twist on a game day staple.
Tailgate Tip: This recipe is best suited for your backyard viewing parties, so you can skip the crowds! Invite a group of friends over to watch the game and serve up a contemporary, coastal-inspired feast.
Mini Caprese Bites
This popular, five-star recipe is a simple, no-fail way to impress and delight your guests. Since it only requires a few ingredients, be sure to choose the freshest tomatoes and mozzarella available.
Tailgate Tip: Serve the miniature skewers on a platter with a side of dressing for easy dipping, or place individual servings in small plastic cups. Simply delicious!
Mini Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes
Cream, orange zest and juice are the stars behind the dreamy flavor of these miniature cupcakes. A rich, luscious cream cheese frosting sends this popular dessert over the top.
Tailgate Tip: These cutesy cupcakes are especially festive if one of your team colors is orange! However, you could easily leave out the orange food coloring for a batch of neutral-toned (and equally yummy) cakes.
Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Pulled Pork Sliders
These sliders are a saucy mess, in the best way possible, leaving you sweet-tangy drips to lick off your hands. The meat cooks for hours in the slow cooker, resulting in the juiciest, most tender pulled pork.
Tailgate Tip: Everyone loves eating barbecue, but no one loves getting sauce stains splattered onto their team jerseys. Pack extra napkins, baby wipes, and portable stain remover in case of an emergency. Your friends will thank you!
Mini Fruit Tartlets
These teensy tartlets are a simple, figure-flattering way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Bite-sized sugar cookies are topped with a sweet lemon curd, fresh fruit, and an apricot jam glaze. Go ahead, try and eat just one.
Tailgate Tip: We used a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and kiwifruit, but feel free to use any seasonal, fresh fruit you can get your hands on!
Brownie Ice Cream Mini-wiches
We firmly believe that brownies and ice cream were made to be together, so we created this recipe. Simply sandwich your favorite ice cream (store-bought or homemade) between layers of rich, fudgy brownie. Behold, dessert matrimony.
Tailgate Tip: Allow time for these to freeze before the game, then pack in a cooler filled with ice. Any ice cream flavor will work here, but we think black cherry, mint chip, dulce de leche, or plain old vanilla work best.
Bonus Recipe: Bread-and-Butter Pickles
What makes every slider, sandwich, and burger better? Why, pickled cukes, of course! This easy recipe yields lots of pickles, so make a few batches to use throughout your football season.
Tailgate Tip: Thin-skinned pickling cucumbers are essential for this recipe.