Our Best Tailgating Recipes
Sausage, Bean, and Spinach Dip
Break out the shakers, war paint, and jerseys; it’s football time and we’ve got you set all season long with our best tailgating recipes ever. First up, this ultimate spinach dip featuring the addition of ground sausage, pinto beans, cream cheese, and Parmesan will easily be your go-to dish all seaon. It's almost hearty enough to be a main dish.
Easy Margaritas for a Crowd
Look no further than these large-batch margaritas for your next tailgate when you can't spend hours juicing limes. This recipe is a revelation--the secret ingredient is a can of frozen limeade concentrate which, once emptied, doubles as a measuring cup for the remaining ingredients.
Sausage-Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
Combine frozen hash brown potatoes with sausage, eggs, and cheese for a hearty, 5-star-rated breakfast or brunch casserole that can be prepped ahead and baked the next morning.
Two-Cheese Veggie Nachos
We love the double-cheese contrast here: Shredded cheese melts into a bubbly blanket over the tortillas, while crumbly queso fresco covers the veggies with a salty kick. It's an impressive dish for coffee table dining--it's fun to keep it all on the baking pan and serve as a shared platter.
Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips
Layered Spicy Black Bean Dip
Make this spicy Mexican dip your go-to dip for tailgate parties and casual entertaining. Just layer cream cheese, black bean dip and shredded cheese and top with your choice of onions, olives and tomatoes.
Yummy Sausage Cups
Sausage on the go is the perfect tailgating appetizer for morning or evening games. Pop these on the table when you set up your tailgate and watch them disappear in seconds.
Shrimp-and-Andouille Gumbo Dip
Bring the sea shore right to your kitchen table with this delicious gumbo dip.
White Cheddar-Chive Pimiento Cheese
Here's the secret to nice pimiento-cheese texture: Grate the cheese by hand, half on the large holes of a box grater and half on the small holes. Choose an aged sharp Cheddar cheese for extra bite. Chopped chives and Dijon mustard add piquant punch in place of grated onion.
This is the base guacamole recipe from Gabriel's in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is intended only as a jumping-off point: Add more seasonings to your taste. We preferred it with 1/2 teaspoon jalapeño, 4 teaspoons onion, and 4 teaspoons lime juice.
Bacon and Cheddar Sliders
Classic burger toppings are all here on these Bacon and Cheddar Sliders. Toasting buns on the grill gives these little burgers a delightful crunch.
Loaded Greek Salad Nachos
Everything you love about a Greek salad—but way more fun! Delivering a perfect blend of flavor and texture in every bite, these loaded nachos are the perfect snack to throw together for your next at-home movie night or tailgate party. This recipe is an excellent way to give a new life to leftover rotisserie chicken and veggie scraps kicking around your fridge. Feel free to use store bought pita chips rather than baking your own.
Pineapple Pizza Dip
Whether you’re pro- or anti-pineapple on pizza, we’re willing to bet you’re going to love this pineapple pizza dip. Why? Well, because its delicious balance of salty and sweet, and the savory, ooey-gooey goodness this dip packs makes it irresistible. Give it a try for your next party, potluck, or tailgate and see what we mean.
Skillet Nacho Dip
We combined our favorite elements of cheesy queso dip and loaded beef nachos into one epic skillet dish.
Smashed Double Cheeseburger Sliders
You can easily make these on the grill instead of the stovetop. Just preheat the grill to high, and set a cast-iron skillet on the grill grate to preheat also. Be careful when touching the skillet, as the handle will be extremely hot. A pinch of sugar in the beef patty mixture helps deliver deep-brown, caramelized crust to the burgers without making them taste sweet.
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.
Super Sports Sunday Slow-Cooked Chili
There are so many things that are awesome about chili, but here are my top five: 1) Chili is incredibly hearty and, even though it’s a soup, it can stand alone as a meal; 2) the texture is way more satisfying than most other soups—you don’t have to just slurp it down, you can actually chew it; 3) if it’s decent chili, it’s got serious kick and tons of flavor; 4) it’s perfect for late fall and winter fangating because it’ll heat you up with both its temperature and spice quotient; and 5) it’s easy to make ahead of time and tastes better the next day once the flavors and spices have had time to marinate in their own goodness. This chili recipe has it all—plus plenty of kick and even beer to get your tailgate going.
Grilled Cheeseburger Nachos
It was determined in our test kitchen that it is legitimately impossible to be anything other than happy while eating these cheeseburger nachos—do with that information what you will. The cookout-inspired food mashup is as perfect served as a fun, grilled snack for guests (especially during tailgating season) as it is an easy, throw-together meal to use up leftovers from a weekend get-together. So while the cheeseburger recipe provided here does produce an extremely moist and flavorful patty, you can certainly use leftover cooked burgers if you already have them on hand. Same idea applies to the nacho toppings; we went with a blend of typical Tex-mex toppers and backyard cookout accouterments, but you can vary things up however suits you. Your baking sheet will only be on the grill for a few minutes (just long enough for the cheese to melt) so you shouldn’t experience any issues with the pan warping or taking on grill marks. However, for easy clean-up, you can certainly go ahead and wrap your pan in aluminum foil.
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.
Tailgate Tip: Prepare sandwiches the day before the game. Place in zip-top plastic freezer bags, and refrigerate overnight.
Classic Beef Chili
This is our latest take on traditional chili, and it comes together in just under an hour. It's a winner for a family-friendly weeknight supper or crowd-pleasing tailgate dish.
Sweet Orange-Chili Wings
Skip the mess that comes with deep-frying wings in oil with this smart oven-baking trick: Coat your chicken wings in baking powder. Yep, baking powder—this easy hack makes for exceptionally crispy skin. As soon as the wings are golden brown, toss them in this sweet orange chili sauce to get the party started. The dynamic sauce offers a subtle heat from the fresh ginger and chili flakes, balanced by sweet brown sugar and aromatic orange.
Sheet Pan White Pizza with Salami and Peppers
This pizza is flat out delicious! Hold the tomato sauce with this easy, one (sheet) pan pizza. Test Kitchen Tip: Preheating the sheet pan is key to achieving a crisp, crunchy, pizzeria-worthy crust at home.
Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels
These turkey and swiss roll ups are perfect for packing kids' lunches.
Layered Buffalo Chicken Dip
This buffalo chicken dip is a completely homemade labor of love, and your guests will fall head over heels for this incredible appetizer. This dip offers the complete buffalo chicken experience all in one dish and combines layers of different ingredients and flavors along with a unique scratch-made carrot ranch dressing. There is a crunch, a richness, and a level of spice all mixed together in this wow-worthy dip that make it the perfect contributiion to any party or tailgate. This dish delivers intense flavor and an all-inclusive and truly delicious buffalo chicken experience.
Tex-Mex meets tater tots in this easy, inexpensive, and all-around comforting one-dish dinner. Our spicy twist on the classic tater tot casserole consists of a succulent ground beef filling—featuring creamy black beans, crisp-sweet corn, cheese, and mild green chiles for a kick—topped with crispy tater tots, and finished with a drizzle of an addictively spicy and tangy sour cream sauce. Top this fiesta of a casserole with fresh garnishes, such as avocado, tomato, jalapeño, and cilantro, and it’s as perfect to serve at your next football feast as it is for a casual weeknight meal. We use 85/15 lean ground beef for this recipe and recommend that you do not go with anything leaner, as the higher fat percentage both contributes to the filling’s rich flavor and keeps it from drying out while baking.
No Super Bowl party is complete without guacamole, and why not serve it in avocado halves to mimic the shape of a football? Accented with sour cream to imitate the lace on a football, these easy gameday appetizers are just as cute as they are tasty. For a hungry crowd, you'll probably want to go ahead and double the batch.
Salt-and-Vinegar Boneless "Wings"
The popular potato chip flavor translates fantastically to boneless "wings." OK, admittedly, they're basically chicken fingers, but for game day, we're calling them boneless wings. Be sure to line the baking sheet with parchment paper, as the chicken tends to stick to aluminum foil, even if it's coated with cooking spray.
Crispy Grilled Buffalo Wings
Skip the deep frying mess and go for the grill instead. Grilling chicken wings creates a delightfully crispy exterior and gives them added depth via delicious smoky char. These crisp grilled wings are delicious as is, so feel free to skip the Buffalo sauce or give them the lemon-pepper treatment instead. They’re the perfect snack for a Super Bowl party or other casual get together.
Quick and Easy Nachos
This platter of goodness represents the lowest-effort end of the nacho spectrum. That said, “low-effort”—by no stretch of the imagination—means a low YUM-factor here. Although this game day-perfect platter of beefy, cheesy nachos comes together quickly and relies largely on store-bought shortcuts, it delivers the classic meld of flavors and textures that you want from everyone’s favorite appetizer. For this recipe, we combine the meat and cheese elements to create a Ro*Tel Dip-inspired, beefy cheese sauce to pour over the nachos. Not only does this guarantee an even distribution of the hearty toppings, but it keeps you from having to crank up the oven. However, if you prefer melted, shredded cheese over a sauce, simply cook your ground beef in a skillet on the stovetop, drain, and distribute over the nachos on a sheet pan. Then, top the platter with shredded cheese and pop it under the broiler until melty and glorious (omitting the can of Ro*Tel).
Slow-Cooker Beef Sliders with Pickled Peppers
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.
Baked Mozzarella Bites
Best-Ever Soft Pretzels
Enjoy these warm from the oven... there's nothing like them!
This quick and easy hummus dip is delicious alone, or used as a base for a variety of different dips and sauces. This dip is a great choice for tailgating because it’s easy to transport and is great chilled and at room temperature. Serve with pita chips or a variety of fresh veggies.
Buttermilk Coffee Cake
This buttermilk crumb cake is a bring-along breakfast favorite. To make one day ahead: just bake, cool completely, and cover pan tightly in in aluminum foil.
Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs
We combine two Southern favorites into one extraordinary dish—Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs.
Macaroni-and-Pimiento Cheese Bites
Southern cooks have a secret-- pimiento cheese is just as delicious as an appetizer as it is on a sandwich or cracker. By giving the pimiento cheese bites a quick fry, they gain a crisp crust that pairs perfectly with the slightly melted cheese on the inside of the popper.
Anne's Hot Sausage Dip
With outstanding reviews, this dip is by far your best go-to recipe the season. Simple, easy, quick, and delicious are the perfect adjectives to describe this unbeatable tailgating recipe. Serve with substantial chips to get the best dip every time.
Baked Buffalo Chicken Strips
You'll score big on game day with these easy buffalo chicken strips paired with zesty blue cheese dip.
Basic Deviled Eggs
All you need to perfect these tasty stuffed eggs are five simple ingredients and just a couple short minutes. Because these we be such a popular item at your tailgate, we suggest you make at least a second batch for everyone to enjoy.
Cheesy Sausage Balls
To make ahead, cover and refrigerate unbaked balls up to 24 hours; or place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag and freeze unbaked balls up to 1 month. Bake frozen balls at 375° for 22 to 25 minutes or until done.
“My go to sports day recipe! My husband and friends love it. I sometimes add a small can of diced jalapenos, and serve it with shredded cheese, sour cream, purple onions and corn bread. It's simply our favorite chili!“ - LoriAnnSt
These savory bites of sausage wrapped in flaky puff pastry strips are the perfect appetizer for early games, and since they are only $.42 per serving you can make a huge batch to feed the whole crowd.
Times up and you need to be out the door and at the tailgate. Don’t fret, this sweet, nutty dip whips up in just five minutes and creates the perfect pairing for sliced apples and crackers.
This dip is astoundingly easy and almost doubles as a dessert. It makes a nice addition to a savory spread.
Stuffed Vegetables come to life with Jalapeno-Pimiento Cheese. Use this zippy cheese in hollowed-out baby bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini halves, or pattypan squash halves for lively party bites.
Pepper and Chicken Nachos
We take a healthier approach to the standard nacho plate here by using peppers instead of chips. The result is equally as fabulous and maybe even more delicious.
Healthy Chili-Cheese Dogs
Your kids will flip for these Healthy Chili-Cheese Dogs! Uncured hot dogs cost a few dollars more than regular ones, but they're worth it. They are lower in fat and sodium and free of nitrites.