100 Top Tailgating Dips and Appetizers
Score big points with your fellow football fans by sharing these crowd-pleasing tailgating recipes on game day. These easy tailgating recipes mix and match easily so that you can create the perfect game day menu. From breakfast sandwiches to hearty dips to one-bite salad wedges, these fun football foods offer something for everyone. While some recipes require a plate and a fork, there are tons of tailgating finger foods, like Touchdown Pinwheels and Baby Ballpark Dogs, to keep it super simple. Pick your favorites and get started!
This sensational spud riff on nachos is an hommage to party food lovers everywhere. Loaded with toppings and drizzled with a hot cheese dip, these totchos are ready to rock and roll right onto your plate. This dish has all of the goodness of trashy, delicious bar nachos but are made with potato tots for a warm comfort food addition. Fresh jalapeno slices and cool avocado round out this dish, leaving the end impression and flavor as simply drool-inducing.
Homemade Chicken Fingers
Sorry, drive-through: This version of the kid favorite is better than yours. Get your kids involved in making this recipe, making sure to use the right measuring cup (the one intended for dry ingredients) and a blunt table or butter knife to level off the ingredients (even for smaller teaspoon and tablespoon-sized amounts).
Loaded Baked Potato Dip
Louisiana Hot Crab Dip
Fresh crab meat is the star of this classic New Orleans appetizer.
Roll Tide Breakfast Rolls
When your tailgate is slated to last from sun-up to sun-down, start the day right with a filling, flavorful breakfast. Time out! Go leaner and make a substitution— 1 1/2 cups egg substitute for eggs and reduced-fat pork sausage for sausage.
Grilled Pepper Poppers
If the game isn't going your way, have no fear. These spicy cheese-filled poppers will fire up any Super Bowl bash. And try washing them down with a cool cocktail.
Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas
If you're planning to pack these flavor-coated, fiber-filled poppers as a to-go snack, be sure to allow them to cool completely on a flat surface first.
This dip version of the classic New Orleans sandwich features olive salad, salami, pepperoncini salad peppers, black olives and diced provolone cheese. Serve with slices of French bread for a hearty tailgate treat.
Sausage, Bean, and Spinach Dip
Score big points at your next tailgate with this ultimate spinach dip featuring the addition of ground sausage, pinto beans, cream cheese, and Parmesan. It's almost hearty enough to be a main dish.
Maple Chicken Wings
Wings are a must-have at any tailgate, and serving them in a bucket is affordable, cute, and definitely low on the mess factor. Just be sure to provide a second bucket for the scraps.
Wrap sandwiches are so versatile. You can fill them with your favorite meats and condiments for an array of options. Individually wrap them in plastic wrap or secure with a toothpick for easy pick-up-and-go treats.
Light Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Celery
This recipe makes plenty to go around, so stuff some in celery stalks and serve the rest with crackers, apple wedges, or as a sandwich spread. Make pimiento cheese up to a week before game day and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Serve hot from the oven to those gathered 'round the big screen. Top off the savory dip with one of our favorite beer beverages.
Barbecue Deviled Eggs
When you make deviled eggs, add some chopped smoked pork to the filling for a game-winning twist. Place the serving tray over ice to keep the appetizers cool during the celebration.
Crisp and Spicy Snack Mix
Serve this mix in individual paper cups adorned with your football team's colors for a portable snack that tailgaters can easily carry as they make the rounds.
Cheddar Cheese Straws
Savory and rich with just a bit of a peppery bite, cheese straws are great for game-day snacking. They're especially easy to make and travel well.
Smoky Ranch Dip
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce give traditional Ranch dressing a smoky kick. Pair this versatile dip with chicken fingers, wings, carrot sticks, or potato chips at your next tailgate.
Save yourself a trip to the concession stand by preparing this favorite football snack. If you're craving more flavor, try one of the savory variations included with the recipe.
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.
Creamy Feta-Spinach Dip
Make a traditional spinach dip lower in fat by using low-fat mayonnaise, sour cream , and cream cheese instead of the full-fat products and add extra flavor with feta cheese and dill.
These savory treats are dangerously popable. Plan to at least double the recipe if you're hosting this week's tailgate.
Encourage friends to grab a cone of savory popcorn for their walk to the stadium. Three ingredients quickly transform microwave popcorn into a must-have treat.
Hot Brown Fondue
Kentucky fans, get ready to swoon! Your favorite sandwich is now a game-day ready dip. This dish is ideal for late-season games when the temperature starts to drop.
Yummy Sausage Cups
Grab-and-go appetizers are ideal for tailgates, especially when the treat being served is savory. Now, who wants sausage?
White Cheddar-Chive Pimiento Cheese
Pimiento cheese pairs perfectly with sliced veggies, crisp chips, or even just a big spoon so that guests can enjoy themselves. The secret is grating the cheese yourself (really!).
Buckeye Brownie Cups
One-bite treats keep your fingers clean and your appetite ready for the next dish. Why make basic brownies when you can make these beauties?
Fried Chicken Wings
Skip the mess of saucy wings by serving fried wings instead. Plus, fried chicken is one of the rare dishes that's delicious hot, room temperature, or chilled, so it's easy to serve any time of day.
Barbecue-Peach Summer Rolls
Make barbecue easy to enjoy by wrapping it up tight in sushi-inspired rolls. Ole Miss, this one's calling your name!
Chicken Salad Tomato Cups
Add bright, bold color to your basic tailgate fare by serving classic chicken salad in tiny tomatoes. Make enough for each guest to have two.
Greek Spinach Dip
Spinach dip is a tailgate favorite; make a recipe that calls for satisfying Greek yogurt to ensure you last through the fourth quarter.
Offering sweet and tangy notes, mangos balance perfectly against rich and creamy avocado. Try this guac as a dip with chips or as a topping for fish or chicken tacos. For a step-by-step guide to mango prep, see How to Cube a Mango, below.
Pimiento Cheese with Bacon
This must-have tailgate dip is a bargain at only about $1 per serving. Pair it with hearty crackers or crisp veggies for this weekend's big game.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Think of this as no-mess wings in a bowl. Pair this 5-ingredient Buffalo Chicken Dip with celery and crackers for a quick, spicy dip fit for any tailgate
Black-eyed Pea-and-Ham Dip
Looking for a little extra luck? Serve this savory dip to up your odds.
Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Queso Blanco Dip
We say bacon makes everything better. This dish proves us exactly right.
Caramel Apple Dip
Switch gears from savory to sweet with this must-try fall dip. Baste the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent browning before your tailgate is ready to share.
This appetizing Bacon-Onion Dip boasts minimal prep time and pairs perfectly with assorted fresh vegetables. Who's ready for game day?
Cream Cheese-and-Olive Pecan Bites
Crunchy, creamy, and oh-so delicious, these one-bite wonders are a touchdown on game days.
Bacon Black Bean Dip
Black bean dip is a nice alternative to hummus and cheese dip. Dress it up or down for your style of tailgate.
Tortellini Caprese Bites
Skewer this easy lunch option before the game and serve them in a glass vase to save room on your tailgate table.
Warm Gumbo Dip
When cool weather strikes, fight back with a warm dip. Use a car-powered slow-cooker to keep this dish warm en route to the game, or simply place warm in a small cooler.
Honey-Ginger Chicken Bites
Add colored toothpicks to this zesty appetizer option to keep your fingers from being sticky. Then again, the sauce is so tasty that you likely won't mind!
Colby-Pepper Jack Cheese Dip
This colby-pepper jack cheese dip is made heartier by the addition of chopped cooked chicken. Chopped chipotle peppers, jalapeños, and chili powder add even more heat. Prepare up to a day ahead.
Touchdown Butterscotch Dip
Paired with this warm dip, fruit has never been more tempting. Made with butterscotch chips, rum extract and chopped pecans, this dip is a rich memorable treat.
Blue Cheese-Artichoke Dip
Blue cheese amps up the flavor for a little twist on the traditional artichoke appetizer. The dip holds up well for about two hours after the cook time. Serve with pita chips or toasted baguette slices.
Self-serve appetizers are ideal on game day. Make a double batch of these tasty Italian-inspired bites to ensure you have enough.
Hot Caramelized Onion Dip with Bacon and Gruyère
Serve this addictive onion dip with a sliced baguette or apples, or thick-cut potato chips. Loser does the dishes.
Fried Chicken Bites
Cut chicken breasts into one-inch pieces to make this easy appetizer dish. Kids will call them nuggets; we just call them delicious.
Instant Turkey Wrap
Offer grab-and-go wraps for easy munching at the tailgate or while walking to the game. Use basic ingredients plus one signature, like a grainy mustard.
Southwest BLT Wrap
These wraps are so delicious they should be illegal. Use colored toothpicks that match your team's colors for bonus points.
Striped Ribbon Sandwiches
Give finger sandwiches a much-needed upgrade with this easy, popular recipe.
The best tailgate dishes are those that can be served at room temperature or even chilled. These too-cute pinwheels fit that category perfectly!
Jarred bruschetta topping, chock full of flavorful herbs and veggies, saves both money and prep time for these cheesy pizza sticks. Simply top a refrigerated thin pizza crust with the bruschetta topping and a shredded cheese blend, bake, and cut into bite-size strips.
Italian Egg Rolls
Traditional egg rolls detour into an Italian-inspired recipe. Make sure you don't forget the warm pizza sauce for dipping!
Olive Garden is famous for its generous portions of classic Italian dishes: pasta, pizza, breadsticks and that endless salad. Try this DIY version this weekend to surprise your crowd.
Hawaiian Ham Sandwiches
With the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors, these Hawaiian Ham Sandwiches are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Serve them during the holidays or during a football party–they are great for any occasion.
Kibbeh Meatballs with Spiced Yogurt Sauce
Skip the frozen meatballs and make this tailgate classic yourself. You'll never go back to the bag again.
Baby Ballpark Dogs
What's more adorable than mini hot dogs? Nothing. We repeat, nothing.
Tailgate Tip: Prepare sandwiches the day before the game. Place in zip-top plastic freezer bags, and refrigerate overnight.
Andouille Corn Poppers
These spicy, bite-size versions of corn dogs are irresistible. You'll need about 30 minutes and 1 qt. of oil for frying them.
Light and fluffy, these Pepperoni Puffs are perfect finger food. Serve them with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.
Broccoli Salad Dip
Spin the old-school salad into a dip, and pair with everything from crudités to pretzel rods.
Pimiento cheese transforms into tiny little cheese truffles in this effortless recipe. These bite-sized cheese balls are perfect for your next party or get-together and are an easy no-cook solution to that appetizer spread. Roll each cheese ball into chopped toasted pecans, parsley or crumbled bacon for irresistible flavor in every bite.
These are daintier, fluffier versions of those carnival behemoths, but they still go great with mustard and ketchup.
Grits are treasured like gold in the South. These Bacon-Grits Fritters are the perfect Southern delicacy to introduce to your family and friends. Watch them quickly disappear at your next tailgate!
For the ultimate Southern-style warm dip, combine chopped greens, corn, and bacon and serve with pork skins, sweet potato chips and hot sauce.
Banana peppers add just the right amount of spice to this pre-game treat. Better double the recipe to ensure you have enough for every hungry fan.
Blue Cheese Cocktail Crackers
Skip traditional cookies and serve a must-have savory treat. These savory little bites are great to serve with drinks as a tasty snack for game day.
Adding pimiento cheese to traditional potato skins is a game changer. The added depth of flavor makes this appetizer one for the "Keeper" recipe file.
Bacon-Smoked Paprika-Cheddar Bars
In these savory bites of Bacon-Smoked Paprika-Cheddar Bars, sharp cheddar cheese gets a warming welcome from the smokey flavors of bacon and paprika.
Break out of that onion soup dip rut and wow game-day guests with an easy dip made with sautéed onions, leeks, cream cheese, sour cream and lots of crispy cooked bacon. No need to serve it in the hollowed out squash; a bowl works just fine.