By Jessica Colyer
August 29, 2016

Obviously, one of the best things about tailgating is the feast of footballing fare that is to be devoured before/during the game. It's the part that everyone--football fanatics and those who are just along for the ride--can enjoy. The typical spread looks something like hot dogs, burgers, wings, etc., but what if we changed up the menu a little bit? Supposing  you were charged with throwing an entirely vegetarian tailgate (or even just making sure there were some legit good vegetarian options included), what would you  make?

A vegetarian diet in its simplest terms means no meat. Most allow milk, cheese, and eggs, but some choose to omit some or all animal byproducts entirely, which is where you enter vegan territory. So every vegan dish is automatically also a vegetarian dish, but not vice versa. Always be sure to pay attention to your ingredient list when putting together a vegan or vegetarian dish, and do a quick double check on ingredients you're not sure about. For the vegetarian tailgate lineup below, we've done that part for you. Here's the veg-friendly fare we're stoked about bringing to the table this season:



  1. Vegan Queso

Queso cheese dip for vegans? You bet. This creamy "cheese" is made possible by cashews, an MVP of the vegan culinary world. This queso dip is creamy, savory, rich, and the perfect accompaniment to any tailgating spread.



2.)  The Best "Beef" Vegan Burgers


Yep, the best damn vegan burgers have an intense umami flavor, succulent meaty texture, and actually cook to a medium-rare appearance. They might not have beef in them, but even some of our biggest burger fanatics in the kitchen were fighting over the last bites of these insane veggie-based patties.


3.)  Vegan Buffalo Tofu Tot Skillet


This indulgent skillet features everyone's favorite frozen potatoes (tater tots!) to line the bottom of the pan and a layer of hearty buffalo tofu mixture on top.  This dish offers a major comfort food factor and is perfect for sharing with a crowd.


4.)  Can’t-Believe-It’s-Vegan Chili


A major tailgating winner is of course chili. And making a hearty and flavorful vegan chili is actually way easier than you'd think. Really, you're just trading the meat for more diverse vegetables and extra beans.




5.)  Vegetarian Burrito Bowls


For the perfect build-your-own type of tailgate, lay out a buffet of fixings for these vibrant burrito bowls. Being that the toppings are essentially up to you, with this set-up, you can include some meaty options to cover everyone's appetite in your crowd.


Vegetarian Burrito Bowls


6.) Veggie Grilled Pizza


A tailgate, like any life event, is made better by pizza. And this "supreme" style pie is piled high with a thick spread of flavorful roasted vegetables and cheese that no one will be able to resist.



7.) Grilled Bean and Cheese Stuffed Poblanos


Poblanos aren't spicy, but they do have a great earthy flavor that compliments a bean and cheese filling like no other. Try these on the grill for a fabulously smoky addition to any tailgate.



8.) Baked Mac 'n Cheese


A big pan of gooey macaroni and cheese is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Crispy on the top and cheesy in the middle, this baked take is all kinds of awesome.


9.) Ultimate Unbaked Brownies


Thanks to the transformative power of cocoa powder, dates, walnuts, and coconut oil, you can make incredible, fudgy brownies without: eggs, butter, milk, flour and baking. That's right. And the best part is...they're delicious.


The Ultimate Unbaked Brownies


So clearly, leaving out the meat doesn't have to mean leaving out flavor. And now, you're all set to tackle the tailgate without it.