Our Best Tailgating Recipes to Enjoy on Game Day
From sliders and slaws to dips and sheet cakes, these are the essential game-day recipes you need to make.
Whether or not you're a sports fan, tailgates are a fun way to gather with family and friends. And while COVID-19 has changed the way football season looks this year, there are still ways to enjoy tailgating. Something as simple as gathering your quarantine family and cooking these delicious recipes in your front yard will make kickoff feel extra special. With a traditional tailgate, limited cooking equipment and cooling temperatures can make preparing an outdoor meal on game day a challenge. Plus, you want to enjoy the game and the company rather than stress over what needs to be prepped. When you're tailgating at home, the pressure is off—anything else you might need is just steps away. And we're further helping you eliminate the stress out of putting together a game plan by sharing recipes for tailgate-worthy appetizers, mains, sides, snacks, and desserts that are as delicious in your own home as they are at the stadium. Make one (or more!) of these recipes and you're guaranteed to score big when it's time to serve.
Making as much food as possible ahead of time is the best way to ensure you have time to sit back and (mostly) relax ahead of or during the game. All of the dip recipes here can be made in advance and stored in airtight containers. Be sure to marinate meat a few hours—or even a day—ahead of time so that all that's left to do at game time is grill them.
Though tailgates are all about burgers (like our Classic Burger-Joint Cheeseburger, pictured here), hot dogs with all the fixings, pigs in blankets, and barbecued meats, there are tasty vegetarian tailgating recipes, too. Guacamole, of course, but also our creamy broccoli-spinach dip, which is a delicious meat-free option that uses airy ricotta cheese for a base. And if you're wondering whether or not to make a double batch of salsa, our classic style featuring roasted tomatoes goes fast, even with a small gathering—so don't be shy.
And we can't forget about dessert. Our grasshopper sheet cake is easy to slice and serve (and the cute football candies on top make it the perfect dessert for a tailgate). And for those who chose to enjoy the game from the comfort of their own homes, you can make all of these recipes and more. We suggest also adding in our stovetop beef chili and our insanely indulgent skillet chili nachos. Cheer on your favorite team with some of our best tailgating recipes.
Smoky Baby Back Ribs
Garlic and Chive Dip
Backyard Jerk Chicken
Texas Red Chili
Bistro Sliders with Pickled Onions
Classic Roasted Salsa
Wisconsin Beer Brats
Skillet Chili Nachos
Easy Beef Chili
Spicy Shrimp Fajitas with Grilled Pineapple Pico
Creamy Broccoli-Spinach Dip
Pigs in Blankets
This slaw uses broccoli stems, rather than the ever-popular florets. Broccoli stems are often discarded but when shaved and sliced thin, they taste delicious. Sliced apple keeps this slaw light and sweet while also providing a welcome contrast to the piquant mustard-and-mayo dressing.