Ready-to-Serve Tailgating Recipes
These make-ahead recipes are ready to eat straight out of the cooler. Simply open up containers, and you’ll have a crowd-pleasing spread.
You can easily make these Mini Muffulettas the day before the party. Just assemble, place in zip-top plastic freezer bags, and refrigerate overnight. Store-bought craft paper and simple twine create clever sandwich wrappers.
- Recipe: Mini Muffulettas
Save time by making crowd-pleasing Turkey-Cheddar Kabobs the night before. The kabobs are easy to pick up and eat even if you don't have a plate handy.
You can never have too much snack mix at a tailgate! Serve Graham Nut Clusters in megaphones plugged with foil. Look for them at party-supply stores.
- Recipe: Graham Nut Clusters
This tasty delight has become one of our most preferred staples in Tex-Mex cuisine. Fresh avocado and lime juice are essential to this delicious guacamole recipe.
Tip: While storing in the cooler, keep your guacamole from changing color by placing a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture.
- Recipe: Guacamole
What's a party without salsa? Make yours one to remember.
Recipe: Grilled Salsa
Just before the game, stop by a grocer's deli counter or the drive-through of your favorite restaurant for fresh, hot chicken tenders and serve with this homemade dipping sauce. Make them festive with team spirit skewers. Simply cut flags from scrapbook paper in the shape of pennants, and tape them to wooden skewers.
- Recipe: Jalapeño-Mustard Dipping Sauce
Feta cheese, grape tomatoes, and red onion give this salad Greek flair, and star ingredient dill adds a punch of flavor to the combination. Even though this salad is delicious immediately after it comes together, we recommend chilling it for a few hours in the refrigerator to enhance all the flavors.
- Recipe: Confetti Pasta Salad
Keep your game day party easy by making this tasty dip ahead of time.
- Recipe: Bacon-Cheese Dip
Take your sandwiches a step up from ham and cheese with this out-of-the-ordinary recipe. Before heading to the game, spread goat cheese and pesto on ciabatta rolls and then add slices of pork, peppery arugula, roasted red bell peppers, and sliced red onion.
- Recipe: Italian-Style Sandwiches
Just like any good Louisiana gumbo, this dip is thick and full of flavor.
- Recipe: Warm Gumbo Dip
Here's a smoky spin on a classic sub. Pick up sliced pork from your favorite barbecue restaurant.
- Recipe: Southern-Style Cuban Sandwiches
Start with a 12-oz. French bread loaf cut in half horizontally; scoop out soft bread from center of each half, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell to make filling the sandwich easier.
- Recipe: Cobb Salad Sandwiches
This sandwich falls under the "hearty fare" category. It'll satisfy your hunger to win.
- Recipe: Chicken & Honey Sandwiches
This brunch sub is ideal for a late-morning kickoff.
- Recipe: Eggs Benedict Sandwiches
This recipe makes a lot, but it can be frozen for up to a month in four (10-oz.) ramekins. Try it over French fries, hot dogs, and chili.
- Recipe: Beer-Cheese Spread
This flavorful recipe has a short ingredient list. Just layer cream cheese, shredded cheese, onions, olives, and tomatoes onto a store-bought black bean dip.
- Recipe: Layered Spicy Black Bean Dip
Lemon juice adds fresh zip to this tasty dip. Use team colors for your table decor.
- Recipe: Lemony Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Perfect for chilly games later in the season, this savory stew keeps warm in thermoses until you are ready to chow down before the game.
- Recipe: Chicken-and-Vegetable Stew
Smoked Cheddar, Gouda, and sun-dried tomatoes provide a terrific twist on traditional pimiento cheese. Spread on sourdough and dark wheat bread and cut into smaller sandwiches for easy pickup. Serve with grapes and apples.
- Recipe: Oatmeal-Toffee Cookies
Mango chutney is the secret ingredient that makes these deviled eggs so irresistible. Snip and arrange chives for a fun garnish.
- Recipe: Spicy-Sweet Deviled Eggs
This dip requires only four ingredients and five minutes prep time. Serve it with carrot and celery sticks, sturdy potato chips, and hot wings.
- Recipe: Blue Cheese Ranch Dip
Round out your meal with this classic mixture of potatoes, eggs, mayo (Duke’s of course!), and spicy mustard. Make the recipe your own by adding sweet pickles, onion, celery, bacon, and fresh herbs.
- Recipe: Fipps Family Potato Salad
Make this zesty starter up to three days ahead. Serve leftovers on sandwiches.
- Recipe: Chile-Cheese Spread
Stack cups in your team's colors next to this simple snack mix so that guests can help themselves.
- Recipe: Easy Snack Mix
Roasted red bell peppers add a kick of color and flavor to traditional hummus. Go ahead and double the recipe; leftovers make a tasty sandwich spread.
- Recipe: Red Pepper Hummus
- Recipe: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
These skewers are the perfect pickup appetizers for a crowd. The best part? They can be made ahead.
- Recipe: Italian Skewers
Yeast biscuits—also called angel or bride’s biscuits—hold together well, so they’re a good choice to serve at gatherings. The so-Southern combination of ham and biscuits is always a hit!
- Recipe: Chunky Chocolate Brownies
Freeze the assembled whoopie pies in zip-top plastic bags up to 3 weeks before your party. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Recipe: Whiskey Whoopie Pies