If you’re going to cook at a tailgate, you’ve got to come prepared. Just like playing the game itself, tailgating food requires some strategy. It should be portable, easy to prepare (in all sorts of conditions—including stadium parking lots), make enough to feed a crowd, and most importantly taste great. Even if you set up a buffet station decked out in your favorite team’s colors, tailgating food shouldn’t be fussy—it’s “roll up your sleeves and dig in” fare. With all that in mind, we put together some exciting yet easy tailgating menus featuring some of our most popular game day recipes. Each tailgating menu is tailored for your style of entertaining. If you’re short on time, try our make-ahead menu with Mini Cajun Burgers, Turkey-Cheddar Kabobs, and three types of dip that can be assembled in advance. If it’s your first time hosting a tailgate, we have an easy, no-fail menu with Mini Muffalettas, Cajun Lemonade, a cheese spread, and more. We even have a South-meets-Southwest themed menu with Chicken Enchiladas, Southwestern Shrimp, and Pecan Pralines. Whatever tailgating dishes you choose, it’s a win-win!
Our Easiest Fan Fare
Deli-fried chicken tenders
Follow this game plan for delicious pregame grub, and watch guests huddle up near the food, whether you're at home or on campus (it's easily transportable!)
Make Ahead Tailgating Menu
Short on time? No worries. We’ve included simple-to-make recipes that you can prepare the night before the big game, so getting ready is a breeze. Pack two coolers if traveling, one for drinks and one for food. Deck out a portable table in your team’s colors with disposable goods such as napkins, plates, cups, and plastic utensils. By keeping it manageable, everyone’s a winner.
Terrific Tailgating Menu
These recipes are great recruits for your menu. "If you want wider eyes and bigger smiles from fellow fans, include easy-to-fix homemade foods," says Nina Swan-Kohler, a native Missourian and a pro at football food. Thanks to Nina and reader Kate Blood (she sent us the deviled eggs) you'll have a powerful team of winning recipes. Nina's selections come from her book, Tailgates to Touchdowns: Fabulous Football Food, available at www.footballfood.net.
Tailgating Southwest Style
Cheering on your favorite team certainly can make you work up an appetite. Satisfy your team with a southwest style tailgate menu. Chicken Enchiladas are an affordable dish for a large crowd.
Down, Set, Pass the Goodies
Offer plenty of savory snacks and cold drinks, and you're sure to score major points with friends and family who drop by. To take the fun into overtime, buy some hearty hoagie-style sandwiches and brownies for a great spread.
Easy Game Day Celebration
Tortilla and Potato Chips, Pretzels
Celery and Carrot sticks
Assorted Soft Drinks
There's no need to load up the family and head to the stadium; you can enjoy the big game from the comforts of your own home. Feeding the hungry fans is easy. Grill hot dogs, and serve them with all the condiments. Set up a salsa bar for munching.