Tailgate Recipes

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Tailgate Recipes

Choosing from the hundreds of tailgate recipes can be difficult the first time you host such a party. Keep in mind, the principles behind tailgate food are simple in that it is easily eaten while standing up with minimum preparation. It also needs to be fairly warming, as most tailgate parties happen at football games where the weather starts to get colder. The perfect recipes are the ones with simple flavors and that you can make in large quantities.

Outdoor Tailgating


Tailgating in its purest sense resembles a picnic in a parking lot. The most popular tailgate recipes are foods that you preferably eat with your fingers from paper plates. Burritos, wraps and chips are sensible options.

In recent years, the availability of tailgate barbeques, which attach to the tailgate of a truck and use the truck’s electrical system or a portable gas bottle for heat, has increased. This adds to the scope of football tailgate recipes that you can try, as you will have means of heating food up and cooking meat and kebabs right before the game.

If you have access to a Crock Pot, you can make large quantities of chili or soup that will stay warm on your ride to the stadium. You will have to work out whether to take plastic bowls or crockery from home to serve the food. If a large group of people regularly attends the same games, you could split the cost to make it cheaper.

Tailgating Recipes for Home

With ticket prices rising, more and more people are choosing to watch the big games from the comfort of their own living room. They still prepare the usual tailgate recipes and try to recreate the pre-game feeling by having their guests stand up and eat food from paper plates. However, the perfect football party recipe will be slightly different from one used for tailgating because you have access to a stove and cooking utensils.

Menu Structure

While a tailgate party won’t resemble the formal structure you would use when inviting friends over for dinner, you still need to have the component parts of the dinner available to your guests.

Tailgate appetizers should be simple finger food, and could incorporate dips or sauces that would double up with the main dishes. The dips can be store-bought or made at home ahead of time. If any part of the dip requires cooking, make sure that you leave yourself enough time for it to cool down before transferring it to an airtight container.

You can pick up on the picnic vibe for the main dishes by putting out “make it yourself” ingredients. This could be the necessary parts of a burrito, taco or wrap. This gives your guests the flexibility to make their own choices and eat as much or as little of something as they want.

By the time your tailgate party gets to the dessert stage, you may be thinking about getting ready to go into the stadium, so any options you put out should be quick to eat. Klondike bars are a good example of what to serve if you have a cooler, while whoopee pies are simple to make and don’t require refrigeration.

The final word of advice when looking at tailgate recipes is to find ones that you can afford to make in large quantities. People tend to eat more in cold weather, so you’ll need to make sure that you have enough to suit all dietary requirements. If you regularly meet with the same people, try splitting up the menu so that each person brings something to the tailgate party.

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