12 Great Tailgating Recipes

12 Great Tailgating RecipesHip-Hip-Hooray! Tailgating season is finally here and today I wanted to showcase to you twelve great dishes you can take with you to your next tailgating event. After all, what tailgating event would be complete without a great dish to share with friends?

It may surprise you that I don’t care a thing about football…Oh, who are we kidding? I am sure you already knew this about me. I will admit that I may not love the game, but I am all about the yummy food, drinks, and festivities with friends that surround the games.

Here are my top twelve choices for taking to your next tailgate:

1. Roasted Corn Salsa  Fresh chopped tomatoes, roasted corn, and parsley are tossed with just a little red wine vinegar, olive oil, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to create this unique and easy appetizer. What makes this appetizer unique is the process of broiling your corn under the broiler to add a smokey flavor that will have your friends begging for the recipe!

2.  Cheddar Apple Pie Dip–  One of my favorite combinations for fall eating is cheddar and apples. If you haven’t tried this before, it is the perfect balance of sweet and savory and they all come together in this easy dip to tailgate with.  Diced on top  is a mixture of red and green apples that have been tossed with brown sugar, cinnamon, and coarsely chopped walnuts. The layer underneath offers a surprise of cheddar cheese mixed with cream cheese and sour cream, cooked until hot and bubbly. Serve with your favorite cinnamon chip or cracker.

3. Lentil Soup– Looking for a wallet-friendly soup to feed a big crowd? Lentil soup is the perfect answer to feasting on a budget.  If you haven’t cooked with lentils before, you should really give them a try! Unlike dried beans, lentils do not require any pre-soaking overnight prior to being cooked. Instead, most cooks recommend that you first pick over these legumes, and remove any that look broken or damaged. A quick rinse after you have picked out the damaged lentils, and you are ready to go. The ease and minimal prep time for cooking these is why lentils are a wonderful and easy addition to any soup and the perfect soup to tailgate with!

4. Pesto Chicken Tortellini Soup–  This tortellini soup brings together all of the flavors that my family loves, but is a versatile recipe that could be created with what is at your supermarket that day. For our vegetarian readers, the chicken tortellini and chicken broth can easily be switched to a cheese-filled tortellini with vegetable broth instead. I used basil pesto in this, but you could also try a sun-dried tomato pesto or omit the pesto altogether if it is not a favorite of your family. Versatility is the beauty of a good soup recipe  and this recipe is quite versatile! Not only is this sup a crowd pleaser, but it also is an easy soup to double or triple for your tailgating needs.

5. Homemade Tomato Soup– This tomato soup is all of our favorite flavors in the perfect merriment for our family.  Chicken stock, whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and a little heavy cream are all mixed together. To cut the acidity, a pinch of sugar and a healthy dose of pesto round out the flavors. Be warned, a single batch makes enough to serve a small army. I love to serve this soup with a variety of fun crackers, croutons, or shredded cheeses for topping.

6. Cookie Dough Dip This dip was nicknamed “Crack Dip” after the bowl was scraped clean when I brought it for Thanksgiving one year. I love to bring a sweet dessert dip that can be an unexpected surprise among the savory dips that are usually offered for tailgating spreads.

7. Bacon & Ranch Cheese Ball This cheese ball is so embarrassingly easy, but is always a showstopper when I bring it to any get together. I try to always keep these ingredients on hand in my fridge or pantry for the unexpected get together for the games!

8. Double Tomato Bruschetta– This bruschetta is a double tomato bruschetta which combines the super sweet and chewy flavors of the sun-dried tomatoes with the delicious juiciness of the Roma tomatoes. The flavors together are phenomenal and are mixed with just a little balsamic vinegar,olive oil, garlic, and a little fresh garlic.  You can prepare this one a few hours in advance, allowing the flavors to marinate together and break down the tomatoes a bit, or you can prepare it and eat it within ten minutes of preparation. I promise it won’t last long wherever you take this one!

9. Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Soup– Looking for a soup that will stick to your ribs through the whole day? I happen to have just the soup for you! The spices in this soup are perfect , the roasted red pepper adds a beautiful color and flavor to the soup, the sour cream adds that perfect balance of creaminess, and the beans add that filling soup combination to help keep you full throughout the day, while the chicken broth makes this soup light enough that even black bean soup haters could learn to love it… well, most black bean soup haters. This is a great soup to double or triple depending on the crowd that is gathering!

10. Baked Apple Pie Donuts– I love baking donuts and these Baked Apple Pie Donuts are the perfect treat to take to your next tailgate! The dominate flavor in this one is definitely the apple followed by the earthy and nutty flavor of ground nutmeg that helps round out the flavor profile of these donuts.  Once these delicate donuts are done baking, they are brushed lightly with butter and then dipped into a cinnamon and sugar coating that helps bring all of those delicious fall flavors together and that little bit of gritty, yummy crunch that just so happens to be my favorite thing about donuts. I guarantee that not a single one will be left within minutes of their arrival!

11. Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins are my family’s favorite side dish if it is fall or the dead of summer. I try to make sure to stockpile pumpkin for just this reason and you might be doing the same after making a batch of these for tailgating season. These are best served at room temperature which is just the right temperature for your next tailgate!

12. Sub Sandwiches- Walmart gave us a chance to throw a game party with their subs to showcase what an affordable tailgating party option these are. For $28, you can get a six foot sub with your favorite meats and cheeses and all of the toppings.

As you can see from the way that these subs got plated, I took the opportunity to throw a GAME party quite literally and hosted a board game night with my best girlfriends.

Here is a little sneak peek at my table and the spread that I did with my tailgating recipes for a fun board game night with friends. Be sure to check back next week for ideas on how to decorate, board game ideas, and other fun crafty projects you can incorporate within your own game party. This might be a fun one to throw for the wives while the husbands are enjoying the game!

Be sure to check out my tutorial this week for those cute DIY Chalkboard Food Label Frames! Those would make a fun addition to any game day party table that you might be creating!

Happy tailgating, friends!


I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.



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Published September 06, 2012 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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