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Choose from these tailgating recipes to build a game day menu that will make you the MVP of the party, no matter what happens on the field!
When it comes to a tailgate, it’s a toss-up as to which is the true MVP of the day: the game or the beer. Still, a tailgating menu of snacks and entrees is a must to stay well-fueled as you cheer (and chat; hey sometimes the company is more exciting than the game itself!).
You can’t lose with any of these low-fuss, prep-ahead, and crowd-pleasing recipes. So stock up on a 12-pack or two and select from these tailgate recipes to assemble a spread that will surely win you the award for entertainer of the year.
Table of Contents
Simmered in plenty of onions and (you guessed it!) beer, this is the quintessential tailgate main dish. Serve with a tray of condiments such as relish, sauerkraut, ketchup, and mustard so each guest can garnish as desired.
More main dish ideas
Hot and hearty, chili dogs are a fun, customizable main dish option for kids of all ages. Choose your chili and keep it in a slow cooker on Game Day. Serve with all your favorite toppings and pile that puppy to the moon!
Choose your chili
Baked beans (or as my mom calls them, “brown beans,”) are a staple at all tailgates, barbecues, and potlucks. This version is enough to make the day before and keep warm in a slow cooker at your event, and they really do taste better than the ones from a can.
More favorite sides
Every tailgate needs a dip recipe, and this fresh and colorful Cowboy Caviar is a Midwestern staple. Stir it together the day before and refrigerate until party time to allow the dressing to infuse into every bite. Serve with copious amounts of Homemade Tortilla Chips.
More delicious dips
Delightfully messy and loaded with chocolate and peanut butter flavor, this no-bake cereal treat is the Midwestern dessert to serve at your next tailgate. Be sure to make a double batch so someone else doesn’t intercept the last serving before you get your fix.
More sweet treats
Transform air-popped popcorn into a sweet and addictive treat with just a few baking staples. This easy homemade Caramel Corn makes an excellent food gift or favor as well as a stellar game-day or party…
For an extra festive touch to these sweet vodka shots, select Jello flavors that match your team’s colors. Prep them entirely up to 3 days ahead, then chill the “shot glasses” on a tray for easy transport to the tailgate party table.
Slip on that jersey, grab the pop-up chairs and yard games, round up the ingredients for these tailgating recipes and get ready to take home the hosting trophy!
Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.