food

35 Tailgating Food Ideas That Are Total Winners

Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or simply looking for an excuse to eat good food, we can all agree that tailgating is hard to beat. Here, 35 tailgating food ideas and recipes that’ll make you wish football season would never end. We’ll bring the bacon guac; you bring the buffalo cauliflower.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

1. Pizza Muffins

Who says pizza has to be served in a pie shape? (Certainly not us.)

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

2. Brussels Sprouts Sliders

Think outside the bun with this low-carb appetizer.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

3. Bacon Guacamole

Just when you thought guac couldn’t get any better, this snack appears.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

4. Buffalo Cauliflower Nuggets

Trust us, you won’t even miss the meat.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

5. Italian Deli Pinwheel Sandwiches

Perfectly portable, perfectly shareable.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

6. Cuban Sliders For A Crowd

Probably the easiest party recipe of all time.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

7. Salami, Artichoke And Ricotta Pasta Salad

These are a few of our favorite things.

Erin McDowell

8. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Fact: You can never have too many of these spicy bites on hand.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

9. No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

You didn't think we’d skip dessert, did you?

Erin McDowell

10. The Ultimate Party Sub

The easiest way to feed a hungry crowd.

Erin Mcdowell

11. Chocolate Coconut Almond Bars

Basically a homemade Almond Joy.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

12. One-pot Vegetarian Chili

It’s just not tailgating without a big pot of chili.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

13. Crispy Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Make extra—you’ll be surprised at how fast these go.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

14. 15-minute Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Psst: No one needs to know you used store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

15. Mini Apple Tarts

A fall dessert favorite, but bite-size.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

16. Cauliflower ‘tater’ Tots

No potatoes, no problem. These are just as crispy and satisfying as the original.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

17. Blt Pasta Salad

Macaroni salad with a twist, because a little bit of bacon never hurt anything.

Photo: Eric Moran/Styling: Erin McDowell

18. Oven-baked S’mores Bars

No fire pit necessary for these sweet bars.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

19. Brie-stuffed Pretzel Bites

Better act fast—these are bound to disappear.

Erin McDowell

20. Beef Empanadas

FYI: These guys can be frozen for up to three months.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

21. 7-layer Zip

Let’s get this fiesta started (but don’t forget the chips).

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

22. Spicy Glazed Popcorn Chicken

Extra napkins are advised for these sticky-sweet poppers.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

23. Baby Blooming Onions

This is how you bring the steakhouse to the tailgate.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

24. Chicken Parmesan Bites

They’re fancy, homemade chicken nuggets. Need we say more?

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

25. Homemade Cheese Crackers

Well, aren’t you fancy! These will disappear by the handful.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

26. French Onion Cups

It may be soup season, but that’s not exactly tailgate food. This is the perfect compromise.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

27. Italian Pinwheels

They’re like portable, bite-size charcuterie boards.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

28. Katsu Bites With Chipotle-gochujang Sauce

Aside from being highly dippable, these adult chicken nuggets happen to go great with beer.

Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

29. Peanut Butter And Jelly Blondies

Be still our grade-school heart. These are chewy and gooey in all the right ways.

Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

30. Easy Pretzel Buns

For turning into sandwiches, obvi. Pack a spread of cold cuts and let everyone make their own.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

31. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Stuffed Peppers

Proof that forks are optional on game day.

Jerrelle Guy/Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ

32. Pimento Cheese

This Southern specialty is equally tasty on celery sticks, crackers or even pork rinds.

Mellissa Sevigny/Squeaky Clean Keto

33. Everything Chicken Wings

Make a batch and give buffalo sauce a run for its money.

Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

34. Spicy Pineapple Prosciutto Tarts

They’re like a Hawaiian pizza, but way more crowd-pleasing.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

35. Spicy Avocado Hummus

If hummus and guacamole had a (very delicious) baby. Pack pita and tortilla chips to win the tailgate.

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