Tailgate food is the best part of the game! These are the best tailgating food ideas for when you are planning your next tailgate party.
Kick-off football season with the best tailgate recipes that will keep your guests happy until the big game starts. Football games should kick off with the best finger foods, the sauciest buffalo wings, the most epic of hot dogs, the classic buffalo chicken dip, game day crock pot recipes and other tempting game-day foods.
Get ready to make the most epic of tailgate menus with these ideas for tailgating food. Whether you are a fan of the nfl, the college football game or the peewee playoffs, football fans will cheer for the perfect tailgate food.
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
The classic blend of shredded chicken, franks Hot Sauce, Cream cheese, Ranch dressing, and blue cheese crumbles is a staple in my house. Game day or not!
Here are 3 different variations on Classic Buffalo Chicken Dip.
- Beer Cheese Dip - Served hot or cold with a variety of foods to dip in it, it will be a crowd favorite at your next party! It can be served both hot and cold and can also be adapted to a crockpot! You can use regular, hard pretzels or soft, pretzels.
- Boat Dip -
Easily transported and pairs well with pork skins, veggies and chips. Combine Rotel, sour cream, taco seasoning, and shredded cheese for this super simple, very flavorful tailgating dip.
- Smoked Shotgun Shells
Use uncooked manicotti noodle shells and stuff them with a mixture of ground beef, spicy ground sausage, cream cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese then wrapped them in bacon.
Smoke them and then painted them with barbecue sauce to finish the whole thing off.
Make these ahead and pop on the smoker or grill when you set up your epic tailgating spot.
- Smoked Pineapple
With minimal additional work, you can have an amazing smoked pineapple as a side dish, dessert or snack to serve alongside your smoked meats. I suggest making 2 for your football tailgate. These will be the HIT of the party!
- Rotel Dip
Rotel sausage cream cheese dip is a crowd pleaser and has the perfect balance of heat, meat and spice.
Rotel dip made in a crockpot is the ultimate appetizer for game day and is an easy dip to make.
- Mexican Corn Dip
All the flavors of Mexican street corn is a family favorite and usually disappear faster than it should.
This easy appetizer features Mexicorn, roasted green chilies as well as shredded cheese.
I serve my Mexican corn dip with Fritos but scoopable tortilla chips will work.
- Pizza Dip
All your favorite flavors of pizza without the crust! Warm and melted this saucy, cheesy dip is a favorite every time I serve it.
Scoop up the sauce, cheese and toppings with a tortilla chip or a pretzel stick.
- Cold Crab Dip
This easy cold crab dip recipe is a great way to enjoy the flavors of summer without a lot of work. Bring it to the tailgate and share with your friends!
- Taco Egg Rolls
Dip these southwest egg rolls are perfect dipped in salsa, guacamole, sour cream or any combination of these condiments.
Perfect for football games, appetizer parties or anytime you get a craving for a non-traditional egg roll!
- Chipped Beef Dip
Cream cheese, dried beef, garlic and Worcestershire, is one of our favorite hot dips to serve for game day!
I will serve the chipped beef dip with anything crunchy and able to scoop up the dip. Fritos, corn chips, slices of toasted baguette or pumpernickel slices are always a good idea.
- Cuban Mojo Pork Tacos
Pork shoulder marinated in a blend of citrus juices, garlic, cumin, cilantro, olive oil and oregano. Make the pork ahead of time in the crock pot and you will have enough AMAZING pork to serve to everyone at the tailgate.
Sear the meat on a cast iron skillet to get the amazing crunchy edges before stuffing soft taco shells full of the pot and topping with cilantro, sour cream and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Crockpot Mississippi pot roast
In a slow cooker combine chuck roast with ranch dressing mix, au jus mix, butter and peperoncini to make a delicious crockpot meal.
Serve over baked potatoes or french fries for one of the best tailgaring goods you will have!
I also have an Instant pot Mississippi Pot Roast if you would rather use your preasure cooker.
- Cream Cheese Sausage Balls
This is a bake ahead tailgate appetizer unless you are in an RV or have access to an oven. Allthough, a toaster oven or an air fryer would work too.
This recipe calls for 1 part hot pork sausage and 1 part mild pork sausage. If you like more of a spicy appetizer, feel free to use all hot sausage.
- Black Bean Salsa
easy to make and full of delicious flavors of black beans, corn, tomato, red onion, lime and some jalapeno for a nice heat!
I added chopped avocado and diced mango for a bit of tropical sweetness, but leave it out if you like.
- Alabama Fire Snack Crackers
These are the spicy mini saltine crackers that will keep you coming back for more! So delicious, I would recommend baking a double batch so you have enough for whoever stops by for a tailgating snack.
- Classic Potato Salad
What is a tailgate without potato salad?! Go with a classic. Patty Labelle potato salad, more specifically!
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings
There is no need to make a batter, so no extra dishes and mess. These air fryer chicken wings are crispy and delicious on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Pomegranate Honey Wings
The wing glaze is meant to be thick, sticky, and full of flavor. Pomegranate juice and honey create the perfect coating on spicy game-time wings.
- Honey Garlic Jerk Chicken Wings
Chicken Wings are magically air fried to golden-brown perfection, then tossed in a homemade honey garlic glaze. After each bite the sticky, spicy, and sweet sauce sticks to your lips and, instantly, you’ll find yourself going back in for more.
- Jalapeno Poppers
Not only do they taste amazing but with just four ingredients, this easy recipe is guaranteed to become one of your go-to appetizers for any occasion!
Even if you’re not a fan of spicy food, you’ll love these because they have just a little heat without going overboard.
- Philly Cheesesteak Jalapenos Poppers
These are super easy, perfectly cheesy and deliciously spicy appetizer for your next party or gathering. Serve them as they are or drizzle them with a little hot sauce for a little added kick of heat. You will be amazed at how fast they’ll disappear!
- Cowboy Caviar
A colorful blend of fresh ingredients and mild spices with a touch of lime juice. Serve the healthy dip with your favorite tortilla chips for an appetizer that is ready in less than 15 minutes.
- 7 Layer Taco Dip
Deliciously creamy and topped with layers of flavor, this taco dip with ground beef is perfect for tailgating.
- Doritos Taco Salad
This one-pan salad is perfect for tailgating! Taco salad is a dish your whole team will love!
- Roasted Chili Corn Salsa
Game Day is not complete without this fresh side dish. My homemade chipotle corn salsa is made with fire-roasted poblano peppers, frozen sweet corn, red onion, and cilantro along with fresh lemon and lime juice.
Serve the corn salsa with tortilla chips, alongside a burrito bowl or with any of your favorite Mexican food.
- Seasoned Ranch Cheese Cracker
This recipe was even BETTER than the seasoned ranch oyster cracker recipe we had been using. Why? Because of the cheese crackers. They added one more layer of cheesy goodness to the flavors we had already love.
- Homemade pretzel dogs
These pretzel dogs can be made with any hot dog. So if you love an all beef hot dog, a traditional or bun length hot dog, or even a vegetarian hot dog you can use them to make these!
- Broccoli Bacon Salad
Add a vegetable dish to your tailgating menu. This one has not only broccoli but cauliflower, bacon and cheese! What is not to love!?
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
This dill pickle pasta salad recipe is the perfect side dish for tailgating parties. A wonderful balance of brine, crunch, salt and creaminess this pasta salad is made with a simple homemade dill ranch dressing that is also perfect as a dip for fresh vegetables.
- Muhammara Dip
Muhammara is an easy vegan dip recipe made with roasted red pepper and walnuts is ready to serve in under 30 minutes. This will be your favorite dip to serve alongside crisp vegetables, crunchy savory pita chips, or a piece of warm naan bread.
- Roasted eggplant dip
Made by oven roasting whole eggplants and blending the roasted pulp with a combination of tahini, garlic, and spices to make a classic baba ganoush spread.
Serve this creamy eggplant dip with pita or cracker for a great snack or party appetizer.
- Golden graham s'mores bars
An easy no bake treat to make when you want a s'more but don't want to turn on the oven or roast a marshmallow. Make 2 pans and pass them out as you leave the tailgate and head to the game!
- Black Bottom Cupcakes
These homemade chocolate cupcakes have a rich chocolate cake base and a creamy cheesecake filling in the middle of the cupcake complete with miniature chocolate chips baked together in a mini cupcake paper.
Perfect for making ahead and stored in an airtight container before passing out as a tailgate dessert.
- Fruity Pebble Treats
- Nutella rice krispie treats
These are heaven folks…sweet tooth satisfying, crunchy, chewy, delicious heaven.
Cold Weather Tailgating Foods
When the weather takes a turn for the cold it is time to pull out your menu of cold weather tailgate recipes. Have a stack of bowls and spoons handy when you hand out these warm and comforting fall tailgate food.
- Mexican corn soup
Layers of flavor include shredded chicken, black beans, creamed corn, Mexican spices as well as a creamy broth.
Top this easy slow cooker soup with your choice of freshly squeezed lime, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and jalapeño.
- Autumn Squash Soup
This is a copycat Panera autumn squash soup recipe and while it is not exact (who can replicate Panera anyway?) it is delicious, creamy and full of fall flavors.
- Black Bean Soup
Crock-Pot Black Bean Soup is easily made in your slow cooker and is packed with protein and full of flavor.
Make a soup topping bar with fun toppings for your friends to customize their soup to their liking. This soup is not a pasty thick soup but more broth based with delicious black beans and vegetables.
Serve with a few slices of avocado, a sprinkle of cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Or however, you like to enjoy your soup!
- Maryland Crab Soup
Maryland crab soup is a vegetable-based crab soup recipe instead of a cream-based crab soup.
- Lasagna Soup
This comforting soup is ready in 30 minutes and has all the classic lasagna flavors you love without turning on the oven.
👩🏻🍳 Sarah Mock
Sarah Mock is a classically trained Chef and graduate of Johnson & Wales University. A culinary blogger for 13 years Sarah helps the home cook prepare her recipes with professional results.