No tailgate would be complete without a buffet of tasty snacks at the ready. Trying to figure out what to serve ahead of the big game? Consider a menu that mixes classic offerings with unexpected treats.
Instead of the usual burgers and dogs (or maybe in addition to—we’re not judging!), serve up some super-portable kebabs. Prep meat and veggies ahead of time, cutting sirloin tips into cubes and tossing them in a marinade of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Once you’ve arrived, arrange the beef cubes with pieces of bell pepper, zucchini, onion, or mushrooms on skewers, then grill. Substitute chicken or turkey for healthier, lighter kebabs.
MEXICAN-INSPIRED CORN ON THE COB
It’s time to take your corn-on-the-cob game to the next level. Cut ears of corn in half to make them easier for people to eat while they’re standing (or cheering). Spread a mixture of butter, lime juice, minced cilantro, and crumbled cotija cheese all around ears of corn, then, grill the corn in a foil packet until the corn is soft and tender.
Deviled eggs aren’t just for ladies who lunch—they’re also an ideal finger food to serve at tailgates. After hard-boiling eggs, cut them in half lengthwise to scoop out the yolks. Mix the yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper. Scoop the filling back into the egg whites, and enjoy.
CHEESY ARTICHOKE DIP
Using a food processor, blend artichoke hearts, mozzarella, Parmesan, minced garlic, mayonnaise, ground cumin, and hot sauce. Bake the mixture in the oven until the top is brown. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then store the dip in a container in your refrigerator until game day. Top the dip with bacon bits, and serve with crackers, pita chips, or corn chips.
There are as many variations of pasta salad as there are football teams (probably), but you can’t go wrong with this combination. Stir cooked fusilli pasta with a mixture of olive oil, mayonnaise, chicken, cubed feta, bell pepper pieces, grape tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Top with chopped parsley, and serve the pasta salad in cups so your friends can easily grab one and dig in.
It’s hard to go wrong with chili, and it’s even harder to mess it up. (Make a practice batch if you’re nervous—otherwise, just taste as you go!) First, grab a big pot, then add browned ground beef, your favorite beans, chopped onions, and garlic, plus chili powder, tomato paste, whatever beer you have lying around, and cumin. The longer you have to let the flavors marinate and mingle, the better. Top with grated cheddar cheese and chives. Don’t forget the ladle!
If the prospect of having to pick between guacamole and hummus stresses you out, consider serving this delicious hybrid. Use a food processor to blend chickpeas, avocado, olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, baby carrots, and celery sticks.
Prefer to host your tailgate party at home with an elaborate spread? Try these 7 Easy Game-Day Party Recipes.