Tasty Tailgating Recipes For Tailgating Times

Tasty tailgating recipes for tailgating times are on my mind.

Our favorite team is picked, we’ve rallied our friends, and the ideas for tailgating recipes are flowing.

Tailgating is a parking lot or stadium grounds pregame ritual based on the principle of celebrated camaraderie and good food and drink shared among home team friends and fans.

Tailgating sets the pregame football excitement in motion.

tailgating recipesFirst Tailgating- Adams State Grizzlies vs. Texas A&M–Commerce Lions

As fall and football season make their collective presence known, the party atmosphere is everywhere.

Selecting tailgating recipes takes time and thought.

Dishes pleasing to the masses and the pocketbook as well as ones that prove easy to prepare determine many tailgating menus, ours included.

Here’s the starting lineup of tailgating recipes for this season’s tailgating times beginning with the pass a good time crowd-pleaser, Cajun Lemonade.


Cajun Lemonade


2 cups light rum

1 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce

1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled

Crushed ice & garnishes:  sugarcane sticks, lemon slices


Stir together first 3 ingredients. Add club soda just before serving. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish, if desired.

Southern Living 


Pub-Style Pretzels and Beer Cheese Sauce


1 ½ cups warm water

1 packet active yeast

4 cups all-purpose flour (will need extra for kneading)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 large egg

½ tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon flavored seasoning of your choice (This recipe uses McCormick Grill Mates Molasses & Bacon)

Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Beer Sauce

Yield: about one cup

½ cup of beer (This recipe uses Sierra Nevada for its strong taste. Use a

wheat beer or blonde ale for a milder taste.)

½ cup grated smoked Gouda

½ cup grated sharp cheddar

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 ½ tablespoons flour

¼ teaspoon ground mustard

¼ teaspoon paprika

salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place a non-stick baking mat on a cookie sheet.

In a large mixing bowl, add yeast to warm water.  Stir until dissolved.  Stir in salt and sugar.  Once mixed, add flour one cup at a time.  Mix thoroughly until dough is thick and no longer sticky.

Create a floured surface for kneading.  Knead dough for approximately 5 minutes.  Separate dough into even sections, about six.

Roll dough into ropes, making width even throughout.  Make pretzel shapes by creating a circle with the dough.  Twist ends and press down to finish shape.

On a plate, mix sea salt and seasoning together for sprinkling.  Beat egg in a small bowl and brush on pretzel tops.  Place pretzels on baking sheet, and sprinkle salt mixture on top.

Bake for 10 minutes.  After the first 5 minutes, switch to broil.  Keep an eye on them to avoid over-browning.  Remove from oven and serve warm with beer cheese dip.

Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Beer Sauce

In small saucepan, heat beer on low until it bubbles. Slowly whisk in flour, then add cheese (Image 3).  Whisk until smooth.

Add sour cream, mustard and paprika while whisking.  Add more flour for a thicker sauce, or more beer for a thinner sauce.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.  Yield: 6-8 pretzels



Photo by Molin on Unsplash

Tailgating Olive Dip


8 oz. cream cheese

1  cup  olives, chopped (I use green salad olives)

½ cup mayonnaise

2  tbsp. juice from olives

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1  teaspoon hot sauce, optional

½  cup finely chopped pecans


Soften cream cheese.  Mix remainder of ingredients.  Best to prepare the night before to allow flavors to marry.  Keep chilled during transport. Serve with pita chips or cracker of choice.

tailgating-food-ideasBetter Homes and Gardens

Imitation is the highest form of tailgating tablescapes flattery.


Flamin’ Cinnamon Cider


8 cups apple cider or apple juice

1 cup red cinnamon candies, such as Red Hots brand

Thinly sliced red and/or green apples

Thin orange peel strips (optional)


In a large saucepan heat cider over medium heat until hot, but not simmering.  Add candies; stir until melted.

To serve, float apple slices on the cider mixture.  If desired, top with orange peel strips.

-Better Homes and Gardens


Home Essentials Copper-Finish Mixing Bowls, Set of 3



paper cone

Rustic Hammered Copper Cauldron



Bacon Popcorn Drizzled with Creole-Spiced Butter

Bacon Popcorn Drizzled with Creole-Spiced Butter- Photo by Eugenia Uhl 

From September to November, you’ve got a lot of themes to work with.

caramel peanut popcorn snack mix

Southern Living-  Photo by Greg Dupree

Caramel Peanut Popcorn Snack Mix


15 cups popped popcorn (about 3/4 cup kernels)

vegetable cooking spray

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. firmly packed dark brown sugar

½ cup butter

½ cup dark corn syrup

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts

wax paper

1 (10.5 oz.) package candy-coated peanut butter pieces (such as Reese’s Pieces)


Preheat oven to 325°.  Spread popcorn in an even layer on a lightly greased (with cooking spray) heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined 13- x 18-inch pan. Stir together brown sugar and next 3 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring constantly, 1 minute.  Pour over popcorn, and stir gently to coat.

Bake at 325° for 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  Add peanuts during last 5 minutes.  Remove from oven, and spread on lightly greased (with cooking spray) wax paper.  Cool completely (about 20 minutes).

Break apart large pieces, and stir in candy pieces.  Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Southern Living


Corn and Black-Eyed Pea Salad aka Death Valley Salad 


2 cans black-eyed peas

2 cans white corn, drained

2 cans yellow corn, drained

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 medium purple onion, finely chopped

1 medium bunch green onions, chopped

1 teaspoon black pepper, optional

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup vegetable oil

¾ cup white vinegar


Chop bell pepper, celery, purple onion, and green onions, add to large bowl. Add black-eyed peas,  drained white & yellow corn.  In separate mixing bowl combine sugar, oil, and vinegar, mixing well.  Pour over salad, cover, and refrigerate overnight.


Four-Chile Chili


2 tablespoons olive oil

3 ½ pounds ground sirloin or chuck

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large Spanish onion (1 ½ pounds), coarsely chopped

8 large garlic cloves, minced

3 large jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced

3 tablespoons ancho chile powder

2 ½ tablespoons sweet paprika

¼ cup tomato paste

2  28 oz. cans peeled Italian tomatoes, coarsely chopped and juices reserved

3 cups chicken or beef stock or canned low-sodium broth

2  19 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

pinch of cinnamon

coarsely chopped cilantro, for serving

sour cream, for serving


Heat the olive oil in a enameled cast-iron casserole.  Add half the ground beef in large chunks and season with salt and pepper.  Cook over moderately high heat until brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes.

Stir and cook until most of the pink is gone, about 3 minutes; keep the meat in large chunks. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining meat.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the casserole.  Add the onion, garlic and jalapeños and cook over moderately low heat, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes.  Add the ancho powder and paprika and cook over low heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the paste is glossy and starts to brown, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the chicken stock and the cooked beef and any accumulated juices.  Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the kidney beans, chipotles and oregano and simmer for 30 minutes longer.  Season with salt, pepper and a large pinch of cinnamon.  Remove from the heat and let stand for at least 20 minutes.  Reheat before serving.

Serve the chili in bowls, topped with a generous sprinkling of cilantro. Can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and frozen for up to 2 months.

-Food & Wine

chili-spoonsFood presentation, especially when tailgating, should be fun.


My Place Louisiana Appetizer Plates (Set of 4)



Jack Cheese and Smoky Chipotle Fondue


4 slices bacon, halved crosswise

¼  cup finely chopped green onion

¼  cup finely chopped red or yellow sweet pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (16 ounces)

2  8 ounce carton sour cream

2 -3 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

French or Italian bread, cut into bite-size cubes

Tortilla chips or tortilla chip cups


In a heavy, medium saucepan, cook bacon till crisp. Remove bacon; reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble bacon and set aside.

Add green onion, sweet pepper and garlic to saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or till vegetables are tender.  Stir in flour.  Stir in cheese, sour cream and chipotle peppers.  Cook and stir over medium-low heat until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.

Transfer cheese mixture to fondue pot over a fondue burner or slow-cooker on the low-heat setting.  Top with crumbled bacon.  Keep warm up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Serve with bread cubes or tortilla chips.

-Midwest Living

vanilla bread pudding with vanilla sauce

Vanilla Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce


For the Bread Pudding:

1 loaf (1 pound) French bread

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup half-and-half

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup Vanilla Flavor NESTLÉ Coffee-mate Natural Bliss All-Natural Coffee Creamer

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

For the sauce

½ cup butter or margarine

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup Vanilla Flavor NESTLÉ Coffee-mate Natural Bliss All-Natural Coffee Creamer

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract


For bread pudding:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 13 X 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Break French bread into small pieces; place into prepared pan. Melt butter or margarine.  Pour over bread. Combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in large bowl.  Add cream, half and half, and Coffee-mate Natural Bliss; mix well. Pour over bread pieces.

Bake for 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

For the sauce

Combine butter or margarine, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cream, and Coffee-mate Natural Bliss in small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil.  Remove from heat.

Stir in vanilla extract.

Serve warm with bread pudding.

-Places In The Home



Easy Tailgating Punch


½  12 ounce can (¾ cup) frozen citrus blend juice concentrate, thawed

½ 12 ounce can (¾ cup) frozen berry blend juice concentrate, thawed

orange slice halves (optional)

12 liter bottle ginger ale, chilled

ice cubes


The Day Before:
In a ½-gallon insulated jug combine citrus juice concentrate and berry juice concentrate. Cover and chill overnight.

Tailgating Day:
If desired, add lemon slices, orange slice halves to juice mixture.  Tote juice mixture in the chilled jug.  Tote ginger ale and ice cubes in an insulated cooler.

At the tailgating site, slowly pour ginger ale down the side of the jug; stir gently.  Serve juice mixture at once over ice cubes

-Better Homes & Gardens


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