30 Tailgating Recipes That Score | Midwest Living
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30 Tailgating Recipes That Score

Fall weekends belong to football and the great outdoor eating experience of tailgating. Try these twists on traditional tailgate recipes.

Banana Nut Sandwich Cookies

Take advantage of a prepackaged muffin mix to keep the ingredient list short and the banana flavor big for these cookies. You can use a football cookie cutter or just cut in a ball-shape pattern.

Banana Nut Sandwich Cookies

Black Bean Salsa

This salsa does double duty as a tortilla dip or a meat topper. Serve with a slotted spoon over grilled pork, smoked bratwursts or sausages, grilled chicken or salmon.

Black Bean Salsa

 

Cheesy Snack Mix

Grated Parmesan cheese gives extra cheesy flavor to this blend of crispy corn and rice cereals, canned shoestring potatoes, crisp breadsticks and bite-size cheese crackers.

Cheesy Snack Mix

Sweet and Spicy Caribbean BBQ Sauce

Cookbook author Nina Swan-Kohler created this tailgating sauce recipe to remind her of the Caribbean flavors she enjoyed while living in Trinidad and Tobago after college. Brush the sauce on beef, chicken or pork.

Sweet and Spicy Caribbean BBQ Sauce

Dave's Pigskin Special

Assemble these hefty ham-and-cheese sandwiches at home, then grill them on-site for a warm game-day meal. The recipe is from Dave Sutton of Menomenee Falls, Wisconsin.

Dave's Pigskin Special

Touchdown Turnovers

These sweet treats have a coconut-and-chocolate flavored center surrounded by flaky biscuit and topped with melted chocolate pieces.

Touchdown Turnovers

Big Irv Favre's Red Beans and Rice

This dish honors "Big Irv" Favre, the late father of former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre. Red beans and rice is a tradition in Mississippi, Brett's home state, and makes a great addition to Midwest tailgate parties.

Big Irv Favre's Red Beans and Rice

Salmon Tailgating Sandwiches

Freshwater salmon gets the spotlight in these sandwiches, created by Midwest Living® to represent Michigan's Great Lakes bounty. A relish made of Granny Smith apples and dried cherries tops it all off. While freshwater salmon would be the first choice in this sandwich, ocean fish works, too.

Salmon Tailgating Sandwiches

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Good food and friends are what tailgating is all about, says Debbie Pamperin of Suamico, Wisconsin. Debbie plans her Green Bay Packer tailgating experiences with this in mind. The Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe, originally from one of her co-workers, has been a crowd-pleaser at her tailgate parties.

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Apple Bagel Sandwiches with Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Illinois grows 80 percent of the pumpkins processed in the United States. That's why we created Apple Bagel Sandwiches with Pumpkin Cream Cheese. They're a good option for morning tailgating events. Or try them as a meatless sandwich any time of day.

To see more one-of-a-kind sandwiches created using ingredients special to each Midwest state, click the link below.

Apple Bagel Sandwiches with Pumpkin Cream Cheese

More Midwest sandwiches

Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Chowder

Nina Swan-Kohler of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, loves easy-to-make dishes that travel well to football games or other events. Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Chowder is one of her favorite recipes. "It uses a variety of convenience foods that are stirred together in one big pot, and brings out the great flavor of all the ingredients," Nina says.

Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Chowder

More soups and stews

Tailgaters' Brownie Cupcakes

A surprise candy-bar center awaits those who bite into these fudgy delights. Based on a box of brownie mix, they're super-easy to bake.

Tailgaters' Brownie Cupcakes

More brownie dessert ideas

Spicy Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing

These succulent chicken wings might disappear as fast as you can grill them. The recipe comes from Danny Edwards Famous Kansas City BBQ, formerly Li'l Jake's Eat It and Beat It. The tiny, no-frills eatery has served weekday lunch crowds in Kansas City for more than two decades. You"ll enjoy sharing the recipe with your weekend tailgating friends.

Spicy Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing

Lansing Fire Chili

If you're feeding a crowd, this recipe -- designed for hungry firefighters -- should go a long way. You can make the chili at home, then reheat at the game for a hearty meal. Three-Alarm Lansing Fire Chili comes from Lansing, Michigan's Fire Station 8. The recipe uses beef roast and pork sausage. A surprise ingredient: a chocolate bar.

Lansing Fire Chili

Pumpkin bars and oatmeal cookies

Cookies and bars are great to tote to tailgating events or potlucks. Canned pumpkin and chopped pecans add seasonal flavor to Sour Cream Pumpkin Bars, while rolled oats, chocolate pieces and shredded coconut combine to make deliciously chewy Oatmeal and More Cookies.

Sour Cream Pumpkin Bars

Oatmeal and More Cookies

More fall cookies

More bar cookies

Macaroni Salad

Chunks of sharp cheddar cheese, tomatoes, tarragon and spinach punch up the flavor in classic macaroni salad.

Macaroni Salad

Iowa Corn Chowder

This hearty soup, an update of an Amish favorite, comes from an Iowa City, Iowa, reader and football fan. Flavored with bacon and onion, it's a great soup for family dinners or tailgate parties.

Iowa Corn Chowder

Cocoa-Cola Cake

Soft melting marshmallows blend with toasty pecans and chocolate to create a sure crowd-pleaser.

Cocoa-Cola Cake

Cuban Griller

Mustard, mayo and dill pickle spice up this grilled ham, pork, salami and Swiss cheese sandwich. Our recipe gives step-by-step instructions to make this a tailgating success!

Cuban Griller

Calico Bean Bake

This recipe blurs the line between baked beans and chili. It's great for feeding a crowd.

Calico Bean Bake

Oven Barbecue

Combine just three ingredients with a beef roast, and let the roast bake in your oven until it's tender enough to slice or shred. Serve on toasted onion buns or Kaiser rolls, if you like.

Oven Barbecue

Hash Brown Casserole

A crispy, savory crust of cheese, crushed cornflakes and butter tops a combination of ham, hash brown potatoes, cubed cheese, condensed soup and sour cream. A potluck favorite!

Hash Brown Casserole

Cajun Snack Mix

Cajun seasoning is a blend of black and cayenne pepper with onion, garlic and other herbs. It adds kick to this appetizer mix of peanuts, popcorn and pretzels.

Cajun Snack Mix

Zesty Three-Bean Salad

Combine kidney beans, garbanzo beans and frozen sweet soybeans (edamame) with red onion, cilantro and lime juice for a fresh twist on three-bean salad.

Zesty Three-Bean Salad

Beer-Braised Brats

Steep your grilled brats in this onion-and-herb beer mixture for an easy way to keep them warm while tailgating. Beer-Braised Brats get a liberal dose of cranberry-pickle relish for extra color and tang.

Beer-Braised Brats

Crimson Slaw

Dried cranberries plump up when tossed with vinaigrette in this tangy coleslaw. The recipe was a winner at the 2009 Wisconsin State Fair.

Crimson Slaw

Caramel Blonde Brownies

Caramels, oats and milk chocolate pieces blend in these gooey sweets from a West Des Moines, Iowa, reader.

Caramel Blonde Brownies

Mix-and-Match Corn Bread

Personalize this quick-and-easy favorite, a great side for any tailgating menu. Start with the basic recipe, then choose your cornmeal, a liquid and a stir-in that gives your cornbread the flavor you're in the mood for. Next, select a pan or skillet, and bake. Serve the bread warm with butter, maple syrup, sorghum or honey. Plenty of options mean you'll want to try this recipe over and over again.

Mix-and-Match Corn Bread

Beefy Chili Dogs

The Coney Island Lunch Room in Grand Island, Nebraska, has served its all-American chili dog since 1933. In honor of this Cornhusker State edible institution, we created this recipe for Beefy Chili Dogs. Stewing the hot dogs in the seasoned meat mixture makes them extra juicy. Top them with cheese.

Beefy Chili Dogs

Prairie State Oatmeal Cake

Rolled oats keep this old-fashioned cake moist. You'll love the gooey coconut-walnut topping.

Prairie State Oatmeal Cake

More party and snack ideas

Click below for more great Midwest Living party and snack recipes! 

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