35 Tailgating Recipes That Score | Midwest Living
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35 Tailgating Recipes That Score

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

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

Light and Layered Taco Dip

Ground turkey, reduced-sodium and light ingredients, and a confetti of crisp, colorful veggies make this potluck staple more nutritious than a typical layered dip—but every bit as tasty.

Light and Layered Taco Dip

Chipotle Black-Bean Chili

This chili is great for tucking into your slow cooker in the morning, so you can come home to a warm winter dinner. Omit the meat if you'd prefer a hearty meatless main dish. If you like, add chopped avocado or shredded cheese as toppers before serving.

Chipotle Black-Bean Chili recipe

Sunny Broccoli Salad

A Cleveland reader makes this potluck salad the day ahead and refrigerates the dressing and vegetables separately. When it's time to serve it, she tosses everything together. Bacon, sunflower kernels and raisins make a crunchy and flavorful side dish.

Sunny Broccoli 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

Jack Cheese and Smoky Chipotle Fondue

Lots of Monterey Jack cheese goes into this creamy fondue, along with sour cream, chipotle peppers and bacon. Scoop up with bread or tortilla chips.

Jack Cheese and Smoky Chipotle Fondue

Edamame-Avocado Dip

Combine edamame and avocado with basil pesto, lemon juice and chopped tomato for this easy potluck dip. 

Edamame-Avocado Dip

Breakfast Burritos

Combine hash browns, sausage, bacon, eggs, cheese and chopped veggies for a hearty breakfast tortilla. Top the colorful mixture with cool sour cream and spicy salsa in this recipe inspired by RAGBRAI vendor Farm Boys.

Breakfast Burritos

Bloody Marys

A leafy celery stalk is the classic bloody mary garnish, but you can also use long picks with green olives and small pickles, or even a strip of crisp bacon or smoky beef jerky.

Bloody Marys

Roasted Red Pepper-Chipotle Hummus

Hummus is easier than you might think: Just throw the ingredients in the food processor. Find canned smoky chipotle peppers in the Mexican aisle of large supermarkets.

Roasted Red Pepper-Chipotle Hummus

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

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

 

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

Calico Bean Bake

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

Calico Bean Bake

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

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

Multigrain Apple Streusel Muffins

Rise and shine! These tender gems taste so good, you’d never guess we bumped up the fiber in this fall recipe with two kinds of whole grains and traded most of the butter for applesauce and buttermilk.

Multigrain Apple Streusel Muffins

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

Starker's Bacon and Cheese Curd Burger

Sugared bacon and melting cheese curds or string cheese make a mouthwatering filling for these behemoth burgers. The recipe comes from chef/owner John McClure of Starker's Restaurant at Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.

Starker's Bacon and Cheese Curd Burger

Meat and Potato Pizza

Chalk this recipe up as an occasional indulgence. It's topped with a totally mouth-watering combo of thin-sliced potatoes, bacon, sausage and a delectable garlic-rosemary butter. The recipe comes from Hidemi Walsh of Plainfield, Indiana.

Meat and Potato Pizza

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

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

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

Trail Mix Brownies

Trail mix ingredients such as salted peanuts, pretzel sticks, dried cranberries, raisins and chocolate pieces make a sweet-and-salty topper for brownies.

Trail Mix Brownies

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

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

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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