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Whether you are ready for some football or just ready for football snacks, tailgate food might just be the best part of the game! Get ready to enjoy these game day recipes whether you are tailgating at the stadium or watching the big game on TV with family and friends!
Favorite Tailgate Food Ideas
What game day recipes do you enjoy the most? For some, tailgating is all about their favorite football snacks and appetizers, especially if they are at the stadium. Those watching their favorite teams play in the big game on television might prefer hearty comfort food. The options are endless.
Whatever you like, you’ll find nearly 100 delicious game day recipes to give you some new tailgate menu ideas. Check them out…
Best Game Day Recipes for Tailgating or Watching Football
GF – gluten free recipe
GFO – recipe with gluten free option
Hot Dip Recipes
For some people, tailgate food is all about the dips. Hot and cheesy dips are totally indulgent whether you scoop up that gooey goodness with bread, tortilla chips, or vegetables while watching the game.
Just like the classic seven-layer dip, only instead of Mexican ingredients, it has all of your favorite burger toppings. Get ready to dip everything from burger buns or waffle fries to tortilla chips or bell peppers.
This game day recipe is loaded with chicken, cheese, and barbecue sauce, then topped with bacon and tomatoes. It’s easy, cheesy, and perfect for dipping tortilla chips, crackers, and even veggies.
Creamy and full of cheddar cheese flavor, this quick and easy homemade cheese sauce is made for dipping and pouring over just about everything.
The classic New Orleans dish is transformed into a cheesy game day snack or Mardi Gras appetizer. It’s loaded with chicken, sausage, shrimp, and Cajun spice. And let’s not forget all the cheese. It’s the perfect warm dip for snacking.
Just layer 4 ingredients and bake until hot and melty. Then rip open that bag of tortilla chips and get ready to scoop up ooey gooey layers of cheese and salsa and more cheese and more salsa.
The New Jersey Diner classic becomes a fun party appetizer in this cheesy dip recipe. It’s really fun to scoop up with bagel chips.
Cold Dip Recipes
Now maybe you want to go with something cooler and fresher, especially if you are snacking on that veggie platter. Or you’ve just opened a bag of potato chips. These are all easy to stir together and even transport in a cooler.
Greek yogurt, blue cheese crumbles, and crispy bacon, are combined with just enough hot sauce to spice things up. It’s a perfect cold dip for tortilla chips or veggies as a party appetizer that everyone will love.
Tzatziki Dip GF
Stir together these six ingredients and dig in right away, or make it ahead and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to fully develop. If you need something lighter for your tailgate food spread, this is the perfect option.
Super simple to make because you don’t have to chop onions and jalapeno peppers that turn off some tastebuds. It has only 6 ingredients, isn’t too spicy (unless you want it to be), and it still tastes super yummy.
You only need to stir together three ingredients and you’ll be ready to add it to a veggie platter for snacking. Super easy football food that’s also great for pretzels, chicken nuggets, and more.
Sweet and tangy, with just a hint of spice, this quick and easy fruit salsa is colorful and flavorful. There’s isn’t much more to it than chopping, mixing, and squeezing a lime.
A simple, healthier version of a favorite that only requires basic ingredients you always have on-hand. Use it for veggies, wings, and so much more.
A creamy alternative to guac, it’s smooth with the perfect zing of lime. Besides topping tacos and nachos, it’s perfect to set out for dipping chips or as something different than your usual dips for veggies.
If you want to keep your hands free to grab the remote, cheer, or hold on to your favorite beverage, finger foods are the way to go for game day snacks. No fumbling with plates, bowls, forks, and spoons.
Stuffed with blue cheese and rolled in a honey lime sriracha glaze before being baked to crispy, gooey perfection, this might be your new favorite tailgate food.
Stuffed mushrooms might not be one of the traditional game day recipes, but when they are stuffed with a hearty meat sauce and cheese, they deserve a place on the list of the best football snacks.
This easy recipe packs plenty of spicy and zesty flavor into tender pieces of sirloin steak. With only a handful of ingredients and in less than fifteen minutes, you can have a snack that is a fiesta for your taste buds.
Enjoy batches of these fluffy and chewy, buttery soft pretzel nuggets as a perfect game day snack. An easy recipe that’s great for dipping in your favorite sauces, like that cheese sauce above.
Since everything is more fun when stuck on a toothpick, just take the meats, cheeses and a few veggies from a classic Chef’s Salad and skewer them. Perfect for a party when you pair it with your favorite dressing or dip.
Give a classic party appetizer a spicy twist and bring these to your next football party or tailgate. This healthy deviled egg recipe is made lighter with Greek yogurt, but it still packs a flavor punch with plenty of hot sauce.
An easy appetizer with spinach, artichoke hearts, quinoa, and three kinds of cheese. These crispy and tasty little bites are so good, nobody will cake that their football snacks are healthy too.
feta and parmesan cheese are rolled up in magic mozzarella dough to transform this classic party snack into an easy keto appetizer recipe. As pretty as they are packed with delicious flavors, you’ll be sure to impress family and friends.
An easy salty sweet snack with only three ingredients. Whip them up in no time to add to our party platters or charcuterie boards.
Just a few ingredients and some rotisserie chicken from the grocery store pack a burst of Greek-inspired flavors into this fun and easy finger food. Definitely make a double batch.
More Finger Foods
- Bacon Wrapped Smokies GF | Neighborfood
- Ranch Bacon Mac & Cheese Cups GFO (use gluten free pasta) | The Weary Chef
- Chicken Enchilada Bites GF | 365 Days of Baking and More
- Sausage Stuffed Cherry Peppers GF | Savory Experiments
- Sausage Green Pepper Wontons GFO (use a recipe for gluten free wonton wrappers) | Julie’s Eats & Treats
- Italian Pepperoni Roll-Ups | My Suburban Kitchen
- Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pinwheels | Home Cooking Memories
Maybe football season means chili season to you. Make a hearty beef chili, a tasty chicken chili, or even a veggies chili then set out your favorite toppings so everyone can serve themselves during the game.
Fully loaded with ground beef, stew meat, bacon, and beans, let it simmer all day on the stovetop then get ready to enjoy a bowl with all of your favorite toppings and fixings. The best part is that it makes enough to feed a crowd of football fans.
Hearty comfort food that will satisfy a hungry crowd, and you can make it ahead so it’s ready in time for kickoff. The perfect blend of sweet heat will surprise your tastebuds.
Whether you are cutting carbs, don’t like beans, or want something to spoon over a hot dog, this is the chili recipe for you. And you can make it in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Hearty, creamy, and delicious, this cozy comfort food that will warm you up during the coldest games. Made with simple ingredients, your pressure cooker gives you slow-cooked taste with little time and effort.
A delicious combination of sweet heat and meaty bites of beef, beans and tomatoes. Blended together with surprising bursts of juicy, sweet pineapple, this Hawaiian-style crockpot chili is perfect for potlucks.
More Chili Recipes
- Quick Chipotle Turkey Chili GF
- Halftime Chili | Valerie’s Kitchen
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Chili GF | Two Peas and Their Pod
- Vegetarian Chili GF | Shugary Sweets
Wings, Tenders, and Drumsticks
Don’t be chicken! Tailgating food often means wings and legs, and maybe even a chicken tender or two. Go classic with buffalo or barbecue, or change it up with new flavors. You can even forego the meat altogether and make cauliflower “wings”.
A simple marinade made with coconut milk and a blend of savory spices gives these juicy and mouthwatering drumsticks unbelievable Indian-inspired flavor. They will disappear as soon as you set them on the table.
Forget wings, you only need four ingredients and and a few short minutes to make this twist on a tailgate recipe. You’ll soon be licking your fingers and your lips with these easy spicy chicken tenders.
Fried chicken tastes better than ever with this easy recipe that requires way less oil and mess! Chicken breasts, legs and thighs are coated in a flavorful crust and fried to perfection in the Air Fryer.
Skip the chicken for come cauliflower “wings”. So crispy and covered in an Asian-inspired sweet and spicy bang bang sauce recipe that is lightened up with Greek yogurt.
Bring something new and exciting to the tailgate. An easy marinade with exotic citrus flavors infuses juicy drumsticks that you can toss on the grill or in your oven.
More Wings, Tenders, and Drumsticks
- Baked Honey Soy Chicken Drumsticks GFO (use gluten free soy sauce or tamari) | Culinary GInger
- Beer Braised Honey Sriracha Wings | Sugar Dish Me
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Wings GF | Taste and Tell
- Garlic Parmesan Wings GF | Fifteen Spatulas
Meatballs, Sandwiches, and Sliders
Another favorite tailgate food is anything meaty you can pick up with your hands or stick a toothpick in, like sandwiches, sliders, or meatballs.
BBQ Turkey Meatballs GFO (use gluten free breadcrumbs or cornmeal)
Sweet and savory and perfectly tender, everyone will love snacking on these during the big game. Baked in the oven then slathered in barbecue sauce, they are ready in less than 30 minutes.
Thai-Style Sliders GFO (use gluten free slider rolls)
A few surprising ingredients make these mini burgers juicy and flavorful. You can even make lettuce wraps for a low carb option. But don’t forget to add a little kick by topping them with a simple sriracha lime cream.
General Tso’s Chicken Meatballs GFO (use gluten free breadcrumbs or cornmeal)
These are a nod to Chinese takeout, and while they are great for dinner, they also make fun game day snacks. These meatballs are made from lean ground chicken breast, then coated in a homemade version of the familiar sticky, sweet and savory sauce with a little hint of heat.
Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes GFO (use gluten free rolls)
If you love hot wings, this is a great way to get that spicy flavor you love. Put out all the fixings so people can pile it on rolls or even into lettuce wraps for a low carb option.
Barbecue Meatball Cheesy Sweet Potato Bites GFO (use gluten free premade meatballs)
A fun and easy appetizer or game day snack recipe that will have the crowd cheering. Use frozen meatballs and nestle them into cheesy little cups that are crispy outside and soft inside.
While not exactly a sandwich, these do make fun tailgate food. Wrapped in corn tortillas with cheddar cheese, then baked in the oven or air fryer, these Tex Mex franks are always a favorite dipped in salsa or guacamole.
More Meatballs, Sandwiches, and Sliders
- Slow Cooker Salsa Pulled Chicken Sliders GFO (use gluten free slider rolls)
- Grilled Cheese Roll Ups w/ Tomato Soup Dipping Sauce | Chocolate Moosey
- Crockpot Beef on Weck Sliders GFO (use gluten free rolls)| Healthy. Delicious.
- Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs GFO (use gluten free bread crumbs)| The Cookie Rookie
- Pressed Brick Sandwich | That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cheesy Taco Sliders GFO (use gluten free rolls)| Tornadough Alli
Loaded Fries and Nachos
We can’t forget nachos and loaded fries. Chips or fries piled with your favorite toppings make for the ultimate game day snack experience.
Start with super simple slow cooker Mexican chicken, then add layers of chips, toppings, and plenty of cheese. Pop it in the oven and serve with your favorite fixings!
Loaded baked sweet potato fries covered in spicy chicken and blue cheese are the perfect addition to your Big Game menu. With the classic hot and spicy flavor of your favorite wings in an ooey gooey pile of cheesy goodness, they are impossible to resist.
A saucy way to combine two favorites into one family-friendly easy dinner recipe or a party appetizer to share with friends. And the best part is that they are so fast to make. Start with grocery store rotisserie chicken, pile on the sauce and cheese, then pop them in the oven.
You can enjoy a fun party appetizer and still pack in plenty of veggies when you snack on a sheet pan full of these noachos. Load mini bell peppers with seasoned black beans, plenty of cheese, and your favorite toppings and dips
Take game day food to the next level with this dish that tastes high-end but is so fun for snacking. Perfectly crispy and sprinkled with parmesan cheese, you won’t be able to keep your hands off of them.
More Loaded Fries and Nachos
- Taco Loaded Waffle Fries Nachos GF | Will Cook for Smiles
- Loaded Baked Potato Rounds GF | Diethood
- Loaded Pulled Pork Nachos GF | She Wears Many Hats
- Totchos Supreme GF | Food With Family
- Blackened Shrimp Nachos GF | Grandbaby Cakes
And it isn’t a football party without pizza. Skip delivery and make your own so you can customize your game day food.
This is the best pizza dough recipe. It makes a nice, sturdy crust that is perfect for just sauce and cheese, or to pile it up with your favorite toppings.
Supreme Pizza GFO (use gluten free pizza crust)
Forget the chain pizza places and make the ultimate homemade pizza recipe! Topped with your favorite pizza sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage, veggies and two types of cheese, this one has it all.
Hawaiian Pizza GFO (use gluten free pizza crust)
The sweet and salty combination of pineapple and ham, of course paired with plenty of mozzarella cheese, is nearly impossible to resist. Give it a sprinkle of smoky bacon to really put those flavors over the top.
BBQ Chicken Pizza GFO (use gluten free pizza crust)
The easy way to enjoy a restaurant favorite at home. Cover your crust with barbecue sauce, shredded chicken, three kinds of cheese, and more. You won’t be able to stop at one slice.