90+ Game Day Recipes

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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!

Collage of nachos, pizza, chicken fingers, chili, deviled eggs, and a 7-layer dip.

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

Key to finding gluten free recipes:

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.

Kentucky Hot Brown Dip GF

Based on the classic sandwich, you can now enjoy it as a melty snack loaded with turkey, bacon, tomatoes, and, of course, plenty of cheese.

Hot turkey and cheese dip with bacon in a pale yellow casserole dish being scooped up with a knife

Seven-Layer Bacon Cheeseburger Dip GF

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.

bacon cheeseburger dip in a glass baking dish.

BBQ Chicken Dip GF

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.

A blue round dish with a cheesy dip and a round tortilla chip in the dip

Easy Cheese Dip GF

Creamy and full of cheddar cheese flavor, this quick and easy homemade cheese sauce is made for dipping and pouring over just about everything.

A pretzel nugget is dipped into a bowl of cheese sauce.

Cheesy Hot Jambalaya Dip GF

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.

using a tortila chip to scoop up a cheesy dip.

Cheesy Mexican Dip GF

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.

Dipping a tortilla chip into layered Mexican dip

Hot Pork Roll and Cheese Dip GF

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.

pork roll and cheese dip in a shallow casserole dish.

More Hot Dip Recipes

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.

Buffalo Bacon Blue Cheese Dip GF

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.

A tortilla chip being dipped into buffalo dip.

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.

Tzatziki Yogurt Dip for veggies

Easy Guacamole GF

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.

Easy Guacamole in a marble bowl with tomatoes on top

Healthy Honey Mustard Dip GF

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.

Dipping a cucumber in honey mustard.

Mango Avocado Salsa GF

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.

Dipping a chip into Mango Avocado Salsa.

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip GF

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.

Healthy Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip in a small bowl

Avocado Lime Crema GF

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. 

spooning avocado cream out of a jar

More Cold Dip Recipes

Finger Foods

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.

Blue Cheese Bacon Wrapped Dates GF

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. 

Bacon Wrapped Dates piled on a small cutting board.

Bolognese Stuffed Mushrooms GF

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.

A serving dish with ground beef stuffed mushrooms topped with melted cheese.

Chili Lime Steak Bites GF

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.

A terra cotta dish of steak bites with lime wedges.

Spinach Artichoke Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks GF

This version of a favorite keto appetizer tastes like your favorite gooey hot spinach artichoke dip. Put a new spin on bread sticks, but don’t forget the marinara sauce for dipping

Cheesy cauliflower breadsticks on a plate with a bowl of marinara sauce.

Gluten Free Pretzel Nuggets GF

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.

Gluten free pretzel nuggets arranged on a plate with a bowl of cheese sauce in the center.

Chef Salad on a Stick GF

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. 

Chef Salad on a Stick appetizers on a wooden platter

Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs GF

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. 

Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs Recipe 1

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Bites GF

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.

Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Bites

Spinach Feta Pinwheels GF

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. 

Serving plate of Low Carb Spinach Feta Pinwheels

Pistachio Cream Cheese Stuffed Dates GF

An easy salty sweet snack with only three ingredients. Whip them up in no time to add to our party platters or charcuterie boards.

Three dates stuffed with cream cheese and three pistachios.

Mediterranean Chicken Pinwheels

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.

Mediterranean Chicken Pinwheels

Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls GF

A spicy twist on traditional rice paper rolls that make a fun appetizer or light dinner recipe. Don’t forget the blue cheese dip to dunk them in.

Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls

More Finger Foods

Chili Recipes

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.

World’s Best Chili GF

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.

white bowl of beef chili with beans topped with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream

Pineapple Black Bean Slow Cooker Turkey Chili GF

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. 

Pineapple Black Bean Turkey Chili in a blue bowl.

No-Bean Chili GF

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.

Low Carb Chili without Beans in a crock with bowls of cheese and sour cream for topping

Instant Pot White Chicken Chili GF

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.

white chicken chili in a blue bowl with cilantro, jalapeno slices, and tortilla chips on top

Slow Cooker Aloha Chili GF

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.

Slow cooker Aloha chili in a bowl topped with sour cream, with cornbread in the background.

More Chili Recipes

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”.

Tandoori Chicken Legs GF

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.

indian style chicken legs piled on a plate

Smoky Buffalo Chicken Tenders GF

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.

Smoky Buffalo Chicken Tenders on a plate.

Air Fryer Fried Chicken GF

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.

Six Pieces of Fried Chicken in a Serving Bowl Lined with Parchment Paper

Bang Bang Cauliflower Bites GF

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.

Bang Bang Cauliflower Bites piled on a blue plate.

Air Fryer Chicken Fingers GF

These homemade breaded chicken tenders are perfectly crispy and tasty. Just get your favorite sauces, like Bourbon BBQ Sauce or Honey BBQ Sauce, ready for dipping

Air fryer chicken tenders served next to a bowl of BBQ sauce for dipping.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pesto Chicken Tenders GF

With only three ingredients, you can pop them in the oven or air fryer for a quick snack. Serve them on a platter with a selection of your favorite dipping sauces like Balsamic Ketchup as you share appetizers with friends.

Closeup of the crispy prosciutto on the pesto chicken

Orange Saffron Chicken Legs GF

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.

Juicy citrus marinated chicken drumsticks on a platter

More Wings, Tenders, and Drumsticks

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. 

piercing a small cocktail pick into one of the barbecue turkey meatballs in a serving dish

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.

A row of Thai sliders on a platter from overhead

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.

General Tso's Chicken Meatballs on a serving dish.

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.

Two Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joe Sandwiches one with blue cheese on top and the other with ranch dressing

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.

Three meatballs in sweet potato cups on a plate with more in the background on a platter.

Hot Dog Taquitos GF

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.

Hot Dog Baked Taquitos Recipe

More Meatballs, Sandwiches, and Sliders

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.

Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos GF

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!

Chicken nachos on a sheet pan with small bowls of salsa, sour cream and avocado cream

Buffalo Chicken Loaded Baked Sweet Potato Fries GF

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.

Sweet potato fries topped with buffalo chicken, blue cheese, and ranch in a cast iron skillet.

Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Nachos GF

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. 

hand picking up one of the barbecue chicken nachos

BBQ Pulled Pork Loaded Sweet Potato Fries GF

Baked sweet potato fries are topped with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, and melted cheese, plus a nice scoop of coleslaw. It’s fun and easy to turn your favorite BBQ meal into delicious football food like nothing you’ve ever had before.

BBQ Pulled Pork Loaded Sweet Potato Fries in a cast iron skillet.

Mini Bell Pepper Nachos GF

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

baked mini bell pepper nachos on a sheet pan with black beans, tomatoes, jalapenos, and melted cheese, and several topped with sour cream

Air Fryer Truffle Fries GF

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.

crispy golden french fries on a baking sheet sprinkled with parmesan and parsley

More Loaded Fries and Nachos


And it isn’t a football party without pizza. Skip delivery and make your own so you can customize your game day food.

Gluten Free Cheese Pizza GF

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.

Gluten free cheese pizza on a cutting board cut into slices.

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.

Four Slices of Gluten-Free Supreme Pizza on a Wooden Cutting Board

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.

Slice of Hawaiian Pizza being pulled away from the rest

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.

hand using a spatula to get a slice of pizza
  1. Spinach Parm White Bean Dip sounds amazing and can’t wait to try. Huge Sunday Funday football ball, Go Bears & Go KitchenAid. Having that gorgeous orange mixer would definitely make Sunday snack making not only easier but a lot more fun as well. Thanks for all the great recipes.

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