On most Saturdays from September to November, you can find me in a parking lot in my college town, trying to toss a ping pong ball into a red plastic cup or digging through an ice-filled cooler for a bottle of water. You might assume that’s because I’m a dedicated alumna or simply a big football fan, but you would be wrong. Sure, football can be entertaining and it’s fun cheering for my alma mater, but truly, I’m there for the food. The various chip-and-dip combos, the Crockpots full of comfort food, the little bite-sized appetizers you can make a whole meal out of if you eat enough. I am unashamedly a much bigger fan of the tailgate food than I ever will be of football itself.
When it comes to my own contribution to the game-day spread, I have two strict rules for tailgate recipes: 1) It must be easy to throw together (I’m talking 30 minutes or less), and 2) It’s got to be nearly universally appealing, which means no fancy ingredients or unfamiliar flavors. Tailgate food is meant for sharing, so it’s got to be something even my picky, vegetable-averse friends will gladly devour.
With these criteria in mind, I’ve compiled a list of the best tailgate recipes the internet has to offer. So get out the slow cooker, pick up some football-shaped paper plates, and whip up one of these crowd-pleasing recipes for the next game.
10. BLT Pasta Salad
19. Layered Bean Dip
21. Cheesy Chili Dip
22. Cheesecake Dip