Tailgating Step by Step: Our Best Menu Guide

Kick off a championship party season with this winning mix of recipes.

By Stephen Exel; Food Styling by Susan Sugarman; Photos by Colleen Duffley


  • view all thumbnails
Bonanza Bean Dip
1/9
Bonanza Bean Dip

    The Play by Play: Start pre-game festivities by scooping up this Southwestern-style munchie. Lime-and-jalapeno-spiced guacamole is the hidden surprise in this favorite standby. Don't forget seasoned chips or baked tortillas for digging in.

    Pre-Game: Cover and chill this recipe the night before, making sure to chill toppers in separate containers.

    Game Day: Bring dip and toppers in insulated carrier with ice packs. Add toppers on site.

2/9
Potato and Squash Salad

    The Play by Play: This Caribbean-influenced autumn salad is spiced with thyme, basil, and pepper. Serve it room temperature on a bed of spinach.

    Pre-Game: After the recipe has cooled, put potato mixture and spinach in separate airtight containers.

    Game Day: Assemble the salad at the tailgate site.

3/9
Chili Sour Cream Dip

    The Play by Play: In just minutes, stir up a chili-and-salsa-based veggie dip at home. Try serving the dip with chips or atop a burger.

    Pre-Game: Steam and chill the veggie dippers.

    Game Day: Bring in insulated container with an ice pack. Make sure to serve within four hours of preparing.

4/9
Onion and Mushroom-Stuffed Burger

    The Play by Play: The MVP of the day's feast is this robust burger seasoned with Worcestershire sauce, fresh parsley, and garlic, then topped with Swiss cheese and bacon. As the burger cooks, its juices season the onion-mushroom stuffing.

    Pre-Game: After assembling the stuffed burger patties, place in an airtight container; making sure to separate layers with waxed paper. Seal container, chill up to 24 hours before transporting to the tailgate gathering.

    Game Day: Bring cheese and tomatoes separately in an insulated carrier with ice packs. Grill the burgers on site.

5/9
Zesty Chicken Wrap

    The Play by Play: This unbeatable meal lineup includes tortillas filled with lime-marinated chicken tenders and homemade tomato-mango salsa.

    Pre-Game: For the freshest wrap, pack chicken, salsa, and mayonnaise separately in airtight containers.

    Game Day: Bring prepared ingredients in insulated carrier with ice packs. Assemble wraps on site when you're ready to eat.

6/9
Artichoke and Pepper Toasts

    The Play by Play: This garlicky, cheesy spread is prebaked before the party. Have plenty of toasted baguette slices on hand -- guests will be tempted to double dip!

    Pre-Game: Prepare according to recipe, or divide mixture between two 8-1/4-x-5-1/5-x-1-inch disposable foil pans before baking for easier transport. After baking, wrap the casserole and toasts separately in double layers of aluminum foil.

    Game Day: Place in an insulated container and serve at room temperature.

7/9
Baked Sweet Potato and Chili Wedges

    The Play by Play: These potato wedges basted with a spicy-sweet orange juice mixture are a perfect appetizer or side dish.

    Pre-Game: Prepare these tasty treats just before heading to the game. After roasting, place warm potatoes in an airtight container. (Do not chill.) Pack the sour cream mixture in a separate airtight container.

    Game Day: Bring containers in an insulated container with ice packs. Serve wedges on site with Cilantro Sour Cream.

8/9
Peach and Pound Cake Sandwich

    The Play by Play: Top a buttery homemade pound cake with peaches, caramel, and a schmear of Lemon Butter. Customize the dessert with other fruits, such as pears or sliced strawberries. (Time Saver: A homemade pound cake is a super treat, but if time is an issue, substitute one from your favorite bakery.)

    Pre-Game: Pack a knife and corer for the fruit. Wrap the whole cake tightly in plastic wrap. Transport fruits whole, or slice the fruit at home and dip in mixture of 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and then drain. Place in an airtight container.

    Game Day: Bring butter and fruits in an insulated carrier with ice packs. Assemble on site.

9/9
Popular Slideshows
Celebrate summer with a luscious strawberry desser...

Make these hearty dinners ahead for a quick and ea...

From creamy smashed potato soup to classic beef st...


Top Brands


Related Links
Celebrate summer with a luscious strawberry desser...

Make these hearty dinners ahead for a quick and ea...

From creamy smashed potato soup to classic beef st...

A three-step makeover lets this living room accomo...

Share Your Thoughts