How To, Lifestyle

Tailgating Recipes That Will Impress

Break out the barbecues, ice chests and folding chairs, it is tailgating time again! With football season up and running, we’re here to equip you with a few tailgating recipes that will “wow” your fellow sports fans. After all, tailgating is all about the food.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
12 wooden toothpicks
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp chopped chives or finely chopped green onions
6 jalapeno chiles, halved lengthwise and seeded
4 slices bacon


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. Soak toothpicks in small bowl of warm water to prevent burning.
  2. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and chives/green onions. Spoon the mixture evenly onto the chile halves.
  3. Cut each bacon slice crosswise, into thirds. Wrap one piece of bacon around each stuffed chile half, and secure with a toothpick. Place on the cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chile halves.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the chiles are tender. Serve warm and enjoy!

Chili and Cornbread in a Mason Jar
1 lb of cooked & drained ground turkey or hamburger meat
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper cored, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper cored, seeded and chopped
1 can of green chilies
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tsp salt
1 large can of diced tomatoes
2 cans of your favorite beans (pinto, black bean, kidney bean, etc)
Black pepper to taste
Jiffy cornbread mix, prepared and baked
Grated cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Chopped green onion


  1. Cook your meat until it’s done thoroughly. While it’s cooking, prepare the cornbread muffins according to the Jiffy instructions and set aside. Drain the meat and set aside.
  2. Cook the onions in oil over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, green chiles, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne and salt. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the can of tomatoes, drained beans and cooked meat to the mixture. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Slice the cornbread muffins in half and layer the cornbread and chili mixture into mason jars. At the top of the jar, add in the grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions. For a little bit of heat, you can also add a few drops of Tabasco sauce on top. Enjoy!

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip
4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
½ cup hot sauce (Frank’s or similar)
½ cup crumbled light blue cheese
1 tbsp ranch dressing
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges are slightly brown.
  2. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Enjoy the dip with tortilla chips, celery or bell peppers. Yum!

Deviled Eggs (for creative variations on the traditional deviled egg, click here)
6 hard-boiled eggs
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tbsp sweet relish
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp salt
¼ cup ranch dressing
6 sprigs parsley


  1. Peel the 6 hard-boiled eggs and cut them into halves lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place them in a medium bowl; set the whites aside on a platter.
  2. Mash the yolks using a fork, until fluffy. Mix in the finely chopped onion, the sweet relish, the dry mustard, salt and the ranch dressing. Combine and mix until smooth.
  3. Fill a large, sealable plastic bag with the yolk mixture. Cut the corner of the bag to create a ¾-inch hole and pipe the yolk filling into the hole of each egg white. Chill until ready to serve.
  4. Garnish each egg with a sprinkle of paprika and a sprig of parsley.

Italian-Style Sandwiches
1 (5.3-oz) container spreadable goat cheese
2 tbsp refrigerated pesto with basil
1 (12-oz) package ciabatta rolls, sliced
1 pound thinly sliced Baked Pork Loin Roast or Slow-Cooker Pork Butt Roast
1 1/3 cups firmly packed arugula
½ cup jarred roasted red bell pepper strips
¼ small red onion, thinly sliced


  1. Stir together goat cheese and pesto. Spread goat cheese and pesto mixture on each slice of the rolls.
  2. Layer the pork roast, arugula and remaining ingredients on the bottom halves of the rolls. Cover with the top halves of rolls. Enjoy!

Walking Tacos
1 pound ground beef or turkey
½ cup diced onion
1 (1-oz) taco seasoning packet
Snack size bags of Fritos or Doritos
Topping suggestions:
Black beans
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream


  1. Brown the beef or turkey in pan, and drain the fat. Add the onion to the pan and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the taco seasoning and ½ cup of water. Simmer until the water is absorbed.
  2. If serving immediately, pour the meat and onions into a bowl. Crush the bags of chips with your hands and then open the bag. Add the meat and desired toppings directly into the bowl. Now you can eat the mixture with a fork while on the move – hence, the walking taco! Genius!

Slow Cooker Little Smokies
4 (14-oz) packages of cocktail sausages
16 oz bottle of honey flavored barbecue sauce
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup white vinegar
1 (12-oz) bottle lager beer


  1. Place the sausages in the bowl in the slow cooker. Add the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and beer. Stir to combine
  2. Cook the mixture on high for 2 to 3 hours, or until the sausages are warmed through. Lower the heat and keep warm to serve. Enjoy this tailgating staple!


Let us know in the comments below what your favorite tailgating food is. Happy tailgating!


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