First Things First: Football Tailgating Parties


What would football season be without the good food? My wonderful friend and sorority sister, Joan Hallford, suggested I refer to her magazine’s expertise for tailgating menus. The following article can be found at, or you can click on the links for more delicious recipes. There are also helpful suggestions included for organizing parties, both pre and post-game. Try some new ideas and let us know how you liked them. Enjoy!

Great Tailgate Party Menu

Take time out to tailgate with these fan-favorite recipes.

Grilled Honey-Mustard Brats Recipe

Is it up to you to tackle the task of cooking a meal that you can take to the big game? There’s no need to fumble around the kitchen if you turn to this menu!

Tailgaters love to munch, so this crunchy Smackin’ Good Snack Mix is perfect for a pre-game spread.

taste of home snack mix

Jumbo Greek Sub is just the sandwich for satisfying hearty appetites. Pass the platter and watch slices disappear!

taste of home jumbo Greek Sub

For a side dish that’s teeming with colorful produce and winning flavor, you can’t go wrong with a cool Dressed-Up Vegetable Salad.

Tailgaters and grill-masters are sure to love this Grilled Honey-Mustard Brats recipe and ask for more.

Whether you’re in the stadium parking lot or on your patio, these Southwestern Backyard Burgers are great on the grill.

southwestern backyard burgers

If your gang likes corn chips, they’ll love the sweet and salty blend in these fast-fixing Salty Peanut Squares. They also make great take-along treats for picnics or tailgate parties.

taste of home salty peanut aquares

Sloppy Joe Nachos make a great quick meal, tailgate food or “pig out” dish.

taste of home sloppy joe nachos

These saucy Pigskin Barbecue sandwiches are simple to make for potlucks or tailgate parties and always draw rave reviews.

taste of home pigskin barbeque

Score extra points by packing a big batch of Chocolate Mint Delights.

taste of home chicolate mint delights

With the season full of exciting football action, why not surprise your favorite fan with a Football Cake? Think what a hit it would be at a Super Bowl party…taken along for tailgating at a game…or at a bake sale to raise funds for the local school football squad, cheerleaders or pep band!

taste of home football cake

Great Tips for Tailgating

You’re guaranteed a successful tailgate party with these winning helpful hints:

  • Keep the menu simple. Guests aren’t expecting a seven-course meal at this kind of casual get-together. Three to four homemade dishes should be the maximum. Fill in with purchased items like chips and dip if necessary.
  • When selecting foods, look for ones that are easy to eat while standing up or sitting in a lawn chair. Also, dishes made without perishable ingredients (such as mayonnaise) travel best. Rely on foods that can be made ahead and brought to the event or that can be cooked there on the grill. When transporting, remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • If you’re feeling ambitious, handle all the food yourself and divide the cost among the group. Or assign a food item to each person attending.
  • To get an early start in the morning, pack the car the night before with nonperishable food, chairs and tables. Don’t forget supplies like a blanket or tablecloth to spread over the tailgate and a variety of paper products (plates, napkins, utensils, paper towels, trash bags, resealable plastic bags, etc.).
  • True tailgaters proudly show their support of the team, so dress in team colors or jerseys!
  • Just before heading out, pack the food and beverage coolers. Covered plastic containers work great for all kinds of food because they prevent leaks and won’t break during transport.
  • When you get to the parking lot, fly a team banner so other tailgaters in your group can find you. Or keep in contact with cell phones.
  • Plan on eating at least 45 minutes before the game starts. This gives you time to clean up and pack things away.
  • Before heading into the game, make note of your parking location so you’re not lost in a sea of cars afterward.
  • Instead of fighting traffic jams when the game is over, linger in the parking lot for an hour or so. Rehash the highlights of the game over a snack or dessert.

Tailgating Recipes >

Article and photos courtesy of Taste of Home Magazine.

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What is your favorite tailgating menu? Please share a recipe (or two) with us.