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37 Tailgate Food Recipes & Ideas Perfect for Football Season

Whether you’re a fan of the NFL, college ball or just drinking and eating in parking lots, these recipes are a major touchdown.

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Football season is finally here — and that means it's time for tailgate food! Even if you don't have a team to cheer for, there's one thing all humans can agree on: Tailgate recipes are an absolute touchdown in the grub world. Whether you're a fan of the NFL, college ball or just drinking and eating in parking lots, these tailgate food recipes are loaded with finger foods, sandwiches and plenty of buffalo chicken will have you rooting for game day.


Chicken and Waffle Skewers

Chicken and Waffle Skewers tailgate food

A classic combo, chicken and waffles can be equally enjoyed in a stadium parking lot by skewering it on a stick. Make it spicy by using a Korean fried chicken recipe. (via The Hopeless Housewife)

Turkey and Pepper Jack Roll Ups

Turkey and Pepper Jack Roll Ups

Prep these guys before the game: Use crescent roll dough to wrap turkey and spicy pepper jack cheese into a no-fuss bite. (via Amanda's Cookin')

Potato Tacos

Potato Tacos

Here's a recipe for a morning tailgate. When the game is early, whip up some breakfast potatoes on the grill, then taco them in a tortilla with fresh avocado. (via Serenity in the Storm)

Sweet Potato Chips and Blue Cheese

Sweet Potato Chips and Blue Cheese

What could get better than this? Sweet potatoes, smokey and crispy bacon and tangy blue cheese all together. Tailgate perfection. (via Cooking for Keeps)

Mini Buffalo Chicken Pies

Mini Buffalo Chicken Pies tailgate food

If there's one food that's a staple of football season, it's buffalo chicken. Stuff it inside sweet pancake batter in muffin-size for a perfectly balanced bite. (via Betty Crocker)

Mini Chili Cheese Dogs

Mini Chili Cheese Dogs

The tailgate smorgasbord is robust, so you don't want to get full on just one dish. Cut this chili dog recipe into bite sized pieces so you can eat your dog and keep going with the rest of the fare, too. (via She Knows)

Southern Cheese Fries

Southern Cheese Fries

These fries are so good you'll want to sneak them into the game with you. Crinkle fries are topped with the South's finest — pulled pork, BBQ sauce and a homemade pimento cheese sauce. (via Spicy Southern Kitchen)

Buffalo Chicken Cheddar Broccoli Bites

Buffalo Chicken Cheddar Broccoli Bites

Told ya buffalo chicken was a tailgate staple, it's even found its way into these healthy broccoli and cheddar white rice puffs. Be sure to serve them with the delicious avocado dipping sauce. (via Running to the Kitchen)

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

This one is an instant crowd pleaser. Just make a pie or two of the spicy and cheesy combo and feed the whole team, er, we mean gang. (via The Law Student's Wife)

Cookie Dough Dip

Cookie Dough Dip tailgate food

Even the sweet stuff can get in on the fun, especially when you transform this cookie dough dip into a sprinke-coated football. Spread it on apples or pretzels to satisfy your sweet tooth before the game. (via Erica's Sweet Tooth)

Pastry Sliders

Pastry Sliders

Give your standard burgers a spin by putting them between football shaped puff pastry buns. Use cookie cutters to form your burger, cheese and toppings to match. (via Pizzazzerie)

Buffalo Chicken Dip Bites

Buffalo Chicken Dip Bites

Since you're tailgating in a parking lot, you won't have room for bowls of dip. Solve the problem by spooning hot buffalo dip into pastry cups, with a dollop of sour cream and chives on top. (via Blahnik Baker)

Potato Chip Cups

Potato Chip Cups

Make “potato chip" cups by using a muffin tin to shape strips of thinly sliced fresh potato. After they've baked and cooled, fill them with guac, salsa… or whatever your heart desires! (via Yummily Yours)

Pull Apart Pretzel and Beer Cheese Dip

Pull Apart Pretzel and Beer Cheese Dip

What's better than homemade soft pretzels? Pretzels that you can make in a skillet while simultaneously making the beer cheese dip to go with them. (via Host the Toast)

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini

It's cheesy, it's “fried" and it's veggie loaded. Mac and cheese is sandwiched between two slices of zucchini, then breaded and oven “fried" (read: baked) to perfection. (via Half Baked Harvest)

Focaccia Pizza

Focaccia Pizza

These pizza triangles, made on herby and thick focaccia bread, can be easily made in the oven or grill depending where you tailgate. (via Just a Taste)

Bacon Hot Dog Snack for Tailgating

Bacon Hot Dog Snack for Tailgating

As football season wears on, you'll grow tired of your standard dog. Call an audible and switch things up with this bacon and onion topped hot dog. (via Creole Contessa)

Chipotle Cheddar and Corn Fritter Burgers

Chipotle Cheddar and Corn Fritter Burgers

Here's your burger game plan: Make a chipotle-spiced patty, smother it in fresh cheddar cheese and top it with sweet corn fritters and guacamole for game time success. (via Half Baked Harvest)

Garlic Parmesan Ranch Pretzels

Garlic Parmesan Ranch Pretzels

You'll need all the energy you can get cheering on your team this season. Carb-load with this flavor bursting pretzel bites. (via Life's Ambrosia)

Football Whoopie Pies

Football Whoopie Pies tailgate food

Save room for dessert! You won't want to miss out on these chocolate whoopie pies. (via Everyday Occasions)

Mozzarella Cheese Balls

Mozzarella Cheese Balls

When mozzarella sticks morph into one-bite dippers that'll have you going back for seconds and thirds and fourths and… (via The Apple Crate)

Popcorn Shrimp Tailgate Recipe

Popcorn Shrimp Tailgate Recipe

We won't blame you if you miss the first quarter to finish off a basket of these lightly fried and super crispy shrimp. (via The Galley Gourmet)

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Who said all sliders had to have a burger patty between the bun? Use this soft poppy seed bun to sandwich melted cheese, tomato and country ham instead. (via Damn Delicious)

Spicy Macadamia Pretzels

Spicy Macadamia Pretzels

Use storebought pretzels, macadamia oil and a homemade spice blend to make this crunchy, nutty and spicy flavored snack. (via Delicious by Dre)

Tailgate Fries

Tailgate Fries

Made in a foil pouch, you can heat up these pockets filled with French fries, pulled pork and coleslaw on your tailgate's grill. (via Life's Ambrosia)

Pizza Puffs Tailgate Appetizers

Pizza Puffs Tailgate Appetizers

Make these pizza puffs with any toppings you desire — peppers, onions, mushrooms, pepperoni. The point is, it all goes great in these mini-muffin sized bites. (via Lief Currents)

Mexican Potato Skins

Mexican Potato Skins

Unlike standard potato skins, these guys aren't packed with bacon and cheese. Instead, they're loaded with Mexican flavors, like black beans, green chiles and enchilada sauce. (via Life Currents)

Bacon Wrapped Potato Bites

Bacon Wrapped Potato Bites

You won't want to pass the plate once you've dug into these bacon-wrapped spuds. (via The Right Recipe)

Beer Caramelized Onion Dip

Beer Caramelized Onion Dip

This onion dip puts all other dips to shame. It's made with sweet caramelized onions, hoppy beer, cream cheese, sour cream and smokey bacon. (via Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Candied Sriracha Bacon-Wrapped Onion Rings

Bacon-Wrapped Onion Rings

This one is a three-for-one when it comes to bar food favorites. Crispy onion rings, smokey bacon and a spicy Sriracha glaze combine for one mouthwatering bite. (via The Kitchen Whisperer)

Touchdown Brownies

Touchdown Brownies

These brownies are everything you could want in a tailgate dessert — gooey chocolate bars loaded with sweet caramel, chocolate chips, salty pretzels and toasted pecans. (via The Baker Mama)

Walking Taco Burger Sliders

Walking Taco Burger Sliders

Taco meets burgers in these easily transportable sliders. You can chow down on the salsa and tortilla topped patties while you make friends with the tailgate next door. (via Brown Sugar)

Spicy Grilled Wings

Spicy Grilled Wings tailgate food

No worries on how to get crispy and juicy wings in a parking lot. This recipe calls for making the smothered and spicy wings right on the grill. (via Or Whatever You Do)

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This post has been updated.

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