Everyone knows that one of the best reasons to watch sports is the accompanying food. Come game day, who doesn’t love getting their snack on with cheesy offerings and meaty bites? It’s no wonder there’s even a new show about the best tailgate food, NFL Tailgate Takedown.
Whether you’ve checked out the series and are feeling a little peckish or planning your own game day tailgate and looking for some snack ideas, we’ve got you covered. From warm and melty cheese dips and bites to wings, skewers, and meatless meatballs, read on for some of our tasty tailgate ideas and recipes.
Watch NFL Tailgate Takedown, Wednesdays at 10p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada. Also Available on the Global TV App and STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, fuboTV, Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream.
Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Black Currant BBQ Sauce and Smoked Brie
What’s better than saucy ribs? How about saucy ribs dipped in smoked brie for an extra layer of creamy barbecue goodness? You can ditch the crackers and dip these baby back ribs right into the brie wheel for a genius appetizer that will blow your guests away. Just don’t forget to pack extra napkins.
Gochujang Korean Chicken Skewers
If you’re looking for an app that’s sweet and sticky with just the right amount of heat, these skewers are perfect. The recipe elevates your basic chicken with a handful of ingredients, but you could swap in tofu, mushrooms, or any other meat to customize them for your own guests. They also come in skewer form, which is always appreciated when you want to walk around the parking lot with your snack.
Air Fryer Ranch Mozzarella Sticks
If one of your tailgate party goals is to minimize mess, we think these mozzarella sticks are genius. That’s because they integrate creamy ranch flavours right into the actual sticks, eliminating the need for messy dipping. They’re also way more flavourful than your typical frozen variety but super easy to make if you’ve got a bag of cheese strings in the fridge.
Jamaican Meat Pie Footballs
Meat pies in the shape of a football? We almost can’t deal with how cute these are. We guarantee guests will absolutely fawn over the impressively perfect parcels of game day goodness, but the good news is they taste as amazing as they look.
Cheesy Mexican Street Corn Dip
Why serve a regular cheese dip when you can wow guests with this tangy-but-fiery corn dip packed with addictive flavours? It’s a genius way to use leftover corn on the cob in the summer, but it also comes together with a cup of frozen kernels in the winter, making it one of our new favourite year-round dips to enjoy pre, during, or post-sports.
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Game Day Burgers
As the title of this recipe suggests, these burgers mean business. It’s your basic chuck burger recipe paired with potato buns and delicious toppings like fresh onions, avocado, and cheese. That simplicity also makes this recipe genius: everyone can customize their own plate. If you want to get wild, make mini versions and serve up sliders instead.
Jerk Chicken Wings
There are so many chicken wing recipes to try, but if you want to put a unique twist on your tailgate food, why not try this jerk chicken recipe? Fresh Scotch bonnets, peeled ginger, and garlic come together with a medley of spices and brown sugar meant to make your tongue sing.
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Instant Pot Chilli
We tend to associate chili with football, but it’s a warm and comforting recipe for any sport. It travels well, can be easily customized for specific diets, and is universally loved. We’re fans of this recipe, which comes together quickly in the Instant Pot, and features a touch of coffee for that extra depth guests will love but can’t quite put their fingers on.
Related: Smoked Chili Cheese Fries
All you need is a heat source and a cast iron skillet to recreate these simple but delicious nachos, which makes them a great snack when you’re hanging out in the parking lot and waiting for the game to start (or celebrating a big win). We like that you can easily customize them to your guests’ tastes, not to mention that they’re ready to eat in just 10 minutes.
Saucy Meatless Meatballs
Everyone loves meatballs on game day, including vegetarians, thanks to this meatless recipe. These “meatballs” are packed with veggies and flavour and can be paired with a variety of sides: rice, garlic bread, pasta, or just plain old sauce. Heck, you could even whip up a batch and serve them with toothpicks.