Tailgating is so much fun, however, it can also be a pain. Well, maybe not a pain, but definitely a challenge that requires ample planning. This is especially true when it comes to food.
Cooking on the spot is a huge hassle. That’s why I love to pack prepared foods I can just bring with me to the tailgate party. I do all the work the night before so I can just kick back and enjoy a beer with my friends while chowing down.
To make that happen, I figure you’ll need some easy tailgate food ideas. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
My Favorite Easy Tailgate Recipes
1. Mac and Cheese Cups
- 1 box of creamy macaroni and cheese
- 1 sleeve of your favorite buttery crackers
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese for topping
First, get your crusts ready. Crush up the crackers either in a food processor or with an empty glass bottle.
Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and mix it together. Press this mixture into greased muffin tins. Make sure each muffin cup gets a good, solid crust.
Prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the instructions on the box. The varieties with creamy-style cheese work best because they won’t dry out as they bake.
When the mac and cheese is ready, spoon it into your crust-lined muffin tins.
Sprinkle the cheese on top and pop them into a 350° oven. Let them bake for about 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
Mac hack: add extra toppings or ingredients before baking like bacon, chives, or sausage.
2. Italian Sub Pinwheels
- 5 room temperature flour tortillas
- 15 slices salami
- 10 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese
- 10 slices deli pepperoni
- 10 slices smoked ham
- About ½ cup roasted red peppers from a jar or can
- About ½ cup banana peppers
- Olive oil
- ½ teaspoon oregano per wrap
Spread out your tortillas on the counter and layer them up with the salami, pepperoni, ham, and cheese.
Next, lay the peppers on top. You can either chop them up first or leave them in slices.
Finally, drizzle a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle the oregano on top.
Make sure you don’t overdo it with the olive oil!
Roll them up. Try to make these as tight as possible without the tortilla splitting.
Let the wraps sit in the fridge for at least two hours before slicing.
After they’re sliced, just plate them up and toss them into the cooler.
When it comes to easy tailgate food, this recipe is a winner.
3. Pretzel-Wrapped Beer Dogs
- 1 box pretzel dough
- 1 package of hot dogs or your favorite sausages
- 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese
- Mustard for dipping
- Sea salt (if not included with the pretzel dough)
Sure, you can make your own pretzel dough at home, but I like easy tailgating recipes. That’s why I usually keep a box of pretzel dough handy because I whip these up in no time.
First, prepare the dough and cook the hot dogs or sausages.
This is where the beer gets involved. Simmer the hot dogs in your favorite beer until they’re thoroughly cooked. Pat them dry.
Next, wrap the dogs or links up with pretzel strands. Make sure the dough is wrapped tightly so you get a nice crust around the dog.
Preheat your oven according to the instructions on the dough package and line your wrapped dogs on a baking sheet.
Wipe a little water or egg white onto the top of each pretzel then sprinkle on the salt and cheese.
Bake them until they’re golden brown and you’re ready for the tailgate party!
4. Apple Pie Croissants
- 1 can of crescent rolls
- 8 small green apple slices
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice (or equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to the instructions on the crescent roll package.
Pour the butter over your apple slices in a small bowl and let them soak while you get the rest of the recipe ready.
In another very small bowl, mix the sugar and apple pie spice with the optional nuts.
Lay the flat crescent rolls out onto the baking sheet. Wipe each roll with some of the remaining butter (you might need extra).
Spread the sugar and spice mixture onto each crescent roll.
Lay an apple slice along the widest part of the triangle and roll it up. Bake them in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
This is the perfect easy dessert recipe for your tailgate party. I mean, who doesn’t love apple pie in the fall?!
Why I Love These Tailgate Recipes
What I love most about this list of easy tailgate food is I can make more than one batch at a time. Lots of these tailgating recipes are easy to double and make large amounts.The recipes are perfect when I’m heading to a tailgate party with my friends.
The best part? They’re all hand-held foods. You can have a tailgate snack in one hand and a drink in the other. Cheers!
Image Source: Adobe Stock