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As tailgating season hits, we’re all scrambling for that “something special” in our kitchens. We want to serve tasty, unique, and easy healthy desserts to our friends and families.

But no one has time for those crazy elaborate things we see pinned all over Pinterest. We need easy and quick desserts that the kids can help us make.

To shave off a little more of your preparation time, we thought we’d gather some of our favorite recipes for tailgating desserts for you.


Gooey Goodness: Marshmallow Melties

One of our favorite easy quick desserts is this super simple, easy to make three ingredient recipe from Pillsbury.



  • 5 ounces miniature marshmallows – about 5 1/2 cups
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups Cheerios cereal



  1. Pull out a 13 by 9-inch pan. Spray the bottom and sides of the pan with a healthy cooking spray like canola oil.
  2. Melt together the butter and marshmallows. You can either do this on the stovetop, or in the microwave. Make sure to stir every 30 to 60 seconds to keep the mixture from burning.
  3. Remove the marshmallow/butter mixture from the heat, and immediately stir in the cereal.
  4. Completely coat the cereal with the gooey mixture.
  5. Put the whole gooey mixture into your 13 by 9-inch pan.
  6. Spray the back of a wooden spoon, and press the mixture into place, evening it out on top.
  7. Let the gooey goodness cool for at least ten minutes before cutting into squares and serving.


A Boozy Treat: Sangria Ice Pops

For the grownups attending the tailgating party, you can make these boozy summer time pops from the Food Network.



  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 750 milliliters fruity red wine
  • 1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons red grape juice
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 oranges, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped
  • 2 ripe pears, chopped



  1. Pour the wine into a medium saucepan.
  2. Reduce the wine down to about 2 and half cups.
  3. While the wine is still hot, add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Let the wine mixture steep over night in the refrigerator.
  5. Strain the mixture.
  6. Fill your ice pop molds with the sangria mix.
  7. Freeze the pops until solid.


A Caramel Treat: Caramel Cashew Bars

If you love the sticky goodness of caramel, and the soft crunch of cashews, you’re going to love this bar recipe from Pillsbury.



  • 1 bag milk chocolate baking chips – about 2 cups
  • 1 16.5 ounce roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
  • 3 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 1/4 cups cashew halves and/or pieces
  • 1 18 ounce container caramel-apple dip – 1 1/2 cups



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Into an ungreased 13 by 9-inch baking pan, break up the cookie dough.
  3. Flour your fingers, then evenly press the dough into the pan for your crust.
  4. Bake the crust for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until it’s light golden brown.
  5. Let the crust cool for 15 minutes.
  6. While the crust is cooling, get out a 4 quart saucepan, and melt together 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup of the caramel dip. This should be done over medium heat for the best results. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
  7. Once the caramel chocolate mixture is smooth, remove it from the heat.
  8. Stir in the cashew pieces and cereal.
  9. Spread the gooey mixture onto the crust.
  10. In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the rest of the chocolate chips and caramel dip together. Stir constantly to keep it from burning. When the sauce is smooth, remove from heat.
  11. Spread the melted mixture over the top of the cereal mix.
  12. Refrigerate the cookie bars until the chocolate caramel mix is set. This will probably take about 30 minutes.
  13. Cut into squares and serve.


Popcorn Delights: Bowl Game Snack Mix

This healthier, salty sweet treat from Eating Well is a game changer, and only takes about 15 minutes to prepare.



  • 10 cups air-popped popcorn
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix – For lower sodium seasoning, try making your own mix using half the salt recommended on the recipe.
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds



  1. After you’ve gotten your popcorn air-popped, remove the uncooked kernels.
  2. Put the popcorn in about as big a bowl as you can find.
  3. Lightly coat the entire bowl of popcorn with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Next, sprinkle the taco seasoning over the popcorn. Stir lightly to coat the popcorn.
  5. Now, stir in the peanuts, raisins, and pumpkin seeds.
  6. Be sure to stir again before serving.


Ready for Game Day

Now that you’ve found some awesome treats for game day, you’re ready to send out those tailgating party invites. Be sure to collect your ingredients at least a few days in advance to avoid overlooking any key ingredients.

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