There’s something about live sports that immediately brings to mind a sprightly tailgate. The shared love for delicious food and refreshing beverages brings people together, irrespective of what teams and players they support.
If you’re in charge of hosting a tailgate this season, you’re likely racking your brains for inspiration. We’ve curated a list of the best recipes and a few tips to turn your tailgate into the most anticipated event of the year.
Let’s jump right in.
What to Serve at Your Tailgate Party
Tailgating is often associated with grilling hamburgers in your car’s trunk and washing them down with a pint of beer. But there’s more to a tailgate party than burgers and beer.
Whether you want to serve a 3-course meal or a few grab-and-go appetizers, you can choose from various recipes. Here are a few to help you get started:
Is it even game day if you’re not gorging on a bowl of juicy, spicy, sticky chicken wings? They’re the perfect finger food, and you can pair them with a wide variety of beverages. Baked, grilled, deep-fried, or smoked – there isn’t a wrong way to cook chicken wings.
The best part is that you can experiment with different sauces, marinades, and flavors to delight your taste buds.
Have you had enough tailgate hamburgers for a lifetime? Then it’s time to put a spin on the classic combination of bread and meat with chili dogs.
Grill or sear hot dogs and top them with spicy chili and shredded cheese. Let your taste buds enjoy an eclectic flavor explosion. It’s one of those quick and easy recipes that’ll leave your guests drooling.
Braised Beef Brisket
Some people enjoy cooking up a storm while entertaining guests at a tailgate. If you’re not one of those people, braised beef brisket is just the recipe for you. It’s one of those dishes that you can prep and cook in advance, leaving you with more time to enjoy the game day.
The secret to a scrumptious brisket is patience. You need to marinate the meat for hours and then braise it in the oven for a few more hours. Serve the brisket as it is, or take it up a notch with creamy mashed potatoes and grilled veggies.
Beer Cheese Dip
You can’t enjoy a game day without a hearty chip and dip platter. Your guests probably won’t look down upon you if you serve store-bought dips. But you can take things up a notch with a refreshing beer and cheese dip. It only takes a few seconds to whip up and will leave your guests asking for more.
While pretzels are the classic companions for this lip-smacking dip, you can pair it with other snacks like tortilla chips and potato wafers. You can buy them from your nearest ALON/DK-Easy store.
These bite-sized treats are a hit among dessert lovers of all age groups. You can experiment with different types of fillings, such as apples and cherries
Or you could incorporate quintessential fall flavors with a pumpkin spice filling. If you don’t want to make the pie crust from scratch, you can always make fried pies using store-bought shortcrust pastry.
Who doesn’t enjoy a bite of sweet and crumbly butter cookies? They’re a must if you’re expecting your guests to bring children to the tailgate. Also, they’re an excellent after-party giveaway.
If good old butter cookies are too simple for your liking, you can jazz them up with chocolate chips, nuts, praline, etc. Also, you could use different types of icing to dress the cookies in your favorite team’s colors. You could even decorate them to resemble team jerseys or footballs. The possibilities are endless.
If you’re looking to end your tailgate with a bang, dessert jars are a must-have. Cheesecakes, parfaits, trifles – you can never go wrong with the sugary goodness of dessert jars.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different layers and toppings. You can even let guests carry their jars to the field and devour the dessert while watching the game.
A Few Extra Tips
So, you’re all set to put together a delectable feast for your next tailgate. Make sure you use the following tips to amp up the fun:
Take It Easy
Keep in mind that a tailgate isn’t the best opportunity to flex your cooking skills. Select recipes that require minimal prep and cook time. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your guests to bring a few sides or desserts.
Stock Up on Snacks
When you’re inviting guests to a tailgate, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Imagine running out of food in the middle of the party. The best way of avoiding such a nightmare is to keep plenty of readymade snacks handy.
It’s a good idea to raid the aisles of your nearest DK/ALON stores and grab a few packs of potato chips, trail mix, cookies, granola bars, etc. Keep an eye out for healthy snack options too.
Don’t Forget the Beverages
You can’t host a tailgate without an uninterrupted supply of refreshing beverages. While beer is the most obvious choice, you can add a twist with a delightful beer sangria or raspberry beer cocktail. Keep lemonade and sodas handy for children and teetotalers.
All Set for the Ultimate Tailgate
Hosting an unforgettable tailgate isn’t about going overboard with food, drinks, and decor. Instead, the key is to understand what your guests want and throw in a few surprises.
Use a combination of homemade, ready-to-eat, and store-bought items to satiate everyone’s taste buds. Make sure you have fun too.Head to your nearest ALON/DK-Easy store to start prepping for the game day.