I’d be lying if I said that I was into sporting events purely for the sports action. I do enjoy it, and I love that it brings people together, but the truth is….
I’M THERE FOR THE SNACKS, OKAY?!
Tailgates always have the best (and by best, I mean most indulgent) food and drinks. I mean, where else can you have brats at 9am? Or see “buffalo chicken” at least three different ways?
You may look at these recipes I’m sharing today and consider them guilty pleasures, but actually, I think I’m doing a great public service here. It’s only responsible to encourage fans to get something on their stomachs when participating in the marathon-like drinking event that is tailgating.
So no, this is NOT a health-oriented blog post, and I’m not sorry ’bout it!!
Okay, before we get into the recipes, let me dive into how put together this 10-minute tailgate with things I found around my house:
1.) Multi-Purpose Banner
I’ve had this inexpensive, tassel banner for about two years now, and I have gotten SO much use out of it! It’s neutral (gold and white), so it can be used for so many different occasions. I keep it tucked away, and pull it out when I need an extra festive touch. I used over my headboard for fun decor, during the holiday season on a mantel, for a birthday party, a bridal shower, and now, a TAILGATE!
Who knew a neutral banner was such a good thing to keep on hand!?
2.) Quilt or Blanket
This comforter was SUCH an easy and quick way to cover a multitude of sins.
My cousin, Conrad, was very sweet to let us use his car, but he’s a twenty-something year old dude…so needless to say, his trunk was less than tidy.
No worries! We just pushed the back seats down, spread out the blanket, and BOOM- clean landing for a tailgate!
I picked this comforter up at HomeGoods, but I’ll link some similar options below. (Shop around your house! Chances are there’s an extra blanket or comforter somewhere!)
3.) Pack the cooler, then use it as a table!
Our cooler is not a fancy one AT ALL. It’s an oldie that has the wheels and handle on it. We were about to pack all the goods and supplies into that cooler and one tote!
I brought along a Turkish towel (because they lay well but are easy to wash) that matched our color theme to drape over the cooler after we unpacked- and PRESTO! An extra surface to set up the food!
4.) Extra Touches
-I had a couple small, white mums at the house, so I quickly wrapped the bases of them in light blue tissue paper for a little extra decor.
-I delegated bringing fold out chairs (and beer) to the boys. I also had someone bring a portable speaker, because a tailgate is always better with some pump-up music!
-I used plastic gold bowls, a plastic cake stand, and straw baskets that I already had in my pantry (I’ll links similar ones below). It’s important to keep everything plastic or paper at a tailgate!
-Two things I always grab when I’m at a TJ Maxx or HomeGoods: cute napkins and paper plates. Seriously, just keep yourself well-stocked. These were some I already had on hand!
OKAY! Now let’s get to the real star of the show: THE FOOD! I’ve made these recipes for friends and family over the years, and they’ve become some of my most requested, crowd pleasin’ bites.
So here’s my roundup of tailgate recipes:
1.) “Big Mac” Bites
Fun fact: my Grandpa Clyde was the first to bring the McDonald’s franchise to my hometown and region. So naturally, we have a love for that classic burger flavor. These bites have all the flavor of a classic “Big Mac” packed inside a tater-tot cup for the perfect handheld, two-bite appetizer!
2.) Sausage Biscuit Balls with Tangy Dipping Sauce
If you’ve been to any shower or brunch in the South, chances are you’ve had a version of these balls. They’re only three ingredients, but have always been one of my favorites because they can be served warm or room temperature.
I’ve added my own spin of this classic by serving them with a tangy dipping sauce (that’s equally as easy to make)!
3.) Bacon Crack
I’m currently taking suggestions for a better name for this appetizer. “Bacon Crack” is about as white trash as it gets, but I honestly can’t think of any other way to describe this stuff!
It’s the perfect salty sweet bite, and I think could serve as an appetizer or dessert. If you’re going to a tailgate or party and don’t know what to bring, BRING THIS!
4.) Coin Toss Cookie Bars:
I’m calling this easy dessert “Coin Toss” cookie bars, because it’s totally your call what you mix in them! You could do any combo of chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles, chopped up candy, bacon bits, you name it!
I went with marshmallows, pretzels, and chocolate chips for this batch.
So I would love to know- who are you cheering on this football season?! Or are you like me and on #TeamSnacks.
If you try out one of these recipes, leave me a comment below or over on Instagram! I would love to chat about how you’re celebrating this fall season!