Tailgating is an epic combination of football, food and fun. You will love these 4 easy and delicious game day recipes for the perfect tailgate. Whether you take your tailgate on the road or tailgate at home, these winning recipes are sure to score big.
October in our house screams a few things 1) Pumpkin Everything 2) Halloween and 3) FOOTBALL!!!
We are a Football Family through and through. So for us, one of the most celebrated of all traditions is the return of football.
And while football season is certainly going to look and feel a little different this year, than years past (Thanks again COVID-19). You can still kick off the season with these simple, but satisfying, crowd pleasing game day recipes for an amazing tailgate party.
From cast iron skillet nachos, to BBQ chicken sliders, everything but the bagel cheese ball to easy air fryer chicken wings, these dishes are certain to turn your hungry crowd into raving fans.
So grab your fave team hoodie, rock your comfiest leggings and enjoy one of these delicious game day recipes for a fun tailgate all weekend long!
- Cast Iron Skillet Nachos
- BBQ Chicken Sliders
- Everything but the Bagel Cheese Ball
- Easy Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Game Day Recipe #1: Cast Iron Skillet Nachos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: Approximately 6
Have you ever made your nachos in a cast iron skillet? Let me tell you once you do you may never do it another way again.
It is an amazing vehicle for the perfect nachos, leaving you with crisp chips, and the best ooey gooey melty cheese imaginable.
- 1 bag of your fave tortilla chips
- 1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ can sweet whole kernel corn
- ½ can black beans
- 2 diced tomatoes
- ½ cup of pickled jalapenos (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Put a layer of tortilla chips in your cast iron skillet. Top with half the shredded cheese, corn, black beans. Add another layer of chips, top with the remaining cheese, corn, black beans and jalapenos (or save the jalapenos to serve on the side if not every one in your crowd is a fan of the spice).
- Bake 10-15 minutes until cheese starts to bubble.
- If desired, top with diced tomatoes, queso and guacamole.
Queso (optional, but highly recommended)
- Cube 16 oz Velveeta into a Microwave safe bowl
- Add 1 10 oz can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies
- Microwave for 3 min, stir, and microwave for 1-2 additional minutes
- Serve atop your nachos or on the side
Guacamole (optional, but highly recommended)
Are y’all ready for one of my favorite secrets? I make the best guacamole, people constantly tell me how good it is. I usually laugh on the inside, because no one knows how seriously easy it is. I am sharing my big secret with you now...it's a guacamole packet. You can usually find these near the avocados in the grocery store for like a buck.
- Dice 2 ripe avocados into your serving bowl
- 1 Guacamole Seasoning Packet
- Squeeze the juice from 1 small lime on top
- Serve atop your nachos or on the side
Trust me on this one, you will want to make these nachos again and again!
Game Day Recipe #2: BBQ Chicken Sliders
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: Varies (see below)
This is one of my fave go to menu items, mostly because it is so easy, but also because it is always a crowd pleaser. Essentially, you toss your ingredients in the crock pot, set it & forget it and Boom...Delish shredded BBQ Chicken awaits you at the end.
BBQ Chicken Slider Ingredients:
- 4-6 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
- 1 16-18 ounce bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (I prefer Honey BBQ)
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
- Slider Buns
BBQ Chicken Slider Instructions:
- Place chicken breasts in crock pot, add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Add a bottle of BBQ sauce and ¼ cup of brown sugar.
- Cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high heat for 3-4 hours (You may want to stir a few times throughout).
- Chicken is done, when you can shred it easily with a fork.
- Serve shredded chicken on slider buns.
Game Day recipe #3: Everything but the Bagel Cheese Ball
Prep: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
OMG, have you tried the Everything Bagel seasoning yet? I have to say, I just recently discovered it and couldn’t be happier about it. It is widely available at most supermarkets and you will find it with the rest of the spices. This was the first time I tried an everything but the bagel cheese ball, but it will not be the last. It was a big hit for everyone at our tailgate party. We served it with fresh veggies, crackers and pita bread. I really think you will want to give it a try...and soon.
Everything but the Bagel Cheese Ball Ingredients:
- 16 oz softened cream cheese
- 6 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 Tbsp. Everything Bagel Seasoning Mix
Everything but the Bagel Cheese Ball Instructions:
- In a medium bowl, combine shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons of Everything Bagel Seasoning mix, and softened cream cheese (to soften your cream cheese, let it sit out at room temperature for about one hour).
- Apply a thin layer of cooking spray to a large piece of plastic wrap. Scoop the cheese mixture onto the plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap to help you form your mixture into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Tip: I usually make my cheese balls one day in advance and refrigerate overnight. I love having one less thing to do on the day of the party).
- Prior to serving, pour the remaining 2 Tbsp of Everything Bagel seasoning into a bowl and roll cheese ball around in the mixture so that the entire ball is coated in the seasoning.
- Serve and enjoy with your choice of accompaniments (pretzels, crackers, pita bread, veggies, bagel chips, etc).
Game Day Recipe #4: Easy Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Prep: 5 Minutes
Cook: 20 Minutes
Chicken Wings are about as essential to a great tailgate as a football game is, and thanks to the air fryer these are easier than ever before. (Who doesn’t love their air fryer? Seriously, it is probably my favorite kitchen gadget of all time!)
We had hot buffalo sauce ready to go for these wings, but everyone loved them so much naked, straight from the air fryer, we served up 2 batches with no hot sauce.
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Wing Ingredients:
- Olive Oil
- 2 pounds chicken wings, thawed
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
- Optional: 4 Tablespoons of butter and ½ cup hot sauce
- Optional: Ranch or Blue Cheese for dipping
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Wing Instructions:
- Place an even layer of chicken wings in your air fryer basket, generously coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (Tip: do not stack your wings, only have 1 layer of wings in your basket, you may need to make 2 batches for your crowd). Set the air fryer to 400 degrees and cook for 10 minutes. Flip wings with tongs and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve naked and enjoy or…
- Microwave 4 Tbsp of butter in a microwave safe bowl, until melted, approximately 1 minute. Whisk in ½ cup of hot sauce. In a large bow, toss wings in butter mixture until even coated. Serve with ranch and or blue cheese on the side for dipping.
We also served up a veggie tray because well...it seemed important to add something healthy to this otherwise not so low cal menu!
There you have it, 4 awesome game day recipes that will make your next tailgate the best one yet. While these are easy, delicious game day snacks, football is entirely optional. You can certainly enjoy any of these tasty treats for any party, special occasion, or simply family movie or game night.
Football and tailgating are a couple of my favorite things about fall, but you may also like one of my other Fall Fave recipes on the blog: Melt in Your Mouth Moist Pumpkin Spice Cake or Insanely Delish Pecan Pumpkin Bread. And be sure you stay tuned for more great eats when I bring you the Best of Mamaw's Kitchen Holiday Side Dishes next month. Oh and don't forget to use that Pin button below to save these amazing recipes.
Happy Game Day Friends!