Top 5 Tailgating Food Ideas: Winning Game Day Recipes

It’s gameday. The team is warming up and your friends are arriving at the tailgate. 

The cooler is packed to the brim. The perfect spot in the parking lot is secured. The beer, cheese, and chips are secured. Even your neighbor’s infamous deviled eggs are here. 

It’s tailgate season, and you’re ready for tailgate recipes to wow. 

If you plan to host a tailgate party, it’s time to start planning the snackage. Here are five mouthwatering and super easy tailgate food ideas for your next gametime meal: 

1. The Classic Cheeseburger

At the risk of sounding basic, it doesn’t get much more classic than a juicy hamburger or cheeseburger. And why not? They’re easy, they’re filling, and everyone loves them. 

If you want to spice up your burger game, hope’s not lost. Consider some alternative presentation styles to the traditional quarter pounder on a bun:  

  • Sliders, for delectible and quick-cooking finger foods 
  • Kobe beef burgers for tailgaters with a slightly elevated palate 
  • The best grillable veggie burger, for your fellow partiers who prefer a meat-free meal 

It’s great to mix up your comfort food ideas for tailgating now and then. But sometimes, you just need to deliver a perfectly grilled classic. 

2. Bacon-Wrapped Anything (or Everything)

Did you know your outdoor grill is great at caramelizing? Maybe that’s what makes it the perfect vehicle for bacon-wrapped game day treats. 

It’s an honest-to-goodness fact that nearly everyone loves bacon. So why not give the people what they want and grill up some savory cuts? You can go breakfast all day-style, or simply add bacon as a flavor enhancer to your other dishes. Consider: 

  • Bacon-wrapped dates, as a finger-friendly appetizer 
  • Bacon-wrapped scallops, if you’ve got a great fish monger close at hand 
  • Bacon-wrapped asparagus (why should meat get all the fun and flavor?) 
  • Literally anything else that you want to make better with bacon’s sweet and salty blessing 

There’s no wrong answer here for these easy tailgate food ideas. That’s the beauty of bacon. 

3. Korean Style

Hit up your local Asian market and grab some must-have seasoning for your next tailgate party’s cuts. Consider the delectible taste of Korean-style barbecue in some marinaded bulgogi. Or cook low and slow, with a final sear on some short ribs (known as “kalbi”). 

It might feel foreign, but all you really need to master this style of grilling is: 

  • Garlic 
  • Scallions 
  • Soy sauce 
  • Mirin 
  • Sesame oil 
  • Sugar 
  • Gochujon (Korean red pepper paste) 

Marinade as you would any other cut of beef and your Korean-style barbecue off the grill is sure to wow your fellow tailgaters. And who knows, this might even inspire other outdoor tailgate food ideas from around the world… 

4. Grilled Dips

You guests deserve better-than-store-bought cheesy dip from a microwave. There are countless meats and veggies to skewer and toss onto the grill, but did you know you can make a mean dip off the grill as well? It’s easy: 

  • Slice some Italian eggplant into halves 
  • Marinade in salt, pepper, olive oil, and a bit of tahini 
  • Grill until soft 
  • Pluck from the heat, de-skin, and mash in a big serving bowl 
  • Add hummus if you want to boost the dip’s protein and fiber levels 
  • Serve with chips, crackers (or even slightly charred pitas straight off the grill) 

With that, you’ve got Mediterranean outdoor tailgate food ideas fit for the gods. Feel free to swap eggplant for artichoke, zucchini, or any other veggie you prefer. 

5. I Want My Baby Back (Ribs)

Maybe it’s because we were talking about those amazing kalbi short ribs above. But whatever the reason, there are a million ways to do ribs justice on a griddle. And nothing really satisfies quite like fall-off-the-bone goodness. Think about:  

  • Classic baby back ribs, to keep everyone coming back for more 
  • Honey soy ribs, for a taste of Asia 
  • Texas-style BBQ 
  • Coffee bourbon ribs, for a kick with each bite 
  • Memphis-style dry rubbed ribs 
  • Grilled and then pulled for sandwiches 

There are hundreds of great recipes out there for ribs. And likely every grill master is going to tell you their favorite. Whatever style and flavor you choose, just remember one thing: don’t forget to pack the napkins. 

Tailgate Like a Pro with the Right Griddle

Halo Products Group knows a thing or two about grilling and griddling, and these are some of the best tailgate food party ideas to try  

Our ELITE series outdoor griddles and PRIME series pellet grills make tailgating simple and delictible. Shop our Elite Series Outdoor Griddles for your next game day, and tag us on Instagram when you put it to the test!  



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