Appetizer Categories

Tailgate Food

Although these pages do contain tailgate appetizer recipes, they are appropriately entitled "Tailgate Food" because the term "tailgate food" incorporates much more than just snack foods! Chances are you have landed on this page because you know what a tailgate party is, and are looking for some tailgate party food ideas. For those who are not familiar with what tailgate food is, let's go over a few things about tailgate parties.

What is a tailgate party? Well, let's first begin with the term (the noun form), "tailgate." A tailgate is the back part of a car (let's call it a door) that is hinged on the bottom and opens from the top down. Tailgates are typically found in station wagons (do you remember those?), pickup trucks, or sport utility vehicles. When the tailgate is opened, it can be used much like a table, whether it be for tools, picnic and beach supplies, or of course, tailgate party food and tailgate party accessories! Keep in mind that people who drive vehicles without tailgates also join in on the tailgate party fun!

Now that we've established what a tailgate is, let's talk about tailgate parties. Tailgate parties are traditionally held around football and baseball season, but are also popular with other sports, such as soccer, basketball and hockey. where grilled food and festive
beverages are the main players. Tailgate parties usually take place in parking lots nearby whatever sport is taking place. The party goers will park their vehicles, open their tailgates and set up their barbecue grills and ice chests. Everyone then gathers and enjoys the outdoors and the great tailgate party food, while popping open a soft drink or a beer or two to celebrate their chosen sport. Though these party goers are often called, "tailgaters," they are not to be confused with those drivers on the road who follow too closely behind the car in front of them. In any case, tailgate parties are the perfect way to celebrate the sport season, and are just as fun as they sound!

Tailgate party food usually consists of foods we'll often eat at picnics, such as hambrugers, hot dogs, baked beans, and salads such as coleslaw and potato salad. Easy quick snacks and finger foods (also sometimes referred to as tailgate appetziers) are also perfect for tailgate parties, because the main focus of tailgate parties is to have fun and socialize outdoors in a simple, easy and uncomplicated way. Tailgate party food can also come in the form of healthy snack foods, depending on the ingredients and how the food is prepared. Barbecued chicken and buffalo wings are light and healthy, and a container of fresh vegetables with some sort of dip will certainly be a big hit! Tailgate parties can also be a family event, so it's a good thing that tailgate party food can also be translated as perfect kids' snacks!

Some of these tailgate recipe links will direct you to, a website I designed to share a larger variety of food recipes. LoveThatFood will open in a separate new window, allowing you to continue browsing appetizer recipes on this website. While you browse these pages for tailgate party food ideas, keep in mind that while tailgate food is great for outdoor tailgate parties, you certainly don't need to be outdoors to enjoy tailgate food! Tailgate parties are all about simplicity and having fun. You certainly don't need to hire an event planner for this type of event. The bottom line for planning for a tailgate party is to keep it simple, fun and easy!

Tailgate Recipes ▼

California Wrapper
California Wraps begin with a large flour tortilla coated with a delightful sour cream spread flavored with hints of dill and freshly squeezed lemon. Slices of turkey and ham, provolone and cheddar cheeses, ripe avocado, tomato and lettuce are then layered on top, and the tortilla is rolled up and sliced into individual servings, exposing the colorful swirl of ingredients inside. Can be served for lunch or as sandwich appetizers.
Chicken Cheese Turnovers
These light and flaky Chicken Cheese Turnovers are filled with a delicious mixture of diced chicken (turkey may also be used), cream cheese, chopped green onions and diced pimiento. Before popping into the oven, the turnovers are brused with melted butter and topped with crumbled croutons. The flaky pastry dough can be made from scratch or purchased from the store in pre-packaged form for quicker preparation.
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce is an easy and fun appetizer recipe to make that only takes a few minutes to cook on the grill. Tender thin strips of chicken breast are marinated in a sauce made with soy sauce, lime juice, fresh garlic, fresh ginger root and red pepper flakes. The marinated chicken strips are then pierced with wooden skewers and placed on the grill until they turn a nice golden brown, then served with a tasty peanut sauce.
Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Sauce
Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Sauce is a quick and easy dish loved by all ages. Little strips of chicken breast are coated with a seasoned flour mixture, then fried to a golden brown. A honey mustard dipping sauce made with a simple combination of honey and Dijon mustard is served with the chicken, making this finger food not only tasty, but fun! This dish is great for parties, gatherings and potlucks as a main dish or hot appetizer.
Chili Cheese Balls
Chili Cheese Balls are perfect served as appetizers or snacks, and are delicious on their own or served with assorted crackers. Chili Cheese Balls consist of Monterey jack cheese, Mozzarella cheese and cream cheese, and are seasoned with chili powder, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Photo shows cheese balls coated with minced parsley, though they can also be coated with nuts or other ingredients.
Chili Con Queso
Chili Con Queso is a tasty cheese and chili-flavored dip that is served warm, traditionally served with tortilla chips (especially great with homemade tortilla chips as shown in photo). This festive cheese dip recipe combines cheese, chili powder, a small amount of jalapenos and other spices, resulting in a lively dip with the right amount of spice! Chili Con Queso is also great with with French fries, fresh raw vegetables or over baked potatoes!