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 ▼

Chili Mac
Chili Mac is a great quick and easy pasta recipe you can throw together when you are too tired to cook or simply don't have the time. Chili Mac is conveniently made with prepackaged macaroni and cheese and canned chili (with no beans) and a few added spices to give it that homemade flavor. This easy dish resembles one of those boxed pasta skillet dishes, though without the preservatives and much more flavor!
Chili Roasted Cashews
Flavored roasted nuts are always an easy appetizer snack to put together, and a big hit, whether served during the holidays, at parties and social gatherings, or for anytime snacking. These Chili Roasted Cashews have a wonderful crispy outer crunch and a delicious mildly spicy, sweet and salty flavor provided by a mixture of chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, sugar and coarse salt. Loved by all ages!
Chorizo Chili
Chorizo Chili is a spicy and powerfully flavored chili that features pork chorizo and lean ground beef in a beef and tomato broth seasoned with cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin and white pepper. Though no kidney beans are cooked with the chili, they can certainly be added to the chili once dished up. While many chili recipes use tomato paste as a thickening agent, Chorizo Chili uses dehydrated potato buds.
Coney Island Chili Dog
This Coney Island Chili Dog recipe takes a traditional hot dog and tops it with a chili recipe that is especially designed for topping hot dogs, including the use of a blender for a smoother consistency. Photo shows a quarter-pound all beef frank and a Coney style bun, but you can certainly use any size or type of frank and bun you prefer with this recipe. Believe it or not, this chili recipe also tastes served over spaghetti noodles!
Corn Dog Bites
You can easily turn corn dogs into a fun and tasty appetizer with this Corn Dog Bites recipe. Corn Dog Bites have that same delicious crispy crust and tender hot and steamy inside that Corn Dogs are famous for, and are even easier to make! This photo shows Corn Dog Bites made with all beef weenies, but you can also use turkey, chicken, beef or pork weenies. For a surprising twist, cheese-filled weenies can also be used.
Festive Nachos
This Festive Nachos recipe combines tender lean ground beef, salsa, black beans, avocado and tomato chunks, ripe olives and a hint of chili powder. You can serve this dish with homemade tortilla chips and/or warm corn or flour tortillas for filling. Photo shows Festive Nachos with served with sides of sour cream, pickled jalapenos and Creamy Guacamole. You can kick this nachos recipe up a notch with a few added ingredients.