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 ▼

Macaroni and Cheese
This Macaroni and Cheese recipe is cheesy and creamy and has just the right blend of spices. It is topped with crumbled bits of bacon and grated Parmesan cheese, giving this pasta dish added flavor and crunch. You can customize this dish by choosing from a variety cheddar cheeses (extra sharp, sharp, mild or even white) as well as pasta shapes. Photo shows this Macaroni and Cheese recipe made with elbow macaroni.
Barbecue Meatballs
This Meatballs with Grape Jelly and Chili Sauce recipe features mini-sized ground beef meatballs seasoned with minced onion, minced garlic, fresh parsley and Worcestershire sauce and tenderized with egg, milk and bread crumbs. The sauce is a simple, quick and easy combination of grape jelly and red chili sauce, which when combined produces a very flavorful sauce enjoyed by both kids and adults. Great for any occasion!
Midwestern Potato Salad
This Midwestern Potato Salad recipe derives its name from the fact that folks from the Midwest routinely whip up a batch of potato salad much like this recipe. This salad begins with a some Russet potatoes that are boiled whole with the skins on. Once cooked and cooled, hard-cooked eggs are added to the potatoes along with a seasoned creamy base of mayonnaise, prepared yellow mustard, white vinegar and diced sweet pickles.
Mini Calzones
Mini Calzones are petite appetizers made with your choice of homemade bread dough or pre-packaged dough. These little crescent shapes are stuffed with a mixture of crumbled Italian sausage and a combination of ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. They are then rolled in melted butter, then rolled again in grated Parmesan cheese, and baked in just 15 minutes until golden. Delicious served with marinara.
Mustard Dill Red Potato Salad
Mustard Dill Red Potato Salad is colorful and creamy and has wonderful fresh and tangy flavor. This red potato salad is made using red potatoes, sliced celery, sliced green onions and fresh chopped dill, along with some hard-cooked eggs that give this salad additional flavor, texture and color. The delicious creamy dressing is made with sour cream (rather than mayonnaise), two types of mustard, white vinegar and celery seed.
Mustard Potato Salad with Egg
Though Mustard Potato Salad with Egg might appear similar to Midwestern Potato Salad, it leans more on the tangy side. This salad gets its vibrant yellow color from the yolks of chopped hard-cooked eggs and a generous helping of yellow mustard. It's lively, tangy flavor comes from a homemade Italian dressing mixture made with olive oil, white vinegar, crushed garlic and a blend of a number of other herbs and spices.