Easy Tailgating Recipes

September 16, 2019

Unless you’re hardcore keto, Primal/paleo, Whole30, or other clean eating devotee, and it’s second nature for you to bypass Standard American Diet temptations that tantilize at parties, gatherings, tailgating and sports events, we feel you. Particularly if you’re imbibing, it can be hard to rely on willpower to say no to the chips, cheese fries, sugar-laden pulled pork sandwiches, and deep-fried everything on offer when you get together with friends and family to root for your favorite sports team. Arm yourself with food that’s every bit as crave-worthy as Amy’s queso dip but won’t leave you feeling like garbage before you even head into the arena. From ribs, wings, cheeseburgers, and nachos to chili and spinach artichoke crab dip, these easy tailgating recipes will win over a crowd. 

Meat Recipes

Sticky Ribs with Teriyaki Sauce 

Sticky Ribs with Teriyaki Sauce

Sticky, sweet, savory, umami… these full-flavored ribs are marinated in a chili, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame emulsion. Slathering with No Soy Teriyaki just before and during grilling ensures a crackly, charred crust on the outside and tender, fall-off-the-bone meat on the inside. 

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

If you want a simpler way to flavor baby back ribs with spice-rich, smoky flavor, these BBQ ribs cloak the meat thickly in a heady spice mixture. Add no sugar BBQ Sauce just before broiling ribs to get the ideal crusty exterior, moist interior. 

Pulled BBQ Ranch Chicken Sliders

BBQ Ranch Chicken Sliders

Pulled chicken provides a lighter but still flavorful option for a game-day spread packed with beefy chili, sticky ribs, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, creamy dips, and guacamole (paired with bacon chips, no less). This recipe uses chicken breasts, but you can sub chicken thighs if you want a bit more juiciness. 

Keto Buffalo Chicken Wings

Keto Buffalo Chicken Wings

You might want to make a double batch of these simple, spicy and keto-friendly chicken wings. Pop them in the AirFryer for 25 minutes, or bake them in the oven for 45 minutes to tote with you to the pre-game shenanigans. Don’t forget the cooling blue cheese dressing for dunking.

Classic Tailgating Recipes

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Who doesn’t love bacon-wrapped everything? A richer, tastier spin on plan ‘ol grilled dogs, wrap bacon around each hot dog and secure with a toothpick before tossing on the charcoal or portable grill. Cook up some sliced onions and bell peppers in a small pan on the side of the grill to add another layer of flavor.

Spicy BBQ Burger

Spicy BBQ Burger

Jalapeños, bacon, beef, and beer pair deliciously together. Crunchy, acidic coleslaw served on the side or on top of this cheeseburger helps cuts through some of the richness and clean the palate for that next sip of beer.

Loaded Game Day Nachos

Game Day Loaded Nachos

No runny river of neon orange processed cheese sauce here—these nachos are a bit more sophisticated, but still easy to eat with your hands. Topped with ground beef, jalapeños, avocados, queso fresco, radishes, and Chipotle Lime Mayo, this is a Tex-Mex upgrade on the classic version. 

Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, and One-Pot Recipes

Ancho Chili Shredded Beef Tacos

Beef Tacos

Tailgate tacos? Si, por favor! Incredibly savory, slightly spicy with fresh bursts of flavor from sliced avocado, cotija cheese, and green onion, these shredded beef tacos are easy to assemble from the back of a truck bed. Keep the shredded beef in the Instant Pot, tote the toppings and corn or grain-free tortillas separately, and you’ve got an instant fiesta in the parking lot. 

Two Meat, Two Pepper Chili

Meat Chili

This rich keto chili is made with two types of beef and slow cooked in bone broth for stick-to-your-ribs heartiness. Toss all of the ingredients in the slow cooker when you get out of bed in the morning and you’ll have a pot of meaty goodness to feed a crowd by game time.

Coconut Ginger Pork

Coconut Ginger Pork

Perfect for crisp, cool, and maybe even a little damp autumn days when standing outside for hours necessitates a warm up, substantial pieces of pressure-cooked pork taste like it's been slow-cooked for hours instead of 45 minutes. The ginger, coriander, cumin, and coconut milk lend a slightly Asian flair to this brothy, aromatic stew

Dip Recipes

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo chicken dip is a creamier, tangier version of buffalo wings minus the messy chicken bones. Tasty warm or at room temperature, tote the casserole dish in your backseat along with mason jars of sliced celery sticks, bell peppers, and carrots.

Roasted Cauliflower and Macadamia Nut Hummus

Cauliflower and Macadamia Nut Hummus

This legume-free, plant-based dip is a briny, smoky, garlicy spin on hummus enriched with extra virgin avocado oil. Made creamy and buttery with macadamia nuts, this dip gets extra flavor from the saline pop of capers and acidic brightness of fresh lemon. 

Bacon Chips and Guacamole

Bacon Chips and Guacamole

Few combinations are as classic to fan-gathering, beer-sipping, trash-talking, and cheering loudly for your favorite team as guacamole and bacon on everything. Instead of played out tortilla chips, why not scatter pieces of crisped bacon around the guac bowl and watch it all disappear astonishingly fast.

Spinach and Artichoke Crab Dip

Spinach and Crab Dip

Packed with posh wild-caught lump crab meat, this creamy, cheesy, decadent dip is one you’ll want to eat with a spoon. Layers of chopped artichokes and water chestnuts make it thick enough to do just that. 

You might like these other comfort-food makeover recipes:

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