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55 Cheer-Worthy Tailgate Appetizers

Pack up the car, pop up the tent and pull out the table for this roundup of tailgate appetizers. They're game-day ready and perfectly portioned for sharing with all your rowdy friends.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

This is the best buffalo chicken dip recipe! Whenever I bring buffalo dip to a tailgate or get-together, everyone asks for the recipe. —Peggy Foster, Florence, Kentucky

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Check out these game-day foods, too!

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Slaw Topped Beef Sliders Exps Cscsbz19 96132 B04 09 4b 8

Slaw-Topped Beef Sliders

When I was working full time, I relied on these delicious, fast-to-fix beef sliders for simple meals. To speed prep time and avoid extra cleanup, I used bagged coleslaw mix and bottled slaw dressing. —Jane Whittaker, Pensacola, Florida
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Spicy Honey Sriracha Game Day Dip  Exps Thedsc19 201703 B03 01 5b Rms 12

Spicy Honey Sriracha Game Day Dip

You can easily whip up this creamy, spicy and salty dip. I love dips for parties in the slow cooker—just turn the slow cooker to low once it is cooked and let your guests help themselves. No need to worry about the dip getting cold and having to reheat it. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Lip Smacking Peach Whiskey Wings Exps Tohsoda21 204357 E12 11 4b 4

Lip-Smacking Peach & Whiskey Wings

These sweet, spicy, sticky wings are lip-smacking good! —Sue Falk, Sterling Heights, Michigan
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Ham-Cheddar Cheese Ball

With the classic combo of ham and cheese, this spread is a year-round favorite at our house. For football parties, shape the mixture into a football and add strips of Swiss for the laces. —Michele Moore, Mooresville, Indiana
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Cheesy Meatball Sliders

These sliders are a fun way to serve meatballs at your party without using a slow cooker. Made on mini Hawaiian rolls, they have a hint of sweetness to balance out all the wonderful Italian seasonings. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Easy Pickle Dip Exps Ft21 90098 F 0630 1

Dill Pickle Dip

My love for pickles led me to create this Dill Pickle Dip. It’s so easy to whip together. But be warned, it’s addicting! —April Anderson, Forest Lake, Minnesota
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Barbecued Party Starters

These sweet and tangy bites will tide over everyone until dinner. At the buffet, set out some fun toothpicks to make for easy nibbling. —Anastasia Weiss, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
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Slow Cooker Cheeseburger Dip Exps Sdon18 225161 C06 13 3b 9

Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Dip

This fun dip recipe uses ingredients that I always have in the fridge, so it's easy to throw together on short notice. —Cindi DeClue, Anchorage, Alaska
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Garlic Pizza Wedges Exps Tohon19 26503 E06 18 7b 9

Garlic Pizza Wedges

Our pastor made this for a get-together, and my husband and I just couldn't stay away from the hors d'oeuvres table. The cheesy slices taste great served warm, but they're still wonderful when they've cooled slightly. —Krysten Johnson, Simi Valley, California
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Dijon Bacon Dip For Pretzels Exps Tohas19 34652 B05 31 1b 3

Dijon-Bacon Dip for Pretzels

With just four ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge, this quick appetizer comes together in a snap. If you like the zip of horseradish, start with a teaspoon or two and add more to taste. —Isabelle Rooney, Summerville, South Carolina
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Mozzarella Sticks Exps Ft19 480 F 0814 1 12

Mozzarella Sticks

I'm particularly fond of these tasty mozzarella sticks because they're baked, not fried. Cheese is one of my family's favorite foods. Being of Italian descent, I cook often with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. —Mary Merchant, Barre, Vermont
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Bacon Cheeseburger Balls

The first time I served these, my husband and kids thought we were having plain meatballs. Then they cut into the flavorful filling inside! —Cathy Lendvoy, Boharm, Saskatchewan
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Taco Meatball Ring Exps Thmbrds19 11007 C10 03 2b 7

Taco Meatball Ring

While it looks complicated, this attractive meatball-filled ring is really very easy to assemble. My family loves tacos, and we find that the crescent roll dough is a nice change from the usual tortilla shells or chips. There are never any leftovers when I serve this at a meal or as a party appetizer! —Brenda Johnson, Davison, Michigan
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Buffalo Chicken Cresent Rolls Exps Tohfm20 150307 E09 19 7b 4

Buffalo Chicken Crescent Rolls

My husband loves Buffalo wings, but they are so messy! These Buffalo chicken rolls are mess-free and always go fast at parties—and they’re much tastier than regular Buffalo wings, if you ask me. —Tiffinie Cichon, Gulfport, Mississippi
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Dill Dip Exps Cplbz19 4733 E11 01 10b 5

Dill Dip

Be prepared—you'll likely need to make a double batch of this delightful dill dip recipe. One is never enough when we have a get-together! It tastes fantastic with just about any vegetable, so you can use whatever you have on hand as a dipper. —Kathy Beldorth, Three Oaks, Michigan
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Buffalo Chicken Wings Exps Ft19 35775 F 0821 1 3

Buffalo Chicken Wings

Hot wings got their start in Buffalo, New York, in a kitchen. Although there was no game on at the time, today spicy wings and cool sauces are traditional tailgate fare. Cayenne, red sauce and spices keep these tangy buffalo chicken wings good and hot, just like the originals. —Nancy Chapman, Center Harbor, New Hampshire
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Cilantro Lime Chicken With Scoops Exps Scbz18 151997 B06 26 6b 3

Cilantro & Lime Chicken with Scoops

I came up with this recipe when I was preparing for a large party and I wanted a healthy Tex-Mex chicken to serve in tortilla cups. You can make this party dish ahead of time to free yourself for time-sensitive dishes. Serve it in tortilla chip cups or any other savory crispy cup you like. Enjoy leftovers over salad greens or wrapped up in tender tortillas for burritos. — Lori Terry, Chicago, Illinois
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Bacon Cheeseburger Slider Bake Exps Gbbz19 197428 E11 29 2b 6

Bacon Cheeseburger Slider Bake

I created this dish to fill two pans because these cheeseburger sliders disappear fast. Just cut the slider burgers recipe in half if you want to make only one batch. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Hot Bacon Cheese Dip

I've tried assorted appetizers before, but this one is a surefire people-pleaser. The thick bacon cheese dip has lots of flavor and keeps my guests happily munching as long as it lasts. I serve it with tortilla chips or sliced French bread. —Suzanne Whitaker, Knoxville, Tennessee
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Taco Pinwheels

These pinwheels come together quickly when you start with leftover taco meat. They make an appealing party appetizer served with salsa, or a fun lunch option with a salad on the side. —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Artichoke Spread With Garlic Bread Exps Sddj19 186645 B07 20 4b 2

Artichoke Spread with Garlic Bread

I've tried several different artichoke dip recipes, but this one is the absolute best! I serve it at nearly every family gathering and there are never any leftovers. This is probably my most-requested recipe. —Heidi Iacovetto, Phippsburg, Colorado
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Football Fest Empanadas

Classic empanadas from South America are stuffed pastries of beef or chicken, usually fried. That doesn't mean "classic" never changes. Chicken goes well with black beans, corn and jalapenos in this baked version with a Southwestern spin. —Jane McMillan, Dania Beach, Florida
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Beer Dip Exps Thso18 33049 D01 25 8b 4

Beer Dip

Ranch dressing mix flavors this easy dip packed with shredded cheese. It's perfect paired with pretzels. Be forewarned, though—it's hard to stop eating once you've started! The beer cheese dip can be made with any type of beer, including nonalcoholic. I've taken it to many parties and I am always asked for the recipe. —Michelle Long, New Castle, Colorado
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Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I like to dunk these appetizer meatballs in blue cheese or ranch salad dressing. If I make them for a meal, I often skip the dressing and serve with blue cheese polenta on the side. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Jalapeno Popper Spread Exps Ghbz18 75688 C08 09 1b 12

Jalapeno Popper Spread

I've been told by fellow party-goers that this recipe tastes exactly like a jalapeno popper. I like that it can be made without much fuss. —Ariane McAlpine, Penticton, British Columbia
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Mamma’s Caponata

Mamma’s Caponata

This is fabulous as an appetizer, but you can easily turn it into a meal. Instead of having it on bread, serve it over warm pasta. —Georgette Stubin, Canton, Michigan
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Buffalo Wing Bites

The Buffalo wing fans in my family were happy to do the taste testing as I was experimenting to create these zingy snacks. This version was the winner! —Jasey McBurnett, Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Avocado Salsa Exps Ftts21cb 7476 B08 20 5b 12

Avocado Salsa

I was planning a party and thought it might be fun to try a different kind of avocado salsa. This recipe was an absolute success. Scoop it up with chips, spoon it over chicken or steak, or eat it on its own! —Susan Vandermeer, Ogden, Utah
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Exps192570 Sd163575d10 13 7b 3

Mini Mac & Cheese Dogs

We wanted to get creative with hot dogs, so we made a mac-and-cheesy one. Pile on the extra cheese, relish and even bacon. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Buffalo Style Chicken Chili Dip Exps Cimzw21 132245 B08 25 1b 2

Buffalo-Style Chicken Chili Dip

Longing for that Buffalo wing thing without the bones? This do-ahead dip freezes well in individual containers, so you can pull them out when you want to spread a little cheer. —Brenda Calandrillo, Mahwah, New Jersey
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Exps186694 Sd153319b10 14 4b 3

Loaded Pulled Pork Cups

Potato nests are simple to make and surprisingly handy for pulled pork, cheese, sour cream and other toppings. Make, bake and collect the compliments. —Melissa Sperka, Greensboro, North Carolina
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Tailgate Apple Pies

Made as single servings, these handheld pies are ideal for football games or other parties. They always disappear quickly. You can also use large cookie cutters to create holiday shapes in the tender pastry. For Valentine's Day, I cut a small heart into the top crust. —Jennifer Stoltz, Spring Green, Wisconsin
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Meat Lovers Snack Mix Exps96919 Sd2401791c10 08 4bc Rms 3

Meat Lovers' Snack Mix

Admittedly, this crunchy, savory appetizer might skew toward the dudes. But trust us, everyone will go wild for this go-to on game day! My husband especially loves that it features all of his favorite foods: salted meats, salted nuts and hot sauce. —Gina Myhill-Jones, 100 Mile House, British Columbia
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Bourbon Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs

At our house, it doesn’t get any better than deviled eggs with bacon—bourbon candied bacon, that is. See if you can resist them. We can’t. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread

A classic southern comfort food, this spread is used as an appetizer with crackers, corn chips or celery. It is also smeared between two slices of white bread for sandwiches and as a topping for hamburgers and hot dogs. —Eileen Balmer, South Bend, Indiana.
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Antipasto Kabobs Exps Sdjj18 26676 C02 14 2b 1

Antipasto Kabobs

My husband and I met at a cooking class. We have loved creating menus and entertaining ever since. These make-ahead antipasto skewers are always a hit. —Denise Hazen, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Chicken Cordon Bleu Sliders Exps Thedscodr20 238609 B01 10 2b 3

Chicken Cordon Bleu Sliders

Sandwiches are my favorite food, and I’m always looking for new ideas. I like sloppy joes and wondered whether I could do a fun riff on that with chicken. My family approved of the chicken cordon bleu sliders immediately! —Carolyn Eskew, Dayton, Ohio
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Obatzda German Cheese Dip  Exps Tohas21 250042 E04 15 6b

Obatzda (German Cheese Dip)

Obatzda, otherwise known as German beer cheese dip, is so delicious and creamy. It’s the perfect dip to make the night before a get-together. —Beate Trinkl, Einsbach, Germany
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Fried Prosciutto Tortellini Exps Thn16 196633 C06 16 1b Basedon 10

Air-Fryer Tortellini with Prosciutto

This is my take on fried tortellini. Air-fryer Italian street food recipes, like this one, are crunchy, gooey good. For the sauce, use the best quality tomatoes you can find. —Angela Lemoine, Howell, New Jersey
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Homemade Guacamole Exps Thjj18 38391 D01 31 3b 11

Homemade Guacamole

Nothing is better than freshly made guacamole when you're eating something spicy. It is easy to whip together in a matter of minutes and quickly tames anything that's too hot. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Caprese Salad Kabobs Exps Hcka19 123345 C05 11 1b 6

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
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Smoked Almond Cheese Toasts Exps Fbmz21 77835 B05 07 9b

Smoked-Almond Cheese Toasts

I created my recipe for appetizer toasts while planning the menu for a friend’s bridal luncheon. Smoked almonds add a special touch to the chunky cheese spread.—Laura Murphy, Columbus, Mississippi
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Green & Gold Salsa

Edamame and corn give this unique salsa its unmistakable team colors. You can add a little salt if you like, too. A healthy alternative to creamy dips, it’s good for the extra point. —Maggie Lovat, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Spicy BBQ Chicken Wings

For zesty appetizers that win big every time, we glaze chicken wings with barbecue sauce, a little heat and a good team of spices. Whether you’re tailgating on the frozen tundra or watching the game from the comfort of your couch, these wings will keep you warm from the inside. —Audi Perry, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Skinny Quinoa Veggie Dip

Don’t let the name fool you. This good-for-you recipe may appeal to an athlete in training, but it has plenty of flavor to satisfy everyone. We use crunchy cucumber slices for dippers. —Jennifer Gizzi, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs

My daughter Sara loves spicy Buffalo chicken and deviled eggs, so I combined the two. Make and chill a day ahead so the flavors mingle. —Robin Spires, Tampa, Florida
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Slow-Cooker Artichoke-Spinach Dip

Little extras, like crumbled feta and red wine vinegar, take this creamy dip of artichoke hearts, spinach and Parmesan to the next level. Just throw the whole nine yards into a slow cooker and this dip is good to go on game day. —Alyssa Janis, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Ground Beef Taco Dip Exps Thso16 197293 C05 27 6b 5

Ground Beef Taco Dip

What's a football party without taco dip? This version made with spicy ground beef and fresh toppings does not disappoint the die-hards. It is full of classic flavors and is a little extra filling for game day appetites. —Errika Perry, Green Bay, WI
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Antipasto Bake Exps Thso16 197296 C05 26 4b 5

Antipasto Bake

Stuffed with savory meats and cheeses, these hearty antipasto squares would satisfy an entire offensive line! The dish comes together quickly and bakes in under an hour, making it the perfect party bring-along. Introducing the all-stars in this ooey gooey appetizer: salami, Swiss, pepperoni, Colby-Monterey Jack, prosciutto and provolone. A crisp topping finishes it off. —Brea Barclay, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Loaded Baked Potato Dip

I never thought of using waffle-cut fries as a scoop for dip until a friend of mine did at a baby shower. They’re ideal for my cheesy bacon and chive dip, which tastes just like a baked potato topper. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Caramel Apple and Brie Skewers

I'm a caterer, and this is one of my best-selling appetizers. The shortcut of using prepared caramel makes these little apple skewers a snap to assemble. —Camille Ellis, Tampa, Florida
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Buffalo Wing Poppers Exps Chbz19 34982 E10 23 6b 3

Buffalo Wing Poppers

These buffalo chicken poppers combine the flavor of hot wings and jalapeño appetizers to make a snack greater than the sum of their parts. —Barbara Nowakowski, Mesa, Arizona
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Tomato Walnut Pesto Spread Exps Tohca21 41879 B12 17 8b 3

Tomato-Walnut Pesto Spread

Whenever I bring this popular spread to parties and tailgates, I know I’m going to get recipe requests. —Marsha Dawson, Appleton, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooked Salsa

I love the fresh taste of homemade salsa, but as a working mother, I don’t have much time to make it. So I came up with this slow-cooked version that practically makes itself! —Toni Menard, Lompoc, California

Rachel Seis
As senior editor for Taste of Home magazine, Rachel has her hand in everything you see from cover to cover, from writing and editing articles to taste-testing recipes to ensuring every issue is packed with fun and fabulous content. She'll roll up her sleeves to try any new recipe in the kitchen—from spicy Thai dishes (her favorite!) to classic Southern comfort food (OK...also her favorite). When she's not busy thinking of her next meal, Rachel can be found practicing yoga, going for a run, exploring National Parks and traveling to new-to-her cities across the country.

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