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50 Cheer-Worthy Tailgate Appetizers

Pack up the car, pop up the tent and pull out the table for this roundup of tailgate-favorite dips, sliders, poppers and more. 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 potluck, everyone asks for the recipe. —Peggy Foster, Florence, Kentucky

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Slaw-Topped Beef SlidersTaste of Home

Slaw-Topped Beef Sliders

When I was working full time, I would rely 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 DipTaste of Home

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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Ham-Cheddar Cheese BallTaste of Home

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 SlidersTaste of Home

Cheesy Meatball Sliders

These meatball 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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Barbecued Party StartersTaste of Home

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 DipTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Dip

This fun dip recipe uses ingredients 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 WedgesTaste of Home

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 PretzelsTaste of Home

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 SticksTaste of Home

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 BallsTaste of Home

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 RingTaste of Home

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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Dill DipTaste of Home

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 WingsTaste of Home

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 game-day 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 ScoopsTaste of Home

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 BakeTaste of Home

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 only want to make one batch. —Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Hot Bacon Cheese DipTaste of Home

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 PinwheelsTaste of Home

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 BreadTaste of Home

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 EmpanadasTaste of Home

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 DipTaste of Home

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 MeatballsTaste of Home

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 SpreadTaste of Home

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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Buffalo Wing BitesTaste of Home

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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Jalapeno Spinach DipTaste of Home

Jalapeno Spinach Dip

Everyone loves spinach dip, and this version is as easy as it is delicious. Just mix the ingredients together in the slow cooker for a savory and creamy appetizer. —Michaela Debelius, Waddell, Arizona

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Mini Mac & Cheese DogsTaste of Home

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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Loaded Pulled Pork CupsTaste of Home

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 PiesTaste of Home

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 MixTaste of Home

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 EggsTaste of Home

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 SpreadTaste of Home

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 KabobsTaste of Home

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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Sweet Gingered Chicken WingsTaste of Home

Sweet Gingered Chicken Wings

I first tasted this delicious chicken dish when I attended a class on using honey in cooking. When I prepare this recipe for a party, it's one of the first dishes to disappear! —Debbie Dougal, Roseville, California

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Cheese-Stuffed Meatball SlidersTaste of Home

Cheese-Stuffed Meatball Sliders

Perfect for tailgating, you can make the meatballs and sauce for these sliders ahead of time and heat them up at home on game day. Put 'em on rolls in the parking lot. —Hilary Breinholt, Glenwood, Utah

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Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno PoppersTaste of Home

Sweet & Spicy Jalapeno Poppers

There’s no faster way to get a party started than with these bacon jalapeno poppers. Make them ahead and bake just before serving. Even the hot pepper intolerant will love them. —Dawn Onuffer, Crestview, Florida

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Homemade GuacamoleTaste of Home

Homemade Guacamole

Ever wonder how to make guacamole? Just whip together this delicious blend of your favorite fresh ingredients.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Caprese Salad KabobsTaste of Home

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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Cheddar-Bacon DipTaste of Home

Cheddar-Bacon Dip

Both children and adults enjoy this dip. I like it, too—it's so quick and easy to prepare. I make it for special occasions…birthdays, Christmas parties and more. —Carol Werkman, Neerlandia, Alberta

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Green & Gold SalsaTaste of Home

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 WingsTaste of Home

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 DipTaste of Home

Skinny Quinoa Veggie Dip

Don’t let the name fool you. This good-for-you recipe will appeal to the health-conscious, 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 EggsTaste of Home

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 DipTaste of Home

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 DipTaste of Home

Ground Beef Taco Dip

Beef up your snack game and serve this easy taco dip with meat. Full of classic flavors, it's a little extra satisfaction for those football-day appetites. —Errika Perry, Green Bay, Wisconsin

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Antipasto BakeTaste of Home

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 potluck 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 DipTaste of Home

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 SkewersTaste of Home

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 PoppersTaste of Home

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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Soft Beer PretzelsTaste of Home

Soft Beer Pretzels

I'm always looking for new ways to combine fun flavors, and what goes together better than beer and pretzels? Not much that I can think of. That’s why I put them together into one delicious recipe. —Alyssa Wilhite, Whitehouse, Texas

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Chunky Mango GuacamoleTaste of Home

Chunky Mango Guacamole

When serving a crowd, double or quadruple this guacamole. The onion, tomato and mango can be chopped in advance. Add avocado just before serving. —Diana Nienberg, McComb, Ohio

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.