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Cheesy, Spicy, Salty, Craveable Tailgate Recipes to Wash Down With a Beer

Some foods just go hand-in-hand with tailgating. Like jalapeno poppers, nacho dip, spicy wings and Buffalo chicken everything. These super craveable tailgate recipes are the ones that disappear from the fold-away table in a flash.

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Blue Cheese Potato ChipsTaste of Home

Blue Cheese Potato Chips

Game day calls for something bold. I top potato chips with tomatoes, bacon and tangy blue cheese. I make two big pans, and they always disappear. —Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin

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Pepper PoppersTaste of Home

Pepper Poppers

These creamy stuffed jalapenos have some bite. They may be the most popular treats I make! My husband is always hinting that I should make a batch. —Lisa Byington, Johnson City, New York

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

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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Mini Phyllo TacosTaste of Home

Mini Phyllo Tacos

For a winning appetizer, serve crispy phyllo cups filled with taco-seasoned ground beef and shredded cheese. These handheld bites will be a surefire hit with a hungry crowd. —Roseann Weston, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania

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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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Calzone PinwheelsTaste of Home

Calzone Pinwheels

Once you try these mini-sized calzones, you may never go back to the large ones. Not only do these pretty bites take advantage of convenient refrigerator crescent rolls, but they can be made ahead and popped in the oven right before company arrives. No one can eat just one and people love the cheesy, fresh taste! —Lisa Smith, Bryan, Ohio

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Grilled Potato SkinsTaste of Home

Grilled Potato Skins

It's easy to love these delicious appetizers. They're nice to serve outside when you invite friends over for a grilled meal. They remind me of the potato skins I have had in restaurants—only better! —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland

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Little Pigs in a HammockTaste of Home

Little Pigs in a Hammock

Pigs in a blanket aren’t just for kids! Dijon and Camembert transform this children’s favorite into a version that’s perfect for grown-ups. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Game Day Miniature PeppersTaste of Home

Game Day Miniature Peppers

My mom used to make the family stuffed peppers using ground meat and white rice. I changed it up to be healthier using ground turkey and brown rice. Your version may be with pork, beans, or the stuff that dreams are made of. —Rose Muccio, Lowell, Massachusetts

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Beefy Taco DipTaste of Home

Beefy Taco Dip

This taco dip is actually a combination of several different recipes I received from friends. I just experimented until I came up with my favorite. It's always a hit, no matter where I take it. —Faye Parker, Bedford, Nova Scotia

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Caramelized Ham & Swiss BunsTaste of Home

Caramelized Ham & Swiss Buns

My next-door neighbor shared this recipe with me, and I simply cannot improve it! You can make it ahead and cook it quickly when company arrives. The combo of poppy seeds, ham and cheese, horseradish and brown sugar makes it so delicious. —Iris Weihemuller, Baxter, Minnesota

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Southwest Egg RollsTaste of Home

Southwest Egg Rolls

Moderately crispy with a rich and creamy filling, these semi-spicy appetizers taste like they’ve been fried. —Danielle Booth, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Walking TacosTaste of Home

Walking Tacos

These Walking Tacos are great for an on-the-go dinner, campfire meal or easy game night supper. The ingredients transform a bag of chips into a taco in a bag! —Beverly Matthews, Pasco, Washington

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Pizza on a StickTaste of Home

Pizza on a Stick

My daughter and her friends had fun turning sausage, pepperoni, veggies and pizza dough into these cute kabobs. Give our version a try or make your own using you favorite light pizza toppings. —Charlene Woods, Norfolk, Virginia

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Hot Collards and Artichoke DipTaste of Home

Hot Collards and Artichoke Dip

Anyone can pull off spinach and artichoke dip—so brighten it up using collard greens for a southern twist. Serve this dish with warm garlic naan or tortilla chips. —Billie Williams-Henderson, Bowie, Maryland

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Italian Meatball BunsTaste of Home

Italian Meatball Buns

These soft little rolls come with a surprise inside—savory Italian meatballs. They're wonderful dipped in marinara sauce, making them fun for my grandkids and adults, too. I love how easy they are to put together. —Trina Linder-Mobley, Clover, South Carolina

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Corn Chip Chili Cheese DipTaste of Home

Corn Chip Chili Cheese Dip

After trying to create a Mexican soup, I ended up with this outstanding dip. My husband and two young children love it, and so do guests at football game days or family gatherings. —Sandra Fick, Lincoln, Nebraska

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Pork TaquitosTaste of Home

Pork Taquitos

Taquitos are a popular appetizer and these homemade ones are so much better than the frozen ones in the supermarket. If you want a little more punch to the filling, adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Bacon Cheese SpreadTaste of Home

Bacon Cheese Spread

Each year, I share Christmas cheer by setting up a buffet at my family's hardware store. This cheese spread recipe is always a biggie! —Sharon W. Bickett, Chester, South Carolina

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Mini Crescent BurgersTaste of Home

Mini Crescent Burgers

A friend first brought these snacks to a Sunday school party. The original recipe called for pork sausage, but I substituted ground beef with taste-tempting results. —Pam Buhr, Mexico, Missouri

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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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Buffalo Chicken Empanadas with Blue Cheese SauceTaste of Home

Buffalo Chicken Empanadas with Blue Cheese Sauce

These little golden-brown pockets are fun to eat and feature the popular taste of Buffalo wings. Using rotisserie chicken and refrigerated pie pastry speeds up the preparation. —Melissa Millwood, Lyman, South Carolina

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Pizza RollsTaste of Home

Pizza Rolls

This is my husband's version of store-bought pizza rolls, and our family loves them. Although they take some time to make, they freeze well. So when we're through, we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor for a long time! —Julie Gaines, Normal, Illinois

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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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Like 'Em Hot WingsTaste of Home

Like 'Em Hot Wings

These spicy Buffalo-style chicken wings are wonderfully seasoned. They are an easy, crowd-pleasing snack that disappears quickly. —Myra Innes, Auburn, Kansas

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Mini Pizza CupsTaste of Home

Mini Pizza Cups

Served hot or cold, these little pizzas are wonderful. Their small size makes them ideal for an after-school snack or kid-friendly party. Plus, they’re so easy to make, little ones can help you in the kitchen! —Jane Jones, Cedar, Minnesota

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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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Cheesy Beef Taco DipTaste of Home

Cheesy Beef Taco Dip

Try this recipe for a warm, hearty snack with a bit of a kick. It's a hit with my family, and guests rave about it, too. Ideal for parties, it makes a big potful. The only "utensil" you'll need to serve it with is a brimming bowl of tortilla chips. —Carol Smith, Sanford, North Carolina

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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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Mushroom Bacon BitesTaste of Home

Mushroom Bacon Bites

This is the perfect appetizer for most any occasion. The tasty bites are easy to assemble and brush with prepared barbecue sauce. When we have a big cookout, they're always a hit...but they make a nice little "extra" for a family dinner, too. —Gina Roesner, Ashland, Missouri

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Meat 'n' Potato KabobsTaste of Home

Meat 'n' Potato Kabobs

They're summery, but these kabobs really stick to your ribs. A microwave makes quick work of cooking the potatoes, so grilling is done in a flash. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Jalapeno Bean DipTaste of Home

Jalapeno Bean Dip

This is the snack my family usually requests. We especially like to make this zippy dip on camping trips. —Lorene Goodwin, Belle Fourche, South Dakota

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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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Grilled JalapenosTaste of Home

Grilled Jalapenos

When barbecuing for friends at home, I also use the grill to serve up hot appetizers. These crowd-pleasing stuffed peppers have a bit of bite. They were concocted by my son. —Catherine Hollie, Cleveland, Texas

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Cheeseburger Mini MuffinsTaste of Home

Cheeseburger Mini Muffins

I invented these cute little muffins so I could enjoy the flavor of cheeseburgers without resorting to fast food. I often freeze a batch and reheat however many I need, including as appetizers. —Teresa Kraus, Cortez, Colorado

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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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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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Apricot-Glazed Bacon SpiralsTaste of Home

Apricot-Glazed Bacon Spirals

Here’s a real crowd-pleaser for an appetizer table or brunch buffet. A whole piece of crispy bacon is rolled into each spiral. It's so good with the apricot preserves, which make it a sweet-and-salty treat. —Kellie Mulleavy, Lambertville, Michigan

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Hot Dog SlidersTaste of Home

Hot Dog Sliders

An American favorite, hot dogs, turn into a fun treat that is great for a laid-back party. They get three special treatments in this recipe: Chicago-style, Bavarian and South of the Border. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Spicy Chunky SalsaTaste of Home

Spicy Chunky Salsa

Vinegar adds a refreshing tang to this sweet tomato salsa. It's wonderful as is, but for more heat, leave in some hot pepper seeds. —Donna Goutermont, Sequim, Washington

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Chocolate-Covered BaconTaste of Home

Chocolate-Covered Bacon

It's a hit at state fairs everywhere, but you can make this salty-sweet concoction at home. Some say bacon is perfect as is, but chocolate makes everything better! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Mini Crescent BurgersTaste of Home

Mini Crescent Burgers

A friend first brought these snacks to a Sunday school party. The original recipe called for pork sausage, but I substituted ground beef with taste-tempting results. —Pam Buhr, Mexico, Missouri

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Easy Buffalo Chicken DipTaste of Home

Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip

Everyone will simply devour this savory and delicious dip with shredded chicken throughout. The spicy kick makes it a perfect football-watching food, and the recipe always brings raves. —Janice Foltz, Hershey, Pennsylvania

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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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Mini Mac & Cheese BitesTaste of Home

Mini Mac & Cheese Bites

Young relatives were coming for a Christmas party, so I wanted something fun for them to eat. Instead, the adults devoured my mini mac and cheese. —Kate Mainiero, Elizaville, New York

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Pizza Roll-UpsTaste of Home

Pizza Roll-Ups

Since getting this recipe from our 4-H club, it's been a regular after-school snack. We like to dunk these bite-sized pizza treats, made with refrigerated crescent rolls, in spaghetti sauce. —Donna Klettke, Wheatland, Missouri

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Championship Bean DipTaste of Home

Championship Bean Dip

My friends and neighbors expect me to bring this irresistible dip to every gathering. When I arrive, they ask, "You brought your bean dip, didn't you?" If there are any leftovers, we use them to make bean and cheese burritos the next day. I've given out this recipe a hundred times. —Wendi Wavrin Law, Omaha, Nebraska

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Bacon Cream Cheese PinwheelsTaste of Home

Bacon Cream Cheese Pinwheels

It's hard to resist a crescent roll, bacon and cream cheese in one bite! Kids, friends, everyone will scarf these cream cheese pinwheels down. Now I bake a double batch whenever we have a get-together. —Krista Munson, Sharpsburg, Kentucky

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Mini Corn Muffins with Spicy Cheddar FillingTaste of Home

Mini Corn Muffins with Spicy Cheddar Filling

I’m an Iowa gardener and I like to feature sweet corn in my recipes. These cute, easy-to-eat bites are a fun change from the usual appetizers. —Margaret Blair, Lorimor, Iowa

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Crowd-Pleasing Ravioli NachosTaste of Home

Crowd-Pleasing Ravioli Nachos

Lightly breaded and deep-fried, ravioli goes to a new level in this nacho-like appetizer. Kids and grown-ups can’t get enough of the crispy, cheesy, flavorful crowd pleasers.—Robert Doornbos, Jenison, Michigan

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Creamy Taco DipTaste of Home

Creamy Taco Dip

You'll know this snack is a hit at your next gathering when you come home with an empty pan! —Denise Smith, Lusk, Wyoming

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Sausage-Stuffed JalapenosTaste of Home

Sausage-Stuffed Jalapenos

If you like foods that pack a bit of a punch, you’ll love these jalapeno poppers filled with sausage and cheese. This is one of my favorite recipes for parties. —Rachel Oswald, Greenville, Michigan

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Mini Party BurgersTaste of Home

Mini Party Burgers

We love finger foods in the South. For parties, I make mini burgers in advance, and then I wrap, bake and serve them with assorted sauces. —Monica Flatford, Knoxville, Tennessee

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Brat & Bacon Appetizer PizzaTaste of Home

Brat & Bacon Appetizer Pizza

Chopped bratwurst and maple bacon are a fabulous way to start a pizza. I jazz up this treat even more with apricot preserves and honey mustard. The snack-sized slices win over even the toughest critics. —Colleen Vrooman, Waukesha, Wisconsin

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Spicy Sweet Potato Chips & Cilantro DipTaste of Home

Spicy Sweet Potato Chips & Cilantro Dip

This cool, creamy dip is a perfect partner for the spicy sweet potato chips. They're made for each other! —Elizabeth Godecke, Chicago, Illinois

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Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese BitesTaste of Home

Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese Bites

In this vegetarian Buffalo-style appetizer, macaroni and cheese get heated up with Louisiana-style hot sauce, then breaded and baked. These tasty nibbles are served with blue cheese dressing. —Ann Donnay, Milton, Massachusetts

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Jalapeno Popper & Sausage DipTaste of Home

Jalapeno Popper & Sausage Dip

My workplace had an appetizer contest, and I won it with my jalapeno and cheese dip. Every time I take it anywhere, folks empty the slow cooker. —Bev Slabik, Dilworth, Minnesota

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Ravioli Appetizer PopsTaste of Home

Ravioli Appetizer Pops

Ravioli on a stick is a tasty appetizer everyone talks about. They’re simple and fun to make and eat. Use packaged dipping sauces, or make your own. Get my recipes on my blog, thehopelesshousewife.com. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona

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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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Buffalo Chicken PocketsTaste of Home

Buffalo Chicken Pockets

Here’s my idea of pub food made easy: biscuits flavored with Buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese. They're my Friday night favorite. —Maria Regakis, Saugus, Massachusetts

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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