30 Fan-Favorite College Tailgate Recipes

Updated: Apr. 08, 2024

Our readers get pumped up for tailgate snacks and the school they're cheering for. Tackle a few of their favorites and see why.

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Tailgate: Charcoal Burning In Grill During Tailgating Party
Photo: Shutterstock / Sean Locke Photography

Love college football (or basketball, for that matter)? We asked alums and fans alike what must-have tailgating recipes they make to cheer on their teams.

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West Virginia Mountaineers

“Whether we’re tailgating at the stadium or having a party at home, we have to have nachos.” —Becky Cline Carver, North Royalton, Ohio
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Iva's Peach Cobbler

My mother received this peach cobbler recipe from a friend of hers many years ago, and fortunately she shared it with me. Boise is situated right between two large fruit-producing areas in our state, so peaches are plentiful in the summer. —Ruby Ewart, Boise, Idaho
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University of Alabama Crimson Tide

“I love a good pulled pork sandwich at any tailgate. Roll Tide!” —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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University of Wisconsin Badgers

“On Wisconsin game days, it’s all about the cheese curds, beer and the brats—better yet, beer brats!” —Raechel Bartz, Chicago, Illinois
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Boise State University Broncos

“It’s not a game without hot wings!” —Jennifer Patterson, Shoshone, Idaho
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Texas Christian University Horned Frogs

“It wouldn’t be a tailgate if we didn’t have stuffed jalapenos. Big jalapenos, filled with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. What a way to cheer on my alma mater.” —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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University of Oklahoma Sooners

Breakfast burritos show up at all our tailgating parties.” —Darla German, Tulsa, Oklahoma
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University of Tennessee Volunteers

“We have country ribs, eclair cake, and tables of cheese balls, cheese wafers and cheese soup. Anything orange goes.” —Beth Tuesburg, Roanoke, Virginia
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University of Illinois Fighting Illini

“I love a good Italian sausage at a tailgate. Add peppers and it’s even better!” —Caroline Stanko, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Ohio State Buckeyes

“My husband is a huge Ohio State fan. I make loaded potato skins for most games.” —Amy Prunkl Hinzmann, Wethersfield, Connecticut
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Clemson University Tigers

“Gotta have fried chicken and potato salad!” —Nancy Lak, Bremen, Georgia
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Chili Coney Dogs

From the youngest kids to the oldest adults, everyone in our family loves these hot dogs. Inspired by the classic Coney dog, they’re so easy to throw together in the morning or even the night before. —Michele Harris, Vicksburg, Michigan
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Northwestern University Wildcats

“We do ours to the nines! We cook a turkey at home and carve it while we tailgate—and there’s always a bottle of champagne to share with everyone.” —Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
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Indiana University Hoosiers

One of the best parts of the many fairs and festivals in Indiana is the corn dogs! My family loves corn dogs, so I fix them fairly often at home. —Sally Denney, Warsaw, Indiana
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University of Nebraska Cornhuskers

On the outside, these golden buns resemble ordinary dinner rolls. But one bite reveals the tasty, cheesy beef filling inside. —Sharon Leno, Keansburg, New Jersey
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Syracuse University Orange

These deluxe chili dogs are a surefire hit at family functions. Adults and children alike love the cheesy chili sauce, and the toppings are fun! —Marion Lowery, Medford, Oregon
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Temple University Owls

I've been told by fellow partygoers 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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University of North Carolina Tar Heels

This pot is a fun way to feed a crowd for a tailgate. You can serve it two ways: Drain the cooking liquid and pour out the pot on a paper-lined table so folks can dig in, or serve it as a stew in its liquid over hot rice. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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University of Oklahoma Sooners

For me, football, cool weather and chili just seem to go together. Whether I’m cheering on the local team on a Friday night or enjoying a Saturday afternoon of Oklahoma Sooner football with some friends, I enjoy serving this chili on game day. —Chris Neal, Quapaw, Oklahoma
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Western Michigan University Broncos

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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Purdue University Boilermakers

I served this at my son’s graduation party and kept it warm in a slow cooker after roasting it in the oven. The pork is superb by itself or piled high on rolls. For a classic combo, serve it with warm biscuits and coleslaw. —Michelle Gauer, Spicer, Minnesota
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New Mexico State University Aggies

These Walking Tacos are perfect for an on-the-go dinner, a campfire meal or an easy game-night supper. The ingredients go right into the chip bags! —Beverly Matthews, Richland, Washington
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UCLA Bruins

I always judge a Tex-Mex restaurant by its guacamole. And although it's simple to prepare, it can go wrong oh, so easily. I've spent many years perfecting mine, to the point where I think it's better than most restaurants. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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University of Oregon Ducks

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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University of Kentucky Wildcats

Mint and bourbon give this drink a bit of a Kentucky kick, and ginger ale makes it a fizzy party punch.—Cathy Justus, Taylor, Michigan
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Penn State Nittany Lions

This hearty chili with sausage, beef, beans and barley is perfect for the halftime food rush. People actually cheer when they see me coming with my slow cooker! —Barbara Lento, Houston, Pennsylvania
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LSU Tigers

This twist on the traditional po'boy sandwich adds flavor and veggies while reducing fat and calories. For a smoked flavor, grill the shrimp. For a lower-carb option, serve the po'boy open-faced on a baguette half. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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Rutgers University Scarlet Knights

I’ve had this recipe for more than 42 years and have updated it from time to time. This is an easy party favorite, and everyone loves the taquito dippers. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Stanford University Cardinals

For game days, I shake up these saucy wings. When I run out, friends hover by the snack table until I bring out more. When they ask me how to fry chicken wings, they never believe it's so easy! —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Ole Miss Rebels

This southern favorite is one my family can never get enough of, and there are never any leftovers. My grandmother, mother and aunts always made this dish for family gatherings. Now I make it for just about every event because it's so easy to prepare, and everyone loves it! —Elizabeth Williston, Thibodaux, Louisiana
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Virginia Tech Hokies

My family loves Buffalo chicken wings, but the frying makes them unhealthy. This recipe takes out some of the fat yet lets us enjoy the same amazing taste. —Terri McKenzie, Wilmington, Ohio