31 Recipes for Tailgating Food—No Grill Required

Updated: Apr. 27, 2024

Cheer on your favorite team powered by amazing tailgating food. No grill needed for these recipes making your pre-game party even simpler!

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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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Champion Roast Beef Sandwiches

When I have time, I like to prepare a roast with this much-requested recipe in mind. But when I need a quick meal in a hurry, I use deli roast beef with delicious results.
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Midwest Mary

In the Midwest, Bloody Marys garnished with meats, cheeses and veggies are works of art. My beverage has skewers of bratwurst, cheese curds and dill pickles. —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chipotle Beef Sandwiches

A jar of chipotle salsa makes it easy to spice up beef sirloin for these mouthwatering sandwiches. Keep this no-stress recipe in mind the next time you have to feed a hungry crowd.—Jessica Ring, Madison, Wisconsin
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Red, White & Blue Potato Salad

Tossing the cooked potatoes with stock and wine right after you drain them infuses them with flavor. The liquid absorbs like magic. —George Levinthal, Goleta, California
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Chocolate Salted Caramel Bars

I love to experiment with different recipes and combine classic and new flavors. I've been making this shortbread for over 20 years and finally have found the perfect pairing! I love salted caramel, and of course I love dark chocolate, so I layered these two flavors with my favorite shortbread crust. It's melt-in-your-mouth good, and it is quickly becoming a favorite with my family, friends and customers! For even more gooey goodness, drizzle bottled caramel sauce over top. —Lisa Glenn, Sarasota
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Cobb Salad Sub

When we need a quick meal to share, we turn Cobb salad into a sandwich masterpiece. Sometimes I substitute tortillas for the bread and make wraps instead. —Kimberly Grusendorf, Medina, Ohio
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Spicy Sweet Potato Chips & Cilantro Dip

This irresistible combo could become your new signature snack food. Park the spicy baked chips next to a bowl of the cool, creamy dip and let the gang have at it. What a fantastic twist on traditional chips and dip! —Elizabeth Godecke, Chicago, Illinois
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Refreshing Beer Margaritas

I'm always surprised when people say they didn't know this drink existed. It's a really refreshing cocktail, and it's easy to double or triple the recipe. —Arianne Barnett, Kansas City, Missouri
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Ranch Snack Mix

This is a wonderful fast-to-fix munchie. The recipe makes tons and doesn't involve any cooking. It's a cinch to package in individual snack bags, it keeps its crunch and it's a savory alternative to the cakes and pies usually offered at bake sales. —Linda Murphy, Pulaski, Wisconsin
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Spinach and Turkey Pinwheels

Need an awesome snack for game day? My kids love these easy four-ingredient turkey pinwheels. Go ahead and make them the day before—they won’t get soggy! —Amy Van Hemert, Ottumwa, Iowa
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7-Layer Bean Dip

To make this zesty 7-layer bean dip, you simply layer the ingredients onto a platter. I like to call it a “walking dip,” because you can scoop some on a plate with a few tortilla chips, then take it with you as you walk and talk with guests. —Marieann Johansen, Desert Hot Springs, California
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Barbecue and Beer Meatballs

This simple meatball recipe relies on timesaving ingredients like frozen meatballs and barbecue sauce. It's the perfect last-minute appetizer! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Chicago-Style Beef Rolls

I have fond memories of eating these big, messy sandwiches at a neighbor's house when I was growing up. Freeze any extras and save for another meal! —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Cold Chicken-Cheese Kabobs

These appealing kabobs will add pizazz to any party—and you don't even have to get out the grill! —Sherine Gilmour, Brooklyn, New York
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Wyoming Cowboy Cookies

These cookies are very popular here in Wyoming. Mix up a batch for your crew and see why. —Patsy Steenbock, Shoshoni, Wyoming
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Spicy Honey Sriracha Game-Day Dip

You can easily whip up this creamy, spicy, salty dip. For parties, I love dips in the slow cooker—just turn it to low once the dip 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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Layered Picnic Loaves

This big sandwich, inspired by one I tried at a New York deli, is a favorite with our football-watching crowd. Made ahead, it's easily carted to any gathering. Kids and adults alike say it's super. —Marion Lowery, Medford, Oregon
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Peanut Butter Cake Bars

These cakelike bars are packed with peanut butter and chocolate chips, and they're perfect for any occasion. Kids and adults alike are in for a treat with these gems. —Charlotte Ennis, Lake Arthur, New Mexico
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Walking Tacos

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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Pizza Oyster Crackers

This quick and easy snack is a favorite of my kids. I always include a baggie in their lunch boxes. —Carol S Betz, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Best Deviled Eggs

Herbs lend amazing flavor to these deviled eggs, which truly are the best you can make! The recipe includes tasty variations that feature bacon, chipotle peppers and crab.—Jesse & Anne Foust, Bluefield, West Virginia
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Macaroni Coleslaw

My friend Peggy brought this coleslaw to one of our picnics, and everyone liked it so much, we all had to have the recipe. —Sandra Matteson, Westhope, North Dakota
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Pork Barbecue Sandwiches

We were happy when there was pork roast on the menu because we were sure that, within the next few days, we'd be feasting on leftover pork in these tasty sandwiches. -George Hascher, Phoenicia, New York
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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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Homemade Guacamole

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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Homemade Potato Chips

Forget buying a bag of potato chips at the grocery store when you can make these at home. This quick and easy recipe will delight everyone in the family. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mini Apple Pies

When I was in high school, my best friend's mother baked this mini apple pie recipe every year. I was thrilled when she shared it with me—I finally felt like an adult! —Katie Ferrier, Houston, Texas
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Creamy Coleslaw

For me, this is the best coleslaw recipe because a package of shredded cabbage and carrots really cuts down on prep time. This coleslaw recipe is great for potlucks or to serve to your family on a busy weeknight. —Renee Endress, Galva, Illinois
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Slow-Cooker Italian Sloppy Joes

These tasty sloppy joes with plenty of mass appeal are perfect for a gathering. If you’re taking them to an event, simplify things by cooking the beef mixture and stirring in other ingredients the night before. Cool the meat sauce in shallow bowls in the fridge, then cover and refrigerate them overnight. The next day, transfer the meat mixture to the slow cooker to keep it warm for the party. —Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, Ohio. Next, try making these tailgate recipes right in your slow cooker.
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Fireside Cheese Spread

When our family and friends get together for holidays or other occasions, I serve this appetizer. It’s always a success. If you prefer, try a Swiss cheese spread instead of the cheddar. And, if you enjoy garlic, substitute a small clove of minced garlic for the garlic powder. —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland