Tailgating Season is Here!
As we enter the dog days of summer, cooking out in a parking lot with your friends and family is a popular way to celebrate before an event among sports fans, college students, and concertgoers.
When it comes to planning meals for an event-day tailgate, some prefer to go with the classics, like barbecued hot dogs and chicken wings. While these foods will never go out of style, your pre-event tailgate can be enlivened with fresh ingredients!
With some preparation and out-of-the-box thinking, it’s simple to add healthy, delicious snacks to your next tailgate. Here are some of our favorite tailgate-friendly recipes you can prepare for your entire squad!
How to Prepare Your Tailgate Celebrations
From traditional classics to regional favorites, there are many grilled options to make the most of your next tailgate party. When it comes to fresh tailgating fare, we’ve got you covered with an incredible menu!
Appetizers & Shareable Dishes
You will want something light to snack on as you’re firing up the grill and waiting for your mains to cook! We recommend you have some healthy pre-dinner snacks on hand to feed your team until the main event is ready.
The combination of corn chips and a homemade dip like our Roma Tomato Guacamole will entice your tailgating crew for what’s to come while keeping their hunger at bay as the mains grill.
An appetizer we love is our fresh twist on classic fire-grilled nachos, Bell Pepper Nachos. By using Bell Peppers instead of tortilla chips as your nacho base, your guests will get a unique flavor experience loaded with their favorite toppings. Bell Pepper Nachos can be pre-prepared and heated on the barbecue until the cheese is melted and the Pepper skin is blistered. For more ideas see our top 10 grilled veggies for summer barbecuing.
Here are some pointers for prepping and packing your shareables:
If you are bringing raw veggies to the party, be sure to pre-cut them. It’s the simplest way to serve if you eliminate the need to slice them in the moment!
Make sure you put any dips into sealable containers. The last thing you want is messy spills and spoiled food to ruin your plans.
For more healthy foods to add to your tailgate snacks list, check out these 12 tasty (and healthy) alternatives to your favorite junk foods. Many of these snacking options are tailgate-friendly and will help to fuel your weekend fun!
Main Course: Bell Pepper Burgers
Now for the main event: Bell Pepper Burgers. This dish is easy to prepare and full of fresh veggies, ground beef, and flavorful spices!
To keep this recipe as simple as possible we recommend you prepare your burger patties and cut your Peppers at home the night before. By slicing these ingredients beforehand and bringing them in separate containers, you can easily start barbecuing once you arrive at your desired location.
Your delicious burgers can be served on your choice of bun, fire-toasted flatbread, or on its own!
More Tips for a Successful Tailgate
To host a successful tailgate party, you need to plan more than just the food. Here are some extra tips to make sure you’re set up for an amazing experience!
- It’s important to bring a good quality cooler that can accommodate a bag of ice or ice packs along with all your food and drinks. Bring multiple coolers if needed – having ample cooler space to work with is better than not having enough!
- Make sure you have a plan for dishware and utensils. If you want to keep garbage to a minimum, pack lightweight plates and utensils that are easy to wash and wipe down. And don’t forget to bring a roll of paper towels to use as napkins or for inevitable spills!
- Make a list of the extra cooking utensils or cookware you will need during your tailgate party. Common cooking utensils you may need include a large serving fork, serving spoons, a spatula, tongs, oven mitts, and a cooking thermometer.
- Reusable food containers, chip bag clips, and elastic bands are a few extra items you should consider packing – they will make it much easier for you to transport any leftovers back home at the end of your trip.
Plan Your Ultimate Tailgate
Along with these delicious recipes, we have lots of other fresh meal ideas that can easily be added to your next tailgate menu. Check out our Recipe page for more fresh inspiration and tailgate-friendly meal options!