Umami Girl’s definitive collection of tailgate food. Dozens of our favorite game day recipes, tips, and tricks for a fun, easy, crowd-pleasing party.
Game day should be easy
When we think of game day and tailgate food, we think relaxed, easy fun. Hearty recipes that range from indulgent to stealthy-healthy. Food that pairs well with beer. A combination of bite-sized apps and snack foods, really good dips, comforting mains like chilis, soups, mac and cheese, and pulled chicken. And, of course, low-key desserts.
For once in a lifetime of recipe roundups, we haven’t included any cocktails, because BEER.
Tailgate party tips
Game day gatherings around here are all about friends, food, and football. There’s not a lot of room in the day for anything else. Which is kinda great, because it makes party planning simple.
We’d recommend just a few strategies
Make most of the food ahead of time. Almost everything on this list can be made in advance.
Game day is a great time for a potluck. Have everyone bring one dish and a six-pack of beer. (Or have half your guests bring a dish and the other half bring drinks.)
Commandeer a big swath of countertop for your buffet, or use a big folding table.
Don’t forget nonalcoholic beverages.
Carve out a couple of spaces in addition to the TV area: a place for introverts to escape for a bit, and a separate place for chatters to hang without interrupting the game.
Game Day Appetizers
Our favorite apps for tailgate parties
Game Day Dips
Our favorite dips for tailgate parties
Game Day Chilis and Soups
Our favorite chili and soup recipes for tailgate parties
Game Day Instant Pot Recipes
Our Instant Pot recipes for game day are easy and dreamy.
Game Day Pizzas and Burgers
Our favorite pizza and burger recipes for tailgate parties
Game Day Snacks
Our favorite snack recipes for tailgate parties
Game Day Desserts
Our favorite desserts for tailgate parties