If you’re getting ready for the big game, then you might be planning the menu for your tailgating party. It’s you, some buddies and a spot outside the stadium. But you’re missing one thing – a grill. I know what you’re thinking – tailgating is all about throwing back some cold ones while grilling some meat. But here’s the thing, you can do tailgating with cold food. So, if you are without a portable grill, you can still enjoy some tasty food before the game. It’s all about planning ahead.
Cold Food Ideas for Tailgating
Since you can’t do any cooking on-site, you need to come up with a few different things that don’t need to be warmed up before you eat them. I am talking about things like dips and sandwiches. Before you start looking at recipes, determine how many people you’re going to be feeding at this tailgate party and choose things that are easy to make and even easier to transport. I’ve got a few recipe ideas for you below.
Mini Muffulettas: these yummy little sandwiches can be made the night before and stored in your refrigerator until it’s time to leave. All you’ll need is some small rolls, some deli meats and cheeses and any fixings you wanna add. Check out the full recipe here.
Deviled Eggs: these family cookout staples are a great addition to your game day party. And, they are are super easy to make. You only need a few ingredients to prepare them and about a half hour. This is something else that you can make the night before. Find a recipe here.
Guacamole: I think that this is pretty much a standard when it comes to game day parties. It is easy to make, or you can buy it pre-made from the grocery store. Just don’t forget the tortilla chips! Or, if you want to do something a bit healthier, then cut up some carrot sticks. If you need a recipe, try Chipotle’s.
Salsa: since you’re already going to be buying those tortilla chips for the guac, you may as well get some good salsa going for people are aren’t fans of guacamole. Personally, I enjoy both store-bought and homemade salsa. Buying some from the grocery store is the easiest way to do it (and I suggest the Trader Joe’s brand cause it’s great!). Making your own salsa is easy though – click here for a recipe to get you started.
Bean Dip: This is yet another great dip for those tortilla chips that you’re already buying. At my house, we do an awesome seven-layer dip that is really great. You won’t see this for sale in any stores though, so prepare to spend some time making it yourself. Here’s a pretty good recipe for you to try out.
Pasta Salad: this is one of my favorite easy game day foods. It is very easy to make, tastes great and is filling, which means less stadium-bought hot dogs to keep my tummy from growling. You can even buy this from places like Whole Foods who have an in-store salad bar, which means you don’t even have to make it yourself. But, if you want to make your own then, click here for some recipes.
Hummus: if you’re really interested in fast and easy food ideas, then you should consider hummus. You can make it on your own or buy it at most grocery stores. And what’s great is that you can do different flavors like red pepper hummus. And all you’ll need to go with the hummus is a bag of pitas. For a few hummus recipes, click here.
Veggies & Cheese Tray: I know that healthy eating and tailgating don’t really go hand in hand, but everyone loves a veggie and cheese tray. Plus, that ranch veggie dip isn’t exactly healthy. While you can put one of these together on your own, I suggest just buying a pre-made tray at your local grocery store. Trust me, it will be much easier.