Tailgating Recipes


Shift your tailgate into overdrive with these tried-and-true party pleasers, appetizers, snacks, and savory eats..

plus tips for tackling your tailgate to ensure it's a total touchdown success


  • 4-6 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into large, roughly fist-sized cubes

  • dry rub of your choice

  • 1 1/2 c. light beer

Arrange oven rack to lower third. Heat oven to 325.

Place pork in a Dutch oven and sear.

Add beer to the bottom of the Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer.

Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2-4 hours, until tender.

When cool enough to handle, drain and shred with two forks. Remove any undissolved chunks of fat.

(adapted from The Kitchn)

Honey Mustard Slaw

  • 1 head green cabbage, cored and julienned
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • Ken’s Steakhouse Honey Mustard Dressing

Toss together cabbage, carrot, salt, and vinegar. Add dressing to taste, and toss. Chill until ready to use.


Brush your slider bun of choice with oil or melted butter. Toast on the grill.

Allow guests to assemble with pulled pork and their choice of sauce, slaw, and other fixins.

For a truly great spread, offer at least four sauces: a smoky barbecue sauce, a sweet/tangy barbecue sauce, something with some heat like buffalo, and something creamy, such as more honey mustard.

Topping ideas: chopped green onions, chopped jalapeños, caramelized onions, pickles, pimento cheese spread, grilled pineapples

Holy 'Mole


  • 3 large avocados

  • 2 limes

  • 1 1/2 cups corn, cooked

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped

Scoop avocado out into a bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the avocado to your desired consistency.

Squeeze the limes over the avocado.

Toss the other ingredients together with a pinch each of cayenne pepper and salt. Stir into avocado mixture until just combined. (adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen)

Note: If you want to add even more flavor, use 2 cobs of grilled corn in this recipe instead. Cut the corn off the cob prior to mixing.

Serve with blue corn tortilla chips!


  • 3 avocados

  • 24 strips of bacon

Slice each avocado into 8 wedges. Wrap each in bacon.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Cook over your heat source – turning as necessary to prevent burning – until bacon is cooked through.

Note: Have Paleo or keto guests? Steer them towards this dish!

Spicy Southern Boiled Peanuts

  • 1 1/2 pounds of raw peanuts, in shell
  • 3/4 cup Kosher salt

  • Cajun seasoning or Old Bay

TIP: Dishes that you can prepare ahead of time are the name of the game. Make use of the residual insulated heat of your crockpot to keep things as warm as possible. When transporting your food, store hot items together and surround them with blankets for added insulation.

Combine peanuts and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add water to your fill line. Cover and cook on high for 18 hours, until peanuts are tender. (Feel free to leave in the water for an hour or so in order transport to your destination – this will keep them warm.)

Drain and transfer to paper bags (or cups) for serving. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of seasoning to each bag, close and shake. To up the heat, feel free to shake in some hot sauce.

(adapted from Southern Living)

Chunky Chili

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 3 pounds beef brisket, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 T ancho chili powder

  • 1 T crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 T cayenne pepper

  • 2 T ground cumin

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and diced

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 6 cups canned tomatoes, chopped

  • 30 ounces canned kidney beans


  • Sour cream

  • Sliced jalapeños

  • Grated cheddar cheese

  • Guacamole

  • Tortilla chips

  • Corn chips

  • Oyster crackers

  • Diced tomatoes

  • Fresh cilantro

  • Queso fresco

  • Lime

  • Sliced scallions

  • Hot sauce

  • Pulled pork

  • Chopped avocado

  • Shots of smoky whiskey (yes, really. Try it!)

Brown ground beef. Drain, and set aside.

Heat some oil over medium heat in a heavy pot. Brown the brisket – in batches – on all sides. Transfer to a separate bowl.

Sauté onion and garlic in the same oil for about eight minutes. Add ancho chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, cumin, and cinnamon and sauté for one additional minute.

Add bell peppers, bay leaves, canned tomatoes (with liquid) and the reserved meats to the pot. Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and cover the pot. Simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the kidney beans in the last fifteen minutes to heat through.

Man has cooked on an open flame for thousands of years. Yet we all too easily forget that our grills can handle way more than hot dogs and burgers. While those are definitely tailgating must-haves, it’s important to not lose sight of the incredible culinary potential of your trusty grill.

Here are some ways you can use those hot coals (or gas, we don’t judge) to your advantage!

  • Stone fruits, such as peaches, nectarines, and plums are wonderful when kissed by the grill. Serve with a balsamic vinegar that’s been sweetened with a little brown sugar.

  • Bigger fruits are also begging for a little grill space. Try hitting pineapple, honeydew or watermelon with some heat.

  • Veggies! Broccoli, asparagus, and squash are great sides that don’t take long to grill to perfection. Eggplant and cabbage and potatoes? Oh my!

  • Turkey. You heard me. Surprise everyone with a grilled, full-sized bird. Spatchcock it and grill it flat so it reached temperature and remains juicy.

  • How about a pizza? Let your guests dress their own!

  • Grilled desserts are a special treat. You can get grill marks – and flavor – on pound cake, or use a baking pan right on the grill to warm up a fruit crumble.


  • 1/2 loaf of brioche, left out to dry all night
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

In a saucepan, heat the half-and-half, cream, and vanilla together over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and stir occasionally. Bring to a fast simmer. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

Whisk together eggs and sugar. Gradually add to the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking. Dip the bread into the custard, and let soak until absorbed.

Grill each slice for about 5 minutes per side.

Serve topped with powdered sugar and grilled fruit.

(adapted from Food Network)