The world of professional sports may look a little different this year, but we’re here to remind you the new normal doesn’t have to put a crimp in your tailgate party plans.
So, what makes a great tailgate experience, anyway? Every tailgate party consists of a few non-negotiable points: fantastic grilled tailgate food, cold beverages, outdoor games and that irreplaceable atmosphere of social camaraderie you can only find in the company of avid sports fans. That being said, not all tailgate parties are created equal, so we’re here to teach you exactly how to recreate the perfect tailgate experience right in your own backyard.
Every tailgate party revolves around a great menu. We recommend planning your menu a week or so in advance to ensure you have time to acquire and thaw your meats in time. Tailgate food entree preferences range from more casual bratwursts, hot dogs and steakburgers, to grilled barbecue chicken, steaks and even seafood. One great benefit of hosting your tailgate party at home is that there’s no need to haul everything to a stadium! The time you’ll save by skipping this step will give you a little padding when you’re prepping, and preparing, a terrific spread.
Traditional tailgate menus include grilled meats, cold drinks, and an assortment of common picnic favorites like cold salads, baked beans, and casual fare like chips or cookies. Do your research and choose some simple, flavorful recipes for your party. Don’t be afraid to choose a recipe that may require a little more time; you can afford a few extra minutes in the kitchen!
Tailgate Food Ideas for Entrees
Tailgate entrees are typically grilled, sauced and seasoned for big taste, but limited by the added step required to take all the ingredients, and the grill, to the sporting event. By recreating the tailgate experience at home, you’re limited only by your imagination!
Try a new take on the old tailgate favorite, the burger, and opt for this tropical twist: Hawaiian Steakburger. If steak is what you want on your plate, you’ll love Jack’s Green Chile Steak, or Steak Scampi. If you’re a die-hard stadium hot dog fan, bring an elevated taste to your tailgate with All Beef Jumbo Hot Dogs and all your favorite toppings. For a lighter option, Grilled Spicy Lemon Chicken is a flavorful choice everyone will enjoy.
Tailgate Food Ideas for Sides
The best tailgate party boasts mouthwatering entrees and a smattering of simple and delicious side dishes. Traditional tailgate parties usually limit side dishes to items which are already prepared, but hosting a tailgate party at home affords you the ability to select sides that require a little more investment than a bag of chips.
Rather than picking up pre-made potato salad, try your own hand with this Potato Salad. Bratwursts and hot dogs taste even better with coleslaw, but up your game with Creamy Coleslaw. Since you’ll be cooking on your own turf, you can even whip up a hearty Mac & Cheese while you grill!
Once your menu is selected, lean into amping up the atmosphere! No tailgate party is complete without icy cold beverages, so stock up on your favorite drinks and have them ready on ice for your guests. Choose a great playlist and make sure it spans a few hours. You’ll have that extra time we mentioned, and no one enjoys listening to the same songs on repeat. Create an inviting environment with socially distanced seating on your own patio and in your backyard, complete with outdoor yard games, options for your small crew to make game score predictions, and even sports trivia.
With these tips for how to recreate the perfect tailgate party at home in your playbook, it’s safe to say you’re in for a tailgate touchdown. Share with your favorite football fan friends and let us know who you’re rooting for!