With football season in full swing, it’s important to come prepared with the best tailgate food! But what exactly is a tailgate anyway? Our definition involves a gathering of sorts behind a vehicle usually at a sporting event, where binge eating is encouraged and the drinks are free-flowing.

You’ve probably got the drinking aspect covered already, but tailgate food is just as essential. All the food options may seem overwhelming, but we've got your back. We compiled a list of all the best tailgate food with all the dips, sliders, and finger foods you can imagine. Grab your portable grill, utensils, and food and dive right in. Below are the best recipes for great tailgate foods.

Classic Spicy Buffalo Wings

A classic meaty finger food for everyone's favorite season--football season. With the perfect combination of the highly-flavored spiced wing and fiery buffalo sauce, it’s sure to please everyone’s palette. Whether you prefer flats or drumsticks, this is the perfect appetizer for any tailgate party. Here is a great recipe to follow!

chicken drumette with buffalo sauce

Jalapeño Poppers

Anything fried and cheesy is a hit. These quick and easy jalapeño poppers only take 40 minutes to prepare and even less time to heat up the day of the tailgate. Mix up the breading of these fried, cheese-filled jalapenos for a little pizzazz. Different options are available here.

breaded jalapeno poppers

Mouth-Watering Cheeseburger Sliders

Everything is always better smaller. Step up your tailgate party with these mouthwatering cheeseburger sliders. This recipe shares a classic way to create mini sliders. There’s even vegetarian style for those who don’t eat meat!

cheeseburger sliders

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Mix up the classic tailgate by including spinach artichoke dip instead of the traditional buffalo chicken dip. A creamy mixture of spinach, artichoke, and cheese put on a variety of chips, bread or veggies is a simple dip to take to any tailgate! Follow this easy recipe for more details!

spinach artichoke dip

Crispy Mozzarella Sticks

Evolve this crowd-pleasing classic from the frozen section of the grocery store to a simple homemade recipe. Fried stringy mozzarella cheese with a crunchy outside and gooey inside is sure to bring everyone together for a tailgate.

mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce

Soft Pretzels

A soft and warm salty treat is a tailgate essential. The carb-filled appetizer is the perfect accompaniment with an ice-cold beer. However, if you’re planning to bring these to your tailgate, be sure to prepare the night before. Here is a great recipe to follow!

salted soft pretzel

Pigs In A Blanket

What's a tailgate without some type of hotdogs? Change out the traditional hot dog on a bun with these mini dogs wrapped in warm, buttery crescent rolls. If you're feeling fancy, you can even add in bacon and cheese for a little extra oomph. Here’s a quick 25-minute recipe for this tailgate staple.

pigs in a blanket appetizer

Homemade Potato Chips

Instead of buying four large bags of potato chips that are filled only halfway, make your own homemade potato chips where you're able to customize flavors and even make healthier options. Whether you want a spicy version or a cheesy version, a sweet potato chip, or salt and vinegar style, this recipe has ideas for all taste buds.

potato chips

Ultimate Queso Dip

This is a must-have tailgate food for every parking lot party. Whip up this velvety cheese dip with just ten simple ingredients. The Monterey-jack dip is one of the best tailgate foods out there. Cheese fanatics, this recipe is for you.

tortilla chips and queso cheese dip

Classic Chili Recipe

On the cold tailgate days, a luscious combination of beef, beans, and veggies is something everyone wants to sink their teeth into. Chili is a customizable dish that offers a lot of variety for all taste buds. Whether you go mild, spicy, thick, or thin, this is a tailgate food everyone loves. Here is an easy to follow recipe with a variety of options!

chili topped with sour cream and scallions

Be the star of the tailgate this season by creating the best tailgate foods. This quick guide of recipes is sure to satisfy the tastes of all types. So grab your essentials and start cooking!

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