11 Tailgating Recipes That Score BIG for the Home Team


Ready to kick-off tailgating season? Well, you can’t have a great tailgating party without great food for the friends and family! These 11 recipes will help you have a crowd-pleasing and fun tailgating party that’s sure to be a score!

Recipe #1: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Dips are always a delicious and easy game-day favorite. Spice it up a little bit with this Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe! Addicting and versatile, this recipe will be a foolproof touchdown!

All you’ll need is ½ cup of your favorite hot wing sauce, 8 ounces of cream cheese, ¼ cup of light buttermilk ranch or blue cheese dressing, ½ cup of shredded Monterey Jack or white cheddar cheese, and 1 pound of shredded or diced roasted chicken.

All you need to do is combine the hot sauce and cream cheese in a medium sauce pan over medium to low heat and stir until smooth.

Then, add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Cook this over low heat until the cheese melts and voila!

Place the dip in your favorite serving dish and serve with sliced baguettes, carrots, celery, crackers, or chips!

Click here for recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip

Recipe #2: Loaded Pulled Pork Nachos

Got some meat lovers in the family? Then this dish is perfect for you! Add a little twist and rack up some great flavors by adding pulled pork to the always crowd favorite: nachos!

You’ll need tortilla chips, pulled pork (or you can substitute chicken or steak if you’d like), drained black beans, drained whole kernel corn, sliced jalapenos, salsa or pico de gallo, shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, sliced olives, sour cream, and fresh cilantro for garnish!

Preheat the oven to 350°F and assemble a layer of tortilla chips on an oven-safe platter and layer it with the pulled pork (or meat of your choice), beans, corn, jalapenos, salsa, cheese, and olives.

Just heat in the oven until the cheese is melted and you’re done! Add sour cream and cilantro to add even more flavor.

These nachos are extremely flexible so don’t be afraid to add your own flare and favorite ingredients!

Click here for recipe: Loaded Pulled Pork Nachos

Recipe #3:  Spinach Artichoke Dip

Who doesn’t love this guilty pleasure? You can never go wrong with this crowd favorite dip! It’s delectable and easy to make!

You’ll need ½ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, 1 ½ cups of Gruyere cheese, 10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach, 14 ounces of marinated artichoke hearts, 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 2/3 cup of sour cream, 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, 2 cloves of garlic, 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a baguette.

Preheat your oven to 375°F and defrost the spinach and chop the artichokes. Combine the Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the Gruyere cheese, spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, and one minced clove of garlic.

Place the mixture into a serving or casserole dish and top it off with the remaining ½ cup of Gruyere cheese.

Bake the dip in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese has browned.

This is optional, but you can also brush the baguette slices with olive oil and broil them in the oven until they are lightly browned. Gently rub each slice with the last clove of garlic and you’ve got a tasty treat!

Click here for recipe: Spinach Artichoke Dip

Recipe #4: Baked Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

Love chicken wings but want to try something new? Then try these oven baked honey garlic wings! Different from your typical hot wings but still delicious, this recipe is sure to tackle everyone’s appetite.

You will need 50 split chicken wings, ¼ cup of flour, salt & pepper, and 1 tablespoon of olive oils for the chicken. For the sauce, you will need ½ cup of honey, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 large crushed cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of finely diced ginger, ½ teaspoon of chili flakes, and 1/3 cup of water.

Preheat your oven to 400°F and rinse the wings under cold water and drain and dab them with paper towels until they are completely dry.

Carefully toss the wings in a bowl with flour, salt and pepper. Tap off the excess flour and toss with the olive oil.

Place the wings on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 minutes and turn them over at 20 minutes.

While they are baking, combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Take the wings out of the oven and toss with the sauce. Place the wings back in the oven for 10 minutes and turn them after 5 minutes. Serve them hot!

Click here for recipe: Baked Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

Recipe #5: Individual 7 Layer Bean Dips

Bean dip is always a traditional tailgating favorite, but aren’t you tired of cleaning up the mess from scooping and worrying about double dippers?  Then you have to try these individual 7 layer bean dips! Perfect for a party and easy to clean-up, it’s a much better way of serving this game day classic!

You need 1 can of refried beans, 1 ½ tablespoon of taco seasoning, 3 medium ripe avocados, 2 tablespoons of fresh lime or lemon juice, salt and pepper, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of salsa, 1 cup shredded cheese, 2 large diced Roma tomatoes, 2/3 cups of diced black olives, 2-3 diced green onions, and eight 9 ounce plastic cups.

Stir together refried beans with a fork in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of water and mix in taco seasoning.

Peel and core the avocados and mash them with lime or lemon juice and reach your desired texture and season with salt and pepper.

Add a good amount of the bean mix to the bottom of the cup and even out the top with the back of a spoon.

Add a spoonful of the avocado mixture and spread, followed by a layer of sour cream, then salsa.

Sprinkle a layer of cheese and then the tomatoes, black olives, and green onions. Store them in the fridge and serve with tortilla chips, yum!

Click here for recipe: Individual 7 Layer Bean Dips

Recipe #6: Easy Homemade Mini Corn Dogs

Add a fun fair -food favorite to your tailgating party with these homemade mini corn dogs! Easy to make and fun for the kids to eat, these are sure to be a hit!

You’ll need 1 (12 ounces) package of hot dogs, ½ cup of yellow cornmeal, ½ cup of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1 large egg, ½ cup of whole milk, and vegetable oil for frying.

You’ll also need lollipop sticks and a deep-fry thermometer.

First, cut each hot dog in half and insert a lollipop stick into the cutoff end of every hot dog and be sure to dry the hot dogs with paper towels.

In a bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate liquid measuring cup, whisk the egg and milk. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until fully combined.

Then, add 4 inches of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot and attach the deep-fry thermometer. Heat the oil over medium to high heat until the thermometer reaches 360°F.

Line a plate with paper towels while the oil heats.

Dip each hot dog into the batter until its fully coated and lightly shake off the excess.

Lower the dog into the hot oil and fry until golden and crispy, probably about 3 minutes, and then transfer to the plate lined with paper towels.

Repeat this process for all the hot dogs!

Click here for recipe: Easy Homemade Mini Corn Dogs

Recipe #7: Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

Everyone loves pizza! But these mini 5-ingredient pizzas will be an addicting snack your party will love even more than the original.

All you need is 4 flour tortillas for burritos (8 inch), 1 cup of pizza sauce, ¾ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup grated parmesan, and 36-48 mini pepperonis.

Preheat oven to 425°F and lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin or use nonstick cooking spray.

To make the mini tortillas, lay out the tortilla on a flat surface and use an empty can to cut 3-4 medium circles, pressing firmly in a rocking motion to cut the tortilla.

Fit a tortilla circle into each of the 12 muffin tins by pressing gently.

Scoop one tablespoon of pizza sauce into each muffin tin.

Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and top with 3-4 mini pepperonis.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes and serve! Garnish with chopped basil if desired.

Click here for recipe: Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

Recipe #8: Onion Soup Gameday Sliders

Want a fun twist on the ever popular cheeseburger sliders? Adding onion soup mix may seem strange, but it adds a new depth of flavor and crazy moisture. You have to try this!

You need 1 pound of ground beef, 1 block (8 ounces) of cheddar cheese, 1 package of onion soup mix, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 package of mini hamburger/slider buns.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Shred half of the block of cheddar cheese and slice the other half of the block into 12 thin slices and wrap in saran wrap and put back into the fridge.

In a medium to large sized bowl, mix ground beef, 1 cup shredded cheese, onion soup mix, mayo and garlic powder.

Press and flatten the meat into a sprayed 9×13 pan to form a thin layer.

Bake the meat for about 25 minutes until cooked through.

While leaving the oven on, take the meat out of the oven and cut into 12 squares.

Put the meat on buns and top with slices of cheese.

Put the sliders in a large sprayed baking dish and cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes!

Click here for recipe: Onion Soup Gameday Sliders

Recipe #9: Bacon Wrapped Tator-Tot Bombs

Tator tots are already yummy on their own, but what could go wrong with adding bacon?! These baked bacon wrapped tots are sure to be a new party favorite that will be an easy and addicting treat!

You need 2 cups of frozen tator-tots that have been thawed to room temperature, 1 ounce of sharp cheddar cheese cut into ¼ inch squares, 4 slices of quartered bacon, ¼ cup of brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley leaves.

Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wrap each tator-tot and cheese square into a piece of bacon, and coat each tot in the brown sugar.

Place the tots seam side down onto the baking sheet and put into the oven and bake for 20-15 minutes, turning them halfway through.

Garnish with parsley and serve immediately!

Click here for recipe: Bacon Wrapped Tator-Tot Bombs

Recipe #10: Mini Caramel Apples

If your sweet tooth is craving a tasty treat, then these mini caramel apples are sure to hit the spot! Fun for both kids and parents, this easy recipe will satisfy anyone’s sweet craving.

You’ll need 3 extra-large apples, caramels, 2 tablespoons of milk, lollipop sticks, a metal tablespoon, coffee scoop or melon baller, and wax paper.

Prepare a cookie sheet and line with wax paper.

Peel the apples, and scoop balls out with a coffee scoop or melon baller.

Pat them dry with a paper towel and place them in the fridge or freezer.

To make the caramel, combine the milk with the caramels and heat over medium to low heat.

Once the caramel is melted and smooth, turn off the heat and dip the apple pops in one at a time.

Make sure you let the excess caramel drip off into the pot and then place the dipped apples back on the cookie sheet.

Put the pops back into the freezer or fridge after dipping to ensure the caramel doesn’t slip off.

Wait until the caramel hardens and then serve!

Click here for Recipe: Mini Caramel Apples

Recipe #11: Hot Beer Cheese Dip

What better ingredients are there in the world than beer and cheese? This quick but appetizing dip will fulfill your cheese craving and save you time!

You need 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, ¾ cup of milk (divided), ½ cup of beer (your preference), 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon of salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and 12 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium sized sauce pan and whisk in the flour.

Take the pan off the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the milk until its smooth, then whisk in 2 more tablespoons.

Add ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until smooth again followed by the final ¼ cup of milk.

Stir in the beer, Dijon, cayenne, and salt and return the pan to medium heat and stir until its thick and bubbly.

Remove from the heat and add the cheese one handful at a time, stirring after each addition.

Taste to meet your desired saltiness or spiciness and serve with slices of baguette, crackers, chips, broccoli, or cauliflower florets!

Click here for Recipe: Hot Beer Cheese Dip

About Big R

Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964 opening the first store in Watseka, Illinois. To date 20 stores have been opened in Illinois and Indiana; 2 stores in Ohio and 1 store in Wisconsin and we are still proud to be family-owned and operated. Our 12 Illinois stores are located in Watseka, Gibson City, Danville, Tilton, Pontiac, Morris, Pekin, Washington, Rochelle, Homer Glen, Streator and McHenry. Our 8 Indiana stores are located in Warsaw, 2 locations in Elkhart, Rochester, Wabash, Crawfordsville, Michigan City, and Marion. Our 2 stores in Ohio are located in Lima and Findlay. And 1 location in Wisconsin in Burlington. The offices and warehouses for Big R remain in Watseka, IL. Farm and Ranch store owners in the western states started the Big R brand name; they chose the name "Big R" to convey the "Ranch" identity. The Big R group is now comprised of 12 independent owners with store locations throughout the U.S. They all are members of Mid-States Distributing Company of St. Paul, MN. The Mid-States Coop has over 600 stores throughout the United States and Canada.