7 Tailgate Party Dishes Perfect for the Traveling Team

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Football season has officially kicked off, and that means it’s time for tailgating. Leave hot and time-sensitive food items like chili, guacamole and burgers to the tailgate-party hosts. As a guest, you can bring hot-ticket items like homemade rolls, dessert and cocktails. No matter how long your drive is, these crowd-pleasing dishes will stay fresh until game time, so all you’ll have to bring home is “the big W.”

Go Beyond Beer

Bring a beer-based drink that packs a punch. Sunny Anderson’s Beer Punch recipe (pictured above) incorporates berries, citrus and grenadine into a basic bottle of beer. Pack a cooler with a couple of six-packs and the fruit mixture in an airtight container. When you get to the party, guests can put together their very own cocktail.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Love Your Lemonade

Sweet tea and lemonade are staples at Southern football games. Amp up classic lemonade with Anne Burrell’s Spiked Lemonade recipe. You’ll make a homemade virgin lemonade with water, simple syrup and lemon juice. Spike it with bourbon and a splash of club soda. Garnish with fresh mint and let the game begin!

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Start with Salsa

For anyone not quite ready for fall, Melissa d’Arabian’s homemade salsa recipe tastes like summer. Grilled tomatoes, chiles and onions add smoky flavor to traditional salsa. After a simple char, you’ll throw everything into the food processor and pulse until chunky. Pour into an airtight container, grab some tortilla chips and you’re ready to hit the road.



Anna Beckman John Bjostad,Anna BeckmanJohn Bjostad

Dip It

No tailgate party would be complete without one more dip. Duff Goldman’s co-worker Mary Alice’s Hoagie Dip does the trick. It’s got all the meat and dressings of a traditional Italian sandwich and is served in a bread bowl.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Try Something Unconventional

Spring rolls might not be a tailgating tradition, but Bobby Flay’s Vegetable Spring Rolls could be the start of something new. Make the rolls and dipping sauces ahead of time and pack them in an airtight container for the road. All you have to do is pop the lids and serve.



Food stylist: Stephana Bottom ,Food stylist: Stephana Bottom

Photo by: Victor Schrager

Victor Schrager

Roll with It

Offer to bring the rolls to the next tailgate party. Traditional white rolls get the boot when you bring Guy Fieri’s Pretzel Rolls to town. Your hosts will be shocked when you say you made them yourself.

Detail of Host Giada de Laurentiis' Walnut Kicker Cookies, as seen on Food Network’s Giada Entertains, Season 1.

Photo by: Eddy Chen ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Eddy Chen, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Share the Sweets

A tailgate wouldn’t be complete without dessert. Giada De Laurentiis’ festive Walnut Football Cookies will hit the spot. The recipe calls for all your favorite fall flavors, including cinnamon and allspice. Orange liqueur offers an unexpected citrus flavor everyone can enjoy. Make these the night before the big game. We won’t tell if you take an early taste.

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