What’s not to love about this time of year? Even though summer is officially over, which can be pretty depressing, there’s just something so magical about the fall. You start to feel that chill in the air and plan your weekends around when your beloved football team is playing. If you’re really lucky, you’ve even scored tickets to a game. And when you’re there, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the football culture than by tailgating and enjoying some good food with good people.
Here are 4 tailgating recipes that you’ll definitely want to tackle:
Cheddar and Ranch Beer Dip
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup beer (IPA is a great choice!)
- ¾ cup ranch dressing
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
In a large bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, beat cream cheese, beer, and ranch dressing until smooth. Slowly add in cheddar and stir until combined. Keep refrigerated or in a cooler until you’re ready to chow down. Serve with crackers.
- 1 (16-ounce) jar pickled (mixed) vegetables
- ½ cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive-oil-and-vinegar dressing
- 6 slider-sized dinner rolls, sliced
- 3 slices Swiss cheese, halved
- 6 slices Genoa salami
- 3 slices provolone cheese, halved
- 6 slices deli ham
In a food processor or blender, finely chop the pickled vegetables. Add in olives and dressing, and stir until well combined.
Add a big spoonful of vegetable mixture to each bottom roll, then top each with one Swiss cheese half, one slice salami, one provolone cheese half, one slice ham, and roll top. Pack each one in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill until ready to eat.
Fill-Your-Thermos Chicken and Bean Soup
- 1 (32-ounce) carton reduced sodium chicken broth
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, undrained
- 1 (15.25-ounce) can corn
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add in chicken, celery, and onion. Once it returns to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25-35 minutes, or until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken from broth, let cool a bit, then shred. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to Dutch oven containing the broth. Stir in shredded chicken.
Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat, and simmer for another 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Pack this soup in thermoses and it will be hot and ready for you and your tailgating friends for the next game!
Ultimate BBQ Tailgating Burgers
- 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey if you want them a bit healthier)
- ½ cup pickled jalapeños, chopped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¾ cup (your favorite) barbecue sauce
- ¼ cup sweet onion, diced
- 3 burger buns
- Couple handfuls potato chips (trust me, go with BBQ flavored!)
- Lettuce and tomato, for topping
Get your grill heated up. For the burgers: in a large bowl, mix together beef, jalapeños, pepper, chili powder, and salt until just combined, then form three patties.
For the cheese: in a medium bowl, add cheese, barbecue sauce, and onion, and mix until well combined, then set aside. Put burgers on the grill and cook to your liking, trying not to flip more than once.
When the burgers have 2 or 3 minutes left, spoon the cheese mixture onto each burger, and let cook until burgers are done, then remove from grill. To put these burgers together, add a layer of chips on top of each bottom bun. Place the burger with cheese on top of the chips, then top with lettuce and tomato. Now dig in!