You've Never Had Tailgate Food Like This Before

Want to win for best tailgate party this weekend? Nicole McLaughlin shows off our best new game day recipes.

1. Football Chili Dip

Searching for the most mouthwatering make-ahead dip of the season? Look no further than this TikTok-inspired chili dip that's packed with tantalizingly bold flavors. Start with a can of chili beans and one can of Ro-Tel. Add fresh ingredients like jalapeno, green onion, and cilantro for a vibrant edge.

overhead shot chili dip

"I'm basically using everything that I would put on top of my bowl of chili," Nicole shares. "This is a dip that's going to taste better the longer it sits, so it's a great thing to make the night before. You don't have to babysit or keep it warm."

Get the recipe here.

2. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Get the trademark taste of Buffalo chicken without the mess by going the meatball route. Wing sauce, butter, and honey combine for an enticing glaze that coats celery-dotted balls of ground chicken and cheese. You won't be able to resist making this recipe over and over.

buffalo chicken meatballs in front of silver slow cooker

Be careful not to overwork the meat — the result will be a tough and chewy dish. Gently roll and place meatballs on a large, lined baking sheet. "A little tip my grandmother taught me is that if you keep a little bowl of water nearby, the meatballs won't stick to your hands," Nicole says. Succulent Buffalo chicken bites will put you on the winning team every time.

Get the recipe here.

3. Mini Nashville Hot Chicken & Waffle Sliders

"This version takes shortcuts, because when you're having a football party no one wants to stand in the kitchen all day," Nicole says. Storebought chicken nuggets and frozen mini waffles make it easy to take your tastebuds on a trip to Music City.

miniature hot chicken waffle sliders

Combine butter, brown sugar, and a fiery spice blend for a tantalizing sauce that coats every crunchy bite of this Southern-style favorite. Add slaw and sliced pickle for a burst of authentic flavor.

Get the recipe here.

4. Sheet Pan Pizza Nachos

Don't let gameday go by without serving some cheesy, crowd-pleasing nachos. Nicole uses pita chips in place of traditional ones to mimic a pizza crust-like texture. Next, sliced pepperoni, pre-cooked Italian sausage, and Mozarella cheese are layered to create a rich, super savory flavor.

cheesy pizza-style nachos

"These just scream football party," Nicole says. "It's like getting the crust of the pizza with all the good stuff." Sheet pan nachos are easy to make and even easier to customize based on preference.

Get the recipe here.

5. Air-Fried Korean Chicken Wings

"What's a party these days without breaking out the air fryer?" asks Nicole. Try a fun and fiery Asian-inspired dish that will leave your guests wanting more. Sticky, spicy, and sweet wings will make your tailgate party the one to beat.

portrait shot korean hot wings with sesame seed garnish

Garlic, gochujang, and hot honey make a decadent glaze for crispy, air-fried chicken. Finish it off by tossing your wings with sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds. These mouthwatering wings make the perfect companion to a cold beer on game day.

Get the recipe here.

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