Tailgating Main Dish Recipes

Plan your next winning tailgate with chili, pulled pork, slider, chicken wing, or planked salmon recipes. Browse more than 150 trusted tailgating main dish recipes complete with ratings, reviews and cooking tips.

Staff Picks

Simple Country Ribs

Rating: 4.5 stars 588
Extra tender, extra flavorful ribs, bursting with barbeque flavor.

Uncle Bo's Hot Sandwiches

Rating: 4 stars 4
Uncle Bo was my dad's college roommate. He created these sandwiches and served them up at Friday night parties before Penn State football games. I found this recipe some years back hidden in my mother's recipe box and decided to make them. They're great now for sitting in front of the big screen watching football--and football season is fast upon us. Make these for your crowd.

Touchdown Pizza

Rating: 4.5 stars 41
My favorite sports pub serves this, and I've come up with a simple and delicious home version. Many local restaurants sell wing sauce, and most grocery stores carry it near the steak and BBQ sauces. It's rich, so serve in squares as an appetizer. Serve ranch dressing, celery, and carrot sticks on the side. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ

Rating: 4.5 stars 610
Miss the tarheel tradition of a pig pickin'? Then find yourself a crock pot, a big pork shoulder, some cider vinegar and get cooking! While ground and crushed red pepper will provide the basic heat - go the extra mile and find some Texas Pete (or Trappey's) pepper sauce to bring the taste of Carolina to your kitchen.

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Rating: 4.5 stars 253
You can customize these simple wraps by topping them with whatever your family likes. Try shredded cheese, tomatoes, or onions.

Playoff Meatballs

Rating: 4.5 stars 73
These meatballs have been in my family for generations. The barbeque sauce adds a special kick! I serve these every Sunday during football season and every week they disappear!

E-A-G-L-E-S Swirl Sandwich

Rating: 4 stars 51
Similar to Julie Anne's Jet Swirl, I put a South Philly Cheese Steak twist inspired by our favorite football team. Variations can be made by substituting provolone for the American cheese.

Da Beef Lover's Half Time Stuffed Meatloaf

Rating: 4.5 stars 26
Stuffed with Salami, Ham, Spinach and Cheese, this monster meatloaf will put any hungry man into the Lazy Boy during half-time. This recipe is big and hearty and is a fairly inexpensive way to serve many at a football party.

Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sliders

Rating: 4 stars 1
These spicy sliders are perfect in the summer when you are tired of the usual grilling fare! Serve with lettuce, tomato, and spicy ranch dressing.
By Christy Wandling Van Scoyoc

Cedar Plank Salmon

Rating: 4.5 stars 46
Cedar plank salmon can be baked in the oven or barbequed on the grill with this easy recipe.


Rating: 4.5 stars 116
Spiedies are the pride and joy of the Greater Binghamton area of N.Y. They are such an important part of life there that the biggest party of the year celebrates them - The Spiedie Festival and Balloon Rally brings thousands into the area every summer. Chunks of chicken (my favorite), pork, lamb (traditional) or venison are marinated in a mixture of oil, vinegar and herbs for 1 to 3 days, skewered, grilled and served on Italian bread with no condiments.

Inspiration and Ideas

Emily's Chipotle Chili
Rating: Unrated 113
"I got some rave reviews about this chili after it was served to a bunch of beer-drinking guys." – Fred Norris
Sheboygan Grilled Brats
Rating: Unrated 91
"Is it even legal to cook brats any other way?" – morble
Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork
Rating: 4.5 stars 3031

Texas-style pulled pork simmers in a tangy chili-seasoned barbecue sauce with plenty of onion, then pulled into tender shreds to serve on a buttered, toasted bun.