Crowd-Pleasing Tailgate Recipes

Last fall, I had the wonderful opportunity to partner with Auburn Love It Show It for a campaign that encouraged Auburn football fans to get creative with tailgating at home! I’ve compiled several of the recipes into one place!

Super Snacks

Auburn Tailgate Spread

Ham and Swiss Cheese Sliders


12 Hawaiian Rolls, cut in half

3/4 lb deli honey ham, shaved 

1/2 lb Swiss cheese, sliced

1/3 cup yellow mustard

6 tbsp butter, melted 

1 tbsp onion, finely minced 

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 


Preheat oven to 350ºF 

Split pan of rolls in half tops off the bottom so they are a layer of tops and layer of bottoms

In a small bowl, combine melted butter, mustard, onion and Worcestershire sauce. 

Lay a long piece of aluminum foil on a pan and place the bottom half of rolls on foil.

Spread the mustard mixture on inside of both top and bottom rolls.

Begin layering ham and Swiss cheese across all of the bottom rolls then cover with top rolls.

Wrap with foil and bake for about 15 minutes until cheese is melted.

Corn and Black Bean Dip


2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans white shoepeg corn, drained

6 oz of crumbled feta cheese

2 green onions, sliced

1 Tbs of fresh cilantro, finely chopped 

1/2 c apple cider vinegar

1/2 c olive oil 

1/8-1/4 c sugar

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix together oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.

In large bowl combine black beans, corn, cilantro, green onions and feta.

Toss in dressing and stir to coat.


Serve with Tostitos scoops.

Ham, Gruyère and Sage Pinwheels 


1 package puff pastry sheets (2 sheets, find in frozen section)

8-10 oz ham, thinly sliced 

2 cups Gruyère cheese, freshly grated 

2 tbsp sage, finely chopped 

Dijon mustard


Allow the puff pastry to thaw according to package instructions.

Once thawed, roll puff pastry out onto a working surface. 

Roll pastry until it is about 12 inches long.

Spread a thin layer of dijon mustard, leaving about 1/2 inch on each side.

Add half of the ham, cheese and sage. 

Roll into a log and wrap in plastic wrap.

Repeat steps for second sheet. 

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. 

Cut logs into 1/2 inch slices. 

Bake on parchment lined baking sheets for about 15-18 minutes, until golden.

Heath Bar Apple Dip


1 8 oz pkg cream cheese (softened)

1/2 c packed brown sugar

1/4 c white granulated sugar

1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

1 pkg of Heath Bits O’ Brickle English Toffee Bits

Apple slices


Combine cream cheese, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla. (I mix in my KitchenAid on low to medium-don’t over mix).

Fold in toffee bits.

Refrigerate for at least one hour. 

Serve with red and green apple slices. (Tip-Bags of apple slices work great and don’t turn brown as quickly!)

Charcuterie Cones

These are the ingredients I used, but the options are endless!

Marcona Almonds with Rosemary (fill in bottom of cone) – Trader Joe’s 

Cheddar Cheese Sticks – Trader Joe’s 

Pistachio Pomegranate Crisps – Trader Joe’s 

Sharp Cheddar Cheese 

Asiago Cheese with Rosemary and Olive Oil – Trader Joe’s 

Mini Brie Bites – Trader Joe’s

Castelvertrano Olives




Fresh Thyme

Fresh Rosemary 

Linking conesstand and skewers I used.

Layered Greek Dip



Tzatziki dip

Cucumber, finely diced

Tomatoes, finely diced 

Kalamata Olives, pitted and finely diced 


Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped


In a shallow dish, spread hummus then tzatziki dip.

Top with remaining ingredients and serve with pita chips and/or veggies. 

I used store bought hummus and tzatziki dip out of ease, but homemade would be amazing, too, if you have time. I have a great recipe for hummus here 

Redneck Charcuterie

Southern Charcuterie


Conecuh Sausage (or any smoked sausage)

Pimento Cheese (store bought or homemade – I have a recipe in this post!)

Wickles (or any sweet and spicy pickles)

Saltine Crackers

The Main Event

Greek Chicken Wings


2.5-3 lbs of chicken wings 

1/3 cup olive oil 

Juice of 1 lemon 

Zest of 1 lemon 

2-3 garlic cloves minced 

1 1/2 tsp Cavender’s Greek seasoning 

1 tsp dried oregano 

Salt and Pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400°F. 

Combine all ingredients then toss to coat chicken wings.

Refrigerate in the marinade for at least an hour.

On a large baking sheet, spread wings in a single layer. 

Bake for 50 minutes.

After baking, set the oven to broil to crisp the skin a bit (watch closely so they don’t burn). 

Pasta Salad with Herb Vinaigrette

Pasta Salad with Herb Vinaigrette


Pasta Salad

1 box pasta (I used Banza) 

Small handful of cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half 

1/4 red bell pepper, diced

1/4 orange bell pepper, diced

1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced

1/4 red onion, finely diced

Fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons

Parmesan Cheese (optional) 

Grilled Chicken (optional) 

Herb Vinaigrette

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil 

Salt & Pepper, to taste


Cook pasta according to package.

Drain and allow pasta to cool.

In the meantime, prepare the herb vinaigrette by combining all ingredients.

Once pasta has cooled, add the pasta to a large bowl with all of the veggies. 

Add parmesan and grilled chicken (if desired) and  sprinkle with basil. 

Pour the herb vinaigrette over everything and mix until well combined.

Chill in the refrigerator until serving. 


Snow Day Chili


1 lb lean ground beef

1/2 onion, chopped

2 14.5 oz cans of petite diced tomatoes

1 16 oz can of chili beans in sauce undrained

1 15 oz can black beans, drained

3 5.5oz cans v8 juice

1 pkg taco seasoning 

3/4 pkg ranch dressing mix

1 cup water


Brown ground beef and onion, drain.

Move to a dutch oven or stock pot then add all other ingredients.

Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer for 30 minutes.

May also cook on low for 3-4 hours in crockpot. 

Build-Your-Own Grilled Pizza Bar

A build-your-own grilled pizza bar is fun, easy, and allows friends and family to get creative!

I used naan for the crust because it’s the perfect size for a personal pizza!

Heat your grill (I used a gas grill) to low-medium heat.

BEFORE topping your pizza, lightly brush olive oil on each side of the naan.

Once the grill reaches the desired temperature, grill the naan for about 2 minutes on each side (check once to make sure it is not cooking too quickly)

Remove naan from grill and top with desired toppings. 

Return pizza to grill. If the bottom side of the naan is crispy enough for your liking, put the naan on a baking sheet and cook until cheese it melted.

The possibilities for toppings are endless! Here are a few ideas of pizzas I made:

GRILLED CHICKEN PESTO – pesto, sautéed mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, grilled chicken, and goat cheese – top with arugula after grilling

BBQ CHICKEN – barbecue sauce, smoked gouda,  red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and grilled chicken

SUPREME – red sauce, mozzarella, green bell peppers, sautéed mushrooms, onion, pepperoni, Canadian bacon

Serve the pizzas with a simple salad – the one I served was spring mix, fresh mint, and fresh basil with a lemon vinaigrette! For dessert, a fruit pizza (recipe below!) is as pretty as it is delicious!

Something Sweet

Fruit Pizza


1 roll sugar cookie dough (I used Pillsbury)

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

fresh fruit 


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray.

Press cookie dough onto pizza pan until even.

Bake for 16-18 minutes.

Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla (I mix in my KitchenAid on medium).

Allow cookie to cool completely before icing then top with fruit of choice.

I used blackberries, blueberries, peaches, and kiwi! 

Symphony Brownies


1 box premium brownie mix (I use Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate mix)

Whatever ingredients your brownie mix calls for. 

2 Hershey’s Symphony milk chocolate bars with almonds & toffee chips 6.8oz size (I buy mine at Walgreen’s)


Follow preheating and cooking time instructions for brownies on package you choose.

Line a 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper.

Spray generously w cooking spray. Pour 1/2 batter to cover bottom of pan.

Place 2 Symphony bars on top of batter then cover bars with remaining batter.

For Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate mix, I bake at 325 for 35-38 minutes and check for doneness.

Do not over bake  (this is less time than listed on packaging and may appear underbaked but will cool to doneness.) Cool completely in pan then place pan in refrigerator. (this will make cutting brownies much easier)

When chilled remove slab of brownies from pan with parchment paper.

Invert on to cutting board and remove parchment paper.

Cut into 25 brownies.

Store in airtight container. 

Cheers to football season and good food! Let me know if you try any of these recipes!

Always finding joy,


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