9 Awesomely Easy Recipes For Your Football Tailgate

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Even if you aren’t into college or professional football, odds are, you will be invited to some kind of football-watching event this fall. Whether it’s a tailgate or a house party, a true sorority girl knows that she should always bring something when she’s invited to a party, so here are nine (relatively) easy recipes to make for game day.

Buffalo Blue Chicken Meatballs (from Peace, Love and Low Carb)

Meatballs are generally easy to make and always fun at parties, so we have two different recipes for you. First up? The combo of buffalo sauce and blue cheese to make these little bites of fabulousness.

1 lb. ground chicken
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce, divided
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 large ribs celery, divided
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
• Dice up one rib of celery to put into the meatball mixture. Cut the other rib into dipping stick-sized pieces to serve with the meatballs.
• In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, blue cheese crumbles, garlic, diced celery, two tablespoons buffalo wing sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
• Form meat mixture into 16 meatballs. Bake for 20 minutes.
• While the meatballs are in the oven, heat the remainder of the buffalo wing sauce and the butter over low heat, until the butter is completely melted and is well combined with the buffalo wing sauce.
• Once the meatballs have finished cooking, gently toss them in the sauce until they are generously coated.
• Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Tamale Meatballs (from Moms and Munchkins)

If buffalo isn’t your flavor, maybe try these Mexican-inspired meatballs instead. Enchilada sauce and spices take these to the next level.

2 lbs. ground beef
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dry minced garlic
1 large egg, beaten
1 can (28 oz.) mild enchilada sauce, divided

• Spray slow cooker with baking spray.
• Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
• In a large bowl, combine beef, cornmeal, chili powder, cumin, garlic, egg, and 1/3 cup enchilada sauce.
• Form into 1 1/2-inch balls.
• Place at least 1 inch apart on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
• Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink inside.
• Using tongs, carefully transfer meatballs to prepared slow cooker. Pour in remaining enchilada sauce.
• Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until meatballs are hot and sauce is bubbly.
• Turn to warm for serving.

Buffalo Chicken Hot Wing Dip (from Hungry Girl)

One of our families casually refers to this dish as “chicken crack” and is overcome with joy every time we show up with it in hand. Bonus? It’s actually not bad for you.

2 9.75 oz. (or 10 oz.) cans 98% fat-free chunk white chicken breast in water, drained
1 8 oz. tub fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup hot sauce
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fat-free ranch dressing
1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Place cream cheese in a medium bowl and stir until smooth.
• Mix in hot sauce, mozzarella cheese, ranch dressing, and yogurt.
• Stir in chicken until thoroughly combined.
• Spoon mixture evenly into a deep 8-by-8-inch baking dish.
• Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until mixture is heated throughout.
**There’s also a microwave option!

Taco Dip (from Skinnytaste)

This easy, no cook option is always a hit at parties. Who doesn’t love a taco?

8 oz. 1/3 low fat cream cheese
8 oz. low fat sour cream
16 oz. jar mild salsa
1/2 packet taco seasoning
2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded fine
2 large tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
2.25 oz. sliced black olives

• In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, and taco seasoning and mix well with an electric mixer.
• Spread on the bottom of a large, shallow, glass dish.
• Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, and black olives.
• Serve with tortilla chips.

Turkey Chili (from My Recipes)

There’s nothing better than a big, hot bowl of chili on a cool, fall day. If turkey’s not your thing, you can always substitute ground beef.

1 1/4 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained (We hate beans so we leave these out and it’s fine!)
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1.25 oz. package chili seasoning mix
1/2 tsp. salt

• Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink, drain.
• Spoon mixture into a 5 1/2 qt. slow cooker, stir in corn and next 7 ingredients until well blended.
• Cook at high 4 to 5 hours or at low 6 to 8 hours.
• Serve with desired toppings.

Corn Chip Pie In A Bag (from Average Betty)

Otherwise known as “the walking taco.” Someone told us about this a few weeks back and it sounded gross…then we tried it, and now we can’t get enough. You can use the turkey chili recipe for this one, too. Bonus: no dishes to deal with!

Single serving (bag) of corn chips
1/3 cup chili
Shredded cheese
Diced onions
Other toppings

• Open bag of corn chips.
• Carefully place chili inside the bag on top of chips.
• Garnish with shredded cheese, diced onions and other desired toppings.
• Eat from bag.

Pizza Rolls (from the Girl Who Ate Everything)

We are firm believers that there is nothing better in this world than pizza. These little pizza pinwheels are a fun, easy way to bring pizza to the party without being the tacky person who ordered it.

Pizza dough (for 2 pizzas)
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 tsp. basil
1 cup sliced pepperoni, chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or pepperjack)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

• Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
• Divide pizza dough in half.
• Roll each half into a rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick and 12 inches long.
• Sprinkle each half with equal amounts of garlic salt, basil, cheeses, and pepperoni. Starting at a short end, roll dough up tightly to form a log.
• Slice into 1-inch pieces.
• Place rolls on lightly greased baking sheets.
• Bake for 10 minutes or until browned on top.
• Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Barbecue Chicken Wings (from Kraft Recipes)

Chicken wings are always a hit, and they’re relatively easy to make. If you want to switch it up, change out the sauce and use a teriyaki or honey glaze.

2 1/2 lb. chicken wings, split at joints, tips removed
1 cup barbecue sauce

• Heat oven to 450 degrees.
• Spread wings onto rimmed baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
• Bake for 35 minutes, drain.
• Brush with sauce, bake for 10 more minutes or until wings are done.

Touchdown Brownies (from Betty Crocker)

Pretty much just a football-shaped brownie. If you can’t make brownies, you should probably just head to the supermarket and buy something. Really.

Brownie mix, made to directions on box.

• Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pan). Line 9-inch square pan with foil, letting foil hang 2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray.
• Spread brownie batter in pan.
• Bake 34 to 37 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely for about 1 1/2 hours.
• Using foil to lift, remove brownies from pan.
• With football-shaped cookie cutter, cut brownies into football shapes.
• Pipe on decorating icing to look like football laces.

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Jenna Crowley

Jenna used to be known as 2NOTBrokeGirls, but then one of the girls actually went broke, so she's struck out on her own. Jenna spends her free time saving the world, one sorority girl at a time (usually while wearing yoga pants), questioning why she decided to get a doctorate, and documenting her love of all things cheese related. You can ask her anything you want about football, using your boobs to get what you want, and pizza at @JennaLCrowley on Twitter or via email at

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