Easy tailgating recipe ideas
Tailgating done right
Plan to serve a portable menu you can prepare ahead, full of fresh seasonal produce and rich flavors. Pick and choose from these delicious recipe ideas.
By using ground turkey or 95 percent lean beef, you'll save at least 7 grams of fat and 59 calories per serving. Plus the beans offer lots of fiber.
Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep Time: 20 min
- 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
- 1 pound(s) ground turkey or 95 percent lean beef
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 can(s) (28-ounce) whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/4 cup(s) tomato paste
- 2 medium green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon(s) sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) dried oregano
- 1 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
- 1 can(s) (15-ounce) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can(s) (15-ounce) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can(s) (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Brown turkey, breaking up with a wooden spoon as meat cooks. Season with salt. Using a slotted spoon, remove turkey and reserve; discard any liquid.
- Add remaining tablespoon oil to pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, peppers, sugar, and spices, using wooden spoon to break up tomatoes. Add reserved turkey and bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add beans, stirring gently, and simmer 15 more minutes.
Chunky tomato salsa
Cubed queso fresco adds richness to this fresh chunky tomato salsa, courtesy of Anna Getty, author of Easy Green Organic.
Yields: 2 cups, each serving 1 tablespoon
Total Time: 5 min
Prep Time: 5 min
- 1 1/2 cup(s) (about 3 large plum tomatoes) seeded, finely chopped red and yellow tomatoes
- 3/4 cup(s) cubed queso fresco
- 3 tablespoon(s) finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoon(s) capers, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon(s) fresh thyme
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a medium bowl, gently toss all ingredients to combine. Serve salsa chilled or at room temperature with crackers or chips, or as an accompaniment to grilled swordfish or chicken.
These mini BLTs are made with fresh biscuits, courtesy of Marc Meyer, executive chef at Cookshop and Five Points in New York City.
Yields: 28 bite-size sandwiches
Total Time: 45 min
Prep Time: 30 min
Oven Temp: 375
- 2 3/4 cup(s) all purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 2 tablespoon(s) sugar
- 4 teaspoon(s) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
- 2 stick(s) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 cup(s) buttermilk
- 1 large yellow tomato, chopped
- 3/4 cup(s) mayonnaise
- 12 ounce(s) thick-cut bacon, cooked
- 1 small bunch arugula
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients; cut in butter with a pastry cutter. Add buttermilk and stir.
- On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 1 /2-inch-round cutter, cut out biscuits; bake on a baking sheet until golden, about 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix tomato with mayonnaise. Split biscuits. Layer each with mayo mixture, 2-inch piece bacon, and arugula.
A Bloody Mary recipe using fresh tomatoes and lemon juice, from Mark Levy, executive chef at the Point Resort in Saranac Lake, New York.
Total Time: 15 min
Prep Time: 15 min
- 3 1/2 pound(s) beefsteak tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup(s) seafood cocktail sauce
- 1/4 cup(s) Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) Worcestershire sauce, combined with above
- 1/4 cup(s) fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon(s) grated horseradish
- 10 dash(es) Tabasco
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) celery salt
- 12 ounce(s) vodka
- 6 stalk(s) celery, for garnish
- Puree tomatoes in a food processor until liquefied. Strain through a fine sieve into a large pitcher, pressing all juice from pulp. Discard pulp and stir in all remaining ingredients except ice, vodka, and celery.
- Fill each glass with ice, 2 ounces vodka, and about 3/4 cup of mix; stir to combine. Garnish with celery.
Pear and chicken hero
For a bit of sweetness in your hero sandwich, top rotisserie chicken with thin slices of Bartlett pear.
Yields: 4 sandwiches
Total Time: 30 min
Prep Time: 10 min
- 2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh parsley
- 5 tablespoon(s) balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 plain or whole wheat baguette, about 18 inches long
- Breast meat of 1 small rotisserie chicken (about 1 3/4 pounds), sliced
- 1 Bartlett pear, thinly sliced
- In a small bowl, stir together parsley and vinaigrette. Split baguette lengthwise and drizzle both sides of bread with half of vinaigrette mixture.
- Layer chicken slices on bottom half of baguette and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with half of remaining vinaigrette. Layer pear slices over chicken. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and top with remaining half of baguette. Cut baguette into 4 sandwiches.
Salted golden caramel bars
"The combination of caramel and sea salt gives this childhood treat grown-up flavor‚" says CL reader Steffny Wallace of San Francisco, who provided the recipe for this yummy snack.
Yields: 15 bars
Total Time: 1 hr 10 min
Prep Time: 10 min
- Vegetable oil, for greasing dishes
- 8 cup(s) puffed rice cereal
- 3/4 cup(s) corn syrup
- 2/3 cup(s) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup(s) packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon(s) sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup(s) dark chocolate chips, melted
- Liberally oil a large mixing bowl and a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place cereal in bowl and set it and dish aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine corn syrup, condensed milk, sugars, butter, and sea salt. Allow mixture to come to a boil, while stirring continuously, until a light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Remove mixture from heat, stir in vanilla, and immediately pour over cereal. Stir to completely mix, and then evenly spread in prepared baking pan.
- Set aside to let cool, about 45 minutes. Invert and release from pan. Drizzle with melted chocolate and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Cut into 15 bars.
Celery root and apple slaw
This sure-to-please dish is easy to prepare and travels well — perfect for both picnics and everyday meals.
Yields: 6 cups
- 1/2 cup(s) mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoon(s) chopped tarragon
- 1 teaspoon(s) lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
- 2 tablespoon(s) freshly grated horseradish
- 2 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
- 2 bulb(s) (about 1 pound) celery root, peeled and cut into small matchsticks
- 2 apples (such as macoun), cored and cut into small matchsticks
- 1 large egg, hardboiled and finely chopped
- Combine the mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon zest, salt, and horseradish in a medium bowl.
- Toss the lemon juice, celery root, and apples together in a large bowl and stir in the mayonnaise mixture and egg. Let sit at least 45 minutes before serving.
Tips & Techniques:
- Timesaver: Replace the celery root with a 1-pound package of precut coleslaw, found in the produce section of the grocery store.
Corned beef and pumpernickel sandwiches
Serve a sandwich with a side — be sure your guests are full without having anything too heavy so they don't get restless before your afternoon activities.
- 1 cup(s) whole-grain Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon(s) capers
- 1/4 cup(s) sweet gherkins, finely chopped
- 16 slice(s) pumpernickel bread
- 1 pound(s) corn beef, sliced
- 8 ounce(s) Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
- 1 head(s) (16 small leaves) red-leaf lettuce
- Combine the mustard, capers, and gherkins in a small bowl and spread on one side of each bread slice. Rinse lettuce leaves and pat each dry. Layer the corned beef, Swiss cheese, and lettuce on 8 of the bread slices, top with the remaining bread slices, and serve.
Tips & Techniques:
- Timesaver: Omit the chopped pickles andstir in your favorite relish.
Oven-roasted mushroom soup
Freshly chopped thyme leaves add garnish to this easy-to-make, savory mushroom soup.
Yields: 7 cups
Oven Temp: 400
- 1/3 cup(s) olive oil
- 1 1/2 pound(s) shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps roughly chopped into large pieces
- 1 1/2 pound(s) cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped into large pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
- 3/4 teaspoon(s) coarse-ground pepper
- 1/2 cup(s) very finely chopped shallots
- 3/4 cup(s) white wine
- 3 cup(s) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoon(s) heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
- Roast the mushrooms: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the olive oil in a large (about 16- by 13-inch) nonstick roasting pan. Add the mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and toss. Roast on the lowest shelf in the oven for 20 minutes. Add the shallots, stir to combine, and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. Remove about 1 1/2 cups of the mushrooms, set aside and keep warm.
- Make the soup: Remove the roasting pan from the oven and pour in the wine; stir, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the roasting pan. Add the low-sodium chicken broth, 2 cups of water, and thyme leaves. Return the pan to the oven and let cook, simmering, for about 20 more minutes. Remove pan from the oven and transfer its contents to a large serving bowl.
- Finish the soup. Remove 3/4 cup of the mushrooms with a slotted spoon; puree with 1/4 cup of the soup liquid in a blender. Stir the puree, cream, lemon juice, and remaining salt and pepper into the soup. Serve hot, topped with the reserved mushrooms.
Tips & Techniques:
- It is fine to rinse mushrooms under running water, but do so only just before using.