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Everything You Want to Eat At a Tailgate Party

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Football (and tailgating) season kicked off with a bevy of NCAA games last Saturday, August 26th. At Louisiana State University (my alma mater) and schools across the country, this means jumping from tailgate to tailgate, saying hello over beers and grabbing boudin from a friend’s dad’s neighbor. No matter if you even like football or not, tailgating at LSU is just as high stakes as the game that brings everyone there. Tents are pitched, charcoals are lit, the music is blasting, and the alcohol flows freely.

If you're throwing a tailgate party, you could reasonably expect dozens of people—classmates, friends, family, godparents—lingering, munching, and sipping for hours. Which is why preparing the right spread is key. Whether your tailgate is in a parking lot, under a canopy of oak trees, or simply in your living room, here are easy-to-eat dishes that will keep everyone in a great gameday mood. Oh, but the beer's on you.

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The Kickoff

My Favorite Black Bean Dip

My Favorite Black Bean Dip by Madhuja

Heidi Swanson’s Parmesan Cheese Spread

Heidi Swanson’s Parmesan Cheese Spread by Genius Recipes

Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole

Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole by Genius Recipes

New-School French Onion Dip

New-School French Onion Dip by Sarah Coates

Truly Amazing Cashew Queso Sauce

Truly Amazing Cashew Queso Sauce by Gena Hamshaw

Spinach, Feta, and Artichoke Dip

Spinach, Feta, and Artichoke Dip by Oui, Chef

Basic, Bang Up Blue Cheese Dressing
Basic, Bang Up Blue Cheese Dressing

Running Back (To grab these Finger foods)

Memphis-Style Pulled Pork Nachos
Memphis-Style Pulled Pork Nachos
Devils on Hatchback

Devils on Hatchback by Helenthenanny

Party Pretzel Bites

Party Pretzel Bites by fiveandspice

Chicken Fingers

Chicken Fingers by Merrill Stubbs

Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins

Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins by Josh Cohen

Virginia Willis' Deviled Eggs
Virginia Willis' Deviled Eggs
How to Make Snack Mix Without a Recipe, Savory or Sweet
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How to Make Snack Mix Without a Recipe, Savory or Sweet
Cornbread with Chorizo

Cornbread with Chorizo by boulangere

Pork Boudin Balls

Pork Boudin Balls by inpatskitchen

Hands Team

Crispy Pulled Pork Shoulder
Crispy Pulled Pork Shoulder
Texas Tailgate Burger

Texas Tailgate Burger by aargersi

Greens-Stuffed, Cheese-Stuffed Quesadilla

Greens-Stuffed, Cheese-Stuffed Quesadilla by Sarah Jampel

6 Game Day Snacks in 1 Humongo, Easily-Potlucked Sandwich
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6 Game Day Snacks in 1 Humongo, Easily-Potlucked Sandwich
Parker & Otis' Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)
Parker & Otis' Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)
The Food Lab's Ultra-Smashed Cheeseburgers

The Food Lab's Ultra-Smashed Cheeseburgers by Genius Recipes

Sticky Chipotle Ribs

Sticky Chipotle Ribs by Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Bowl Games

How to Make a Potato Salad That'll Upstage the Classic
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How to Make a Potato Salad That'll Upstage the Classic
Frito Pie (Or Walking Taco)

Frito Pie (Or Walking Taco) by Samantha Weiss Hills

Anytime Jambalaya

Anytime Jambalaya by hardlikearmour

Sriracha-Lime Corn Salad

Sriracha-Lime Corn Salad by Kendra Vaculin

Chicken Salad with Cornichons and Radishes

Chicken Salad with Cornichons and Radishes by theicp

Slightly Smoky Mixed-Bean Chili

Slightly Smoky Mixed-Bean Chili by creamtea

Martha Stewart's Sweet Potato, Celery, and Apple Salad

Martha Stewart's Sweet Potato, Celery, and Apple Salad by Genius Recipes

Sweet, Sweet Victory

Ovenly's Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ovenly's Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies by Genius Recipes

Modjeskas

Modjeskas by Sarah Baird

Almond Butter Buckeyes
Almond Butter Buckeyes
Coconut Dream Bars
Coconut Dream Bars
Rocky Road
Rocky Road
Quick Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares

Quick Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares by Selma | Selma's Table

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars by Yossy Arefi

A Genius Slab Pie Template, for Any Fruit Growing Near You

A Genius Slab Pie Template, for Any Fruit Growing Near You by Kristen Miglore

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Alice Medrich's Best Cocoa Brownies

Alice Medrich's Best Cocoa Brownies by Genius Recipes

Salty Butterscotch Whoopie Pies
Salty Butterscotch Whoopie Pies

Tell us your favorite tailgate snacks—or team—in the comments below!

Tags: tailgate party, football