Food is essential for tailgating, but it doesn’t always have to be full entrees. Snacks are just as important especially since finger foods so easily facilitate the active nature of a tailgate party.
Here are five great tailgating snacks to consider making for your next tailgate.
Pig Skins: Potato Skins + BBQ Pulled Pork
Admittedly, our first snack is a bit more involved than your typical snack, but it’s so good, we just had to include it.
We call it our Pig Skins, and this recipe appeals to the essence of college football tailgating food – easy to eat, messy, and covered in BBQ sauce! They’re called Pig Skins because the “pig” comes in the form of bacon and pulled pork, which are layered on top of cheesy potato “skins.” Is your mouth watering yet?
- 5 small russet potatoes
- 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- Cooking spray, such as Pam
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s)
- 1 pound (about 2 cups) pulled pork from your favorite BBQ joint
- Sour cream, for topping
- 2 tablespoons chives or scallions
The day before
Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Rinse the potatoes under water and dry them completely. Use a fork to prick the skin of the potatoes on each side, spray with cooking spray, and place them in the middle rack of then oven. Bake the potatoes until fork tender, about 1 hour. Remove them from the oven and let sit until cool. Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise, and spoon out the flesh, leaving a half inch shell. Wrap potato skins individually in aluminum foil, and put them all in a ziplock bag into the fridge.
Fry 5 strips of bacon (pig #1) on the stovetop. Crumble the bacon when it’s cooled, place in an airtight container and keep on the counter (it will stay crispy until the next day).
Combine the pulled pork (pig #2) and barbecue sauce and put in an airtight container, and put into the fridge. If you’re an LSU fan and you like things spicy, be sure to use hot barbecue sauce – it will give these Pig Skins an extra kick.
Snip the chives with kitchen scissors at an angle (they will look more fancy that way J) and place in an airtight container and into the fridge.
The day of the game
Pack the potatoes, pork, cheese, chives, and sour cream in a cooler. In a separate bag, bring the bacon, cooking spray, salt & pepper, aluminum foil, and all of your other necessary grillin’ utensils.
At the tailgate
Wrap the pulled pork in an aluminum foil packet and place on the grill, seam side up, and cook for about 10 minutes, until hot.
Remove from the grill, but don’t open the packet so the barbecue will stay warm while the potatoes cook. Spray the tops of the potatoes with the cooking spray, and salt & pepper them liberally. Place potatoes on the grill, top side down, and cook until crisp, about 4 minutes (don’t be afraid to char the potatoes – it will only add a more smoky flavor!).
Turn the pig skins over and top with shredded cheese. The bottom will crisp up as the cheese melts.
Remove from the grill, top with the BBQ pork, sour cream, crumbled bacon, and chives.
More Tailgating Snacks
Below are four more excellent tailgating snack options to consider for your next football party:
Trail mix is an easy no-cook option for guys who don’t want to go anywhere near anything that resembles cooking. Just combine some simple items like dried fruit, cereal, crackers, pretzels and nuts into a bag and you’re good to go. Great news is trail mix is typically quite kid friendly, and serving can be as simple as dumping a large quantity into a bowl and placing it on a table for everyone to enjoy.
Check out these trail mix recipes:
They’re a little messier than some of the other options, but doesn’t everyone love snacking on meatballs? Bring toothpicks if you want to avoid messy hands. Consider using this snack option in the scenario where you’re light on big entrees. The meatballs-as-a-snack option will make sure you and your guests are plenty full.
Meatball recipes to consider:
Ham and cheese sliders
Handheld sandwiches are always easy ways to feed lots of people at a tailgate. Ham and cheese sliders are yummy, simple and most people enjoy them.
Here are a few ham and cheese slider recipes to consider:
Buffalo Chicken Bites
Something about that tangy buffalo taste makes everything come together when you’re tailgating. Buffalo chicken bites are a great way to introduce that buffalo flavor into your tailgate without getting too crazy. Make sure you make enough, however, as these things will be popular!
Consider these buffalo chicken bite recipes: