Whether it’s the homecoming game at your local high school, or a professional showdown between your favorite team and their rivals, football games have always had unique energy surrounding them. That being said, the only thing better than the games themselves is the food beforehand!
The tailgate party is a time-honored tradition for all football fans, and every year it seems more and more people are getting creative with their tailgate food! From homemade fried chicken to “world-famous” onion dip, people have never been afraid to show off their cooking skills, but the years of store-bought finger foods are coming to an end. This also means that you should be prepared to bring your A-Game to your next tailgate.
Before you start panicking and flipping through your parents’ old recipe books, we already did some work for you! We love coming up with delicious food creations here at Cleveland Kitchen, so we picked four of our favorite recipes to share with you.
For the best results, we suggest you make these recipes ahead of the big game so that you can account for any mistakes along the way. However, if you have the time, materials, and confidence to pull these recipes off in a parking lot, go right ahead!
Ham and Cheese Baked Buns
To get this party started, we’ve got a recipe that can feed the whole family and anyone else who swings by! These ham and cheese-baked buns are straightforward for anyone to make while still being packed with tons of flavor.
Note: All the recipes included in this article are simplified versions of the full recipes. To get accurate measurements and complete cooking instructions, use the links that follow each recipe!
- Cleveland Kitchen’s Classic Caraway Kraut
- Honey mustard
- Melted butter
- Poppy seeds
- Tomato slices
- Slider buns
- Deli ham
- Cheddar Cheese
- Preheat your oven, and place the bottoms of your slider buns on a baking sheet.
- Spread mustard on each bun. Top with tomatoes, cheese, ham, and kraut.
- Spread the melted butter on the top of the buns, and assemble the entire sandwich on the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the top with poppy seeds and bake.
Simple, right? After making these for the first time, experiment with any additional toppings or flavors you think will work well. As far as football food goes, this is definitely one of our favorite recipes.
For years, chicken wings and hot dogs have dominated the parking lots of football stadiums around the country. We think it’s high time to change that, and these shrimp tacos should do the trick!
- Peeled and deveined shrimp
- Taco seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Cubed mango
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced tomato
- Cleveland Kitchen’s Gnar Gnar Kraut
- In a large bowl, coat the shrimp with salt, pepper, and taco seasoning.
- Heat oil in a saucepan, and cook the shrimp on medium until cooked through.
- Combine lettuce, tomato, mango, avocado, and the Gnar Gnar kraut in a separate bowl.
- Heat your tortillas slightly, and fill with the shrimp and toppings mixture!
Shrimp tacos give a unique twist to game-day food ideas, and we predict it’ll be a crowd favorite!
Chili Con Carne
As the football season rolls along, the weather will get colder and colder, especially for all of our friends in the northern states! When the snow is coming down, and you’re stamping your feet to ward off the cold before the game, this chili con carne will warm you right up!
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Cleveland Kitchen’s Roasted Garlic Kraut
- Lean ground beef
- Chili powder
- Tomato paste
- Salt and pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Beef broth
- Diced tomatoes
- Red kidney beans
- Tomato Sauce
- Cook the onion and kraut in olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot until slightly soft and translucent.
- Add the beef and cook until browned before adding the chili powder, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Mix until combined, then add the broth, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and tomato sauce.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer.
- Once finished, remove from the heat and serve when cooled.
Though entirely optional, try topping this chili with some sour cream, cheese, and diced cilantro!
Southwest Black Bean Burger
We can’t have a list of tailgate food without a burger! Another staple of football party food, everyone loves a good burger, but a plain old beef patty and a slice of American cheese just won’t cut it anymore. This recipe gives you the classic tailgate experience with a whole new plant-based twist.
- Bean burger patty (or other plant-based burger patty)
- Burger buns
- Cheddar cheese
- Yellow onion
- Iceberg lettuce
- Cleveland Kitchen’s Beet Red Kraut
- Heat your grill or stovetop before cooking your bean burgers.
- Once browned slightly on either side, cover your burger patty with the cheddar cheese.
- Assemble your buns and toppings while the cheese melts.
- Combine it all and enjoy!
This recipe might just be the simplest of them all! Add some tortilla chips and a homemade buffalo cheese dip on the side, and you have yourself a full-blown meal.
Sharing Love For Food
Of course, no tailgate is complete without your friends, family, and fellow fans by your side. Food is best when shared with others, and we want to share our food with you! From our delicious sauerkraut to our unique fermented dressings, we’ve got something for every type of fan.