Whether it's a football game, a rock concert or a NASCAR race, time spent out in the parking lot at a tailgate party can often be the most memory-making event of the day!
Getting together around the tailgate with good friends is a great way to bond or reconnect with other "weekend warriors", so sweating over a grill shouldn't be your biggest priority.
Veggies and dip (and lots of beer!) are the time-honored way to kick off a tailgate party, along with one-pot meals, or foods that can be quickly grilled so that cooks can be free to join in the fun, too. Chill out with these easy recipes for easy one-pot meals or otherwise filling finger-foods that are fun, flavorful, and sure to wow guests at your next tailgating party:
In a large bowl, add the juice of 1 lime and 3 Hass avocados. Mash up the avocados until slightly chunky and add 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/2 onion, chopped; 1 small plum tomato, chopped; 1 clove garlic, minced; and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Mix all ingredients until thoroughly blended. To store, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Serve with tortilla chips. Serves 4.
Quick and easy chile
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add 1 chopped onion, 3 cloves garlic, minced; 1 tablespoon salt; 1 tablespoon chili powder; and 1 teaspoon oregano. Stir until thoroughly heated, then add 1 pound ground beef and 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and cook until beef is slightly browned. Add 1 can kidney beans, and 1 can crushed peeled tomatoes (and their juice). Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook for 10 minutes until thickened.
To serve, ladle the chili into bowls and serve with guacamole, sour cream, grated Monterey jack cheese, and tortilla chips. Serves 4
Easy shrimp kabobs
In a large bowl, make marinade by mixing together 1/2 cup teriaki sauce, 1 chopped scallion, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Add 16 large shrimp and toss to coat, reserving marinade. Place 1 pineapple chunk in the curve of each shrimp and place on skewer. Place on heated grill and cook for about 1 minute per side, brushing with marinade until done. Serves 4.
Easy beef stew
In a large skillet, cook 2 lbs stew meat over medium heat until browned. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Immediately lower heat and add 4 large potatoes, cubed; 3 large carrots, sliced; and 1 large onion, coarsely chopped. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Cover and let simmer for an hour or until meat is tender. Serve in bowls with rolls or crusty bread.
More about tailgate party main dishes
While grilled burgers, steaks and chicken are always a favorite around the barbecue, finger foods are the way to go at a tailgate party. Along with the recipes listed above, also think about ribs, buffalo chicken wings, or hearty sandwiches.
Favorite tailgate party desserts
To satisfy everybody's sweet tooth, store bought cupcakes and cookies are the easiest bet for feeding a crowd, but for homemade desserts, brownies are always a mess-free, inexpensive alternative. If you have time, add a little excitement with any simple cookie recipe frosted in your favorite team colors.
More about easy tailgating recipes around the Web: