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5 recipes to use at your tailgate

This cookie dough dip from will be a game changer at your tailgate.

There’s nothing more that I love than good football and great friends. The following recipes have been chosen with love and care to help your tailgate this year be the best one yet!

1. Baked Buffalo Dip

Recipe and photo credit:

It’s not football to me without this amazing dip! Avoiding the messiness of eating traditional wings, you still get all the flavor we know and love. This dip is perfectly served with celery sticks, crackers, or bagel chips.


  • 3 cups (1 pound) shredded cooked chicken
  • 1(8 ounce) block reduced-fat cream cheese, softened and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly-sliced green onions
  • optional toppings: extra blue cheese, green onions, and/or hot sauce


  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir all ingredients together until well combined.  Transfer the mixture to an 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch baking dish, and spread out in an even layer.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the dip is warmed through and starts to brown slightly around the edges. Remove and sprinkle with your desired toppings. Serve warm.


2. Hot ham and cheese sliders with garlic butter sauce

Recipe and photo credit:

I love a good ham and cheese slider, and these looked way too good to not share.


  • 1 package (12 rolls) sweet Hawaiian rolls
  • 1 lb cooked deli ham, thinly sliced
  • 16 slices Havarti cheese, sliced


  • 8 tbsp (1 stick, 120g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tbsp (8g) dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp (9g) poppyseeds
  • 1 tbsp (9g) white sesame seeds
  • ½ tbsp (5g) garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp dried minced onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Using a sharp serrated bread knife, carefully slice the rolls in half horizontally. Place the bottom half of the rolls into a 9×13 baking dish.
  3. Layer cheese over the bottom of the rolls, then layer ham fully over the cheese. Repeat cheese and ham, ending with a last layer of cheese. Cover with the top half of the rolls. Optionally, you can cut the individual rolls now to separate the sliders and have the butter sauce penetrate between each sandwich better.
  4. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, garlic powder, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, minced onion, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in parsley, if using.
  5. Slowly pour the butter sauce over the rolls, using a pastry brush or spoon to evenly spread the mixture over the tops. Let the sauce drip down the sides to the bottom, this is needed for crispiness,
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake covered for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes or until tops are slightly crispy and toasty.

3. Jalapeno Maple Pig Shots

Recipe author: Kris Cummings, Photo credit:


  • 5 oz Kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch disks
  • 1 pack of maple bacon, thick-cut
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese of your choosing
  • Your favorite rub
  • A couple of fresh jalapeños, chopped
  • Toothpicks


  1. Leave cream cheese at room temperature for a few hours to soften. Grate the cheese and chop the peppers. Remove seeds if you don’t want too much heat.
  2. Cut the sausage or kielbasa in 1/2 inch (eyeball) disks. this is the base of your meat shot glass.
  3. In a bowl mix cream cheese, shredded cheese, jalapeños, and 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of your spice mix or favorite rub. Adjust accordingly to the potency of your rub/spice mix and to taste. It’s also good to sprinkle some on top of the shots once they are prepared. So keep that in mind when adding to the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Roll cream cheese mixture into balls like meatballs (about the width of your sausage slices) and place the balls on top of the sausage/kielbasa slices.
  5. Take your bacon and wrap it around the perimeter of the sausage/kielbasa and cream cheese ball to form a cup and hold in place with toothpicks. You most likely will have to cut your bacon slices in half, it depends on the width of your sausage or kielbasa.
  6. Light your Pit Barrel®according to instructions.
  7. Sprinkle your rub/spice mix over the top of your pig shots and they are ready for the smoker. You can place them directly on the grate or on a round cooking sheet.
  8. Cook until bacon is crispy to your liking!


4. Cookie Dough Dip

Recipe Author: Robyn Stone, Photo Credit:

Everyone needs a little something to satisfy their sweet tooth, and this cookie dough dip is everything and more. It’s quick and easy to make and is always a fan favorite.


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits


Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add sugars and beat until creamy. Then, add in vanilla until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and toffee bits until well combined. Serve with graham crackers, pretzels, or fruit.

Do NOT use reduced-fat cream cheese as it may cause your dip to have the wrong consistency.


  1. Prepare cookie dough dip according to the recipe instructions. Pour into a mound on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the parchment paper, shape the mound of cookie dough dip into the shape of a football.
  2. Press additional cup of chocolate chips onto the outside of the football shaped cookie dough dip.
  3. Place cream cheese frosting into a piping bag or a small sandwich bag with the tip snipped off. Pipelines onto the top of the cookie dough dip football to resemble laces.
  4. Store in the refrigerator until about 15 minutes prior to serving. Serve with an assortment of crackers, pretzels, and/ or apple slices.


5. Fall Football Punch

Recipe and photo credit: Angela G,

This Fall Football punch looked refreshing and while some adults enjoy a beer while tailgating, this is a great and fun alternative for kids to feel fancy! Serve in a mason jar for extra Southern style.


  • 10cups apple cider
  • 4 12oz cans Dr. Pepper
  • 1green apple
  • Handful of cherries
  • Juice from 1/2 lime


  1. Grab a gallon pitcher (or use two smaller pitchers) and pour in apple cider.
  2. Slice the apples, squeeze the lime and remove stems from the cherries.
  3. Add apple slices, cherries, and lime juice to the apple cider. (Tips: If you want to add a few lime slices, do so right before you’re ready to serve. If you let them soak overnight the rind will make your punch bitter.)
  4. Don’t add the Dr. Pepper yet either! Chill the cans of Dr. Pepper and the cider with fruit in the fridge, ideally overnight, or until you’re ready to pack your vehicle and head to the tailgate. When you get to the tailgate, add the cans of Dr. Pepper (and lime slices if you want) and then serve. This will make sure you get some of the bubbly goodness in your punch!


Written by Kathryn Winter


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