Tailgate Treats: 8 Appetizer Recipes for the 2022 NFL Season

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It’s officially football season! With the 2022 NFL season kicking into full gear, you may be busily planning your next tailgate get-together. And whether you’re planning to watch the action in person or stream the game at home, game-day just isn’t game day without the right snacks. 

A successful tailgating or viewing party needs plenty of savory food options to keep a crowd satisfied through all four quarters. With these easy recipes, you don’t have to be a master chef to make your apps a hit. From macaroni hot dogs to roasted pepper-deviled eggs, these are some of our favorite football appetizer recipes.

Mini Mac & Cheese Dogs by Taste of Home

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On their own, mac and cheese and hot dogs are two great game-day foods. This recipe begs the obvious question: Why not put them together? These mini mac-covered dogs are like something your inner child dreamed up. They do take a bit of prep work to get the buns just right, but it’s worth it. You simply shape mini buns out of frozen dinner rolls and bake until they’re golden and fluffy. 

Once the buns are done, it’s time to slap on the dogs and top it all off with a layer of comforting boxed mac and cheese — and for flair, a sprinkle of seasoned breadcrumbs. Who knew these two classic comfort foods could pair so well together?

Barbecued Chicken Wings With Chipotle Soy Glaze by Weber Grills

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No tailgate party is complete without wings! These scrumptious barbecued chicken wings are packed with flavor, thanks to a spicy, seasoned marinade on the chicken. Make sure to leave two to four hours of marinating time for the flavors to really soak in!

The marinade draws on soy sauce, cilantro, scallions, chipotle chile, cumin and garlic for a rich and zingy taste. And for a fruity tang, you’ll also use orange marmalade, juice and zest. This recipe serves six to eight, but you may want to make a double batch — real wing-lovers just might polish ’em off before halftime.

Ham and Cheese Tailgate Sliders by Once Upon a Chef

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These ham and cheese sandwiches make the perfect finger food to feast on while you’re cheering your team to victory. This Southern-style recipe calls for light and airy King’s Hawaiian rolls for the buns, lending an extra hit of sweetness to the main pairing of black forest ham and Swiss cheese. 

The sandwiches get their special flavor from a tangy poppy seed sauce with butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. This additional savory layer, coupled with the sweet bread, makes for a seriously tasty dish. And of course, sliders are always a great way to feed a rowdy crowd.

Make-Ahead Sandwich Rolls by Food Network

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If you’re worried about feeding a lot of hungry guests, you can’t go wrong with sandwich rolls! These rolls combine cheese, turkey, ham and shredded lettuce, with flatbread or tortillas serving as the outer wrapping. 

What makes these rolls special is their homemade chipotle mayonnaise, a spicy mix of mayo, chipotle chile, salt and pepper. If your tailgate attendees work up an appetite, these sandwich rolls are super flexible and can work as appetizers or whole meals.

Buffalo Chicken Dip by Delish

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What’s a party without dip? Buffalo chicken dip is a savory classic for sports fans. This recipe is not only yummy and filling but it also takes only 30 minutes to prepare — a perfect choice for a quick-assembly appetizer. 

You’ll need shredded rotisserie chicken, cream cheese and shredded cheese of your choice (cheddar, gouda and fontina all work). The true flavor of the dip comes from the buffalo sauce, ranch dressing and hot sauce. And let’s not forget the optional layers of blue cheese and chives. With the quality of a restaurant-style dip, this delicious mix will definitely earn you some praise from the football fans in your life!

It’s Tailgating Time Cheesy Beer Dip by Just a Pinch

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Fans of beer and cheese will fall in love with this game-day dip. And with only six ingredients, this is one easy-to-assemble app. So switch it up and upend your beer can into this scrumptious dip recipe.

You’ll need cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheddar, ranch dressing mix, green onions and (of course) beer. You can use dark or light beer, depending on your taste. And make sure to leave time for the mixture to firm up in the fridge. Serve with chips or pretzels, and you’re ready to party.

Roasted Pepper-Thai Chile Deviled Eggs by Martha Stewart

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Deviled eggs are an old-fashioned crowd-pleaser. But the spice profile in this roasted pepper-Thai chile version is anything but old-fashioned!  

Like most deviled egg recipes, the yolk mixture includes mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar. But these get their spicy kick from roasted peppers, minced red Thai chile and a bit of coarse salt. You can also garnish with thin chile slices for an extra boost of heat. If your guests can handle their spice, these are sure to be a hit at the tailgate.

Jalapeño Poppers by The New York Times

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There’s no denying that jalapeño poppers are a stellar party dish. This recipe is bursting with flavor, going above and beyond the typical mix of cream cheese, bacon and jalapeños.

Here you’ll go for a series of tasteful mix-ins, including cilantro, scallions, garlic and lime zest — along with the requisite pinch of salt and pepper. These jalapeño poppers will be a total touchdown for those who enjoy a kick of spice in their appetizers.

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