It’s football season and the living is right.
Headed to an early morning tailgate for one of those brutal 11:21 kickoff times? We’ve compiled the best tailgate recipes for those early gamedays. These treats are sure to please and provide some nutrition (carbs) for the day. Remember– never show up empty-handed to a tailgate.
Plus, these tailgate recipes are easy to make and easy to transport!
Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
These muffins are almost as fall as football. Try out this recipe if you’re really trying to impress your tailgating crew.
For the batter:
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
For the sugar coating:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups. Make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.
Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack.
Pancakes on a Stick
Maybe one of the greatest inventions of our time– a pancake you can eat with your hands.
16 breakfast sausage links
3 cups pancake mix
1 cup yellow cornmeal
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 whole egg, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups water
Canola oil, for frying
Warm pancake syrup, for serving
Special equipment: chopsticks
Cook the breakfast sausage links in a cast-iron skillet, turning occasionally until done.
In a large bowl, combine the pancake mix, cornmeal and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
Add the eggs, vanilla and water, adding more water as needed for the batter to become slightly thick (but not overly gloopy.) Start out by adding 1 cup, then work your way up to 3 cups or more.
Heat some canola oil in a large pot over medium-high heat to about 350 degrees F. Drop in a bit of batter to see if it’s ready; the batter should immediately start to sizzle but should not immediately brown/burn.
Insert chopsticks into the cooked breakfast sausages so that they’re two-thirds of the way through. Dip the sausages into the batter and allow any excess to drip off for a couple of seconds. Carefully drop into the oil (stick and all) and use tongs or a spoon to make sure it doesn’t hit the bottom of the pan and stick. Flip it here and there to ensure even browning, and remove it from the oil when the outside is deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve with warm pancake syrup.
Easy Coffee Cake
Everyone of every age will love this coffee cake. It’s a perfect sweet treat to go along with anything savory.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender to the size of small peas.
In a separate small bowl, beat the egg well, then stir in the milk and vanilla. Add the egg-milk mixture to the flour mixture all at once. Stir carefully until just blended.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Drizzle top with melted butter.
In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of cake. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Ham and Cheese Sliders
Sliders aren’t just for dinner time! These ham and cheese sliders are super filling and really easy to throw together.
3/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
24 mini sandwich rolls
1 pound thinly sliced cooked deli ham
1 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a bowl, mix together butter, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds, and dried onion. Separate the tops from bottoms of the rolls, and place the bottom pieces into the prepared baking dish. Layer about half the ham onto the rolls. Arrange the Swiss cheese over the ham, and top with remaining ham slices in a layer. Place the tops of the rolls onto the sandwiches. Pour the mustard mixture evenly over the rolls.
Bake in the preheated oven until the rolls are lightly browned and the cheese has melted, about 20 minutes. Slice into individual rolls through the ham and cheese layers to serve.
Sausage and Cheese Crescent Squares
Without a doubt these will be the biggest hit of the tailgate, every game, every time.
2 cans (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 lb spicy or mild bulk pork sausage
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
Heat oven to 375°F.
If using crescent rolls: Unroll 1 can of dough into 2 long rectangles. Place in ungreased 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish; press over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust.
In 12-inch skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently, until no longer pink. Remove sausage from skillet; discard drippings. To same skillet, add cream cheese. Cook over low heat until melted. Add cooked sausage; stir to coat. Spoon evenly over crust in baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.
If using crescent rolls: Unroll second can of dough on work surface. Press to form 13×9-inch rectangle; firmly press perforations to seal. Carefully place over cheese. If using dough sheets: Unroll second can of dough on work surface. Press to form 13×9-inch rectangle. Carefully place over cheese.
Bake 21 to 26 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Cut into small squares.
Remember, never show up to a tailgate empty-handed.