Tailgating just wouldn't be tailgating without the food!

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Tailgating and grilling are good old friends. After all, what would tailgating be without the aroma of brats, burgers, and dogs wafting through the autumn air? Tailgating recipes have grown exponentially in past few years and countless books, websites, and blogs are dedicated to tailgating eats.

Today’s tailgate experience offers expanded menus which include healthier options as well as options for vegetarians and vegans. Check out the That's Fit, Veg News, and Eating Well websites for tailgating recipes that accomodate alternatives to the standard fare.

Some frequent favorites at Ball State tailgates include the following:

Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue:

Serves 6


  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 bottle favorite barbecue sauce (Traditional Sweet Baby Ray' is inexpensive and delicious)
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


1. Place chicken in slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken.
2. Cover, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.

Pressure Cooker Chili:


  • 3 pounds stew meat (beef, pork, and/or lamb)
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle of beer, preferably a medium ale
  • 1 (16-ounce) container salsa
  • 30 tortilla chips
  • 2 chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers in adobo)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin


Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and toss with the peanut oil and salt. Set aside.

Heat a 6-quart heavy-bottomed pressure cooker over high heat until hot. Add the meat in 3 or 4 batches and brown on all sides, approximately 2 minutes per batch. Once each batch is browned, place the meat in a clean large bowl.

Once all of the meat is browned, add the beer to the cooker to deglaze the pot.

Scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the meat back to the pressure cooker along with the salsa, tortilla chips, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, and ground cumin and stir to combine. Lock the lid in place according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the steam begins to hiss out of the cooker, reduce the heat to low, just enough to maintain a very weak whistle. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully release the steam. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Alton Brown.

Pizza on the Grill (sounds crazy but is awesome):

2 Pizzas


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 pinch white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and mix in sugar. Proof for ten minutes, or until frothy. Mix in the salt, olive oil, and flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down, and knead in garlic and basil. Set aside to rise for 1 more hour, or until doubled again.
2. Preheat grill for high heat. Heat olive oil with garlic for 30 seconds in the microwave. Set aside. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Form each half into an oblong shape 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick.
3. Brush grill grate with garlic flavored olive oil. Carefully place one piece of dough on hot grill. The dough will begin to puff almost immediately. When the bottom crust has lightly browned, turn the dough over using two spatulas. Working quickly, brush oil over crust, and then brush with 2 tablespoons tomato sauce. Arrange 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 1/8 cup sliced black olives, and 1/8 cup roasted red peppers over crust. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese and 2 tablespoons basil. Close the lid, and cook until the cheese melts. Remove from grill, and set aside to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the second pizza.

Recipe from All Recipes.

Here are some great recipes that you can make at home and bring with you to your tailgate party.
Corn Pudding


4 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups milk
4 cups cooked corn


Preheat oven to 325o. Grease a 9 X 13-inch casserole dish.
In a large bowl add the eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and onion and beat well. In a saucepan over moderate heat melt the butter. Stir in the milk and heat until warm. Fold the butter and milk mixture into the egg mixture and then stir in the corn.
Pour the corn and egg mixture into a greased casserole dish.
Bake for 1 hour, remove from the oven, and let cool.
Before leaving for the tailgate, reheat the pudding and pour it into a thermal container to keep worm. When ready to serve at the tailgate site, serve from the container.
Makes 8 servings.

Sesame Noodle Salad


1 pound spaghetti
8 ounces snow peas, slivered lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, cut into strings
½ cup smooth peanut butter
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup warm water
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon salt


In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente, according to the package directions.
Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large bowl combine the pasta with the snow peas and red bell pepper.
In a blender puree the peanut butter, garlic cloves, jalapeno pepper, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and salt.
Pour the dressing over the noodles and toss to coat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Makes 4 servings.

Chocolate Rum Cake

¾ cup coconut rum
1 package chocolate cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
½ cup oil
½ cup flaked coconut
¾ cup strong coffee
Coffee Glaze (recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 345o. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Combine the rum, cake mix, pudding mix, egg, oil, and coffee. Beat at the medium speed for 2 minutes and then stir in the chocolate chips and flaked coconut.
Spread evenly into the pan and bake for 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, remove from the pan, and cool completely.
Prick the top of the cake with a fork.
Brush the Coffee Glaze all over the top and sides of the cake until the glaze is absorbed.
Garnish with the coconut.

Makes 12 servings.

Coffee Glaze

½ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons coffee
4 tablespoons coconut rum

Combine the sugar, coffee, and rum in a small bowl.


The recipes were taken from “The ULTIMATE Tailgater’s Handbook”, the Official Tailgating Book of the ATA (American Tailgaters Association), edited by Stephen Linn.

For additional food and drink recipes, visit: www.theultimatetailgater.com