Image by Jacob Rice
Football season is officially here!
What better way to celebrate the comeback of our favorite fall sport than with a plate filled with mouthwatering appetizers like these?
If you're a Birmingham local, you'll know that the Alabama football schedule is already added to all our calendars. That goes for the tailgating parties, too! And for all the NFL fans out there, Sunday night football is about to get a whole lot better.
We have the best game day appetizers to snack on while you cheer your favorite teams to victory. Whether you're watching from a stadium or your home TV, you won't want to miss out on these amazing tailgate food ideas!
10 Recipes for An Awesome Tailgate
If football is life and life is a party, wouldn't that make football a party? And if there's one thing we know about parties, it's that it's not a party unless there is a table of great food.
Make your next game day a hit with these 10 tailgate party appetizers. These recipes are perfect for large groups and small crowds, alike, to snack on before, during, and after the game!
1. Pepper Jelly Cream Cheese Crackers
These tasty crackers are just as sweet as they are spicy. And, they’re a fun way to get your crunchy fix!
- Cream Cheese
- Pepper Jelly
- Bring the cream cheese to room temperature and transfer to a large bowl once it has softened.
- In another, smaller bowl, add the pepper jelly. Microwave the jelly for around 20 seconds.
- Pour the bowl of warmed pepper jelly into the cream cheese and serve with a plate of crackers.
2. Cheese Twists
Be careful with these cheese twists! They are so packed with flavor and irresistibly cheesy, you may not be able to put them down!
- 6 ounces of hard or semi-firm cheese, shredded (Gruyère, Parmesan, Asiago, or extra sharp cheddar)
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Preheat your oven to 400º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Clean an empty counter to use as a work surface and dust with flour. Roll out two pieces of puff pastry until they are flat, but still maintaining their shape.
- Whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl and brush one of the puff pastries with the yolk. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese onto the same puff pastry. Then, place the other puff pastry over the shredded cheese, brush with egg yolk, and top with the remaining cheese.
- Sprinkle the paprika and red pepper flakes over everything, then use a rolling pin to flatten the pastry again.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry into strips of around ½ inch thick, and twist each strip a few times to create spirals. Repeat until all strips are spiraled.
- Place the spiraled strips on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
3. Creamy Avocado Dip
You’ll love this creamy avocado dip! Filled with the wonderful flavors of avocado, basil, garlic, and more, this dip is a buttery, smooth addition to your appetizer menu.
- 2 avocados
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 bunch of basil
- 1 small lemon
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut, pit, and peel the avocados, placing the halved pieces into a food processor.
- Then, prepare the rest of the produce by chopping the basil and halving the lemon.
- Add the chopped basil to the blender and squeeze the juice from both halves of the lemon into the blender as well. Chop basil and add to the blender.
- Top with the garlic powder, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and blend until smooth.
- Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, then enjoy!
4. Pigs in a Blanket
A classic for any occasion, these pigs have been wrapped up in a flavor-boosted blanket of buttery, seasoned goodness that you won’t want to pass up!
- 1 package of cocktail sausages
- 1 can of crescent rolls
- 1 egg, beaten
- Everything But the Bagel seasoning
- ¾ cup dijon mustard
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 375º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unroll the crescent rolls and divide each of the sectioned triangles into three smaller triangles. Then, place these triangles onto the lined baking sheet.
- Place one cocktail sausage into the widest part of each triangle, then wrap it with the dough. Repeat until all of the dough is used.
- Brush the tops of the dough-wrapped cocktail sausages with the beaten egg, and sprinkle the Everything But the Bagel seasoning on top.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- While they are baking, combine the maple syrup and dijon mustard in a small bowl.
- Serve the pigs in a blanket with the maple-dijon dipping sauce on the side and enjoy!
5. Ranch Fun Dip
Serve up a side of zesty fun with this tangy ranch fun dip!
- ¼ cup raw pistachios
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons Aleppo-style pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- In a medium skillet, toast the pistachios over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Toss them frequently until they turn golden brown, let cool, then transfer them to a blender.
- Pour in the rest of the ingredients and blend until a dry powder is formed.
- Serve alongside fresh vegetables and enjoy!
6. Cheesy Pickle Spears
Tangy pickles wrapped in melted cheese and served egg roll-style? Yes, please!
- Dill pickle spears
- Havarti cheese slices
- Egg roll wrappers
- Lay out an eggroll wrapper. Cut a slice of Havarti cheese in half, and place it in the middle of the egg roll wrapper. Lay a pickle spear on top of the cheese. Roll it up like an egg roll. Once you get to the end, dip your finger in the pickle juice and rub the edge of the egg roll wrapper to help it stick together.
- Preheat your air fryer to 360º F. Cook the spears for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping over halfway through.
- While the spears are in the air fryer, mix ranch and sriracha to taste. Dip the spears into the sriracha, and enjoy!
7. Eggs Rémoulade
Add a gourmet twist to old-fashioned devilled eggs with this tantalizingly savory and herby recipe.
- 12 large eggs
- 1 oil-packed anchovy filet, chopped finely
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon cornichons, chopped finely
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon capers, drained and finely chopped
- ⅓ cup mixed herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon, dill), chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the eggs in a large pot of water for about 10 minutes. Then, cool the now hard-boiled eggs in an ice bath for at least 5 minutes.
- Once completely cooled, peel the eggs and slice them in half lengthwise. Arrange the eggs (with the egg yolks facing up) on a platter.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped anchovy, mayonnaise, cornichons, lime juice, mustard, capers, and most of the herbs (leave some for garnishing). Mix until the ingredients are well combined, then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place a spoonful of rémoulade over each of the egg yolks. Top with a dash of chopped herbs and an optional drizzle of hot sauce.
8. Cowboy Caviar
Bring the taste of Texas home with this stellar cowboy caviar recipe!
- 1 can of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- ¼ large red onion, diced
- ½ poblano pepper, diced
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
- ½ avocado, diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Use a serving spoon to stir and toss until they are evenly mixed.
- Refrigerate until ready to use and serve alongside fresh chips.
9. Cheesy Bacon Phyllo Cups
Can you imagine smoky bacon, sharp and buttery cheese, a creamy, savory filling, toasted to crisp perfection and wrapped up in a single bite? No need to daydream, we’ve got the recipe right here!
- 15 mini phyllo shells, thawed
- ½ can mild Roasted Tomatoes, drained
- ½ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup of Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese (or both), shredded
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place phyllo shells on a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, bacon, and mayonnaise until blended.
- Add in the cheese and stir until completely mixed together.
- Fill the phyllo shells with the bacon and tomato mixture.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.
10. Alabama Firecrackers
A power snack that should be required at every Alabama game tailgate, these firecrackers are cracked with flavor!
- 2 sleeves of Saltines
- 1 pack of ranch seasoning mix
- 2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 1 cup canola oil
- Preheat the oven to 250º F.
- Mix the ranch seasoning, pepper flakes, and canola oil in a gallon-sized bag by shaking.
- Then, add the saltines to the bag, seal them, and shake them until they are completely coated.
- On a baking sheet with a wire rack, place the saltines in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 15 minutes.
Friday Night Lights with Table & Thyme
Appetizers aren’t the only thing that make a party worthwhile, and they aren’t the only recipes we cover, either. Check out some of our other recipes that are perfect for the occasion:
Football season is a special time for a lot of people since it carries some of the magic of fall. And here at Table & Thyme, we specialize in making the most of the special moments in every season. So, the next time you’re tailgating with friends to support your favorite college team, or when you're headed to a hometown game with the family, let us make those Friday Night Lights even brighter.
Of course, you could always make the recipes we’ve shared here, or, you can enjoy every moment of your time while we handle the food!
We offer a range of options to fit your needs with our Graze Box selection. For starters, you can easily get into the team spirit with our Letter and Number Graze Boxes. We can create a menu of fresh food that spells out everything from the name of your top team to the name and jersey of your favorite player! Or, make sure there's something for everyone with our Traditional Graze Box or our Vegetarian Graze Box, which both serve between 15-18 people. And don't forget about entertaining the younger athletes, too! Celebrate your football star's latest win or get the team amped for an upcoming game with our Kids Graze Box.
Whatever you have in mind, we can help you make it happen. Just send us a message and let's get started!
We hope you enjoyed this list of 10 must-try football party appetizers. At Table & Thyme, we love creating memories with food. That’s why we do so much more than just offer our catering services, grazing tables, and graze boxes. We also share tons of recipes on social media, as well as tips and tricks for event hosting on our blog. Make sure to follow us on Instagram and tune in to our blog every week for more quality content!
For more information on Table and Thyme, contact them today! Follow us on our social media: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest to see the other amazing events, lavishing grazing tables and beautiful graze boxes we have created.