8 Tailgating Foods That Don’t Require a Grill

8 Tailgating Foods That Don’t Require a Grill

September 21, 2019 Off By Annabelle Short

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The origin of tailgating can be traced in the South. It is a pastime that doesn’t break your bank and one that is so enjoyable. While a while ago you’d just pack a few sandwiches and drinks for tailgating, today recipes are planned and better foods are seen during tailgate parties. While classic tailgating recipes are still common, more recipes have come up.

These foods are great when served cold. And the best part, you do not need a grill to prepare these foods in advance. Some foods on this list can be made a day before the party.

1: Chicken Salad

Any cooked chicken is great for a chicken salad. However, if you have Rotisserie chicken, you will find preparation easier. All you need to do is cook the chicken – just the way you like it but without a grill – and then keep it in your cooler. You can serve the chicken on a bed of greens or use a side of multigrain crackers.

The meal is satisfying especially if you love chicken. The chicken tastes great when it is cool.

2: Roasted Chickpeas

When crunchy, chickpeas taste awesome. Plus, they do not need a grill and can be eaten at room temperature. Preparing enough roasted chickpeas will only take you about 40 minutes. The satisfying meal will provide you with enough protein and fiber to keep the tailgating party interesting.

If you love the chickpeas very crunchy, ensure they are dry before you toss them in oil. To enhance the taste, try different spices such as smoked paprika, cinnamon, curry powder, or powdered sugar. Store the peas in Tupperware to maintain their crunchiness.

3: Sausage Balls

You can just carry sausages and eat them during the party but sausage balls are more fun. If you choose this choice, make and refrigerate sausage balls. Let them sit in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before you bake them. Bake the balls on game day and store them in Tupperware ready for eating.

4: Spicy Crunchy Granola

Granola can be made into so many different forms. Here, the granola is made super crunchy making it feel almost like party mix. However, the recipe still ensures you enjoy the sweet whole grains. You will need hot spices to make the meal. At the end, you will have a lightly sweet crunchfest hot with spices. Once made, the granola can stay for up to a week under room temperature. Store the granola in an airtight container ready for the game day.

5: Pretzel and Sesame Soy Nut Mix

his mix comes to replace a traditional party snack – it is a healthier option. If you prefer perfectly smoked food, this mix delivers the salt, crunchiness, and spices you need. It also includes whole grain popcorn, spicy wasabi peas and whole-wheat cereal. The peas are great especially if you love Asian food. The ingredients on this mix eliminate the need for a lot of sodium soy sauce, ground ginger and cashews.

6: Black Pepper Coleslaw

This is a simple vegetable dish. Take cabbages and cut them coarsely to give them a rough but appetizing look. When the slaws are cut coarsely, not only do the slaws look better but your work is also made easier. A teaspoon of black pepper will offer enough heat without making the food unbearable to eat. If you want to prepare early, make the veggies up to a day earlier. When packed, the veggies will remain crisp and the flavors will blend as the slaw sits in your cooler.

7: Popcorn Balls

Do you love popcorns? Popcorns are great for parties and events. They are easy to make and can be eaten cold. Because you might have limited time to prepare for the game, you might need easy-to-make food items and these popcorn balls are just right.

You can make the balls with white or dark chocolate – whichever you love.

8: Potato Salad

Instead of making potato salads that are laden with mayonnaise, you can make salads that are laden with oil and lemon. These are tastier and more savory for a tailgate party.


Most of the foods above are easy to make and can be made a day early. Better yet, they do not need a grill or any special equipment to prepare – just get into your kitchen and get the food started. You can tweak the recipes to match your taste.

Annabelle Short - Tailgatemaster.com Guest Author About the author: Annabelle Short is a seamstress of more than 7 years. She’s a mother of two. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and making DIY projects with kids. 

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