4 Dishes for National Tailgate Weekend

This post is sponsored by Learfield Licensing for National Tailgate Weekend.

4 Dishes for National Tailgate Weekend - I'm Fixin' To - @mbg0112image via

Fall is one of my favorite seasons for a variety of reasons, but football and tailgating is definitely at the top of the list.  College football tailgates in the South are serious social events and these four dishes are perfect for your tailgates, no matter what you volunteer to bring.  While it stays warm (or 90 degrees like yesterday’s temperatures), football season lasts well into when it gets rather chilly, so I’ve picked recipes to hit scorching and freezing tailgates.

Appetizer Dishes

Appetizers are the easiest dishes to bring to taiilgates, especially if you are on a time crunch like I usually am.  I am a sucker for fried food and these fried pickles from my friend Kayte are a crowd pleaser.  Additionally, I love this BLT dip and it is really easy to prep before and finish preparing once you arrive to keep the ingredients fresh.

BLT dip

4 Dishes for National Tailgate Weekend - I'm Fixin' To - @mbg0112image via


  • 1.5 cups of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 1 pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 head of lettuce, finely shredded (I bought shredded lettuce)
  • 2-3 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • Fritos or corn chips
  1. Combine sour cream and mayo in the bottom of the dish.  Put bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes on and season with salt and pepper.  Add the scallions, cover and chill.  Serve with your favorite corn chips.
Tip: I waited until we arrived to add the tomatoes and scallions.  I didn’t want it to get watery.  


Fried Pickles

4 Dishes for National Tailgate Weekend - I'm Fixin' To - @mbg0112

image and recipe via

Ingredients for Pickles
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾ cup cornstarch, divided
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon each paprika, salt, pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • About 3 dozen dill pickle slices
  • Canola oil
Ingredients for Fry’s Dippin’ Sauce
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  1. Assemble Dippin’ Sauce and refrigerate until read to eat.
  2. With a whisk, beat egg and milk in small mixing bowl. Place 1/4 cup cornstarch in another shallow dish. In a third dish, mix 1/2 cup cornstarch & cornmeal with the rest of the ingredients above.
  3. Dip cold pickle slices in the plain cornstarch, then the egg wash then the cornmeal mixture. Set aside.
  4. Heat canola oil in cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Fry until golden brown; about 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve with Dippin’ Sauce (or ranch if that’s your preference).

Dinner Dishes

These two dishes are my favorite, tailgating or not, for cooler weather.  They are filling and are so easy to make because they use a crockpot.  Preparing these dishes ahead of time and cooking for a little longer or just simpling heating up in the crock pot makes these so easy to use at a tailgate.

Eastern NC BBQ

4 Dishes for National Tailgate Weekend - I'm Fixin' To - @mbg0112


If you don’t have Lillie’s Q BBQ Suace, you can still make it this way:


  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Vinegar Dressing:

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  1. Place the pork roast in a crock pot with half a bottle of Lillie’s Q BBQ Sauce–ENC.  I didn’t add a rub, salt or pepper.  If you use a rub, make sure you cover all parts.  Then use half the vinegar dressing.  Save the rest for after the pork has cooked.  You can add a layer of yellow onions on the bottom of the crock pot, but I didn’t even do that and it was perfect.
  2. Cook the meat on low for 6-8 hours.  I cooked ours in this crockpot on high for 3.5 hours and it was so tender.
  3. Shred pork.  Serve in sandwiches or with all the sides from the tailgate!

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Chili

4 Dishes for National Tailgate Weekend - I'm Fixin' To - @mbg0112

Image & Recipe adapted from Skinny Mom


  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped (didn’t use this)
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets (didn’t use this)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups sodium free chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 ounce can no salt added diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans drained & rinsed (I used black beans instead)
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayene pepper
  • salt and pepper


  1. Brown the chicken in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Toss the browned chicken and all other ingredients in the crock pot.
  3. Stir all ingredients up well and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 6 hours.  You could also use in a dutch oven ad simmer for 2 hours.
  4. I served with reduced fat bleu cheese crumbles and avocado.

And if you are looking for other chili recipes, here is a roasted red pepper turkey chili and turkey chili.

What are your favorite tailgating recipes?  What team do you root for on Saturdays?  I hope you have a great week!