Tailgating Recipes
mphillips007/istockphoto

35 Finger Foods for Game Day With the Family

View Slideshow
Tailgating Recipes
mphillips007/istockphoto

Game Day Favorites

No matter what the size of your family, you should always be prepared with a menu of easy-to-eat finger foods. These satisfying dishes are simple and cheap to make, ranging in price from about 50 cents a serving for always-fun popcorn or veggie sushi to about $4 a serving for sliders and ribs worth cheering for. Mix and match to come up with an ideal spread without going over budget. 


Related: 12 Cheap Drinks for Game Day

Queso Dip
alexpro9500/shutterstock
Pigs in a Blanket
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Pigs in a Blanket

This classic recipe is quick and easy to prepare with two ingredients: cocktail wieners and crescent rolls. To keep costs extra low, buy ingredients in bulk from a wholesale club such as Costco when making a large batch.


Recipe: Pillsbury


Related: 12 Reasons Why Shoppers Are Addicted to Costco

Mexican Layer Dip
bhofack2/istockphoto

Bean Dip

Beans are cheap and filling, which makes this dip a good option for a family. A classic seven-layer-bean-dip recipe can be adapted for what's on hand and customized to taste. It doesn't even have to be seven layers — a dish of flavorful refried beans with some hot sauce on top does the trick.


Recipe: McCormick


Related: 21 Delicious and Inexpensive Mexican Dishes

Quesadillas
Timolina/shutterstock

Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a favorite game-watching snack and can be made with many different flavor combinations. This recipe for a classic cheese quesadilla is made in the oven to minimize hassle and cleanup. Serve with toppings and fillings of your choice.


Recipe: Add a Pinch


Related: 20 Cheap and Easy Lunches Kids Can Make for Themselves

Chicken Meatballs
istetiana/shutterstock

Chicken Meatballs

Chicken is less expensive than red meats typically used to make meatballs, and makes for a lighter snack. This recipe uses a slow cooker to make the dish easy. This is an easy make-ahead option that can be kept warm until kickoff. 


Recipe: Chef Savvy 


Related: Costco's 28 Buys for Packing Your Freezer

Slow Cooker Sausage and Sauce
JeffKearney/istockphoto

Sausage and Pepper Sliders

Hearty mini sandwiches are impressive yet can be easy to pull off. This sausage and pepper slider recipe cuts down on cost by using inexpensive Italian sausage as the meat with more filler from onions and peppers. Cooked in a large batch and assembled on small buns, they're quick and easy to serve.


Recipe: Taste of Home 

Wings
Tatiana Volgutova/shutterstock

Wings

You can hardly gather a group to watch sports without ordering wings, but that adds up. This simple recipe for baked chicken wings makes crispy and tangy wings without fatty frying, and starting with bulk frozen wings is cheap enough to serve the family as many as they want.


Recipe: Bon Appétit 


Related: The Best Chicken Wings Spot in Every State

Pulled Pork
rez-art/istockphoto
Macaroni and Cheese Bites
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Macaroni and Cheese Bites

People have long searched for a way to make mac and cheese a finger food. Rolling it into balls and deep-frying is one option. For a cheaper, hassle-free option, follow a recipe for mac and cheese "cupcakes" — small, handheld portions baked in a muffin pan. 


Recipe: Chef in Training 


Related: 20 Super Simple Twists on Boxed Mac and Cheese

Stuffed Potato Skins
rojoimages/istockphoto

Stuffed Potato Skins

One of the best things about potato skins is their adaptability. This version of the irresistible party food features broccoli and avocado cream rather than the more typical bacon and sour cream. Don't feel limited by the given ingredients — add favorite seasonal vegetables or whatever is in the refrigerator. Anything from kale and onions to shredded chicken is guaranteed deliciousness when loaded into a potato skin and topped with cheese.


Recipe: Ellie Krieger 


Related: Celebrate Spuds With 27 Tasty Ways to Cook Potatoes

Flatbread Pizzas
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Guacamole
Foodio/shutterstock

Guacamole

Guacamole is a favorite at parties, and one of the most nutritious options in a sea of fried and fatty foods. Using larger Dominican avocados, which are a brighter green and have smoother skin than Mexican Hass avocados, cuts costs. Or shop an ethnic market for good prices on Hass avocados a few days ahead of time, to ensure they have time to ripen.


Recipe: Allrecipes 


Related: 14 Simple Kitchen Hacks That Save Food and Money

Ribs
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Ribs

Making ribs in the oven is an easy process that fills the kitchen with delicious and tempting aromas. This recipe for baby back ribs takes more than four hours, but they can be prepared easily ahead of time and kept warm in a low-heat oven. Buy in bulk from a wholesale club for quality meat at low prices and feast on ribs all weekend long. 


Recipe: Allrecipes 


Related: 15 Fantastic Regional Rib Recipes

Jalapeño Cornbread
Natalia Wimberley/shutterstock

Jalapeño Cornbread

Inexpensive to make, cornbread muffins get a kick from jalapeños, which offer just a touch of heat to offset the naturally sweet corn. They cost just a fraction of the price of ribs and chicken but can be just as essential to a game day celebration.


Recipe: Sally's Baking Addiction 


Related: 30 Cast-Iron Skillet Recipe for an Easy Meal

Grilled Cheese
msheldrake/shutterstock
Stuffed Jalapenos
vm2002/shutterstock
Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
Eduardo Ramirez Sanchez/shutterstock
Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock
Chicken Eggrolls
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Pork and Cabbage Egg Rolls

Egg roll wrappers and cabbage are cheap ingredients. Mixed with other vegetables, pork, and seasonings, they become a satisfying treat. Use ground pork to keep costs low.


Recipe: Genius Kitchen 


Chicken Satay Skewers
Robyn Mackenzie/shutterstock

Chicken Satay Skewers

Made from inexpensive chicken, these easy dipping skewers are a light option that's full of flavor. Marinating the chicken overnight makes it tender and flavorful, so don't skip that step, but you can make the sauce and even grill the chicken ahead of time; just heat up the skewers before serving.


Recipe: Damn Delicious 


Related: 50 Cheap and Easy Chicken Recipes

Chips and Salsa
Timolina/shutterstock
Spinach Artichoke Dip
cobraphotography/shutterstock

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Using frozen spinach and artichokes makes this recipe simple and cost-effective. Substitute more spinach and skip the artichokes, or vice versa. The cream-cheese base makes a tangy dish that always disappears fast.  


Recipe: Alton Brown 


Carrots and Celery with Dip
istetiana/shutterstock

Crudité and Dip

Carrots and celery are inexpensive staples at grocery stores year-round. Combine with a flavorful, cheap, and quick onion and sour cream dip that beats premade mixes. This recipe works well with other veggies, too. 


Recipe: Alton Brown 


Related: 20 Cheap and Tasty Ideas for Chips and Dip

Party Mix Snack
AnjelikaGr/shutterstock
Popcorn
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Popcorn

Popcorn, salty, and sometimes sweet, is the perfect crunchy food to eat by the handful while watching the big game. Pop super-inexpensive corn the morning of the party and dust with different flavors for a dash of variety.


Recipe: Genius Kitchen 


Related: 50 Ways to Get Creative With Your Popcorn

Cheese And Cracker Platter
Ian D. Warren/istockphoto

Cheese and Cracker Platter

This classic party platter has stuck around for a reason: It satisfies with minimal effort and cost. A few types of cheese, such as a block of cheddar, a small wheel of queso fresco, and a wedge of brie, along with a box of crackers makes an easy snack centerpiece at any party.


Recipe: Life as a Strawberry


Related: The Swankiest Foods You Can Get at Walmart and Target

Red Pepper Relish
ElenaFabbrili/istockphoto

Red Pepper Relish

Leave it to Martha Stewart to share a recipe that offers an incredibly simple yet sophisticated take on basic red peppers. This versatile creation can be served with hearty bread or as a sandwich condiment on game day. A batch will last four days in the fridge if prepared in advance.


Recipe: Martha Stewart 

Mini Quiche
Igor Dutina/shutterstock

Mini Quiche

A classic French dish, quiche is one of the least expensive snacks to make for a crowd, and baking it in mini-muffin tins yields perfectly bite-size, crustless versions. This recipe covers the basics, but feel free to customize with different fillings.


Recipe: Add a Pinch 

Baked Carrot Fries
PeteerS/istockphoto
Vegetable Sushi
withGod/shutterstock

Veggie Sushi

Raw fish can be expensive, intimidating, and potentially dangerous to work with at home, but veggie sushi is fun and easy to make, and costs just pennies per serving. These basic instructions are a good place to start. Make custom specialty rolls and dipping sauces to create a sushi platter as impressive as it is inexpensive.


Recipe: Allrecipes 


Kale Chips
Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

Kale Chips

Crunchy chips made from kale are just as satisfying as potato chips. Buying them from the store is costly and often means eating a bag full of preservatives. Follow this recipe to bake easy and inexpensive kale chips at home. 


Recipe: Melissa d'Arabian 


Cupcakes
rojoimages/istockphoto

Cupcakes

A simple cupcake adds the right amount of indulgence to a party centered on finger foods. This recipe can make regular cupcakes or minis that are easy to pop in your mouth in one bite. Decorate them for the event to be extra festive. 


Recipe: Genius Kitchen 


Related: Best Store-Bought Desserts From Costco

Cookies
ForeverLee/shutterstock

Cookies

These basic sugar cookies make a cheap and easy dessert that can be turned into themed, shaped goodies for any occasion. For instance, use an oval-shaped cookie cutter and decorate football cookies with icing laces.


Recipe: Allrecipes 


Related: The 20 Best Classic Cookie Recipes

Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas
Tatiana Volgutova/shutterstock
Oreo cookie mousse ice-cream in edible cup
Oreo cookie mousse ice-cream in edible cup by the Baker & the School (None)