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A Cross-Country Tour of Pro Football Tailgate Recipes

Everyday Adventures Feature
By: Anne Delatte
A Cross-Country Tour of Pro Football Tailgate Recipes

It's football season, and you know what that means: food, and lots of it. Whether at a game-day house party or in the stadium parking lot, real fans know that festivities start hours before kickoff. Fire up the grill, load up a plate, and enjoy the feeling of a perfectly full belly in good company. 

Every football town worth its salt has recipes as familiar and beloved as their team colors. In many cases, these communities derive as much pleasure dishing out signature tailgate-style meals to family, friends, and fellow fans citywide as they do in the game itself. 

Some chefs may jealously guard their secret ingredients, but we believe that when good food is shared, everybody wins. With regional recipes that even non-sports fans can root for, we've got all the plays you need for running a tastier tailgate. Get in on the action and join us on this culinary tour.

New Orleans Jambalaya [via]  

New Orleans is known for its almost embarrassing abundance of good food, and tailgating is no exception. You're likely to find all manner of Southern dishes filling up a Big Easy game day, but one thing you're sure to encounter is a giant steaming cast iron pot of jambalaya. The forgiving nature of this meaty rice dish and its easy-to-scale recipe make it the perfect choice for chefs of all levels. Start cooking this one up for your team and let the good times roll!


  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 12 ounces andouille sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Spice Islands® Cajun Seasoning Louisiana Style
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups cooked white rice


  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until edges are browned.
  2. Add onions, bell pepper and celery; sauté another 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, seasoning, chicken and cooked rice. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Chicago Dogs with Poppy Seed Buns [via]  

A Chicago Dog is a Chicago Dog is a Chicago Dog, and true fans know there are no two ways about it. The all-beef hot dog and toppings lineup is a must, but you can add a toasty touch of flair by nestling them in homemade poppy seed buns. Just make sure these dogs are fully loaded after you grill 'em up—breaking the tradition of a proper Chicago Dog dressing is just asking for bad luck!


Hot Dog Buns

  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 envelope Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg white plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons Spice Islands® Poppy Seed
  • Chicago Dogs
  • 8 Kosher hot dogs
  • Tomato slices, diced white onion, kosher dill pickle spears, kosher dill relish, sport peppers, yellow mustard and Spice Islands® Celery Salt


  1. Combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in large mixer bowl. Heat water, milk and 1/4 cup butter until very warm (120° to 130°F). Add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.
  2. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces; roll each piece into a 6-inch rope. Shape into oval roll. Place on large greased baking sheet. Place 3 inches apart for crisper buns. Place 1/2-inch apart for softer buns (more like commercial hot dog buns). Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Brush buns with egg white and water mixture and sprinkle evenly with poppy seeds.
  5. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; cool on wire rack.
  6. Split top of bun and add hot dog. Pile on all your favorite Chicago Dog toppings!  

Buffalo Wings [via]  

No, they are not in fact made from real buffalo! This quintessential tailgating food has its roots in Buffalo, New York, and even before teams start warming up there, you can smell the hot sauce from miles away. No matter where you are in the country, you can fire up your sporting spirit (and your appetite) with a big batch of these Buffalo-style chicken wings. Score extra points by spiking them into blue cheese or ranch dressing, served on the side.



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Layer chicken wings on shallow baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes, turning once.
  3. Combine hot sauce, butter, Beau Monde seasoning, black pepper and desired amount of crushed red pepper. Mix well. Drizzle over wings. Continue baking for 15 minutes until wings are tender and lightly browned.

Kansas City Ribs [via Spice]  

The best players know that sometimes you have to get a little messy to get the job done, and that may just be the case when it comes down to chowing down on a plate of these famously saucy pork ribs. Kansas City cooks are fiercely proud of their barbecue, and rightly so. This recipe will stick to your ribs and supply the energy you need to cheer the whole game through.




Combine brown sugar, seasoning salt and crushed red pepper. Rub thoroughly onto both sides of ribs. Place on shallow sheet tray.Cover ribs. Roast at 300°F for 2 hours until ribs are tender and browned. Combine maple syrup, orange juice concentrate, crushed red pepper and seasoning salt. Uncover ribs and brush with glaze. Continue roasting for 30 minutes or until ribs are well browned.

Dallas Chili [via]   

In Texas, you go big or go home, and that counts double for football season chili. A vat of chili is easy to spice up and dish out to any size crowd, and its heat is especially appreciated on chilly fall nights. Dallas chefs may never agree on what exactly constitutes the perfect bowl, but this recipe is quick, easy and sure to satisfy.



  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat; add onions and bell pepper. Cook until onions and peppers are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add ground beef; continue cooking until meat is browned. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer over medium heat 10 minutes; serve hot.


Anne Delatte is a freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys covering food and culture in South Louisiana and beyond and has written for area publications and national sites including and Marriott Travel. Anne lives and works in New Orleans.

Spice Islands® spices deliver high quality, authentic flavors from all over the world so you can put the most delicious meals on your table.


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