Football (and tailgating) season kicked off with a bevy of NCAA games last Saturday, August 26th. At Louisiana State University (my alma mater) and schools across the country, this means jumping from tailgate to tailgate, saying hello over beers and grabbing boudin from a friend’s dad’s neighbor. No matter if you even like football or not, tailgating at LSU is just as high stakes as the game that brings everyone there. Tents are pitched, charcoals are lit, the music is blasting, and the alcohol flows freely.

If you’re throwing a tailgate party, you could reasonably expect dozens of people—classmates, friends, family, godparents—lingering, munching, and sipping for hours. Which is why preparing the right spread is key. Whether your tailgate is in a parking lot, under a canopy of oak trees, or simply in your living room, here are easy-to-eat dishes that will keep everyone in a great gameday mood. Oh, but the beer’s on you.

The Kickoff

My Favorite Black Bean Dip
My Favorite Black Bean Dip
by Madhuja
Heidi Swanson’s Parmesan Cheese Spread
Heidi Swanson’s Parmesan Cheese Spread
by Genius Recipes
Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole
Roberto Santibañez’ Classic Guacamole
by Genius Recipes
New-School French Onion Dip
New-School French Onion Dip
by Sarah Coates
Truly Amazing Cashew Queso Sauce
Truly Amazing Cashew Queso Sauce
by Gena Hamshaw
Spinach, Feta, and Artichoke Dip
Spinach, Feta, and Artichoke Dip
by Oui, Chef
Basic, Bang Up Blue Cheese Dressing
Basic, Bang Up Blue Cheese Dressing
by Tara O’Brady

Running Back (To grab these Finger foods)

Memphis-Style Pulled Pork Nachos
Memphis-Style Pulled Pork Nachos
by thirschfeld
Devils on Hatchback
Devils on Hatchback
by Helenthenanny
Party Pretzel Bites
Party Pretzel Bites
by fiveandspice
Chicken Fingers
Chicken Fingers
by Merrill Stubbs
Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins
Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins
by Josh Cohen
Virginia Willis' Deviled Eggs
Virginia Willis’ Deviled Eggs
by Genius Recipes
How to Make Snack Mix Without a Recipe, Savory or Sweet
How to Make Snack Mix Without a Recipe, Savory or Sweet
by Sarah Jampel
Cornbread with Chorizo
Cornbread with Chorizo
by boulangere
Pork Boudin Balls
Pork Boudin Balls
by inpatskitchen

Hands Team

Crispy Pulled Pork Shoulder
Crispy Pulled Pork Shoulder
by Cara Nicoletti
Texas Tailgate Burger
Texas Tailgate Burger
by aargersi
Greens-Stuffed, Cheese-Stuffed Quesadilla
Greens-Stuffed, Cheese-Stuffed Quesadilla
by Sarah Jampel
6 Game Day Snacks in 1 Humongo, Easily-Potlucked Sandwich
6 Game Day Snacks in 1 Humongo, Easily-Potlucked Sandwich
by Food52
Parker & Otis' Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)
Parker & Otis’ Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)
by Genius Recipes
The Food Lab's Ultra-Smashed Cheeseburgers
The Food Lab’s Ultra-Smashed Cheeseburgers
by Genius Recipes
Sticky Chipotle Ribs
Sticky Chipotle Ribs
by Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Bowl Games

How to Make a Potato Salad That'll Upstage the Classic
How to Make a Potato Salad That’ll Upstage the Classic
by Sarah Jampel
Frito Pie (Or Walking Taco)
Frito Pie (Or Walking Taco)
by Samantha Weiss Hills
Anytime Jambalaya
Anytime Jambalaya
by hardlikearmour
Sriracha-Lime Corn Salad
Sriracha-Lime Corn Salad
by Kendra Vaculin
Chicken Salad with Cornichons and Radishes
Chicken Salad with Cornichons and Radishes
by theicp
Slightly Smoky Mixed-Bean Chili
Slightly Smoky Mixed-Bean Chili
by creamtea
Martha Stewart's Sweet Potato, Celery, and Apple Salad
Martha Stewart’s Sweet Potato, Celery, and Apple Salad
by Genius Recipes

Sweet, Sweet Victory

Ovenly's Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ovenly’s Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
by Genius Recipes
Modjeskas
Modjeskas
by Sarah Baird
Almond Butter Buckeyes
Almond Butter Buckeyes
by Sarah Jampel
Coconut Dream Bars
Coconut Dream Bars
by Posie Harwood
Rocky Road
Rocky Road
by Alice Medrich
Quick Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares
Quick Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares
by Selma | Selma’s Table
Lemon Bars
Lemon Bars
by Yossy Arefi
A Genius Slab Pie Template, for Any Fruit Growing Near You
A Genius Slab Pie Template, for Any Fruit Growing Near You
by Kristen Miglore
Alice Medrich's Best Cocoa Brownies
Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies
by Genius Recipes
Salty Butterscotch Whoopie Pies
Salty Butterscotch Whoopie Pies
by Erin McDowell

Tell us your favorite tailgate snacks—or team—in the comments below!

SOURCES: VEGGIENUMNUM FOOD52 THEBUTTY
SMITTENKITCHEN NOTWITHOUTSALT HOWSWEETEATS

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