Hearty Tailgating Appetizer Ideas


Football tailgating and holiday parties are around the corner. Try some of these hearty party appetizers to keep your guests happy. If you want, you can make many of these types of appetizers ahead of time to make the day of the event easier for you to enjoy yourself.


Tailgating food is some of my favorite. That’s mainly because I LOVE a meaty appetizer! Here are a few of my classic pics for my football parties:

  • Buffalo wings are almost a staple at tailgating and holiday parties across the country. They are relatively easy to make and can be adjusted to varying tastes. Sour cream or blue cheese dressing is normally served with Buffalo wings.
  • Meatballs can also be used as an appetizer if they are served with toothpicks. Make a smaller version of your favorite Italian meatball. You can also make barbecue or Swedish meatballs. Remember, however, that if you serve meatballs, to make sure you have plenty of napkins nearby for anyone who drops theirs.
  • Football turnovers are made with ready-made pie crusts, meatballs, Parmesan cheese and tomato sauce. These little football-shaped appetizers are the perfect size for small hands but hearty enough to satisfy a grown man.

Slightly Elevated

Here are some options for your more sophisticated guests:

  • Stuffed mushrooms are also hearty enough to serve to people expecting more than mere chips and dips. Sauté the caps and then stuff them with any variety of fillings. Sausage, crumpled bacon, cheese and walnuts are common fillings but you can also use shredded crabmeat, diced prosciutto and shredded mozzarella can also be used.
  • Bruschetta is another hearty appetizer you may want to serve. Bruschetta is made using crusty Italian bread which has been sliced and brushed with olive oil and roasted garlic. Tomato, shrimp and mozzarella are common ingredients but you can add anything on the top that you would like.
  • Mini Quiches can be made with a variety of ingredients to meet the tastes of nearly everyone. They can be made with green chilies, chicken and Monterrey cheese for a Tex-Mex type taste or with pepperoni, black olives and mozzarella cheese for an Italian flavor. You can even make them with sweet ingredients and serve them as a dessert-type appetizer.
  • Spiced Cereal Trail Mix is a hit as a hearty appetizer. Add multi-grain cereal squares, oats and honey granola, pretzel twists, dried fruit of your choosing, pumpkin pie spice and honey. Mix this all together and then bake for 5 to 10 minutes.

You’ll want to prepare some of these hearty party appetizers for your guests. It is often said the food makes the party so you want your guests to be satisfied. These hearty appetizer ideas are delicious and will definitely satisfy even the pickiest party-goer. You may also find some inspiration in some amazing cookbooks!