4 Winning Game Day Recipes for Football Season

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The return of fall means the return of so many of our favorite annual traditions. Whether you’re heading to the mountains to admire the changing leaves, picking pumpkins at a local patch, getting lost in a corn maze or sipping hot apple cider, there’s something about this time of year that inspires feelings of coziness, nostalgia and togetherness.

Among the most celebrated of traditions is the start of another football season, which is especially exciting following our mostly sportsless spring and summer. No tailgate tradition is complete without a full spread of appetizers, snacks and finger foods to fill you up before kickoff. We’ve come up with some tailgating-inspired recipes that you can make and enjoy in the comfort of your own home. And even if you aren’t really a football fan, these can be enjoyed with any sport (which may be the case this year!) or for any occasion. From skillet nachos with all the fixings to loaded potato wedges, cheeseburger sliders and a fall-inspired apple treat, we’ve got your tailgating menu covered with touchdown-worthy recipes to feed a crowd. Oh, and you can forget about the scoreboard – these four dishes will be the real winners.

– Recipes and photos by Jessi Heggan

Caramelized Onion & Swiss Beef Sliders

tailgate recipes

Photo credit: Jessi Heggan

These crowd-pleasing Caramelized Onion & Swiss Beef Sliders feature fresh arugula, spicy mustard, pickles and delicious caramelized onions to top it all off.

See more: Backyard Pumpkin Tips From Growing to Décor

Skillet Beef Nachos

Photo credit: Jessi Heggan

Ground beef, pinto beans, jalapeños and melted cheddar cheese combine in these easy Skillet Nachos topped with pico de gallo and guacamole.

See more: Fall Recipes Featuring Apples, Pumpkins and More

Buffalo Chicken Loaded Potato Wedges

Photo credit: Jessi Heggan

Two game-day favorites combine in these Loaded Potato Wedges topped with Buffalo chicken, bacon and cheese.

See more: 4 German-Inspired Recipes for the Best Oktoberfest

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

tailgate recipes

Photo credit: Jessi Heggan

Every good tailgate party needs a festive fall dessert. Try these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars for a treat all your guests are sure to love.

See more: How to Choose the Best Pumpkins for Baking and Cooking

Pick Tennessee Products

Support local farmers at your next tailgate party this fall by choosing ingredients produced right here in Tennessee. To find more farms in your area, visit picktnproducts.org.

Falcon Ridge Farm

Owned and operated by a fourth-generation farming family, Falcon Ridge Farm grows over 30 different fruit and vegetable crops on 240 acres in West Tennessee. They also offer a variety of cut flowers, run a CSA program and operate the Market at Falcon Ridge during harvest season. In the fall, the farm welcomes guests for hayrides, pumpkin picking, a 6-acre corn maze and more. Learn more at farmatfalconridge.com.

Phillip Wooden and Sons Farm Market

Phillip Wooden and Sons Farm Market in Pikeville is a family-owned business specializing in fresh, local produce. The market offers a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as jams, jellies, pies, cakes, doughnuts and other sweets made with the Wooden family’s homegrown fruits. Visit facebook.com/woodenfarmmarket to learn more.

Shade Tree Farm and Orchard

Located in Robertson County, Shade Tree Farm and Orchard is a 140-acre beef cattle and fruit farm that opens for apple picking in fall. The orchard’s on-site farm store also offers pre-picked apples, baked goods and fresh apple cider. Learn more about the farm and plan your visit at shadetreeorchard.com.

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