Photo Credit: dariogerussi via Pixabay

Here in Tiger Town, game day foods are an essential part of our tailgates. They fuel us for the long day ahead, and even though tailgating isn’t really a thing right now because of the coronavirus pandemic, buffalo chicken dip definitely still lives on. You can take the tailgate out of the food, but you can’t take the food out of the tailgate. There are a select few appetizers that –without a doubt– need to be a part of your next spread. They are fan favorites that have everyone coming back with an empty plate, asking for seconds.


Animal Style Sliders

First up on the menu, we have Animal Style Sliders. These are inspired by the west coast restaurant chain In-N-Out. These mini burgers with their signature animal sauce left even my friend from California pleasantly amazed at how good they were.


-1 lb. ground beef

-yellow mustard


-both pepper jack and cheddar cheese slices

-pickle chips

-1 pack of Hawaiian rolls

-1 yellow onion

-vegetable oil

-1 stick of butter

-sesame seeds

-garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper (to taste)

First, mix the ground beef, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. In a 9x13 Pyrex dish, spread a thin layer of mustard on the bottom. Press ground beef on top. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the onion and sauté the onion with vegetable oil. For the secret sauce, mix equal parts mayonnaise and mustard with a dash of cayenne pepper. Slice the Hawaiian rolls like hamburger buns. In a separate Pyrex pan, put in the bottom half of the rolls. Add a layer of pepper jack cheese on top of the rolls. Take the meat out of the oven when it’s done and put it on top of the pepper jack. Top that with the onions, pickle chips and cheddar cheese.Then spread some of the secret sauce on the rolls and finish the sandwiches. Melt the butter, add sesame seeds and pour that over the top. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!


Buffalo Chicken Dip

Next, we have an absolute fan favorite: buffalo chicken dip. This is hands down one of the most addicting recipes that I have ever made. Personally, I like to pair this with celery because the contrast of the cold crunchy celery with the warm and gooey dip is amazing. However, tortilla chips and Ruffles are also great dippers.


-1 and 1/2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken

-1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

-3/4 cup ranch dressing

-1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

-3/4 cup cheddar cheese

        Warm chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in cream cheese, ranch dressing, and half of the cheddar cheese when the chicken mixture is hot. Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the mixture is at desired consistency, spread into a Pyrex pan and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes. This simple, yet delicious recipe is something everyone can and should know how to make.

Spinach Dip

        Because one dip is never enough, we also had to bring out the second-best dip out there: spinach dip. This dish is served best with tortilla chips, pita chips or sliced French bread, but you could honestly dip just about anything in it. It’s creamy, hearty and hot (and, most of all, easy to make)! What more could you ask for in a dip?


-1 block of frozen spinach (thawed)

-shredded mozzarella

-1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese

-small jar of salsa/picante

        First, defrost spinach under hot water and squeeze dry with a paper towel and colander. Then, combine spinach, cream cheese, salsa and half the bag of mozzarella in a bowl. Put in a pie size baking dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Stir the result, top with even more mozzarella and bake for an additional five minutes. Now you finally have the perfect dip!

Potato Casserole

If you really want to impress your friends, make this casserole. This was truly the star of the show last game day. We managed to eat a massive pan piled high with casserole, down to the very last potato. It’s truly heaven in your mouth, and if you don’t believe me, do yourself a favor and go make it right now.


-1 (32 oz) bag of hash browns

-1 pint of sour cream

-1 and ½ stick of butter

-tablespoon of salt and pepper

-1/2 cup yellow onion

-1 cup cream of chicken soup

-1 cup of corn flakes

-2 cups mild cheddar cheese

Melt the stick of butter and then combine with sour cream, cheese and cream of chicken soup. In a 9x13 pan, spread out hash browns. Pour sour cream mixture all over the hash browns. In a skillet, put the other ½ stick of butter and stir in corn flakes. You can smash the corn flakes slightly so that the butter is absorbed completely. Spread the corn flakes mixture on top of the sour cream mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Featured Finger Foods

Sometimes, you wake up late on a game day and don’t have time to run to the store, get ingredients and whip up a gourmet dish. It’s times like these that you need simple appetizer foods that are the easiest to prepare. If you don’t want to walk in empty- handed to your next potluck but also don’t have time/want to cook, here are some perfect dishes for you:

-Pigs in a blanket

-Chick-Fil-A Nugget Tray

-Ham and cheese with poppy seed roll sliders

-Mac and cheese


-Ro*Tel Queso Dip (my personal favorite)

-Fruit tray

-Pasta Salad

Compliments to the chef never came so effortlessly!

If you want to impress your friends for your next game day brunch, try out one of these recipes. “Get up, it’s game day” makes you roll out of bed a lot faster with the sweet aroma of delectable foods flowing from the kitchen.  


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