Gridiron Greats: Football Tailgating Grub

We’ve now lived in Miami for nearly three years. And each year, during football season, we’ve had so much fun getting together with family and friends to watch the Florida State Seminoles take on the University of Miami Hurricanes. It’s a rivalry for the ages — even though (cough, cough) my Noles have won 7 straight years in a row. But win or lose, we’ve enjoyed some seriously good game day grub, and here I’ve shared some of my favorites from our tailgating parties.


Barbecue Pulled Pork Sliders
Makes about 12-16 sandwiches


Barbecue Pulled Pork Sliders

3-3.5 pounds pork shoulder (or Boston butt works too)
1 white onion, sliced thin
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (I love Bull’s-Eye Texas Style)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 packages Martin’s potato rolls

Place pork shoulder in slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Add sliced onion on top and pour entire bottle of barbecue sauce all over pork. Cook on low for 5-7 hours (my 3-pound shoulder took closer to 5 hours), or until the meat is tender enough to easily shred with a fork.

Serve on potato rolls.

Note: You might want to have an extra bottle of sauce on hand for those who like their pork extra saucy.



Kickin’ Quarterback Queso
Serves 8-10


Kickin’ Quarterback Queso

16-ounce box Kraft Velveeta Cheese
10-ounce can Rotel Tomatoes (my husband loves hot, but I would suggest mild for most)

Cut up the block of Velveeta cheese into small squares and place in the slow cooker. Pour in the Rotel Tomatoes on top of the cheese. Cook on low for 1-2 hours, checking periodically to stir and make sure the cheese is melting. You can also cook on high if you need the dip ready in a hurry. Serve in the slow cooker with tortilla chips.




Jimbo Pigskins (Pretzel Pigs in a Blanket)
Makes about 48
Adapted from Plain Chicken 


Jimbo Pigskins

1 (14-ounce) package little smokies
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 375. In a large pot combine 10 cups of water and baking soda. Bring to a boil.

Unroll both cans of the dough; separate into 16 triangles. Cut each triangle lengthwise into 3 narrow triangles. Place sausage on wide side of each triangle and roll up. (You’ll end up with some leftover crescent dough … bake as you please.)

Using tongs or a mesh strainer, dip each wrapped sausage into boiling water for 5-7 seconds and then place dipped sausages on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Note: It’s important to do these one by one; otherwise they stick to each other.

Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon of water to create an egg wash. Brush on the dipped sausages and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Serve with ketchup and mustard for dipping.




Pressed Cuban Sliders
Makes 12 mini sandwiches


Cuban Sliders

¼ cup olive oil
1 (12-ounce) package Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls
4 ounces thinly sliced deli meat
4 ounces thinly sliced deli-roasted pork
6 (1-ounce) Swiss cheese slices
½ cup chopped dill pickle chips (I used dill relish)
3 tablespoons yellow mustard

Preheat oven to 400. Spread olive oil in a jelly-roll pan or cookie sheet; place pan in oven to heat.

Remove rolls from package. (Do not separate rolls.) Carefully cut rolls in half horizontally, creating 1 top and 1 bottom. Layer ham, pork and Swiss cheese on bottom half. Spread chopped pickles over cheese and spread mustard on cut side of top half and then place cut side down on bottom half to make one large sandwich.

Remove pan from oven and carefully transfer sandwich to the pan. Place a cast-iron skillet or griddle directly on rolls. (Since I tripled this recipe, I used saute pans in place of the jelly roll pan, just improvise if you have to!)

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until cheese melts and bread is crisp. Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes, and then cut into 12 sliders and serve immediately.

Note: I tripled the original Southern Living recipe ingredients for my party and used 1 pound each of the deli meats.




Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad
Serves 6 


Smoked Mozza Pasta Salad

1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 (8-ounce) package rotini pasta, cooked
1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and cut into strips
½ pound smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (smoked gouda also works well)
½ (5-ounce) bag baby spinach leaves (about 1 ½ cups)
½ 4.5-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon pepper
salt, to taste
Garnishes: tomato wedges, baby spinach leaves

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread pine nuts on a sheet pan and cook in the oven until lightly brown and toasted.

Drain artichokes, reserving marinade. Cut artichokes into strips and place in a large bowl. Add pasta and next 4 ingredients and gently toss.

Stir together reserved artichoke marinade, mayo and next 5 ingredients until blended. Add to pasta mixture, stirring to combine. Cover and chill. Garnish, if desired.



Seminole Snickerdoodles (White Chocolate Pumpkin)
Makes about 18 cookies
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction 


White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ cup white chocolate chips

Melt the butter in the microwave. In a medium bowl whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and ½ cup granulated sugar together until no lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth.

In a large bowl, toss together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together. Fold in white chocolate chips and evenly disperse them throughout the wet dough. Cover dough and chill for 30 minutes – this is important!

Take the dough out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 350. Line two large baking sheets with parchment. Roll the dough into balls, about 1 ½ tablespoons each. Mix together the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Roll each dough ball in the mixture before arranging on the baking sheets. You’ll want to slightly flatten the dough balls with your fingers because they will only slightly spread while in the oven.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes (mine took closer to 10 minutes). They will be very soft and underbaked, but you’ll want to remove them from the oven and press a few more white chocolate chips onto the tops.

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheets and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely for at least 1 hour. They will be very chewy and a huge hit at your party!


Hungry for more game day recipes? Check these out!

Bacon-Cheddar Deviled Eggs

Kat’s 7-Layer Mexican Dip

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip

Mac ‘n Three Cheeses

Sweet Pumpkin Bars

Playoff Worthy Party Dips

Winning Game Day Appetizers


One thought on “Gridiron Greats: Football Tailgating Grub

  1. Pingback: Eating Our Way Through 2016: The Third Annual Envy Awards | Order Envy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s