by Jenny Castaneda


Tips for Creating the Perfect Tailgate Side Dishes

Pictured Above: Omaha Steaks Gourmet Franks in a Blanket

Football season heralds in throngs of fans who flock to the stadiums to support and cheer for their local teams. Aside from the game itself, tailgating is an event that a lot of fans prepare for. They arrive at the stadium hours before a game, park their cars and start grilling. Of course, it’s always more fun with a whole bunch of family and friends – so you’ll see large groups hanging out and having a great time. Since anything grilled is pretty much the norm at tailgating events, it’s good to have a wide variety of sides to go along with it. Here are some helpful tips on how to create the perfect sides for your next tailgating event.

Beef Kabobs

Tenderloin Kabobs

1. Quick and Easy

Ingredients that do not go bad at room temperature are ideal. Even if you are bringing a cooler, it’s usually reserved for ice and drinks to keep them cold. Sides that are not extremely perishable will have a lower chance of spoiling easily. Leave the saucy sides at home and aim for those that are easy to prepare and involves minimal effort. Some good ones would be:

  • Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries seasoned with bacon fat, salt and pepper
  • Smashed potatoes with garlic oil and smoked paprika
  • Vegetable kabobs that can be thrown on the grill and cooked together with the meat

Recipe: Grilled Salsa Steak Appetizer

2. Finger Food is Good

Who wants to fuss over utensils when all you have are paper plates in a generally standing room only event? Bite sized sides and finger food that can easily be popped in your mouth are convenient especially when the other hand is holding a drink! Give these ones a try.

  • Chunky Guacamole with plantain chips
  • Bacon wrapped cocktail hotdogs
  • Grilled Padron peppers seasoned with fresh lime and sea salt
Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries

Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries

3. Prep Work is a Winner

Planning to bring a wide variety of sides to your tailgating event? Prepare them a day ahead. Investing some time to chop, dice, peel means all you need to do the next day is pop them in the oven or wrap them up to bring with you. Everyone will be amazed and you’ll be the hit of the party!

Multiple sides can also be cooked at the same time such as the Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries, Smashed Potatoes and Bacon Wrapped Cocktail hotdogs. This is a big time saver and can be done an hour before you head out the door and gives you time to pack the rest of the essential items (hint, alcohol) that you never want to do without!

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About the Author

Jenny Castaneda lives in Southern California with her husband D and cat Mochi. She started a blog to share recipes with family and friends and also as a way to keep herself on track and connect with other fellow Paleo friends who have provided daily doses of inspiration and motivation along her journey towards a Paleo lifestyle. She enjoys traveling, photography and obstacle course racing. Subscribe to her blog, paleofoodiekitchen.com to receive email notifications whenever new recipes are posted.

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