21 Best Tailgate Grilling Recipes for Game Day

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When you think of tailgating, the sizzle and aroma of food on the grill might be one of the first things that come to mind. Grilling is more than a cooking method; it’s an experience that brings people together and elevates the whole pre-game atmosphere.

If you’re the type to arrive at the stadium with your grill in tow, you’re already halfway to throwing a memorable tailgate party. But let’s not stop at just burgers and hot dogs. This blog post aims to take your grill-centered tailgate to the next level.

» You might like these Quick Pickled Red Onions.

Best tailgate grilling recipes

We’ll explore an array of the best tailgate grilling recipes that not only make full use of your grill but also diversify your menu in delicious ways. From meaty mains to grilled sides and even a dessert option or two, we’ve got you covered for an all-grilled, all-flavor tailgating feast.

If you don’t yet have a tailgating grill, check out this post: 8 Best Portable Tailgate Grills and 8 Best Portable Pellet Grills.

» Don’t have a grill for tailgating? Check out our other site for tailgating recipes without a grill.

Best Tailgate Grilling Recipes

Smash Burgers on the Grill

These Smash Burgers on the Grill get the perfect crispy edges from the grill.
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Grilled smash burgers

Simple Grilled Brats Recipe

As we usher in the warm weather, it's time to break out the BBQ and prep for those delightful cookouts. And there's one dish that's bound to be a hit among both family and friends: Grilled Brats.
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A grilled brat on a bun with onions and peppers.

Best Brisket Buns

These incredibly tasty brisket buns are made with tender smoked brisket, brioche buns, and a quick pickle.
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Smoked brisket buns

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks

Grilled Chicken Drumsticks are a classic and delicious dish that can be made on the grill all year round for that delicious smoky flavor that only the grill can impart.
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Grilled chicken drumsticks

The Ultimate Smoked Pork Belly Recipe

There's nothing quite like the heavenly aroma of Smoked Pork Belly filling your backyard as your smoker or pellet grill works its magic. The juiciness of the meat, combined with the perfect balance of salt, smoke, and tenderness is a true delight.
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Sliced smoked pork belly

3-2-1 Rib Recipe

These 321 ribs are fall apart tender while super juicy and packed with smoky flavor.
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321 ribs

Cajun Dry Rub Chicken Wings

These delicious Cajun Dry Rub Chicken Wings are seasoned with a spicy and flavorful Cajun seasoning then cooked to perfection. They're so crispy and delicious, you won't be able to stop eating them.
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Cajun chicken wings

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken on a Stick

Teriyaki chicken on a stick is juicy chicken with teriyaki sauce, grilled to perfection with a little bit of char and crunch for texture.
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Chicken teriyaki

Pellet Grill Pizza

Pellet Grill pizza is a unique way to infuse the pie with a smoky, wood-fired flavor that's hard to resist.
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Smoked pizza feature

Smoked Shotgun Shells

Smoked Shotgun Shells are the perfect BBQ treat, featuring manicotti tubes stuffed with a savory mixture of ground beef and cheese, wrapped in crispy bacon, and glazed with BBQ sauce.
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Smoked shotgun shells

Smoked Armadillo Eggs

These Smoked Armadillo Eggs are jalapeno poppers with a creamy, cheesy center, encased in sausage meat, then rolled in bacon and smoked to soak up all that classic wood flavor.
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Smoked armadillo eggs

Smoked Pig Shots

These Smoked Pig Shots make an excellent appetizer when you're outside smoking some meat for a BBQ. They are sausages, wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cream cheese and green chilis.
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Smoked pig shots

Smoked Jalapeno Poppers

Combining the smoky essence of the grill with a creamy, cheesy filling and a touch of heat from the jalapeños, these Smoked Jalapeno Poppers will leave you craving more.
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Smoked jalapeno poppers

Grilled Shrimp on a Skewer

Grilled Shrimp on a Skewer is a great dish for any outside gathering. The shrimp is marinated in a zesty blend of olive oil and lime juice, infused with aromatic spices, and then grilled to perfection.
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Grilled shrimp on skewers

Classic Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

A classic Mexican street food, this corn on the cob is charred on the grill, then slathered in mayo, and topped with tangy Cotija cheese, chili powder and cilantro. 
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Mexican street corn

Grilled Bourbon Pineapple

Grilled Bourbon Pineapple combines the sweetness of fresh pineapple with the smoky flavors of bourbon to create a delicious grilled side dish for your meal.
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Grilled bourbon pineapple

The Best Smoked Mac and Cheese

This Smoked Mac and Cheese is loaded with cheese and incredibly creamy, but with a signature smoked flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible.
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A scoop of smoked mac and cheese

Smoked Baked Beans

Smoking your baked beans can add a whole new level of flavor and complexity.
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Smoked beans

BBQ Chicken Macaroni Salad

This BBQ Chicken Macaroni Salad is a great twist on a classic that combines tender macaroni with a medley of vegetables, tender chicken, and a tangy BBQ sauce and mayonnaise-based dressing.
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Bbq chicken macaroni salad

Classic Potato Salad

This Classic Potato Salad is made with tender potatoes, eggs, celery, and pickles, with a creamy mayonnaise dressing and one simple secret ingredient that really elevates the flavor.
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Potato salad on a plate

Easy Smores Bars Recipe

This delicious Smores Bars recipe is a perfect way to enjoy the classic campfire treat. The gooey and sweet dessert features a crunchy graham cracker base and a rich chocolate topping made from melted chocolate chips and marshmallows.
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Smores bars

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