The recipe for great tailgate food is pretty simple: a parking lot, some good friends, beer, food (any food), and a football game afterward. Tailgating is like sex (#dadjoke): When you're dealing with pleasures this elemental, feel free to keep it simple. But just because you can keep it simple doesn't mean you have to keep it simple. Sure, missionaries had their fun. But there's more than one way to braise beef, right? Even Raiders fans should enjoy the finer things in life from time to time.
There's nothing wrong with burgers and dogs as tailgate food, but when you're out on the pavement for hours before a game, shouldn't you try for something a little more interesting? If you're feeding a crowd, that means plenty of help with cooking prep (beers make great bribes), and items like ribs and barbecue sauce can be made in advance and reheated for the gang, so it's not like you'll be toiling away all afternoon. For this tailgating season, try a few recipes from this sure-to-impress, next-level assortment: blitz-happy sides, cover 2 (or more) main courses, even some goalline stand-worthy veggie options. If you feed people well, no one will mind tending the fire while you're setting your fantasy lineup.