By show of hands, who enjoys Thanksgiving? Additionally, who just raised their hand at the other end of the screen?! This time of year is always exciting as I really enjoy the holiday season. It’s always fun to travel home and visit with family and friends for a few days in November and then again in December. For me, and I assume many others, one of my favorite part about Thanksgiving is eating all of the amazing food that gets prepared. I typically eat too much and fall asleep watching football, but it’s always worth it. It kind of reminds me of tailgating, eating so much and then falling asleep by halftime 🙂 So in honor of Thanksgiving being right around the corner, I wanted to provide you with some Thanksgiving-inspired tailgating food recipes. There are a ton of options out there and it can be overwhelming, but if you’re looking to show a little Thanksgiving cheer at your upcoming tailgate, check out these amazing recipes.
Turkey, Cheese, and Meat Platter
While it may look intimidating, this is a super easy platter to put together and it would really get your tailgating crowd in the Thanksgiving spirit. All that is required is some pepperoni, Townhouse crackers, and 2 types of cheeses.
You really can’t go wrong with a meat and cheese platter. Make sure you snap a picture of the final design, as the platter won’t look like a turkey for too long!
Cranberry Glazed Turkey Slow Cooker Meatballs
Slow cooker meatballs are a staple at any tailgate throughout the year. They’re simple to make, easy to eat, and are enjoyed by almost everyone.
This recipe takes ordinary meatballs and adds a little Thanksgiving spin on them with a cranberry glaze. With only 5 ingredients, this would certainly be one of the easier appetizers to make for your tailgating crowd.
Maple Bacon Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These Maple Bacon Roasted Sweet Potatoes would make an awesome side to your Thanksgiving-themed tailgate spread. Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed all by themselves, but when you add the flavors of maple syrup and bacon it really elevates them to the next level. The mixture of both sweet and salty is hard to beat in any dish.
This recipe can be ready to go in under 45 minutes so you can make this the morning of your tailgate and bring them with you, and at only 5 ingredients it’ll be real easy to prepare.
Garlic Parmesan Knots
For me, when it comes to the kinds of foods you can serve during tailgating, sometimes its best to stick to something simple. Since we tailgate in the Midwest, it tends to get be colder outside around this time of year.
When that happens I like to eat foods that don’t require me to take off my gloves, and these garlic parmesan knots fit perfectly into that category. This recipe is pretty straightforward, can be ready to serve in 20 minutes, and would make a great side option for you.
Main Entrée – Turkey
Now, it wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving-themed tailgate spread without a turkey. There are all sorts of ways to cook your bird, but I thought it’d be great to provide an option for those who want to utilize a charcoal grill. Using the method in the embedded video below, you could have a turkey cooked and ready to serve in about 2 hours, or 3-4 hours with a larger turkey. There is some prep work that’s needed a couple days beforehand and some time to commit to the cook, but your tailgating guests would absolutely enjoy this wonderful entrée. For more information on how grill up this delicious turkey, watch the video below or visit the awesome folks at Adrenaline Barbecue Company HERE.
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
A Thanksgiving feast isn’t complete without a couple desserts. Correction, the feast isn’t complete without at least ONE pumpkin flavored dessert! These pumpkin pie cupcakes would go real well with your tailgating spread. Since no forks are needed, they’re easier to eat than a regular pumpkin pie would be.
This simple, easy-to-follow recipe will impress your guests and have them wanting seconds!
No Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars
In my humble opinion, I can’t think of anything that goes together better than chocolate and peanut butter. So it was a no-brainer to include this no bake Reese’s peanut butter bar. These are extremely easy, quick, and simple to make since no oven is needed. They could go well with any holiday, but once they are topped with the Reese’s pieces it definietly seems like a Thanksgiving-specific treat.
In less than 45 minutes these bars can be ready, so feel free to make them the night before or the morning of your tailgate.
For those who serve an all ages type of a crowd at their tailgate, here is a Thanksgiving punch recipe to get you in the proper spirit. Since its non-alcoholic, anyone can enjoy it. What’s great is you can make this in a large batch and it can be served at either room temperature with ice, chilled, or warm from a crock pot, making this quite the versatile option.
When you combine all the tastes and elements of Fall into a drink, you’re sure to have a hit amongst your guests.
Spiced Apple Rum Punch
And for those who may like a little something extra in their drink, I got you covered. This spiced apple rum punch makes for one amazing drink. Simplistic in its ingredients, this punch only requires 3 items (unfiltered apple juice, spiced ginger beer, and light rum). It can also be made into a large batch and is best served with ice in copper Moscow mule mugs.
If you’re looking for something different to change up your tailgate and make it a little more festive, you won’t go wrong with this cocktail.
The Wrap Up
Well there you have it! If you’re looking to get into the spirit of the Thanksgiving season at your next tailgate I hope this gives you some ideas. Additionally, if you need more ideas feel free to check out our tailgating food and drink recipes as well. But I’d like to hear what your favorite part of Thanksgiving is. Could it be the food, spending time with family, partaking in special traditions, or maybe the holiday shopping? Sound off in those comments below!