How to Host the Best Tailgate
Party at Home

While tailgates usually happen at stadiums before your favorite team takes the field, you can throw a tailgate party at home that’s just as fun. In fact, throwing a tailgate party at home is the perfect way to support your favorite team with your friends and family. When you have an at-home tailgate, you get to save money on tickets, provide more menu options and go inside when it gets too cold.

If you want to host a tailgate party at home, you need a game plan. Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to host a tailgate party, including the best game-day hosting tips and top snacks to make for tailgating. Keep reading to discover MVP-worthy tailgate party ideas for home.

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How to Create a Game-Day Atmosphere At Home

Creating an electric game-day atmosphere is key to hosting a successful tailgate at home. Luckily, pumping your space full of team spirit is easy. In fact, decorating your home for the big game can be as simple as color-coordinating all of your tailgate materials with your favorite team’s colors. Provide napkins, plasticware, table cloths and even foods the same color as your team’s jerseys.

Of course, if you want to deck your house out with huge banners, extravagant centerpieces and other team-themed decorations, go right ahead! Have a blast making signs, hanging spirited posters, blaring artificial crowd noises and whatever else you want to do to make your house feel more like a stadium packed with dedicated fans.

Regardless of how you choose to decorate your space for game day, there is one crucial detail you need to prepare before your tailgate guests arrive — make sure you get the channel the game is on!

Top 5 Game-Day Hosting Tips

Check out these top five tips for hosting a football game party at home:

1. Watch the Weather

Keeping an eye on the forecast is essential when planning a tailgate party if you want to be outside. Try to pick a game that’s scheduled for a clear, sunny day so you and your guests can enjoy an outdoor tailgate in your driveway or yard. Knowing what the weather is supposed to be like on the day of your tailgate will help you know whether to set up your game-day spread inside or outside.

2. Plan the Menu

Aside from the game, food is the main event at a tailgate. If you want to throw a tailgate party that will be talked about for years, you’ve got to have a championship-worthy spread. Coming up with the perfect tailgate menu is easy with the support of John Soules Foods fully cooked chicken.

Here are a few details to consider when planning your tailgate menu:

  • Theme: While you’re not required to have a tailgate theme, it can be fun to center your food selections around a theme like a Tex Mex burger bar or wing night. Once you know your theme, you can pick a menu that matches.
  • Convenience: Make your life easier by choosing recipes that involve hands-off cooking, such as a slow cooker soup. Any dish you can prepare quickly then put on low heat to keep warm is typically a tailgate winner.
  • Allergies: Make sure you are aware of any allergies or food sensitivities that any of your tailgate guests might have so you can plan your menu accordingly.

3. Prep in Advance

prep snacks in advance

Save yourself time and stress on the day of the tailgate by preparing whatever you can in advance. Do your best to chop up veggies, fruit and other ingredients the night before the tailgate, so all you have to do is assemble the recipe on game day. Other prep work you can do in advance includes mixing drinks and baking desserts.

The secret to a successful tailgate is working smarter, not harder. Buying pre-made foods like fully cooked meats, sliced vegetables or packaged cookies can save you from racing against the clock on game day. Only having to put pre-made ingredients together will give you the chance to relax and enjoy your own tailgate.

4. Strategize Your Spread

After working so hard on your tailgate menu, make sure you party-proof your serving containers. Instead of fragile glass containers, choose sturdy serving ware like melamine bowls or woven baskets for your tailgate. You can also dump some ice into a wheelbarrow and use it as a mobile cooler to free up more space for food and seating.

5. Keep Guests Cozy

Bring plenty of blankets to keep your tailgate guests warm after the sun starts to go down. Your guests may also get tired of standing at the tailgate, so make sure you have some collapsible chairs they can sit on. Keeping your guests comfortable will ensure your tailgate’s a hit. Bonus points if your blankets and chairs incorporate your team’s colors.

7 Tailgate Party Snacks

Now that you know the basics of tailgate menu planning, here are seven all-star snacks to make on game day if you want to score big:

  1. Buffalo chicken flatbread: Elevate your typical game-day pizza with this buffalo chicken flatbread recipe. Use pre-cooked chicken and naan as the base so all you have to do is put the ingredients together and warm the flatbread up for a few minutes to make this tasty tailgate snack.
  2. Chicken cordon bleu sliders: Sliders are one of the ultimate snacks to make for tailgating. These handheld chicken cordon bleu sliders are delicious, easy to assemble and perfect for chowing on in between quarters.
  3. Nashville hot chicken sliders: If you want sliders with a little more heat, try making Nashville hot chicken sliders. These spicy mini sandwiches are simple to stack together, quick to cook and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
  4. Tex-Mex chicken burger bar: For a tailgate spread that’s a bit more substantial than sliders, consider setting up a Tex-Mex chicken burger bar. Guests will love getting to customize their own burger and you won’t have to worry about spending the whole game by the grill when you use pre-cooked spicy chicken patties.
  5. Mexican skillet mac and cheese: What could be a better side for a Tex-Mex burger bar than Mexican skillet mac and cheese? The best part of this mouthwatering tailgate snack is all you have to do is toss the prepared ingredients into a hot skillet, broil the cheese and serve.
  6. Chicken noodle soup: Football season and soup season go hand in hand. Your tailgate guests will appreciate having oven-roasted chicken noodle soup to keep them warm until game time, and you’ll love the simplicity of heating the soup on the stove as the only same-day prep you need.
  7. Chicken nugget charcuterie board: Make the charcuterie board trend tailgate-friendly with a chicken nugget charcuterie board. Everyone will love this unique twist on the traditional charcuterie board that features a variety of chicken nuggetschicken tenders, fries, honey mustard, ranch dressing and fresh fruits and veggies.

Buy John Soules Foods

Find Ready-to-Eat Proteins and Game-Day Recipes From John Soules Foods

Stock up on ingredients to help your tailgate go smoothly from John Soules Foods. We provide delicious, ready-to-eat protein options that will keep your tailgate guests fueled up to cheer their loudest all game long. The fresh and frozen protein options from John Soules Foods offer exceptional quality and taste without requiring you to spend hours cooking the ingredients yourself.

Get ready for your next tailgate party by purchasing John Soules Foods products and browsing our game-day recipes.