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Score Big With Your Tailgate Party

These smart planning tips and easy food ideas will kick off a great day at the stadium.

Tailgating party held at

Tailgating parties held at "The Grove" at Ole Miss (The University of Mississippi), during the University of Mississippi vs. University of Alabama football game. Oxford, Mississippi. — Photo by: David Burnett/Contact Press Images

And now on to the most important part — the food! Here are some classic tailgate dishes, though anything that can stand up to transportation is potential game-time fare.

Oven-Barbecued Chicken Wings — These are a healthier take on one of the greatest pregame appetizers ever.

Quesadillas With Salsa Mexicana — Grill these up in the parking lot, or simply make them ahead of time, wrap them in foil and reheat them on the grill.  Make some extra salsa and bring along a bag of chips.

Texas “Chili Queen” Chili — It’s hard to top chili as a warming main dish in a bowl — unless you top it with cheese, scallions and sour cream.

Juicy Beef Skewers With Horseradish Dip  — Kebabs and skewers are another popular tailgating food, easy to eat while standing around, and you can skewer up everything at home, then grill them at the game.

Hummus — A good dip is a perfect appetizer for your friends to dig into while you’re getting the rest of the food ready. This classic Middle Eastern chickpea dip is packed with flavor and protein, and not a whole lot of fat.

Pulled Chicken Barbecue on Beer Bread With Pickled Cucumbers — You can certainly make all of the components of this appealing sandwich yourself, or you can rely on store-bought ingredients to put together these delicious sandwiches if grilling isn’t part of your tailgating plan.

All-American Chocolate Chip Cookies — There’s no better way to end a successful tailgate than with this classic cookie.

You might also like: 9 side dish ideas. >>

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