Tailgate Like a Pro With These Party-Ready Bites

Satisfy your whole crew with these hearty recipes you can make in advance of game day


Go tailgate crazy with classic pre-game food that will keep you satisfied throughout the game.

Along with the crisp fall weather comes football fans’ favorite time of the year: tailgating season! Don't let stress get the best of you when planning your tailgating party. Here are three recipes that you can make as far in advance as you want (almost!) that are delicious, easy to make, and perfect for all the energy and excitement of football season. Let FoodSaver's vacuum-sealing gear help you come prepared for game day with these crowd-pleasing bites. Recipes courtesy of Damaris Phillips, FoodSaver spokesperson, chef personality, and Food Network star.

taco meatballs


Taco Meat Balls

2 pounds 90/10 ground beef
1 tablespoon chili powder or taco seasoning
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup ground tortilla chips (about 3 cups whole chips)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Servings: Recipe makes 30-34 meatballs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine beef, chili powder, cumin, salt, egg, tomato paste, and ground tortilla chip, and mix on low to thoroughly combine. Stir in the cheese by hand. Using a 1 ounce portion scoop, form the meatballs. Scoop onto 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake until golden brown and cooked through (about 18-20 minutes).



Spicy Smoked Gouda Burgers
2 pounds 90/10 ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 ounces smoked gouda, shredded

Servings: 6

In a large bowl combine the beef, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper. Stir with a large wooden spoon to combine. Add the smoked Gouda and gently stir to evenly distribute the cheese, but not break it up. Divide into six 6-ounce portions and form the patties. If you wish to cook patties at a later time, use the FoodSaver FM5000 Series Food Preservation System to seal your formed patties, and store in freezer.

To cook thaw the burgers in the refrigerator. Place the patties in the preheated pan and sear. For medium, cook the burgers until the sides turn brown and the bottoms are golden brown, 3-4 minutes, and then flip and cook until the center reaches 140 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about another 3 minutes.



Bourbon Brined Oven “Fried” Chicken

For the brine:

2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons salt
1 dried bay leaf
4 black peppercorns
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1.5 inch wide strips

For the chicken:
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup flour
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 1/2 cups fine bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coconut or olive oil spray

Servings: 4-6 servings

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In a FoodSaver Quick Marinator (if you have one, if not you can brine your chicken the old fashioned way) combine warm water, bourbon, honey, salt, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Stir to dissolve honey and salt. Add the chicken strips. Place the lid on the FoodSaver® Quick Marinator and using the handheld attachment on your FoodSaver FM5000 Series Food Preservation System, press the marinate button and hold in place. Repeat three times to completely brine the chicken.

Remove the chicken from the brine and discard the liquid. Place the chicken on a drying rack and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with black pepper, then flour, and set aside. In a 8x8 baking dish combine sour cream, cayenne, and chipotle powder. Whisk to combine. To a second 8-inch-by-8 baking dish, add bread crumbs, garlic powder, and salt. Coat each strip in the sour cream mixture and then the bread crumb mixture. Place on cooling rack fitted over a cookie sheet. Repeat until all the strips are completely coated in breadcrumbs. Spray with coconut oil and bake until top is golden and crunchy and the center are cooked through, about 10-13 minutes.

About FoodSaver:
Preserving the prepped meals with a vacuum sealer and storing them in the freezer allows you to enjoy them later in the week, month, or even later that year. Damaris Phillips, FoodSaver spokesperson, chef personality, and Food Network star, recommends using the FoodSaver FM5000 Series Food Preservation System to keep all your food fresh until it's ready to be cooked. For example, ground beef can stay fresh and ready to eat for up to three years after sealing it, as opposed to six months with regular storage methods.

If you’re prepping the hamburgers or marinated chicken in advance of a get together or family dinner, use the FoodSaver® FM5000 Series Food Preservation System to vacuum seal your seasoned food, and store in the freezer until you are ready to cook. Another example would be vacuum sealing your chicken fingers or meatballs after they've been cooked, so you can take them straight to your party, heat, and eat! For more info, click here. Hosting has never been easier!