Tasty Tailgate Treats recipes are here!

tasty tailgate treats

Fall is quickly approaching, and with the cool weather comes football games and tailgate parties! Today you can find the most spirited of Terps at Byrd Stadium at University of Maryland cheering socializing! Tailgating is chock full of fun, frivolity, and maybe most important, food. However, the typical spread consists of many foods that may not align with your lifestyle. Fear not, there are a ton of healthy snacks to add to the menu to keep you satisfied.

When I think of my go-to snacks, they usually have one thing in common – nuts. Nuts are loaded with protein and unsaturated fats, which are healthy and keep you feeling satisfied longer. Whether you’re craving something savory or sweet, here are a few of my favorite game-time nutty concoctions.

Our Favorite Tailgate Treats

Trail Mix:

trail mix tailgate

Trail mix is such a versatile snack. You can keep it classic (those “Good Old Peanuts & Raisins”, or GORP if you will) or make it as gourmet as you please. The typical anatomy of a trail mix consists of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and something sweet. You could also add pretzels, popcorn, and spices (salt or cinnamon, for example). Trail mix is delicious, but is often high in calories. A great way to control your portion sizes is to serve it up in small paper cups, instead of grabbing handfuls from a big bowl. Another trick is to add popcorn, which increases the volume, but is relatively low in calories. Need some inspiration? My favorite trail mix contains sweet dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, spicy crystallized ginger, and raw nuts like almonds and cashews for a satisfying crunch! Be careful not to add too much ginger though, as it does have a strong flavor!

Spicy Peanuts & Pepitas:


Pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) make a fantastic snack, but are often forgotten. In this recipe, they pair beautifully with ballgame favorite, peanuts. This salty snack, with a kick of cayenne pepper, will keep you coming back for more! Find the recipe here.

Chicken Satay Skewers:


So what does chicken have to do with nuts? Everything. In my opinion, this marinated grilled chicken breast dipped in a savory peanut sauce is the perfect alternative to any chicken wing. Find the recipe here.

Peanut Butter Chunk Oatmeal Bars:


Now it’s time for something sweet. These bars have a pleasant texture from the oats and chunky peanut butter. The dark chocolate drizzle on top is perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth. Find the recipe here.

Time sensitive tailgate treats

Short on time? Choose:

  • Packaged nut bars, like Kind and Nature Valley
  • Pistachios in the shell (having to work harder keeps your portions in check!)
  • Packaged popcorn, like Boom Chicka Pop
  • Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups

More tasty tailgate treats

For even more inspiration, visit Nuts.com. This website has some great snacking ideas and enticing products!

The most important part of tailgating and other social events is to have fun and enjoy time with your friends and family. When you truly Taste the Sweet Rebellion, you don’t let food get in the way of your fun.

Want to learn more about how our dietitians can help you? Take a look at our

Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating book 

intuitive eating program

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Blog reviewed and updated December 2019.

An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.