5 Best Dishes for a Football Game Day Party at your Apartment

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Tailgating Food - Connor Group

Football season is back in full swing, which means the return of your favorite tailgating food! There are the game day staples such as burgers, hot dogs and nachos, but how can you switch it up when you host a game day party at your apartment?  Here’s some “food for thought” that will make your football game day party one to remember.


Everyone loves a nice hot bowl of chili on game day, especially later in the season when it gets cold throughout most of the country, and a good batch of chili will be a hit at your party.

One simple method that works really well for cooking chili on game days is to slow cook it in a crock-pot. It’s easy to prepare early on game day, or even the night before. Slow cooking allows you to prepare other dishes while you wait, or you can even watch some of the early games and have chili as a nice dish for the evening games.

You can’t go wrong with a bowl of chili and you can even use any leftover chili for other dishes you’re preparing, like loaded nachos or chili dogs!


We all know the classic nachos that stadiums serve at games all over the nation at any sporting event. So why not bring your own twist to the stadium favorite? There are so many different toppings that can be combined with the classic tortilla chip such as guacamole, cheese and salsa, so it’s easy to customize this recipe to your party guests’ tastes.

What’s one winning combo you can add to your nachos? Try bacon. It’s a unique substitute for beef or chicken and adds a nice smoky taste to nachos.

An unconventional but popular spin on the traditional nacho is watermelon nachos. Use watermelon slices to substitute tortilla chips! You can top your watermelon nachos with almonds, berries, and other healthy toppings. This is a perfect dessert for when you and your friends are looking for a change from the usual salty plates on game day.


No game day party would be complete without the classic chicken wings, but if you’re looking to make a winning impression with your pals, surprise them with some crazy sauces of your own. Wing sauces are easy to make, plus if they’re done right, you can really turn your wings into a crowd-pleaser.

When it comes to sauces, think outside the box. What would blow your friends’ minds and taste delicious too? Our first recommendation is peanut butter and jelly wings! The PB&J sauce is simple to make. All you need is grape jelly, grape juice, natural peanut butter and vinegar. Marinate your wings in the mixture and it will bring back memories of your childhood!

If you like your wings spicy, get some Sriracha sauce. It goes so well with chicken, so it is a natural fit for wings! Sriracha is usually found in Thai dishes, but it has become a popular choice at many restaurants. The main ingredients include Thai red chili peppers, garlic, tomato sauce and fish sauce. Sriracha wings will definitely add a little spice to your game day party!

Hot Dog and Burgers

Hot dogs and burgers are a time-tested classic at game day parties, but most people don’t take advantage of the versatility of these classic stadium staples. When it comes to hot dogs and burgers, it’s all about the toppings. These dishes are at their best when they’re covered with the right condiments.

Hot dogs are easy to spice up, and you’d be surprised what some people have come up with. A personal favorite is the Seattle dog, which is a classic hot dog covered with cream cheese, grilled onions and sliced jalapenos. The cream cheese might throw you off at first, but you will be pleasantly surprised.

Burgers are a little more flexible when it comes to being creative. The biggest difference between hot dogs and burgers is that burgers can be seasoned to enhance the taste. Experiment with seasoning on the burgers to find what your pals would like. So if they want spicy or flavorful, then offer sauces like barbecue, Sriracha, Dijon mustard or onions.

Fried Food

This is where you can go a little crazy when it comes to trying new dishes for your tailgating party. If you have a fryer, then you can pretty much prepare any fried finger foods.

We’ve all seen fried foods at the fair like fried Oreos, fried Twinkies and fried cheesecake. So what foods do you want to serve up crispy and golden? You don’t want to only have fried sweets; there are some great savory options out there as well. Try fried macaroni and cheese; it’s a good bite-sized snack for any occasion!

The Connor Group, who has communities in Atlanta at Ashley Forest, Parkside at Town Center, Brookwood Valley and The Stratford, contributed content to this article.