Sandwiches, pasta salad, crackers with dip, vegetable kebabs and snack mixes are all easy and crowd-pleasing tailgating foods. When a grill is available, serve standard cookout fare such as hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled chicken. Food safety is crucial when tailgating. Keep cold foods at 40 F or lower at all times and hot foods at 140 F or above.
Set out sandwich fixings such as cold cuts, sliced cheese and sliced vegetables, and let people make their own. Alternatively, bring a slow cooker filled with pulled pork. Fill buns with the pork, barbecue sauce and tangy coleslaw.
Make cold pasta salad with vinaigrette on a warm day, or make a hot pasta salad filled with roasted vegetables, crumbled sausage and garlic oil; for food safety, skip the mayonnaise when you're tailgating.
Serve crackers and raw vegetables with hummus, beer and cheese dip, or spinach and artichoke dip. Fill skewers with balls of fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and chunks of raw red pepper. Big bowls of trail mix and spiced nuts are a good option for people who just want a small snack instead of a full meal.
Be very careful when packaging raw meats to take to a tailgating party. Double up their wrappings to prevent juices from contaminating other foods. Pack raw meat in the bottom of the cooler, surrounded on all sides by frozen ice packs or ice.