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How to (Vegetarian) Tailgate

Updated on June 3, 2015

Vegetarian Football Food

In the US, a tailgate party is a social event held around the open tailgate of a vehicle, usually in a sports arena or stadium parking lot. Tailgating often involves drinking alcoholic beverages and grilling food. Tailgate parties have spread to the pre-game festivities at sporting events besides football, such as basketball, hockey, soccer, and baseball, and also occur at non-sporting events such as concerts.

This page is mainly ideas for great food to serve at your tailgating party. It happens to be all vegetarian, but the food is sure to please all types of eaters.

Go Pats!

Tailgate Grilled Personal Pizzas - You can oven bake these, too.


  • 1 pound pizza dough, thawed
  • 1 (8 oz can) tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • various toppings such as: frozen broccoli florets, thawed; sliced olives, fresh pepper slices, frozen chopped spinach, thawed; thinly sliced veggie pepperoni; grape tomatoes, halved

Oven Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Divide the dough in quarters, then stretch dough (kids can use rolling pins) into about 6 inch rounds.
  3. Place on a large greased baking sheet Spread with toppings and bake until cheese is bubbling and bottom crust is golden, about 10 minutes

Grilling Directions

  • Prepare the grill for high heat.
  • Dust a baking sheet, a peel, or a plate with flour or cornmeal so the dough won't stick.
  • Shape the dough into rounds, either stretching it by hand or using a rolling pin. Each round should be no more than ¼ inch thick. You can stack the rounds by layering waxed paper, parchment, or a clean well-floured kitchen towel in between the individual crusts.
  • When the coals are hot, have all of your toppings ready near the grill.
  • The easiest method for grilling pizza is to par-bake the crust: grill one side just long enough to firm up the crust so you can move it easily. By taking it off the heat, you can take your time arranging the toppings and are less likely to burn the bottom of the pizza.
  • Begin by placing one dough round on the grill.
  • You can oil the grill's grate, but it's not necessary; once the crust has set, after about three minutes, it should be easy to pull off the heat with tongs, a spatula, or your fingers.
  • Don't worry if it droops a little through the grate--it'll firm up fast.
  • After two to three minutes, give it a little tug--it should move easily. If it sticks, give it another minute or so.
  • When the crust is set, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a plate or peel; flip it over so the "done" side is up, and add the toppings.
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the dough rounds.
  • If this is a group effort, friends and family can start topping the pizzas while you grill the crusts.

Grill Your Pizzas

Grill the topped pizzas until the cheese melts and the toppings are heated through. Depending upon the heat of the grill and the size of your pies, this can take two to 10 minutes (if your grill has cooled dramatically, you might need to cover it with a lid to finish the cooking).

Via Personal Pizzas & Grilling Pizza.

Vegetarian BBQ

Barbecue Tempeh Sandwiches

And if you just want a quick shot of BBQ sauce, here are some great suggestions from the WHY Veg Facebook Page: What's your favorite vegetarian item to put BBQ sauce on?

Football Shaped Desserts

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Tired of all the vegetarian chili recipes saying things like 'light, low fat, and colorful?' That's not what chili is about; It's about comfort food and having something warm to eat with your freshly baked cornbread on a cold day. This chili is spicy, 'meaty' and delicious. Serve it to your non-vegetarian friends, and they'll think you started eating meat again.

download your free printable recipe card

"This chili was excellent. The funny thing is I am not vergetarian. Everyone in my Family eats meat, but I thought I would try this recipe on them and not tell them it was veggie meat. We all agreed,

it was the best chili we ever had."

Ultimate Vegan Hot Wings - Makes about 30



1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp poultry spice- 1 tsp salt- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten

- 1/2 cup fine corn flake crumbs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Sauce (heat these ingredients in a saucepan)
- 1/2 cup margarine- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp ketchup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sided cookie sheet with foil and lightly oil.
1. Place mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add oil, spice, salt and water and process into a smooth paste. Add gluten and process into a smooth dough.
2. Remove dough from food processor and roll into a cylinder about 14" long. Slice into 1" pieces and roll them into a smaller cylinders. Slice that in half if they are too long, then flatten slightly.
3. Mix together ground corn flakes, flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Combine soy milk and vinegar in a separate bowl.
4. Toss seitan in 2 tsp of oil. Toss seitan in corn flake mixture.
5. Dip seitan soy milk mixture, then toss in cornflake mixture again. Place on prepared cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 10 mins, turn over, then bake for another 10 mins.
7. Coat wingz with all but 1/4 cup of the sauce. Bake for 5 mins, then use a spoon to scoop up excess sauce and recoat the wingz. Bake for another 3-5 mins, until bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool 5 mins. Toss in remaining sauce and serve.

UPDATE: Some people have commented that their dough is too wet and the end product too soft. I made these again to make sure the measurements were right and they came out perfectly. So here is my advice: 1. Make sure you use a small onion so the liquid measurement is not thrown off (about 1/3 cup). 2. Save the water for the end. Process the onions, shrooms, spices, and oil, then add the gluten and process. Add enough water to get a soft but still durable dough.

Via V e g a n D a d: Ultimate Vegan Hot Wingz

Sort of a Hero Sandwich - Serves 8

To transport this sandwich, place it on a round board or flat plate, and wrap tightly in plastic. Unwrap and slice just before serving.


  • 1 large round loaf bread

  • 6 large portobello mushrooms, stems trimmed to 1/2 inch

  • Olive oil, for brushing

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced

  • 7 medium tomatoes, cored and sliced

  • 1 small red onion, (4 ounces), peeled, thinly sliced, and rings separated

  • 2 large yellow peppers, roasted, peeled, and cut lengthwise into thick slices

  • 6 cups fresh basil leaves, washed

  • Creamy Tomato Dressing


  1. Cut bread in half horizontally. Using a short serrated knife, carve out insides of bread, in whole pieces if possible. Using a long serrated knife, thinly slice inside pieces. Cover; set aside. Pull out any remaining bread from crusts, leaving 1/4-inch bread border. Cover crusts; set aside.

  2. Thinly slice mushrooms. Heat a grill to medium hot, or place a grill pan over high heat. Brush mushrooms with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

  3. Brush fennel with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

  4. Arrange filling in bottom of bread: First, cover with half the tomatoes, then half the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; drizzle with 3 tablespoons dressing. Cover with 1 cup basil, and top with a layer of sliced bread. The second layer is made up of half the mushrooms, then salt and pepper, dressing, basil, and bread. The third layer is peppers, salt and pepper, dressing, basil, and bread. The fourth layer is the remaining mushrooms, salt and pepper, dressing, basil, and bread. The fifth layer is fennel, salt and pepper, dressing, basil, and bread. The last layer is the remaining tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper, dressing, and basil.

  5. Place top of bread on bottom half, enclosing vegetables. Wrap with plastic; weight with heavy books. Let stand 45 minutes.

  6. Unwrap sandwich. Using a large serrated knife, cut into eight wedges.

Via Sort of a Hero Sandwich - Martha Stewart Recipes

Super Bowl Football Vegetarian Meatloaf

Make this vegetarian meatloaf recipe, add it to this football shaped pan, bake as normal, add lace decoration with onion strips , cheese or ketchup. Enjoy!

More Vegetarian Tailgating Recipes

What's your favorite vegetarian tailgating recipe?

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    • TheRopesToKnow2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Love the Veggie Kebabs! can't wait to try them! This lens had a nice variety of vegetarian tailgating recipes! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am a pure vegetarian from India.

    • NotYetWed LM profile image

      NotYetWed LM 

      7 years ago

      great site!

    • John Uwen profile image

      John Uwen 

      7 years ago

      Believe it or not edamame in the pod make for a great tailgate food. I have done it. people gave me a weird look until they tried some....

    • Loulie LM profile image

      Loulie LM 

      7 years ago

      Super lens! This veggie loved it. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Can't wait to try your recipes here. Looks so yummy.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Awesome veggie recipes. I look forward to trying the pizza first.

    • iijuan12 profile image


      8 years ago from Florida

      Great ideas! The pizza looks delish! Thank you for sharing. Blessed, liked, & submitted for a quest link.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great recipes that look delicious! It's hard to find vegetarian foods for occasions like this!

    • KilleenMcG profile image


      8 years ago from Warner, NH

      Love me that veggie chili. One of the best recipes out there! I do halve the powdered spices, though. ;)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank ypu! Great ideas!

    • seashell2 profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm liking the looks of that vegetarian chili too! :-)

    • MadScience profile image

      Candace Bacon 

      8 years ago from Mad Laboratories

      That chili looks delicious! I am going to try it. Great lens!

    • JessyGene profile image


      8 years ago

      mmm they all look so good! I would like to try the pizza. Great lens!

    • Mamaboo LM profile image

      Mamaboo LM 

      8 years ago

      I'm trying to move to vegetarian. These are great ideas! Thanks and be blessed.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      8 years ago

      I could eat that entire pizza by myself. Great ideas here ... the strawberries are so cute.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Where are you parking? I'll be there with my fork. Thanks for this lens. Yum!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Oh my gosh! Each recipe looked so good and then the next looked even better! I think the Vegan Hotwings sound even better than the traditional chicken version. My mouth is watering!

    • wadsworth lm profile image

      wadsworth lm 

      8 years ago

      Nice! I love meat but would gladly eat most of this food, it looks yummy.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      great tips for this weekend's main event!

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 

      8 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      I'm not a tailgater at all, but since they don't serve anything veg at our stadium, I've eaten pizza or a hot pretzel or a green salad when invited to a party at the stadium. If I were to host a super bowl party at home, I'd serve my vegan chili and loads of decadent chips with hummus and dips and maybe add some mini veggie corn dogs and veggie chick tenders for the youngsters. I love the ideas you included in this lens, too!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      chiefmaster....... great lens.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      maybe we'll try one of these recipes out for our super bowl party

    • NickyT LM profile image

      NickyT LM 

      8 years ago

      Really outstanding lens you have created here. Timely indeed. Nick :)


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