Ultimate Tailgate Recipes That Travel Well

Whether you’re heading to the game or just out to a local park, it pays to plan ahead and prepare a menu that is easily portable and arrives just as you had hoped it would.

We recommend cooking dishes that take advantage of the in-season produce and using your wonderbag for best results. With very little prep, you can spend 10-15mins in the morning beginning the cooking process of your recipe, and by the time you arrive at the game or party, your dish will be ready to serve when you are.

It makes catering for the masses incredibly easy, and the wonderbag’s convenient, portable function means you can have hot, delicious meals whether you are.

Take a look at our top tailgate party recipes that travel well, and are easy to make using your wonderbag:

Chilli Con Carne

Serves 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Stove top: 35 mins | wonderbag: 2 hours

600g beef mince

30ml oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, diced

3 clove garlic, chopped

5 ml cayenne pepper

15ml paprika

30ml tomato paste

15ml cocoa powder

600g crushed tomatoes

2 beef bouillon cube

3 x 400g black beans. Drained and rinsed

7 ½ ml hot sauce

15ml salt

10ml coarse black pepper

Grated cheese, sliced spring onions and sour cream for toppings

Heat the oil in a medium sized pot, add the onions and garlic and fry until lightly browned. Add the mince and fry for 10 minutes until browned. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking. Place the lid on and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Place the sealed pot in the Wonderbag on a mat or cloth, seal and leave to cook for 2 hours. Serve with tacos or tortillas, grated cheese, sour cream and chopped spring onions

Sticky Chili Chicken Wings

Serves 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Stove top: 30 mins | wonderbag: 3 hours

30ml oil

1 large onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

3 chilli’s, chopped

3 clove garlic, chopped

24 chicken wings with the wing tip cut off

1 x 400g tin tomato puree

150ml sweet chilli sauce

15ml salt

10ml pepper

30ml sugar

90ml chopped coriander

In a medium sized pot, heat the oil and brown the chicken wings. Remove and set aside. In the same pot, brown the onion and garlic and fry the pepper. Add all the remaining ingredients and chicken wing and bring to the boil Turn down the heat, place the lid on the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Place in the Wonderbag on a mat or cloth, seal and leave to cook for 3 hours. Open and brown under the grill if desired. Serve with basmati rice or fresh crusty bread.

Italian Meatballs In Tomato Sauce

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 30 mins | Stove top: 40 mins | wonderbag: 6 hours

Sauce:

4 tbsp olive oil

2 yellow onions, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried basil

4- 14oz/397g cans diced tomatoes

1- 5oz/142g can tomato paste

1 tbsp salt

¼ cup water

Meatballs:

2 eggs

½ cup milk

1 cup breadcrumbs

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1lb/0kg/0kg ground beef

1lb/0kg/0kg ground pork

For Garnish: fresh basil leaves, shredded Parmesan cheese

Sauce Method: Heat a 5 quart pot on medium-high. Add olive oil and onions, and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and basil and cook for 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes, while you make your meatballs.

Meatball Method: Using a fork, whisk together eggs and milk. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the meat, and mix well to ensure the seasoning will be evenly distributed when you add the meat.

Still using a fork, fold in the ground beef and pork and mix well. Using your hands, shape into 1 ½ inch meatballs, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet(s). Set your oven broiler/grill to high, and position the top rack so that the meatballs will be about 3 to 4 inches from the heat source. Cook the meatballs for 3-4 minutes to set the structure of the meatballs. Gently fold the lightly grilled meatballs into the simmering sauce, cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Place the lidded pot into your wonderbag and seal for 6-7 hours.

To Serve: Salt and pepper to taste, serve over pasta, make meatball subs, or with toothpicks as a party snack. Topping it with fresh basil leaves and shredded Parmesan adds beauty and flavor!

Tip: Get your sauce going first so that it’s warmed and ready for you to add the meatballs. Try to find a good brand of diced tomatoes that doesn’t add sugar and salt to maintain the nutritious aspect of this dish, and control your own flavor. For the meatballs, we recommend blending of ground beef and pork as adds more depth of flavor, but you can of course use 100% of either one.

Pulled Pork

Prep time: 10 mins | Stove Top: 30 mins | wonderbag: 4 hours

1 boneless or bone in pork shoulder ( approx. 4lb/2kgs with fat on)

2 tbsp olive oil (for browning shoulder)

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp cinnamon powder (or can use your favorite Cajun seasoning / rub)

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup chicken broth

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Favorite barbecue sauce (optional)

Ask the butcher to cut the pork shoulder into large chunks (approx. 2 - 3 inch pieces). Keep fat on and pat dry with paper towel. Mix the sugar, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder and salt in a large mixing bowl – or use your favorite Cajun spice rub. Rub the spice mix all over the pork pieces. Heat 1Tbsp of the oil in a 6 quart pot over medium heat and brown the pork on all sides - brown it in batches and add more oil if needed. Remove the meat from the pot and keep to one side. Add the chopped onions and garlic to the pot the meat was browned in and let cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar and the Worcestershire sauce and place the pork back into the pot and cover with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes with the lid on. Place your lidded pot in the Wonderbag for a minimum of 4 hours to finish cooking (can easily be left all day). Remove a piece of meat from the pot and meat should be falling apart and tender. Take all the meat out of the pot and place on a cutting board - using 2 forks shred the meat into bite size pieces – discard any large pieces of fat and remove and discard any bones ( if has any). Strain the onion mixture meat was cooked in over a strainer and keeps the strained liquid to one side. Return the shredded meat back to the pot and spoon the strained cooking liquid. Add a ¼ cup of it at a time - back into the shredded meat until the pork is just moist or instead of the cooking liquid you can add your preferred barbeque sauce to moisten the meat.

Ratatouille Crostini

Prep time: 10 mins | Stove top: 15 mins | wonderbag: 2 hours

5 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 medium zucchini, stem removed and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

1 medium yellow squash, stem removed and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

1 medium eggplant, ends removed and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves, chopped

Salt and Pepper

1 baguette, sliced into ¼ inch slices

6oz/170g goat cheese

Ratatouille: Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a large 4-5 quart pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and light brown. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the peppers, zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, thyme and oregano and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes release their juices and begin to boil. Place lidded pot into Wonderbag for 2 ½ hours.

Crostini: Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a pastry brush, apply the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil on the slices of the baguette. Place bread slices on cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Top each slice with 2-3 Tbsp of ratatouille mixture.

Tip: Spread goat cheese on each crostini slice before ratatouille topping.

Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna

Prep time: 15 mins | Stove time: 20 mins | wonderbag: 2 hours

2 Tbsp olive oil

10oz/283g/283g chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture

1- 14oz/397g can artichoke hearts, chopped

10oz/283g/283g mushrooms (fresh or canned)

¾ cup black olives, sliced

1 cup ricotta cheese

¾ cups grated Parmesan

3 cups tomato sauce

6 regular lasagna noodles (not no-boil noodles)

1 ½ cups grated mozzarella

Salt and pepper

Sauté fresh mushrooms in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until soft, set aside. In a bowl, mix spinach, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, olives, ricotta and ½ cup of Parmesan. Spread ¾ cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 5-6 quart lidded pot or stove to oven lidded casserole dish. Top with 2 lasagna noodles (breaking to fit), ¾ cup of the remaining marinara, half the spinach mixture, and ½ cup of the mozzarella; repeat. Top with the remaining noodles, marinara mixture, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Bring to boil on stove for 15-20 minutes. If using casserole dish place uncovered in a preheated conventional oven at 425°F for 15 minutes to brown cheese and sauce. Place the lidded pot or lidded casserole dish in Wonderbag and cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours.

Game-Day Cocktails

Special drinks can turn a simple get-together into an occasion. Attractive glassware; a delicious cocktail dressed up with some seasonal fruit and veg; add a platter displaying tasty appetizers and you have yourself a chic tailgate setting.

Whether you’re traveling or hosting at home, a super-convenient and easy idea is to transport or store your drinks in your wonderbag! Yes, you can utilize the wonderbag’s clever thermal technology to chill your drinks, even on the hottest of days. Place your chilled drinks or food carefully into the bag, seal it tight and everything will stay icy cool for hours.

The wonderbag placed in the middle of the table or picnic setting creates a beautiful centerpiece that also functions as a portable drinks cooler, easily accessible for replenishments throughout the party.

With these delicious and easy-to-make recipes, here’s how to create game-day cocktail magic:

Spiked Jalapeno Lemonade   

Lemonade is always a party favorite, and this recipe is perfect for the warm weather – a delicious, refreshing, sweet and tart flavor with just the right amount of kick!

Serves 8 | Prep: 15 minutes

8 Lemons

8 Limes

3 Cups Sugar

5 Cups Water

5 Jalapeno Peppers

Neatly slice 5 jalapeno peppers and place in small saucepan (seeds included).

Add 3 cups of sugar and 2 cups of the water. Warm mixture over a low heat, when sugar begins to dissolve, increase heat to medium-high. Once simmered remove it from the heat and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Strain out the jalapenos and set syrup aside to cool.

In a large pitcher, juice the 8 lemons and 8 limes, add in the remaining 3 cups of water and sweeten to taste with the syrup. Serve over ice and garnish with a twist of lemon and jalapeno slices.

Southern Bourbon Iced Tea

A spiked iced tea is synonymous with long relaxing afternoons and nights. There’s nothing better than gathering around a balcony or porch with friends and family, taking in the scenery with the kids chasing fireflies and plenty of winning action (hopefully) playing out for your team.

Try your hand at this easy, yet utterly delicious Southern Bourbon Iced Tea.

Serves 5 | Prep: 3 hours 10 minutes

4 Cups Boiling Water

8 Tea Bags

1 Cup Honey Flavored Bourbon

¼ Cup Honey

Pour boiling water over tea bags; cover and steep for 7 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Cover and chill for 3 hours. Stir in bourbon and honey. Serve over ice with lemon slices and lots of fresh mint leaves.  

Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary is a classic brunch pick-me-up. There are many varieties, but this tried and true recipe will never fail you.  

Serves 1 | Prep: 5 minutes  

2 oz. Vodka

4 oz. Tomato juice

3-5 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce

1 oz. Lemon Juice

Tabasco and Horseradish to taste

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Mix well by pouring liquid back and forth between the shaker's two halves. Pour into glass over ice, and serve with lemon, olives, and a celery stick.  

Sangria

No game-day cocktail list is complete with the classic Sangria. For best results, leave the Sangria to sit ahead of serving, allowing the fruits and wine to get to know one another.

Serves 8 | Prep: 1 hour 10 minutes

¼ Cup Brandy

4 Cups (32 ounces) Chilled Lemon & Lime Soda

1 Orange, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 Lime, thinly sliced crosswise

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup green grapes, halved

1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine, or bottle of Prosecco, chilled

Take a pitcher or large bowl, combine orange, lime, apple, grapes, brandy, and red wine/Prosecco. Stir to combine and refrigerate 1 hour (or overnight). To serve, add soda and ice.

Old Fashioned

Originating in Kentucky in 1881 and then brought to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City, the Old Fashioned has stuck and for good reason. Its combination of bourbon, bitters, club soda, muddled sugar and ice makes it far smoother and more enjoyable than it’s bourbon friends.

Your guests will love sipping this sweet classic at your next tailgate!

Serves 1 | Prep: 6 minutes

2 oz. Rye or Bourbon

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

1 Sugar Cube

Club Soda

Place the sugar cube (or 1/2 teaspoon loose sugar) in an “Old Fashioned” serving glass. Add 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a short splash of club soda. Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler or strong spoon. Rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters create a lining. Add a large ice cube. Pour in the rye or bourbon. Serve with a stirring rod and garnish with an orange slice.  

Now that you have your list of easy-to-make, game-day cocktails, it’s time to get prepping and shaking. Remember you can transport your mixed pitchers (once packed in tightly concealed containers) in your wonderbag, to ensure everything is kept chilled until you are ready to serve.  

Hosting A Winning Tailgate...

Now that the days are getting brighter and the sunshine warmer, it can only mean one thing – it’s time to get everyone together for a tailgate. Because after hibernating all winter, what could be better than sipping your favorite cocktail in the sun, surrounded by friends and family, grill cranking AND slow food cooking, and with your favorite sport or music playing and kids entertaining themselves? Sounds pretty perfect to us!

To help make sure being the host is just as much fun as being a guest, we’ve complied our top tips for a winning tailgate:

Timing Is Everything

Mother nature tends to be less fickle during late spring to early summer making it an ideal time for a tailgate.  The days are longer; the sporting calendar is active, and fresh produce is plentiful. But keep in mind that even the best-laid plans can turn upside down, so always make sure you have a wet weather plan – even if it’s just the living room!

Get Your DIY On

Take a look around the home and reinvent household items as functional entertainment equipment. For instance, clean up the spice rack or shoe rack to create a makeshift glassware and mixer stand. Grab the wheelbarrow for a fun change and pack it with ice for chilling drinks. It’s also a handy way to create more space for serving food and drinks as you can position it near your vehicle's tailgate giving everyone easy access for a beverage. Another handy idea is take along a few hay bales and drape them with throw rugs matching your favorite football team colors for a DIY seating option.

Provide Collapsible Seating

Guests tend to stand at tailgates, especially when their favorite team is on the screen, but after hours of eating and drinking, you can sure everyone, yourself included, will be glad to have seating on hand. Collapsible leather stools are popular amongst chic tailgaters – they fit into the trunk without needing to sacrifice much space and stow away easily in between tailgates.

Greet Your Guests With a Cocktail

Your guests will love you for greeting them with a refreshing cocktail (read our blog featuring a list of ‘’Game-Day Cocktails’ for inspiration and easy-to-follow recipes) such as Spiked Jalapeño Lemonade.  You can remove the tequila for those who aren’t drinking. Iced water with some fresh lime is also thoughtful for elderly guests and children.

More Is More

An important part of hosting a tailgate is making sure there is more than enough food and drinks to go around. Always plan to over cater, and send guests home with leftovers or freeze what you can to avoid unnecessary waste. If guests are bringing children to the party, let them know what you’re planning to serve so that they can decide whether to bring extra snacks or ask about fussy eaters so that you can cater for them too.

Cooking On The Go

Plan your main dishes using your wonderbag for ease and convenience. This clever slow cooker is ideal for any kitchen setup and doesn’t require any electricity or power source. Taking the energy and heat from a pot of food boiled on the stove, the bag traps the heat and cooks your dish in its own juices, retaining all the nutrients and flavor. You can leave the bag cooking away for up to 12hours without any supervision. Your dish will never be ruined as the bag is not operating on an external heat source - it just tenderizes further and tastes better.

For your tailgate, it means simply spending 10-15mins prepping the dish at home such as pulled-pork, then taking the bag with you. When you arrive at the stadium, serve hot, delicious pork to your guests whenever you’re ready.

For ideas on creating the perfect tailgate menu, read our blog on “Recipes That Travel Well To A Tailgate.”

Upgrade Your Disposable Utensils

Forget about washing up piles of dishes or getting anything precious broken and opt for disposable bamboo serveware easily found at your local party supply or craft store. Aside from looking good, these bamboo pieces are also a sturdier option for tailgating and are eco-friendly, making your tailgate kinder to our planet.

In The Evening Time

Most tailgates continue on long after the final touchdown, so it’s a good idea to prep for the evening time. Keep your guests cozy by packing extra throws and jackets. You might also like to choose team colors keeping in theme with your tailgate.

Game-Time Favors

As the party comes to a close, send your guests home with a tailgate survival kit packed with water, sunscreen, nuts, fresh fruit, and napkins. It also might just be the perfect pick-me-up after the game and before the post-game celebrations begin.

Have Fun!

Don’t forget to have fun. Tailgating is all about gathering your favorite people, and enjoying their company with delicious food, great tasting drinks and hopefully your team winning on the day. Cheers!