Tailgating is one of my favorite fall activities; the crisp air, school spirit and delicious food are hard to beat. When I gear up for game day, I know it will be a long one. We usually start early in the morning, arriving on campus, setting up and tailgate with friends until kick-off.
Food is always a top concern – I want good food that will fill us up, will travel well and has a healthy twist.
Here are a few of my favorite tips to keep your tailgate travel-friendly and healthy!
01. Ditch the keg. Bring fun sparkling waters to enjoy. They also make great mixers if you do want a little extra spirit!
02. Offer great finger food that is transportable. I always think of options that are easy to grab and go. Think veggies and hummus, apples, and bean dip. Fun appetizers offer a twist on bagged chips. My favorite are bacon-wrapped butternut squash. (Recipe below!)
03. Pack smart. Be sure to use a cooler and ice packs to keep any food that needs to be stored in the fridge at the right temperature. I personally love pyrex glass containers.
04. Plan ahead. Before heading to the store, I pop onto my Meijer app to ‘clip’ coupons. I start with my list of food and then scroll through the app and add the coupons to my mPerks account. When I check out, all of the savings are applied.
I snagged a bag of pre-chopped butternut squash and a package of bacon for my easy, travel-friendly tailgating recipe. This recipe is a winner; the crispy salty bacon pares perfectly with the sweet and creamy butternut squash. And that is all you need, two ingredients. And it is sure to make you the star.
Simply use kitchen sheers to cut the strips of bacon in half. Wrap one butternut squash cute with bacon. Pull the ends of bacon together so they overlap, secure with a toothpick.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with a a little cooking spray. Place your bacon wrapped butternut squash on the sheet and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.
*Bonus step! If you are like me and love extra crispy bacon, after 30 minutes turn your oven to 425 degrees and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Be sure to watch closely! But I find the few extra minutes make the bacon crispy and adds depth of flavor and extra contrast in textures.
Place appetizers on a sheet of paper towel to allow extra grease to drain. Once cool, transport in a glass pyrex container.
*Bonus step two: You can take these up a notch by rolling the apps in cinnamon sugar for a sweet version, or sprinkle with rosemary for a savory take.
What is your favorite tailgate food?
I am partnering with Meijer to share healthy, money-saving tips for you to enjoy! Thank you for your support of this blog and partners.