Buffet-Style Tailgating Ideas
Expert Advice

When it comes to entertaining a crowd at your next tailgate or backyard BBQ party, you’ll want an easy, fuss-free grilled meal. Consider implementing a buffet-style set up using yummy grilled foods that everyone will love. Most of the prep work is done ahead, so you can enjoy the party too. Here’s a few simple ideas to help plan your next gathering!

Make-Your-Own Kabobs

Grill up a bunch of veggies (mushrooms, peppers, onions, and tomatoes make the perfect kabobs!) and a few kabob-worthy meats, like pork, steak, and chicken, cut into chunks. Spread everything out on the table with skewers and let your guests create their own fresh kabobs.

Grilled Meat Sandwiches

Provide a lot of options for your guests to make their own sandwiches. Make a spread of grilled meats using sliced turkey, chicken or pork. Get creative with shredded buffalo chicken, steak melts or pork tenderloin sandwiches. Serve simple sides such as potato salad or coleslaw. Be sure to set out a variety of condiments and toppings too.

Do-It-Yourself Grilled Dog Bar

Make an all-American hot dog bar complete with hot dogs or brats fresh off the grill. Keep it simple with easy sides, like grilled corn on the cob, pasta salad, potato salad, or chips. Serve a variety of toppings such as shredded cheese, fresh or grilled onions, relish, and jalapenos. Provide an assortment of condiments such as spicy and regular mustard, BBQ sauces and Sriracha-spiked mayo (to spice things up).

Taco Party Bar

The prep is simple with tacos, and you can make most of the fillings and sides ahead of time. Taco fillings such as seasoned ground beef, shredded chicken or pork, can be prepared ahead of time. Provide plenty of topping options: salsas, chopped onions, shredded cheese, jalapenos, chopped lettuce, tomato, fresh cilantro, sour cream and guacamole. Serve with a variety of tortillas: corn, flour and hard shell. When guests have the option to customize their own plate, they’ll be fully satisfied.

Build Your Own Hamburger Bar

This party is all about serving juicy burgers right from the grill. A great burger gets even better with an assortment of creative toppers. Serve up a tray with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, cheeses. Throw in a few surprises like hot peppers, avocado, sauteed mushrooms, and caramelized onions. Condiments should include flavored mustard, mayo, ketchup and BBQ sauce. Provide an assortment of buns for your guests to create their ideal burger.

Simple Sides for a Crowd

Here’s a few simple side dish suggestions that be served with just about anything. Potato salad, pasta salad, grilled corn-on-the cob, baked beans. Keep the party simple and have your guests bring the sides and appetizers since you are providing the meat!

Tailgater Magazine