As the excitement of the upcoming Big Game takes hold, driveways, parking lots, and living rooms are gearing up to become lively centers of food and fun. Tailgating isn’t just about the touchdowns and tackles — it’s a celebration of community, culture, and cuisine.
In this recipe compilation, we steer away from the conventional meat-heavy spread to embrace an equally indulgent tailgating experience. Say goodbye to the usual suspects and welcome this seafood-centric lineup that pays homage to the distinctive flavors of seven coastal cities known for supporting their home teams. From crab-infused quesadillas in Baltimore to tuna steaks with a Miami twist, each dish captures the essence of its home turf.
Let the culinary countdown to kickoff begin!
Baltimore: Crab Quesadillas
These quesadillas, featuring succulent crab meat, capture the spirit of Baltimore’s renowned seafood culture. Melding lime-infused crab with a medley of red onions, jalapeños, and zucchini, these quesadillas boast a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. The trio of cheeses — panela, cotija, and Monterey Jack — adds an irresistible, savory element, making them an ideal, crowd-pleasing choice for game-day gatherings.
Los Angeles: Fish Tacos
Savor the essence of Southern California with cod marinated in lemon and olive oil, complemented by a refreshing black bean and mango salad. Or, for something a little different, try these Grilled Fish Tostadas featuring a white fish of your choice. Regardless of which one you choose to make, both recipes effortlessly combine simplicity, health, and the irresistible taste of the West Coast.
Miami: Seared Tuna Steaks with Spicy HoneyBell Sauce
Bring the bright flavors of the tropics to your Miami tailgate with a seafood dish that embodies the city’s diverse culinary influences. Meaty ahi tuna steaks are quickly seared to perfection in sesame and peanut oil, and topped with a HoneyBell sauce made from sweet HoneyBell oranges, peach jam, and soy sauce, adding a bold and zesty kick. When served on a platter, these tantalizing tuna steaks make for a captivating tailgate centerpiece that celebrates Miami’s famous fusion of cultures and flavors.
New England: Clam Chowder
Nothing screams “New England!” like clam chowder. Enjoying a large bowl of this creamy soup on a chilly day during football season is an ideal way to stay warm. No time to make it from scratch, you say? No problem! The heat-and-serve clam chowder from Vital Choice is just as good as homemade. Whether eaten alone or paired with other regional tailgate favorites like classic lobster rolls, a big pot of clam chowder is a must for any New England-themed tailgate.
New Orleans: Seafood Boil
Shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes cooked in spiced and salted water make up your classic seafood boil. When served with generously spiced boiled potatoes and corn on the cob, your tailgaters will love this tactile eating experience and the delightful messiness of it all. Of course, the most popular crustacean in New Orleans is crayfish, known locally as crawfish, but a more accessible option is wild Dungeness crab. Round it out with a big pot of jambalaya, a rich stew brimming with spicy sausage, chicken, and shrimp, and serve it with rice.
San Francisco: Cioppino
Embrace the spirit of San Francisco, where culinary tradition meets coastal creativity, with a big pot of cioppino. This seafood stew was born on the city’s fishing boats and blended Bay Area freshness with Old World roots. Get ready to take your tailgating to new heights with this delectable union of white fish bathed in tomato and wine broth and enriched with mussels, shrimp, and scallops.
Seattle: All things salmon
Anyone who visits Seattle will surely notice the city’s love of salmon. The proximity to pristine Pacific Ocean waters ensures access to fresh, high-quality salmon, making it a local delicacy. From smoked salmon to cedar-plank grilled steaks and salmon burgers, the iconic fish features prominently on restaurant menus across the metropolis. It’s also an exceptional choice for tailgating. Whether served as salmon sliders or skewers, or in tacos or this smoked salmon rillettes dip, the robust flavor of this iconic fish captures the essence of the Emerald City’s culinary identity.