The first college football games are here. It’s time to make your grocery list, because it’s time to kick off tailgating season! 

There are two things you should never take lightly, the first being football. College football is serious business in the South. You can say kind things regarding other teams, but never fully support a school that is not YOUR team. Be prepared to stick with them no matter how the season goes, because while you think tensions can rise about cheering for the wrong team, you can’t be trusted if you move your support. 

Now that you’ve committed for life to your team, it’s time to discuss the second thing to never dismiss: food. Yes, when it’s football time, whether participating at the stadium or a home substitute, it’s time to honor the tradition of tailgating. 

You know what you must include. Burgers and hot dogs are expected at a tailgate. After enjoying the afternoon at the grill, you’ll grab a plate of nachos once you make it into the game. Indulge in your favorites, but you won’t be out of bounds if you look for some inspiration. What you’ll serve to snack on outside of these staples will boost your tailgating fame.  

Southeast Dairy Association - Hot Pizza Dip

The grill is the common tool for any football recipe, but don’t be nervous about preparing some unique tailgating dishes in your kitchen. When the quarters run long, guests will be glad for the variety of snacks to stress eat. Your vegetarian friends will demolish this filling Hot Pizza Dip —that is, if you don’t eat it all before serving. Meanwhile, for those cooks who stay health-conscious on gameday, try these Southern yet healthier options.  

Southeast Dairy Association - cheese dip

The football fan is the definition of Southern, but maybe the Southern-inspired is too much like the everyday menu instead of your gameday meal. If you are sticking to the traditional tailgating menu but want to include more dairy, try the Big Bowl Cheese Dip with Chips as an appetizer. For your lactose intolerant friends, substitute your regular dip with these digestive friendly dips perfect for any chip or veggie slice imaginable—and so delicious no one will miss the lactose. 

You’ve dedicated yourself to a team, so now it’s time to decide your tailgate theme. Will your tailgate be as Southern as dressing up for the week’s game or as traditional as face paint that ends up everywhere? Whatever your style and wherever your party, don’t forget the delicious dairy in your game day snacks. For more unique recipes that will score you tailgating glory, visit our Pinterest page