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Party Plan: Touchdown Tailgate Party

Whether you’re in front of the stadium or in front of the TV, it’s easy to rally your team together with a menu that scores big points for fun and flavor.

No matter how your team fares, this menu line-up is already a winner. Start your game day snacking with cheesy Sausage-Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers, Saucy Sausage and Beef Meatballs, or an adorable Hunt’s® Touchdown Mini Meatloaf. Or to heat things up, how about Buffalo Chicken Bites or Sweet & Spicy Hot Wings? Then kick-off some serious sustenance with Mexican Pizza and a Slow-Cooker Sausage, Beef and Bean Chili. By the time the final whistle blows, your guests will have already named you the winner.

Sausage-Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Sausage-Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Don’t let the tiny size of the peppers fool you, these over-stuffed poppers are full to bursting with cheese and spiced sausage.

15 min | Prep time: 30 min | Serves: 36 | Yields: 36 pepper halves
 
Ingredients:
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5.2 oz. Boursin garlic & fine herbs cheese, half pkg.
  • ¼ cup Private Selection Shredded 3 Cheese Blend, plus extra for topping
  • 16oz. bag mini sweet peppers or jalapenos (or combination of both)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • ¼ cup pine nuts – toasted (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut peppers lengthwise*, remove seeds and place in bowl, add 1T olive oil and toss lightly to coat.
  2. Place peppers cut sides up on baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for about 6-8 minutes to soften. Remove from oven to cool.
  3. While peppers are cooling, cook sausage in skillet over medium heat, breaking into crumbles with spoon, drain, set aside.
  4. Toast pine nuts in dry skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted. Mix 4 oz. cream cheese, Boursin cheese, 3 Cheese Blend together until combined.
  5. Add cheese mixture to cooled crumbled sausage and mix well, add pine nuts.
  6. Fill pepper halves and sprinkle with shredded cheese, place back in oven for about 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted.

*Note: before cutting peppers, lay pepper on side to determine which side will lay flat.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Sloppy Joes

Slow Cooker Chicken Sloppy Joes

Let your slow cooker carry the team in this hands-off recipe that’s healthier too.

4 hours | Prep time: 10 min | Serves: 6 | Yields: 6 sandwiches
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 Kaiser rolls
Directions:
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil add cook chicken 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and place chicken in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Pour over chicken, cover slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or until chicken is tender.
  3. Remove, shred chicken and return to sauce. Spoon onto rolls before serving.

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Saucy Sausage and Beef Meatballs

Saucy Sausage and Beef Meatballs

Add bold flavor to these crowd-pleasing meatballs by stirring up a sauce bursting with tomato, BBQ, and red wine.

30 min | Prep time: 15 min | Serves: 6 | Yields: 15 meatballs
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. Italian sausage
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jar marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 1 bottle Hickory smoked BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup hearty red wine
  • Tabasco (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat broiler. In a large bowl, combine sausage, beef, onion and garlic. Roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter.
  2. Place meatballs on a sheet pan and broil until brown, turning once.
  3. In large saucepan over low heat, combine marinara, BBQ sauce, wine and Tabasco. Add meatballs to sauce and simmer until ready to serve.

View Party Plan: Touchdown Tailgate Party

Mexican Pizza

Mexican Pizza

Shaping your pizza dough into a football shape makes this already untraditional take on pizza a little extra fun.

10 min | Prep time: 20 min | Serves: 4 | Yields: 4 servings, 8 chips each
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 pkg. refrigerated roll pizza crust
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can diced Mexican tomatoes, drained, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 3 cups finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • small red onion, diced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (or 400°F if using a dark pan). Grease pizza pan or cookie sheet, and unroll pizza dough onto sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl combine refried beans with half of the diced tomatoes. Spread the mixture over the cooled pizza crust and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes until crust is golden brown.
  3. Top pizza with lettuce, red onion, green onion and reserved tomatoes.

View Party Plan: Touchdown Tailgate Party

Slow Cooker Sausage, Beef and Bean Chili

Slow Cooker Sausage, Beef and Bean Chili

Chunks of tender beef and beans add hearty flavor to this quick and spicy tomato-based chili.

4 hours | Prep time: 30 min | Serves: 8 | Yields: 8 cups
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, 14.5 ounces onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 can tomato paste, 6 ounces
  • 1 package chili seasoning mix, 1.25 ounces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 drops tabasco sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 smoked sausage rope, turkey, chicken or beef, cooked and sliced 1/2" thick
  • 1 can dark kidney beans, 15 ounces, drained
  • 1 can chili beans, 15 ounces, with sauce
Directions:
  1. Cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer into a slow cooker. Add tomatoes, onion, sugar, tomato paste, chili seasoning, garlic, tabasco, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours, or High for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. 30 minutes before cook time is complete add smoked sausage, kidney beans and chili beans. Stir and continue cooking.
  3. Serve with your choice of toppings, including hot sauce, shredded cheese, jalapenos, sour cream and green onions.

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Hunt’s® Touchdown Mini Meatloaf

Hunt’s® Touchdown Mini Meatloaf

Each of these football-shaped meatloaves gets its rich color from a delicious ketchup glaze, and playful laces from string cheese.

30 min | Prep time: 25 min | Serves: 8 | Yields: 8 meatloaf footballs
 
Ingredients:
  • PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 2 lbs. ground round beef (85% lean)
  • 2 cans (8 oz.) Hunt’s® Tomato Sauce - No Salt Added
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters® Original
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 envelope (1 oz.) dry onion soup mix
  • 1/2 cup Hunt’s® Tomato Ketchup
  • 1 stick (1 oz.) part-skim mozzarella string cheese
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line shallow baking pan with aluminum foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. Mix beef, tomato sauce, Egg Beaters, oats and soup mix in large bowl until well blended.
  3. Shape into 8 oval-shaped meatloaves, about 5x3 inches; place in prepared pan. Spread ketchup evenly over the top of each meatloaf. Bake 25 minutes or until meatloaves are cooked through (160°F).
  4. Cut or peel cheese stick into thin strips. Cut strips into 8 long pieces and 32 short pieces and place 1 long piece and 4 short pieces on each meatloaf to resemble “laces” on a football.

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Buffalo Chicken Bites

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Stuff delicate fillo shells with creamy buffalo dip and zesty tomato for a savory, crave-able appetizer.

25 min | Total time: 25 min | Serves: 11 | Yields: 22 bites
 
Ingredients:
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper sauce
  • 1 can (10 oz.) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained well
  • 1 can (5 oz.) chunk chicken breast, drained
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 22 frozen mini fillo shells (from 2 boxes, 1.9 oz.)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese and pepper sauce in medium size microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds; stir until smooth.
  2. Add drained tomatoes, chicken and shredded cheese; stir to combine, breaking up large pieces of chicken. Divide mixture evenly between fillo shells; place in large shallow baking pan. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts.

View Party Plan: Touchdown Tailgate Party

Ro*Tel® Sweet & Spicy Hot Wings

Ro*Tel® Sweet & Spicy Hot Wings

Hot wings made with spicy tomatoes and a hint of honey lend a sweet heat to your appetizer tray.

30 min | Total time: 30 min | Serves: 4 | Yields: 4 drumettes
 
Ingredients:
  • PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 2 cans (10 oz.) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp. Blue Bonnet® Spread tub, melted
  • 32 chicken wing drumettes (about 2 lbs.)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat broiler. Spray broiler pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Place 1 can undrained tomatoes in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Drain chopped tomatoes and combine with sour cream to make dip; set aside. Place second can undrained tomatoes in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Pour into medium bowl; stir in Blue Bonnet and honey.
  3. Place chicken in large shallow baking pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread half of tomato mixture over wings; turn to coat. Transfer half of wings to broiler pan; broil 10 minutes. Turn wings; spoon half of remaining tomato mixture on wings. Broil 10 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink and tender (180°F). Repeat cooking of remaining wings. Serve with dip.

View Party Plan: Touchdown Tailgate Party

Touchdown Tailgate Snack Mix

Touchdown Tailgate Snack Mix

As long as there's a box of Rice Chex left in the world, making tailgating party fare is easy. All you need to decide is which sweet and salty ingredients to combine in the bowl with your cereal. In this spirited mix, the dried apples – an unusual option – give the snack a seasonal caramel apple flavor and a pleasant chewiness to balance all that crunch.

Cook time: 25-35 min | Prep time: 10 min | Serves: 12
 
Ingredients:
  • 6 cups Rice Chex (about ½ box)
  • 1 cup dried apples, crumbled
  • 1 bag (11 oz.) caramel candies
  • 4 Tbsp. water
  • 3 cups Kroger Pretzel Haus Tiny Twist Pretzels
  • 1 cup Kroger Lightly Salted Peanuts, regular or dry roasted
  • ½ cup salted, hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1-2 cups mixed candies, like M&M’s, in your team colors
Directions:
  1. Heat your oven to 300° F.
  2. Unwrap the caramel candies. In a small saucepan, heat the caramels and water over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is melted and smooth.
  3. Spray a large mixing bowl with nonstick vegetable oil spray and fill it with the cereal and crumbled dried apples. Pour in the melted caramel and toss the mixture with a wooden spoon or a gloved hand, until the apples and cereal are well-coated.
  4. Spread the mixture across a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping once to make sure the caramel-coated Chex toast evenly.
  5. Remove the sheet from the oven and let the Chex cool completely. Break up the mixture into small clusters and transfer the clusters to a serving bowl.
  6. Add the peanuts, pretzels, pumpkin seeds and candy to the bowl, and toss until they're well mixed.
Tips:

For a nuttier variation, use 2 cups of peanuts. Add 1 cup to the cereal and apples, so they're coated with caramel, and then add the second cup along with your other add-ins. Having half the peanuts caramel-covered makes the mixture extra special.

If you have time or have eager little helping hands to keep occupied, dip thin pretzel sticks in melted white chocolate and set them aside in the refrigerator to harden. At serving time, add these to the mixture for even more delicious flavor.

View Party Plan: Touchdown Tailgate Party

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