The biggest face-offs of the season have already happened: We asked our Instagram followers to pick the winners of the best tailgating foods. We pitted burgers against hot dogs (of course), chili versus chowder, and more. Which ones scored big as MVPs? You may be surprised. What won’t surprise you, however, is the fact that, when all the winners come together, you’re left with one winning menu. Luckily, we have plenty of recipe options for each.
Keep reading to plan your ultimate tailgating menu.
Burgers vs. Hot Dogs
When you think about all the fun toppings and things you can do with burgers, it’s no wonder that they slid into the winning position here with 64 percent of the votes. (That means hot dogs got 36 percent.) Beyond the usual lettuce, tomato and onions, burgers can get topped with all sorts of cheeses, sauces, veggies and even pulled pork or mac and cheese (though those do make it harder to eat while standing up at a tailgate). When it comes the patty itself, you can play around with the meat-to-fat ratio and pick your blend (Michael Mina likes a blend of brisket, chuck and short rib). Your options really are limitless.
Narrow Things Down: 6 Hamburger Recipes to Bookmark Now
Chili vs. Chowder
In our biggest blowout of the competition, chili won 77 percent to 23 percent. Sorry, chowder, you’re good and all, but people just don’t seem to think of you as a tailgating food. Chili is just so classic — even if you mix things up and think outside of the box. One of our favorite chili recipes, which we call Game Day Chili, includes beef and sweet potatoes, can be made a day or two in advance and has a secret ingredient (a splash of tequila!). And, whether or not you believe that beans belong in chili, we’ve got you covered.
Read More: Chili Recipes for Game Day
Guacamole vs. 7-Layer Dip
People are still obsessed with avocados: Guacamole beat out 7-layer dip, 63 to 37 percent. (Yes, we know that most people put a layer of guac in 7-layer dip, but it seems like people would rather have it so that ALL the layers are guac.) It helps that guac is easier to make. Our simple recipe has been called “perfect” and “life-changing” by some of our shoppers. The ingredient list reads the same as many others that you’ll find online, it’s just that our recipe actually calls for a molcajete (a mortar and pestle carved from volcanic rock) and it really does make a difference. Make the guac at home and store it in a cooler in an air-tight container until it’s time to eat.
Get the Recipe: Guacamole
Corn vs. Potato Salad
In the closest matchup of them all, potato salad won with just 52 percent of the votes! (Because so many on you voted for corn, here’s our favorite grilled corn recipe, which gets topped with autumnal maple cayenne butter.) Once again, with potato salad, you have tons of choices. Do you want a creamy potato salad? A German one? One with fried potatoes? You can’t go wrong with any choice—democracy says so.
Our Best Potato Salad Recipes:
- Old-Fashioned Potato Salad
- Creamy Potato Salad
- French-Style Potato Salad
- Greek Potato Salad
- Grilled Potato Salad
Ribs vs. Wings
Another surprisingly close one, wings soared to the winner’s circle with 57 percent of the vote. Honestly, we’re glad: Wings are the best snacks to order at a sports bar and they’re only better when they’re homemade (or parking-lot-made). Go with the classic buffalo style or try one of our unique takes. Just make sure you have a place for people to toss their leftover bones.
Our Best Wing Recipes:
- Spicy Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip
- Sriracha Chicken Wings with Cilantro-Green Onion Dip
- Vadouvan Chicken Wings
- Air-Fried Chicken Wings
- Sesame Chicken Wings