If you’re getting ready for the big game, you’re going to want to make a stop at Trader Joe’s—the beloved grocery chain has a bountiful arsenal of easy and appetizing tailgating foods and treats you can serve up alongside your Crock-Pot creations and crispy wings. Many of these game day snacks are portable too, which is great if you’re going to someone else’s place for the party. And all are, as you’d expect, delicious.
Everything But the Bagel Greek Style Yogurt Dip
Trader Joe’s cult seasoning Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend just took top honors in their 11th Annual Customer Choice Awards—and it stars in this Everything But the Bagel Greek Style Yogurt Dip too. It’s based on creamy and rich Greek-style yogurt—and it only has 60 calories per serving. Add this wonderful condiment to your game day spread as a dip or topping. It will surely impress your fellow football watchers and anyone who loves sea salt, sesame and poppy seeds, and garlic and onion. This is a healthful yet decadent dip swirled with a salty, umami crunch; a perfect medley of deliciousness. And we’re just getting started.
Organic Buffalo Style Hummus
Featuring your beloved buffalo components (but great for those looking to skip the blue cheese), this hummus is composed of chickpeas, chili powder, red jalapenos, and cayenne flakes for a spicy, piquant bite. This fiery, creamy concoction just might become your favorite dairy-free dip.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Then again, if you do want the dairy, you can also pick up ready-made buffalo chicken dip with cream cheese, sour cream, and Monterey Jack cheese. Feel free to fold in some blue cheese too if you’d miss it. Carrots and celery sticks are the natural dipping vehicles of choice.
Pimento Cheese Dip
If you like pub cheese, then this tub of creamy goodness is right up your alley. Pimento cheese, also known as the “caviar of the south,” is a creamy dip made of hunks of salty cheddar, tangy pimento peppers, mayonnaise, and spices such as onion powder. It’s thick and creamy, and a perfect addition to your next tailgating adventure.
Organic Pita Chips with Sea Salt
These organic pita chips are the perfect vessel for copious amounts of dipping into your “caviar” (aka, Pimento Cheese Dip), or the aforementioned hummus and yogurt dip. Crunchy, salty, with a bready bite, these pita chips are a great go-to snack cracker no matter what you’re serving on the side.
Organic Elote Corn Dippers
In a perfect world, we could all carry around Mexican street corn on a stick for staving off snack attacks. But that’s not always feasible. That’s where this elote dipper chip comes in, which is basically a dream come true. These spicy corn chips are fabulous on their own or dipped in guacamole or even just straight up with plain sour cream, as recommended by a Trader Joe’s employee. They hold just enough spice and kick without being overbearing, and the thick scoop-shaped chip holds up extremely well for all sorts of dipping adventures. For those tailgaters who love a little Mexican flair, these will be a favorite for the next game.
Related Reading: 11 Ways to Eat Elote When You Just Can’t Get Enough
The Live Game
Shawarma Chicken Thighs
Light up your grill and get ready for these tender, marinated chicken thighs immersed in a spice medley of onion, garlic, cumin, and more. No vertical skewer required! A Trader Joe’s employee suggests wrapping the chicken in a Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pita and topping it with Trader Joe’s Avocado Tzatziki Dip for a full Middle Eastern meal that will certainly spice up your regular tailgating food spread.
Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa Verde
Too cold to cook outside? Pick up a couple jars of TJ’s salsa verde and empty them into your Crock-Pot along with some chicken, garlic, onion, and cumin, and in a few hours, you have the perfect thing to serve over rice or in tacos—or turn it into chilaquiles.
Mini Chicken Tacos
If you’d rather outsource all the work, these mini tacos are an employee favorite. Chicken breast and leg meat are marinated in a green chile tomatillo sauce and served in a crispy mini taco shell. These bad boys originally debuted in 2006 and have a cult following. Pro tip: They also make a great nacho base for anyone looking to up their homemade nacho game.
Related Reading: The Essential Trader Joe’s Items You Need in Your Freezer
Peppercorn-Garlic Boneless Pork Tenderloin
A savory and delicious pork tenderloin marinated in peppercorns and garlic (my friend, who is also a TJ’s employee, raved about this one) can be grilled or roasted, and served on its own or shredded and piled in a Trader Joe’s Aloha Roll, a sweet take on a Hawaiian pull-apart bread, for sliders.
Related Reading: Pull-Apart Sliders Are a Party Game-Changer
Organic Coleslaw Kit
Skip the chopping and slivering and let Trader Joe’s do all the grunt work. Assemble a delicious and nutritious coleslaw in seconds with a mix of organic purple and red cabbage and carrots, accompanied by a creamy and tangy dressing. This coleslaw can stand on its own or go on top of your mouth-watering pulled pork sandwich.
Ghost Chile BBQ Sauce
Spice and heat fans take note; all others beware. This Ghost Chile BBQ features Bhut jolokia, one of the hottest peppers in the world. The sauce is balanced with a sweet BBQ blend of tomatoes, molasses, and sugar, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. If you can handle the heat, use this bad boy as your special marinade for meats, tofu, and more during the next game.
Hot & Spicy Dill Pickle Chips
Pickles with heat can add depth and zing to your sandwiches. These Hot & Spicy Dill Pickle Chips will be a nice complement to sweet pulled pork, juicy hamburgers, flavorful veggie burgers, and more. Or you can bread them and crisp them in the air fryer.
Honey Pale Ale Mustard
Great as a topping for the brat, burger, or soy dog you’re definitely going to be grilling. Not overly sweet, this mustard has a nice balance with a touch of honey, mellow beer, and mustard spice, and will pair perfectly with your IPA and grilled meat platter.
Bloody Mary Salsa
A mix of briny, acidic, sweet, and spicy, this salsa hits all of the notes, and may inspire you to make some Bloodies for the next game. It’s tangy and zesty and great for topping your hamburgers or Beyond Meat burgers, or used as a traditional salsa. You do you.
Header image courtesy of Trader Joe's.