Pack a picnic, collect your home team, and head for the game! Enjoying a pregame parking lot party with friends is a favorite American social gathering—even if your car lacks an official tailgate.
Take along dishes guaranteed to fuel fans (with a few easy tricks to make them both delicious and healthy). Make your menu easy by planning and preparing ahead, grilling burgers and/or sausages on-site, and toting easy-to-serve side dishes everyone will cheer.
For starters, decide whether it’s pot luck or not (if so, divvy up the menu and keep a list of who’s bringing what). Check whether grilling is allowed, and what beverages can be brought on-site; some stadiums may restrict alcoholic drinks. Keep an eye on the weather, and have Plan B ready if dry skies aren’t forecast. Begin by packing the basics:
When planning the menu, think easy-to-transport and easy-to-serve dishes that can be made a day or two in advance and served at room temperature. For green salads, toss with dressing just before serving. Appetizers, salads, and side dishes can follow a theme—Mexican, Thai—or be traditional picnic favorites. Standard picnic fare such as grilled burgers, sausages, London broil, and/or hot dogs make a terrific main dish. (Remember food safety rules and transport meat frozen or on ice at a temperature around 40°F.) And don’t forget dessert!
Here’s how much you need to cook for 10 guests (with some healthy substitution suggestions):
Dip into tasty starters, such as prepared salsa, hummus or babaganoosh with corn or pita chips:
Select transportable salads and side dishes, such as your favorite coleslaw, pasta or potato salad:
Get ready to cheer with cake and cookies: