Vegetarian-Friendly Tailgate Treats

These meatless treats are the perfect way to make sure your vegetarian friends aren't left out at the tailgate.

tray of creamy guacamole bites in tortilla scoops
Photograph by Leslie Byars Register

Your yummy gameday snacks shouldn’t just be for meat-eaters. Here are 5 vegetarian-friendly tailgate treats that will keep your meatless guests satisfied without shackling them to the veggie tray.

Creamy Guacamole Bites

Juice of 2 lemons
4 avocados, peeled and seeded
1 ¼ cups red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Multigrain tortilla scoops (Leslie likes Tostitos)
Garnishes: cherry tomatoes, jalapeños; seeded and chopped; and freshly chopped cilantro

Combine lemon juice and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. (I like to squeeze the juice of the lemons first to prevent the avocados from turning brown.) With a potato masher or fork, combine ingredients until smooth and creamy; cover tightly and refrigerate. Prepare the garnishes for filling; refrigerate until ready to fill. Makes approx. 48 bites.

cooking rack full of BBQ sweet potato chips
Photograph by Leslie Byars Register

BBQ Sweet Potato Chips

2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
2 tablespoons BBQ rib rub
Parchment sheets

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Preheat oven to 400˚. 

Thinly slice sweet potatoes (peel on), and place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, tossing to coat both sides thoroughly. Add rib rub, and toss until well coated. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, allowing plenty of space between slices. (You will probably need two baking sheets.) 

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown and crisp. 

bowtie pasta tossed with mediterranean ingredients like tomatoes, olives, onions and more
Photograph by Leslie Byars Register

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

1 pound bow-tie pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup pepperoncini slices
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
½ cup green onions sliced (about one bunch)
¼ cup sweet onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Lemony-Dill Dressing (recipe below)
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup Romano cheese, grated
Basil leaves for garnish

In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, pepperoncini slices, and next
4 ingredients. Toss with Lemony-Dill Dressing, and refrigerate for several hours, if desired. Before serving, top with toasted pine nuts, grated Romano cheese, and fresh basil leaves.

Lemony-Dill Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon oregano

Whisk all ingredients in a medium-size measuring cup.

black bean and born salsa with tortilla chips
Photograph by Art Meripol

Easy Black Bean-and-Corn Salsa

You can make this easy 5-ingredient dip in about 5 minutes with items you may already have in your pantry.

1 (15.5-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.25-oz.) can whole-kernel corn, drained
1 (16-oz.) jar chunky salsa
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips. Yields 4 cups.

bloody mary with seasoning salt on rim and celery stalk garnish
Photograph by Leslie Byars Register

Everything Dilly Bloody Mary

Everything but the Bagel seasoning salt
Lemon wedge
1½ ounces vodka
½ ounce lemon juice
3 ounces bloody Mary mix
½ ounce dill pickle juice
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of hot sauce (optional)
Celery stalk or dill pickle wedge

Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of Everything but the Bagel seasoning salt into a small plate. Moisten the rim of a glass with lemon wedge. Dip to coat the rim of the glass in the seasoning. Carefully add ice to the glass, being careful not to knock the salt off the rim. Add vodka and next 5 ingredients, and, if desired, hot sauce. Stir to combine thoroughly. 

Garnish with a celery stalk or a dill pickle wedge. 

“The secret ingredient in the Bloody Mary recipe is the dill pickle juice—don’t skip this step!”

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