Football Friday Tailgate Treats: Bites! Bites! Bites!

Football Friday Tailgate Treats: Bites! Bites! Bites!

Happy Football Friday.  Today we have Football Friday Tailgate Treats: Bites! Bites! Bites!  Did you save last week’s Tailgate Treats Kickoff Weekend?  This week we have Bites! Lots of tasty bites that are easy to make and even easier to eat.  Here is a collection of bites to help you celebrate a FULL SLATE of college football games this weekend.

Cheesy Meatball Bites

Ingredients: 

  • 1 8-oz can of Pillsbury Crescent rolls
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • about 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 12 meatballs (I used pre-made, frozen ones)

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a regular-sized muffin pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Unroll crescent dough. Separate into 2 large sections along the perforated edge. Cut each of the 2 large sections into thirds, then divide those sections down the middle, so that you have 12 squares total. I mentioned above how I now prefer to use the crescent rounds instead of the traditional triangle crescent rolls. The crescent rounds make this step so much easier! Just open the package and press one round into each muffin tin. You’ll end up with 8 good-sized meatball appetizers this way. If you use the traditional triangle crescent rolls, you can make 12 meatball bites, but they’ll be a bit smaller. If I’m preparing this recipe for a party, I just double the recipe using the crescent rounds.
  3. Press each square into one of the muffin cups, doing your best to smooth dough around the cup and a little up the sides.
  4. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of marinara sauce into the bottom of each cup. Follow with a small spoonful of mozzarella cheese. Place 1 meatball (they can be frozen still, no need to pre-thaw!) into the center of each cup. Spoon another 2 teaspoons of marinara sauce on top of the meatball, then finish with another sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the crescent dough, is golden brown and cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven. Let cool for a few minutes, then remove each meatball bite from the muffin pan. Serve with additional marinara sauce, if desired.

How to Keep The Meatball Bites Warm

I serve these cheesy meatball bites on a ceramic or porcelain plate or tray that I heated in the microwave. Ceramic and porcelain retain heat well, so if you plate the meatball bites hot, they’ll stay warm for around 15-20 minutes, which is usually more than enough time since they tend to get eaten quickly! If it’s a casual get-together, I don’t mind serving the meatball bites in the muffin tray. The muffin tray of course wraps the meatball bites and helps them stay warm as a result.

Loaded Mashed Potato Bites

Ingredients: 

  • 4 . 9-ounce box Betty Crocker Ultimate Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
  • 6 strips of bacon cooked crispy and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese divided
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 cans of refrigerated crescent dough full-size sheets are preferred, but crescent roll dough is okay too
  • Fresh chives fine chopped, for garnish
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Prepare the Betty Crocker Ultimate Cheddar Mashed Potatoes according to package directions.
  • Once finished transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Add in the sour cream, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, and half the bacon. Set aside.
  • Unroll one pack of the crescent dough and lay it out flat on a cutting board. Using a 2-inch circular cookie cutter, cut out dough rounds. You need to get 12 rounds from each package of dough. Place one dough round over each cup of your mini muffin tin. Repeat with the other dough package.
  • Using your fingertips, gently press the dough into the muffin tin cups, making sure there are no bubbles under the dough.
  • Use a small cookie scoop (or a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon) to portion the mashed potatoes into each muffin tin cup. Then, use your fingers to gently push the potatoes into the cups a bit more.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of each bite, and then sprinkle the remaining bacon over the top of the cheese.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, or until the crescent dough is golden on the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 2-5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  • Transfer the bites to a serving platter and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cowboy Nacho Bites 

Ingredients:

  • 24 scoop-type tortilla chips
  • 1 cup barbecue beef store-bought or homemade
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • 1/2 c. pinto beans
  • 3/4 c. Mexican blend cheese shredded
  • 3/4 c. Pico de gallo salsa

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using a mini-muffin tin, add a scoop chip to each muffin cavity. Add 3-4 of the black beans, and about 3-4 of the pinto beans to each chip. Add about 1/2 Tbsp (or whatever will fit on the chip.) Top with a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
  • Place the pan of nachos in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted.
  • Remove from the oven, and serve while still hot. Top with fresh Pico de Gallo salsa, if desired.

Warren’s Chicken Bites

Ingredients: 

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Top each piece of chicken with 1 teaspoon cream cheese and 1/4 teaspoon chopped jalapeno. Roll up each filling-covered chicken piece and wrap it with 1 slice of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Cook’s Note: You can also cook these on an outdoor grill: Grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once.

Chocolatey Football Bites

These can be made a day or two ahead of the weekend.  It is the perfect little sweet treat to balance out the other bites of the day.

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups chocolate rice cereal like Cocoa Pebbles or chocolate Rice Krispies
  • 6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • white decorating gel

Instructions: 

  • Place the chocolate cereal in a large bowl.
  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the semisweet chocolate, corn syrup, and butter. Cook in the microwave on high heat for 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  • Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cereal and mix well using a buttered wooden spoon. With greased hands, shape the cereal mixture into small football shapes. Place them on waxed paper to cool.
  • When cool, use decorating gel to draw the laces on the footballs. Store in an airtight container.

On The Menu:

On the menu for next week will be another Football Friday Tasty Treat. Enjoy your all-in-one-bite tailgate treats while you cheer on your team.  Be sure to leave a comment and let us know which bites were your favorite.