Ok, so you’ve got your own apartment and you’re expecting your parents to be in it at some point, whether it be for a random home game or Homecoming weekend. Having your parents visit is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate to them that you are a living, breathing adult. With a few easy, cheap tailgate recipes and ideas, your parents will be thoroughly impressed (and hopefully willing to slip you some cash on the down low).

Tailgating is prime time for hearty foods that will fill you up enough to compensate for the alcohol you're also most likely consuming. Especially as the weather gets a little cooler, warm soups, chili, chicken wings, and other heartwarming dishes are guaranteed to impress. 

Breakfast Bake

hash, egg
Taylor Holmes

This recipe from Thrillist is a crowd pleaser. Tailgating can start early, so this bountiful breakfast is a perfect way to wake everybody up .

Liz's Chili

  • Prep Time:25 mins
  • Cook Time:6 hrs
  • Total Time:6 hrs 25 mins
  • Servings:12
  • Easy


  • one green pepper
  • one red pepper
  • one white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • mushrooms optional
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • all the above to taste
  • 2.5 family size cans tomato soup
  • family size can red kidney beans
  • 2 cans chiles/tomatoes
  • shredded cheese
  • sour cream
  • jalapeños
  • Fritos
chocolate, vegetable, meat, soup
  • Step 1

    Sauté the peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Add spices to vegetables.

  • Step 2

    Brown the ground beef making sure to drain the excess liquid.

  • Step 3

    Combine tomato sauce, kidney beans, chiles and tomatoes, sauteed vegetables, and ground beef into the crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for four hours.

  • Step 4

    Top the chili with sour cream, jalapeños, shredded cheese, and use Fritos for scooping and dipping.

MaryGrace's Orzo Salad

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:15 mins
  • Servings:10
  • Easy


  • 1 box orzo pasta
  • 1 cup feta
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • Arugula
  • Fresh basil
  • 1 cup cranraisins
  • 1 can drained mandarin oranges
  • Lemon
  • Lemon pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
salad, chicken
  • Step 1

    Boil orzo pasta according to box. Run cold water under it in strainer if you don’t have time for it to cool. When cool, drizzle olive oil on orzo and mix it around the orzo so there is a little bit everywhere (but not too much).

  • Step 2

    Toast pine nuts in the oven till lightly toasted – not too brown – just place on cookie sheet and bake about 7-10 min (350°). Let nuts cool.

  • Step 3

    Mix orzo and pine nuts in a bowl and add the feta, arugula, cranraisins, oranges and cut up basil. Squeeze fresh lemon (3 tablespoons) and add lemon pepper, garlic powder and salt to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.

JMU’s D-hall Peanut Butter Pie

chocolate, sweet, pastry, cake, cookie, cream
Paige Stickevers

If you haven’t already heard, JMU has released their infamous peanut butter pie recipe for public consumption. Let your parents  in on this Duke dog classic by whipping up this insane dessert.