The Best-Ever Snacks for Game Day, Starring Smoked Sausage

The Best-Ever Snacks for Game Day, Starring Smoked Sausage

We’ve teamed up with Zatarain’s® Smoked Sausage to make sure your game days are packed with flavor. Their line of sausages, from Blackened Seasoned Chicken Smoked Sausage to Andouille Smoked Sausage, adds savory depth and fiery zest to any tailgate-ready dish—now that’s something to cheer for.

Picture this: a sunny afternoon with friends and family gathered together—team rivalries and all—with the thrill of a championship game playing in the background. Wisps of savory smoke from the grill fill the air, mixing with the excitement of a close score. At the end of the day, memories of who scored the winning touchdown may fade (or not), but if there’s one thing that everyone’s sure to remember, it’s the snacks. As a professional chef and lover of tasty treats to nosh on while watching sports, my secret to the ultimate game day get-together is making the right game day snacks, and with Zatarain’s variety of delicious smoked sausages, my snacks are sure to be the real winners.

Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Kate Buckens.

When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip

I like to kick my dips up a notch by adding Zatarain’s Smoked Sausages to make them extra snackable, like elevating a simple cheese dip or adding a smoky pop to French onion dip by folding in crispy bites of sausage. To do so, I start by preparing my dip as usual (store-bought is also great, because let’s be real, nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen on game day). I sauté about ½ cup of diced Zatarain’s Sausage with 1 tablespoon of neutral oil (like canola or grapeseed) in a skillet over medium-high heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Next, I transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and let it sit for about 5 minutes, then add it directly to my dips. The classic Cajun spices instantly level up these recipes, adding New Orleans soul to otherwise basic bowls. But be warned; your guests will definitely consider double-dipping into such delicious spreads. Here are some of my favorite flavor combos:

Kicked Up Classics

When it comes to tailgating, you can’t go wrong with classics like deviled eggs, jalapeño poppers, and boards overflowing with charcuterie and cheese. I love adding finger foods like these to my game day menus because they’re easy to eat, loved by many, and simple to make. But, I also like to bring the spice to the party and to help with that, I turn to the flavor-packed smoked sausages from Zatarain’s.
Swirling diced pieces of Zatarain’s Andouille Smoked Sausage into deviled egg filling gives the dish a paprika punch that’s hard to resist. For my grazing boards, I like to take it to the grill, adding charred vegetables and slices of Blackened Seasoned Chicken Smoked Sausage alongside creamy burrata, smoked Gouda, and sharp cheddar cheese. I pair all of that with zesty whole-grain mustard or complementary peach preserves to tie everything together. Using the same chicken sausage in stuffed jalapeño peppers adds a smoky, crispy texture that goes perfectly with the creaminess of the filling and crunch of the panko topping.

Once I have my game day snack ideas covered, the only things left to do are to throw on my favorite team’s colors, make sure the drinks are extra chilled, and get ready to eat. A good game and great snacks make for a truly winning combination.

What are your favorite game day snacks? Tell us in the comments!

Our friends at Zatarain’s® Smoked Sausage know the secret to making your tailgate the envy of every sports fan: their smoked sausages. Upgrade your favorite snacks by adding Zatarain’s Cajun Style Smoked Sausage, Blackened Seasoned Chicken Smoked Sausage, or Andouille Smoked Sausage to the mix. Even better: All of their sausages are fully cooked for easy meal prep, so they’re ready for the big game in no time.

From Our Shop

A first-generation Cuban-American, chef Tatiana Rosana grew up in Miami in a traditional Cuban family where food always took center stage. She’s the executive chef at Para Mia and Lookout Rooftop & Bar in the Envoy Hotel, located in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood, and has competed on The Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” “Chopped,” and “Chopped Champions,” winning twice and earning the title of two-time Chopped Champion. She recently published her first children’s book, “Arlo and the Secret Ingredient.” When she’s not in the kitchen, she’s sharing her dishes on her Instagram and spending time with her wife and son, Arlo.

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