Dig Baton Rouge

The Tailgate Never Ends

By Brad Jones

After a great weekend of tailgating and barbecues, I find myself saying things like “I made too many burgers” or “no one ate the wings!” Often, we just throw away all our tailgate and barbecue leftovers because we don’t know what to do with them or we find ourselves not wanting to eat hamburgers for lunch for the next four days. With a little creativity and a few simple ingredients, you can reinvent those tailgate leftovers into full meals. Below, you can find three ways to reuse tailgate staples.

Tailgate Chicken Wing Tacos

4-5 servings


15-20 cooked chicken wings, sauced in your favorite wing sauce

10-12 small flour tortillas

1 jar of homemade/favorite salsa

1 small red onion, diced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

2 limes, cut in wedges

hot sauce to taste

salt/pepper to taste

1. Pull the meat from the wings while they are still cold and place in a bowl. It should look shredded and not have huge chunks. Heat a dry skillet to medium and add your chicken. Cook the pulled chicken in the skillet till it starts to get brown and slightly crispy (about 6-7 minutes).

2. Warm your tortillas. I like to put mine in a dry pan on medium high till they get a nice golden brown color on both sides. This helps keep your tacos from falling apart on you.

3. Build your tacos with the chicken, salsa, red onion, and cilantro. Add hot sauce and salt/pepper to taste. Squeeze fresh lime over the top and serve.

Beer Bratwurst Soup

4-6 servings


3-4 bratwursts, cooked and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

1 bottle of your favorite beer

2 cups Chicken stock

2 T olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 cup carrots, chopped into large pieces

1/2 cup celery, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1 T flour

1 T of your favorite brown mustard or stone ground mustard

chopped parsley to taste

salt/pepper to taste

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions slowly until they are soft and golden-brown in color. Turn the heat down if necessary.
  2. Add the carrots and celery. Cook carrots and vegetables until they begin to get soft (about 10 minutes). Dust the flour over the vegetables and stir well.
  3. Add the beer, chicken stock, bratwursts, and mustard.
  4. Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes, making sure to stir from time to time.
  5. Serve in bowls and top with parsley. Serve with a side of crusty bread.

Burger Bolognese with Garlic Bread Hamburger Buns

4-6 Servings

For the pasta:

10oz of your favorite dry spaghetti

1-2 T olive oil

2-3 cooked hamburgers

28oz canned whole tomatoes

2 T butter

8oz or a glass of red wine

8-9 basil leaves sliced into ribbons

salt/pepper to taste

grated parmesan to serve


For the bread:

1 t garlic powder

2 T melted butter

4-5 hamburger buns

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti and drain. Set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add onions. Sauté until golden. Add the hamburger and cook for 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the red wine and use a spoon to stir and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and juice by hand crushing the tomatoes. Add the butter and half of the sliced basil. Stir.

4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

5. With 10 minutes left, mix melted butter and garlic powder. Brush on hamburger buns and put the buns in the oven. Take out when toasted.

6. Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss.

7. Serve in bowls, adding basil and parmesan. Serve with a side of the toasted hamburger buns.




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