Big Orange Smokeys with Checkerboard Relish | Tennessee Tailgate

Big Orange Smokeys with Checkerboard Relish are perfect for your next Tennessee Tailgate or any football party. This tailgate recipe will make you wanna break out Rocky Top and sing! Wait, that’s every day for a Tennessee fan, right?

Ever hear of little smokies? Yeah, we have, too. But we’re not having it. A true SEC tailgate party deserves big and bold flavors. This recipe features a winning team of sweet orange marmalade and spicy chili sauce with slow simmered smoked saugages. Big Orange Smokeys are our way of going big or going home.  Sweet, spicy, loud, and a big ol’ country mess.  With a checkboard finish.

There’s no place like home. #GBO 

Big Orange Smokeys and Checkerboard Relish | Tennessee Tailgate

SEC Tailgate Special : The University of Tennessee

At heart, we are fans of the University of Tennessee and our Vols. This recipe is what inspired us to do a tailgate party recipe for every team in the SEC. 14 Teams = 14 Tailgate Recipes!

Our goal: to capture the spirit of each school’s team and make a fun and delicious recipe using local flavor and flair. So we put our football differences aside, and researched every school.

If you have ever been to an SEC Tailgate, you know that food is the only thing that brings opposing fans together. (Besides the fact that we all want to beat Florida.)

Don’t follow college football or aren’t a fan of the SEC? That’s totally ok. Our tailgate recipes are still awesome for your next party. Or a Tuesday. (We won’t judge.)



Big Orange Smokeys with Checkerboard Relish | Tennessee Tailgate

First things first, Vol Nation…you’ve gotta find big smoked sausages. Big Smokeys, not little smokies. We used a hardwood smoked country-style sausage and cut them into serving sized pieces.


large smoked sausages simmering in a rich, sweet and tangy sauce in a crockpot


You can brown them in a skillet first, like we did. Or, throw them on the tailgate grill to add color first. If you are using pre-cooked sausages like these, you can just throw them right into the slow cooker.


a jar of orange marmalade and chili sauce


Now, time for Big Orange flavor at your Tennessee Tailgate. A whole jar (yes) of orange marmalade followed by a whole bottle of chili sauce (the ketchup-y kind).

Orange marmalade has the pieces of orange peel in it, which adds to the orange flavor that we want. Combined with the chili sauce and some Sriracha, this simple but flavorful sauce makes a WOW statement. Can’t wait for you to try them at your next Tennessee Tailgate.

You can make these before the game and take them with you, or make them on site in a skillet or slow cooker. Let them slow simmer so the sausages can really take on that sweet and spicy flavor. (We used our Crock Pot!) So Easy!

We served our Big Orange Smokeys on fresh buns with a heaping serving of our Checkerboard Relish.


Try more of our SEC Tailgating Recipes here:

Nashville Hot Chicken Wraps

Dawg Chow Snack Mix

Gator Bait Bites + Swamp Sauce


an overhead shot of diced orange bell peppers, onion and cabbage


Sweet orange bell peppers, white onion, and cabbage are all chopped up and combined with vinegar, sugar, and spices. (To get the best flavor, make the relish the night before serving.)


a white bowl with spices such as mustard seed, dill, salt and pepper


The colorful relish is a perfect topping for the sweet and spicy smoked sausages. Plus, it looks awesome.


Tennessee Vols Tailgate Recipe


Tailgating 101 | Tasty Recipes for Football Fun


Warning : these are messy. But I am a firm believer that tailgate never happens until someone spills something on their jersey, so bring it on.


Big Orange Smokeys with Checkerboard Relish - a Tennessee Volunteers Tailgate recipe


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Big Orange Smokeys with Checkerboard Relish | Tennessee Tailgate

Author Buy This Cook That


For the Big Orange Smokeys

  • 2 16 oz packages of smoked sausages
  • 1 TB oil if you are browning in a skillet first
  • 1 18 oz jar orange marmalade
  • 1 12 oz bottle chili sauce
  • 1 TB Siracha or more to taste
  • Buns

For the Checkerboard Relish

  • 1 large orange bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 small white onion peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups green cabbage diced
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 3 TB white sugar
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt


For the Big Orange Smokeys

  • Cut sausages into serving sized pieces. We cut some in half lengthwise as well. If desired, cook in oil in a skillet to brown the sausages.
  • In a crockpot or slow cooker, combine the orange marmalade, chili sauce, and Siracha. Stir to combine well. Place the sausages in the sauce and coat well. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours.
  • Serve on fresh buns with Checkerboard Relish.

For the Checkerboard Relish

  • Dice the orange bell pepper, onions, and cabbage to the same size pieces.
  • In a bowl, combine the water, vinegar, sugar and spices. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vegetables and stir well. Refrigerate before serving.


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