Are you planning on having a party anytime soon? Hosting a party and planning it can be highly stressful, especially feeding the crowd. You might be wondering what party food to serve to your guests.
From simple classics like Buffalo wings to fancy charcuterie boards to amazing cheesecakes, many ideas can make your party rock.
What follows are 15 party food ideas to help you plan your next gathering.
DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THIS POST ARE AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON AN AFFILIATE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, I WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND I ONLY RECOMMEND PRODUCTS OR SERVICES I BELIEVE WILL ADD VALUE TO MY READERS. SEE FULL DISCLAIMER HERE.
Party Food Basics
When it comes to party food, you want to be creative and have fun with your food selection. You might also want it to be easy and affordable.
You probably don’t want to order from cheap restaurants for a group of people because your costs can very quickly add up when you choose this path.
People often want to shop and save when it comes to party food; no one wants to buy things they don’t need. Additionally, you want to have various options for people to choose from when deciding on party food because not everyone has the same taste.
It is time to reduce stress and impress guests with your food ideas. A party is not just about you but about the people coming to the party. We’ve put together a list that not only saves time and money but also contains several crowd-pleasers to suit anyone’s party food desires.
Crowd-Pleasing Party Appetizers
Chips and Dip
You can never go wrong with chips and dips! You only need two components: chips and a sauce of some kind. Most people always have a chip and dip of some sort at a party because it is simple and agreeable.
You can buy a premade dip or make your own. If you are on a budget, buying ingredients to create your own is the way to go.
Shrimp Tostada Bites
Shrimp Tostada Bites make a great appetizer at a party. They are small and fun to make.
Guacamole and seasoned seared shrimp are combined in these bites that will give your mouth a great mix of sweet and spicy. If you have guests who love this combination, it’s a great idea to serve these at parties.
Vegetables and Dip
Like chips and dips, vegetables and dip are a bit healthier if you want to go a route with fewer calories for your crowd.
It is an inexpensive appetizer that is simple to assemble. Wash and plate some carrots, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, and/or cauliflower and put them on a platter with a simple dip, homemade or store-bought.
A charcuterie board adds to a party food table with its colors and nutrients. You can design the charcuterie board in creative ways, allowing for fun in the board’s creation.
Combine various cured meats, cheeses, vegetables, and nuts for people to choose from. With various options on the platter, there’s a delicious combination for every taste bud.
Add a little spice to your party!
Jalapeño poppers are not only delicious, but they are easy to make. You need to stuff a filling or mixture into a jalapeño pepper, then bake or fry it. The filling can be cheese, spices, or meat.
Wrap the pepper in bacon to make it extra tasty and appealing. If you and your guests don’t like jalapeños, substitute bell peppers.
Cocktail meatballs are the perfect appetizers for a party. They are a MUST!
You can fry or bake the meatballs then coat them in a delicious low-carb sauce. They are simple to make and have an irresistible taste. Be sure to make or buy plenty because your guests will love them and will ask for more.
You have probably heard of another excellent, popular appetizer dish known as deviled eggs. Some people would say there is nothing better than smooth deviled eggs.
To create this crowd-pleaser, you simply hard-boiled eggs, then separate the egg whites from the yolks by cutting them in half lengthwise. Mix the yolk of the egg with mayonnaise and combine with spices like mustard, salt, pepper, and/or paprika. Then you fill the whole of the egg whites where the yolk used to be with the delicious, creamy mixture, and serve.
Adding a salad option to a party food table gives your guests a healthy dish option that is easy to put together. Combine lettuce, cut-up vegetables, and maybe even a protein like chicken or shrimp to complete the salad.
Party Food Entrees
Pasta is a great option for a party with many different pasta recipes to choose from: alfredo, lasagna, ravioli, and spaghetti.
Not only is it easy to make but it is affordable. You only need a few ingredients and a few hours to create a scrumptious pasta dish for a party.
Mexican food at a party is always a hit. If you provide the components for guests to create their own tacos, they get to make their favorites themselves.
Tacos for a party are easy and fast to prep, saving you time and money for other things on your to-do list.
Sandwiches are a must-have at a party that is easy and cheap to make.
You only need a few ingredients to create them, including bread, meat, cheese, and lettuce, for example. If you want it to make fancier sandwiches, you can add more ingredients to impress the crowd like olives or an aioli.
The crunch of fried or baked chicken wings is hard to resist, especially if you have an incredible sauce on them.
Try The Classic Chicken Wings or Chicken Wingettes with Drumettes.
Protein is a must when having a gathering with friends and family.
Doesn’t a baked potato with chili and cheese sound tasty to you?
You can prep food for a baked potato buffet or bar for your guests, then they can make their own baked potatoes. Top with things like bacon, sour cream, chives, and the like.
Food made in a deep pan or dish is a popular party food dish partially because they are easy and convenient to make.
A variety of casserole recipes that are suitable for entertaining are available and easy to find online.
Mac & Cheese
Everyone loves a hearty mac and cheese dish at a party. The starch and cheese in this delicious dish are perfect for absorbing alcohol if there are cocktails, beer and wine that will be served.
It is a straightforward dish that brings comfort to people.
Making quesadillas involves only a few ingredients. You can use shredded or rotisserie chicken for protein, and shrimp or mushrooms for vegetarians. Cheese is a main component of quesadillas. Include additional vegetables (like sautéed onions) if you like and spices.
Shrimp Avocado Garlic Bread
Do you want something more exciting and original? Why not jazz up regular garlic bread by adding something like shrimp and avocado? It will give the food a creamy texture and appeal to the crowd.
Desserts at a Party
Cookies are easy to make and one of the best desserts to have at a party.
You can buy them at a bakery or make them at home. Cookie recipe options are endless, so you can have a variety of cookies for dessert to provide your guests with different flavors.
Cookies for dessert are one of the most popular party foods to have if you’re entertaining.
Can you imagine presenting a batch of freshly baked brownies, right out of the oven, to your friends? The fragrance is enticing!
Brownies don’t take long to make and don’t cost a lot.
Like cookies, making a few cupcake recipes will give your guest the chance to choose from multiple flavors. For example, you can choose vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, or other flavors.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Creating chocolate-covered strawberries is straightforward and you only need two ingredients: dip freshly washed strawberries into melted chocolate.
Most people love them because of their textural contrast and how they melt in your mouth. Everything tastes good when you dip it in chocolate, right?
A fruit tart is tasty and a great source of antioxidants and vitamins. The beautiful colors of the fruit on top are the stars that catch guests’ attention.
Its beauty helps make it the perfect dessert for a party. If you make your own at home (as opposed to buying one at a bakery) you can use any fruit in season, like strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, mandarin oranges, or peaches.
Making jello is easy if you have the time to chill it and provides a cold and refreshing, low-calorie option at a party.
You can make all kinds of colors of Jell-o, by itself or add fruit to the dish you create it in. It is an especially good dessert during summertime. Can you imagine having refreshing Jell-o on a hot summer day?
Most people love ice cream at a party, especially on a hot day. If you have a lot of kids on your guest list, a Sundae bar will be a treat. Buy toppings for a top-your-own Sundae bar for guests to enjoy.
Check out these Ice Cream Makers.
Fruit kabobs make a table more lively and fun.
This little snack is easy to assemble: you only need to put a variety of cut pieces of fruit on a skewer, like honeydew, mango, pineapple, or cantaloupe.
Fruit kabobs are not only delicious, but they make a great decoration for a party table. It is a party food that can serve two purposes at a party.
Set up a bonfire and make s’mores at your party!
You have a nostalgic treat when you combine marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers.
If you can’t have a bonfire to create a s’mores setup for your guests, you can make a recipe as an alternative like a s’mores cookie bar or cake.
You can also get an awesome S’more Maker here
Hopefully, this list has inspired you and helped to save you time to get your party food list going. Once you have finished your food selection, you can focus more on dressing to impress the crowd, cleaning your home, and decorating your house for your guests.
This post originally appeared on Savoteur.
About the author
Cindy started her blog, The Money Dreamer when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, so she decided to venture out. She took action and decided to learn how to save, budget, and invest while helping others along the way.
Great ideas, these all look so delicious!
I like the fruit kabobs, they are so refreshing and healthy. Thanks for all the ideas!