party food ideas

My Top 19 Appetizers ideas to start your party!

Party food ideas

Party food ideas are plentiful but how to start, with as many appetizers and menus as there are party theme. Party foods can be anything that your guests will like. Finger foods seem to be a favorite of guests, because it’s easy to socialize and partake of easy-to-eat treats at the same time. Party appetizers like dried ribs, chicken fingers or wings, assorted vegetable and cheese platters work well, too. Fried pierogis, meatballs, stuffed mushrooms and tiny fishes are also tasty.

For more substantial foods, beef on a bun or an assortment of cold meats so people can make their own sandwiches are always good. Party food ideas can include serving anything off the barbeque, though chili, chicken and vegetable casseroles are other ideas. The main thing is to think of things that are easy for you to serve so that you can enjoy yourself as well.

If you are having a birthday party, you will want some kind of a cake or dessert. Cake is traditional, but brownies or squares layered on a plate with candles in them are also nice. Ice cream cakes can be nice, as can banana splits. You can make small banana splits in pudding cups and place them in layers or tiers, which can look very nice. You can make a large meringue and cover it with whipping cream, and then top it with fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas, blueberries and raspberries. A fresh fruit-topped cake always goes over well with guests and is a rarity for someone not to enjoy it.

party food ideas

19 Appetizers ideas for party

Ravioli Bites.

It couldn’t be simpler. Frozen ravioli can be picked up at any supermarket, but after boiling them, dry them off on a paper towel. Heat up a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and a dab of tomato paste for color. Fry off the softened ravioli, cooking them on each side until a crisp crust develops. Top them with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese, insert a toothpick into each one and voila!


This takes no time at all and requires no cooking. After slicing a loaf of Italian bread into multiple discs, drizzle them with olive oil and set under a broiler for a quick toast. Chop garlic, tomatoes and basil together with a dash of salt to make a compote or relish. On top of the toast rounds, top them with the mixture.

Tapenade Toast.

This is the same idea as the bruschetta, but for variety, use a tangy olive tapenade to dress the toast rounds. Chop a combination of green and black olives into a paste with a bit of garlic, lemon juice and salt, and here you have a tangy variation of a spread that will be a nice alternative kick to the regular tomato version.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes.

These little balls of flavor will be a pleasant surprise with the first bite. Hollow out the pulp from the tomatoes. Inside each one, stuff with a mixture of cream cheese, grated cheddar, chopped chives and a dash of tobacco for a kick of heat. They’ll go off like yummy fireworks in your guests’ mouths.

Pears with Cheese.

A fruit and cheese combo can be a perfect complement to your wines. Simply slice your pears into thick wedges, and sprinkle a bit of crumbly blue cheese on top. For added texture, you can toast some chopped walnuts in a bit of butter and brown sugar and then add as a crunchy, sweet sprinkling.

So, it doesn’t take a gourmet chef to comprise a platter of delicious treats for your party guests. These party appetizer ideas take no time at all, require very little cooking skills, and will be sure to accommodates even the most finicky of taste buds.


Fish makes an exquisite appetizer, no matter how you cook, it will taste great. Pick your favorite fish and bake it to perfection and serve with salad or bread. Don’t serve fried fish, especially if you can avoid it. it will still have less fats than fried pork or beef but baking is still the better option.

Pistachio and Almond Paste Filled Apricots.

These can be made days ahead and kept refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. You will need a bag or more of dried apricots, a can of Almond Paste and a bag of shelled pistachios. These are best made with fresh, soft apricots. Open up the pocket in the apricot and pinch off a small piece of the almond paste. Roll it into a small oval and stuff it into the apricot. Press one or two pistachios into the almond paste and done. Repeat with as many as needed. One can of almond paste will fill about 30 or more apricots.

Prosciutto and Pear

These will need to be made the day of the party. You will need a container of the very thinly sliced prosciutto slices and pears. Open the prosciutto and cut the whole slab in half. Separate the thin slices. Slice and core the pears, then cut into thin wedges. Dip the pear wedges into a bowl of water with the juice of one lemon. This will prevent the pear wedges from turning brown. Wrap a piece of the prosciutto around the pear wedge and arrange artfully on a plate.

Smokies in Puff Pastry

These may be made a day ahead and reheated briefly. Little Smokies are seen wrapped in premade crescent roll dough, but I find these far too salty. Use puff pastry sheets instead. Allow the pastry to thaw thoroughly. Flour a surface and place one of the unfolded sheets down and sprinkle more flour over top. Roll out the dough as evenly square as possible, to about 14 x 14 inches or so. With a knife or pastry cutter slice strips about 1 1/2 inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long. Open a pack of little smokies and place one on a pastry strip. Roll up the strip, wetting the end of the dough so it will stick together. Continue until all the smokies are used. Place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden. If made ahead, reheat for about 7 – 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

party food ideas

Pepper Cheese Swirls.

These may be made ahead and kept in a tightly sealed container. You will need puff pastry sheets for this appetizer, plus some very good cracked pepper, melted butter for brushing, a container of freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, some good quality coarse sea salt and pine nuts, optional. Roll out a thawed sheet of puff pastry dough as above. Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese, grind on the cracked pepper to taste. If you love pepper, use quite a bit and it gives wonderful spiciness. Sprinkle on just a little of the coarse sea salt. If using pine nuts, strew over as desired. Roll up the pastry into a long log. Slice into 1/4 inch slices and lay onto a baking sheet at least an inch apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 or 20 minutes, until golden.

Caprese Bites.

These can be made a day ahead. You will need little cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, basil and toothpicks. Cut one tomato in half across. Push a toothpick into the domed top of one half. Thread on one mozzarella pearl, then the other half of the tomato, making a little sandwich of the mozzarella. Arrange these on a plate. Make a stack of the basil leaves, and then roll them together tightly. Slice across very finely to chiffonade and sprinkle the little basil shreds over the Caprese Bites. These may be served sprinkled with Balsamic vinegar, or the balsamic may be served on the side. Another option is to boil the balsamic vinegar to reduce by half, and serve this balsamic syrup alongside the Caprese bites.

Chunky potato wedges.

Chunky potato wedges are a great way to utilize potatoes. The skins bake up crisp and delicious and the potatoes can be flavored with different salts, seasonings and spices. Toss in extra virgin olive oil and add your favorite flavorings. Sea salt, pepper, or kosher salt are good, but you can also add chopped rosemary, paprika, parmesan cheese, or even curry powder. Pick and choose which will go over well at your party. You can make a large batch ahead of time and keep them set on a low warming heat in the oven until it’s time to serve them at the party.

Alaskan Smoked Salmon Appetizers.

No herb pairs better with salmon than dill does, whether the salmon is cooked or smoked. Cream cheese also provides a rich complement to smoked salmon. When piled on top of a gourmet whole grain cracker, the result is instant appetizer heaven. This smoked salmon recipe is easy to make before a party. Simply spread a tablespoon of cream cheese on a large cracker, top with a thin slice of Alaskan smoked salmon, and sprinkle with dill.

Asian Shrimp and Fruit.

On each skewer, put a combination of cooked shrimp, pear wedges, and seedless grapes. Serve with ginger or sesame dressing.

Mango Thai-Shrimp.

Skewer cooked shrimp and cubed mango or orange segments. Sprinkle with a dash of chili powder and squeeze fresh lime juice or drizzle lime-flavored dressing over the top.

Chicken and Tofu Satay.

This is a perfect party chicken appetizer that is made up of chicken marinated in oriental flavors and grilled to perfection. Serve this with peanut sauce and bask and add glory to your party.

Thai Noodle Soup.

For all chicken lovers’ chicken soup is a good appetizer and the Thai version of it is very exotic that wonders your taste buds. The grocery items for Thai noodle soup include broccoli, chicken, fried garlic and coconut milk. It is the best appetizer and makes you feel better at times.

Wrapped Melon.

Buy precut cantaloupe and honeydew melon chunks, at the grocery store. Wrap with small slices of Italian ham, such as capicola or prosciutto. Attach the ham to the melon with toothpicks. This is super easy and delicious. The salty ham and sweet melon are great compliments to each other.

Shrimp Loaf.

Place eight ounces of low fat cream cheese on a bed of chopped iceburg lettuce. Mix together – ½ cup of ketchup,1 tablespoon of horseradish and a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Pour over the top of the cream cheese. Then, drain one small can of shrimp, in a colander. Squeeze the rest of the juice, of one lemon, over the shrimp and toss. Place on top of the ketchup mixture. Serve with triscuits or wheat crackers.

party food ideas

5 helpful Ideas for Serving Appetizers in Style

Martini Glasses: Martini glasses are popular cocktail glasses that can be found and obtained easily at most retailers or online. Serving shrimp carefully arranged on the edge of the glass can immediately give your party an elegant feel as guests will feel like they are eating gourmet foods. You can place a variety of things in these unique serving dishes, such as an antipasto salad of cheeses, olives, pepperoni, and grape tomatoes.

Shot Glasses: Whether you use standard sized or double sized shot glasses, these can also make a bold statement for serving up your favorite party snacks and finger foods. Multiple layered dishes, such as fruit and yogurt custard or even something as simple as strawberries drizzled with chocolate candy topping can seem like a culinary masterpiece when served in shot glasses.

Cutting Boards: If you are serving cheese and crackers or bread and dip. a nice wooden cutting board can give it a natural and flavorful appeal. Choosing a board with nice wood grain and natural color compliments the color of the cheeses and breads quite well.

Chocolate Fountain: A chocolate fountain is another way to create an impressive display with food. They can be purchased rather inexpensively, or they can often be rented or supplied by a catering company. Serving fresh fruit and other favorites with skewers to be dipped can all help with making it a beautiful and attractive centerpiece for your party or event.

Decorative Bowls: Many bowls are available that can be used in a variety of different ways. A decorative crystal punch bowl filled with fresh fruit and a homemade punch recipe can be quite appealing and stunning way to serve beverages. You can also use different textures and styles to jazz up the simplest of things, such as a bowl of tortilla chips and dip.

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