20 Party Food Ideas to Serve a Hungry Crowd

Whether it is a Superbowl party or a backyard get-together, nothing beats tasty party nibbles. The best party food is easy-to-manage finger food!

1. Salmon Spread

Salmon Spread
© petrrgoskov, AdobeStock

There are few things as tasty as smoked salmon. Just lay out crackers and bread. For the best taste, use fresh smoked salmon.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 2 ¼ cups servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soft cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 8 ounces flaked and chopped smoked salmon
  • ¼ cup chopped scallion

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except the scallion.
  2. Top with the scallion and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Spicy Deviled Egg

Spicy Deviled Egg
© Karen Hermann, AdobeStock

These are no ordinary deviled eggs. They are nice and spicy with a kick.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes.
Yield: 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 finely sliced jalapeno pepper

Directions:

  1. Place the eggs in a pot of boiling water.
  2. Turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Cool the eggs with cold water and carefully peel them.
  4. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise.
  5. Scoop out the yolk and place in a bowl.
  6. Mash the yolks and stir in the mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, Dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  7. Stir well to combine the ingredients.
  8. Transfer the cooked egg whites to a platter.
  9. Spoon the filling into each of them.
  10. Top with a slice of jalapeno pepper.

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3. Guacamole

Guacamole
© freshideascs, AdobeStock

It’s not a party if there is no guacamole and chips.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 20 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 5 avocados - peeled, pitted, and mashed
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp. taco seasoning

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

4. Taco Dip

Taco Dip
© Oleg, AdobeStock

Bring on the tortilla chips and it’s a party!

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 20 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. refried beans
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1 ½ tbsp. taco sauce
  • ½ cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 2 seeded and finely chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. chopped scallions
  • 3 tbsp. chopped black olives

Directions:

  1. Spread the refried bean on the bottom of a 10-inch serving dish.
  2. Whip the cream cheese until it is smooth and softened.
  3. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning and spread on top of the refried beans.
  4. Top the mixture with lettuce, Pepper Jack cheese, tomatoes, scallions, and olives.

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5. Antipasto Skewers

Antipasto Skewers
© annaileish, AdobeStock

These unusual appetizers will surprise your guests. It’s a great way to serve antipasto.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 16 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 16 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp. of artichoke heart marinade
  • 16 cubed pieces of salami
  • 16 mozzarella balls
  • 16 kalamata olives
  • 8 halved artichoke hearts
  • 16 folded prosciutto slices
  • 3 tbsp. Italian dressing

Directions:

  1. Marinade the tomatoes in a bowl with the artichoke marinade for 30 minutes.
  2. Use 18 long toothpicks and arrange one of each ingredient on a skewer.
  3. Place the skewers on a platter and drizzle with the Italian dressing.

6. Crabby Tarts

Crabby Tarts
© Sheviakova, AdobeStock

No, these aren’t ladies of questionable repute being disagreeable. These are to-die-for tarts made with real crabs.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 25 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 ½ lb. freshly chopped crab meat- can use canned if necessary
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • ¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 30 phyllo cups

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except the phyllo cups in a bowl.
  3. Place the phyllo cups on a baking sheet.
  4. Add a spoonful of filling to each phyllo cup.
  5. Bake for 6 minutes.

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7. Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon Salsa
© sveta_zarzamora, AdobeStock

This is marvelously refreshing for a summer cookout. The combination of sweet and spicy is fantastic. You can also use it as a dip or on top of meat.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced and seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup diced cantaloupe
  • 1 small, diced sweet onion
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. minced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

8. Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
© Nelea Reazanteva, AdobeStock

Add a toothpick and let the guests help themselves.

Cooking Time: 40 minutes.
Yield: 16 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sweet and sour sauce
  • ½ cup chopped pineapples
  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 cups seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the sweet and sour sauce and chopped pineapples in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, mix the beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, onion, parsley, salt, garlic salt, and Worcestershire sauce and combine well.
  4. Create small meatballs.
  5. Transfer the meatballs in a single layer to a baking dish and cover with the sauce.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.

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9. Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms
© YULIYA, AdobeStock

These are usually the first to go at any gathering.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 26 large mushrooms without stems. Reserve stems
  • 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup of chopped mushroom stems
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • 2 tsp. chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make sure the mushroom caps are hollowed out.
  3. Heat a skillet and brown the sausage, onion, garlic, and chopped mushroom stems.
  4. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  5. Drain any grease.
  6. Add half a cup of mozzarella cheese, breadcrumbs, cream cheese, and parsley, and combine well.
  7. Cook on low for 3 minutes.
  8. Stuff each mushroom cap with the filling and transfer to a baking sheet.
  9. Drizzle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes.

10. Chinese Chicken Wings

Chinese Chicken Wings
© pavel siamionov, AdobeStock

These are perfect appetizers for guests to munch on.

Cooking Time: 1 hour.
Yield: 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cups brown sugar
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. hoisin sauce
  • 5 lbs. chicken wings

Directions:

  1. Combine the low-sodium soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic cloves, ketchup, ginger, and hoisin sauce in a small pan and stir while simmering until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Let the glaze cool.
  3. Transfer the wings to a bowl and coat them with the glaze.
  4. Cover the bowl and marinate overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Add both the chicken wings and the marinade to a 9 x 13 baking dish and cover the dish.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove the cover and bake for 15 more minutes.

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11. Korean BBQ Short Ribs

Korean BBQ Short Ribs
© ahirao, AdobeStock

Wonderful munchies at any get-together. It works as delicious finger food or as a main course when served with rice.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Pepsi
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 chopped small onion
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 3 ¼ lb. Korean-style short ribs chopped across the bones

Directions:

  1. Combine the soy sauce, Pepsi, Sriracha sauce, white vinegar, and sesame oil with half a cup of water and whisk to combine.
  2. Stir in the onion, garlic cloves, ginger, and honey.
  3. Add the ribs and make sure they are covered in the marinade.
  4. Refrigerate for 10 hours.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  6. Remove the ribs from the marinade.
  7. Grill the ribs for 5 minutes on each side.

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12. Super Duper Nachos

Super Duper Nachos
© Vladimir, AdobeStock

This is a huge amount of nachos and is ideal for a large, hungry crowd.

Cooking Time: 25 minutes.
Yield: 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 ½ cup refried beans
  • 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 deseeded and sliced serrano pepper

Directions:

  1. Add the beef and refried beans to a skillet and stir to crumble and combine.
  2. Season with taco seasoning and cook for 8 minutes.
  3. Drain any excess grease and stir in the tomato sauce to thicken the mixture.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  6. Place the tortilla chips on the baking dish and top with the cheese.
  7. Spoon the beef mixture over the cheese.
  8. Broil for 3 minutes and be careful not to burn the cheese.
  9. Top the nachos with salsa, sour cream, and slices of serrano pepper.

13. Baked Ham and Cheese Sliders

Baked Ham and Cheese Sliders
© azurita, AdobeStock

Perfect munchies for a picnic. Too small for a sandwich and a bit larger than an appetizer. Something tasty to nibble on while people wait for the entree.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 24 servings.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 24 Hawaiian rolls
  • 1 lb. sliced Black Forest ham
  • 1 lb. sliced Swiss cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and brown sugar in a bowl.
  4. Slice the rolls in half.
  5. Transfer the bottom part of the rolls to the baking dish.
  6. Create a layer of cheese, ham, and cheese, and add the top of the rolls to make a sandwich.
  7. Pour the butter mixture over the rolls.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
  10. Use a knife to cut the rolls apart.

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14. Cucumber Party Sandwiches

Cucumber Party Sandwiches
© New Africa, AdobeStock

These are light and very elegant. They are a bit female-oriented and would go over better at a bachelorette party than at a football game.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 15 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whipped cream cheese
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. ranch dressing mix
  • 1tsp. chopped chives
  • 1 tsp. dill
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb. Rye party bread
  • 1 peeled and thinly sliced cucumber (a cheese cutter slices cucumber very thin

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients except the bread and the cucumber in a bowl.
  2. Spread the mixture over each slice of bread.
  3. Top each slice with one or two cucumber slices.

15. Stuffed Jalapenos

Stuffed Jalapenos
© uckyo, AdobeStock

These bring on some heat into your life.

Cooking Time: 35 minutes.
Yield: 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 12 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 cup whipped cream cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 24 slices of fried and drained bacon
  • ¼ cup unflavored Panko breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and garlic in a bowl.
  3. Fill each jalapeno half with the mixture.
  4. Wrap each jalapeno half with a slice of fried bacon.
  5. Roll the jalapenos in the breadcrumbs.
  6. Transfer the peppers to a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes while keeping an eye on them – you don’t want to burn the bacon.

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16. Maryland Crab Cakes

Maryland Crab Cakes
© Saowaluck, AdobeStock

You can use canned lump crab, but for a heavenly treat, use fresh crab.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. flaked crabmeat
  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 beaten egg
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 sliced lemon

Directions:

  1. Combine the crabmeat, Panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, eggs, parsley, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and Old Bay seasoning in a bowl.
  2. Create 4 crab cake patties and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Melt the butter in a skillet.
  4. Fry the crabcakes for 5 minutes on one side, flip them, and fry them for 5 more minutes on the other side.
  5. Serve with lemon slices.

17. Baked Brie

Baked Brie
© rebecca, AdobeStock

This is sinfully rich. Serve with crispy French bread or crackers.

Cooking Time: 30 minutes.
Yield: 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. wheel of Brie cheese
  • ¼ cup raspberry preserves
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 thawed frozen puff pastry sheet
  • ¼ tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 egg white

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  3. Slice the Brie wheel horizontally in half so that you create 2 circles.
  4. Spread one side with the raspberry preserve.
  5. Top the other half with the slivered almonds.
  6. Press the two halves firmly together.
  7. Wrap the entire wheel of prepared brie with the puff pastry sheet.
  8. Transfer the brie to the baking sheet with the seam side of the puff pastry facing the bottom.
  9. Whip together the egg white and brown sugar and brush over the puff pastry.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes and serve while the cheese is still melted and hot.

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18. Grilled Scallops and Shrimp

Grilled Scallops and Shrimp
© Alexandr Milodan, AdobeStock

These will be devoured at any outdoor barbeque.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¾ lb. large scallops
  • ¾ lb. large shrimp
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill to high and oil the grate.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and add the lemon juice.
  4. Place the scallops and shrimp in the bowl and toss with the butter mix.
  5. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Thread the scallops and shrimp onto the skewers, alternating between them.
  7. Place the skewers on the grill and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Turn the skewers and grill for 5 more minutes.

19. Pineapple Chicken Kabobs

Pineapple Chicken Kabobs
© beataaldridge, AdobeStock

With this recipe, think colors. You’re an artist working with all types of colors.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes.
Yield: 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. bite-sized chicken chunks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced into pieces
  • 1 red onion cut into quarters
  • 15 oz. can of drained pineapple chunks
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup teriyaki sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium and oil the grate.
  2. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  3. Thread the chicken, green and orange peppers, red onion, and pineapple on skewers,.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Brush the skewers with teriyaki sauce and grill for 7 minutes per side.

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20. Southern Coleslaw

Southern Coleslaw
© Ildi, AdobeStock

Perfect side dish for any barbeque or picnic.

Cooking Time: 10 minutes.
Yield. 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head shredded cabbage, or buy a 16 oz. bag of prepared coleslaw mix and omit the carrots
  • 1 peeled and chopped carrot
  • 1 small, chopped onion

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp. celery seeds

Directions:

  1. Combine the cabbage, carrots, and onion in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together the dressing in a second bowl and pour it over the cabbage.
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