If you love to entertain but hate spending all your time cooking, this list of easy appetizers and best finger foods for a party is exactly what you need. With over 100 different choices, in a variety of categories so you’ll have plenty of options no matter what event your hosting — from book club meetings to dinner parties.
To make it easier to choose a variety of the best party food ideas, I’ve divided the list into sections. Click the links below to jump immediately to the section you want to see.
When it comes to easy appetizers, you can’t beat crackers and chips paired with cheese or dips. Here’s a great selection of some of my favorites.
One of my very favorite party food displays is a charcuterie board. It’s easy to put together in the kitchen and transport to the display table. And you can easily restock items as needed.
Choose a variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, and olives and arrange on a large cutting board.
You can even put together a sweet charcuterie board to simplify your dessert preparation too.
Cheese balls make a great visual display. Just plop one in the center of a pretty plate and surround it with crackers.
- Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball
- Ham and Pineapple Cheese Ball
- Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
- Easy Cheese Ball with Cream Cheese, Bacon & Green Onion
Cold dips are especially popular for warm weather parties. Pro tip: Use a chilled serving bowl to keep the dip cool for the duration of your gathering.
- Easy Salsa
- Easy Pineapple Salsa
- Simple Black Bean, Corn and Feta Dip
- Creamy Black Bean and Corn Dip
- 7 Layer Greek Dip
- Shrimp Cream Cheese Appetizer
- Smoked Salmon Dip
- Spicy Crab Dip
- Creamy Cheesy Bacon Ranch Dip
- White Bean Garlic Hummus
- Buffalo Dip
- Million Dollar Dip
Hot dips are a wonderful way to warm up guests during chilly weather. Plus, they’re easy to make in large batches so you can easily provide enough for a big crowd. A mini slow cooker can keep the dip warm until the last guest leaves.
- Creamy Mexican Corn Dip
- Hot Beef Dip
- Jalapeno Popper Dip
- Baked Cheese Dip
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- White Pizza Dip
- Cheesy Pizza Dip
- Onion Bacon Dip
- Baked Vidalia Onion Parmesan Dip
- Creamy Crawfish Dip
- Crab Rangoon Dip
- Cheesy Sausage Dip
The Best Finger Foods for a Party
At a party, you want to make it as easy as possible for your guests to mingle and move around. When it comes to party food, bite-size portions that guests can eat with their hands are the best. No one wants to handle a plate, fork, and glass while they’re standing!
Below you’ll find dozens of delicious party food ideas that incorporate a wide variety of flavors to make it a cinch to find something to suit your guests’ palates.
Crowd-Pleasing Finger Food Ideas
If you’re planning a gathering for a variety of guests, you’ll want to stick with surefire crowd pleasers. The recipes below are all universal favorites.
- Easy Sweet & Sour Meatballs
- Easy Taco Sausage Cups
- Savory Swedish Meatballs
- BBQ Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites
- BLT Appetizer Cups
- Buffalo Chicken Bites
- Chicken Enchilada Cups
- Chicken Roll Ups with Ham and Cheese
- Honey Chipotle Chicken Wings
- Individual Spinach Dip Bread Bowls
- Oven Toasted Ravioli
- Loaded Potato Wedges
- Loaded Mashed Potatoes Appetizer Bites
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
Stuffed mushrooms are one of my personal favorite appetizers so they’re getting their own section.
- 3 Ingredient Stuffed Mushrooms
- Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms
- Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- Parmesan and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
My husband’s favorite appetizers are jalapeno poppers so these treats are also getting their own section.
- Baked Jalapeno Bacon and Cream Cheese Poppers
- Bacon Wrapped Sausage Jalapeno Poppers
- Apricot Jalapeno Poppers
Keeping with my theme of creating separate sections for my family’s favorite finger food recipes, this section is a nod to my oldest daughter’s ideal appetizer.
- Easy Appetizer Pinwheels
- Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels
- Mozzarella and Pepperoni Pinwheels
- Turkey Cream Cheese Pinwheels
- Texas Sushi
Kids aren’t the only ones who love pizza! Although I did add this section for my son, the selections below are definitely as popular with adults as they are with kids (perhaps even more so!).
- Mini BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Pizza Tarts
- Buffalo Chicken Flatbread Pizza
- Crab Alfredo Flatbread
- Sweet and Savory Pear and Brie Flatbread
My youngest daughter loves sliders. Any excuse to buy King’s Hawaiian rolls makes her happy and the recipes below are all fantastic reasons.
Fancy Finger Food
Want to impress your guests? Try one of the recipes below. Don’t worry, they don’t need to know how easy they are to make!
- Easy Savory Cheese Appetizers
- Spicy Avocado Crostini Bites
- Roasted Asparagus Parmesan Crostini
- Baked Coconut Shrimp
- Tempura Shrimp
- Smoked Salmon Bites
- Salami and Cream Cheese Bites
- Waldorf Cheese Bites
- Guava Paste with Cheese Appetizer
- Mango and Brie Quesadilla
- Figs Stuffed with Gorgonzola
- Marinated Cheese Peppers and Olives
- Easy Onion Appetizers
- Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Phyllo Cups
- Zucchini Pizza Bites
- Zucchini Rolls with Hummus, Chicken, Mint and Avocado
Another easy way to make a simple appetizer appear fancy is to string the items onto skewers. For example:
- Pepperoni (or salami) with squares of cheese
- Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, and fresh basil
- Fresh fruit
If children are part of your guest list, make sure to include at least one or two options specifically for them to make sure they enjoy the event as much as their parents.
- Brat Bites
- Cheesy Pretzel Sticks
- Bacon Wrapped Crackers
- Orange BBQ Little Smokies
- Italian Roasted Potato Bites
- Crispy, Cheesy Bread Bake
- Mini Meatball Appetizer Cups
Don’t forget to have small bowls of snacks strewn about the area where guests will mingle. Here are some fun recipes to try that will give your guests something to talk about while they nibble.
More Party Food Recipes
When most people think of easy appetizers, they think of traditional nibbles that are savory and either simple assembly or oven-baked. The recipes above all fit that description.
However, some of my favorite party foods are ones that let me make use of my favorite kitchen appliances, like my slow cooker, air fryer, and Instant Pot. Plus, I always like to offer at least one dessert option. Below you’ll find my favorite recipes in those categories.
- Caramel Cream Cheese Dip
- Lemon Fruit Bruschetta
- Cookie Dough Dip
- White Chocolate Dipped Pretzels & Oreos
- Peanut Butter Snack Balls
- Crockpot Chex Mix
- Slow Cooker Spicy Sausage Dip
- Crockpot Queso Blanco Dip
- Slow Cooker Sweet Kielbasa
- Crockpot Sweet & Sour Meatballs
- Orange Glazed BBQ Meatballs
- Copycat Applebee’s Artichoke and Spinach Dip
- Mexican Bean Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Bacon Cheeseburger Dip
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings
What Are Good Finger Foods to Buy?
To make entertaining a snap, pair some of the ideas above with some store-bought options and create a wide selection with minimal effort!
Here are some surefire hits:
- Mini Quiches
- Mini Egg Rolls + Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce
- Potstickers + Soy Sauce
- Mini Empanadas or Taquitos with Salsa
- Buffalo Wings
- Frozen Meatballs + BBQ Sauce
- Charcuterie Sampler or Pepperoni/Salami Platter with Cheese & Crackers
- Stuffed Jalapenos
- Mozzarella Sticks + Marinara Sauce
- Toasted Ravioli + Marinara Sauce
- Hummus + Naan Dippers or Pita Chips
- Salsa + Tortilla Chips
- Bruschetta Spread or Tapenade + Sliced Baguette
- Cheese Spread + Crackers
- Stuffed Olives
- Marinated Vegetables
- Flavored Popcorn
- Flavored Nuts
- Mini Cream Puffs
- Cheesecake Bites
You can also have your guests assemble their own appetizers. Put out a cutting board with crostini, goat cheese, chopped pecans, and honey.
They get to control the amount of each element to achieve the flavor balance they prefer! Don’t forget to include a butter knife to make spreading the goat cheese easier.
I hope you’ve found plenty of recipes for your next party from this list of party foods! I will continue to update it as I find new recipes that are simple to prepare and popular with my party guests. Bookmark this page so you have a ready list of easy-to-prepare party food at your fingertips!