If you're looking for appetizers for parties, then you've come to the right place! My entire blog here at AGT is focused around sharing some of my best party appetizers that you will want to serve at any upcoming party.
So whether you're offering a casual buffet or a cocktail hour, I'm confident you'll find a few appetizers to either bring to a party or serve at your own get-together!
Party Appetizer Tip! Make sure to think about investing in a good set of chafing dishes so you can set your appetizers out early and not worry about it. No chafing dishes? No problem! See other ways to keep your food warm.
Finding easy appetizers for a party is not always EASY. But I feel as if appetizers are the best part of any gathering. They just make any party feel much more exciting and FUN!
So below I put together a list of dinner party appetizers you should consider making for your next party whether a birthday party, wine tasting or cocktail party appetizers They are all good appetizers for parties and most of which can be made ahead of time or kept warm in chafing dishes.
These party appetizers are great for dinner parties, small gatherings or even a classy finger food buffet.
Catering your party? Here is a list of appetizers perfect for catering!
But first, before we dive in, let me answer one of the most commonly asked questions about finger foods.
Popular appetizers to bring to a party!
- chicken tenders
- finger chips
- tea sandwiches
- fish sticks
- mini quiche
- onion rings
- potato chips
- french fries
- mini cheese balls
- pigs in a blanket
- mini stuffed peppers
- mini tarlets
- mini kabobs
- chicken skewers
- mini burger skewers
- lamb chops
Setting up a buffet table? Check out my best tips for setting up a beautiful buffet for your party!
"How many appetizers do I serve per person?"
You don't want to run out of food or spend way too much money. Check out my appetizer portion serving guide to find out the exact numbers. The rule of thumb is to serve 6 appetizers per person for a standard dinner party and 8 to 12 appetizers per person for a cocktail party.
Here is a list of appetizer ideas that you might want to add to your finger food party menu! All of these recipes are great to serve at any party because of not only how simple they they are to throw together but because they can serve a small or large group of people!
Mushroom Bruschetta Appetizer
This mushroom bruschetta is a deliciously easy appetizer to make for your next party or get-together! I love that it's vegan friendly but still super filling and packed with immense flavor! I guarantee no one will even know it's a VEGAN appetizer!
Maple Bacon Wrapped Pork Bites
These bacon wrapped pork bites are so easy to make and are packed with flavor! You get sweetness from the maple syrup and saltiness from the bacon making them such a great finger food to serve at your next football party!
Cheesesteak Wonton Cups
The perfect taste game day finger food! These Crispy Philly Cheesesteak Wonton Cups use wonton wrappers to get their crispy shell. Best of all they are baked so you can make these ahead of time in BULK for any party or tailgate!
Buffalo Chicken Meatball Skewers
Meatballs are a huge finger food trend! These easy Baked Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are my favorite football finger food! Made with Franks Red Hot sauce and brown sugar, they are spicy, sweet and covered in sauce! Plus, they’re gluten free AND can be kept warm in your slow cooker for hours!
Beer Battered Onions Rings
Onion rings are loved by adults and kids. They are usually only consumed at restaurants but why not surprise your guests and serve them with a cold beer?
Loaded Waffle Fry Nachos
These Loaded Irish Pub Nacho Fries are a spin off of an appetizer a local Irish Pub serves. Served on crispy waffle fries topped with a homemade cheese sauce, they are the perfect finger food for any sports party or tailgate!
Cheesy Bread Sticks (with Pillsbury Dough)
These Cheesy Garlic Italian “Dunkers” use Pillsbury’s canned pizza dough so they are super easy to make and perfect for the big game! Serve them with a side of your favorite marinara sauce for dipping and you’ve got a tasty finger food snack for adults and kids!
Homemade Cheesy Mashed Potato Croquettes
These croquettes are such a delicious finger food option for fancy parties. They are crunchy, cheesy and so tasty! Serve with sauces for dipping or skewers!
✈️ What drinks are you serving? This Paper Plane Cocktail always gets rave reviews when I serve it to friends! The ✈️ garnish is my FAV part!
Goat Cheese and Fig Jam Crostini
This crostini is ALWAYS a favorite. It's just 4 ingredients and pairs so well with some wine and any charcuterie board. Guests will love the tart, creamy and crunchy flavor combination.
Sausage Stuffed Mini Peppers With Cream Cheese
These cute mini stuffed peppers are always a favorite! Stuffed with sausage and cream cheese, they are easy to make and full of flavor. Make them the day before and warm them up before guests arrive!
Gravy Mozzarella Fries
Have you ever tried gravy fries?! They're the ultimate laid back finger food! They're smothered with a homemade brown gravy and topped with melty, gooey mozzarella cheese. They are perfect for a tailgate/football party or a teenager party!
🥂Need to sharpen your hostess skills? Check out my BEST tips for entertaining friends!
Grilled Carne Asada Corn Tortilla Quesadillas
These mini quesadillas are the perfect finger food for your next tailgate party or BBQ! They are full of flavor since the steak is marinated for hours and grilled. Serve with lots of sides like sour cream to pico de gallo for dipping!
Sausage Balls Without Bisquick Pancake Mix
These sausage balls are a popular holiday or Christmas appetizer that many families like to serve for brunch or as an finger food! Either way, they are delicious and the perfect toothpick appetizer to serve at any occasion.
Glazed Holiday Pecans
These holiday pecans are an easy snack to serve around the holidays. Especially for those who need some munchies to serve with drinks or cocktails! Best of all, they can be made days in advance and served at room temperature!
Merry Christmas Deviled Eggs
These merry little Christmas deviled eggs are beautiful, so festive and incredibly tasty! All you need are a few pink pepper corns and a few parsley leaves to make these jolly and finger food friendly!
Pear and Roquefort Salad Bites
This Roquefort Cheese and Pear “Bruschetta” is the perfect finger food to serve at your holiday dinner party! They are everything you want from a salad but without any utencils! Plus, they are a healthy appetizer people will appreciate.
Mini Baked Potatoes (with cheese)
These Mini Baked Potatoes are a fun hors d'oeuvre that everyone will love at your holiday party! Roasted in the oven and topped with a cheesy sour cream n’ chive filling, the red pepper and green chives make them a fun and festive Christmas bite!
🍸Looking for Classy Cocktails? Check out this list of Classy Cocktails you will love!
Holiday Stuffing Biscuit Cups
If you love homemade stuffing, these biscuit cups are for you! They're a sweet and savory holiday finger food everyone will go crazy over! Buttery biscuit dough is stuffed with maple sausage, onion, rosemary and dried cranberries. A great finger food that needs to be at the top of your holiday menu!
Crab Ceviche w/ Avocado
This is a super light and refreshing dip that is great served with tortilla chips especially in the warmer months! It is a fast finger food that is best served COLD! All you need is your fingers and a chip! 🙂
Pear Prosciutto Bites
Looking for cold appetizers for a party is not easy but this pear prosciutto recipe is perfect. It's refreshing and tasty! Plus, they are ready in 10 minutes and require no baking!
Roasted Baby Peppers Stuffed With Feta
These baby peppers are roasted and stuffed with a creamy feta cheese filling! They could not be any easier and are always crowd-pleasing finger food that is served cold!
The Ultimate Greek Meze Platter
This Meze Platter will for sure impress your guests! By adding some traditional Greek spreads, veggies, and lots of pita bread, you can easily re-create this shareable charcuterie platter at home for your next get-together!
Mini Cranberry Pecan Cheese Balls
Cream cheese and goat cheese balls are coated in pecans, craisins and fresh herbs. Serve with assorted crackers or some crusty bread and your guests will LOVE it.
Prosciutto Melon & Mozzarella Skewers (w/ Balsamic Glaze)
If you’re looking for quick appetizers to serve at your next party, these fun melon and prosciutto skewers are an easy snack everyone will love!
Easy Ricotta Roasted Red Pepper Crostini
These costini are an easy yet delicious finger food that can be prepared way in advance! Toast your bread up before guests arrive and have your ricotta and red peppers ready to go in the fridge for topping!
Mozzarella Ball w/ Roasted Peppers and Garlic
This Mozzarella Ball, aka burrata cheese, is one of my most raved about recipes. The creamy burrata and garlicky peppers is perfect for topping crusty bread. It's best served cold! Plus, it's vegetarian!
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus has to be one of the easiest (yet most popular) appetizer. They take 5 mins to prep, has only 3 ingredients and just needs to bake in the oven for 15-20 mins. For canapés I estimate around 3 per person but they’re definitely popular so make sure you make some extra.
Blue Cheese and Apples
These blue cheese apples drizzled with hot honey and topped with chopped walnuts. They’re the perfect finger food for friends and so quick to throw together with just 4 simple ingredients less than 5 minutes of your time!
Who doesn't love crispy calamari? It is so easy to prepare too! They cook in less than 5 minutes and can be prepared in advance!
Cheese & Onion Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
These ridiculously crunchy & addictive Cheese & Onion Crispy Roasted Chickpeas take just 5 minutes of prep time! The perfect savoury snack or munch on but just a warning, once you start eating them you just can't stop!
Cucumber Bites with Sun Dried Tomato Spread
These cucumber bites are ready in just 30 minutes and can also be made in advance! They are a healthy finger food idea that people will love snacking on while waiting for dinner.
Turkey Avocado Pinwheels
These pinwheels are made with turkey meat, avocado and cheese. The thyme dressing is what makes them stand out. The best part, they can be made and rolled the day before, then sliced up and served cold as guests arrive!
Spinach and Feta Triangles
This is an easy finger food that can be made in advance and served either hot or at room temperature. Just assemble each triangle the day before and keep them in the fridge until your ready to bake them off! Who wouldn't want a crispy cheesy phyllo triangle?
Pierogi Stuffed Mushrooms
If a pierogi and mushroom had babies, these would be the result! A fun and creative finger food that has everything you want from a pierogi but without the pasta! They're stuffed with mashed potatoes, bacon and cheese, your guests will love this creative flavor combination!
English Tea Finger Sandwiches (3 ways)
Tea sandwiches are such a fun brunch time snack to serve with or without tea! I like to make these AHEAD of time when expecting company. It is best to serve them cold (or room temperature) so no fussing with reheating! Traditional tea sandwiches are ideal for afternoon bridal, baby showers or a simple brunch party!
Sweet n' Sour Crock Pot Meatballs
These mini party meatballs are the perfect appetizer that I like to throw in my slow cooker in advance! Then when its ready, set it to "warm" and just wait for your guests to arrive!
Spicy Garlic Roasted Chickpeas (Extra Crispy)
These Spicy Garlic Roasted Chickpeas are an irresistible healthy snack that I love putting around the house in small bowls when I am expecting company. They are so irresistible and perfect for nibbling.
Cheesy Stuffed Garlic Bombs (Using Biscuit Dough)
These Cheesy Stuffed Garlic Bombs are an easy and quick way to enjoy garlic knots but 1,000 times better! I use Pillsbury's canned biscuit dough because they yield an incredibly soft and tender dough every single time. Your fingers with love the gooey cheese!
Sausage Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers With Cream Cheese
These baby bell peppers are a fun, unique finger food guests will love dipping! They are stuffed with sausage and cream cheese amongst other things and are darn delicious.
Phyllo Spanakopita Bites
A deliciously easy finger food, these spanakopita bites are a different twist on the traditional Greek spinach pie made with just a few simple ingredients!
Grilled Greek Lollipop Lamb Chops
These grilled lamb chops are actually very simple to make but tastes like they took hours! The trick is to purchase pre-frenched lamb chops and to let the marinade do all the work. They are an ideal outdoor party food.
Roasted Eggplant Dip
This roasted eggplant spread is not only simple to make but it is also made with just a few simple ingredients. I love how healthy it is and that it can be served rustic style with a loaf of crusty bread.
These cubano skewers could not be any easier. They are just three simple ingredients, pickles, ham and swiss cheese on a skewer. Paired with a honey dijon sauce for dipping, they are a fun and flavorful finger food that couldn't get more simple.
This homemade bruschetta caprese is a unique twist on your classic Italian bruschetta recipe made with sun dried tomatoes and mozzarella and baked until melted and crispy. A simple finger food your guests will be diving in for!
Mini Pecan Cheese Balls
These cheese balls are one of my favorite finger foods to serve around the holidays. They are a fun take on your classic cheese and cracker board. I love the different flavor combination of sweet, salty, tangy and creamy.
Fried Red Tomatoes (with Basil Aioli)
If you love fried green tomatoes, fried red tomatoes will become your favorite party food! Crispy, fresh and packed with flavor! They are inexpensive to make especially if you buy tomatoes in bulk and can be reheated as guests arrive.
BAKED Grilled Cheese Sticks (with Tomato Soup)
Since sliced sandwich bread is inexpesive and I use a canned tomato soup, all you need to spend money on is the cheese! I also love that these are FILLING which means you don't need to make a lot, saving you more money! And how fancy too?!
Old Bay Krab Tempura Bites
These crab bites are small bites of crab heaven. They're made with imitation crab meat and boxed tempura batter so they are super inexpensive and surprisingly simple to make! Plus, they tastes just just crab!
Air Fryer Brown Sugar Buffalo Shrimp (Crispy)
This Air Fryer Brown Sugar Buffalo Shrimp recipe is the perfect snack for the Big Game! Coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs and slathered in a sweet and spicy buffalo sauce, you will be licking your fingers clean in UNDER 15 MINUTES!
Pickle and Ham Roll Ups
These easy Ham and Cream Cheese Roll Ups are such a delicious make ahead snack or finger food to serve a crowd at any party! I love that they can be put together last minute OR in advance making them ideal for a potluck party!
Roasted Pepper & Burrata Phyllo Cups
These Phyllo Cups are a vegetarian appetizer that's SO easy to make! They can be made last minute and on the table in no time since they require zero baking and are just 3 ingredients!
Party Cheeseballs (3 Recipes)
Party Cheese Balls: 3 Killer 10-minute Recipes. A great snack to serve at parties! Serve with crackers, chips or a baguette, I love how easy and quick they are to make! Plus, they can be rolled last minute for a creamy, tasty finger food all will love!
Tuna Tartar with Avocado
This delicious tuna tartare recipe is made with avocado and dressed in an Asian sauce. The perfect healthy finger food served on top of a cracker and ready in just 15 minutes! It is the perfect recipe to pull out of your pocket last minute that will wow guests.
Mango & Grilled Shrimp Bites
These Asian spiced, grilled shrimps are briefly marinated in Ketjap Manis (a sweet soy sauce) and other spices and then grilled to perfection for some juicy and wickedly delicious shrimp! Add your favorite Truscuit cracker and spread a generous amount of hummus, sweet mango and chopped herbs for delicious canapes!
Canape Fig Toasts
These Mini Canapé Toasts are actually VERY simple to put together! The topping is a mixture of, ricotta cheese, brie cheese, goat cheese, caramelized onions and honey. These minis are also great to make ahead and can be served at room temperature!
Crispy Oven Potato Wedges
Try serving these crispy baked wedges at your next gathering! Serve them alongside a few sauce options including ketchup, ranch, honey mustard and sour cream.
Baked Pears With Chevrot Goat Cheese and Honey
Baked pears with Chevrot goat cheese, honey & pecans is an easy finger food that looks super fun to eat. Pears are sliced thin, baked then topped with tangy goat cheese, honey, pecans and fresh rosemary. Impressive enough to serve for dinner parties but light enough to save room for dinner.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich w/ Cream Cheese, Roasted Peppers & Basil
If you're looking for heavy appetizers for parties, this is it! A twist on your classic grilled cheese, this recipe is made with cream cheese, basil and roasted red peppers. To serve as an appetizer, cut the sandwich into thirds and serve with a dipping sauce.
Italian Clam Stuffed Mushrooms
These Italian Clam Stuffed Mushrooms are a yummy savory finger food your guests will go crazy over! They come out crispy on top and juicy in the middle making them the perfect finger food and absolutely irresistible.
Charcuterie Meat Roses Tutortial (Salami, Pepperoni & Cheese!)
The ultimate finger foods always involve a meat and cheese board. So if you love assembling charcuterie boards, think about adding these cute roses to your board for guests to enjoy with their eyes and mouth!
If you want a fun and beautiful finger food for guests to take on the go, THESE little mason jars are it! They would be perfect for setting up on a large table at a shower or wedding since they do not need to be reheated.
Caramelized Pearl Onions
These Caramelized Pearl Onions Baby onions are sautéed in a sweet and savory balsamic glaze. I serve them with skewers alongside cheese and some good wine. The sauce is also great for dipping bread into!
CRISPY Air Fryer Avocado Fries With Lime Cilantro Crema
Air fryer avocado fries are crispy, creamy and so much fun to serve to friends and family! Kids will love dipping them plus they're healthier than french fries!
Flautas (aka Chicken Taquitos)
Chicken flautas are crunchy tubes of taco heaven. Made with shredded chicken, cheese and spices, your guests will go crazy of dipping these babies!
Puff Pastry Pigs In A Blanket with Creamy Dijon Sauce
I'm obsessed with these babies. Crescent dough is yummy but try wrapping these little guys in flaky puff pastry dough. The dijon sauce is what takes them over the top.
📝Tips For Prepping Appetizers
Sticking to the right kinds of appetizers for your party can save you a lot of stress the day of the party. Think about how much effort you want to put in the day of versus the days before.
Do as much in advance as you can!
There are two "types" of food that can be made in advance.
- ROOM TEMPERATURE appetizers: These do not need to be cold to be enjoyable. These are foods like puff pastries, some veggies, crackers and breads.
- COLD appetizers: These need to be reheated. Other than dips, These are foods that are dairy-based or meat and seafood.
Oven appetizers will need to be reheated since they are almost impossible to serve fresh unless you are expected a crowd of less than 6. They are best made ahead of time the day (or night) before. Then, popped in the oven as your guests are arriving so they are sure to be nice and hot for them.
Check out my post on how to keep food warm for parties.
If you are serving cold foods, they can be entirely assembled a day or even two days before the party, then pulled straight out of the fridge and served!
Final Finger Food Tips
Serving your party appetizers on mini wooden skewers rather than forks, when throwing a party, will help guests grab them easily without using their hands and make things less messy. Plus, they're inexpensive and can be tossed out when finished.
Chafing dishes should be used as much as possible whenever you can to help keep food warm.
Crock pot appetizers are very convenient and can be used for softer foods like meatballs or dips. They can be served with skewers or mini toothpicks to make them finger food friendly. Mini sandwiches can be made in advance and served cold.
Although we don't want to admit, we cannot do everything ourselves so graciously accept any help you can get from friends and family and always be sure to over-prepare!
More finger food recipes you may like:
Amuse Bouche Tips and Recipe Ideas
How To Host A Cocktail Party At Home
Love Make Ahead Appetizers?
I have an Ebook I created with my top make ahead appetizers you'll LOVE! Get it here!
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You wrote this blog very well. Very knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing!