Last Updated on September 15, 2023
So, you’re throwing a party and looking for slam-dunk appetizers that’ll fit everyone’s tastes? After all, a full belly comes before a happy heart, and that’s exactly what you need to get the party started and have a blast.
Here, you’ll find ideas for the easiest party foods for your next gathering that are a breeze to make and are sure to please the crowd.
1. Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
We have a complicated relationship with chicken wings. The flavor is fantastic, but the mess? Not so much. On a mission to solve this problem, our recipe for buffalo chicken meatballs with ground chicken leaves the mess behind without sacrificing the taste. These nibbles are light, soft, spicy, savory, and far less messy than their chicken wing counterparts.
Prep time: 35 mins
Portions: 30 meatballs
- 1.5 kg ground chicken
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 scallions
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 carrot
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup
- ⅓ cup sriracha
- Blue cheese dressing or ranch sauce (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Toothpicks to serve
- Chop the scallions and finely mince the carrot and celery. Put some of the chopped celery aside for garnishing.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine minced chicken, an egg, bread crumbs, chopped scallions, chopped celery, and minced garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Gently pinch the minced chicken dough in between your fingers. Avoid kneading.
- Roll walnut-sized meatballs out of the mixture. You should end up with about 30 meatballs.
Tip: If it’s too sticky, you can coat your hands with a drop of oil.
- Arrange the meatballs on a baking tray covered with a baking sheet or a silicone baking mat. You can also coat the tray with a thin layer of oil if you don’t have either of these.
- Place the tray in an oven preheated to 200 °C and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once thoroughly cooked, take the meatballs into a serving bowl and pour the buffalo sauce over them. Cover all the meatballs with the sauce.
- Serve while they’re still hot. If you want the option for some extra flavor, serve the meatballs with blue cheese dressing or ranch sauce on the side.
2. Homemade Pretzel Bites With Cheese Dip
These bite-sized pretzels are super tasty and easy to make for any beginner baker. They also are great with almost every topping, which is right up the alley for a party, as you’ll be able to mix things up with salsas and sauces without going the extra mile. We suggest that you serve them with spicy cheese sauce, dijon mustard, spicy brown mustard, or some Mexican salsa.
Prep time: 60 mins
Portions: 60 mini pretzels
For the Baking Soda Bath:
- ½ cup baking soda
- 9 cups of water
For the Dough:
- 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
- 2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast or a package of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 500 gr flour
- Coarse sea salt for garnishing
- Spicy cheese sauce for serving
- Attach the dough hook or paddle attachment of your stand mixer and whisk sugar, yeast, and lukewarm water in its mixing bowl.
Tip: You can also use a regular hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer and prepare the dough by kneading with your hands.
- Cover the mixture and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes until it starts to rise.
- Add melted butter, salt, and 375 gr flour.
- Beat for 1 minute on low speed.
Tip: Some mixers like KitchenAid beat very efficiently, so you won’t need to interfere for a perfectly homogeneous mixture. But if you have an alternative one, check if you need to scrape the sides of the bowl for an even mix.
- Add in 95 gr flour while continuing to beat on low speed. Add more flour if it’s too sticky after a couple of minutes.
- Keep the dough in the mixer, kneading on low speed for 2 more minutes, or take it out and knead it by hand.
- Cut the dough into six pieces using a bench scraper or a sharp knife. Coat your work surface with a thin layer of flour,
Tip: You only need to sprinkle a little bit of flour. A thick layer of flour may cause the dough to harden.
- Roll the dough pieces into 50 cm ropes and cut them into 5 cm pieces.
Tip: If the dough is too sticky, cover all the dough pieces and let them rest for about 15 minutes. This will give some time for the gluten to soften.
- Take a baking tray and line it with a baking sheet or a silicone baking mat.
- Mix the baking soda and water in a large saucepan for the baking soda bath.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Place 5 to 10 pretzel bites in the saucepan and take them out in 15 seconds, draining the excess water.
- Place the bathed and drained pretzel bites onto the baking tray.
- Top the pretzels with coarse sea salt while they are still wet.
Tip: Ground your cinnamon sticks yourself rather than using pre-ground cinnamon powder for an extra cinnamon kick.
- Place the tray into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes until the pretzel bites turn golden.
3. Baked Brie
Baked brie with some crackers can be the world’s easiest party food. By the time the delicious cheese reaches your fridge, the hardest part of the job has been done by some respectable cows and cheese producers. After that, all you need to do is to bake it to make a spectacular dip and serve some crackers with it.
Prep time: 20 mins
Portions: 5 – 10
- 500 gr round brie or camembert
- A handful of fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoon honey (or your favorite syrup)
- Crackers or crostini for serving
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
- Place the brie on an oven-safe, shallow, round platter.
Tip: The platter should be slightly bigger than the cheese wheel so that the brie doesn’t ooze out and lose its shape. You’ll be serving it hot, so choose a shallow dish, as a deep platter makes it hard to scoop.
- Place the brie in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. It should be completely melted before you take it out.
- Drizzle with your favorite syrup or honey.
- Serve while hot.
Mast-o-khiar is a fresh yogurt and cucumber dip from Iran. The good thing about it is that you can make it in a snap and really eat a whole bowl in a breeze. You can make a simple version of this Persian dipping sauce by using only yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and mint. You could also go the extra mile to make it fancier with some more exotic herbs like Thai basil or Greek oregano.
Prep time: 10 mins
Portions: 5 – 10
- 500 gr condensed yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup crushed walnut
- 1 garlic clove (optional)
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- Cut the cucumber in half horizontally, and cut the pieces in half again. Slice the long cucumber pieces into small pieces.
- Take the yogurt into a mixing bowl. Add a little water if your yogurt is too thick, and mix.
- Add minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and dried mint. Mix until fully combined.
- Add the cucumber pieces and crushed walnut and give a quick stir.
- Garnish with more dried mint and olive oil.
- Serve with crackers, pretzel bites, chips, or some lavash bread.
5. Raw Veggies and Rainbow Hummus Dip
We bet you love hummus, but it’s not a dish that’s interesting enough to get a party started. If you agree, let us introduce you to the most fun (and concurrently healthy) way of eating this famous dip: rainbow hummus with raw vegetables.
Using natural pigments from vegetables and spices like avocado, beetroot, turmeric, spirulina, red cabbage, red pepper, and sweet potato, you can spread six colors of the rainbow on crackers or fresh raw vegetables.
Prep time: 30 mins
- 500 gr cooked chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ tablespoon turmeric
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1 cup water
- 1 avocado
- 2 teaspoons spirulina
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 beetroot
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 red cabbage
- Chop purple sweet potato, beetroot, red pepper, and red cabbage into big pieces and lay them over a baking tray. Roast in the oven at 180 C for about 40 minutes, turning them over halfway through.
- Take out your food processor and add chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and ground cumin. Blend until fully combined. You don’t need to blend for the ultimate smoothness at this stage since you’ll be mixing other ingredients for coloring.
Tip: If you have time, crushing whole cumin seeds and blending the hummus in a granite mortar and pestle like Krok brings out more flavors from the aromatics.
- Divide the mixture into six parts.
- For the green hummus, add deseeded avocado and spirulina in the processor with 1/6th of the hummus mixture and blend.
- For the yellow hummus, add ground turmeric and blend.
- For the orange hummus, add roasted sweet potato and blend.
Tip: Red cabbage changes color depending on the pH of its environment. Acid turns it into purple, and base turns it into blue. It looks like magic, but it’s chemistry!
- For the purple hummus, mix another 1/6th of the hummus with half of the roasted red cabbage. Leave the rest aside for the blue hummus.
- For the blue hummus, add in the remaining roasted red cabbage and add some baking soda, and — you guessed it — blend.
- Serve with sliced raw vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, celery sticks, and bell peppers.
Tip: Put the slices of raw vegetables in a glass filled with lemon juice to prevent them from wilting and darkening.
6. Caprese Skewers
The freshest of all party food: caprese skewers with a drizzle of tangy balsamic vinegar. You can think of these skewers as a bite-sized version of Italian caprese salad. They have the same basic Mediterranean ingredients. Additionally, you can find so many different shades and types of cherry tomatoes if it’s the right time of the year — red, purple, yellow, orange, and even green — and add color to your party platters.
Prep time: 10 mins
- 15 mini skewer sticks
- 30 cherry tomatoes
- 30 fresh basil leaves
- 15 mini mozzarella balls
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Thread the cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella balls on the skewer sticks.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Sprinkle the skewers with salt and pepper to taste.
Tip: You can add more variety with fresh mint leaves, different kinds of cheese, and seasonings of your choice.
7. Bacon and Goat Cheese Balls
By pinguino k
These little balls are packed with all kinds of umami and are super addictive. It’s bacon and cheese, so you can’t really go wrong with the recipe. Just make sure your rolls aren’t too big, as they are much tastier in little bites. They are as good a snack as it gets on their own, but you can also serve them with crackers.
Prep time: 30 mins
- 6 bacon stripes
- 150 gr goat cheese
- 150 gr cream cheese
- ¼ cup pecans
- A pinch of black pepper
- A handful of thyme or basil leaves
- Heat a large cast iron skillet and fry the bacon stripes.
- Once done, place the fried bacon stripes onto a paper towel to drain excess grease.
- Add the goat cheese, cream cheese, half of the sliced herbs (thyme or basil), and a pinch of black pepper into the food processor. Blend until everything is combined.
- Roll small balls from the cheese mixture with your hands, about 1 cm in diameter, and place the balls over parchment paper.
- Put the cheeseballs on parchment paper in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Clean the jug of the food processor and add the fried bacon stripes with pecans and the remaining herbs. Blend all until everything is powdery fine.
- Check the cheese balls by gently pressing them with your finger. If it sticks, leave them in a bit longer. Otherwise, take the balls out.
- Roll the cheese balls in the bacon pecan herbs mixture until all the sides are covered.
- Refrigerate the bacon-covered cheese balls until it’s time to serve.
- Stick toothpicks on the cheese balls and serve with crackers.
8. Chicken Toriten
Chicken toriten, also known as tempura fried chicken, is a traditional Japanese dish. Unlike some other Japanese delicacies, like gyoza, chicken toriten doesn’t require you to be a seasoned chef to master. Its fluffy batter turns crispy when fried, and the tender chicken meat remains juicy on the inside. Sounds delicious, right? Well, add to that the right sauce, and your guests won’t be able to resist these scrumptious appetizers.
Prep time: 45 mins
For the Chicken:
- 1 kg chicken breasts or thigh (skinless and boneless)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 5 teaspoon sake
- 2 garlic cloves
- The ginger root of the size of a finger knuckle
For the Batter:
- 1 cup loosely packed all-purpose flour
- 9 tablespoons cold water
- 2 eggs
- 4.5 tablespoons potato starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Lemon and shredded vegetables for serving
- Pierce the chicken meat with a fork on several spots and pound it with the blunt side of a knife.
- Cut the chicken in half longways and then cut again across the grain of the meat into 10 long pieces. Cutting across the grain will result in a softer texture.
- Add the sliced chicken meat into a medium mixing bowl. Then, add sugar, grated ginger root, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix until all sides of the meat are covered, and let the chicken marinate for about half an hour.
- Meanwhile, mix the potato starch, flour, and baking powder in a different mixing bowl. Run them through a mesh strainer or a sifter if there are lumps in the mixture.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix cold water and a single beaten egg. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Heat up some cooking oil in a skillet. Run the marinated chicken pieces through the batter and place them on the skillet. Fry the pieces, flipping them halfway through.
- Once done, place the toriten on a paper towel to drain excess grease.
- Serve with a lemon wedge and shredded vegetables on the side.
9. Devils on Horseback
The name might be sinister, but these sweet dates wrapped in bacon packed with umami and filled with cheese is really everything you can expect from a snack. It’s a historical British appetizer traditionally prepared during Christmas, but who says you need to be British or wait for Christmas to enjoy these delicious appetizers?
The dates, cheese, and bacon complement each other pretty well as they are, but you can also steep the dates in a liqueur or brandy for a tangy kick.
Prep time: 45 mins
Portions: 20 stuffed dates
- 20 dates
- 20 almond or pecan (smoked)
- 10 slices of bacon
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium)
- 20 wooden toothpicks
- Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Put the toothpicks in a glass full of water.
- Combine ginger powder with soy sauce in a small mixing bowl or a plate.
- Cut the bacon strips in half crosswise.
- Place the brown sugar into a dipping bowl.
- Cut open a date, take the seed out, and stuff it with smoked almond or pecan.
- Wrap the stuffed date with a half bacon strip and pin it down with a wet toothpick.
- Dip the bacon rolled date into the soy sauce mixture and dab it into brown sugar.
- Place the date on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet and repeat for all the dates.
- Sprinkle some more brown sugar over the tray of wrapped dates for some extra sweetness.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the bacon turns brown and crisp.
- Let the tray of devils on horseback cool down for about 20 minutes before serving.
10. Fruit Salsa With Cinnamon Chips
This fruit salad is a candidate to be the star of your next party. It’s so easy to make, and it’s full of seasonal fruits. You might even consider replacing your guilty pleasure snack with this fruit salsa packed with natural sugar.
Prep time: 45 mins
- 100 gr butter
- 2 sweet apples
- 2 kiwis
- 500 gr strawberries
- 250 gr raspberries
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
- 3 tablespoons fruit preserves of the flavor of your choice
- 10 small tortillas (about 25 cm)
- Peel, core, and dice the apples and kiwis, and strawberries.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the fruits, brown sugar, white sugar, and fruit preserves. Put a lid on the bowl and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C.
- Rub room-temperature butter over one side of each tortilla and cut it into pizza slices.
- Place the tortilla slices on a baking tray covered with a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Sprinkle the tortilla slices with cinnamon sugar.
- Place the buttered and cinnamon sugar-coated tortillas tray in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.
- Let the tortillas chill for about 15 minutes and serve with the fruit salad.
Over and Out!
What can bring people together, fire up conversations, and give the good times a kickstart better than delicious food? Whether it’s a birthday celebration, a Superbowl night, or a company potluck, you won’t run out of snacks to munch on with these foolproof recipes.
Looking for other easy recipes? Check out our 20 easy, everyday breakfast ideas for more.