Easy Party Food Ideas – Make Ahead and Last Minute Party Appetizer Ideas and Finger Food Recipes for Feeding a Party Crowd on a Budget.
Having a get-together for a dinner party, the Holidays, New Years Eve or a family gathering and looking for some delicious and SUPER SIMPLE large party appetizer ideas? I’ve found a bunch of easy party appetizers (hot AND cold) that you can make ahead of time OR make last minute on those busy days (these are also the best appetizers to BRING to a party or potluck too).
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Party Finger Food Ideas
All the budget party finger food ideas below are not only insanely good, but super simple to make. I’ll show the hot AND cold appetizer recipes with pictures and some with video too.
Here’s just a few of the easy appetizer recipes you’ll find on this page:
These 5 star appetizers are for perfect for 6 people… 16 people… or 50+ people (ie, ANY size crowd). I use them as easy potluck appetizers, football party food, cold summer cookout food ideas (the party dips are SO good), our neighborhood block party buffet, to take to a Holiday party, baby showers or wedding shower finger-food ideas for ANY party where I’m feeding a crowd on a budget.
In short, these are my “go to” appetizer recipes that I can make ahead of time (ie, the night before) or on those busy days when I’m feeling overwhelmed and need simple last minute appetizers to make or take (I’ve made most of these for tailgating, too – the guys LOVE them!)
Speaking of football – We host a college football party every, single week (and usually another party for pro football games, like Super Bowl too)! Yes, we love football around here AND we love cooking fun (and EASY) appetizers for our friends and family.
But when you’re cooking for a crowd every, single week, you need your appetizers and finger-foods to be SIMPLE to make, right?
Below are 10 of my FAVORITE Easy party appetizers that are guaranteed to be crowd-pleasers!
There are a lot of easy and delicious appetizer ideas on this page that are sure to please anyone and everyone in your party crowd.
From Super Bowl parties to dinner parties to baby showers to family get-togethers, these appetizer ideas not only simple, they are really, really good.
A big thank you to all the sites that have their appetizer recipes featured down on this page. Be sure to give them some love!
Party Food Ideas
Cooking for a crowd on a budget can be a challenge – especially if you’re having a LARGE party and need easy appetizer ideas that are cheap & quick to make.
If you’re hosting a party with a large group such as a birthday party, family reunion, anniversary celebration, baby shower or wedding , football party, a BBQ cookout, neighborhood block party or any type of party where you’re feeding a crowd, take a look at this cold appetizer idea you can make for any size crowd – even for a crowd of 50.
These cucumber bites below are SO simple to make and the whole crowd LOVES them.
Aren’t they beautiful, too?
Not only are these summer party cucumber bites easy to make – they’re healthy, too!
I make these little healthy appetizers as party finger-food all year long – I take them to our summer block party, make them for baby showers and wedding showers, for Holiday parties, for birthday parties – and yes, for all our football parties too =)
Here’s the recipe:
If you need punch and drinks for a crowd, this pineapple lemonade punch recipe is perfect.
Just make it ahead, chill and serve when YOU are ready.
Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Cocktail Weenies
You can make these bacon wrapped appetizers ahead of time and pop ’em in the freezer. Bake them right from frozen when guests show up at your door (just add an extra 5 minutes to the cook time)!
Best of all – NO CROCKPOT for these easy cocktail weenies!
Here’s the recipe:
No Cook Football Party Dessert Dip
This is such a fun fingerfood idea for a football party or Superbowl party (or even for easy Thanksgiving snacks when we’re all glued to the TV watching our favorite teams).
Here’s what it looks like:
If you’re looking for a unique dessert idea for your football loving crowd, this no bake peanut butter dessert dip is a serious crowd-pleaser!
And let me tell ya, it’s DELICIOUS too!
Heck, our neighbors even had it at their CoEd guys and gals baby shower!
Here’s a quick video showing you how to make it:
Texas Trash Dip
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cans (16 ounces each) refried beans
- 1 can (15 ounce) black beans
- 1 can (15 ounce) corn
- 1 can (3.8 ounce) sliced black olives
- 1 can (4½ ounces) chopped green chiles, drained
- 1 package Taco Seasoning Mix
- 4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
Optional toppings, chopped cilantro, cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado. I tend to leave out the corn – we’re not big corn eaters.
How To Make It:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Microwave cream cheese and sour cream in large microwaveable bowl on high 1 minute or until cheese is softened. Mix with whisk until smooth.
- Add refried beans, black beans, corn, black olives, green chiles, Seasoning Mix and 2 cups of the cheese; mix well.
- Spread bean mixture into 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with no stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 2 cups cheese.
- Bake 25 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve hot with tortilla chips.
Sliced Dipping Potatoes
This is one our favorite appetizers! I make it as a side dish too at times.
These potatoes taste just like potato skins but are SO much easier to make!
I serve warm around a bowl of sour cream ranch dip and they never last long!
You might also like: 8 EASY Sour Cream Ranch Dip Recipes
Pimento Cheese Sausage Balls
As far as sausage balls go, I love ALL of them!
But I’ll be honest, I’m not really a fan of Pimento Cheese…
Until I met these sausage balls….
Oh my goodness, they are SO GOOD!
And super simple to make!
Outback Cheese Fries and Dip (copycat recipe)
I’ve talked about this Outback Steakhouse copycat Aussie Fries recipe before here, but these cheese fries absolutely MUST be on this list.
We make them all the time…and they are SO good!
Baked Chicken Nuggets Appetizer
They taste like they’re fried, but they’re baked (gotta sneak in something “healthy” during games days, right? Shhhh don’t tell anyone!)
The recipe itself is simple – they just take longer to cook than the other appetizers I normally make do.
Here’s the recipe for these baked chicken nuggets for a crowd:
Again, TOTALLY worth the little bit of extra effort! Just a friendly warning though – once you family friends taste these and know YOU can make them, you will be required to make them for all get-togethers!
Game Day Casserole Carrier
I’d be lost without my Alabama Game Day casserole carrier (found here).
Even when I’m not taking my game day food on the road or tailgating, this insulated casserole carrier gives me one more place to keep my game day food warm and ready for guests.
note: These casserole carriers are hard to find because they sell out VERY quickly.
It’s crazy how much everyone LOVES these little cocktail meatballs – and they think I work SO hard to make them!
In reality, it only takes THREE ingredients in your crockpot to crank out these little bites of heaven: frozen meatballs, a jar of grape jelly and an equal sized jar of BBQ sauce.
Yep, that’s it! Toss ’em in the crockpot in the morning and let them cook a few hours (note: I don’t put chives on mine – the family no-likey the chives).
Here’s the recipe:
7 Layer Taco Dip
I think the picture says it all – it’s 7 layers of YUM!
Here’s the recipe for the easy 7-layer dip:
Crack Chip Dip
Yep, you read that right – this potato chip dip is called CRACK dip… it’s THAT good and THAT addicting!
This is easy to make, but make this simple party dip ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge overnight… you won’t regret it! (and hey, invite me over when you make it!)
There’s only 4 ingredients in this simple party dip – sour cream, ranch dip mix, cheese and BACON. Some people add scallions too, but we don’t care for them so I don’t add them.
Here’s the recipe for this make ahead crack party dip – your crowd will LOVE it!
Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip
This is another of our favorites – Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip. I make it ALL the time. Many people make theirs in a crockpot, but I bake mine. Personally, I think it comes out much better that way.
Also, it is unbelievably good when re-heated. Seems all the flavors come together it actually tastes BETTER as a leftover!
Here’s the recipe for this easy Buffalo chicken dip:
Deviled Eggs for a Crowd
This is a GREAT recipe for deviled eggs – and it’s easy too.
Spinach Dip Bites
These spinach dip bites are SO good – my crowd LOVES them!
Now get to cooking and pleasing your party crowd.
I’ll be waiting by the phone for my invitation!