You’re probably wondering how to get that party started. You’ve got a few friends over, but you can’t think of anything to do. Maybe it’s a birthday, or maybe you’re just hanging out with some friends and want to make sure everything runs smoothly.
We’ve got the answer: finger food!
Finger food is a great way to keep your guests entertained while they mingle, eat, and drink—all while you relax and enjoy yourself. Finger food is also super easy to make yourself, so you don’t have to worry about it taking up too much time in your busy schedule. It’s also less expensive than other types of party food because it’s so simple!
Whether your guests are kids or adults, finger foods are always fun! Here are some ideas for finger food recipes that will help you create the perfect party atmosphere for anyone in your life.
Finger Food For Party Ideas
The great thing about serving finger food at a party is that it lets people move around and mingle, rather than huddling around a communal bowl of guacamole. But what if you’re on a budget? You could scroll through recipes for party snacks and try to figure out how much each recipe costs to make. Or you could let us do the work for you!
And that’s exactly what we’ve done. We picked some of our favorite finger food recipes and calculated their cost per serving, making sure that each one costs about $1 per serving. We did this by checking the cost of the individual ingredients on Instacart, dividing by the quantity each recipe calls for, and then adding up the total.
For ingredients like salt, or dried herbs and seasonings, we added a few cents to the total, but for the main ingredients, like meat, cheese, dairy, flour, veggies and so on, we calculated the exact amount, based on how much those items cost. Prices might vary a bit where you live, but we think this method will give you our best educated guess as to the cost.
- 01of 15Deviled Eggs with Bacon RecipeThe Spruce / Kristina VanniDeviled eggs are a quintessential finger food. You can prepare and fill them a day in advance, then cover and store them in the refrigerator. This recipe calls for six eggs, but at around 52 cents a serving, you might as well double it and use the full dozen.
- 02of 15Bacon Wrapped SausagesThe Spruce / Nyssa TannerSmoked sausages, bacon, and brown sugar are the core ingredients in a recipe that’s sure to be a hit. They’re really versatile in terms of when you serve them, whether as appetizers for holiday gatherings; and with honey-mustard, homemade ketchup, or spicy salsa. This recipe is about $1.24 per serving.
- 03of 15Stuffed Mushrooms With Spinach and HamDiana RattrayThese stuffed mushrooms are filled with minced ham, fresh bread crumbs, chopped baby spinach and seasonings, and topped with shredded mozzarella cheese. They work out to around 43 cents a serving.
- 04of 15Air Fryer Mac and Cheese BallsThe Spruce / Leah MaroneyThese air-fryer mac and cheese balls are a quick and easy party appetizer, and if you use boxed mac and cheese, it’s a true budget bite. We recommend the “thick ‘n creamy” variety, as they will hold together better when you are forming the balls as well as when you are air frying. These are about $1 per serving.
- 05of 15Bisquick Sausage BallsThe Spruce Eats / Leah MaroneyBisquick sausage balls are an easy, hearty appetizer loaded with herbs and cream cheese. It’s the ideal, no-plate-needed finger food for a party. They mix up in less than five minutes, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. These are around $1 per serving.
- 06of 15Ham and Cheese PinwheelsLeah MaroneyHam and cheese pinwheels are wildly easy finger food that only take eight ingredients to make (one is which is store-bought pizza dough!). It’s easy to throw them together in no time, they’re a big crowd-pleaser, and at 71 cents a serving, they’ll please your budget as well.
- 07of 15Cheddar Bacon PuffsDiana RattrayBacon and cheddar cheese team up in these bacon cheese puffs, which are loaded with flavor, and make a great party snack. They’re around 13 cents per puff, and makes 36 puffs, so we figure this to be about 39 cents a serving.
- 08of 15Crock Pot Party Meatballs With Tangy SauceDiana RattrayThese meatballs are flavored with a sweet-and-tangy barbecue sauce and are perfect for parties, holidays, potlucks, or game days. After baking in a 350F oven for 30 minutes, the meatballs finish cooking in a slow-cooker for 3 to 4 hours. This recipe makes 48 meatballs for 12 servings, so it’s around 77 cents a serving.
- 09of 15Parmesan Crostini CrispsThe Spruce / Eric KleinbergThese simple Parmesan crisps are long, thin, crunchy, and flavored only with olive oil and real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. They’re super to be popular, so make a lot. The recipe makes 24 crisps, or 8 servings, at 54 cents a serving.
- 10of 15Nutella Pastry PuffsThe Spruce / Cara CormackThis warm, Nutella-oozing pastry puff is quick and easy, and it’s made with store-bought puff pastry, and can be ready in about 35 minutes. This recipe is perfect as-is, but you could try adding some orange zest to the filling to punch up the flavor. The puffs are around $1 per serving.
- 11of 15Classic Cheese StrawsThe Spruce / Diana ChistrugaCheese straws are a popular party snack in the South and they’re surprisingly easy to make. Mix the dough, roll it flat, cut into ribbons, then twist and bake. Use sharp cheddar for the best flavor and don’t skimp on the cayenne! This recipe makes around 48 straws, or 12 servings, at 80 cents per serving.
- 12of 15Crescent Roll Pigs in a BlanketThe Spruce / Eric KleinbergThese crescent-roll pigs in a blanket are the perfect finger food for a party or casual gathering, especially with kids. Cheddar and American are great melting cheeses to use. It’s about $1 per serving.
- 13of 15Baked Cheesy Spinach BallsThe Spruce / Diana ChistrugaThese spinach balls are incredibly delicious, easy to make, and ready in just 35 minutes. Made with tangy Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and eggs, they’re great as a meat-free party snack. This recipe makes 48 balls, or 12 servings, at around $1 per serving.
- 14of 15Olive Cheese Balls With Cheese SpreadThe Spruce / Abby MercerThese little cheese balls are made with a surprise olive center. The cheese dough is shaped around pimiento-stuffed olives, chilled, and then baked to perfection. The recipe makes 48 balls, or 12 servings, at 68 cents a serving.
- 15of 15Quick and Easy Popcorn BallsThe Spruce / Diana ChistrugaThese sweet, crunchy, and slightly sticky treats are easy to put together and make fun party snacks. And since popcorn is cheap, they’ll fit your budget easily. The recipe makes 12 popcorn balls, at 22 cents each.
simple finger foods for a party
Epic appetizers are a *must* for entertaining year-round, and we especially love starting with delicious finger food ideas. If you want to take your bite-sized appetizer recipes a bit further, skewer those tasty bites with a toothpick so everyone can grab and go as they please. It also means you aren’t left with tons of dishes, so you can spend more time relaxing post-meal. Scroll down for 46 finger food recipes, from BLTs to chicken and waffles… all that you can serve on a toothpick!
First Up: Chicken Finger Food Recipes Everyone Will Love
Lemongrass And Sriracha Grilled Chicken Kebabs
Upgrade your weeknight meals with some new flavors. First, create an easy marinade with fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and Sriracha. Allow your diced chicken to marinate in it for 15 minutes, then thread your veggies onto skewers for a quick and healthy appetizer idea. (via Brit + Co)
Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Popcorn Chicken
This recipe seamlessly combines sweet honey, flavorful garlic, and spicy chili powder for a chicken appetizer that will put everyone in a good mood! If you’re a fan of more mild food, mess around with the ingredient ratio to figure out which spice level you like the most. (via Half Baked Harvest)
Copycat Chick Fil A Nugget + Sauce
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to restaurant chicken nuggets, consider making them yourself! They make a great addition to any school or work lunch, and all you need to make the sauce is mayo, honey, yellow mustard, barbecue sauce, and lemon juice. Easy peasy! (via A Spicy Perspective)
Chicken Caesar Salad Pinwheels
When you’re serving passable dishes, salads can be a bit too fussy for their own good. Get that creamy crunch you desire in an easy-to-eat package by rolling chicken Caesar salad in a tortilla and slicing into pinwheels. We love that this can be executed in five minutes or less by mixing chicken, salad dressing, parmesan, lettuce, and crumbled croutons together, and then rolling the mixture onto several flatbreads. The key to getting even bites is roll the wraps tightly and then place five toothpicks, spaced evenly, on the roll so you know where to cut. (via Food Fun Family)
Chicken Satay Skewers With Peanut Sauce
Chicken marinated in coconut milk and spices becomes tender and moist on the grill. Pair these skewers with a sweet and sticky peanut sauce for extra flavor. (via Savory Tooth)
Hawaiian Chicken Bites
Bring your favorite pizza toppings into cocktail hour with these sweet and sour Hawaiian chicken skewers. Brush with your favorite BBQ sauce and add a chunk of SPAM for an authentic flavor. (via Rasa Malaysia)
Mini Chicken and Waffles
There’s no shame in using frozen food to your advantage. For this easy finger food recipe all you need is frozen chicken, mini toaster waffles, maple syrup, sea salt, and herbs de Provence. Cook the chicken according the the directions on the package and then dress ’em up by assembling on top of the heated mini waffles and sticking a toothpick through it. Add a healthy dose a salt and herbs to bring out some flavor and drizzle with syrup to serve. Easy peasy! (via Almost Makes Perfect)
Easy Vegetarian Appetizers To Make For Your Next Party
Sweet Potato + Goat Cheese + Agave Bites
This recipe is almost too easy to believe! The tasty combo of goat cheese, sweet potatoes, and agave is a simple way to get a healthy dose of vitamin A and calcium while still getting a bit of sweetness. Not a fan of agave? Just swap for honey instead. We’ll be making this all summer long. (via Brit + Co)
Nacho Fries with Chipotle Queso
Image via Half Baked Harvest
Cheese fries are already tasty on their own but this Taco Bell-inspired recipe upgrades them with nacho seasoning and peppers. They’re great for game day, your next picnic, or will even satisfy the fam once the holiday season comes back around. (via Half Baked Harvest)
Mini Cheese Balls
These mini bites have everything we love about cheese balls, without committing to a giant appetizer that we might not be able to finish. Use a melon baller or a similar scoop to make the balls, and finish by rolling in pistachios for some extra crunch and saltiness. (via A Spicy Perspective)
Mac ‘n’ Cheese Donuts
If we’re sticking to finger foods, that eliminates a lot of our favorite recipes…unless we can figure out a way to make them handheld ;). Exhibit A: these macaroni and cheese donuts that put together two of our favorite foods, like, ever. You’ll want to add some egg to the mix before you bake to give them that fluffy donut finish, and don’t forget to top with bacon bits! (via Brit + Co)
The tiny version of this classic dip is an excellent finger food, appetizer, or snack. Change up the layers depending on food sensitivities or favorite toppings (we’d go with two layers of guac!), or if you’re throwing a get together, wait until your guests arrive and have them assemble the dips themselves. (via Brit + Co)
Mini Baked Potatoes
We love baked potatoes as much as the next person, but sometimes having a giant potato is too much for a side, especially if the rest of your meal is already heavy. Make these mini potatoes instead! You can still load up on all your favorite toppings, including cheese and bacon bits. (via Brit + Co)
Caprese Pesto Tarts
Image via Half Baked Harvest
Eat these tarts as a quick bite in the afternoon or have them for dinner if you end up eating a big lunch. Cherry tomatoes, pesto, and burrata make the perfect trio for a summer day. (via Half Baked Harvest)
Fruit + Cheese Crostini
With figs, cranberry sauce, brie, and goat cheese, this crostini might become one of your go-to faves. And considering we’ll eat anything with brie on it, it’s one of ours too! This recipe pairs the figs with goat cheese and cranberry with brie, feel free to mix and match until your heart’s content. (via Brit + Co)
Beet Salad on a Stick
Rest assured, your herbivorous friends and fam will flip for this bite-sized combo of beet, goat cheese, arugula, and walnut. We love this fall-inspired dish for Halloween, Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving or even Christmas entertaining. If you’ve never prepped beets before, here’s how to do it: start by roasting your beets at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 to 60 minutes. Once they cool, you can use a paper towel to rub off the peel and slice into rounds and quarter rounds for easy skewering. Assemble your appetizer and drizzle with a honey balsamic vinaigrette for an added burst of flavor. (via Salty Canary)
Rosemary Pineapple Mozzarella Bites
Using a rosemary stem as a skewer to hold your pineapple and mozzarella is both practical and delicious. Not to mention, the presentation is pretty spectacular. (via Cook. Craft. Love.)
Easy Pesto Tortellini Skewers
If you can boil water, you can make these skewers faster than you can say tortellini. Dress with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes for optimal flavor. (via Foody Schmoody Blog)
Oven Fried Halloumi Bites with Hot Honey
Cut up some halloumi cheese for these bites. It’s got a high melting point (aka you can fry it without it turning into a melty mess), and its natural salty flavor goes great with all kinds of condiments. The hot honey, which gets its spice from red pepper flakes, is definitely a top-tier option. (via Half Baked Harvest)
No-Bake Baileys Bonbons Recipe
If you’re looking for a finger food that’s on the sweeter side, look no further than these boozy, chocolatey bites. With only five ingredients, you can make these in a snap, which is good because they’ll be gone just as quick! Just make sure you serve them right away, just place them in an air tight container and keep ’em in the fridge until it’s party time. (via Brit + Co)
Goat Cheese + Strawberry Bites
There’s nothing quite like a berry and cheese combo, and this recipe (which matches up rich goat cheese with tart, sweet strawberries) makes for the perfect spring snack. Plus with a mint leaf on top, they’re also just gorgeous to look at. (via Brit + C
Gluten-Free Baked Avocado Fries
Whether you’re cutting out potatoes or you just really love avocados, prepare to have your mind *blown* by these gluten-free “fries.” They’re crunchy, they’re tasty, they’re gluten-free. Top with garlic salt and dip in the spicy aioli to take your appetizer to the next level. (via Brit + Co)
Wedge Salad Skewers
If you have to eat a salad, it might as well be on a stick. Plus, the topping-to-lettuce ratio here is way more appealing than the alternative. (via Love & Zest)
Seafood Hors D’oeuvres Recipe Ideas For Your Party-Goers
Grilled Garlic Shrimp Skewers
Simplicity is essential when dealing with sweet, fresh shrimp. A brush of garlic and butter is all you need to enhance its flavor to epic restaurant-worthy levels. (via Simply Recipes)
Smoked Salmon Poke Bites
If you’re not keen on ordering sushi, opt for these poke bites, which is basically single-serve deconstructed sushi. Topped with salmon, avocado, and ginger, you still get all your favorite sushi flavors, with the added crunch of the rice cracker. (via Brit + Co)
Mini Lobster Rolls
Sometimes you can’t get through an entire lobster dip, and seafood only stays good for so long. Instead of making a giant dip for everyone, split them up into these tiny (and adorable) lobster rolls! Not only will you break it up into smaller portion sizes, but you’ll also completely eliminate double dipping. Win-win. (via Brit + Co)
Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Skewers
Bring the flavors of New Orleans to your shindig with these Cajun-style skewers. Serve with a spicy lemon aioli for dipping and ice-cold beer for sipping. (via Iowa Girl Eats)
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Cucumber Bites
Nix the bagel and enjoy your lox on top of a slice of crunchy cucumber. If you’re looking for finger food ideas perfect for brunch, look no further! Be sure you have cream cheese, dill, horseradish and heavy cream on hand to complete the recipe. (via Baker by Nature)
Cured Brown Sugar Salmon Skewers
Succulent salmon is even tastier when it’s coated in brown sugar. Give the fish a quick sear, and each bite will be infused with smokey, caramelized flavor. (via Sprinkles and Sprouts)
Delicious Finger Food Ideas For Meat Lovers
Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Tea Sandwich
Long live the BLT! To turn it into a bite-sized nosh, go for slices of Roma tomatoes and use a cookie cutter to create like-sized circles of white bread. These crust-free and dainty bites are the perfect hors d’oeuvre. For the spread, go for something creamy, smooth and tangy like Japanese mayo. For a few other pro tips, did you know bread circles cut easier when it’s partially frozen? Everything can be cut and prepped the day before, just wait to assemble on the actual party day. (via Oh, How Civilized)
Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potatoes
Bacon wrapped around anything immediately catches our eye, and if you feel the same way then you have to try out these bacon sweet potato bites! With only a little bit of salt and pepper, the natural flavors of the sweet potato and bacon come together flawlessly for an app that everyone will love. (via Brit + Co)
Chinese Dumplings Recipe
These dumplings are filled to the brim with veggies and meat, and the wonton dough only needs two ingredients! While the recipe does call for ground pork or turkey, you can easily leave that out to make these dumplings vegetarian. (via A Spicy Perspective)
Bacon Cream Cheese Bites Recipe
You can create an incredibly easy app with only bread, cream cheese, chives, and bacon. (via Garnish With Lemon)
Grab your charcuterie must-haves and cut them into bite sized pieces. Grab some toothpicks (or skewers if you’re feeling extra hungry) and create kebabs that are sure to make all your guests’ mouths water. Our favorite combo is blackberries, brie, and salami, but feel free to play with *all* the meat and cheese combos. (via Brit + Co)
Buffalo Chicken Taquitos
These taquitos are sooo tasty and are sure to be a hit with your guests. A little spicy, a little cheesy, and super easy to prepare, all you need is chicken, buffalo sauce, cheese, and tortillas. Serve them whole, or cut them in half to make them more manageable. (via Brit + Co)
Manchego Cheese, Ham, and Olive Bites
These no-cook finger food tapas bites are a quick way to satisfy rumbling bellies with minimal effort. Simply slice cheese into cubes of about 1/2″ x 1/2″, rip ham into narrow strips and fold them on top of the cheese. Try drizzling with honey after assembling for an added sweet touch. (via My Kitchen Love)
Mini Cheeseburger Appetizers
If you really want to make a statement, go all out and whip up mini cheeseburgers. Frozen rolls, a pound of ground beef, bacon, cherry tomatoes, sharp cheddar cheese, sesame seeds, and lettuce round out the ingredient list for this easy party appetizer. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to bake the rolls after you’ve brushed them in melted butter and topped with sesame seeds. Then turn the pound of ground beef into 20 mini patties to grill to medium for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then assemble, or let your guests pick their toppings with a DIY cheeseburger bar. (via Pizzazzerie)
Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears With Blue Cheese
You’ll want to savor each and every bite of these sweet and pungent snacks. Serve with a round of bubbly to balance its salty bite. (via Recipe Runner)
Crispy Bacon Wrapped Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are great for getting some extra antioxidants and fiber, and the bacon is great for flavor ;). But on top of how good this recipe tastes, it only takes an hour to make! (via Half Baked Harvest)
Saucy meatballs are a party must-have. It’s doubtful you’ll have leftovers, but if you do, serve them over rice for lunch the next day. (via Gimme Some Oven)
West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls Recipe
Great for lunchboxes and afternoon snacks alike, this handheld recipe looks like a breadstick but is actually filled with pepperoni and cheese. It’s like a pizza stick! (via A Spicy Perspective)
Glazed Green Bean Bundles
Glazed in a buttery brown sugar sauce, any vegetable suddenly becomes fun to eat. Add a crispy wrapping of salty prosciutto, and these once-humble green beans are now totally picnic worthy. (via Blackberry Babe)
Dill Pickle Beef Skewers
A marinade of pickle juice keeps the beef in these skewers ultra-tender and seasoned throughout. Spear with a toothpick along with a tiny gherkin and some fresh dill for a hearty party bite. (via Sprinkles and Sprouts)
Antipasto Skewers Recipe
Wine lover? You can’t go wrong with salty antipasto skewers. (via Tabitha Talks Food)
Filet Mignon Rosemary Skewers
Here’s another way to use some fragrant rosemary sprigs. Skewer juicy prime rib, roasted mushrooms, and red pepper, so each bite is infused with that woodsy rosemary aroma. (via Give It Some Thyme)
Oven-Baked Greek Meatballs
A platter of these savory Greek meatballs is a hearty appetizer or afternoon snack. To make these lamb meatballs, mix ground beef, ground lamb, finely grated onion, egg, parsley, crumbled feta, Panko bread crumbs, and garlic. Use a cookie scoop to get even servings and roll them into a ball. Pop into a preheated 400-degree oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned. Serve them alongside a creamy tzatziki sauce. (via A Fork’s Tale)