29 Party-Ready Finger Food Ideas for Your Next Gathering

Bacon-Wrapped Smokies
Photo: Blaine Moats

Get a gathering of any size started with easy and delicious finger foods. From cold appetizers, sweet bites, and make-ahead treats, we've got plenty of finger food ideas. Our easy appetizers will keep everyone happily munching while mingling.

01 of 29

Herb- and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms

Herb- and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Mushrooms
Jason Donnelly

Look back in your oldest cookbook, and we bet you'll find a stuffed mushroom appetizer recipe. It's a classic because it's so well-loved. Always include stuffed mushrooms among your party finger foods. The herbed mushroom stuffing provides a savory crunch and golden brown finish. With pine walnuts, panko bread crumbs, and crumbled tangy goat cheese, these mini appetizers can be enjoyed in one bite!

02 of 29

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp
Andy Lyons

A quick marinade of lemon and chili-garlic sauce provides the perfect amount of heat and tang in this party appetizer idea. And since everything is better with bacon, we've wrapped those succulent shrimp in bacon strips for a crispy, salty bite. Instead of long skewers, use mini ones for easy finger food grabbing.

Buy It: Bamboo Knot Skewers ($3-$4, World Market)

03 of 29

Cheese-Stuffed Pretzel Bites

Cheese-Stuffed Pretzel Bites
Rachel Marek and Emily Hemmingsen

If you haven't made homemade pretzels before, just watch what happens when you serve these mini pretzels at your next get together. They will disappear so fast! We've stuffed these beauties with cheddar and some pickled jalapeños for a bit of kick, but you can leave out the peppers if you prefer less spice. Serve with prepared mustard for an easy dipper.

04 of 29

Sweet Potato Fries with Roasted Garlic Ketchup

Sweet Potato Fries with Roasted Garlic Ketchup
Jacob Fox

This sweet and crunchy fry recipe includes a dipping sauce that just might steal the show. The onion-and-garlic ketchup incorporates caramelized veggies and agave-sweetened ketchup for a flavorful kick. Your homemade ketchup might be even more popular than the fries, once your guests realize how much better it is than store-bought.

Buy It: Nordic Ware Naturals Baker's Half Sheet ($13, Target)

05 of 29

Picadillo Poppers

Picadillo Poppers
Scott Little

Hot and hearty, these poppers are easy to make on the grill or under the broiler. Filled with ground beef, Spanish rice, cheese, raisins, and olives, the stuffed jalapeño peppers offer bite-size bursts of flavor. If you want to serve this finger food with a dipping sauce, try stirring together sour cream, a splash of milk, toasted almonds, lime juice, and a pinch of cinnamon.

Buy It: Chip and Dip Bowl Set ($20, Target)

06 of 29

Sloppy Joe Bombs

Sloppy Joe Bombs
Matthew Clark

These "Joes" are really anything but sloppy. Enveloping the ground beef, sweet pepper, and pickle filling in biscuit dough eliminates the mess of the classic sandwich and turns it into one of our favorite finger food recipes. You won't have to worry as much about losing the best part of this appetizer to gravity, and it still tastes like one of our favorite sandwiches.

07 of 29

Root Veggie Chips with Sea Salt

Root Veggie Chips with Sea Salt
Karla Conrad

This counts as a veggie platter, right? Sweet potatoes, blue potatoes, beets, parsnips, carrots, rutabagas, and celery root can be sliced and dehydrated for a deliciously crisp and salty snack. Since this is a party, feel free to serve your favorite dip recipe alongside this easy finger food.

08 of 29

Bacon-Wrapped Smokies

Bacon-Wrapped Smokies
Blaine Moats

The salty-sweet flavor of sausage links wrapped in bacon and tossed in brown sugar makes it hard to stop after just one. Prep them a day ahead so they're ready to pop in the oven just before party time. They'll be hot and ready when guests arrive, and you'll be less tempted to start snacking on this finger food appetizer before everyone else has a chance to try some. Oh, and with only three ingredients (plus nonstick spray) it's one of those easy finger foods you'll make again and again.

09 of 29

Grilled Drunken Shrimp and Scallop Skewers

Grilled Drunken Shrimp and Scallop Skewers
Karla Conrad

A good party calls for tequila. Well, tequila-coated seafood, at least. Marinate shrimp and scallops in a mix of lime juice, olive oil, and tequila, then grill 8 to 10 minutes for a finger food recipe everyone will be clamoring to try. Yes, you'll have enough time left to whip up a margarita, too.

10 of 29

Avocado Fries

Avocado Fries
Karla Conrad

Forget the guacamole and chips. Turn silky smooth avocados into the ultimate fiesta snack: fries! Coat them in tortilla chips and a sprinkle of chili powder for spicy crunch, then enjoy dipping this creamy, crunchy finger food into your favorite sauce.

11 of 29

Pickle Poppers

Pickle Poppers
Hannah Bigot

If you make this easy party finger food, we guarantee you won't have any leftovers. This snack hits just about every flavor: Briny pickles, slightly spicy cream cheese filling, salty ham, and a touch of sweetness from a brush of jelly. Even at a small party, 24 servings will disappear fast.

12 of 29

Tofu Spring Rolls

Tofu Spring Rolls
Andy Lyons

Once you know how to make spring rolls. you'll be wanting to stuff those chewy rice paper wraps all the time. These no-bake vegetarian spring rolls combine savory baked tofu, English cucumber, and shredded carrots for the filling. Bonus: this cold finger food takes only 20 minutes to make.

13 of 29

Sweet and Smoky Nut Mix

Sweet and Smoky Nut Mix

Throwing a cocktail party? Try these flavorful nuts as an easy party food that will pair nicely with a variety of beers and cocktails. This finger food's coating of brown sugar, smoked paprika, cinnamon, and a bit of fresh rosemary is simple, but it can easily elevate your favorite nuts to a special snack.

14 of 29

Paleo Avocado Deviled Eggs

Paleo Avocado Deviled Eggs
Andy Lyons

Deviled eggs are a cocktail party classic, but they're also fun and easy to upgrade. With a dash of hot pepper sauce, these eggs get a devilish kick that transforms this traditional finger food that happens to be Paleo-friendly. The avocado and chive topping helps offset the spice.

15 of 29

Spicy Kale Chips

Spicy Kale Chips
Karla Conrad

For a hotter upgrade to traditional kale chips, look no further than the chili powder in your spice cabinet. These four-ingredient veggie crisps take only 15 minutes to prepare and will spice up any party. Plus, they're a healthier finger food option for anyone who wants to snack on veggies.

16 of 29

Soy Sauce Chicken Wings

Soy Sauce Chicken Wings
Andy Lyons

Our soy sauce-marinated wings include five-spice powder for an interesting punch of flavor. A nice variation from expected buffalo wings, you'll be serving up a favorite food with a flavor twist. It's one of the best finger foods for a party filled with more adventurous palates.

Buy It: Chinese Five Spice 2.2-ounce Jar ($9, The Spice House)

17 of 29

Pepperoni Pizza Cups

Pepperoni Pizza Cups
Andy Lyons

Turn a universally loved entrée into a delightfully cheesy appetizer! These finger food appetizers use ingredients you're familiar with (frozen pizza dough, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese) to transform party pizza slices into bites. Choose a variety of toppings to customize the easy finger food idea.

18 of 29

Tuscan Mac and Cheese Cups

Tuscan Mac-and-Cheese Cups
Karla Conrad

Mac and cheese is already a favorite comfort food. Add prosciutto and bread crumbs and it becomes irresistible. Baking melty mac and cheese into prosciutto cups turns this traditional fork food into finger fare.

19 of 29

Stuffed Sausage Sliders

Stuffed Sausage Sliders
Scott Little

We can hardly believe all the flavor packed in this small appetizer! Cheese-stuffed sausage slider patties pair well with our apple-fennel slaw. A toothpick can help hold this finger food together, but you can also use it to make your sliders look a little more festive and fun.

20 of 29

Air-Fried Buffalo Cauliflower

Air Fried Buffalo Cauliflower
Matthew Clark

Want wings that your vegetarian guests can enjoy, too? Just substitute cauliflower for the chicken! Once cauliflower florets are coated in spicy buffalo sauce, they have all the flavor of chicken wings turned healthier. To cool these hot "wings" down, serve this finger food with a side of ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Buy It: Instant Pot 6qt Vortex Air Fryer ($120, Target)

21 of 29

Nutty Gorgonzola Apple Rings

Nutty Gorgonzola Apple Rings
Jason Donnelly

Honey and cream cheese deliciously complement the crunch of crisp apples and spicy candied nuts. A sprinkling of Gorgonzola cheese finishes this appetizer with just-right sharpness. We're planning to take this party finger food to all of our fall gatherings, though we'll eat it any season.

22 of 29

Lemon-Zest Snacker Mix

Lemon-Zest Snacker Mix
Andy Lyons

You can hardly go to a party without seeing a snack mix on the appetizer table, but this recipe stands out from all the rest. The zippy flavor of lemon peel and mixed herbs guarantees this party mix will be a major hit. Save any leftovers for an easy on-the-go snack.

Buy It: White Porcelain Flared Rim Coupe Serving Bowl ($15, World Market)

23 of 29

Pork Empanadas with Jicama Pico de Gallo

Pork Empanadas with Jicama Pico de Gallo
Blaine Moats

These flaky empanadas are oozing with cumin-coated pork that's simmered in a slew of savory spices. Cool them down with fresh pico de gallo. Be sure to set out more than one bowl of pico so your guests can easily dunk away as they snack on this simple finger food.

24 of 29

Glazed Churros

Fiesta-Ready Churro Bar
Andy Lyons

Brown-sugary churros are a happy addition to any dessert tray. Make yours party-ready by decking them in our fabulous glazes: lime and pistachio, orange, birthday cake, and Mexican chocolate. Or set up this finger food as a churro bar so guests can create their own combo of churros, glaze, and toppings.

25 of 29

Zesty Fajita Bites

Zesty Fajita Bites
Andy Lyons

Liven up your fiesta with a tray of bite-size fajitas. The wraps feature lime-zest chicken and colorfully crisp peppers rolled into easy-to-grab pinwheels. Serve this finger food appetizer alongside a spicy bowl of salsa.

26 of 29

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
Andy Lyons

Lush and fruity, these strawberry cheesecake bars are a sweet break from a lineup of salty snacks. Best of all? One batch makes a whopping 54 servings! Keep them in mind the next time you need easy finger food recipes for a crowd with a sweet tooth.

27 of 29

Party-Ready Potato Skins

Party-Ready Potato Skins
Matthew Clark

Potato skins are always ready to party! This finger food idea takes plain potato skins and loads them up with a slightly spicy seasoning, bacon, tomato, green onion, and cheese. All those toppings might sound like too much for a finger food to handle, but once the cheese melts over everything, it hangs onto stray tomato chunks and bacon bits.

28 of 29

Marinated Cheese

Marinated Cheese
James Carriere

For simple vegetarian-friendly finger food, serve up some cubes of marinated cheese on your charcuterie board. This make-ahead toothpick appetizer is one of our favorite finger foods because it makes snacking and cleanup super simple.

29 of 29

Greek Stuffed Meatballs

Greek Stuffed Meatballs
Jason Donnelly

Nestle traditional Greek Kasseri or feta cheese inside these meatballs before tossing them in your slow cooker for an easy make-ahead appetizer. A homemade Mediterranean tomato sauce drizzled on top heightens the flavor and helps keep the meat nice and tender as the meatballs simmer.

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