So you’ve got the drinks, you know your theme, you’ve compiled a guest list, and you have completely cleared out your schedule for the day of the party. You feel pretty good about this party.. until you realize that you still haven’t figured out how to feed all those people.
What can you feed your guests that will make them happy without requiring you to spend hours slaving in the kitchen? What kind of food will be exciting, delicious, and convenient? Where do people get their brilliant party appetizer ideas?
Why, from this list. Here is the unofficial list of the top ten party menu ideas.
1. Bean Dip
Number one on the list is a party must: bean dip. This versatile, easy staple can be customized for any taste preference by using any kind of bean, adding salsa or spices, and serving it with anything imaginable. Bean dip is the key to creating an impressive display because it provides the perfect excuse for throwing other things on the table without cooking them. If you put a bowl of bean dip on the table, suddenly your once-lazy vegetable trays, chips and crackers become sophisticated vehicles for another heavenly homemade dish. It is also the key to feeding health-conscious or vegetarian guests, who will love the hit of protein and complex carbohydrates.
2. Cheese Ball
Much like bean dip, this makes an excellent mate for veggies and crackers. They can also be quite beautiful, so they double as decoration!
Another highly versatile food, bruschetta can be savory, sweet, salty, or spicy, so it can be tailored to any occasion. It’s also quick to assemble, so it won’t take up a bunch of time in the last panicky moments before the party begins.
4. Stuffed Grape Leaves
A classic Mediterranean food, this dish will please anyone who turns their nose up at cheese and crackers. Paired with delicious, salty feta cheese, it’s sure to get your mouth watering.
5. Roasted Cocktail Nuts
No party is complete without the bowl of warm, salty roasted nuts. Serve them in small bowls for easy snacking, or in a large bowl with a scoop so that guests can serve themselves, and prepare for the chorus of crunch.
6. Potato Skins
Salty, savory and topped with bacon (!), you can’t go wrong with potato skins. They’re the classy cousin of french fries, which everyone loves. Have you ever met anyone who hates french fries? If you have, you probably didn’t invite them anyway. You do not need that kind of negativity at your party.
7. Deviled Eggs
The most delicious of Southern party dishes, deviled eggs can be dressed up just about any way you want (some party hosts even top them with shrimp), and they provide a hit of nutrition that makes you feel like you’ve eaten something with substance. Deviled eggs have also been garnished with: crumbled bacon, smoked salmon, blue cheese, cilantro leaves, chopped bell pepper, and even seeds. Get creative to keep it festive.
8. Blooming Onion
Remember that french fry discussion we had earlier? The blooming onion is an onion ring in a tuxedo, and your guests will hardly be able to contain themselves when they see it in the center of the buffet table. Note to self: make sure it lasts long enough for guests to eat it.
9. Pizza Rolls
Another score in the carbohydrate department, pizza rolls can be as simple or as complex as you want. As long as you avoid anchovies, they are the perfect party food for any picky eater on your guest list. Prep is quick, and you can let them bake while you focus on more important things– like the mess that has materialized in your living room just hours before the party.
10. Pigs in Blankets
Pigs in blankets are really just hot dogs wearing party hats, but they are great for setting the mood, and they’re one of those ‘safe’ foods that everyone is thrilled to eat. If you have a dish that your guests are afraid to try, this will not be it. Pigs will fly… off the plate.