So, you’ve decided to have an enormous party. Whatever the celebration, with so many friends and family co-mingling, people are bound to get hungry. But what to serve? This is an age old dilemma, one that is often joked about by comics. The infamous several foot-long party sub that no one wants is unlikely to please, and will likely wind up rotting on the table after a few hours.
The best party food for large groups is usually guided by simplicity. Weddings are known for platters of tiny hot dogs, quiches and other snacks served off trays. Your guests are likely only going to take a passing interest in finger foods, so what you serve should make some kind of impression, enhancing a guest’s enjoyment without consuming them.
The following list contains the best party food for large groups. These food items are easy to throw together by yourself or with the help of a professional catering company. Either way, they are always met with enthusiasm.
This sweet and savory dish is as pleasant as it is easy. It also has the added bonus of variety, offering numerous different flavours that can mix accordingly with whatever you serve to drink. All you need is a baguette and an assortment of fruits, cheeses and spices to create an appetizer that dances around the taste buds. The colours of fruits and jams can also create a visually appetizing plate.
2. Rotisserie Chicken Burgers
This protein-packed snack is useful for those without the time or skill to serve fancy delicacies, as grocery stores usually sell ready-made BBQ chicken. From there, you can create the perfect, simple slider that guests can enjoy.
3. Brie and Sundried Tomato Mushroom Caps
This is advanced party food, as it requires a bit of skill to create the perfectly cooked mushroom cap. That said, it’s a perfect addition to a summer barbecue. You can also substitute the tomatoes with any variety of vegetable. If brie isn’t a favourite, you can switch out all ingredients and fill the cap with different vegetables and cheeses. Artichokes and cheddar are a fan favourite, sure to impress your clientele.
4. Eggplant Chips
Chips and dip are often found at any local football bash or friendly gathering, but taking it one step further allows you to appear a gourmand without much effort. In addition to substituting the standard nacho with fried slices of eggplant, one can experiment with all kinds of dips such as cilantro pesto. Cilantro is often a controversial spice, so if you aren’t willing to give it a try, whip up a creamy garlic dip within seconds.
5. Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits with Ham
This is among the best party food for large groups, but only if you’re willing to put in some work. The recipe requires preparation, unless you’re willing to just go with storebought. With patience and the right recipe, though, even an amateur baker can create delicious buttermilk biscuits. This will give your party a special Southern charm.
6. Crispy Tomato Chips
Further venturing into alt-chip territory, these come in particularly handy if you tend your own garden. Perfect for a bright summer afternoon, you won’t even have to go shopping to create this salt-of-the-earth treat.
7. Bacon-wrapped Pineapple
Not to party-throwers: People love bacon. The Northeastern continent has a Pavlovian response the moment the word is uttered. So wrap anything in it and you’re sure to be a success. It blends particularly well with pineapple, the juicy bacon blending with the acidity of the fruit surprisingly well.
8. Grilled Watermelon
Most of these ideas seem best suited to a summer party, and few fruits benefit from the heat of summer than the watermelon. Slap slices on the grill right next to the steaks or burgers you’re cooking for a pleasant, refreshing appetizer. Grilling it may take away from some of the water, but it concentrates the fruit’s sweetness. On top, add some feta and spinach for a summer delight.
9. Proscuitto-wrapped Breadsticks
Prosciutto – the fancy bacon. Uncooked, the thin-cut slices wrapped around your favourite crispy breadstick will have guests clearing tray after tray. Not only is it delicious, but like Crostini, the bread will help soak up some of the alcohol consumed, keeping a nice, even flow of both while avoiding any embarrassing outbursts.
10. Self-Serve Popcorn Bar
Here’s one that’s great for cinephiles. Popcorn is cheap and easy to cook. Create a small table (or go all-out and buy an old popcorn stand) and allow guests to shovel as much as they want in bowls or paper cups. Extra points for having a small bowl of melted butter and keeping it regularly filled. It may seem like a lot of work, but the dividends will be self-evident.
11. Self-Serve Potato Chip Bar
The entire concept of self-serve is ideal for large parties, as guests can regulate how much they consume without ever feeling pressure to finish. Dumping a variety of different-flavoured potato chips – the ultimate party food – into large bowls and placing them on a fold-out table is the easiest way to please partygoers. No preparation, no pressure, just simple, enjoyable food.