Try these Air Fryer Potato Skins
Try this Mama's Pepperoni Pizza Dip
Mama's Pepperoni Pizza Dip

Snacks. Appetizers. Hors d’ouevres. Nibblins’. Whatever you call them, party food is often the best part of any gathering. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Tie It All Together

Try these Game Day Cookies
Game Day Cookies

However, some types of gatherings – for instance, Big Game Day watch parties, birthdays and graduations – naturally lend themselves to a theme. Foods might be chosen to match team colors or, even easier, served in dishes and trays in the chosen colors.

 

Fun idea: Feeling really creative? Design a charcuterie board with foods arranged in the shape of a team mascot, graduation mortarboard or other image connected with your theme. 

Opposites Attract

Foods with different characteristics can complement each other and provide a nice variety of sensory experiences for your guests. Include both hot and cold snacks, salty and sweet, spicy and blander offerings.

Try these Salted Caramel Brookie Bars
Salted Caramel Brookie Bars

Pro tip: Incorporate the “opposites attract” principle in single foods, like popcorn mixes of plain, caramel and cheese popcorn, salted caramel or chocolate.

Consider Customizable

People love to make their own choices from a variety of options. Offer different flavorings to shake on plain popcorn, for instance, or create a mini taco bar with pick-your-own toppings.

Easy snack option: simply offering several different varieties of dips and dippers allows guests to make a snack plate that caters to their preferences.

Be Inclusive

By offering a variety of options – chips AND fresh fruit, bite-sized smoked sausage AND fresh veggies – you can ensure your guests are likely to find something for them, no matter what their special needs or preferred lifestyle.

Recommendation: If you want to really play it safe, ask invited guests before the party if there are specific issues (e.g., allergies, salt restrictions) that can help guide your choices in what to serve.

Tailor to Time and Place

Try this Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie Board

Will your snacks be served before a meal? If so, lighter fare to sharpen the appetite makes the most sense (a charcuterie board with emphasis on fresh fruits, veggies, cheese cubes, nuts, etc. might be a good choice).

Are you entertaining over a period where a meal would usually be served? Offer heartier fare like cocktail meatballs, crudites and richer desserts.

Will your guests be noshing while engaging in energetic activity like a sports-watching party? ‘Avoid snacks that can cause a mess on clothing or furnishings if spilled.

You Do You

Perhaps the most important consideration in planning your party snacks is your own comfort level. How much time will you realistically have to prepare the food? What is your personal style and level of expertise in the kitchen? In the end, your guests will be happy when they see that you feel good and relaxed about what you serve.

When you’re ready to start planning for your next get-together, here are some easy party snack recipes to consider:

Dynamite Dips

A variety of sweet and savory dips can be the foundation of a sensational snack table.

Try this 7-Layer Peanut Butter Caramel Dip
7-Layer Peanut Butter Caramel Dip
Try these Apple Fries with Peanut Butter Caramel Dip
Apple Fries with Peanut Butter Caramel Dip
Try these Cinnamon Apple Butter Apples
Cinnamon Almond Butter Apples
Try this Creamy Caramel Peanut Butter Dip
Creamy Caramel Peanut Butter Dip
Try this Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
Try this Roasted Red Pepper Cauliflower
Roasted Red Pepper Cauliflower

Sensational Sweets

Remember the sweeter side of snacking!

Try this Brown Sugar Vanilla Granola
Brown Sugar Vanilla Granola
Try this Easy Caramel Corn
Easy Caramel Corn
Try these Sweet & Spicy Cinnamon Nuts
Sweet & Spicy Cinnamon Nuts

Hot Bites

Warm snacks don’t have to be a hassle. Try these easy, pleasey options.

Try these Air Fryer Pizza Pinwheels
Air Fryer Pizza Pinwheels
Try these Chicken Parmesan Sliders
Chicken Parmesan Sliders
Try these Freeze & Fry Chicken Nuggets
Freeze & Fry Chicken Nuggets
Try these Open-Faced Egg Rolls
Open-Faced Egg Rolls
Try these Air Fryer Potato Skins
Air Fryer Potato Skins

Fresh and Fabulous

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh fruits and veggies.

Try these Cucumber Hummus Bites
Cucumber Hummus Bites
Try these Prosciutto Wrapped Melon
Prosciutto Wrapped Melon
Try this Sí Sí Cilantro Watermelon
Sí Sí Cilantro Watermelon

Special Occasion Snacks

Whether you’re celebrating Independent Day, Big Game Day, Christmas Day or any special day, snacks are essential.

Try these Apple Monster Mouths
Apple Monster Mouths
Try these Chocolate Caramel Apple Slices
Chocolate Caramel Apple Slices
Try these Candy Corn Cookie Bars
Candy Corn Cookie Bars
Try these Mama's Candy Cane Pizzas
Mama's Candy Cane Pizzas
Try this Gnome Dessert Board
Gnome Dessert Board
Try these Smoky Cranberry Meatballs
Smoky Cranberry Meatballs
Try these Game Day Tiny Cakes
Game Day Tiny Cakes
Try this Baked Buffalo Chicken Nachos
Baked Buffalo Chicken Nachos
Try this Beer Cheese Fondue
Beer Cheese Fondue

Marvelous Mixes

Sweet or savory, snack mixes hit the spot at any gathering.

Try this Chocolate & Peanut Butter Malted Snack Mix
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Malted Snack Mix
Try this Cinnamon Apple Snack Mix
Cinnamon Apple Snack Mix
Try these Classic Ranch Oyster Crackers
Classic Ranch Oyster Crackers
Try these Classic Ranch Pumpkin Seeds
Classic Ranch Pumpkin Seeds
Try this Halloween Chai Snack Mix
Halloween Chai Snack Mix
Try this Party Snack Mix
Party Snack Mix
Try this Rustic Herb & Parmesan Snack Mix
Rustic Herb & Parmesan Snack Mix
Try this Zesty Snack Mix
Zesty Snack Mix

Looking for even more easy party snack ideas? Check out our thousands of simple and delicious recipes here!

– kgm