Whether you’re throwing an intimate bash in your backyard or having a board game night, at some point your guests are going to want to eat. Thing is, it isn’t easy to come up with food ideas for small parties.
Ok, that’s not exactly true, it is easy to come up with ideas – only if they’re boring ideas. You’ve probably been served foods such as potato salad, pasta and chips at some point. We can agree that none of these are very exciting nor do they fill anyone up.
What we want are food ideas for small parties that satisfy bellies and also serve as entertainment in their own right. Is that combination even possible to achieve? We think so. Start planning your grocery list with our ideas below.
Food Ideas for Small Parties
There’s something so moreish about popcorn, isn’t there? Once you’ve eaten one handful, you can’t help but want a handful more and more. Popcorn is a fun choice for parties as guests can add their own toppings such as garlic or curry powder (for savory popcorn) or salted caramel or peanut butter (for sweet). Check out this list of homemade popcorn toppings for inspiration.
Smores: If the thought of toasting a marshmallow around an open fire sounds divine, then you need to add smores on your menu. Smores (or s’mores) consist of 1 or more toasted marshmallows and a layer of chocolate sandwiches between 2 pieces of graham cracker. They really as delicious as this description.
Like popcorn, once you’ve had one smore, you will want smore (excuse the pun).
A Cheese Wonder
A cheese and cracker platter is perfect for a lazy sunny afternoon with a glass of wine and board games. Guests also get the opportunity to try out different types of cheese, such as Gorgonzola, Camembert, Brie, and Stilton. To keep things unpredictable, your friends to bring along some of their favorites.
If a cheese platter doesn’t sound filling enough, adding a cheese pie or a hot cheese soup can help round out the menu.
Cupcake are the simplest cake of all. They’re the easiest to make and easy on the budget as well. You can bake these quite easily the day before your party, and set up a cupcake decoration station so everyone can customise their own.
Not that anyone needs any excuse to make cupcakes, but if you need one, you can celebrate Cupcake Day; there are actually 3 of these days: National Chocolate Cupcake Day on October 18th; National Vanilla Cupcake Day on November 9th; and National Lemon Cupcake Day on December 15th.
Seductive Salad Bar
Whether you’re vegetarian or need a compliment to meat dishes, you can’t go wrong with a salad bar. While salad might sound a bit sad in relation to partying, it only is if you’re going to use regular veggies such as lettuce, carrots and peppers. You can spice things up by using seasonal items or produce from different countries. A complement of oils, sauces and vinagrettes can also charge things up.
Add a bit of crunch to your list of food ideas for small parties with tacos or tortilla chips. Make sure to provide friends with plenty of dipping options including soul cream, salsa, spicy beans, and guacamole. Check out this list of taco dip ideas for inspiration.
More Food Ideas For Small Parties
Getting your friends involved in the food-making makes for one heck of a memorable time and potluck is the king of the lot. Invite everyone to bring along a dish, preferably home-cooked, and use these to create a buffet.
Make sure to provide a few dishes of your own to balance out the menu, i.e. If you’ve got too many veggie dishes, provide sausages or chicken for meat eaters. A holiday-themed potluck is another lovely option.
These are quick and easy to make, and perfect for growling bellies. Meatballs combine both pork and beef and can be seasoned with spices and cheese. Each bite will always be full of flavor and juice.
The great thing about pizza is that they’re designed to be shareable. There’s something to sensual about pizza, isn’t there?
While you could provide store-bought pizza, try and rustle something up at home; even the humble baguette pizza (made from baguette sticks) can be delicious and filling. If you order in, you can vary up the types of crust (i.e. Thin crust, thick) or opt for different styles (i.e. the California Style, the Sicilian). Check out this post for fun pizza party ideas.
Also known as pigs in blanket, the humble sausage roll can a fun and also reliable staple for any party. They’re typically made with puffy pastry and you can provide a platter of sausage rolls, each one with different spices added to the pork pate filling.
Bowl of Balls
And we’re talking mouth-watering mac and cheese balls here. Biting into one of these will fill your mouth with heaven. This is a comfort food classic, where macaroni pasta and cheese are rolled into balls, then coated with breadcrumbs and fried. You can serve your balls with dipping sauces similar to those served with tacos.
The act of eating fondue is in itself its own kind of entertainment. Fondue is a communal meal where a pot is heated by a flame.
In the case of a cheese fondue, guests dip bread into the melting cheese using long-stemmed forks. You can also get meat and chocolate fondues; in the latter, fruits are dipped into the melting choc. Check out this post on fondue party ideas.
Like fondue, grilling corn on the cob can be its own party entertainment. Place your husks on your grill, close the cover and grill for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning them over every 5 minutes. You can garnish your corn with butter, garlic, salt and pepper, and other spices as you wish. They’re the perfect food for quick summer meals.
From chicken wings to drum sticks, chicken nuggets to roast chicken pieces, there are a lot of tasty variations to be hard with chicken, each suitable for however you’re partying. You can opt for just one type or use them all.
Chicken can be eaten in in different ways as well, e.g. Skewered on cocktail sticks, placed with a dipping station, or with a side order of fries and salad.
We haven’t talked much about desserts on this list of food ideas for small parties. Unlike cupcakes, a cheesecake is a true dessert and one that is often sweet and rich in flavor. To party things up, you can create mini cheesecakes, each with its own unique topping. These are the perfect way to round off your party menu.
When you’re thinking food ideas for smart parties, it’s easy to go with BBQ, potato salad and the like. And that’s great, if you want to be known for throwing a boring party, which we both know you don’t want. A memorable party also means memorable food. We hope you will add some of the items on our roundup to your next menu.