30 Party Food Ideas

by Monti - Budget Bytes
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Get-togethers with friends and family can be loads of fun, but they can also be a real strain on your wallet. If you’re asking yourself “What should I serve at a party?” or “How do I feed a large crowd on the cheap?” you’ve come to the right place! I’ve got thirty party food ideas for you, including recipes for meat lovers and vegetarian options, that are absolutely delicious, budget-friendly, and also incredibly easy to make.

Easy Party Appetizers

Greet your guests with THE. BEST. PARTY. SNACKS! These appetizer recipes aren’t just incredibly tasty, they’re also easy to make ahead of time in large batches. If you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen as your guests arrive, check out these party appetizers to feed a crowd! Bonus: All of these recipes can be scaled up to feed a crowd.

Baked Chicken Wings

A platter full of baked chicken wings, celery, and two dipping sauces
These delicious and crispy baked chicken wings are easy enough for even inexperienced cooks, and are the perfect snack for game day.
5 from 9 votes
$10.35 recipe / $3.45 serving Get the Recipe

Baked Chicken Wings– These wings are so crispy, no one will believe they aren’t fried! Double or triple the recipe to serve a large crowd. Make these the day before and then warm them for 10-15 minutes in a 400°F oven. Don’t forget to pair them with Beth’s Comeback Sauce or Easy Buffalo Sauce for an app that’ll leave everyone licking their lips.

Cowboy Caviar

Close up overhead view of cowboy caviar in a bowl with chips on the side.
Cowboy Caviar is a deliciously fresh bean salad with a colorful mix of beans and vegetables, plus a zesty lime dressing.
4.88 from 55 votes
$5.30 recipe / $0.53 serving Get the Recipe

Cowboy Caviar – Oh hi, beautiful! This is one of those appetizers people hover over and eat until it’s gone. It’s an absolute breeze to put together and looks gorgeous on your table. Plus it tastes even better when you make it a day ahead because it gives the flavors time to develop. Serve it next to a big bowl of corn chips!

Guacamole

close up of guacamole in the bowl with a chip.
The fresh flavor of homemade guacamole can't be beat! This simple avocado dip is creamy, zesty, and so deliciously fresh.
5 from 5 votes
$6.70 recipe / $0.67 serving Get the Recipe

Guacamole – This dip is a party staple for a reason. It takes minutes to prepare, has a creamy tangy vibe everybody loves, and contrary to popular belief it can be made up to two days before. Just place your guac in an air-tight container, top it with a half-inch of water, cover it, and store it in the fridge until game time. To serve, drain the water, give it a good mix, and go!

Queso Fundido

Overhead shot of Queso Fundido in a cast iron pan with a hand dipping a chip into it.
If you're looking for a smash hit appetizer that's easy to make and feeds loads of people, you definitely need to try this simple recipe for unctuous Queso Fundido.
5 from 6 votes
$10.60 recipe / $1.33 serving Get the Recipe

Queso Fundido – When this dish hits the table, people go MMMmmm. It’s the kind of party appetizer that can be prepared ahead of time and then popped in the oven when guests arrive! Ready in minutes, garnish it with sliced green onion or cilantro leaves and serve! It pairs well with chips and tortillas for dipping and Beth’s Fire Roasted Salsa!

Stromboli

Overhead view of slices of stromboli around a bowl of pizza sauce.
Stromboli is a fun way to change up pizza night. Fill, roll, bake, then slice your pizza for the perfect finger food or appetizer!
4.80 from 24 votes
$6.62 recipe / $0.66 per slice Get the Recipe

Stromboli– You are looking at the best kind of party food: delicious, filling, and handheld! Bonus: you can add whatever ingredients you want, to make both the vegetarians and the meat lovers happy campers. Keep it within your budget by making your own Pizza Dough and Pizza Sauce for dipping!

Homemade Chex Mix

Close up of spicy chex mix on the baking sheet
This Chex Mix is an easy homemade snack mix with just the right combination of salty, crunchy, and spicy flavors.
5 from 5 votes
$3.31 recipe / $0.55 serving Get the Recipe

Spicy Chex Mix – And the winner for Most. Clutch. is this salty crunchy treat! You can throw it together days before a get-together (just try not to eat it, which will be difficult, so I’m warning you now!). Keep things cute and serve the mix in paper cups for guests to help themselves without a whole lot of cleanup on your part.

Hot Corn Dip

Overhead view of several chips dipped into a dish full of hot corn dip
This creamy, cheesy hot corn dip will be the star of the show at your next party, gathering, or BBQ. Easy to double for larger crowds!
4.50 from 10 votes
$5.14 recipe / $0.86 serving Get the Recipe

Hot Corn Dip – This one is a snap to put together and it’s easy to double for larger crowds. It’s also chock full of cheese pulls with loads of crunch from the chips and pops of sweetness from the corn and peppers. Keep this baby warm in a 200°F oven and serve it as guests arrive.

Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

Overhead view of honey mustard wings on a tray with broccoli and a cup of sauce
These simple oven-baked honey mustard chicken wings are deliciously crispy and are coated in sweet and tangy homemade sauce.
4.45 from 9 votes
$8.04 recipe / $4.02 serving Get the Recipe

Honey Mustard Chicken Wings– If you’re looking for an appetizer that’s mostly hands-off, you’ve found it! For the ultimate convenience, make the sauce and the wings a day ahead. Wrap them and refrigerate until it’s go time. Reheat the wings in a 400°F oven for 10-15 minutes and then toss in the sauce.

Loaded Smashed Potatoes

overhead view of loaded smashed potatoes on the baking sheet
These loaded smashed potatoes are boiled until tender and fluffy, baked until golden and crispy, and piled high with toppings!
5 from 7 votes
$4.97 recipe / $0.99 serving Get the Recipe

Loaded Smashed Potatoes-This is one of those recipes that’s so yummy it won’t last long, so make sure to bake a double batch! To keep work to a minimum on the big day, boil and smash them a day ahead of time. Leave them uncovered in your fridge, which will dry them out and create much more crispy crannies when you bake them off.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Sriracha Deviled Eggs - BudgetBytes.com
Hot and smokey, these Sriracha Deviled Eggs are a spicy twist on the party classic.
4.69 from 22 votes
$1.56 recipe / $0.26 serving Get the Recipe

Sriracha Deviled Eggs– Can we talk about The. Hit. of the party!?!?! These deviled eggs are tangy, with a great smoky finish, and are an absolute cinch to put together. Boil the eggs and make the filling up to two days ahead. If you want to get really crazy with it, learn How To Make Bacon In The Oven, chop it into bacon bits, and sprinkle it over the eggs!

Pizza Roll Ups

Forget frozen pizza rolls! These Pizza Roll Ups are the perfect last minute appetizer or indulgent snack on busy days! BudgetBytes.com
Forget frozen pizza rolls! These Pizza Roll Ups are the perfect last minute appetizer or indulgent snack on busy days! 
5 from 6 votes
$3.71 recipe / $0.93 serving Get the Recipe

Pizza Roll Ups– This is the perfect appetizer if you want all of that unctuous pizza flavor with none of the pizza hassles. I love that you can assemble these ahead of time and warm them up in ten minutes flat. PS if you’re looking to get your kids involved in the kitchen, this is the perfect recipe to have them help you with. They will be ALL ABOUT it.

Party Food Ideas

Sometimes you need a little more than a few appetizers to keep friends and family happy, especially if the party’s going to continue for more than a few hours. (Nobody wants a Hangry Auntie. #Trust) You don’t have to spend a lot of money or time in the kitchen to get these crowd-pleasing party foods on the table!

Homemade Chili Recipe

Overhead view of a bowl full of chili with toppings and a spoon in the center.
This is the BEST homemade chili recipe is the ultimate comfort food and is made with simple ingredients like ground beef, beans, and tomatoes.
4.90 from 156 votes
$9.28 recipe / $1.55 serving Get the Recipe

The Best Homemade Chili– UGH. Just looking at that picture makes me want this chili RIGHT NOW. Talk about a crowd-pleaser. Make this baby a day ahead and then just warm it up the day of. Letting chili rest in the fridge overnight gives the flavors time to develop even deeper bonds. Serve with Easy Homemade Cornbread or stuffed into Baked Potatoes.

Sloppy Joes

A sloppy joe on a plate with potato chips.
This sloppy joes recipe is a weeknight dinner classic with juicy ground beef and a tangy homemade sauce. They're kid approved!
4.60 from 15 votes
$10.20 recipe / $2.04 serving Get the Recipe

Sloppy Joes – This party sandwich is a go-to when I want to feed a crowd for less. Make the beef mix a few days ahead and let all those flavors get to know each other better. Then just scoop that unctuous beef onto a bun and cover it with potato chips before sealing the deal with the top bun. #TRUST

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

Side view of a meatball sub on a plate with the baking dish in the background.
These Slow Cooker Meatball Subs are extra tender and flavorful thanks to a low and slow simmer in marinara sauce.
5 from 14 votes
$19.43 recipe / $2.43 each Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Meatball Subs – When I first started working for Budget Btes, Beth made a big batch of these subs. I took 6 of them home and ATE THEM ALL in two days. Truly divine. The pretzel bun sets the whole thing off. Don’t think twice about making these ahead of time. They reheat like a dream!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Close up of one slice of BBQ Chicken Pizza being pulled away from the pie
Get the classic BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe, plus other fun toppings you can add that pair well with BBQ and make your pizza even more flavorful.
5 from 7 votes
$5.43 recipe / $1.36 serving Get the Recipe

BBQ Chicken Pizza – Lie to me and tell me you don’t want that slice RIGHT NOW!! Tangy, with a touch of sweetness from the BBQ sauce and a smoky heat from the jalapeño- this will be a smash hit on your party table. Go for convenience, and serve it on your favorite store-bought crust or thick slices of French bread!

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Sheet pan full of chicken fajitas with rice and tortillas on the side
These easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are a simple hands-off way to get that smoky-sweet flavor of traditional griddle fajitas.
4.95 from 283 votes
$13.90 recipe / $3.48 serving Get the Recipe

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas– These fajitas are the perfect party food choice for when you don’t have a lot of time to prepare. Chop some chicken and veggies, season them, and bake them for about 40 minutes. One of my fave tricks is to turn off the oven, keep the fajitas warm on the bottom rack, and then warm the tortillas on the top rack. DONE!

Chicken Nachos

Overhead shot of sheet pan chicken nachos with sliced jalapeño, avocado, and cilantro.
This is THE BEST chicken nacho recipe! What's not to love about crispy corn chips loaded with succulent chicken breast and melted cheese?
4 from 2 votes
$14.83 recipe / $1.85 serving Get the Recipe

Chicken Nachos – How pretty will this sheet pan overflowing with nachos look on your game day table? Take pics, because it will be gone in minutes. This budget-friendly party food overflows with textures and flavors: creamy, salty, cheesy, spicy, and herbaceous! YUM! We topped our nachos with fresh ingredients but you can go any which way with this truly versatile recipe.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Close up side view of shredded buffalo chicken in the slow cooker with tongs
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is tender, juicy, tangy, and rich all at the same time! Perfect for sandwiches, nachos, salads, pizza, and more.
4.91 from 22 votes
$12.65 recipe / $1.58 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken – WIll you look at that?!?! You can feed 8 people for under $20, INCLUDING buns, with this incredibly tasty recipe. And can we talk about how amazing your house will smell when you’ve had chicken simmering in this tasty sauce? It’s so hands-off, you can keep it warm in the slow cooker and just set some potato buns beside it, so people can serve themselves.

Easy Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker white chicken chili
The slow cooker does all the work with this easy, flavorful, and healthy white chicken chili. This "dump and go" dinner will become a family favorite!
4.78 from 141 votes
$10.23 recipe / $1.71 serving Get the Recipe

Easy Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili – When you don’t have a lot of free time to cook but your guest list is a little out of control, this is the recipe you should turn to. The slow cooker does the bulk of the work and you get all of the credit! Serve this with slices of crusty bread or blue corn tortilla chips for dunking.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Three pulled pork sandwiches with pickles on a wooden cutting board.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork is an easy way to cook the most tender and juicy pork ever. It's great on tacos, sandwiches, burritos and more.
4.45 from 9 votes
$9.48 recipe / $1.19 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork – Did your mouth just water? Cause my mouth just watered looking at those sandwiches stacked high with THE MOST AMAZING pulled pork. This is another one of those recipes that don’t need a lot of attention but deliver insanely delectable results. Pair the pork with your favorite barbecue sauce and add a pickle for acidity.

Pastalaya

Celebrate like you're in Louisiana with this easy, filling, and inexpensive one pot favorite, Pastalaya. It's the shortcut pasta version of Jambalaya! BudgetBytes.com
Celebrate like you’re in Louisiana with this easy, filling, and inexpensive one pot favorite, Pastalaya. It’s the shortcut pasta version of Jambalaya!
4.98 from 47 votes
$7.51 recipe / $1.25 serving Get the Recipe

Pastalaya – Didn’t have time to prepare party food and need to get some on the table fast? This is the recipe you need! Pastalaya is a true crowd-pleaser. (Hello sausage and pasta? That is always a WIN!). Just double the recipe and feed a dozen people in about 45 minutes for about $20!

Vegetarian party Foods

Get ready for all of the high-fives from the veggie lovers in your life! Your guests won’t miss the meat with any of these delicious and easy-to-prepare vegetarian party recipes. Packed full of flavor and texture, they’re the perfect way to add a healthy spin to your party!

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

A stack of spinach and mushroom quesadillas on a wooden cutting board
These Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas are filled with melty, creamy cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and a healthy dose of spinach.
4.89 from 17 votes
$5.73 recipe / $1.15 each Get the Recipe

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas– Did you know you don’t have to make quesadillas one by one!?!? Assemble these beauties in a lightly greased sheet pan and bake them for 6 minutes on each side in a 425°F oven. Slice them in quarters and you have 20 portions in about 30 minutes! Lower the oven temp to 200°F and keep them warm until guests arrive.

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas

Three portobello fajitas on a plate.
Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas are an easy and flavorful vegetarian dinner idea that all cooks on one pan for easy cleanup!
4.82 from 33 votes
$10.81 recipe / $2.70 serving Get the Recipe

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas – I’m all sorts of in love with any recipe that is mostly hands-off, and these vegetarian fajitas more than qualify! You can double this recipe to feed eight of your loved ones in under an hour, and since it’s a one-pan dish, the cleanup couldn’t be easier. Top them with Pico de Gallo for an extra kick of acid!

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Tacos with Lime Crema

These light and refreshing Sweet Potato Tacos are filled with a simple sweet potato and black bean hash, and topped with a tangy lime crema. BudgetBytes.com
These light and refreshing Sweet Potato Tacos are filled with a simple sweet potato and black bean hash, and topped with a tangy lime crema. 
4.89 from 36 votes
$5.14 recipe / $1.29 serving Get the Recipe

Sweet Potato Tacos – These sweet-potato tacos are one of my favorite recipes to lean on when times are… well lean. Topped with tangy cilantro crema, these hearty tacos prove you don’t have to sacrifice flavor just because times are tight! Double the recipe for this delicious party food and serve 8 people for about $10.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili

This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili makes a huge batch, is packed with flavor and nutrients, and can be made for only about 5 dollars! Budgetbytes.com
This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili makes a huge batch, is packed with flavor and nutrients, and can be made for only about 5 dollars! 
4.91 from 94 votes
$4.64 recipe / $0.77 serving Get the Recipe

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili – Talk about the gift that keeps on giving! With 10 minutes of prep time, you can make over a half gallon of this flavorful vegetarian chili for about $5! Put it together in the morning and let the slow cooker work its magic for about 4 hours. Then serve with slices of avocado and cornbread!

Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches

Close up overhead shot of Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches in a tray.
These Vegetarian French Dip Sandwiches are fast, easy, and feature a salty-sweet herb infused vegetarian au jus for dipping. 
4.97 from 77 votes
$6.58 recipe / $1.65 each Get the Recipe

Vegetarian French Dip – This dish is ga-ga gorgeous. I’ve seen it bring meat lovers to their knees, so YOU KNOW the veggie lovers in your life will fall head over heels. Thick slices of portobello mushrooms and tender sauteed onions are layered with sharp, salty provolone and tucked into pillowy toasted French rolls. Make the mushroom and onion filling a day ahead, assemble the sammies, and heat them under the broiler in minutes!

BBQ Bean Sliders

Side view of a BBQ Bean Slider on a plate with some sweet potato fries
These BBQ Bean Sliders topped with a homemade creamy coleslaw are a quick dinner fix when you're craving BBQ and don't have time for slow cooking meat!
4.85 from 32 votes
$5.85 recipe / $1.46 serving Get the Recipe

BBQ Bean Sliders – When you’re crunched for time but still want to deliver a vegetarian party food recipe that’s a heavy hitter- make these tasty sliders! You can have them on the table in about 30 minutes and feed up to 6 people. Serve them with chips or (if you have the time) make Spicy Sweet Potato Fries to pair them with.

BBQ Tofu Sliders

BBQ Tofu Sliders are an easy and inexpensive alternative to pulled meat sandwiches. With a simple and uncomplicated ingredient list, this is a tofu dish anyone can master! Budgetbytes.com
BBQ Tofu Sliders are an easy and inexpensive alternative to pulled meat sandwiches. With a simple and uncomplicated ingredient list, this is a tofu dish anyone can master!
4.81 from 51 votes
$4.33 recipe / $1.44 serving Get the Recipe

BBQ Tofu Sliders – If you’re a tofu fan, you should def try this recipe. And if you’re not a tofu fan- you should try it too! It’s that good plus it comes together really fast. Flavor the tofu with your favorite sweet and smoky BBQ sauce and serve these tangy sliders with Classic Three Bean Salad.

Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos

For the perfect Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos, layer your chips and toppings for the perfect chip-to-topping ratio. BudgetBytes.com
For the perfect Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos, layer your chips and toppings for the perfect chip-to-topping ratio. The ultimate comfort food! 
4.95 from 34 votes
$6.36 recipe / $1.59 serving Get the Recipe

Spicy Baked Black Bean Nachos – These hearty nachos are true crowd-pleasers, vegetarian or not! Made with just a handful of ingedients- you can get these ooey-gooey, salty, crunchy delights on the table in a little over a half hour. Don’t forget to kick them up 100 notches with the addition of tart Pickled Red Onions!

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