25 Finger Foods for Game Day Entertaining and Beyond

By   

View as:

Photo credit: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock

PARTY FAVORITES

Party hosts should always be prepared with a menu of easy-to-eat finger foods, whether it's to feed a crowd during the big game, Academy Awards, Grammys, or some other cause for celebration. These 25 satisfying dishes are simple and cheap to make, ranging in price from 50 cents a serving for popcorn or veggie sushi to $4 a serving for sliders and ribs. Mix and match to come up with an ideal party menu without going over budget.


Photo credit: istetiana/shutterstock

CRUDITÉ AND DIP

Carrots and celery are inexpensive staples at grocery stores year-round. Combine with a flavorful, cheap, and quick onion and sour cream dip that beats pre-made mixes. A recipe from from The New York Times also works well with any other veggie found on sale.
Photo credit: AnjelikaGr/shutterstock

PARTY MIX

Bags of pre-made party mix come with a ton of sodium, plus an extra cost for convenience. Serve more mix for less money with a recipe suggested by Chex -- or go freestyle.

Photo credit: Timolina/shutterstock

CHIPS AND SALSA

Buy chips and salsa in bulk to cut costs on this universally loved snack, or consider making fresh and cheap salsa in a food processor.

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

POPCORN

Popcorn, salty and sometimes sweet, is the perfect crunchy food to eat by the handful while watching the big game. Pop super-inexpensive corn the morning of a party and dust with a few different flavors suggested on Food.com.

Photo credit: wishmewell95/flickr.com

BEAN DIP

Beans are cheap and filling, which makes this dip a good option for large, hungry crowds. A classic seven-layer bean dip recipe from McCormick can be adapted to what's on hand and customized to taste. It doesn't even have to be seven layers -- a dish of flavorful refried beans with some hot sauce on top does the trick.

Photo credit: cobraphotography/shutterstock

SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP

Using frozen spinach and artichokes makes a Food Network recipe from Alton Brown simple and cost-effective. Substitute more spinach and skip the artichokes, or vice versa. The cream-cheese base makes a tangy flavored dish that always disappears fast.

Photo credit: alexpro9500/shutterstock

QUESO DIP

The Cookie Rookie blog has a dangerously easy slow-cooker recipe for queso that uses just four ingredients. A large batch makes for an instant party hit that's much cheaper than any takeout option.

Photo credit: Foodio/shutterstock

GUACAMOLE

Guacamole is a favorite at parties, and one of the most nutritious options in a sea of fried and fatty foods. Using larger Dominican avocados, which are a brighter green and have smoother skin than Mexican Hass avocados, cuts costs. Or shop an ethnic market for good prices on Hass avocados a few days before the guac is needed, ensuring they have time to ripen for use in a recipe posted on Allrecipes.

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

KALE CHIPS

Crunchy chips made from kale are all the rage, and just as satisfying as potato chips. Buying them from the store is costly and often means getting a bag full of preservatives. Follow a Food Network recipe from Melissa Darabian to bake easy and inexpensive kale chips at home.


Photo credit: MSPhotographic/shutterstock

CHEESE AND CRACKER PLATTER

This classic party platter has stuck around for a reason: It satisfies with minimal effort and cost. A few types of cheese, such as a block of cheddar, a small wheel of queso fresco, and a wedge of brie, along with a box of crackers makes an easy snack centerpiece at any party.
Photo credit: withGod/shutterstock

VEGGIE SUSHI

Raw fish can be expensive, intimidating, and dangerous to work with at home, but veggie sushi is fun and easy to make, and costs just pennies per serving. Basic instructions posted on Allrecipes are a good place to start. Make custom specialty rolls and dipping sauces to create a sushi platter as impressive as it is inexpensive.

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

PIGS IN A BLANKET

This classic party recipe from Pillsbury is quick and easy to prepare with two ingredients: cocktail weiners and crescent rolls. To keep costs extra low, buy ingredients in bulk from wholesale club stores such as Costco when making large batches.

Photo credit: Timolina/shutterstock

QUESADILLAS

Quesadillas are a classic game-watching snack and can be made with many different flavor combinations. A recipe for a classic cheese quesadilla posted on Brit + Co's Snapguide is made in the oven to minimize hassle and cleanup. Serve with toppings and fillings of your choice.

Photo credit: istetiana/shutterstock

CHICKEN MEATBALLS

Chicken is less expensive than red meats typically used to make meatballs, and makes for a lighter snack. A recipe from the blog Chef Savvy uses a slow cooker to make the dish easy. This is an easy make-ahead option that can be kept warm until guests arrive.

Photo credit: Igor Dutina/shutterstock

MINI QUICHE

Quiche is one of the least expensive dishes to make for a crowd, and baking it in mini-muffin tins yields perfectly bite-size, crustless versions. A recipe from the blog Add a Pinch covers the basics, but feel free to customize with different fillings.


Photo credit: msheldrake/shutterstock

GRILLED CHEESE

A plate of fresh grilled cheese sandwiches cut into quarters will disappear quickly at any party. This easy-to-eat finger food can be made simply with bread and a few slices of cheese, or spruced up with fillings from bacon to apple to onion jam.
Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

MACARONI AND CHEESE BITES

People have long searched for a way to made mac and cheese a finger food. Rolling it into balls and deep-frying is one option, but those who prefer a cheaper, hassle-free option can follow a recipe from the blog Chef in Training for mac and cheese "cupcakes" -- small, handheld portions baked in a muffin pan.

Photo credit: Tatiana Volgutova/shutterstock

WINGS

You can hardly have a Super Bowl party without wings, but ordering out adds up. A simple recipe for baked chicken wings from Bon Appétit makes crispy and tangy wings without fatty frying, and starting with bulk frozen wings is cheap enough to serve guests as many as they want.

Photo credit: Robyn Mackenzie/shutterstock

CHICKEN SATAY SKEWERS

Made from inexpensive chicken, easy dipping skewers from the food blog Damn Delicious are a light option that is full of flavor. Marinating the chicken overnight makes it tender and flavorful, so it's not a step to skip, but making the sauce and even grilling can be done ahead of time; just heat up the skewers before serving.

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

FLATBREAD PIZZAS

Rather than order pricey pizza delivery, make pizzas from flatbreads and a variety of toppings. A recipe for classic Margherita from the blog Let the Baking Begin is a good place to start. Set out bowls of toppings and let people make their own customized pizza.

Photo credit: Courtesy of pacificgrill

SAUSAGE AND PEPPER SLIDERS

Hearty mini sandwiches are impressive but can be easy to pull off. A sausage and pepper slider recipe from Taste of Home cuts down on cost by using inexpensive Italian sausage as the meat with more filler from onions and peppers. Cooked in a large batch and assembled on small buns, the process is quick and easy.

Photo credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock

RIBS

Making ribs in the oven is an easy process that fills a kitchen with delicious and tempting aromas. With simple instructions posted on Allrecipes, baby back ribs take just over four hours make. They can be prepared easily ahead of time and kept warm in a low-heat oven. Buy ribs in bulk from a wholesale club for quality meat at low prices and feast on ribs all weekend long.

Photo credit: istetiana/shutterstock

CUPCAKES

A simple cupcake adds the right amount of indulgence to a party centered on finger foods. A recipe posted on Food.com can make regular cupcakes or minis that are easy to pop in your mouth in one bite. Decorate them for the event to be extra festive.

Photo credit: ForeverLee/shutterstock

COOKIES

Instructions for a basic sugar cookie posted on Allrecipes make a cheap and easy dessert that can be turned into themed, shaped goodies for any occasion. For instance, use a football-shaped cookie cutter and decorate cookies with icing laces for a Super Bowl party.

Photo credit: Tatiana Volgutova/shutterstock

FROZEN CHOCOLATE-COVERED BANANAS

Ice cream for a crowd can be messy, but make-ahead, chocolate-covered banana bites are a tasty and cheap treat that will be enjoyed just as much. Epicurious has instructions.