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Unless you hire a catering service, cooking for a large group of hungry people could be a logistical nightmare. Thankfully, there is one way to satisfy every one of yor guests’ palates: finger food. We compiled a list of the 10 best easy finger food recipes for a crowd to help you create an amazing and tasty party experience.

What Is Finger Food?

Unlike the usual food eaten using utensils, finger food is eaten by hand. Easy finger food recipes for a crowd are usually served in bite sizes. Some finger food may come skewered with toothpicks or in small cups. However, these are still considered finger food. Finger food is usually savory and filling so desserts and soups do not count.

Eastern Finger Food

Finger foods exist in all cultures. In the Far East, it is not unusual to see several side dishes on the table. Dim sumis perhaps the most famous example of Chinese finger food. From India comes naan flatbread and samosas. From the Arab world we get shawarma, which is thinly sliced cuts of meat rolled into a flatbread. Southeast Asian countries have satay (Indonesia), fried spring rolls (Philippines) and banana-leaf chicken (Thailand).

Western Finger Food

In the West, especially in the formal dining context, finger food is often served as appetizers such as pies, meat rolls, crackers, cheese sticks, and fritters. Elsewhere, finger food is also served as snacks, side dishes, or main courses, like the  Spanish merienda, which are light meals eaten between proper meals. Finger food eaten as main courses are tapas, tacos, meat balls, and quiche.

No country defines finger food more than the United States. From American diners came hotdogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, chicken wings, chips-and-dip, and french fries. American immigrants also brought cold cuts (English), briskets (Jewish), and pizza (Italians). Easy finger food recipes for a crowd are also popular in America because of its entertainment culture (sports, tailgate parties, concerts). The convenience of finger food makes it the ideal hunger-buster for groups.

Street Food Influences

Street food is the most popular finger food for obvious reasons. Street food is eaten fast and on-the-spot. The casual setting also calls for every diner to take their time and savor every tasty morsel between their fingers.

Street food is sold along roads and places where the public hang out, such as near parks and temples. In East Asia, the Chinese have dim sum and the Japanese have takoyaki (squid balls) and yakitori(grilled chicken). South East Asian countries like the Philippines have all kinds of street food like lumpia(fried spring rolls), squid balls, fish balls, and grilled entrails.

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What Are the Benefits of Finger Food?

Cheap and Easy to Make

Easy finger food recipes for a crowd don’t require a lot of ingredients and preparations and thus, require little cost. They also require little-to-no cooking.

Light on the Stomach

Easy finger food recipes for a crowd are savory but they are not overly filling. Finger foods are good for people who are on a diet, or want to have a quick bite or eat on the go.

Whets the Appetite

Finger foods are a good way to whet your guests’ appetites. This is why easy finger food recipes for a crowd are often served at parties, weddings and galas before the main course.

Casual and Convenient

Because they are eaten with the hands, finger foods are best enjoyed in casual settings like tailgate parties, birthday celebrations, and movie nights. They require little preparation so more time can be spent enjoying each other’s company.

Can Feed a Big Group

Because they are easy to prepare and require only small servings, finger foods are best for feeding a group. Many easy finger food recipes for a crowd can be found in party books and websites.

10 Easy Finger Food Recipes for a Crowd

Here are 10 easy finger food recipes for a crowd which are delicious, fun and inexpensive to make!

1. Mascarpone Jalapeno Poppers

Mascarpone Jalapeno Poppers

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Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the jalapeno halves (cut side up). Bake for 15 minutes. In a bowl, combine cheese, sesame seeds and garlic. Fill each jalapeno with the cream mixture and return to the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes. Served topped with chosen toppings.

  • 12-18 pcs jalapeno peppers, halved
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 slices bacon, fried
  • 1 white onion, diced and caramelized
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon, flaked

2. Cream Cheese Crackers

 Cream Cheese Crackers

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Mix lemon juice, cream cheese and chives in a bowl. Put a small mound of mixture on a cracker. Top with salmon, pickles, or tuna flakes. Serve in a flat tray.

  • 24 to 36 pcs, wheat crackers
  • 2 cups cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chives, chopped
  • 1 can tuna flakes
  • 2 oz smoked salmon
  • 1 jar pickles, sliced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

3. Manchego Cheese with Chorizo on Tortas

 Manchego Cheese with Chorizo on Tortas

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Cut the sandwich rounds into 32 circles using a cookie cutter. Place bread on a baking pan then top with the Manchego cheese. Broil in the oven until cheese melts. Top with 1 slice of chorizo and parsley leaf.

  • 3  whole-wheat sandwich rounds
  • 2 oz Manchego cheese, shaved
  • 4 oz Spanish chorizo, cut into 32 slices
  • 1/3 cup parsley leaves

4. Garlic-Parmesan Potato Bites with Sour Cream

Garlic-Parmesan Potato Bites with Sour Cream

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Preheat oven to 450° F. Coat potatoes with oil and place on a baking sheet (cut side down). Bake for 20 minutes then turn over, bake for another 10 minutes. Take out of the oven to cool down. Using a spoon, cut away a small portion in the middle of the potatoes.

In a bowl, mix sour cream, chives, butter, capers, and lemon juice. Fill each potato with the mixture. Sprinkle with grated cheese and return to oven. Bake for another 2 minutes or until cheese turns golden brown.

  • 12  small red potatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chives, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp capers, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

5. Fried Cheese Sticks

Fried Cheese Sticks

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Wrap each stick with the rice paper wrapper. After preparing the sticks, preheat a wok or frying pan with cooking oil. Dip each stick into the melted butter before deep frying. Serve with tartar sauce, sour cream or honey-mustard sauce.

  • 36 pieces rice paper wrapper
  • cheddar cheese, cut into 2-inch sticks
  • 1 bar melted butter
  • cooking oil

6. Bacon-Parsley Tomato Bites

Bacon-Parsley Tomato Bites

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Combine all ingredients (except tomatoes) in a bowl. Toss and set aside. Place a mixture on top of the sliced tomatoes. Serve chilled.

7. Lemon and Shrimp Cocktail

Mix horseradish sauce, ketchup and salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside. In a pot, place the remaining ingredients and add 3 cups of water. Put the shrimps and simmer until pink. Put sauce on a martini glass. Place 3 pieces of shrimp and serve chilled.

  • 36 pieces shrimps, de-veined and shelled (leave tail on)
  • 1 jar horseradish sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon zest
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorn

8. Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

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Mix and match the fruits and cheese and skewer them with sticks. Serve with a honey or yogurt dip.

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups strawberries, halved
  • 1-1/2 cups green grapes
  • 8 ounces cubed cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • bamboo/ plastic skewers

9. Grilled Chicken Liver, Gizzard and Intestines on Sticks

Grilled Chicken Liver, Gizzard and Intestines on Sticks

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Clean the chicken innards thoroughly. Slice the gizzard and liver into small pieces. Cut the intestines into 12-inch long pieces. In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients to create a marinade. Place the chicken innards and marinate for one whole day.

Soak the bamboo sticks in water. Skewer the individual innards with sticks. Grill in a charcoal grill until both sides are golden crispy. Serve with cold beer.

  • 1 kilo chicken gizzard
  • 1 kilo chicken liver
  • 1 kilo chicken intestines
  • 3 cups soy sauce
  • 3 cups lemon juice
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • bamboo sticks

10. Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers

Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove top and core of the pepper. Roast in the oven until toasty. In a pot, cook beef and onion until brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 2 minutes. Stuff the pepper with beef mixture. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

  • 5 large bell peppers 
  • 1 lb lean beef, ground
  • 2 tbsp onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper

Conclusion

There you have it! 10 easy finger food recipes for a crowd. We chose recipes from all over the world to give you the best ones you can serve as snacks, appetizers, or as a main course. Happy eating!

Featured Image via Pixabay

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