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.
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
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.
2. Cream Cheese Crackers
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.
3. Manchego Cheese with Chorizo on Tortas
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.
4. Garlic-Parmesan Potato Bites with Sour Cream
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.
5. Fried Cheese Sticks
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.
6. Bacon-Parsley Tomato Bites
Combine all ingredients (except tomatoes) in a bowl. Toss and set aside. Place a mixture on top of the sliced tomatoes. Serve chilled.
8. Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
Mix and match the fruits and cheese and skewer them with sticks. Serve with a honey or yogurt dip.
9. Grilled Chicken Liver, Gizzard and Intestines on Sticks
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.
10. Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers
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.
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