Big Snacks for Big Party

Updated on August 24, 2014
A.J. asks from Norristown, PA
18 answers

I offered to help a friend do the "food" for a big First Friday art opening in a factory full of artist studios. There will be live music and art shows as well as open studios. A local pub will have a beer table, a local cafe will have a coffee table.They promote themselves in the community this way so they set up for free as advertising. But we need some "food" on some long tables and there is no budget to have it restaurant catered or anything. There isn't huge pressure for the food since beer and wine are the main needs and those are covered, but some good treats out on tables would be great. We need a few fun items we can make that will feed biggish crowds. Not pricey time consuming little gourmet snacks that are brought to more intimate parties. It's an art crowd, but not pretentious, so fun and casual OR a bit fancy (if not too pricy and difficult to make).

Do you have any cool big party snack ideas?

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answers from Abilene on

Maybe a variety of cheeses and crackers. You could have a few varieties of hummus or other dips. One thing I saw that I thought was nice was using long pretzel sticks and placing a grape and strawberry on them like a kbob. I'd probably go with cheese, crackers and fresh fruit. SAMs or Costco would have the bulk you're needing for a reasonable price. Also they have lots of bite size appetizers (mini quiche, meatballs, etc) that would be easy to serve to a larger crowd.

Have fun!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would get a few big wedges of nice cheeses set on a cutting board with a a few cheese knives next to plates and flatbread crackers. You can also have grapes/strawberries and nuts. Baked hummus if you want a dip.

Or go to Costco, they usually have a few nice plates of interesting party food.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Denver on

It sounds like you need to consider a few things: keeping the food relatively inexpensive, making sure that the food is easy to eat (no messy bowls, spoons, etc., but foods that people can eat while roaming around), and food that goes well with beer and wine.

So I'd suggest:

Spiced nuts with rosemary: (there are lots of easy spiced nuts recipes online, basically you buy bulk nuts, toss them with a little sugar or honey, some spices like cumin or cayenne pepper, salt, and bake them briefly). The addition of chopped rosemary makes them really different and interesting.

Antipasto or Caprese skewers: little plastic or wooden picks with tomato, mozzarella, and a basil leaf. The tomato can be a cherry tomato half, the mozzarella can be a cube cut from a block of mozzarella rather than a more expensive tiny mozzarella ball. You could add a small slice of ham or salami. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, (and balsamic vinegar if you like).

A simple bread and fruit platter: baguette slices (the bakery dept in the grocery store will slice a baguette for you, for free, and they'll do it in nice even slices in minutes), small crispy bread sticks or long thin ones (usually in the Italian section of the supermarket), simple grapes both green and red

All of those can be made in large quantities, can be eaten on just a small cocktail napkin, and they'll go well with beer and wine.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Cold cut platter, cheese platter, pickle platter, bread or buns, veggie platter and fruit platter.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

One of my friends takes (the flavored ones) Rosemary Triscuts, top it with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese, slice avocado, and top with half cherry tomato. It is so good, and easy to grab and eat.

Also, my grandma used to make a Chex mix but with crispix, nuts, pretzels, butter, Montreal seasoning and worcester sauce. It makes a lasagna size pan of mix in one batch. It is pretty addicting :-)

I'm sure these are both on pinterest, too.

Good luck and have fun!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Set out:
-sliced cheese
-get several 99 cent baguettes & slice thinly. Serve w/turkey, ham, pre-sliced cheese, hot mustard/honey mustard/regular mustard.
-chips & salsa
-mini weiners in bbq sauce in crockpot (easy: dump in together & heat).
Plus you can make a lot fairly inexpensively
-shrimp & cocktail sauce if budget provides.
-you could make one big long sub sandwich & cut it up into little bit size
-a baked lasagna cut up into small squares on plates.
-a big green salad w/everything in it (the good stuff)
-mini carrots, Ranch, celery sticks, olives

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

salty stuff for the beer and cheese for the wine.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Cheese cubes, pepperoni, crackers, fruit, and maybe those little Sammie's on kings Hawaiian rolls.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I am doing an event next week.and we will have a large Cheese platter, with assorted crackers,

Fresh veggie platters (celery, carrots, mushrooms, crisp steamed green beans and cherry tomatoes) with a dip, Spiced nuts, Cheese wafers.

And a giant cake (it is a celebration)

We spoke about Hummus, but we decided we have enough.

Or you could do Tortilla chips, hot sauce, bean dip (made from homemade beans) topped with shredded cheese. A spicy sour cream dip..

To go even less expensive, go to Costco and purchase Popcorn,
Pretzels, Some of the different snack mixes.
I like to put out small cups so people will scoop and not use their hands

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

How about pulled pork? That's easy to make a large amount, and you could get little appetizer/slider-sized buns, so it would feed a lot of people. And I think it would go well with the beer.

Since you get the coffee shop and pub as donors, could you ask a local bakery to do the same, and provide pastries?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I love most of the suggestions you've gotten, but I think I would stay away from anything that could get messy like pulled pork or chips and salsa or bean dip. The event you're talking about sounds more like the type where people would dress up and less like a backyard bbq. I would go for the "neater" suggestions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Several of these

Round sour dough bread loaves

cut in grid pattern, but not all the through to bottom (so still stays together)

Insert 1 lb monterey jack cheese sliced into slots in bread

pour over 1/2 c melted butter and sliced green onions and poppy seeds

Bake at 350 covered in foil for 15 min. then remove foil for last ten min.

Problem is you wouldn't want to serve it ice cold. Guest pull off cubes of bread to serve selves.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

why is 'food' in scare quotes?
is it not going to be real food?
hummus and pitas. fruit plate. cheese and crackers. salsa and chips. mini bagel pizzas. breadsticks. raw veggie with dip.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Make up some soft pretzels and have a variety of pretzel dips available.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Veggie trays
Fruit trays (grapes, strawberries, melon)
Hummus & pita chips
Cheese cubes
Mini cream puffs
Mini chocolate eclairs



answers from Jacksonville on

Fruit, cheeses, and crackers.Hummus and pita chips. Make a big pot of gazpacho and put them in little plastic shot glasses. Veggies and dip. I like the idea of caprese or antipathy skewers as well. Maybe mini quiche. Oh and maybe find a Fresh Market or whole foods- mine does a great goat cheese rolled in blueberries. Spread it on crackers and it is so yummy!



answers from Oklahoma City on

Google Tuxedo Strawberries.

I always use regular fresh strawberries and NOT long stemmed ones.

I dip the white chocolate straight up. It makes an even line across. Then I wipe off the dripping part so it won't pool under the berry while the white chocolate is setting up.

Then I dip the chocolate part with the strawberry on it's side. Then I dip the other side. This makes the V on the front.

I put a tiny bit of chocolate in a bag with a very small tip and make the buttons and draw 2 triangles with the tips together to make the bow tie.

These are the most awesome snacks and super fancy but not too expensive.

Do NOT refrigerate them after making them. They get weird and don't look as nice.

I use vanilla and chocolate almond bark but you could use the Gherdelli's chocolate too.

Here's a picture and instructions but my instructions are complete. You need to cool them between dipping and not make big pools of chocolate under them. A flat bit forming under them is needed so they'll stand up.



answers from Phoenix on

Super easy snack that looks fancy- buy frozen puff pastry and jars of pesto, sundried tomato pesto, and olive tapenade. Spread the puff pastry out on wax paper or another surface that it won't stick to. Spread one of the toppings lightly over the top of the pastry. Starting with the long side of the pastry, roll it towards the middle. Stop when half of the sheet is rolled up. Then do the same thing from the other side, meeting in the middle. It should look like two cylinders next to each other. Slice this roll in about 1/2 inch slices and place flat on a parchment covered (or non-stick) cookie sheet and bake according to the puff pastry package directions, usually about 10 minutes, give or take. Voila, Pesto Palmiers!

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