Easy Finger Food Recipes to Make Ahead: Perfect for Any Occasion!

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If you need easy and delicious finger food ideas for an upcoming Derby Day party or Mother’s Day celebration – think stuffed mushrooms, cheddar cheese wafers, cranberry brie bites, chicken wings, puff pastry swirls – this curated roundup of the best finger foods will have your guests asking you for the recipes! From crispy five-ingredient zucchini fritters to mouthwatering steak crostini with capers and a homemade horseradish sauce, these hand-held appetizers are no-fail. Make the components of these easy finger food recipes ahead of time and avoid breaking the bank with fancy ingredients or catering orders when you do. Beginner or seasoned, make party food easy on yourself 😉

Brie Bites

Cranberry Brie Bites on a large platter.
Image Credit: Erren Hart for Erren’s Kitchen

Irresistible Brie Bites are the ultimate crowd-pleaser for any gathering! These delectable appetizers feature bite-sized puff pastry parcels generously stuffed with creamy Brie cheese, tangy cranberry sauce, and crispy bacon. Easy to whip up and even easier to devour, they’re guaranteed to vanish as soon as they hit the table. Don’t resist the temptation – treat your guests (and yourself) to this addictive delight!

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GET THIS RECIPE: Cranberry Brie Bites

Steak Tartines with Red Peppers and Horseradish Cream

Small bites of steak on toasted baguette rounds with horseradish sauce.
Image Credit: Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average

Savory Steak Tartines are visually stunning and utterly delicious two-bite handhelds that seem to disappear quick! They feature small slices of toasted baguette adorned with tender beef and zesty horseradish sauce. Their versatility allows them to be enjoyed at room temperature and easy assembly ahead of time ensures a stress-free hosting experience.

GET THIS RECIPE: Steak Tartines

Citrus Shrimp with Louis Sauce

Poached cocktail shrimp with lemons, oranges, and grapefruits on a platter with sauce Louie.
Image Credit: Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average

Citrus Poached Shrimp with Louis Sauce offers a taste of Louisiana you won’t want to miss, even if you’ve never strolled down Bourbon Street! These chilled cocktail shrimp are gently poached in a citrus-infused bath of fresh oranges, grapefruits, pineapples, lemons, and limes, with a lively kick from crushed red pepper flakes. Served with a zesty Louis sauce, this hand-held appetizer promises to transport you to the Big Easy.

GET THIS RECIPE: Citrus Shrimp with Louis Sauce

Feta and Caramelized Onion Tarts

Bite-sized tarts filled with Feta cheese and caramelized onions.
Image Credit: Erren Hart for Erren’s Kitchen

Feta and Caramelized Onion Tarts are creamy, salty feta cheese mixed with sweet onions wrapped up in a buttery pastry crust. These tarts are seriously addictive and a tasty appetizer that’s easy to eat with your hands. The best part? Batch them in bulk if you like because they freeze really well!

GET THIS RECIPE: Feta and Caramelized Onion Tarts

Ricotta Crostini with Peaches and Prosciutto

Peach slices on top of whipped ricotta cheese spread onto a slice of toasted baguette, with prosciutto and a sage leaf.
Image Credit: Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average

Honey-whipped Ricotta Crostini with Peaches and Prosciutto is a light but filling party snack. This mouthwatering creation combines the creamy richness of whipped cheese, the sweetness of seasonal fruit, the savory bite of prosciutto, and a drizzle of honey, all nestled on manageable rounds of crusty toasted baguette. It’s a party in your mouth!

GET THIS RECIPE: Ricotta Crostini with Peaches and Prosciutto

5 Ingredient Southern Fried Zucchini Fritters

Shredded zucchini mixed with batter and fried into crispy fritters with sea salt.
Image Credit: Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average

With just five ingredients, Southern Fried Zucchini Fritters are the perfect blend of sweet, light, and savory, and topped with a sprinkle of Malden Sea salt for maximum flavor. Pair them with an ice-cold Margarita, a chilled glass of wine, or an ice-cold brew for the ultimate snacking experience.

GET THIS RECIPE: 5 Ingredient Southern Fried Zucchini Fritters

Easy Crab Stuffed Mushrooms 

Mushroom caps that are stuffed with peppadew peppers and crab meat.
Image Credit: Erren Hart for Erren’s Kitchen

These Easy Crab Stuffed Mushrooms are an absolutely delicious and elegant appetizer that you can eat with your hands. Trust me, this recipe is a restaurant favorite that you can easily make at home in just 30 minutes! Featuring a delightful combination of fresh or canned crab, lemons, piquante peppers, mayonnaise, chives, and green onions, these stuffed mushrooms are sure to knock your socks off. And the best part? You can make them ahead of time and refrigerate them until ready to bake, making them the perfect choice for entertaining.

GET THIS RECIPE: Easy Crab Stuffed Mushrooms 

Smoked Gouda & Ricotta Fritters 

Hot ricotta cheese and parmesan fritters.
Image Credit: Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average

No proper cocktail party is complete without Smoked Gouda & Ricotta Fritters, crispy bite-sized balls of smoked cheese surrounded by a delicate seasoned coating. Serve these orbs of smoky goodness at room temperature alongside beer or punch. Fried cheese is not only doable, but it ROCKS.

GET THIS RECIPE: Smoked Gouda & Ricotta Fritters

Best EVER Chicken Wings

Crispy chicken wings.
Image Credit: Erren Hart for Erren’s Kitchen

This versatile recipe for the Best EVER Chicken Wings is truly the best you’ll ever taste. Whether you prefer baking them in the oven, air-frying, or grilling, these wings promise to deliver deliciousness year-round. Crispy, sticky, and perfectly balanced between sweet and sour, they are a delight. And the best part? They’re straightforward to prepare – marinate and cook! Whether you’re serving them as a party appetizer or as the main course, these wings are everything delicious about throwing a party!

GET THIS RECIPE: Best EVER Chicken Wings

Chive & Cheese Cocktail Swirls

Puff pastry baked in swirls with Boursin cheese and chives.
Image Credit: Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average

Chive & Cheese Cocktail Swirls are incredibly easy to make appetizers that are perfect for any happy hour or party. This delicious recipe features savory Boursin cheese baked into puff pastry and enhanced with fresh herbs, green onions, and melted cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. You won’t be able to resist these irresistible treats!

GET THIS RECIPE: Chive & Cheese Cocktail Swirls

Southern Pecan Cheddar Wafers

Cheese straw wafers withe cheddar and a single pecan half.
Image Credit: Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average

If you’ve ever heard of or eaten a cheese straw, you will LOVE Pecan Cheddar Wafers! Think sharp cheddar cheese crackers rendezvousing with sweet pecan halves, crispy rice cereal, and a smidge of cayenne pepper. They get all friendly and lovey as dough on a baking sheet, and before you know it, BOOM! Cheddar pecan wafers are that recipe that’s minutes versus hours.

GET THIS RECIPE: Southern Pecan Cheddar Wafers

Get This Large Rattan Serving Tray for Serving These Appetizers!

A large rattan serving tray being held by a lady in a linen dress.
Image Credit: Antique Farmhouse, Inc.

This Rattan Tray is multipurpose and stylish. It can be used to serve all the tasty and delicious appetizers you’re about to whip up! With sturdy handles, it makes serving a breeze and complements any decor.

SHOP NOW: Large Rattan Tray

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