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 your 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 sum is 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, meatballs, 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 hangs 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 a 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 is delicious, fun and inexpensive to make!
1. Mascarpone Jalapeno Poppers
- 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
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
- 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
Mix lemon juice, cream cheese and chives in a bowl. Put a small mound of the mixture on a cracker. Top with salmon, pickles, or tuna flakes. Serve in a flat tray.
3. Manchego Cheese with Chorizo on Tortas
- 3 whole-wheat sandwich rounds
- 2 oz Manchego cheese, shaved
- 4 oz Spanish chorizo, cut into 32 slices
- 1/3 cup parsley leaves
Cut the sandwich rounds into 32 circles using a cookie cutter. Place bread on a baking pan then tops 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
- 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
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
- 36 pieces of rice paper wrapper
- cheddar cheese, cut into 2-inch sticks
- 1 bar melted butter
- cooking oil
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
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp chives, chopped
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 3 cups bacon, fried and crumbled
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
- 36 pieces shrimps, deveined and shelled (leave the 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
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.
8. Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
- 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
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
- 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 of sugar
- 1/2 cup chili powder
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- salt and pepper
- bamboo 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 a cold beer.
10. Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 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
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the 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.
Is There a Need for a High Protein Finger Foods?
Understanding the importance of protein to the health and well-being of the human body relates to how the body uses the protein we give it. Proteins transport lipids, including natural oils, steroids, and waxes, vitamins, minerals and oxygen throughout our bodies. When protein is present in the blood (hemoglobin), it carries the oxygen from the lungs and supplies the tissues of the body with air. Other proteins function as pumps inside the membranes of cells, allowing various substances to travel across cell membranes.
Only certain proteins can transfer specific substances as not every protein can move identical or similar compounds. Proteins play an integral role in regulating fluid composition and balance in the body as they prevent the body from retaining excessive fluid. This critical balancing of materials is critical for nerve transmissions and muscle contractions. When there is an imbalance, vital functions of the body, such as heart rhythm, muscle function, and kidney health, may falter.
How Does Protein Keep You Healthy?
Without antibodies (the proteins essential for immunity), life-threatening viruses and bacteria called antigens would invade the body causing sickness, disease and death. The protein-fueled antibodies destroy harmful intruders, protecting the body via the immune system. Proteins also help the body function by existing as hormones. Hormones travel through the bloodstream regulating specific body processes in specific parts of the body. For example, protein acting as a hormone may trigger the release of insulin in response to fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Proteins in the bloodstream keep you healthy by clotting blood and helping us see. At the rear of the eyeball is the retina, a layer of photosensitive cells that respond to light. These photoreceptor cells contain photopigment, light-sensitive molecules that comprise a protein called opsin and a cofactor that help provide vision. They help proteins in regulating the acid-base balance in our bodies by functioning as buffers.
How to Choose the Best High Protein Foods
The best high protein foods for one person may not be optimal for someone else. The right foods depend on who you are, what health issues you have, your age and your health goals.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics state that individuals taking part in bodybuilding require 1.4 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram, or about 0.63 to 0.77 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day and that 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram is needed to build muscle mass. The reason a bodybuilder’s percent of total calories from protein may be like a nonathlete but protein requirements per pound of body weight are higher is due to their consuming more calories than those who don’t exercise. Note: the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that eating over 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight provides no additional health benefits when trying to build muscle.
The best sources of protein for weight loss are the ones that also have very little fat. If your choice of high protein foods also has high amounts of fat, make sure it’s the good kind: monounsaturated fats. The best protein sources for anyone interested in losing weight are:
- Skinless white chicken
- Lean beef
Fish is a rich source of high-quality protein for everyone, including breastfeeding mothers. Fish, such as canned sardines consumed whole with bones, are also a great source of calcium. Fish abundant in DHA and omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Black Cod
Most kids love beans! Serve your children tacos made with refried or black beans. The Institute of Medicine provides general protein requirements for children and adults based on their total daily calorie intake. The recommended amount of protein for kids is 34 grams per day.
Dietary protein is important for seniors. It aids cell repair and nurtures a healthy immune system. Elderly people usually feel full after consuming less food, so they are advised to consume nutrient-dense foods, including up to three servings of high-protein foods totaling their daily need of 45 to 55 grams per day.
High-Protein Finger Foods for All!
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!
The human body is made up of approximately 17% protein. Except for water, protein contributes to most of the leaner tissue in people. This means high protein foods are an essential dietary requirement, supplying the body with nitrogen. Consuming nitrogen-rich foods is important as the body uses it to reformulate proteins. This is necessary because unlike carbohydrates and fats, the body doesn’t store protein and has no reserves to tap into when it requires a fresh supply. High protein foods are important for a nutritious, well-balanced diet preventing bodily functions and processes from slowing down and keeping blood vessels and vital organs, such as the heart and liver, from decreasing in size.
We find proteins in every cell of the body, making it possible for bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments to grow. But, balancing the amount of protein in your diet matters as consuming an abundance of high protein foods will not increase protein synthesis and/or growth. As the body manufactures new protein, it is constantly working to sustain and maintain the growth of new cells as it replaces the dead and damaged cells. One example is how hair and fingernails are always growing and being replaced.