21 Examples of Easy Party Food for a Crowd



Last Updated: Nov 2, 2021

What is easy party food?

Easy party food refers to quick, simple-to-make foods and snacks. Meal prepping for a large crowd can get expensive, and so it can be more cost-effective to serve inexpensive cold appetizers to a crowd.

You can also choose warm rice dishes or soups—filling meals that are easy to make, easy on the wallet, and satisfying to eat. Or, make hot appetizers for a crowd, such as baked chicken fingers that are easy to cook or warm-up. Be sure to add a variety of sweet and sour flavors to make your party food a crowd-pleasing hit.

Best easy party food for a crowd

The following is a list of easy snacks and meals to make for your next party:

1. Kebabs

Preparing Lamb and Beef Kebab on BBQ Grill

Kebabs are inexpensive and easy to make foods for a crowd. Try grilling some peaches, pork, and green bell peppers, and place on a skewer for a great crowd-pleasing starter.

2. Chili

Another super crowd-pleaser, chili is a go-to food for a big party. You can use ground beef or substitute the meat with beans to reduce costs and make it vegetarian-friendly. Then add crushed tortilla chips and green onion for extra texture and taste.

3. Tacos

Buy some taco shells, and warm them as per their instructions. Then fill your tacos with some grilled mushrooms and tomato. Alternatively, you can use carnitas or some tender pork shoulder as your filling.

4. Simple to make vegetable curry

These are less expensive than meat curries, making them ideal for serving a large crowd. Some great curry variations for a crowd include chickpea curry, aubergine and tomato curry, and sweet potato curry.

5. Soups

Mouth-watering soups for large crowds include minestrone, chunky vegetables, tomato, and butternut soup. Add some croutons to the soup to make it more filling, or offer bread rolls as a side snack.

6. Biryani

Briyani rice with chicken and some veggie

This popular rice dish goes a long way when it comes to feeding a crowd. You will need curried chicken or ground beef, lentils, sliced fried potatoes, and sliced eggs. Garnish this with sprigs of parsley.

7. Baked chicken fingers or strips

These are super easy to put together. Buy some frozen chicken strips or fingers, fry or bake them until lightly crispy, and serve with some deliciously seasoned french fries.

8. Penne pasta dishes

You can do so much with penne pasta if you need to cook for a large crowd. For example, you could make a simple bolognese with cheese or add some creamy white sauce and diced chicken breasts for a tasty, easy meal.

9. Chicken and cheese taquitos

Buy some frozen chicken and cheese taquitos. These are also great to pair with corn on the cob and melted butter.

10. Grilled cheese sandwiches

A simple go-to food for a crowd, grilled cheese sandwiches are scrumptious. All you need is some lightly grilled bread and melted cheese. You can also cut these sandwiches into smaller triangles when feeding a large crowd.

11. BBQ cookouts

Carrying Grilled Steak on a Cooking Pan.

Cookouts are ideal for parties with large crowds. Grill some chicken (or any of your favorite meats and vegetables) and serve with some garlic bread and easy-to-make green tossed salad. Or serve a cookout favorite like potato salad or coleslaw.

12. Hamburgers

Buy some beef patties and hamburger buns to serve a large crowd. You can add some deli cheese slices, ketchup, or mustard as well.

13. Hot dogs

Get your hands on several packages of sausage and hotdog rolls. Grill your sausage before placing them onto your rolls, and add your favorite topping. You don’t have to always opt for ketchup, as there are other equally delicious toppings like onion or sweet pickle relish.

14. Jalapeno cornbread

Buy some premade cornbread mix. Add some grilled, sliced jalapenos to the mixture before baking. Once baked, serve with honey, butter, or sliced cheese.

15. Lentil casserole

Cook some dried lentils as an inexpensive substitute for your casserole meat. Then add some cheese, kidney beans, and peeled tomatoes for a delicious casserole. If you want, you could also replace the lentils with mashed potatoes or squashes.

16. Chicken meatballs on a skewer

Fry some creamy ground chicken meatballs. Place the meatballs on skewers, and serve with egg noodles or some friend cabbage.

17. Pepper and sausage sliders

Buy some red or green bell peppers, sausage, and slider rolls. Grill the peppers and sausage, place on the rolls, and you’re ready to go. You may also add sauces like horseradish or bbq sauce if you prefer.

18. Chocolate dipped bananas with sprinkled nuts

Frozen chocolate dipped banana pops with an assortment of sprinkles, nuts and coconut.

Buy some cooking chocolate and bananas. Melt the chocolate, and dip your peeled bananas in there. Crush some peanuts to drizzle over the chocolate, or sprinkle some crisp rice cereal over the chocolate.

19. Carrot fries

Slice some peeled carrots into a french fry shape, then fry these in a skillet with olive oil, paprika, black pepper, and table salt. You can serve carrot fries on their own or with a tasty dip.

20. Potatoes with avocado

Boil your potatoes with their skins. Slice your potatoes in halves, and add some mashed avocado to it as a topping. You can also garnish this with your favorite herbs.

21. Waffles

This patterned dough or leavened batter is a great crowd-pleaser. You can make your own waffles or buy premade waffle mix. Waffles come in a variety of flavors, and your can garnish it with anything from hazelnut spread to ice cream of your choice.

22. Brownies

Homemade chocolate brownies shot from above

Buy some premade brownie mix. Add in your favorite chocolate, vanilla extract, or chocolate chips with the mixture, and bake. Once baked, cut the brownies into bite-sized squares, and decorate them with some buttercream.

Pleasing a crowd with easy party food

Preparing a party for a crowd can be less overwhelming when you choose easy party foods. It’s convenient and quick to make and can help you save time. Try serving hot and cold appetizers, as well as a selection of snacks. It’s also best to choose sweet and savory party treats, as your guests may have different tastes. If you’re unsure where to start looking for these foods, browse Instacart to find what you need!



Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America, partnering with more than 700 beloved national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to deliver from more than 65,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

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