Events

Popular Party Food Ideas For Teenagers

Instacart

Instacart

Last Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Finding food for a teen’s party can be quite challenging, as they rarely have the patience for fussy food, especially at a party! The best kind of food is one they can grab quickly while dancing, playing games, and talking to their friends.

This article will list out some of the most popular foods for a teenager’s party, whether it is for a birthday party or a graduation shindig!

How to calculate how much food to serve for a teenage party

There is no magic formula to calculate the amount of food you should serve at a teen party. Here are a few basic tips that can help:

  • Determine the budget and the food you want to serve. Is it going to be a hearty meal with some side dishes or mainly finger foods?
  • Look at the guest list and determine how many teenagers are attending.
  • Decide how many appetizers you want to serve. The more options you have, the less of each you need to serve.
  • Decrease the number of appetizers if there is a main meal with all the trimmings.
  • Use online food calculators to get some accurate numbers for the amount of food to serve.

Appetizers for a teenage party

Offering a buffet of finger food to your teens is a great hit with them, as they can simply grab and go! The trick is to keep it simple and low maintenance. With wholesome appetizers, teenagers don’t need a main meal:

1. Mini burgers

mini hamburgers on a table.

Serve bite-sized burgers as finger food with classic hamburgers or veggie burgers. Set up condiments like mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, and barbecue sauce, as well as toppings like onions and pickles.

2. Bite-sized chicken

Offer chicken as bite-sized finger foods, such as chicken wings with a variety of dips. Use boneless chicken to cook for fuss-free eating. Make other chicken recipes like mini chicken and waffles bites or chicken meatballs served individually. Or cut up chicken into chunks and serve with a selection of dressings.

3. Skewered foods

Threading bite-sized food through skewers is a great way to entertain teens, including putting chicken fingers on a skewer. Put together a selection of meats with veggies and cheeses to create a variety of colorful skewered foods. Serve with dips and sauces.

3. Dips

Whip up a few tasty dips and serve with breadsticks, pretzels, or chips. Or create individual veggie and dip cups to make it more fun. Some popular dips to serve include salsa, pizza dip, spinach and artichoke dip, sweet chili pickle dip, guacamole, hummus, and a bacon dip.

For those with a sweet tooth, serve fruits with a marshmallow fluff dip or a chocolate dip.

5. Snack food

If you’re looking for cheap foods for a teenager’s party, you can’t go wrong with snacks like pretzels, chips, and snack mixes. Buy pre-packaged ones from the store or make your own mixes like a trail mix, or a chocolate pretzel snack mix, or a classic Chex party mix.

6. Mini pizzas

Homemade Pepperoni Mini Pizza Bagels with Basil

Instead of a large pizza cut into slices, why not serve up a variety of mini pizzas? You can even top miniature bagels with pizza sauce and some toppings to make bagel pizzas. Some other recipes to try are muffin pizzas, pizza dippers, and pizza cupcakes (made with wonton wrappers).

7. Fruit and vegetable platter

Give teenagers a healthy snack with cut-up fruits and vegetables. It is easy to make and serve with a variety of dips. Arrange carrot sticks, sliced cucumber, celery sticks, and cherry tomatoes in a chip and dip platter or on a serving board, or serve skewers of a variety of fruits like pineapple, watermelon, grapes, and strawberries.

8. Stuffed potatoes

Instead of French fries, make a batch of potato recipes such as potato skins topped with bacon, sour cream, and chives. Create a potato bar with various toppings options for affordable party food, from meats and veggies to sauces, dips, and other condiments. Serve a big pot of chili to take the potato bar to the next level.

9. Deviled eggs

These are easy to make and are healthy. You can make deviled eggs two days in advance and assemble them on the day of the party with cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoning. Dress up deviled eggs with bacon, pulled pork, crushed potato chips, or other toppings to give these eggs a festive look.

10. Mozzarella cheese sticks

Teens love mozzarella cheese sticks as much as chicken wings and nachos. Buy these from the store and oven cook them before serving with marinara sauce or other dipping sauces. Or make cheese sticks at home using store-bought cheese strings.

Main meals for a teenage party

For a sit-down dinner party or a dinner buffet, offer a variation of the fast foods your teens love. Serve with an easy salad and a variety of bread, and your teenagers are happy.

Here are a few dinner ideas for a teen’s party:

1. Pasta

Cook a pasta dish with a simple tomato sauce or use store-bought pasta sauce. Teens love a cheesy sauce, and Fettuccine Alfredo is an excellent recipe for this.

For a fancier pasta dish, cook a pasta bake or a classic lasagna. Or buy some cheese tortellini to serve with a pasta sauce. You also can’t go wrong with a traditional Spaghetti Bolognese or meatballs with pasta.

2. Hot dogs

cropped view of man and woman holding two tasty hot dogs in paper on blue

Serve as a fun sit-down dinner or set up a hot dog bar so teenagers can easily grab a hot dog in a bun. Serve with various hot dog toppings like diced onions, chili, sweet pickle relish, and coleslaw. Dish out some baked beans and corn-on-cob on the side.

3. Tacos

Set up a taco bar so teens can make their own tacos with their favorite fillings. Provide a variety of hard- and soft-shell tacos along with guacamole, salsa, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. Make sure you also provide vegetarian options.

4. Quesadillas

Another dish popular with teens is quesadillas, which are super easy to make. Use different fillings, whether meat or vegetarian, including seafood and egg. Serve with a chipotle relish. Or mango salsa, or with classic guacamole.

Enchiladas, burritos, and nachos are also some Latin-inspired dishes that are easy to make, and teenagers love them!

5. Sandwiches

Make a variety of sandwiches in meat and vegetarian options. A classic club sandwich is a popular option, or make grilled chicken or ham and cheese sandwiches.

Mini sandwiches are also an excellent addition to the finger food menu.

6. Meatballs

Crockpot meatballs are easy to make, too. Make the classic Italian version or try some other recipes as Vietnamese meatballs served with noodles or rice. For quick and easy meatball meals, use store-bought meatballs.

7. Roast Chicken

Simply roast chicken pieces in the oven. Use breast meat or chicken thighs to create simple recipes like lemon chicken or Portuguese-style chicken in Cajun seasoning, or keep it simple with a classic roast chicken recipe.

8. Casserole

Keto ground beef enchiladas casserole

Make a casserole or two and serve. There are plenty of easy recipes to try that teens love, such as cheesy chicken enchiladas, sloppy joe casserole, or Texan ranch casserole. Make ahead and in bulk.

9. Tuna Melt

With the right mix of melted cheese, tuna, and some crunchy veggies like red peppers, scallions, or celery, you have a meal that teens will gobble up quickly. Make tuna melt with French bread, sliders, or in a wrap.

10. Salad

Don’t forget to serve a salad with the dinner menu. Try an easy green salad or whip up something more exciting, like a pasta salad, a noodle salad, or a potato salad. This is an easy way to serve some veggies to the teens and is a refreshing addition to the main meal.

Keep hungry teens happy

What teenagers really want for party food is a combination of some of their childhood food packaged in an adult menu. With some of these food ideas, teenagers won’t go hungry at all. The best part? These recipes are quick to make, with ingredients easily available via Instacart!

Instacart

Instacart

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.

Most Recent in Events

20 Thoughtful Housewarming Gift Basket Ideas for Anyone

Events

20 Thoughtful Housewarming Gift Basket Ideas for Anyone

Moving into a new home is a major milestone. Finding the perfect gift is a great way to help new homeowners celebrate while also showing just how much you care. If you’re stumped about what…...

Jan 19, 2022
20 Fun Food Decoration Ideas & How Make Food Look Pretty

Events

20 Fun Food Decoration Ideas & How Make Food Look Pretty

Have you ever noticed how beautifully presented food somehow seems to taste better? It's not in your head! Visual cues actually do impact the way we perceive food—including how appetizing it tastes.  Whether you want…...

Jan 13, 2022
20 Inspiring Wedding Food Ideas

Events

20 Inspiring Wedding Food Ideas

Are you stuck trying to come up with wedding food ideas to put on your wedding menus? Finding wedding food options that will please all your guests can be tricky and one of the more…...

Jan 12, 2022