You might be looking to organize your own graduation party or that of a family member now that graduation season approaches.
There are numerous factors to consider when trying to plan a graduation party. For instance, you must decide who to invite, how to invite them (i.e. email invitations, hand-written ones, a Facebook event?), exactly what sort of decor and activities to have, and so on.
And, as you know, food is also one of the most important things to decide on and prepare. While people might not notice the decoration in the room or not bother much about it, the food you will serve is something that everyone will comment on.
Do not stress about it, though, as with these 33 graduation party food ideas you can impress and satisfy everyone’s cravings and needs.
1. Fruit Salad
A fruit salad is another excellent snack to serve at your graduation party. It is always a nice addition to a buffet dinner, lunch, or all-day occasion, and if you plan to serve this type of dish at your graduation party, consider including a fruit salad on your list of meals.
Simply watch this quick video for the best fruit salad recipe or choose one of the following recipe ideas:
2. Charcuterie Platter
We cannot but start with hors d’oeuvres and snack foods that you could always serve to your graduation party guests.
Why not try creating your own charcuterie platter for your graduation party? Don’t stress if this is the first time you’re attempting to make your own platter; this guide will walk you through the entire process.
3. Veggie Or Meat Kabobs
Now what is great about kabobs is how you can give your invitees a variety of choices that can either be meat or veg kabobs. That way, there won’t be a single person at the party who will not be able to enjoy them regardless of their diet.
Check out this Chicken Kabobs too if you love chicken.
4. Fruit Kabobs
Kabobs with fruit? Is this real?
Yes, and it makes an excellent graduation party food idea as they are not only appealing to the eye thanks to their colorful look, but they are also extremely tasty and simple to prepare.
There is no set recipe for this one. You can slice any sort of fruits you want; of course, make sure you go for the fresh ones and those that are in season.
Looking to add some strawberries in October is probably not going to end well. You can always serve them as they are but consider adding some dips on the side (see also ‘33 Simple Dip Recipes Suitable For A Party’). Plain yogurt or some whipped cream are both great ideas!
5. Party Food Rings
When you are throwing a graduation dinner party or serving people a buffet-style menu, party food rings are always a good choice for a snack. Those can be rings like a baked ham and cheese ring, a chili hot dog-style bread ring, or even a garlic chicken alfredo one!
Here’s a video of “9 Mind-Blowing Party Food Rings” that you will definitely want to try and make for your party.
We’re pretty sure you’ve made or ordered pizzas for a party or event before. Even if it isn’t the ritziest alternative we have in this article, the truth is that a great pizza can sometimes top it all.
There are plenty of pizza recipes and endless combinations of toppings, so here’s some of our favorite ones:
7. Veggie Platter
Including a rainbow-looking platter full of vegetables on your buffet will help you satisfy everyone, even the vegan and vegetarian guests who always have to limit themselves to fewer options than meat lovers.
Anyone who says veggies are boring and bland has not yet tasted such kinds of platters. There is really no recipe or any “secret ingredient” that takes a vegetable platter to a whole other level.
8. Potato Salad
Who doesn’t love potato salads? They are such a simple yet delicious dish to make. Regardless of whether we’re used to having it as a meal or as a side dish at home, a potato salad can never be bad.
This Old-Fashioned Potato Salad has some celery to it too, and it’s just as tasty as you imagine it to be. For some uniqueness, try this sweet potato salad or this one with peas and pancetta.
For those interested in a fancier graduation party, sushi (see also our favorite vegetarian sushi recipes) is probably the best option. Easy to snack on without getting stains all over your dress and tuxedos, some small-sized maki rolls or alaska rolls can be a game-changer.
For extra color, try this Rainbow Roll Sushi recipe!
10. Savory Muffins (Or Cupcakes)
We all grew up eating muffins, but we were probably all for the sweet ones. However, savory muffins have become very famous over the past decades, and it seems like everyone’s loving them.
The good thing with savory muffins is that there are plenty of ingredient combinations you can try. You can choose to make some with ham and cheese, others with Buffalo chicken, and others that will be vegetarian only.
11. Tortilla Pinwheels
Bite-sized and easy to make, tortilla pinwheels (see also ‘20 Simple Pinwheel Recipes‘) are another graduation food idea on this list that will not disappoint. All you need to make them is some tortillas and the ingredients of your choice to fill them.
Here’s the recipe for the easy cream cheese pinwheels. You can also try these Greek style pinwheels or these turkey club tortilla pinwheels.
12. Garlic Bread With Pizza Dip
I mean, if pizza looks, smells, and tastes delicious, think of what a pizza dip would be like. Served in a large bowl, warm or cold, a pizza marinara can drive everyone crazy… and in a good way!
You can bake garlic bread baguettes or go for small, round garlic bread bites that each person can snack on. We recommend you try this recipe for some fluffy and oh-so-garlicky bread!
13. Pasta Salad
Don’t just think of fusilli pasta when you hear the term “pasta salad”!
Pasta salads can be made with orzo, macaroni, bow tie pasta, and any other kind of pasta you want. As for the rest of the ingredients, there’s honestly no stopping.
Feel free to use your imagination or try some of the recipes we have here for you: Special Sesame Chicken Salad, Bacon Macaroni Salad, Farmers Market Orzo Salad.
Tacos are another safe choice for your party as there are plenty of combinations you can make when it comes to the ingredients in them.
Regardless of whether you make them on your own or choose to order them from a Mexican place (see also ‘27 Easy And Delicious Mexican Appetizers!‘), go for both meaty and veggie options.
There are numerous great taco recipes available, but we recommend this one, which will teach you how to make delicious tacos with two different toppings.
15. Sweet Cupcakes
If you decide to go for the savory cupcakes, then you should definitely do some sweet ones as a dessert option too.
From lemon cupcakes to chocolate chip ones and from simple vanilla ones to orange or blueberry-filled cupcakes, it will be really hard for you to choose what to make.
This is great as you can play with flavors and ingredients and change up the icing on top to add some more flavor. So, if you want some lemon cupcakes, you can either add some vanilla icing or do it vice versa.
16. Grad Cap Cookies
You’re celebrating your graduation, so you might actually want to emphasize that even with your dessert choices. And why not? It’s a big thing and a big party you are hosting, so making it memorable and fun is great.
We bet all your guests will love your creativity and baking skills with this dessert, as it will probably be something they haven’t seen before. Grad cap cookies might look difficult to make, but they are not.
Here is an easy Grad Cap recipe to make if you’re short on time: Grad Cap Cookies. You can also try these Candy Filled Chocolate Graduation Cap Cookies.
17. Graduation Cake
A cake is ideal for almost any event, and a graduation party is an excellent opportunity to ask for a stunning, personalized cake.
If you love baking and have the skills, you can make your own graduation cake from scratch. This video can help you learn how you can build and bake your graduation cake and impress your guests.
Easy, delicious, and versatile. Making sandwiches might sound simple, but we all know just how good they taste, especially when we keep the filling interesting.
Don’t just go for a plain, bland sandwich; try, for example, this hawaiian sandwich recipe and surprise your guests with some sandwich delicacies!
19. Mozzarella Meatball Subs
If you want to bring some street food magic to your party, keep it authentic with some meatball subs.
Get some large baguettes, cut them in smaller pieces, slice them up and fill them in with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and meatballs. Yummy!
20. Apple Pie
Apple pies can be enjoyed hot or cold and you can make big ones or bite-sized mini pies.
The sweet filling combined with the pastry that covers it are a combination that reminds everyone of their childhood, so get ready to see some smiles and tears of joy on people’s faces that won’t be there only because of the occasion.
Whichever road you choose to take, you will definitely succeed if you follow this recipe!
Sugar-glazed, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry jam-filled. No matter what kind of donuts you decide to make, don’t expect to have any left after the party.
Donuts are a big hit, but if you want to make them an even bigger one, try this baked mincemeat donuts recipe and you will even astonish yourself!
22. Beef Samosas
Add all the spices you can think of, some peas and beef and you’ve got the tastiest beef samosas ever.
This recipe can help you out if you are short on ideas, but trust us when we say that it’s difficult to fail even if you try to use your own imagination and creativity!
23. Vegetarian Samosas
If you have guests that are vegetarian, then you must make some vegetarian samosas too.
With some chilli dip on the side or even by themselves, they are filled with nutritious veggies that are wrapped in this crispy fried pastry that keeps everything warm and juicy on the inside!
24. Cookies And Cream Party Cake
With more than just a hint of espresso and vanilla, this cookies and cream party cake recipe is one you should immediately save.
Make the sponges a couple of days ahead so that you don’t have to prepare everything on the day of the party and add the cream cheese and biscuits when assembling the cake.
Try a bit of the mix with your fingers and then try not to eat the cake before the guests arrive!
25. Sausage Rolls
Big or small, sausage rolls are everyone’s favorite party food. There’s just something about them that makes them a ‘must’ in every party.
If you are serving a big crowd, try making these mini sausage-rolls. Bite-sized and easy to carry around, everyone can have a couple of them and still be up for a good dance afterwards!
26. Teriyaki Beef Cups
Sliced sirloin steak in teriyaki sauce (see also our favorite steak sauces), kept or wrapped inside lettuce leaves. Sounds gourmet, right?
Well, you’ll be surprised to find out how easily you can make this snack that will have everyone at the party talking about how much attention you paid to your menu snack selection.
27. Halloumi Fries
Halloumi fries are great for all kinds of occasions, especially for graduation parties where lots of young people are invited.
This halloumi fries recipe is using Greek yogurt, za’atar and lemon, which give your cheesy sticks an extra flavor and taste that takes them to a whole new level!
28. Ham Croquettes
A Spanish snack that’s eaten around the world regularly, ham croquettes can be cooked at the same time as the halloumi fries and served on the same platter.
Try this recipe for some traditional Ham croquettes and make a fried ham and cheese board when serving them with the halloumi sticks!
29. Beef Nachos
Nachos are great for a party, but don’t keep them simple with some cheese and jalapeno on top.
Try making some beef nachos like the ones in this recipe and serve them with avocado, sour cream and coriander. Want to make some guacamole or salsa instead? That’s another great idea!
30. Veggie Nachos
Serving a platter of beef nachos without any alternative might disappoint some plant-based or vegetarian friends of yours who are invited to the party.
Vegetarian nachos don’t have to be plain and boring, especially when you put the extra effort in. So, if you want to make sure that everyone’s happy, try this smoky veggie nachos recipe for a big applause!
31. Vegan Chocolate Tray Bake
Even if there’s only one vegan at the graduation party, this vegan chocolate tray bake will be enjoyed by everyone, irrespective of their love for fish, meat, or anything else that is not vegan!
Vegan yogurt, milk and chocolate are the main ingredients for this dessert that you can cut in squares and serve to all your guests.
32. Chicken Wings
From a vegan dessert, we’re coming to the best for last chicken wings!
Easy to make, safe to taste, and pleasing to all, chicken wings are better and healthier when they are made at home, so don’t get any ready-made from a fast food restaurant.
Try this chilli maple chicken wings recipe to serve some delicious homemade chicken wings with a twist!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Should You Spend On A Graduation Party?
In a nationwide survey conducted by GraduationParty.com, $985 is the average amount spent on graduation parties. There are plenty of simple ways to slash that bill.
Here are some ideas whether you are throwing together a celebration this year or thinking ahead a few years.
The Bottom Line
These 33 graduation party food ideas are all amazing and extremely delicious, so it’s up to you to decide which ones you will choose for your party.
Sometimes a platter of two can do the work, so don’t feel the need to be extra with food. After all, all your guests are there to share your joy and that’s all that really matters!
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