Celebrating the legend of St Patrick, who supposedly drove all the snakes out of Ireland, St Patrick’s Day is an important public holiday in Ireland, and one that has since become a popular day celebrated in countries all around the world.
Particularly prevalent in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, this holiday remains incredibly popular, and is usually celebrated by drinking alcohol (usually Guinness stout), going to parties, or wearing green clothing.
While these things may be well known, one thing that isn’t is the amount of St Patrick’s Day-themed food and snacks that have become staples of parties and celebrations all around the United States.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some recipes for the best St Patrick’s Day appetizers!
A prominent St Patrick’s Day tradition, particularly in the United States, involves food and beverages being dyed green as a way of symbolizing the holiday.
There are many ways that the green color can be achieved, and this can be either purely an aesthetic transformation (with food coloring), or a taste transformation, as seen in this dish.
This green mac and cheese incorporates parsley and fresh spinach to create this fresh take on the American classic.
This is both a great snack for St Patrick’s Day, and also a great way to use up any leftovers you might have from the day’s celebrations.
Combining the shared American history of Irish and Jewish immigrants, this dish has become a staple for both, taking salted corned beef, sauteed onions, and herbs to create something distinctly unique and delicious.
The perfect wholesome sharing dish for friends and family alike, this dish is a great centerpiece on any holiday buffet, and will leave your guests wishing everyday was St Patrick’s Day.
These green and gold meringues are a great addition to any St Patrick’s Day buffet, and are as attractive as they are delicious!
While being a classic French dessert, this snack is easily decorated, and can be a great way of offering a little festive color into any dinner table.
What’s more, the crunchiness of the meringue and the ‘melt in your mouth’ aftertaste will keep your guests firmly in the St Patrick’s Day spirit!
4. Green Bagels
If you really want to push the boat out this St Patrick’s Day – and let everyone know just how Irish you are in the process – then why not try these green bagels?
While normally green bread would be cause for concern, these bagels are a cute and attractive addition to any buffet.
Add some fillings to give your guests a ‘make their own’ experience, or whip up your own dressed green bagels if you have some ideas of your own!
This is a simple thing, but can make all the difference, especially when it comes to jazzing up your buffet table, and getting everyone in the holiday spirit!
A popular cereal throughout the United States, Lucky Charms is often considered Irish, thanks to the Leprechaun mascot on the box.
For this reason, many Americans have begun incorporating this cereal into their St Patrick’s Day baking, with the variation in taste, texture, and flavor really making them useful when creating tasty holiday treats.
While these treats are definitely more American than Irish, they perfectly encapsulate the tongue in cheek humor commonly associated with the holiday, and can be a great way of getting people into the spirit of the occasion.
What’s more, they taste delicious, which is reason enough to feature them on this list!
While green eggs might be more associated with Dr Seuss, these St Patrick’s Day deviled eggs are the perfect weird and wonderful addition to add to any holiday buffet table (see also ‘28 Big Green Egg Recipes You Need To Try‘).
They may look strange, but they taste delicious, and offer a great amount of freedom when it comes to experimentation with flavor.
Some people incorporate avocado to achieve the proper green color, while others rely on food coloring for the egg whites.
This recipe relies on the latter, using green food coloring to change the whites green, and creating a truly egg-cellent orange filling using egg yolk, mustard, chives, bacon bits, pepper, and ground paprika.
These green chocolate bark treats have nothing to do with wood, so do not be alarmed.
What they do include though is delicious white chocolate, green food coloring, green sparkling sugar, organic shredded coconut, and Andes creme de menthe thin candies to give a sharp mint chocolate taste to the treats.
Pistachios are commonly associated with green, thanks to the delightful green color of the nuts, and the color they turn when used in cooking.
There are many combinations you can use for this dessert, but this recipe incorporates tangy pineapple chunks – perfectly contrasting with the drier, nutty flavor.
9. Green Pasta
Similar in principle to the green mac and cheese, this green pasta dish takes broccoli, parmesan cheese, and green food coloring to create a striking, vibrant green dish perfect for any St Patrick’s Day celebration.
10. Irish Soda Bread
This traditional Irish dish is a deliciously salty, sourdough-esque bread that is perfect for soaking up all that Guinness that your guests may well consume.
Boasting a crusty outer surface, and a soft, spongy white interior, Irish soda bread can be either sweet or savory, depending on what the situation requires – or what you are intending to serve it with.
These small, baked Reuben sliders are the perfect appetizer for any get-together – be it St Patrick’s Day or not – and can be a great dish to serve with family and friends during the festive period.
12. Green Fudge
Another fun, green treat for St Patrick’s Day, this green fudge recipe is simple, quick, and delicious.
You can really experiment with these, and the level of decoration is entirely up to you. This particular recipe uses green food coloring, and dresses the individual pieces with green sprinkles for an extra bit of pizazz.
The perfect bitesize snack, these macarons allow you to experiment with decoration and color, and can be a great activity for families with young children who enjoy helping in the kitchen.
You can really get creative with these, and the payoff is out of this world!
There might not be a pot of gold at the end of this particular rainbow, but these treats are even better.
Now when it comes to the ‘rainbow’ coloring, there are many ways you can go about it.
This particular recipe uses a layering technique, laying down different layers of food coloring until a rainbow effect is created.
15. Green Pancakes
These can be great fun, especially for kids, and are also extremely easy to make.
These can be as decorated or green as you want, and can be a great way to experiment with toppings and flavors for your St Patrick’s Day breakfast with family and friends.
16. Shamrock Cookies
These shamrock shaped cookies are really fun and easy to make, and are a great addition to any St Patrick’s Day buffet table.
17. Ham Roll Ups
These ham roll ups are the perfect appetizer whatever the occasion, and couldn’t be simpler to make.
By combining sliced ham, cream cheese, and tangy dill pickles, you have the perfect finger food, and one that will become a firm favorite amongst your guests during party season.
This traditional Irish pie really feels like a taste of the Emerald Isle, and can be a great savory treat for you and your guests.
These can be made as one large sliceable pie, or can be made into miniature bitesize pies for your buffet table, but however you decide to serve them, they will soon be a firm favorite.
A common dish throughout the United Kingdom, the traditional trifle incorporates whipped cream, custard, jello, and fresh fruit to create a delicious, chilled party dessert.
This particular recipe uses green food coloring, green shamrock sprinkles, and gold chocolate coins to bring a whole new definition to the word treasure.
Incorporating cheese, onions, and (in this case) Guinness stout, this Dubliner cheese dip is a great sharing dish, and is a wholesome take on an Irish classic.
Perfect for dipping soda bread into, or any other savory snack or cracker, this dish is everything St Patrick’s Day represents – family, comfort, and community – all wrapped in one cheesy bowl.
21. Spinach Balls
For a slightly healthier snack, these spinach balls just scream St Patrick’s Day, thanks to their green color and garden vegetable filling.
Perfect as an appetizer on your buffet table, these are the perfect finger food, and taste as delicious as they look.
Cook until crispy, and enjoy until your heart’s content!
Ireland, like much of the United Kingdom and the Americas, has a long history with the potato, and these mini potato bites are a perfect homage to that long and storied culinary history.
Cook until the outer skin is crispy, and use a series of dipping sauces to create the perfect light bite for your party. These are so simple to make, but so delicious, and the options for sauces are endless!
Last on this list, but by no means least, these shrimp, avocado, and cucumber bites are a great appetizer for any buffet or party, and are a refreshing and tasty way to inject a little green and orange into your spread.
And there we have it, 23 recipes for the best St Patrick’s Day appetizers!
What’s clear is the level of creativity that the holiday has inspired in people, and while not necessarily Irish in origin, these snacks prove the power that the holiday has for bringing people together, regardless of country or ancestry.
So the next time you throw a St Patrick’s Day party, why not try some of these recipes? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!