Divine Dinner Party

Ideas for Finger Buffets:
Planning a Finger Buffet with Great Recipes

Planning a party and looking for some ideas for finger buffets that are practical, tasty, and impressive? This is the place to be. The recipes and ideas for buffet finger foods and appetizers I've got here are creative, easy to pull off, and a ton of fun to eat.

Below, you'll find a couple of recipes for some of my favorite finger food appetizer recipes for a buffet. But you'll also find links to other great finger food recipes, as well as tips on setting up a party finger food buffet table. Looking for more? You'll find more resources for planning your party finger food menu at Buffet Recipes and Planning Central, including:

Now, read on for some more great ideas for finger buffets-- including some of my favorite recipe ideas for party finger foods!

4 Creative Ideas for Finger Buffet Set-Up

Looking for recipe and display ideas for finger buffet foods? The four tips below won't only give you ideas for setting up your party finger food buffet... they'll also help you come up with creative ideas for finger buffet foods that you might not have considered otherwise!

1. Serve it Up on a Utensil

Chinese Spoons used in a Finger Food Appetizer Buffet Table
One of my favorite serving ideas for finger buffets is the "one bite" Chinese spoon, as pictured. These porcelain Chinese appetizer spoons are pretty, practical, and really inexpensive. Plus, When you set up a finger food buffet this way, it's easy to make anything a buffet finger food. From a nice piece of sashimi, to a mound of pate, to a chopped tomato salad, your guests just grab and go. Just be sure to leave a receptacle handy for used spoons.

Some good ideas for making Chinese appetizer spoon foods for a party are:

  • Mouthful of spaghetti with mini meatballs
  • A single shrimp with sauce (like this Shrimp Remoulade)
  • Sorbets or mousses
  • Scallop or shrimp on greens
  • Gazpacho with vegetable garnishes
  • Beef carpaccio (or fish carpaccio) with salad
  • Quail egg on a tiny toast with basil and tomato
  • A single homemade or gourmet tortellini or ravioli in sauce or broth
  • Chicken, beef, lamb, or other meat in a sauce

Almost anything you can make full-sized, from soups and stews to salads and mousses, you can make into a Chinese spoon appetizer idea. So get creative!

2. Assemble Your Own Appetizer

Assemble Your Own Finger Food Buffet with FishThis works great when you want to offer your guests small sandwiches or crackers or party toasts with toppings. Instead of pre-assembling them yourself, create (or buy) a pretty display with everything your guests need available right there. Then they can create their own finger foods or appetizers for a party-- right there at the buffet table.

A bonus? Your appetizer crackers, toasts, or sandwiches won't get soggy as they sit-- and your guests will have a lot of fun putting them together. One of my favorite ideas for finger buffets when you want to make your life easier-- and get your guests having a good time with your food.

3. Make it Mini

Little Wraps Finger Food Recipe Ideas for a Party Buffet Table

When you make it mini, almost any food will work for your party finger food buffet.

Take your usual party sandwiches or wraps and scale them down, as pictured. Make chicken strips into chicken bites. Cut your cheese into bite-sized cubes. Take a pizza and cut it into small squares instead of full-sized slices. Lots of different foods can be adapted into mini finger foods. When looking for ideas for finger buffets, it's always good to think outside the normal "finger food" box.

4. Make Some Spanish Pintxos

Spanish Tapas for a Finger Food Party BuffetWalk into any Spanish pintxos (mini-tapas, pronounced "peen-chose") restaurant, and you'll just see one huge finger food buffet. So take a page out of the Spanish tapa playbook, and make create Spanish pintxos for your party... and you don't necessarily have to use Spanish ingredients! Any item, when skewered on a toothpick and placed on a small slice of French bread (which is how most pintxos are presented), can be a great ideas for finger buffets.

A fried shrimp, a Spanish croquette, a scoop of crab salad with arugula, a wedge of brie with raspberry jam, a thin slice of roasted zucchini stuffed with goat cheese... you name it. Pintxos are a sort of genius idea for finger buffets-- take anything, stick it on a slice of baguette bread, spear it with a toothpick... and it becomes a party finger food recipe.

Cherry Tomato Mini Caprese Salads Recipe

Mini Caprese Salads Fun Buffet Finger Food Recipe IdeasThis is one of those recipe ideas for finger buffets that just couldn't be more simple. Aside from a little bit of fiddling around with the cherry tomatoes, putting these little mini Caprese salads together is really a breeze. They're perfect for a summer dinner party, with the sweetness of the tomato, the pungency of the basil, the tang of the balsamic, and the creaminess of the mozzarella.

Serving note: If your little tomatoes have a tendency to roll around, you can cut a small slice from the bottom of each one to give them a flat base.

Serves about 12. Be sure to use fresh basil and good-quality mozzarella for the best results.

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4 C. ripe cherry tomatoes
1/2 to 1 C. fresh basil leaves (small leaves are better)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese (harder varieties are easier to work with)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions: 1. Cut your mozzarella into little cubes-- they should be the right size to fit inside a tomato.

2. Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and pull out the insides with a little spoon. Discard insides.

3. Wrap each mozzarella cube in a basil leaf and stuff your tomato with it.

4. Place tomatoes on a serving tray and drizzle with oil and balsamic vinegar.

5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Caramelized Onion and Brie "Palmiers" Recipe

Brie and Onion French Palmiers Pastry Finger FoodsMade with puff pastry, creamy brie cheese, and caramelized onions, these French-style savory "palmiers" are the perfect idea for finger buffets. They taste good cool or hot, are easy to serve, and disappear off of any party appetizer tray. Always one of the more popular items on my party finger food menus.

A great bonus? These little savory pastries are just as easy as they are pretty-- but will look like you spent hours preparing.

Want to make these little spirals into make-ahead recipe ideas for finger buffets? Simple prepare and assemble up until step 9, cover and refrigerate, and then bake right before serving. Or serve them at room temperature!

This simple party appetizer recipe serves 18 (two pastries each).

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4 med.-sized onions, sliced thin
1/4 C. butter
3 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
2 sheets puff pastry, fully thawed
8 oz. brie cheese (weight without rind), chopped
1 tbsp. caraway seeds
1 egg, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
Parchment paper (for baking)

Instructions: 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onions, brown sugar, salt, and vinegar. Cook onions until tender and brown, stirring often.

2. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

3. Roll one sheet of puff pastry into a rectangle of approximately 11" by 8".

4. Sprinkle pastry with half of your chopped brie, half of your caramelized onions, and half of your caraway seeds.

5. Roll each end (roll the long ends in, not the short ones) towards the center of the pastry, until they meet in the middle.

6. Wrap firmly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

7. Repeat with remaining pastry and remaining ingredients.

8. When your dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge. Slice each roll into 1/2" slices and place on your parchment-lined pan. Flatten each slice until it's about 1/4" thick.

9. Refrigerate slices another 10 minutes.

10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

11. Brush pastries with egg/water mixture. Bake about 14 minutes, or until golden brown.

More Recipe Ideas for Finger Buffets

I love the two party finger food appetizer recipes here above-- and I make them a lot! But if you're looking for more recipe ideas for finger buffets, I've got a ton more of 'em right here at Divine Dinner Party.

Some of my favorite ideas for finger buffet recipes are here below. Some of them will link to recipes of my own, and some are simply ideas for you to build upon-- you should use your own favorite recipes!

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You Might Also Like...

If you're planning a party and looking for more ideas for finger buffets, check out:

Party Food Planning


Easy Party Appetizers


Coming Up...

Hippity, Hoppity,
Easter's on its Way

The date for Easter falls on April 20th this year!

Take a look at Easter Dinner and Party Planning for recipes, edd dye tips, assembling Easter baskets, and more!

And plan to make this adorable...

It's so cute, it may be the best thing you do this Easter.


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After all, what better way to pass on your knowledge than to share it with other hosts and hostesses?

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