Are you looking for gourmet finger food ideas for easy entertaining? Remove the stress for your event by preparing these make ahead finger foods for your party.
Consider a combination of easy appetizers to put together party platters. Our collection of recipes includes dips, cold fand warm platters and desserts.
For entertaining, it’s an opportune time to prepare some gourmet party food ideas ahead of time. The Spanish are rightly famous for their concept of tapas, simply small plates of food. It is not uncommon to consume a number of tapas in the evening rather than one large, formal meal.
So, why not follow their lead for your next summer entertaining event and serve small plates or platters of food for a more informal and fun event.
Recipes on Compass & Fork
We feature popular recipes from all the countries we visit on Compass & Fork. You can find them by going to the top of a page and hovering over the Recipe drop down, where you can then click on a cuisine which piques your interest. We also feature a dinner party from each country.
If you want some other ideas for home entertaining, you might also enjoy these collections of:
- lunch menu ideas,
- popular paleo recipes,
- best barbecue recipes,
- gluten-free recipes.
- popular seafood recipes from around the world
- recipes to make ahead of time for easy entertaining.
But, now it’s onto our collection of summer finger food ideas for casual entertaining. We hope you enjoy this collection of small plates. Remember to click on the recipe name or the picture for the recipe. You can also click on the country to view other recipes and travel articles from that country.
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Dips & Nibbles: Popular Gourmet Finger Food Ideas
Zacusca is a smoky, Romanian eggplant spread. Some people call it Romanian eggplant salad. It is delicious spread on good crusty bread, see our ciabatta recipe, below. In addition to the eggplants, red bell peppers, tomatoes and onion form the basis of this healthy and incredibly tasty dish. Make it ahead of time. (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Paleo)
A classic of Greek cuisine, it is perfect as an easy-to-make summer appetizer. Great to enjoy on a sunny day prior to a BBQ or just for accompanying a chilled beverage with family and friends. (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)
Guacamole can be made on a moment’s notice with everyday ingredients. So just perfect when those unexpected guests drop in or you are looking for a starter for a dinner party. And such a popular dish with people of all ages. This simple, healthy guacamole will be popular no matter what the occasion. (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Paleo)
This easy ciabatta will goes perfectly with the zacusca, tzatziki and guacamole. Ciabatta is just one of those simple ways to enhance a crusty loaf of bread to give it a touch of class. And it requires very little effort or cost to do so. (Vegetarian)
Looking for a healthy alternative to peanuts or other nuts at your next party? Why not consider roasted chickpeas (garbanzo beans)? Roasted chickpeas with a dash of spice are crunchy, healthy and cater for both gluten-free and vegetarian folks. Another summer snack you can prepare well in advance. (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)
Popular Cold Finger Food Ideas
Turkish mezes are perfect for social gatherings and are designed to promote talking! Turkish mezes are small quantities of food served at the start of a meal. They are usually cold, vegetarian and the emphasis is on fresh, healthy ingredients. Just perfect with ciabatta. (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)
Wine and cheese are a fantastic combination. Good for an appetizer, an alternative to dessert, as part of a summer grazing platter or an excellent addition to a dinner party. How do you make a gourmet cheese platter? Are there any guidelines? What about wines? What goes with what? A good combination of cheese and wine can delight all of the senses. (Gluten-Free)
Showcasing all that is good about the Emilia Romagna region, the delicatessen, food bowl of Italy, is this simple Italian Antipasto platter. Perfect for summer entertaining. And, can easily be prepared ahead of time. (Gluten-Free)
Popular Make Ahead Finger Food Ideas
Fresh calamari is healthy, tasty and easy to buy. This simple grilled calamari recipe is another simple appetizer (the Spanish would call it a tapa) with just a few minutes cooking on the grill. It’s everyone’s favorite! (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
Together smoky bacon wrapped around prunes is a sensational combination. The sweetness of prunes and the saltiness of the bacon combining to provide a mouth-watering package of divine taste. They are perfect for any finger food situation and they are simple to prepare and cook, just perfect for summer entertaining. It really doesn’t get much easier than this dish if you are under pressure from a time perspective. (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
Portobello mushroom recipes are some of the most popular recipes around and baby portobello mushrooms are my recommendation for these garlic mushrooms. Having trouble finding baby portobello mushrooms? No problem. You can substitute with medium-size Swiss Browns or button mushrooms. Another, Spanish tapa that will be a hit! (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Paleo)
Looking for something a little different to serve at your next summer event? Thai spring rolls are deceptively easy to make. Once you have tried and succeeded you will wonder why you have taken so long to make them! Once shallow-fried, these spring rolls take on a golden hue and deliver a delightfully, crunchy outside not to mention the tasty morsels inside. They can be prepared in advance with just the final cooking immediately prior to serving.
Garlic shrimp are simple to prepare and quick to cook. They make perfect summer finger food. You will love this Spanish version, enhanced with the addition of smoky paprika. (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
Dessert Platters: Popular Finger Food Ideas
There are only three ingredients in our spiced oranges, and takes only 5 minutes to prepare and you can make it beforehand, making it perfect if you are hosting a summer event. The great tastes of Morocco! (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Paleo)
There is a reason bourbon balls are so popular in Kentucky. They’re good and simple to make, even for people that don’t usually make chocolates or desserts. (Like me!) (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)